Special Lectures: The Four Philosophical Schools of Indian Buddhism

Lecturer: Jeff Schoening, Ph.D.
Wednesdays, January 6th and 13th
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Location: Cultural Hall
Suggested contribution: $20 Public, $15 Members
Prerequisite: None
Handouts provided

For any student of the Buddha’s teachings, their sheer volume presents problems. Is there a system to the teachings, a hierarchy, a reason for differences and disagreements? It is generally accepted that the teachings fall within four distinct philosophical schools. Learn about the history and teachings of these four schools. The first session describes the origins of the schools and their relationship to Buddhist scripture and one another. Both traditional accounts and modern academic views are considered. The second session investigates the doctrines that distinguish these four schools, paying particular attention to the two Great Vehicle (Mahayana) schools, the Practitioner (Yogachara) and the Middle Way (Madhyamaka). The class is intended for anyone with an interest in Buddhist philosophy who wants to deepen his or her understanding of the Buddha’s doctrine and its history.

Jeffrey Schoening (Upasaka), holds a PhD in Buddhist Studies, and is a longtime member and interpreter at Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. Jeff is the author of The Shalistamba Sutra and Its Indian Commentaries (Vienna 1995), a two-volume study of teachings on dependent arising. He served as a health care chaplain at Swedish Medical Center and Northwest Kidney Center and is currently a private practice spiritual director.

Movies with Meaning: Digital Dharma

Saturday, January 16
Time: 6:30 pm
Free, donations accepted

Digital Dharma is the chronicle of a cultural rescue. This feature-length HD documentary brings to light the magnitude of one man's inspirational 50-year quest to save the literary history of a disappearing culture and to preserve early lessons of mankind's consciousness. The life of E. Gene Smith is an epic story of destiny and compassion that leads a pacifist on a mission of survival. In an era of espionage and mistrust, Gene's mission becomes the catalyst for an international movement to save ancient writing and art from crumbling, literally, to dust... and then deliver them to the entire world. As our world's political and cultural borders shift, Gene Smith’s mission to protect all knowledge and its far-reaching contributions becomes critical.

E. Gene Smith was a student of H.E. Dezhung Rinpoche, H.E. Dagmo Kusho's uncle, and he stayed with H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche's family in Seattle in the early 60's.

Amitayus-Hayagriva Tangtong Gyalpo Initiation

By H.E. Sakya Dhungsey Asanga Vajra Rinpoche
Sunday, February 14
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Shrine Room
Suggested contribution:  Sponsors: $150, Public $55, Members $50

To register online, please visit: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=rkgbvycab&oeidk=a07ec11et7902590549

H.E. Asanga Rinpoche will bestow the Amitayus-Hayagriva Initiation. The practice of Amitayus, the Buddha of Boundless Life and Wisdom, is a meditative yoga for a prolonged and meaningful life, transcending sickness, disease and untimely death. Hayagriva represents protection. This fierce protector is a terrifying form of Noble Chenrezi (Sanskrit - Avalokitshvara).

Tang Tong Gyalpo is a legendary Buddhist master reputed to have an incredible lifespan of 125 years. Believed to be Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) appearing in the world to benefit living beings, Tang Tong Gyalpo constructed 58 iron suspension bridges, 60 wooden bridges, 118 ferries, 111 stupa monuments, countless temples and monasteries, and is credited for the creation of Tibetan opera. According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, it is believed that putting Tang Tong Gyalpo’s picture over a door or window serves as an Earthquake Protection Amulet.

