Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Old pictures of the 16th Karmapa

Here are a lot of old photos of the 16th Karmapa, many from the inauguration of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling in Boudha.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Self-Appeared image of Tara

During the last 35 years people around Pharping in the southern part of the Kathmandu Valley have noticed that an area of a cliff began to slowly bulge out. It began to look more and more like Tara, the female buddha. At the same time the form of Ganesh also appeared. The place is just below the Asura Cave, sacred to followers of Padmasambhava.
I have seen it many times over the years, and can attest that it has gradually become more distinct.

Thanks to Laila Wisti for the photo.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Well-wishes for tulku Urgyen Jigmey Rabsel Dawa

Om svasti
May the son of Gyurme Dorje, sublime reincarnation
Of Orgyen Chokyur Dechen Lingpa,
Who was a regent, eminent, of Lotus Mahaguru,
The single form of conqurors, most able, wise and kind,
May the triple secrets of Jigmey Rabsel Dawa remain firm,
So he learns, reflects and train until perfection
And becomes a propagator of teachings of the Conquoror.
Through the strength of Vajra Kumara, great and splendid,
May the vicious maras who may try to inflict harm
Be destroyed completely so the force of his activities
Flourish in their might and sway,
And may Amitayus, Mother Wishfulfilling Wheel,
Vijayi, and Vimalamitra as well,
Padma Vajra and his two dakinis,
With an endless deva ocean of immortal life,
Grant their blessings and abilities
So his life is never-waning
And forever remains firm.

--written by Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche before the Yangsi was born.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

True Realization

To reveal, with reverence, the true realization: It is the wondrous state attained through Amida's perfect benefiting of others; it is the ultimate fruition of supreme nirvana. It arises from the Vow of necessary attainment of nirvana, also known as the Vow of realization of great nirvana.

When foolish beings possessed of blind passions, the multitudes caught in birth-and-death and defiled by evil karma, realize the mind an practice that Amida directs to them for their going forth, they immediately join the truly settled of the Mahayana. Because they dwell among the truly settled, they necessarily attain nirvana. To necessarily attain nirvana is [to attain] eternal bliss. Eternal bliss is ultimate tranquility. Tranquility is supreme nirvana. Supreme nirvana is uncreated dharma-body. Uncreated dharma-body is true reality. True reality is dharma-nature. Dharma-nature is suchness. Suchness is oneness. Amida Tathagata comes forth from suchness and manifests various bodies - fulfilled, accommodated, and transformed.

ch. IV, v. 1


Monday, December 01, 2008


A decent little documentary on the life of Milarepa's guru Marpa the Translator, who was the founder of the Kagyu.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

From the enthroment celebration

Among the lamas present were Kyabje Trulshik, Dzongsar Khyentse, Beru Khyentse, Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi, Tenga Tulku, Neten Chokling, Tsikey Chokling, Tulku Chokyi Nyima, Shechen Rabjam, Sogyal Tulku, Mingyur Tulku, Drubwang Tsoknyi, Orgyen Tobgyal, Tarik Tulku, Tsangsar Tulku and Phakchok Tulku, all venerable Rinpoches. Tenzin Choyang, the tulku's mother is also on a picture from the arrival at the airport.

Many thanks to Olav Nyhus, the photograher, Magda, and others.

Olav posted 27 pictures on http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php#/album.php?aid=2009502&id=1405652246&ref=nf

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Brilliant Moon now available

Through lively anecdotes and stories this highly revered Buddhist meditation master and scholar tells about his life of study, retreat, and teaching. The formative events of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s life, and those insights and experiences that caused him to mature into the warm, brilliant, and highly realized meditation master and teacher he was, are deeply inspiring. The details of his early life and spiritual training reveal an authentic and human view of Tibetan culture, as well as the hardships endured by the Tibetans who fled their country and reestablished their tradition in exile.

