By Laura Ellis
On Sunday, October 4th, 2015, H.E. Dagmo Kusho, Venerable Khenpo Jampa and Dharma students from Sakya Monastery gathered at Carkeek Park in Seattle, to make sacred Chu-Tsa offerings. The word ‘chu’ means ‘water’ and ‘tsa’ means ‘mold’. The word ‘tsa sa’ typically refers to the clay images of buddhas and bodhisattvas that are consecrated and used to fill the inside of stupas. Dagmo Kusho la explained that another way to make tsa sa is from of water.
Dagmo Kusho la gave a brief teaching. She said that, according to His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche, water tsa sa are especially beneficial because water sustains life, it remains forever on the earth and it goes all over the world. Therefore the blessings imparted by the chu tsa will remain in the world forever.
There is great healing benefit for oneself and all beings. When one performs the chu tsa offering one is helping other beings to heal. Therefore the result is that one self will also receive healing blessings. In waterways it is said that for every four foot stretch of water there is a water goddess. The goddess helps purify the water. That is why in Tibet, one person can be seen washing clothes upstream and downstream another person is drinking from the river. Tibetans believe this. The chu tsa offering can purify the water in the same way. Practicing the chu tsa offering is very easy, it does not cost anything, benefits all beings, and the accumulation of merit is tremendous. For these reasons it is a good practice for lay practitioners. In Tibet, it is traditional for groups of lay practitioners (even entire villages) to gather on auspicious days of the year and perform chu tsa.
Everyone was delighted and surprised when H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche and his son, H.E. Zaya Rinpoche, unexpectedly arrived at the park. Dagchen Rinpoche led us in the recitation of the Aspiration of Samantabhadra. We then recited the Three Long Life Deity prayers for our holy teachers before going down to the beach at the place where the fresh water stream meets the sea.
Dagmo Kusho la showed us how to make the chu tsa by placing the mold mindfully in the water in an upright fashion so that the image is imprinted perfectly upon the water. Just as with clay tsa sa, the water has to fill the entire mold in order to make a perfect image. Dagmola emphasized how important it is to do the practice in the proper way. Then one repeats the process many times while reciting mantras. One can recite any mantra one chooses, usually Om Mani Padme Hung.
Khenpo-la playfully showered participants with blessings from his tsa sa mold. It was a beautiful sunny day. Perfect weather for engaging in this meritorious activity by scenic Puget Sound surrounded by mountains, a blue sky, a fresh breeze and clear water to carry the Buddha’s adamantine blessings all over the world.
May our precious teachers live long and may the Buddha Dharma spread and increase!