** If you see your Guru as a Buddha, you will recieve the blessings of a Buddha ** If you see your Guru as a Boddhisatva, you will recieve the blessings of a Boddhisatva ** If you see your Guru as a friend, you will only receive the blessings of a friend **

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2010-05 Spore Puja

2010-05  Spore Puja

2010-08 ** ZKBF Patronage (Notice)

 

ZKBF Patronage

Patrons are important and very essential to
Zurmang Kagyud Buddhist Foundation......

To carry on the traditions of Buddhism, we need to think ahead to the next generation. That is to create lasting structures that foster practices and so making the dharma alive and more available to interested individuals. So, Zurmang Kagyud Buddhist Foundation is established under the guidance of His Eminence, the 12th Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche through his ceaseless compassion to work tirelessly for the benefit of sentient beings by doing things like:

" Preserving the original Zurmang Text and reprinting
" Establishing a Buddhist Institute of Higher Learning
" Establishing Retreat Centre
" Building a nunnery
" Clinic for both the resident lamas and villagers in Lingdum
" Home for the aged and destitute
" Orphanage
" Establishing Overseas Dharma Centres
" Publication of Dharma books
" Feeding & housing more than 700 monks in both Lingdum & Qinghai Zurmang Monasteries

The whole purpose and intention is to have a system to support the continuation for the practice and study of the buddha dharma especially in the Zurmang Tradition.

In order to realize the successful completion of these projects, Rinpoche is reaching out to all of us to help us practice generosity for the benefit of all sentient beings. Rinpoche will make special arrangements for the lamas in the monastery to specially chant daily prayers and dedicate the merits to all patrons who contribute to this good cause.

Enquiries can be made to Gharwang Rinpoche or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Application form will be available upon request, and thank you for your support.

 

alt Buddha gave Sudatta (a well known patron during Buddha's time) several important teachings about wealth and generosity. He said that there are four kinds of bliss for a head of household: the bliss of ownership; the bliss of sharing wealth; the bliss of debtlessness; and the bliss of blamelessness.


He said it was fine for lay people to seek long life, beauty, happiness, fame and rebirth in a heaven, but these things could not be obtained merely by prayer or by taking vows. He explained that only perfection of confidence (in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha), perfection of virtue, perfection of generosity and perfection of wisdom can truly bring those precious rewards.

 

 

Monk Sponsorship

 

The need for funding


alt Many of the monks at Lingdum Monastery come from very poor families of the remote areas of Sikkim with some from as far away as Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan. Sponsoring a monk is to show acknowledgement of the courage that many of the young people here show, having left their families and homeland where they can neither follow their religious beliefs nor pursue their spiritual development.

 

 

 

 

altOnce accepted into the monastery they may not see their family or relatives again, and have no support. They cannot afford to pay a regular contribution for their food and accommodation to the Monastery. By accepting these monks into the community, we take the full responsibility for their welfare, their education and their care in sickness and old age. All facilities are offered free to the monks to enable them to focus completely on their studies and to practice the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.
In the past few years the number of monks at Lingdum doubled. Many suffer frequently from diseases such as TB, liver problems and general debility because of the hot climate.
The financial burden of looking after such a large community is quite considerable. It is for this reason that we appeal to your generosity to secure more funding to enable the monastery to provide these monks with their daily necessities.

 


How the monks are supported


Over the past decade Lingdum Monastery has taken care of its ever-increasing number of monks. and accommodation is become acute with the growing number of students.
Donations from patrons that support the goals of the monastery have always been essential for the survival and the expansion of the monastery. We appeal to your generosity to support our efforts to provide a place of study and practice to young people of the Himalayan region and to preserve the religious and cultural heritage of Tibet.

alt Our priority for the next few years will be to improve the general standard of education and upgrade all levels of educational facilities. For this purpose an education fund has been established. The main purpose of the fund is to support a greater number of qualified teachers.
You can sponsor:
Sponsorship of study material (books, notebooks, pencils etc) for one student for one year - US$50 per year

 



Sponsoring the living cost of a monk

Counting everything from clothing and food to the last stick of wood, it costs about US$1.00 a day to completely care for one monk. This is less than the price of one cup of coffee, or the price of dinner once a month.


Contribute just $30 a month to completely take care of a monk's living expenses. Your contribution goes towards covering the living expenses of all monks. In this way the benefits of your generosity will continue as long as the monastery exists, and you are helping the whole community of monks.
You can sponsor
Part sponsorship of the living cost for one monk at US$15 a month
Full sponsorship of the living cost for one monk at US$30 a month
If you would like to correspond personally with a monk please contact our sponsor coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will inform you of the guidelines applying to this type of sponsorship. 

See Photo Gallery - Monk sponshorship
2010-10_ShedraMonk-Sponsor
For those of you who prefer to sponsor the more scholarly monks, these are the Shedra Monks who are studying in the Lingdum Buddhist Institute.*

They will become the future Khenpos of Zurmang and they definitely need your help and support to realise their dreams and fulfill the mission of Gharwang Rinpoche.

Lingdum Retreat Centre is temporarily used as the Buddhist Institute as the funding is still not enough to start the building of the Lingdum Buddhist Institute!

Among all the Kagyud Monasteries, Zurmang has the most
Lamas! That's the reason why Rinpoche has to build the Buddhist Institute in order to house and provide for all the lamas who wish to study and practice the Profound Zurmang Lineage Tradition....."