His Eminence Khondung Asanga Vajra Sakya is the son of H.E. Khöndung Ani Vajra Sakya Rinpoche, the second son of the Phuntsok Phodrang family and Dagmo Chimey la. He is also the grandson of H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche and therefore a direct descendent of the unbroken Khon lineage which dates back to 1073. Asanga Vajra Rinpoche is also the grandson of H.E. Garje Khamtul Rinpoche, a highly realized and accomplished Nyingmapa master on his mother’s side. His Eminence Khöndung Asanga Vajra Sakya Rinpoche was born on May 1st, 1999 in Seattle Washington. In April of 2005, at the age of five and in accordance with his wish, Asanga Vajra Rinpoche left the comforts of home and family in Seattle, Washington to begin his new life to study and train at the Tharlam Monastery in Boudhanath, Nepal. In 2007, he received the Lamdre Tsogshay teaching from his paternal grandfather, H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche. The following year, Asanga Rinpoche received the Lamdre Lobshey teachings from his paternal granduncle H.H. Sakya Trizin Rinpoche. He has also received many other very important empowerments, teachings and religious instructions from other great masters such as H.H. the Dalai Lama, H.E. Chögye Trichen, H.E. Khenchen Appey Rinpoche, H.E. Luding Khenchen as well as from his maternal grandfather H.E. Khamtul Rinpoche. In 2011, Asanga Rinpoche successfully passed his examination on the Vajrakilaya puja and rituals with a perfect score and was also the youngest lineage holder in exile to have successfully undertaken the rigorous preparation and examination.

Dharma Lecture: Final Words of Guru Rinpoche to Yeshe Tsogyal

Lecturer: Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche
Sunday, February 14
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Location: Shrine Room
Suggested contribution: $35 Public, $30 Members
Prerequisite: Refuge

Guru Rinpoche gave many profound teachings when he was in Tibet. Today’s teaching contains the essence of all his teachings. He gave this particular advice to the Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal when he was about to leave Tibet. The sutra and the tantra and especially the viewpoint of Dzogchen is contained in this teaching. To help understand this teaching, it is important to have indestructible devotion in Guru Rinpoche and awareness of Rigpa.

Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche is a Dzogchen master and the reincarnation of Dzogchen Gyaltsab Thodo Rinpoche. He was recognized by H.H. Dalai Lama's Nyingmapa teacher Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche. He received teachings from twenty-five masters representing all five schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Tulku Yeshi has written thirteen books, ten of which have been published, on the subject of Tibetan Buddhism and culture, including “A One Thousand Year History of Sakyapa.” He has published three books in English: his autobiography “A Modern Liberation Odyssey - An Autobiography of a Tibetan Nomad Lama”, “Handbook for Half-Buddhas” and “Tibetan Zen.” He also writes novels, poetry for mind training, provides Tibetan astrology readings, can advise people on how to enjoy their life, and can bestow empowerments. Currently he is working on Dharma activities at Sakya Monastery in Seattle.

Initiation of the White Parasol Goddess

By H.E. Sakya Dhungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Shrine Room
Suggested contribution: Sponsors: $150; Public $55, Members $50
Prerequisite: Vegetarian before the Initiation

To register online, please visit: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=rkgbvycab&oeidk=a07ebyjzkkiabaa0f30

The White Parasol Goddess (known as Dugkarma in Tibetan) is a compassionate manifestation of all the Buddhas for averting the obstacles, illness, negativity and disturbances that can affect Buddhist practitioners. The practice of the White Parasol Goddess has been relied upon for centuries in the Sakya tradition as one of the most expedient and dynamic means to purify negative energy, and to promote healing and harmony inside and out. It is a wonderful opportunity that H.E. Sakya Dungse Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche is returning to Seattle to bestow the initiation of the White Parasol Goddess. With his inimitable warmth, clarity and insight, His Eminence will also provide a detailed explanation of the background and processes of the practice in fluent English.

His Eminence Khondung Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche is the elder son of H.E. Khöndung Zaya Vajra Rinpoche and Dagmo Lhanze Youden, was born into the illustrious Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang in Seattle in 1993. At the tender age of six, he began his training in India to follow in the footsteps of his noble Khön forebears. Since that time, he has received an uninterrupted stream of transmissions and teachings, including the Lamdre Tsogshay, from his grandfather, H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya. He has also received many teachings from his paternal grand-uncle H.H. Sakya Trizin (including the Lamdre Lobshe), and many high Lamas of the Sakya tradition. Having mastered the intricate rituals of the Sakya lineage, completed meditation retreats and presided as Vajra Master of the annual Vajrakilaya ceremony in Darjeeling, he enrolled at Dzongsar Institute of Higher Buddhist Philosophy and Research in 2010. There he is successfully building on his extensive learning in the Buddha- Dharma with a program of study and dialectics to gain proficiency in the classic treatises of the Sakya philosophical tradition.


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