by Bhikshuni Thubten Tarpa , Sravasti Abbey
With great joy we welcomed back Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho Sakya to Sravasti Abbey in Newport, Washington in late July, August 2014. The Buddhadharma teachings with Dagmo Kusho were filled with joy, heartfelt warmth, and Dharma friendship. Dagmo Kusho, with her deep practice and devotion as well as wonderful warmth, was an inspiration to all over the four days of teachings and activities.
First Dagmola gave two teachings on the topic of Refuge in the Three Jewels. She opened with teachings helping us to put our lives into a proper perspective with regards to the Dharma, our fortunate opportunity, and putting this into action each day. Then she explained preliminary practices related to refuge and how to put our hearts into the prayers and practices regardless of our individual circumstances.
The next day, August 1st, were two teaching sessions on the Aspiration of Samantabhadra. In introducing this prayer we learned that in the 8th century this was inscribed into a rock near Dagmola’s home town in Kham; and that in modern times over the course of 20-30 years it was inscribed on a bell in Lhasa. Dagmola carefully gave a commentary on all 63 verses of this incredible prayer with a text prepared by Ven. Tulku Yeshi of Sakya Monastery.
For the video playlist of the above teachings (in full) Click Here.
The Orange Mañjuśrī initiation was bestowed the next morning followed by a commentary on the practice sadhana that afternoon. And on the morning of the last day Dagmola led us in a Sur fire offering. The Tibetan word “sur” (Tib. gsur) refers to the smell of roasted flour that is offered to spirits. She kindly provided the Abbey with all the supplies and text needed to perform this offering on a regular basis which is now happening every two weeks.
One late afternoon we all had the pleasure of sitting with Dagmola and viewing the well-produced and moving video of the history and celebration of 30 years of the Sakya Monastery: Our Precious Guru and His Monastery. The feeling of spiritual friendship was palpable. Personally, this was an especially meaningful activity as it allowed our Abbey community and guests to connect more in depth with all the amazing people who have been instrumental in the founding and flourishing of the Sakya Monastery in Seattle
Speaking for our abbess, Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron, and all the monastics at Sravasti Abbey, we are extremely grateful to have had the most excellent fortune to have received these teachings from H.E. Dagmo Kusho. We wish to thank the all the many people from Sakya Monastery involved in making this a possibility.