See Photo Gallery -

2010-10_ShedraMonk-Sponsor2

 



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2010-10 ** Khenpo Pachap's Teaching

Khenpo Pachap's Teaching Program in Singapore from Oct. to Nov. 2010
 

Khenpo Pachap is the  Principal  Khenpo of  Zurmang Buddhist Institute, Lungtok Norbu Gyaltshen at Lingdum Complex, East Sikkim, India. He is visiting all the  Zurmang  Centers in Asia to share some of his experiences and knowledge in Buddha Dharma with us.  A  scholar of Buddhist philosophy, he would also like to conduct some Dharma activities to help us improve in our spiritual  practices. Here is a line-up of programs which we hope will be of benefit to all of you and therefore we are looking forward to your participation.

Read more ...

2010-11 ** Khenpo Pachap's Teaching Schedule in Singapore

Khenpo Pachap Teaching Schedule

on 13th & 14th Nov. 2010 (Sat. & Sun) 

Khenpo Pachap is the Principal Khenpo of Zurmang Buddhist Institute, Lungtok Norbu Gyaltshen at Lingdum Complex, East Sikkim, India. He is expected to visit all the Zurmang Kagyud Budhist Centers in Asia to share some of his experiences and knowledge in Buddha Dharma with us. A scholar of Buddhist philosophy, he would also like to conduct some Dharma activities such as Nyung Ne/Nyen Ne(fasting ritual with meditation) and Zhingdrup.(7 Branch Prayer to request for Accomplishment in order to seek rebirth in Amitabha Pureland)

 The Nyung Ne practice is one of the most profound and beneficial practices of 1000-armed Avalokitesvara. It is the best practice for ordinary people who are unable to keep the precepts for their whole life.  

  The two-day practices is considered as “a set” of practices. The 8 Mahayana Precepts must be duly observed for both days.

Read more ...

2010-10 ** Use of Mala (Transcript)

About this transcript

 

Much effort has been made to keep to the original words of the Guru, His Eminence 12th Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche, for it is the source of all blessings. Any mistakes and omissions are the faults of the clumsy transcriber.

 

All the “you know” and repetitions constantly shows us the Teacher's care in making sure that we understand what he says and benefit as best as we can. The fortunate sons and daughters should know this well. The words were spoken on 18 Feb 2006, in Singapore, during the auspicious Chinese New Year month.

 

There are a few mantras written herein. From the ground of faith and devotion, one must approach a qualified lama to receive the oral transmission to recite them, so that one receives the lineage shower of blessings and through one's own diligent care yield the fruit of one's efforts in the practice.

 

The term “mala” can refer to the whole string of mala, or a single bead, depending on the context of use.

 

May this be auspicious and benefit all.

Tashi Delek! Good evening friends. Very shortly, I'm going to discuss about the importance of reciting mantra, specially how to use the mala. Because if you use it wrongly, one may not achieve any benefit, or may not be that beneficial. So it is very important before we recite mantra or even visualise deity, it is very important to know how to hold the mala, and firstly how to bless the mala. I'll be explaining one by one in detail, how one blesses the mala, what are the things we need to avoid during recitation, and most importantly how to hold the mala when you are reciting the mantra.

 

Importance of right use of mala

 

So it is very very important...as a student we may be qualified, and we know all the preliminary practices that help us to build a strong foundation. But without knowing how to properly use the mala, then that would be not worth it. It may not bring any benefit according to the sutra. Without blessing the mala, if you recite mantra about 100 thousand times or million times, of course, there will be some benefit, but not as much as we wish to or what we believe. So it is very important we make sure we do the right thing. So that whatever precious time we put in, it's worth it.

 

Because many times without knowing, because of our ignorance, we use mala for counting because we cannot find calculator. So some times we use for counting some thing. Or some times we use it as an ornament. People like to buy mala, like to wear like ornament, or different colors, different shades. I've even seen some practitioners use malas made out of human bones or other animals bones, which is not properly used, which is not good. In fact, not good for especially beginners. So it is very important. You know, these things even though you might think less important, but in fact it is very very important. So we should make sure we do the right one, rightly.

 

Source of this knowledge

 

Our discussion will be based on this text. This is something that in Tibet or many part of the world, many gurus have trust and believe in this text, one of these tantric text, so I will be basing on this text. The explanation all comes from this text, so in other words, I'm just translating, not saying any more or less. (Rinpoche laughs). So okay now...you know, first, what kind of material is good for mala?

 

Material of the mala

 

Of course, if you can afford, according this text, the precious one, even made of diamonds (Rinpoche laughs). Diamonds or all other precious stones, if one can afford it will be very good, because it is an offering, because mala you cannot use for other thing, you cannot use for cooking. So you just use for recitation. Of course that is the best. If not possible, at least the mala should be made out of seeds you know. There are certain ones, (Rinpoche picked up a mala from Khenpo) I was told it is called bodhicitta. One of the trees actually has this kind of seed. According to the text, this is the best recommended mala. Because certain mala should not be used for certain activities. You know... peaceful, wrathful, power, and increasing activities. They use different malas. But this can be used for all activities, like this one. (He picks up one mala, then another.) ...Almost the same (refering to the two malas), made up of seed, or of wood, or from stones, or made up of medicine. Medicine you make like a pill and then you make a hole and use as a mala. That would be the mala I've just shown you.

