“Maybe you’re wondering how the aggregates make obstacles for us. On the simplest level, our own body is made up of the aggregates. This body is one of the major obstacles for our practice. In Tibet there’s a village saying: “This body is so small—just the length of one’s own arms outstretched. Our mind is also small—so small that we can’t even see it. The mouth also is very small. Yet we’re always laboring for this small body, invisible mind, and tiny mouth!” So it goes from the time we’re born until we die.
Of course, we don’t usually describe it that way. Instead we say, “I’m really busy. I have to do this cooking and get my hair done up and go to that entertainment, then play golf. I have so many things to do!” We may think up all sorts of ways to describe what we’re so busy doing all the time, but if we look honestly, these three things are what we’ve been serving, and they’re what’s kept us so busy all this time. As a result, our spiritual activity gets lost in the shuffle. We may have devotion and good aspirations to benefit other beings, yet even with these good qualities, many times we pass up Dharma opportunities because we’re so strongly attached to our aggregates. In the language of Chod, the demon of the aggregates has obstructed us and carried us away from our main goal.”
“There are four different targets to cut.
(1) The self- importance of our ego-clinging is our major target. This is our belief in the real existence of an “I.”
(2) The second target is our dualistic conceptions. These arise when we make a rigid, deluded separation into subject and object, almost as if we’re starting a war between the two.
(3) The third target is grasping on to the idea that there is solid existence. Without investigating or analyzing it, we believe that things truly exist as solid objects. This belief manifests as our constant reliance on names and labels.
(4) The fourth target is grasping on to notions of identifying characteristics. “This is blue and that is white. This is high and that is low. This is small and that is large.” All of these fabrications about different characteristics and identities must be cut.
The fourth target to cut, in which we grasp on to the identity and characteristics of things, is the strongest of these. We really believe in characteristics, on both the relative and absolute levels. We believe that the qualities of samsara and nirvana really exist. We constantly grasp at this. Sometimes we may even think that this kind of clinging is great! But eventually the sense of greatness deceives us, and again we fall down to the other side of our habitual patterns and suffer. All of our grasping on to these notions has to be thoroughly cut.
Where does this cutting take place? It takes place right there on the spot! On our cushion or wherever we may be in the moment. Right here is the spot.”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
Cutting Through Ego and Revealing Fearlessness:
Chod Practice According to Jigme Lingpa’s Bellowing Laugh of the Dakini (pg 48)
Preorder Now! Available January 1, 2020!
“Let your mind become gentler. Let it be more peaceful and more joyful. Let your mind be full of love, kindness, patience, and understanding. Don’t let your mind be restricted by clinging to ego or negative emotions. Don’t let it be carried away with skepticism, doubt, hesitation, intellectual ideas, or traditions. This doesn’t mean we can’t have traditions or these other things, but when we’re practicing the Dharma, let them dissolve. Let them vanish within the space of the dharmadhatu and bring forth the genuine open, calm state of mind, and relax. Just be in that state. Let joy, peace, and appreciation arise very naturally, like rainbow light or the mists of springtime. Keep this view all the time with the joy of sunlight in your heart and mind. That is known as practicing the Dharma. Really try and focus your mind with mindfulness, joy, and alertness, always trying to bring forth those qualities as much as you can.”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha: The Path to Freedom (pg 19)
Photo of Ven. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche and Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche at the PBC Palm Beach Dharma Center in 2008.
Opening the Wisdom Door of the Great Guhyagarbha: The King of All Tantras (pg 41)
Preorder Now! Available January 1, 2020!
Cutting Through Ego and Revealing Fearlessness:
Chod Practice According to Jigme Lingpa’s Bellowing Laugh of the Dakini
by Ven. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche
and Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
Why do we practice the Dharma? The “Dharma” means love, kindness, compassion, joy, and appreciation. We want to activate, deepen, and engage these basic qualities so that we can radiate them more powerfully to other beings. We practice positive qualities to become stronger practitioners so that we can really make a difference for ourselves, our families, friends, neighbors, and for everyone. This is what makes our lives meaningful. But as we progress, we don’t change the way we are: we always remain very humble and simple. This motivation is at the very heart of Chod practice, and directs all our growth.
