November 14, 2005

Dear Sangha and friends,

We have now been the resident lamas at Vajra Vidya for five months and would like to tell you of our activities and about Thrangu Rinpoche.

Every day we do a morning meditation from 8:00 to 9:00 AM which includes saying the Dorje Chang lineage prayer, the Manjushri prayer, the eight
auspicious tashi prayer and sitting meditation as well as the long life prayers for the Dalai Lama, Karmapa,and Thrangu Rinpoche. We finish with the dedication of merit. All people including the Crestone community are welcome.

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we do Chenrezig from 7:00 to 8:00 and finish with Mahakala. On all other days we do White Tara and again Mahakala.

Several weeks ago we did a White Tara retreat at Vajra Vidya and taught the practice showing the special White Tara torma, the visualizations, the mudras, and the use of the musical instruments. Vajra Vidya has accumulated over 260,000 White Tara mantras for Thrangu Rinpoche?s long life. We have also done a Medicine Buddha retreat and plan to do more week-end teachings.

We have also done the Amitabha sadhana as requested by students whose relatives have died.

Pat's comments:
Lama and Khenpo have given a number of teachings and instructions during lunch, in the car when traveling and during practice when students have asked questions. What we have learned is that during the Bardo the mind is nine times more clear than in life. Because of this when a person is prayed for, the benefit is greatly multiplied. They also understand the meaning of what is being done for them so that the possibilities of them going to a good rebirth and even being able to choose their rebirth is maximized.

Lama and Khenpo:
The person's mind is very clear and they can hear what is said during the Amitabha practice. The practice involves three hours of preparation with making a dozen tormas and setting up a fire puja. Then there is a four hour Amitabha sadhana including special prayers, offerings of the torma, prostrations, musical instruments, specific mudras. Those attending take direct part is all of this.
Pat has requested that we do this Amitabha sadhana for the departed once each month. Of course this is something that we can do if the need is there. Contact Lama and the information they need is: Name, picture and date of death. lkWangdu@yahoo.com and copy to cjohnson@ix.netcom.com until we change over to a new Internet provider.

Pat:
What Lama Wangdu was explaining on one of our food shopping trips is that this practice is regularly done in Nepal and Asia. Relatives come to the monastery to request prayers for their loved ones. They invite the monks to come to their house and if too far away the practice is done in the monastery. The donations given to the monastery or to the monks is based on the connection with the person that has died. The amount does not matter, the point is the tendril or auspicious connection that you want to maintain with the person that has died. As I listened to Lama I could understand in a deeper way the interconnectedness that is our world. Everything has a deeper meaning but we have become disconnected from this. Both Lama and Khenpo have expressed sadness at the way the loss of our relations takes place. It goes beyond culture differences as the whole basis for transition so often gets forgotten. This is so important in Dharma and so natural yet the material world has almost left us with no way to help those who most need the help.

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November 23 is Lhabab Duchen which is the day that Buddha Shakyamuni descended from Tushita heaven to earth. To mark this wonderful day we will be doing the Milarepa sadhana. Again you are welcome and we do have this text so you can participate.
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If you have any questions, please contact me (Lama Karma Wangdu) at lkWangdu@yahoo.com copy to cjohnson@ix.netcom.com

Below we would like to share the following letter and picture from Thrangu Rinpoche:

"I am so pleased that many students and centers are doing White Tara prayers and practices this weekend. This is very good for you and a very big kindness to me.

For the past few weeks, many lamas are with me here at Namo Buddha and they are filling statues and vases with mantras for the new lhakang. We have been dedicating the prayers to all sentient beings and I have been especially dedicating prayers to my students all over the world.

On the 15th of October I will be traveling to Varanasi for about 3 weeks. While there I will be constructing a two sand mandalas of Hevajra, the male and female aspects. When this is complete, I will be returning to Katmandu, Nepal.

My prayers and thoughts are with you."

6 October, 2005

Some people have worried that Thrangu Rinpoche is so thin. This is because he participated in a nongdro retreat with his monks and that involves some fasting. (from Jean Kudrika)

Lama Wangdu
Khenpo Jigme
Vajra Vidya Retreat Center
Crestone, Colorado

 

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