 

Malas not to be used

 

And maybe better not use the mala ... I've seen some people carrying mala like shape of ...skeleton you know. It looks very terrible really. It's like maybe it's use only by the witch doctors. (Rinpoche laughs) So better not use that kind of mala. And there are malas we cannot use, depending on the people. For instance according to here, a person who has committed five boundless offences, like killing parents or taking lives of Bodhisattvas.. you know. This person who has committed such boundless offences, if this person gives you mala, you should not use, or a person who is a hunter. You know, some one who hunts animals, then you shouldn't use. Or someone whose samaya is broken, so one should not use. Or someone who has stolen mala from somewhere else. If it is given to you, you should not use. Okay? And mala someone has taken from somebody else by force, one should not use. And mala that is offered to Buddha, and you take back from Buddha and you start to use... you should not use. Or mala offered to Buddha's neck, or ornaments, you cannot remove that and use. And then mala not exact number. For supposed 108 should be 108, less should not use. If one mala is slightly burnt or half is burnt, you should not use. And supposed you left mala on the floor, and cat or dog jumps over the mala, then you are not supposed to use. Or mala that's bitten by rat or pet, you should not use. According to the sutra, if you use that, you may not be able to keep your samaya. That is very very important. Suppose if you get that kind of mala, you should always wash using saffron...saffron is it (Rinpoche clarifies if he has used the right term)? Use saffron to clean it. And you need to bless again. So only mala given by Rinpoches or lamas or friends, or you buy from the shop. But make sure that it is not stolen from anywhere. So many things huh. ('huh' is a colloquial sentence ending. Rinpoche laughs)

 

String specifications

And the string that you use, according to this sutra, especially for wrathful, you should use intestine of animal. Maybe that you do not use. So you probably just use ordinary string ...you know... which is strong enough. And also it says the mala should not be too small, or too big, or one should not mix small and big together you know. So it becomes very difficult to use. And also it says the string ... when you make mala, should not be too loose. If it is too loose, then it may affect your visualisation and to accomplish your deities or your progress. It may take a long time. And if the mala is too short, it may affect your life, you may face obstacles. And if the string is broken, one should not make a knot and use. Make sure that you change the string. And one should change it less than a day. Within one day, you should change the string. Okay? And should not be too thick or too small when you make the mala. The string should be very even.

 

Making the mala

 

Okay? And when you this mala, according to this text, on the right side one should visualise the sun and on the left a moon, symbolising skillful means and wisdom. And the string itself... supposed you are reciting Tara, the string is always Tara, the main Tara and all the other malas are entourage of Tara. Yah? Like suppose the string is Tara. If you're using for Tara, always visualise the string as Tara, and all these malas as disciples and the surrounding. You know like Taras there are so many, there are 21 Taras, there are so many surrounding Buddhas and Boddhisattvas, or even one can say entourage. Then when you start making this mala, then one should recite “Hung... Hung... Hung...” You know? Use the string and put inside the hole, when you make mala, you should recite “Hung... Hung... Hung...” Then, you make, you know. You cannot sing a song and make mala, or watch TV. Otherwise, not correct. So according to this text, what is the meaning of Hung?

 

Hung is a very powerful word. It is able to scatter all our sufferings, eliminate our sufferings. If it is ego, this mantra can destroy this ego. It is the mantra that destroys the hook of the samsara. I think the samsara has a hook. So always here, not easy to get out. So this is one of the reasons why we recite “Hung... Hung... Hung...” I'm trying to go into details so that at least you can remember half of this whole thing. If I just say half then you may just get 25 percent. (Rinpoche laughs)

 

Physical features of the mala

And then sometimes we have this three leveled head (some malas have additional three beads on top of the biggest bead on the mala), we call this "Dozin". Three levels-- top most is blue in color, the middle is red in color, the last one which is the base is white color, it symbolises Triple Gems : Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. Okay?

 

Blessing the mala

According to Bumkri Dumshey, Gomdu Lingsa , Gom means the vision and Du means gathered. Gathered Vision, something like that. When we bless the mala, we should be holding something like this on the left hand. You know, make it like a snake, you know. Arranged clockwise.. clockwise, and the center one should be standing up like this (hold the head of the mala, let the other end rest in the middle of the palm and then naturally drape the remaining of the mala over it, and let the head stand up in the middle of the heap). Something like snake, like cobra, the center one – Dozin, should be standing up. Clockwise... and the main one in the center.

 

Okay? So according to this sutra...I'm trying to go into details you may not remember, but later I will teach you the short form. Otherwise, you do not have it in English or Chinese, it;'s a bit difficult to recite. Anyway, first of all we need to purify our two hands, which symbolises skillful means and wisdom. On the right hand one visualizes sun with a Hung letter. On the left hand there is a moon disc with a Ah letter. Then we say that... there is a prayer... if you cannot remember...I'll just give you the short one and we try to get the longer version. Sitting like this (Vairochana posture) ...Then at that moment.. you raise your two hands. And then immediately one should visualize that if you are [practicing] Tara, one should visualize oneself as a Tara. And when you recite, “Om Sobawa Shuddha Sarwa Dharma Sobawa Shuddho Hung”, at that moment, that ordinary mala you won't see as an ordinary mala, you see something as special. So in other words, one can visualize emptiness. From emptiness, one visualizes lotus, then there is sun disc, then moon disc. And then instantly, there is a Tara there, sitting there. As I mentioned, the string is Tara, and then all the mala is the entourage of Tara. And from this mala, light radiates to the pureland, or to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions and three times. And this light invites the real Tara and all the surrounding Tara. And this Tara dissolves into this mala. Then you know, this mala actually becomes a Tara as I mentioned earlier. And then when you recite, whatever mantra you recite, it becomes very powerful.

