March 4, 2003

THRANGU RINPOCHE'S SCHEDULE

SECOND VAJRA VIDYA RETREAT PROGRAM AT CRESTONE, COLORADO - (June 13th -June 22nd, 2003)
Thrangu Rinpoche will teach on "The Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen" in Crestone from June 13th to June 22nd. If you are interested in attending the retreat, please fill out the Registration form.
Any questions can be directed to: Clark or Pat Johnson at cjohnson@ix.netcom.com. Address is:
Vajra Vidya Retreat Program,
P. O. Box 1083,
Crestone, CO 81131
Phone:  (719)256-5367
Rinpoche's public talk on Friday, June 13th will be on the effectiveness of Prayer. Rinpoche will also give instructions on how to conduct the retreat. How a relaxed attitude can make meditation more effective.

VAJRA VIDYA RETREAT CENTER
The Vajra Vidya Retreat Center has raised over $ 150,000. There will be a model of the design on display. The building of 10 rooms of the retreat center will begin when the remaining $ 200,000 has been raised. Thrangu Rinpoche's website: www.rinpoche.com has a whole section on the retreat center with photographs if you are interested. Email cjohnson@ix.netcom.com and ask for a free color brochure and a description of the preliminary plans for the retreat center, we will send them to you. If a group would like to see an excellent 10 minute video on the Vajra Vidya Retreat Center this is also available. This "Tibetan style" retreat center will house 20 practitioners and have facilities for a retreat master a Khenpo and Nuns from Thrangu Rinpoche's monastery. Rinpoche will be discussing his vision for the Vajra Vidya Retreat Center in Crestone this summer. See the plans for the Center in Germany which will begin this Fall. What a wonderful thing for our Dharma brothers and sisters in Europe and we wish them extreme success with this wonderful beginning. As we continue with the Tashi Prayers of Great Auspiciousness we hold all of Rinpoche's Buddha activities in our hearts.

THRANGU RINPOCHE'S THREE-YEAR RETREAT IN GERMANY
Thrangu Rinpoche has established a three-year retreat program in Halshad, Germany which will actually be in English (the retreat master Lama Kunga speaks English, but not German). This program is different from the traditional three-year retreat program.

News from the German Retreat Center of H.H., the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Urgyen Trinley Dorje
Three Year Retreat in Germany - a Unique Model

At Lha Bab Dü Chen, November 16, 2003 a three year retreat with a new time structure is beginning which is under the spiritual guidance of Very Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche, personal tutor to H.H. Karmapa.

This retreat is unique. On the one hand it offers the chance of participating for three years and three months in the traditional gradual training in essential meditation methods of the Karma Kamtsang tradition. At the same time there is the possibility to join the mandala of this intensive group-practice for shorter time units and to complete the traditional program according to an individual time frame that accommodates one's personal life situation. So, if you have to take care of family members or have to continue to go to work, you do so between your practice periods. As often and as long as your time and social situation allow, you can stay in retreat. The shortest retreat unit is four weeks long.

Rinpoche decided to change the traditional time schedule towards a more flexible structure as he understood that many Western practitioners deeply wish to follow the inspiring example of Tibetan retreatants who practiced in secluded places, refraining from all wordly activities, with the consent and support of their society. But our Western living conditions are quite different - binding us with social and economic responsibilities.

The new retreat model allows both: to use the profound skillful means of a three year meditational curriculum, as well as to fulfill personal and professional tasks. Thus we can join our Western life situation with intense practice and contribute to the process of bringing the Dharma to the West.

Like the Kagyu siddhas of the past the retreatants start off with the Mahamudra preliminaries (Ngöndro), which are followed by Guru Yoga practices, the generation and completion stages of Yidam practice (Kye- and Dzogrim) and the 6 Yogas of Naropa. The retreatants will be attended on by Lama Kunga Dorje, a fully qualified Tibetan teacher, whom Thrangu Rinpoche appointed to be the Drupön (retreatmaster).

Timetable for retreat aspirants (2003):

June 27 - August 15 Preliminary retreats at Halscheid retreat center to study and familiarize oneself with different retreat practices
June 27 - July 4 Ngöndro
July 4- July 11 Vajrakilaya practice
July 11- July 14 Milarepa Guru Yoga
July15 - July 18 Teachings by H.E. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche on Tashi Namgyal´s "Clarifying the Natural State"
July 18 - July 25 Gampopa Guru Yoga
July 25 - August 1 Guru Yoga of Marpa the Translator
August 1 - August 8 Karma Pakshi Guru Yoga
August 8 - August 15 Chöd Practice

These preparatory courses start Friday evening and end Friday noon respectively. During the week-ends, Lama Kunga will teach, during the weeks we practice. These retreats should be attended by all retreat-aspirants who have already decided to join the three year retreat, but they are also open for practitioners who still want to find out whether and in which form they can participate. Costs: just for board and lodgings: 20-25 Euro /per day (self-estimation) & offering to the Lama.

