October, 2006

The Vajra Vidya Retreat Center Newsletter
Vajra Vidya, P. O. Box 1083, Crestone CO, 81131
Phone: (719)256-5539
Website: www.VajraVidyaRetreatCenter.org

Short and Long-term Retreats under the direction of
Thrangu Rinpoche's Resident Lamas: Lama Karma Wangdu and Khenpo Jigme



Thrangu Rinpoche taught Taranatha’s commentary on the Heart Sutra. Over 200 students attended this teaching on the Shentong definitive view. The first talk was open to the public and Rinpoche talked about time. Time was explained as relative phenomenon and a glimpse of what is true on the absolute level was taught. This talk began the teachings on the Shentong view expressed in the Prajnaparamita.

“Accordingly, those who adhere to Rangtong take the first wheel of the Buddha's teachings which is the Wheel of Dharma that teaches the Four Noble Truths to be provisional in meaning, the middle Wheel of Dharma that teaches the absence of characteristics as ultimately definitive in meaning, and the final excellently distinguished Wheel of Dharma as teaching the circumstantial definitive meaning, which is provisional in meaning. Those who uphold Zhentong take the first Wheel of Dharma to be provisional, the middle Wheel of Dharma to teach the circumstantial definitive meaning, and the final Wheel of Dharma to teach to ultimate definitive meaning.” -- A Jonang quote

Thrangu Rinpoche’s teaching on this ancient and profound subject was as always clear and precise. He established how rangtong was needed as a basis so that Shentong could be understood.

Several changes have been put into effect.


Rinpoche stayed at the completed North Wing of the Vajra Vidya Retreat Center. Seeing the completion of Phase 1 Rinpoche expressed appreciation for what had been built and expressed his wishes for Phase 2 to begin. This will be the building of the shrine room. To make this happen Rinpoche matched a $25,000 donation. The building fund starts at $ 50,000 for phase II. Please stay tuned for the launching of our fund raising for this auspicious next step.

Thrangu Rinpoche also asked Khenpo Jigme and Lama Wangdu to build a Samadhi Park on the 35 acre Vajra Vidya land. This will be a path for people to walk along with replicas of famous Buddhist monuments such the nine-story tower of Milarepa, the Bodgaya stupa, and other historical sites. Along this path will be several meditation platforms under several trees that will be for practice.

Khenpo Jigme has enrolled in an intensive English language program in Boulder and will complete this course in December.

In accordance to Thrangu Rinpoche’s wishes, the Vajra Vidya Retreat Center is now under the administrative direction of Lama Wangdu. He may be contacted at the retreat center at (719) 256-5539 or through coordinator@VajraVidyaRetreatCenter.org. The website for the retreat center remains the same: www.VajraVidyaRetreatCenter.org.

Health reasons have forced Clark and Pat Johnson to move to Boulder. The staff at VVRC will be supplemented by a full time cook, Annegerth Gori. We are hoping to get a permanent assistant for Lama Wangdu. Newsletters announcing the activities of VVRC will be coming from Lama Wangdu.


Namo Buddha Publications has moved to Boulder and is running as always. To reach us you can either call Clark at (303) 449-6608 or email ClarkJohnson@NamoBuddhaPublications.com.


This summer's retreat program with Rinpoche on Tarantha's Heart Sutra who was a strong proponent of Dolpopa set the stage for going deeper into the Shentong teachings. Rinpoche will teach “Mountain Doctrine” by Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen (1292-1361), the omniscient one from Dolpo. Dolpopa was the formulator of the Shentong teachings and the Jonang tradition. In 1333, Dolpopa completed construction of the Great Stupa of Jonang along with his masterpiece, "Mountain Doctrine."

This will be the first time that this text will be taught in the West. It marks an important point in the Shentong teachings coming to the West and has recently been translated into English by Jeffrey Hopkins.

Because of the timing of the retreat next year, a decision was made to hold next summer’s retreat in a place that would be easily accessible and hold more participants.

Where: Keystone Ski Resort.

Teachings: Thrangu Rinpoche teaching Dolpopa’s Mountain Doctrine (published this year by Snow Lion)

When: July 20-July 29th, 2007

We are in the process of setting up the contract with Keystone and when registration opens we will send out all the relevant information. We have several people already asking about the program and will be setting up a specific email address solely for keeping track of this program.
We are excited about this landmark occasion with a teacher who will bring this subject to light.


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