The first part of this volume includes Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s early life story, told in his own words. The second half of the book comprises recollections by Khyentse Rinpoche’s wife; his grandson and spiritual heir, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche; Tenga Rinpoche; Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche; Orgyen Topgyal Rinpoche; Kenpo Pema Sherab; the Queen Mother of Bhutan; Trulshik Rinpche; and Pewar Tulku.

Available now at your local independent bookstore! (Trust me--it's a great read.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

From the Enthronement Day

Mike Eisenbach has sent the first four pictures: greeted Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche, coferring with Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Yangsi Rinpoche looking up at him, and he receives the flower garland while held up by Phakchok Rinpoche.

Thanks for sending them, Mike.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yangdzom's 2008 Activities - Dechen Ling Gets Water

The Ted Worcester/Yangdzom Healing Hands project sponsors medical training, clinics and supplies in remote areas of Eastern Tibet. This year, due to problems in obtaining Chinese visas because of tensions associated with the Olympics, the medical and support team was unable to visit the region, or hold a scheduled three-month training in Western medicine. The program, which will train two workers from each monastery/nunnery in basic medical care, is now slated for 2009, with support from the Bridge Fund. Yangdzom is continuing to send money for medicines as well as support for the elderly poor through The Bridge Fund.
In 2009 we look forward to building another clinic at Neten Monastery with support from The Bridge Fund. This will be our fourth fully funded clinic. Three more are planned, as well as an expansion of the existing clinic at Cha Chik. Yangdzom's medical and support team will travel to Nangchen next year to oversee activities.
Yangdzom's biggest achievement in 2008 was facilitating a water supply for Dechen Ling Nunnery with the help of Jinba, a Tibetan NGO run by Tashi Tsering. The water project implemented the longest pipe in Qinghai Province. It is a great joy to help these 300 special yoginis to acquire a most basic need. Previously they relied on a single small spring that froze solid in winter. Dechen Ling was the residence of Tulku Urgyen's father, Chimey Dorje; Tulku Urgyen himself lived there for a time as a boy.

Yangdzom is run under the umbrella of Rangjung Yeshe Gomde USA.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Enthronement of Tulku Urgyen Yangsi Rinpoche will be broadcast live on the internet

Dear Everyone,

We are pleased to let you know that the auspicious enthronement of Tulku Urgyen Yangsi Rinpoche will be broadcast live on the internet at www.dharmasun.org on November 19 and 20 from 8.00 am to 11.00 am Nepali time. To view the broadcast, simply go to www.dharmasun.org during these times and click on the live transmission link.

For those who are unable to view the ceremony live, an edited summary will also be made available at www.dharmasun.org in the following days. Both the live transmission and the summary is made freely available and no registration is required.

For friends and sangha members around the world who are unable to come to Nepal but would like to make a donation to the enthronement ceremony, a separate donation link has been created at www.monlam.org. All donations made at www.monlam.org will be officially recognized during the enthronement festivities.

With best wishes,

Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Enthronement Ceremony of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

Dear Friends,

Here at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery, we are formalizing our preparations for the forthcoming 4-day enthronement ceremony for Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's reincarnation. The ceremony will be held in our monastery from Wednesday Nov 19 to Saturday Nov 22, 2008, with the main event taking place on the holy day, Labab Duchen, Wednesday, Nov 19.

In order to clearly know how many visitors we can expect from Western countries, we are asking people who already plan to attend the enthronement ceremony, in part or in full, to please visit our the monastery's website as soon as possible:


There you will find more information about the ceremony, a detailed 4-day schedule and a place where you can register with your full name, place of origin and email address. Regarding privacy, your address will be used simply so that we can confirm your registration and, in coming days, provide you with any sudden change in program plans or any additional helpful information.


Once again, it is important to us that you take a moment to register so that your name may be formally added to our master list.