 

Okay? I think it is very difficult for you to remember these prayers. Anyway, next time I'm going to put this also in our daily practice. I'm coming with a longer version. Currently we have a short version. But I'm coming up with a longer version which is about 100 pages. Every prayer will be there. Or otherwise, if you cannot remember...hold the mala, on the right hand visualize sun disc, there's letter Hung. On the left hand, there is moon disc and a letter Ah. Okay? If you cannot visualize...[just remember that] this symbolizes skillful means and wisdom. Okay? And then [for the] mala, the string you visualize as yidam – Tara,and all the mala you should visualize as the whole entourage of Tara. Okay? And you just visualize that light radiates from this Tara. White, red, blue color lights radiate to ten directions to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the 3 times. And this light invites Tara, dissolves into this mala, and this mala becomes the real Tara. Okay? Once you have done that, you have blessed the [mala as] Tara. You have this paper with you? You have to recite “Om Ru Tsi Rama Ni Tra War Ta Ye Hung Phet...Om Ru Tsi Rama Ni Tra War Ta Ye Hung Phet .Om Ru Tsi Rama Ni Tra War Ta Ye Hung Phet.” ...about 7 times. That's the moment one should visualize that one has blessed the mala. Okay?

 

And after that, “Om Su Tra Ti Tra Bad Za Ye Soha...Om Su Tra Ti Tra Bad Za Ye Soha...” This is also a mantra to invite and dissolve into the Tara. Mala becomes Tara. This is to bless [it]. And after that, you can use “Om Su Tra Ti Tra Bad Za Ye Soha...Om Su Tra Ti Tra Bad Za Ye Soha...”..3 times you can recite. And then you can rub the mala with your hands. 3 times...3 times... you just rub the mala (Rinpoche gestured us to blow on our own mala whilst he blew on his own mala too)... then done. Okay? And then don't use for counting.

 

Using the mala

 

Okay? According to Urgyen Rinpoche, the way of reciting mantra, if it is peaceful, then one should place it at the heart. If it is for increasing, close to the navel. And if it is for power, close to your secret part. And if it is wrathful, close to your thigh. Something like this (Rinpoche demonstrates) on your left. Yah? So normally, according to this text, if you cannot do that... or I think the best way is recite like this. (Rinpoche holds his left hand close to his middle near the diaphragm) Close to your heart....I cannot get taller (Rinpoche tried to stretch his body a little taller so that those behind can see the posture clearly) Close to your heart...here... here

 

Index finger .. like this for peaceful. And if it is for increasing, one should use middle finger. And for power, you use ring finger. You don't have to wear ring. (Rinpoche jokes) And then finally for wrathful, one should use little finger. But then normally, according to text, normally we just use this finger. Index finger. Just like this. It is okay. It covers all the activities. So this is more commonly used, and it is okay.

 

Samaya of the mala

 

So after getting everything right, what is the samaya of mala? Mala also has a samaya. One should never part with you. You know mala ... carry it everywhere. Or you can wear it on the neck. Normally we don't wear it here. (Rinpoche points to the wrist.) Or maybe you carry it inside your bag. That is very very important.

 

And you shouldn't show your mala to other friends. “Oh my mala is very good. How much is your mala? Is it diamond or ...?” You shouldnot compare like that. If you do that, whatever practice you do, you cannot actually progress in your practice. Especially, a person who has broken samaya, one should not let these people use your mala. And who have different samaya, one should not use this mala. And mala should not be used for counting, for numbers. And without any recitation, you should not just use the mala. And one should not leave mala on the floor, on the desk, everywhere. It's dirty. One should hold the mala. Even prayer books it is disrespectful. And if the mala is not same color or different color, you should not use. You know, sometimes one red, one white, one blue , all mixed up you know. So that is not right. All the color of the mala should be same. These are the things you should never be doing. Especially mala is so sacred.

 

During the time of Buddha, there are many gurus who practice Tantrayana, but they never show their mala to anyone. So most people don't know what they are chanting and what they are holding. So as you are able to keep secret, clean and bless full mala, then whatever you chant becomes very effective. So we know the reason why nothing is happening because we are not following this. You know? And some times you may leave your mala in the toilet, or ... everywhere! So that should not be the case okay?

 

Is it in Xian Jiao [the tradition commonly practiced in northern China] that you are not allowed to wear the mala on your neck? (Some answer yes) Oh ya I see, maybe different tradition. So when you are in the temple then you hold it in your hand and when you outside (Rinpoche gestures wearing mala and laughs) Normally in Tibet we wear on the neck you know. Ok anyway, these are the things we have to remember. And now...

 

There are certain things when you recite the mantra, certain things you have to remember according to this sutra. When you recite mantra... you know why we have to recite 108 times? 100 is required and 8 is “hakong”. Sometimes you missed [some counts] in 100, so it justs adds up. Extras. Allowance. It is required, because certain ..like Tara or many practice, has requirement like one million times. So when you “Om Tare Tu Tare Ture Soha” one million times. So you use a mala,

 

But things (referring to other objects on the mala) are actually a form of ornaments. These (a small set of vajra and bell) mean something. Vajra and bell. Because once you become a vajrayana you are supposed to hold.. keep [a set of vajra and bell]. That is one of the samaya supposedly. Bell and vajra, you always hold them; symbolizes skillful means and wisdom. In Tantrayana, it is skillful means and wisdom. Male symbolizes method aspect of practice, female symbolizes wisdom aspect of practice. Love and compasssion symbolizes skillful means. And wisdom is wisdom. Wisdom that is free from darkness of unknowing. Emptiness. It is always combined and practiced.