August 18 - 24, 2003 Empowerments for all retreat methods, given by Thrangu Rinpoche
November 16, Lha Bab Düchen beginning of the 3-year-retreat

Retreat Schedule
First year:
8 months of ngöndro practice
3 months of taking refuge and doing prostrations
3 months of Vajrasattva meditation
1 month of Mandala offerings connected with Chöd practice
1 month of Guru yoga
4 months of special Guru yoga practices (Marpa, Mila, Gampopa, Karma Pakhsi, one month each)

Second year:
1 month of Lojong mind training
1 month of Mahamudra meditation (Shine and Lhaktong)
10 months of Yidam practice: Dorje Phagmo (Vajravarahi)

Third year:
6 months for the 6 yogas of Naropa
3 months of Chakrasamvara
3 months of Gyalwa Gyamtso practice
3 months of concluding practices

"This is a good program for retreat, because it contains every important meditation practice of the Karma Kamtsang Tradition. Former practitioners attained Siddhahood by using those methods. You can also achieve realization, if your practice is developing well."

"A precious human birth is attained. If you have met the Dharma, use this opportunity to give your life its full meaning! Enter a drubkhang! Gain experience now, supported by favorable conditions. It is your chance. I exhort you to you use it!"
                                                                                                                                                        (Thrangu Rinpoche, September 2002)

The retreat teachings will be translated into English and (if necessary) into German - as far as I know up to now all German retreat aspirants understand English. Also, the practice texts will have English translation and Lama Kunga, the Drupön, is speaking English. So, English speaking retreatants are very welcome! Many greetings and thanks for your support!

With best wishes for the year of the Water Sheep!

There is also a long email which is a transcript of a discussion Thrangu Rinpoche had with the Kamalashila group and you can get this from DorotheaNett@aol.com Further information: Dorothea Nett, Tel. 06221-41 04 95, Fax 06221 - 47 32 85, E-mail: DorotheaNett@aol.com, Stefan Paulik, Tel. 02292-7438, Fax 02292-6327, halscheid-retreat@web.de

TWO NEW BOOKS BY THRANGU RINPOCHE

"ESSENTIAL PRACTICE"
Thrangu Rinpoche gave a set of three teachings on Kamalashila at Naropa University. Kamalashila was responsible for restoring Buddhism after the anti-Dharmic King Langdarma almost eliminated Buddhism in Tibet. He established the gradual path and this is still the way Dharma is presented in Tibet today. These teachings were translated by Jules Levinson. This book published by Snow Lion is $ 15.95 (214 pages) and can be obtained in any book store or ordered from Namo Buddha Publications (there is no postage or handling fees) by emailing us (cjohnson@ix.netcom.com)

"The great Indian master Kamalashila 'Stages of Meditation in the Middle Way School' opens the door of philosophy and practice to meditators at all levels. With brevity and clarity, it covers all the main topics one needs to know from developing compassion, through numerous methods of meditation, to the ultimate realization of full awakening. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche has a unique ability to bring forth the central issues of a text and make them available to a contemporary audience. This text will certainly bring great benefit to all those who encounter it."
                                                                                                                 -- The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinle Dorje.

"EVERYDAY CONSCIOUSNESS AND BUDDHA-AWAKENING"
This book also from Snow Lion is a commentary Thrangu Rinpoche gave on the Third Karmapa's "Distinguishing Consciousness from Wisdom" which is also the same topic of his book "Transcending Ego: Distinguishing Consciousness from Wisdom." However, these teachings were given in Germany and translated Susanne Schefczyk and cover the material with a different slant and containing new material. These two books together provide one of the most comprehensive treatments of Buddhist psychology. The book is 124 pages and costs $ 14.95 and can be obtained from bookstores or the Snow Lion website or from Namo Buddha Publications with no postage or handling charges.

"Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, a pre-eminent Tibetan Buddhist master, has presented an accessible and precise introduction to the inherently awakened mind at the heart of confusion and suffering. While this text is invaluable for the scholar,it is even more crucial for the Vajrayana practitioner."                ---Judith Simmer-Brown

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