Best regards,

Kathleen J. Morris
Secretary to the Abbot, Tulku Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche
Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery
P.O. Box 1200, Boudha Nath
Kathmandu, Nepal

web: www.shedrub.org
web: www.gomdeusa.org
web: www.gomde.dk
web: www.gomde.de

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Juniper Ridge now available

Treasures from Juniper Ridge is a collection of “hidden” or terma teachings given by Padmasambhava, the Tantric master who brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet. According to Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Padmasambhava hid many teachings to be uncovered later by “revealers of hidden treasures.” The special quality of the terma teachings is that they provide guidance appropriate for each period of time and individual person. By working with Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyal, his mystic spiritual consort, was able to compile and codify these precious insights and hide them for use by future generations.

Treasures from Juniper Ridge presents a variety of significant revelations for seekers on the advanced path of the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition, as well as in-depth explanations of assorted aspects of practice: deity-focused meditation, nonconceptual meditation, death and dying, and recognizing the nature of mind. The book outlines ways for the modern student to apply these teachings while remaining true to Vajrayana Buddhism’s traditional principles.

Available now at an independent bookstore near you
or online at Amazon.ca or Amazon.com

Friday, October 24, 2008

Since Blazing Splendor was published, several rare photos have seen the light of day. I have seen this picture of Katok Situ enough times to feel it should be included.

In the book, a whole chapter is devoted to him, as told through Turlku Urgyen's uncle: "The Master-Scholar Katok Situ", which includes a wonder story about how Katok Situ found the renowned Armor Against Darkness, a clarification of Anu Yoga practice according to an original tantra known as the Scripture of the Great Assemblage. This commentary, written by Sangye Yeshe of Nub, one of the Lotus-Born’s twenty-five disciples, had vanished centuries ago.

About the location of Dhumasthira

... the place where the Tibetan translator Vairotsana met Prahevajra (Garab Dorje). There has been an exchange which I would like to repeat under its own entry.

Anonymous said...

Hello all,
Thanks for this "wish-fulfilling" blog. I am looking for any information about the actual location of Dhumasthira, "The Place of Smoke". It seems to have been a charnel ground where Lotsawa Vairotsana beheld Garab Dorje. Does this place exist anymore, how is it called these days? Does anyone have a picture of the place?
Thank you very much,

October 21, 2008 5:23 AM
Blogger Erik Pema Kunsang said...

Dear Anonymous,

I have sent your question in an email to Ani Jinpa who has translated his biography (see below). Let's see what she has heard. My guess would be that is lies close to Bodhgaya.

Palmo, Ani Jima (Eugenie de Jong; translator); Nyingpo, Yudra (compilor, et. al.) (2004). The Great Image: the Life Story of Vairochana the translator. Shambala Publications, Inc.: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. ISBN 1-59030-069-6 (pbk.: alk. paper)

October 21, 2008 6:20 AM
Blogger pensum said...

Funny that meeting isn't described in Vairotsana's biography, The Great Image. The only reference to his meeting Garab Dorje is in passing after receiving all the teachings from Shri Singha: "Then Vairo went to see all the great masters, including Prahe (Garab Dorje) and Manjushrimitra, who taught him the nature of dharmata in an instant, and he fully comprehended it that very moment." (pg.124)

October 21, 2008 12:06 PM
Blogger Erik Pema Kunsang said...

Ani Jinpa replied:

The name Dhumasthira, "The Place of Smoke" doesn't occur in that text. It does mention many times throughout the text that Garab Dorje lived in a cave called Place of the Vajra near a charnel gound called Golden Sanctuary of Expanding Delight, which was on the bank of the Kutra Lake in Oddiyana.

Thanks, Ani La,
I also read in the Wellsprings and elsewhere that Vairotsana met the master Prahevajra in a vision, or as a "wisdom body" and not as an actual flesh-and-blood person.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dharma Sun

For those of you who do not have the good fortune to regularly attend Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche's famous Saturday talks at Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling in Nepal, Dharma Sun makes recordings available on a regular basis. This website emerged from Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche's wish to make the Buddha's teachings available to everyone. Highly recommended!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Buddhist prayer services for anyone who needs help

Buddhist prayer services for anyone who needs help. Buddhist prayers on this website http://monlam.org/mainprayers.html are offered frequently. These prayers can done for you or your family very soon. Most of the prayers are performed by the monks of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling. Tara Praises and Chöd are done by the nuns of Nagi Gompa.