 

And according to this text, it also says when you recite a mantra, suppose someone “Hoi” and you “Oh” (ie. Someone calls you and you acknowledge) you have to add four more times. Four malas because you have replied. One, two, three, four...Four times okay? If “A-HOH!” (a cough) ...five times. If you “Ah...” what do you call that? Yawn! Ya. If you yawn, during the mantra, three times. And if you sneeze, ten times. And if you spit, one time. So that's how one should always remember. So that is one of the reason I've seen many Rinpoches never want to blow. If you blow, you lose the power of the mantra. Like blowing fire, or insects. It is not good for practice. One should not blow. All these have effects, they are not just sayings. So we have to remember all these things. Probably you are talking too much so all the power are lost.

 

So probably you do everything. (Rinpoche laughs) So are you clear how you use a mala? You are clear ya. There's so many things to discuss. I will see, maybe the next time I come, probably the end of the year, maybe it is also good to discuss how we visualize you know. Last time I teach, probably I've not seen other Rinpoche giving instructions... maybe only to some advanced practitioners. There are certain methods we need to apply to make more effective when we visualize. And there are many ways of reciting mantras. Otherwise, may be it is not that effective. There are few things good for you to remember.

 

 

Foods to avoid

 

According to one of the sacred sutras, it says while you are in retreat or while you are in Nyun Ney, summer retreat or short retreat. Maybe things are the things if you avoid, then it is very good. I don't think in daily activities one can really stop these, but according to here... it was quite surprising you know. You know, if you eat onions, wild onions, nine days would just go. Nothing will remain with you. And if you eat animal tongue, twenty-one days and all the mantra would be just gone. And if you eat any kind of onion and pepper, and a sort of leaf, it has an effect of three days. And if you eat any meat or drink without any blessing, it will have an effect of five days. Five days whatever mantras you have recited just gone. These are not so serious. Serious ones are coming now here.

 

Behaviors to avoid

 

Lying. And breaking amongst two friends. Something like gossip, like you go to two friends and you say “he saying something...” it call something...what's the word? Er...divisive words ya. Divide two friends or sangha. And specially like gossiping, you know ...even may have permanent effect, that you may recite for many many months or years and you have no effect. Probably that is happening. And then at least if not totally damaged, for a long time it will have effect. So when you recite mantra...I think that is one of the reasons why many times you recite mantra but there's no effect. You know, you also feel it. You recite Zambala for so many years and nothing's happening you know. This is because of all these reasons. You have to be a bit careful. And like blowing, even blowing chewing gum (Rinpoche laughs). Any kind of blowing will affect your practice. Even like worthless chatter will affect your mantra, so these are the things you have to avoid. I think the food is very difficult you know. Very difficult. But at least when you are in retreat, you can avoid.

 

Food mantra

 

There is a mantra for food. Om Ah Be Ra Khye Tsa Re Hung. Can you recite the mantra? Om Ah Be Ra Khye Tsa Re Hung. This mantra, before you eat, you recite. If you recite before you eat meat, then it is less sinful you know. The effect is less. And it is also said that if you recite that you recite this 7 times, this animal, the meat that you have eaten, will be reborn in three superior state [or realms] : human, god and demi-god realms. So it is very very good. Before you eat meat, you just try to generate love and compassion to this animal and recite this mantra 7 times. Om Ah Be Ra Khye Tsa Re Hung Seven times and then you blow on the meat before you eat ok? But you cannot eat the live ones. That's different. You cannot eat. Blow on the live and you eat. That's not effective. Make sure huh. I have to stop all the corners, otherwise, if there is any loopholes then not good huh?

 

Ok maybe lama will recite the prayers and all of us hold the mala together and you bless the mala. Not now, afterwards. Any questions?

 

 

Question and Answer

 

Tension of the mala

 

Question : Rinpoche, yours is loose. You can actually see the string.

 

Rinpoche : Not too loose. Like comfort, you can use.

 

Question : But there's exposed string. Are you supposed to have an exposed string?

Rinpoche : Little bit. Not too tight, not too loose. Some have very long. Actually this is ok. Some are very loose.

 

Question : But this? Most of ours is like this, without any exposed string.

 

Rinpoche : One finger [allowance of exposed string]

 

Secrecy of mala

 

Question : Sorry. I have another question, Rinpoche. Remember regarding the “never to be separated from your mala” But then you are supposed to keep your mala secret. So how are you to carry your mala around and keep it a secret?

 

Rinpoche You can cover. Cover inside.

 

Malas for different purposes

 

Question : Are there two kinds of mala?

 

Rinpoche We do carry two malas. One to do Mo [ie. prediction] and one for recitation. You can do that : one is to recite mantra that you keep at home, and one ordinary one that you carry around. Can do that also.

 

Question : The other one just for show? (laughs)

 

Rinpoche Otherwise you feel that you cannot wear ... I think now it's almost like...certain things may not apply today. Because Vajrayana is already like in open, not like before so secret, so I think it is okay, not that serious. But the most dangerous part is like we have discussed earlier you know. Like proper way of blessing the mala, and make sure that mala is with you. These are the important things. But certain things may not apply nowsdays because Vajrayana is already so open.