Dzogchen teaches the essence of Chod. We could also say that Dzogchen practice is absolute Chod practice. Many of us know and practice the Dzogchen approach of Trekcho, which means “cutting thoroughly.” In Dzogchen, where are we cutting? We’re cutting in the space of the dharmadhatu. What are we cutting? All dualistic conceptions. While we’re cutting with this view, there is no cutter, no object to be cut, and no cutting. In other words, our practice is free from grasping on to subject, object, and action. This is the essential view that Dzogchen practitioners use to cut all dualistic conceptions, which is also the essential understanding to maintain during Chod practice.
We can also regard Chod from yet another point of view. Machig Labdron said, “Chod practice is a combination of the view of the Sutras and the skillful means of the Tantras.” The view of the Sutras was taught by the Buddha in the Prajnaparamita Sutras, such as at the beginning of the Heart Sutra: “Inconceivable, inexpressible, unborn, unceasing, by nature like the sky.” That is the view of the ultimate truth of reality that we discover within the nature of our own mind. Then we deepen this view using the skillful means of the Tantras, such as the ritual implements, chants, visualizations, and meditations that are taught in each specific sadhana. Combining this view with skillful means brings realization quickly.
Casebound Hard Cover | Full Color
Dharma Samudra | 1/1/20
Pages: 298 | Size: 6 x 9
with Heart Essence Dzogchen Pith Instructions
on the Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen
by Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
January 18-25, 2020
Buddha Vajrapani is one of the eight great bodhisattvas and lords of the three families. He represents the power of the buddhas and is especially responsible for transmitting the Tantras to the human realm as the “Lord of Secrets.” Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche will bestow the empowerment according to the lineage of the great master Mipham Rinpoche.
The “Condensed Heart Instructions of the Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen for Practitioners” are simple but powerful instructions that penetrate the heart essence the Buddha and Guru Padmasambhava’s teachings. This profound advice by the great master Raga Asye perfectly includes every level of the Buddha’s 84,000 teachings, and can be easily applied by every kind of Buddhist practitioner to achieve complete enlightenment this very life for the benefit of all beings.
The great master and terton Raga Asye (1613-1678), who was also known as Karma Chagme, was a most highly realized and accomplished scholar-yogis of Tibet. He was renowned as a reincarnation of Chokro Lui Gyaltsen and Prince Mutig Tsenpo—a Dharma heart son of Guru Rinpoche and Vimalamitra—as well as an activity reincarnation of the Karmapa. In addition, he was the teacher and student of terton Namcho Mingyur Dorje.
Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche is a holder of the complete Buddhist Nyingma lineage of study and practice from the basic teachings of mindfulness to the most advanced meditation techniques of Dzogchen. Rinpoche has been a spiritual friend and resident of the Palm Beach community for over 30 years. Together with his brother, Ven. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, he founded Padmasambhava Buddhist Center in the late 1980’s and is the principle director and teacher of Padmasambhava Buddhist Center International Khenpo Tsewang Rinpoche has an amazing ability to communicate profound topics in simple words, touching people’s hearts and opening their minds to their innate potential of wisdom and compassion. Khenpo Rinpoche has co-authored over 35 Dharma books in English. He travels extensively worldwide giving empowerments, teachings, and personal instructions at PBC Dharma centers.
Sat. Jan. 18th Opening of Retreat and Sun. Jan. 19th Empowerment & Teachings at:
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Mon. Jan. 20st – Thurs. Jan. 23rd
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Teachings and conclusion of Retreat at The Palm Beach Dharma Center 1205 N. Federal Hwy. Lake Worth, 33460
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“We want to advise you to practice Phowa intensively for about one week. It would be good to practice it repeatedly until signs appear. According to the Buddha’s teachings, signs come easily in Phowa practice. The quickness of the signs depends upon the amount of concentration and devotion. If your meditation and devotion are strong, the signs come quickly.