Monlam means "wish-path" - the Buddhist path of helping others through kind prayers. Monlam.org is a service of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling, a Buddhist monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal; and Nagi Gompa, a Buddhist nunnery on Shivapuri Mountain near Kathmandu.

Through this site you can request Buddhist prayers for yourself and others. Your donations help support the monks and nuns who perform the prayers. Some of the monastics are Tibetan refugees. All money raised goes to the monastery and nunnery, except for the small costs of having a website and using Paypal. Prayers and pujas are supervised by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and Chokling Rinpoche, accomplished teachers of meditation and ritual.

People in Buddhist cultures have relied on the prayers of monks and nuns for centuries. Full-time spiritual practitioners develop deep wisdom and great kindness, which make their prayers especially effective. Sacred rituals, originated by highly realized masters, enhance the blessing power of the prayers.

Pujas are beautiful and powerful. Body, speech, and mind are all involved. Prayers and pujas can involve reciting sutras, chanting mantras, performing mudras, visualizing Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and offering water, flowers, incense, lights, food, music, etc. All these methods generate merit. Merit is necessary for health, long life, happiness, and spiritual realization.

Anyone who needs help can request prayers. You don't have to be a Buddhist. You can ask for prayers for healing, long life, prosperity, support for the dying and the dead, etc.

We ask that you donate to support the monks and nuns. Buddhist prayers, teachings and rituals are traditionally given without a price tag. Monks and nuns pray for people without asking for anything in return. Buddhist lay-people donate as generously as they are able. Many people are unfamiliar with this culture of mutual giving, so donation amounts are listed for each service. Giving creates merit. Merit is essential for happiness, good health, long life, worldly success, spiritual realization and good rebirth.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Here are a few talks by the lamas shown above that I just came across that you may like to check out:

Chatral Rinpoche offers Words of Advice

Dudjom Rinpoche on meditation

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche Never Born, Never Ceasing

(Please note that as there were questions about the authenticity of the originally posted teaching by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, I have replaced it with a link to a translation by Matthieu Ricard)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The View from above Dzongsar Monastery

The view towards Dorje Melong from abobve Dzongsar monastery in Kham. Photo courtesy of Matteo Pistono.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Passing of Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro

In this clip an important tulku from Dzongsar Monastery named Dzongsar Ngari Tulku, discusses the death of Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. The video is an extract from the forthcoming documentary, ‘The Life of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö’. Dzongsar Ngari Tulku passed away on 19 May 2008.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A likeness of Chokgyur Lingpa

This is, I presume, an old statue of Chokgyur Lingpa, situated at Neten Monestary in Kham.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tulku Urgyen's reincarnation with our editor

Here is a photo from last autumn of Tulku Urgyen's reincarnation together with Michael Tweed, the main editor for Wellsprings.

As you may know, the tulku and his parents will be invited from Bir in nortern India to Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling in Nepal for the grand enthronement ceremony this coming November.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Wutai Shan

Remarkably the sacred mountains of Wutai Shan (said to be the abode of Manjushri) has never been officially deemed a World Heritage site, so the Chinese government is in the process of receiving this designation. Click here to watch a video about Wutai Shan.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Passing of His Holiness the XIth Mindrolling Trichen

Sadly the marvelous lama Mindrolling Trichen passed away on February 9th. The official announcement can be read here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The XVII Karmapa on the Environment

The following is an excerpt from a talk by the XVII Karmapa that can be found on the marvelous website Ecological Buddhism which I encourage everyone to visit and pass on.