 

Malas for different purposes

Question : Sorry, Rinpoche. You mean each mantra before you do, like before you do Tara you do the blessing, then you do...

 

Rinpoche Normally, first mala. Like in retreat, they bless everyday. But I don't think you can do that. If you want, you can do that. The Initial one is better to bless.

 

Flipping of mala after each round (Tibetan called “leg”)

 

Question : Rinpoche, when we chant one round is it better to flip over?

 

Rinpoche: There's no specific mention of that part. Some Rinpoches say we have to, some say no need. So it's up to you. If you feel uncomfortable then you can turn around.

 

Chanting Places

 

Question : Can we chant while we walk on the street or on MRT?

 

Rinpoche : Yes you can chant, if it is inconvenient, you can chant without mala. You can keep the mala and just chant.

 

Chanting before sleep

 

Question : Even when we sleep we can chant?

 

Rinpoche : When you sleep you are chanting?

 

Question : When we lie down before we sleep.

 

Rinpoche : Before you sleep, ya.

 

Question : I cannot fall asleep so I just chant.

 

Rinpoche : Never done this before. If you can... if you cannot fall asleep, you can sit up and chant. Maybe it's good.

 

Question : We can lie down and chant, is it?

 

Rinpoche : You can do that, but normally we don't do that. Using mala?

 

Question : No.

 

Rinpoche : Can. We are supposed to visualize and sleep.

 

Question : When we chant, we sit down and chant?

 

Rinpoche : That's what we are supposed to do. The right way. Sit down like meditation posture and chant. That’s the right way.

 

Question : Or either standing up?

 

Rinpoche : Actual way is sitting. Normally we sit and chant. But if there is no space to sit, or if there's only chairs, you can sit on the chair and chant. Or space to sit, then you stand up and chant.

 

Malas with Buddha images

 

Question : If some malas have Buddha images on them, can we use them?

 

Rinpoche : Buddha image...ummm...I've seen a lot of people using. I don't know if that is respectful or not. Sometimes, I've seen, but it doesn't say anything, but I think should be ok. Afterall you should visualize this mala as a yidam. Body, speech and mind of Triple Gem. So I think it is okay. That's why mala is not supposed to be kept on the floor. Not supposed to keep [any how] anywhere. So that is why we are supposed to keep clean.

 

Turning beads as the mala is being pulled up

 

Question : Do we turn the beads as we chant?

 

Rinpoche : It's not specifically mentioned. I think it's ok. Normally, we seem to have turning. This I don't think has much meaning, but you can do that. You want to turn, or pull up straight. I'm used to straight up.

 

Mala to bless people

 

Question : Someone is in pain or very sick. Can I use the mala to bless the person?

 

Rinpoche : But I think it's better that you use pictures, Buddha's pictures....You can do that. There's nothing wrong. It's nothing wrong. It's a holy object. There's nothing wrong, you can put on the head. There's nothing wrong.

 

Question : But will it help the person in pain? Does it help?

 

Rinpoche : It helps, depends on your motivation. How strong is your belief? But definitely it will help. It will help. Definitely.

 

Coloration of mala

 

Question : I have a white mala. After I chant for some time, colors appear on the mala.

 

Rinpoche : I think it's ok. I think when it starts getting old... Is it what you mean?

 

Question : Colors appearing on the mala.

 

Rinpoche : You imagine, or it's there. Is it there still? But I think it's ok. Maybe it's an auspicious sign. You take it as everything as good. Positive. Auspicious. Don't think that “something or some spirit is possessing my mala”. (Rinpoche laughs) So as long as you think it as something positive. It's ok. So you should not use at all malas made of bones, especially carved with skulls, human heads. It looks ... even we don't use that kind of mala.

 

Breaking of the mala

 

Question : If a mala [string] breaks, is there meaning or no?

 

Rinpoche : Depends. Sometimes the string is too old and it breaks, but sometimes ... if you have some doubts then there might have some meanings. Sometimes could mean something. Possible. Probably they say that when your whole energy is down, something unfortunate is going to happen to you then your mala may break. Is some sort of sign. But normally... it depends... if the string is too old, you should just change to avoid all these. Better. Even our malas, sometimes break. I always change, I never think anything. But if you start thinking definitely it will have some effect. That's how we are made of. Everything is a projection of mind. So when you made of something, definitely you will have some good or bad effects.

 

Portion of mala on floor

 

Question : Sometimes when we are tired, our hands are on our knees and the parts of the mala drapes over the floor. Is it ok?

 

Rinpoche : Not so good. Not supposed to be on the floor.

 

Question : But we are still holding it.

 

Rinpoche : Not supposed to touch the floor, according to the text.

 

 

Generalised Benefits of Reciting with mala

 

Now maybe I'll [talk] about the very generalized benefits when you recite mantras. What are the benefits that we are going to gain? Ordinary and extraordinary benefits. Here it relates to many animals. During that time, there's danger of animals. Now there is almost no animals, only human animals. All the wild animals run away already. So here it says if you recite a mantra, one will be protected from sickness, famine, fire, danger from water, danger from war, weapons, one is protected from all kinds of punishments, unnecessary punishments; not the necessary ones. And unexpected deaths. These are the eight ordinary accomplishments and six wealths. What are the six wealths that we would accomplish from such practice?

