Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
speaks on Crestone, Colorado
(Talk given at Crestone on 7/23/2002)

As my parting aspiration prayer for you all, I pray that your practice of ultimate bodhichitta will cut through your clinging to existence as being truly existent and that your practice of relative bodhichitta, which is the root of performing the benefit of others, will cut through clinging to samsara . I pray that these practices will be like the waxing moon and will increase and increase and that, through this, you will be of great benefit to all of the limitless number of sentient beings.

A dharma center is a place where many dharma practitioners can gather and practice together and therefore it is very important. Those who work at a dharma center and are doing dharma work will have difficulty. However much you have to endure, that much more merit will you accumulate, and that much more can you practice patience. However much dharma practitioners have to endure the difficulties of heat and cold, of hunger and thirst, or whatever might be, that much more merit will they accumulate. Milarepa himself said, "If you do difficult things, you will achieve something rare."

Crestone is a place where you have at your back the Rocky Mountains and in front you have an incredibly expansive view. Although the view is expansive there's a forest on the mountains so there can be many different places for seclusion. It's a place where the earth is clean, the water is clean, and the air is clean. So it's a wonderfully beautiful and secluded place, an ideal place to practice the dharma. You're all incredibly fortunate to be able to live and practice here. And especially because it's a place where many tulkus (emanations of realized masters) are now gathering and having retreats or building retreat building. So I think this creates a very auspicious connection for the teachings of the Practice Lineage to flourish here in Crestone and for many yogis and yoginis to be born out of their practice here.

Because we have so many different tulkus from so many different dharma traditions building retreats in the same place, teaching in the same place, this activity really makes this place extraordinary. Since these emanations themselves are building so many different retreat cabins, it is a sign that even more emanations of emanations will come in the future. Since the people who are building the retreats, the lamas, the retreat masters themselves are tulkus, that is a sign that among their students there will be many yogis and yoginis.

Since people here help each other when building their retreats with groups helping each other, that is a sign that they are in harmony in terms of their samaya and that is a conducive condition for their realization to increase and increase. Also, all these different students of different teachers have one common place where they have come, which also has an extraordinary stupa of Tashi Gomang, its a wonderful place for everybody to gather and make aspiration prayers for world peace and happiness.

Tibet has many sacred places because these are places where realized masters like Milarepa and Guru Rinpoche came and practiced. Because these masters stayed in these spots and practiced there, the places became sacred. These places weren't sacred to begin with; they became sacred because of the practice that was done there. Similarly, because there are so many different emanations of masters practicing here and building retreats here, this place, too, will become a sacred place-a place where the air is clean, the earth is clean, and the water is clean, a place of utter seclusion and beauty, a place where so many tulkus have come to build retreats and practice the genuine dharma. All of these are signs that here the teachings of the Practice Lineage will flourish. So all of you who are the pioneers here should stick it out and endure the difficult work of building this place. If you do this, all of the future emanations and the future students who come will have it very easy and will have all the conducive conditions for a wonderful place for practice which will be based on your efforts and endurance here at the beginning.

When the tulkus who are in Crestone pass away into nirvana, their blessing will grow even greater and the blessing of this place will grow even greater. When a tulku is still alive some people will praise the tulku and some people will criticize the tulku. But once the tulku passes away to nirvana then all there is, is pure vision. And this makes their blessing increase and the blessing of the place where they live and practice increase. So when the tulkus pass away into nirvana, there will be no reason to criticize them any more and everybody will have very pure vision of them and make aspiration prayers at the places where they stayed and lived and practiced.

In this world there are many places where there are retreats going on and retreat houses being constructed and people are practicing. But you have not just one, but many tulkus who have come and build retreats and practice here. So out of all of the retreat settings in the whole world, this is the best! This is the most extraordinary! It is the retreat land of the emanations! And that's why in the future this will become an extraordinary place. The reason why Tibet is an extraordinary land is that so many emanations of realized masters were born and lived there. Similarly, since Crestone is a place where so many realized masters have come to live and practice, it will be just as extraordinary. And when the students of these emanations practice what they have been taught by their teachers and they become noble bodhisattvas, then there will be that many more emanations to go around.

As Milarepa sang,
"The yogi who has reached success in emptiness/compassion,
this is the guide for cutting through complexities conventions,
is there anyone here who is able to stick to this path and follow it through,
the one with realization, with a retinue is happy.
To gather emanations as a retinue is E MA HO."

So Milarepa sang about his students being emanations being tulkus because they had realized the true nature of mind. So Rinpoche asks that I sing this verse for you. [Translator Ari Goldfield sings.] It's like that!

[Note: When Ari heard Khenpo Tsultrim say, "So out of all the retreat settings in the world, this is the best." he asked Khenpo several times if he meant just good or meant the very best and each time Khenpo Tsultrim said "the very best."]



            
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