These days, temperatures around the world have drastically changed, which has created a great danger for the world itself. In olden times, we Kagyupas would stay only in remote mountain retreats in caves or stone huts—pleasant retreats—and there was no need to do such work as excavating the ground, cutting a lot of trees, or quarrying. But later, whether it was their increasing activity to benefit beings and the teachings, or whether it was because, as the saying goes, "The more you meditate on Mahamudra, the more active you become"—Mahamudra mediators got too busy. Those who were supposed to be following the path of the Practice Lineage in the high, rocky, snowy places could not manage to do that. They came down into the valleys, and it became necessary to build many monasteries.

Nowadays, many Kagyu monasteries say, "We’re making a new monastic building" and without any compunction cut down all the trees or forests that grew naturally around the site. This can create great harm for the environment. Some monasteries are even selling timber from forests behind the monastery. When we do that, we don’t know what harm we are creating now, but it creates problems for the whole environment a few years later. When the so-called essence of the earth, the essence of the place, is harmed, this causes great harm to the environment, and then we think, “Oh, no! What did we do?” But if we only think about it later, it’s too late. It takes twenty or thirty years to grow a single tree; it doesn’t grow as soon as we plant it.

For that reason, we need to understand clearly in all our monasteries in India, Nepal, and Tibet that if we are unable to conceive of all sentient beings throughout limitless space, that’s not so important. But we live on this Earth, and everyone can see it. If our Earth is destroyed by climate change, there won’t be any of us Kagyupas left. There won’t be any Karma Kamtsang. We’ll all be lost. It’s not the case that our Dharma protectors and Mahakala Bernakchen will save us; that the rest of the world will be destroyed and only we will be left. That won’t happen. That’s why we need to protect the environment. We should provide education in the monasteries about how to do so. We should not just always dig and build, but also do something to protect the environment. The sutras and tantras say that keeping monasteries and sacred places clean has immeasurable benefits. It is the same with the Earth: the Earth is in great danger and it needs our care, so we should try to help protect the environment for all the beings in the world. Even if we can’t do anything else, it is not too difficult to explain the basic things we need to do to protect the world. You should educate people about this and say, “This is how it is.” Whether we are members of the sangha or lay people, if we take interest in protecting the environment every single day, it will be very good.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Vajra Sky

The trailer for the documentary Vajra Sky, available from Direct Pictures.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A gathering at the Yak & Yeti

During the transmission of Chokgyur Lingpa's New Treasures in 1978 by Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche the owner of Yak & Yeti threw a dinner party in Kathmandu. Here we have a rare photo from those days of many of the tulkus you know very well nowadays.
Front row, from left: Tsikey Chokling, Dzogchen Jikmé Losal Wangpo, Shechen Rabjam, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse, the lord of refuge, Rinpoches.
Back row, from left: Namdol Gyatso (general secretary at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling), Orgyen Tobgyal, a diplomat, Chokyi Nyima, a Bhutanese tulku, Mr Saraf, Kunsang Dechen (Chokyi Nyima's mother), Dzongsar Khyentse, Dzigar Kongtrul, Pema Wangyal, Rinpoches.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Early photo of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Here is a quote from Blazing Splendor about the Khyentse tulkus, in Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's words:

When Old Khyentse passed away, the fifteenth Karmapa saw in a vision that instead of just a single reincarnation, twenty-five emanations would appear, each embodying one of the twenty-five aspects of fruition: five each for enlightened body, speech, mind, qualities, and activity. Among these, five principal incarnations were recognized and enthroned. That’s why we see so many reincarnations these days with the name Khyentse.
It is said that the activity of these amazing Khyentse incarnations is unceasing, like the moon rising when the sun sets: when one passes away, another appears in his place. When he died, several tulkus appeared to take over his Dharma activities. Seen from our side, while one of them dissolves back into the buddhafield, another emanation appears, sometimes even more brilliant than the previous one. After the great Khyentse died, Dzongsar Khyentse appeared, who was equally amazing. Then when Dzongsar Khyentse set, Dilgo Khyentse rose.
Khakyab Dorje had a similar vision that after Kongtrul passed away there would be twenty-five reincarnations as well. The number of such tulkus—“magical forms” that appear to benefit beings—is inconceivable.