Please keep your Phowa practice alive and active as much as you can. This practice is something that you should continue to do periodically, even after you experience signs of being able to accomplish it. All the Longchen Nyingtik lineage teachers, such as Patrul Rinpoche, his foremost student Nyoshul Lungtok, and Nyoshul Lungtok’s foremost student, Khenpo Ngagchung, encouraged their students to continue to practice it occasionally. Perhaps you could do this once a day—right before going to bed is a particularly good time. Simply mentally repeat the visualization and meditation.
It’s also strongly recommended to do a full session of Phowa once every week or two, to keep the process fresh in your mind. Even after experiencing signs, it’s good to do Phowa periodically. At the stage of accomplishment, you could do the transfer sequence only seven or twenty-one times in all. For instance, if you had planned to do Phowa for an entire week, once you experience signs, you can lower the number of times you do the transference. However, until signs do appear, if you want to have strong accomplishment, you need to keep practicing Phowa.
Non-attachment and the Desire to Go to Dewachen
It’s also very important that we continue to train in having less grasping. Particularly when the time of death comes, we must have courage and cut attachment to our body and sense of self, as well as to our belongings and loved ones. Having less attachment is very important if we’re going to accomplish Phowa. As time goes on, we need to be less and less attached to everything—our possessions, wealth, and the people close to us.
Try to see everything as magic or a dream. Everyday it’s good to offer whatever you own and whatever you use to Buddha Amitabha. Mentally make a mandala offering of your world and give it to all the buddhas, bodhisattvas, and arhats. Even if you still use those things the next day, by offering them again and again, you’ll have much less attachment and it will help you to die without hesitation or holding back.
Another general point is that we need to look forward to going to Amitabha’s pure land. In one of his prayers, the master Karma Chagme said, “When the time of death comes, may I go directly to the pure land of the Buddha Amitabha, without looking back, just like a bird freed from its cage.” When a bird is let loose, it doesn’t long to return to its cage. It’s happy to fly away, whatever its destination might be. This is a powerful message for us. When death comes, if you feel that you did what you wanted to do and fulfilled the purpose of this life, you can leave courageously and fearlessly. The Vajrayana teachings say that people who die this way are real yogis and yoginis. They demonstrate a truly heroic attitude.
Final Reminders About Phowa
In terms of benefiting yourself, when the time comes for your physical and mental aggregates to separate, you need the intention to shoot your conscious- ness like an arrow, straight to the target as you’ve planned. Without any hesitation, without looking back, take the attitude of looking forward to entering the pure land of Amitabha. As part of your motivation, look forward every day, as much as you can, to transferring your consciousness to the pure land.
Also, whenever you practice, it’s important to increase your devotion.Devotion plants us firmly on spiritual ground and makes our realization grow and develop. Without devotion, the ground of our practice is shaky. If we’re not well-rooted, we can get blown off course. As soon as we’re confronted with a disruptive situation, if we don’t have strong devotion, our practice could simply fall apart. In order to make our life meaningful and fulfilling, we need to practice, and devotion is an essential ingredient.
When you practice Phowa, cultivate devotion—particularly to Buddha Amitabha. Amitabha embodies all the buddhas of the three times and the ten directions. He is the embodiment of the dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya. Please feel in your heart that Buddha Amitabha is your true protector and support. While doing Phowa, meditate on yourself as Vajrayogini and feel the presence of Buddha Amitabha right above your head. Don’t see the place where you are as an ordinary place, but as a pure land. It’s the pure land of Amitabha, Guru Padmasambhava, Vajrayogini, and Yeshe Tsogyal. Bring all your outer perceptions and inner understanding back to the true nature, which is unaffected by dualistic thinking.”
The Essential Journey of Life and Death, Volume 2: Using Dream Yoga and Phowa as the Path (pgs 228-230)
“Whether Hinayana, Mahayana, or Vajrayana, it’s beautiful to learn how the foundational teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni have given rise to all these insights, schools, and traditions. Once we are familiar with the basic route, then we can really enjoy the great variety of flowers and fruits to be found by applying these precious teachings.”
Advice from a Spiritual Friend (pg 250)