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SEMINARS WITH LAMA VAJRANATHA — TEACHING SCHEDULE WINTER 2017 - 2018

November 16, 2017

Healing the Soul in Tibetan Shamanism

Lekdan Ling, Hackney, East London, UK     [Evening lecture]

From its very beginning, healing has always been at the heart of Buddhist practice. When Indian Buddhism came to Tibet in the early Middle Ages, it amalgamated with the indigenous healing practices of Bön and Tibetan Shamanism. Sicknesses, whether physical, energetic, or mental could be due to natural causes such as seasonal changes, bad diet, or imbalances in the humors, but indigenous Tibetan traditions emphasized the importance of counteracting negative provocations of energy emanating from the spirits inhabiting the natural environment. Such negative provocations (dön) may be directed at individuals who, for one reason or another, have destroyed or polluted the natural environment which is the home of these spirits. Not only is one’s Tse, or life-force, at risk here from such attacks, but also one’s La, or soul, which serves as the energetic support for the individual’s emotional life. This seminar will examine some of the methods used in Tibetan tradition to defend against attack and heal the La.

Contact: Michael Gilmore,   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

November 18-19, 2017

Dzogchen and the Tibetan Book of the Dead

Lekdan Ling, Hackney, East London, UK    [Weekend meditation workshop]

Does conscious existence continue after the death of the material body? The ultimate fact of death faces every human being. Whatever is born will eventually die. All things are impermanent. This truth was taught by the Buddha. Nevertheless, according to this teaching, the death of the brain and the material body is not the end of our conscious existence.  Death is only a passage and a gateway, one stage in our transformations along the journey. The relentless energy of karma inevitaby propels our consciousness into a new embodiment, a new life, in which we experience the consequences of the actions we have committed in our previous lives. These actions in past lifetimes not only determine our future rebirths, but directly continue to effect our health and emotional states in this present life. However, the Buddha also taught a way to free ourselves from the dead-weight of past karma and transcend the beginningless cycle of death and rebirth we know as Samsara. The Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bar-do thos grol) is one of the most profound books to come out of the Dzogchen tradition of Tibet established in ancient times by Padmasambhava. The Dzogchen teachings of Padmasambhava serve both as the philosophical and the practical basis of the Book of the Dead. In this course, we shall look at the questions of death, dying, reincarnation, and purifying past karma in the light of Dzogchen and Buddhist psychology. Some practices in the Dzogchen tradition that relate to preparation for dying and the Bardo experience after will be taught.

Contact: Michael Gilmore,   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

December 8-9-10, 2017

Dzogchen: Direct Introduction to the Natural State

Kunzang Ling Centre, Szczecin, Poland

According to the Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism, the teachings of Dzogchen, “the Great Perfection,” were first expounded by the Buddhist Mahasiddha Garab Dorje in the country of Uddiyana, which in ancient times lay to the northwest of India. This tradition of Buddhist teaching, which directly introduces the meditation practioner to the Nature of Mind, was transmitted to India by Manjushrimitra and Srisimha and later to Tibet by Guru Padmasambhava, Mahapandita Vimalamitra, and the Tibetan translator Vairochana. The essence of  Garab Dorje’s presentation of the precepts of Dzogchen practice was distilled in his last testament, “The Three Statements that Strike the Essentials.” In the 19th century, the famous Buddhist master from Eastern Tibet, Patrul Rinpoche, wrote a brilliant commentary on these three statements, together with some of the practices relating to them, entitled “The Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King.”

Dzogchen, which teaches the Path of Self-Liberation, is traditionally regarded in Tibet as the highest and most profound teaching of the Buddha. Dzogchen teachings ands practice have been preserved until the present day, especially among the Nyingmapa and Kagyudpa schools of Tibetan Buddhism. In terms of meditation practice, Dzogchen distinguishes between "the mind", or the normal thought process that is cyclical and Samsaric in nature, and "the Nature of Mind", which is the primordial state of enlightenment in the individual, which lies beyond all time, conditioning, and causality. Although inconceivable by the finite intellect and inexpressible in words, as the very ground of our existence as living beings, this Natural State of the Nature of Mind can be directly encountered within our immediate experience. By way of direct introduction and meditation practice, this primordial, yet ever-present, state of Buddhahood, which resides at the very core of every individual living being, is revealed like the brilliant face of the sun in the sky when the dark clouds of ignorance and delusion are dissipated.

This seminar will focus on the translation of the root text of Patrul Rinpoche and its autocommentary as providing a doorway for entering into the meditation practices of Dzogchen.  A translation in English of these texts has been published as “The Golden Letters,” Snow Lion 1996. This translation will also be found on Kindle.

Contact: Wojtek, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , tel. +48-501-395978

March 16-17-18, 2018

Practices of the Wrathful Lion-Headed Dakini Simhamukha

Zvolen, Slovakia [Weekend meditation workshop]

Generally, in terms of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dakini represents the autonomous feminine principle that is outside the control of patriarchal society and the rational male ego consciousness. For this reason, the Dakini may be represented as alluring and enchanting, but also as wrathful and terrifying. This seminar will look at the meditations, rituals, and magical practices associated with the wrathful lion-headed Dakini Simhamukha, mistress of enchantments, sorceries, and witchcraft, who brings all those beings who are difficult to subdue under her power, and who also vanquishes and subdues all obstacles, negativities, and evil spirits. Simhamukha was the personal practice of Guhyajnana Dakini, the female Guru of Padmasambhava in the Central Asian country of Uddiyana and he introduced the practice into Tibet. She remains a very popular practice in the Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism. For this purpose, we rely on the profound expositions of Dudjom Rinpoche regarding the practices for this Dakini, who is a manifestation of enlightened awareness. Here the focus will be on the collection of magical practices (las tshogs) associated with the wrathful lion-headed Dakini Simhamukha, and especially on the Lower Rites (smad-las) for subduing and transforming evil spirits that cause harm, obstacles, and illnesses for undividuals

Contact: Martin, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

March 23-24-25, 2018

Magical Action Practices in Tibetan Buddhism

Maria Lankowitz, near Graz, Austria   [Weekend meditation workshop]

There exist two sources for the capacity to work magic (’phrul) in the Tibetan tradition, according to Chime Rigdzin Rinpoche. One is the individual’s innate psychic or magical power (mthu) and the other is through the evocation of the guardian spirits (srung-ma) who will carry out the will of the practitioner. By the practice of sadhana, or deification, that is to say, transforming oneself in meditation and ritual into the Yidam meditation deity, the practitioner can thereby access the powers, capacities, and wisdoms traditionally associated with that particular archetypal form and acquire siddhis, that is, psychic and spiritual powers, including karma-siddhis, or magical abilities. These may then be employed for the benefit of oneself and others. The motivation here is always Bodhichitta, our compassion the suffering of other living beings and our intention to relieve that suffering. It is especially by way of meditation on and the invocation of the Dakinis and the Dharmapalas, or Guardians, that this capacity is awakened within one and can be employed as karma-siddhis.

But there are also magical action practices, or lay-jyor, that do not require elaborate visualaizations, meditations, and rituals found in collections of such actions known as lay-tsok and beu-bum, such as those made by Bari Lotsawa, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, and Mipham Rinpoche in past centuries. These practices are meant to be eminantly useful in everyday life. In this seminar, we shall look into performing some of these action practices for pacifying (zhiwai lay), prosperity (gyaypai lay), and enchantment (wanggi lay).

Contact: Enrico, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last update: November 15, 2017