 

Six Wealths

 

1. We will live long life.
2. We will accumulate lots of merits.
3. We will look very graceful, powerful.
4. Everybody will admire you, respect you.
5. You will have lots of friends.
6. And you will accumulate lots of wealth.

 

These are the six wealths.

 

Four motivations

 

1. Everybody will see you as parents, so they will love you, care for you, admire you, like you.
2. And everybody will see you as a guru, so they will respect you. This is second.
3. And then everybody will see you as a very powerful person, like a king, so everybody will be afraid, or scared to talk to you or harm you.
4. And everybody will see you as a friend. Everybody will be very friendly with you.

 

Can you remember? Stop here. Full stop.

 

1. And destroying all these negative forces of evil beings that harm you. When they see you they will be so afraid to be near you. The first.
2. Second, you will be able to chase them away.
3. You kill them. Not killing in anger, but killing in compassion.
4. And then you are able to call them.

 

These are the benefits.

 

Eight accomplishments

 

Then these are the eight accomplishments. These are always discussed. Benefits are always explained in many Tantrayana teachings.

 

1. Medicinal Eye lotion. Not to look pretty. Different. Eye Lotion. When you use this eye lotion then you are able to see through the ground. What is there? Is there any gold mine or whatever under ground? You are able to see everything. This is the first accomplishment.
2. Then Kangyok. "Kangyok" means once you have this, you are able to walk very fast. Like ordinary people can walk about one kilometer, maybe you can walk about 20, 30 , 40 or 100 kilometers.
3. Then you hold a wisdom sword, you are able to fly. You can come to Sikkim. (Rinpoche laughs)
4. You are just able to go under ground, with a physical body you can just go underground, nothing obstructs you.
5. There is also a pill that when you hold that you are able to do so many things, miraculous things. You will have miraculous power
6. You are able to go to many places of daka, dakinis, purelands.
7. You become invisible man. Nobody can see you, you just disappear, even if you are standing in front of us. Nobody can see you – invisible man.
8. Finally, “tru'len “ that you are able to absorb the nature of four elements. There are some people, some gurus who don't have to eat because they can do that. You can absorb the energy, something like extract you know, extract from the four elements. You don't have to eat, you don't have to drink. Always healthy, strong, energetic, because you are extracting the energies of the four elements or five elements. So you are able to do that. So these are the benefits that one can accomplish, even though you may not have become a Buddha but you will have these you know. And of course the ultimate accomplishment is to become a Buddha.

 

There's so much to discuss, what we will do perhaps at the end of the year, probably I will like to discuss how we visualize you know. There are certain things like purity, clarity and holding the pride of being a Buddha. So we will be discussing all these important things. How you should recite the mantra? Not too fast, not too slow, not with forceful voice, not too rough, not too soft. There are many things to discuss. Anyway, maybe we do not have enough time. So when I come October, end of October, after America, I'll come to Singapore. That time we will discuss, we will have two days, I will discuss from this book and also about meditation - Vipassana and Shamatha. Make sure that whatever you have learnt until now, keep reciting, use the mala the right way, keep the mala clean. These are the things we have discussed today. You should try to remember. Thank you very much. I'll be leaving I think 22nd of this month. Until I see you the next time, I just wish you all the best.

 

Special Phurba Blessing

 

I show you this one. Kilaya. This was taken out by one of the terton, known as terton Rolpe Dorje. It was inside the throat of Kalarakcha, a demon in a lake in Qinghai. Actually he took it out from the throat of this demon. It is a very old phurba. It is not human made, not man-made. I think maybe this is er...looks like a snake. Because that time you know when he entered the lake, he said, ”Whatever happens don't make noise.” Once he entered, suddenly the lake started churning. So many frogs and lives get thrown out of the lake. So everybody got so scared, so shouted,”Ay!!...What's happening to our guru?” That time he was almost reaching Kalarakcha, who was sleeping. When he reached there, suddenly Kalarakcha woke up and release a breath. His face [the terton's face] became black, poisoned. At that moment, he took out this [the phurba] and many texts from the demon. At that time, everything was thrown out. Everybody run away, they never thought to carry things that were thrown out. One of the attendant, he grapped one frog. He grabbed and ran away. Later, [it] became a precious stone. So this became one of the main object of the temple.

 

If I wear it like this...a ring...like this...a phurba.

 

The event concluded joyously with the blessings from Rinpoche, followed by long life prayer for the Guru and dedication of merits and finally a generous supper given by the host. Rejoice!

2010-08 ** Significance of Vesak

Significance of Vesak Day

Adapted from the book "Be a Lamp Upon Yourself"
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See

Vesak Day, which falls on the full moon day of the fifth month of the year, is the most important event for the Buddhist community. It commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment and Final Nirvana of the Buddha.

For some Buddhists, the observance of Vesak begins early in the morning when they assemble at temples to observe the Eight Precepts. Others may join the communal observance by going through the ceremony of taking the Threefold Refuge (expression through faith and commitment to the Buddha, His teaching and the Holy Community), observing the Five Precepts, making offerings at shrines and by chanting and recitation. They may also participate in processions and circumambulation, and listening to sermons of the Buddha's Teaching.

In some temples, Buddhists take part in the ceremonial bathing of the statue of baby Prince Siddhartha (before he became the Buddha) A small standing statue of the prince is placed in a basin of perfumed water strewn with flowers. The Buddhists scoop the perfumed water with a ladle and pour it over the statue. This act of bathing symbolises the purification of one's unwholesome actions.

Many Buddhists also take vegetarian meals on this day as they recall the teaching of universal compassion. The temples are often colourfully decorated with Buddhist flags and lights. The shrines are also filled with flowers, fruits and other offerings.

Significance of Buddhist Observations

Buddhism in practice is more than just learning about the life of Buddha and His Teachings. It includes many observances, some of which are common to all Buddhists while others are characteristics of a particular culture or country. The significance of some common observances is as follows:
Buddhist Shrines and Images

The Buddha image in the centre of shrine represents and reminds us of the Buddha and the ideal of Buddhahood with its perfect qualities of Wisdom and compassion. It serves to inspire us when we see it as we recall the greatness of the Buddha and His Teaching.


Folded Palms

Placing the palms together and raising them to the level of the chest is a traditional gesture to express deep reverence to the triple Gem -the Buddha, His Teaching and the Sangha (followers of his Teaching).

Bowing

Prostrating before an image of the Buddha or members of the Sangha is an expression of deep veneration. It also acknowledges that the Buddha has attained the perfect and supreme Enlightenment. Such an act helps the Buddhist to overcome egoistic feelings to become more ready to listen to the Teaching of the Buddha.

Offerings Making the following shrine

Offerings expresses appreciation and veneration to the Triple Gem:

  • Light symbolises the brightness of wisdom attained on the path towards Enlightenment which drives away the darkness of ignorance.
  • Fresh and beautiful flowers which soon becomes withered, scentless and discoloured serves as a reminder of the impermanence of all things.
  • Fragrant incense which fills the air symbolises the purifying effect of wholesome conduct.
  • Water symbolises purity, clarity and calmness.
  • Fruit symbolises the ultimate fruit of Enlightenment which is the goal of Buddhists.

Chanting and recitation


Verses may be recited in praise of the Triple Gem. Sermons of the Buddha can also be recited. Short phrases or syllables (mantras) that symbolises certain teachings or qualities of the Buddha may also be chanted. Chanting and recitation, like meditation, also helps one to concentrate and develop a calm and peaceful state of mind.


The 3 step 1 Bow Ceremony

On this occasion, devotees line up in a procession before sunrise to meditatively circumambulate around the perimeter of the temple- bowing once every three steps while chanting " Homage to the Original Teacher (Founder of Buddhism) Shakyamuni Buddha (Na Mo Ben Shi Shi Jia Mou Ni Fo).


Prostration

Upon every prostration, the Buddha can be visualized standing upon one's open palm which symbolise lotuses (that denote purity). Every prostration is thus paying respects to the Buddha or the countless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of every direction. This practice helps to purify the mind, humble the ego, and lessen obstacles along the spiritual path as one repents past misdeeds of body, speech and mind and aspires towards spiritual improvement. It is also an occasion to express gratitude to the Buddha for His compassion.
 
Concentration and calmness achieved as one become constantly mindful of the processes of the body, speech and mind during the practice. Unanswered spiritual questions are sometimes answered as one enters deep concentration and realises the roots of the problems.


Perseverance

As the ceremony is lengthy and over undulating land, it reminds one of the long and difficult journeys towards Enlightenment. But it also serves to remind us that as long as one has determination, all difficulties can be overcome. Persistence in completing the journey despite its difficulties also strengthens one's faith in the Buddha and His Teaching to lead us towards Enlightenment.


Wisdom

The break of dawn at the end of the ceremony represents the light of wisdom dispelling the darkness of ignorance as one advances on the spiritual path towards Enlightenment. Participating in this special event, among others, on Vesak Day is considered very meritorious. It is extremely difficult to describe the spiritual joy one feels upon completion of the ceremony and is definitely something one has to experience for oneself.


The night of infinite light

This practice has similar significance to the 3-step-1-bow Ceremony. Instead of prostration, devotees each hold a lotus-shaped candle to their chest level as they pave around the perimeter of the temple in walking meditation while chanting " Na Mo Ben Shi Shi Jia Mou Ni Fo."


Wisdom

The "light passing" ceremony is symbolic of the passing of the light of wisdom to every direction of the world to dispel the darkness of ignorance. It also refers to the offering and sharing of the Truth with others. On a personal level, it has the significance of lighting up one's inner lamp of wisdom. The passing on of the light indefinitely to countless others without one's own flame dying out illustrates the fact that wisdom can be shared indefinitely without any loss on one's part, i.e. only goodness can come from such an act.


Impermanence

The burning of the wick and the melting of the candle also serves to remind us of the impermanence and transience of all conditioned things - which include our own bodies and lives. Reflecting so helps us to treasure every moment alive without attachment. The candles also symbolise Bodhisattvas who sacrifice themselves to light up the lives of suffering sentient beings.


Mindfulness

As the procession goes on, mindfulness has to be practised to not let the flame be extinguished. This is symbolic of the importance of constantly guarding one's mind against any negative factors detrimental to the spiritual life. It is most inspiring and moving to see a single flame light up to a sea of darkness into countless lamps which bring further brightness to each other.

 

 **

2010-06 RP's Program - Spore (OZ)

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12th Gharwang Rinpoche's Program in May-2010 -Singapore
27-30 May 2010 Venue:
Spore Futsing Assn Bldg, 2 Allenby Road, Spore 209973
1-2 June 2010

Additional teachings
Venue:
Cultural Room, Ngee Ann Cultural Centre, Teo Chew Building
97 Tank Road, Singapore 23800

   

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