SEMINARS WITH LAMA VAJRANATHA —
TEACHING SCHEDULE FALL 2016
October 7-8-9, 2016
Tibetan Shamanism and Buddhist Meditation Practice: Healing the Body and the Soul
Hartford, CT, USA [Friday night talk and weekend workshop]
The roots of ancient Tibetan culture lie deep within the rich soil of North Asian Shamanism. When an individual in the Tibetan community fell ill and the usual herbal remedies failed, a shaman was called in to divine the origin of the illness, usually due to negative provocations of energy from a hostile or offended nature spirit. After chanting and dancing, he or she would fall into an altered state of consciousness that gave access to the other world of the spirits. Then a Lha or Pawo, a spirit guide, would speak through the shaman and prescribe a healing ritual, which would afterwards be performed. Over the centuries, these indigenous shamanic practices of Tibet became integrated with the Buddhist teachings and practices of Indian origin, which has given Tibetan Buddhism its unique and colorful character.
Before Indian Buddhism came to Central Tibet in the 8th century of our era, Tibet had already developed a rich cultural and spiritual tradition known as Bön, which had ties with Central Asia and the mysterious land of Zhang-zhung to the west of Tibet. The teachings and practices of Yungdrung Bön, “the eternal tradition,” stemmed from those of the Buddha known as Tönpa Shenrab, who taught in Olmo Lungring in ancient Central Asia. His teachingsare allotted among the four Gateways of Bon, which include shamanic practices of healing, as well as the higher spiritual teachings that aim at attaining liberation from suffering in Samsara and realizing Buddha enlightenment.
In later in India also, the Buddha Shakyamuni charged his original group of disciples, not only to teach the Dharma to others in their own languages, but equally to heal those who were afflicted by physical suffering and diseases. The original teachings of the Buddha were cast in the form of traditional Indian medicine: dignosis of the human condition in terms of mental and emotional suffering, discovering the causes of this suffering, the prognosis that a cure to suffering is possible, and the the process of eleviating suffering through behaviour, meditation practice, and wisdom. Thus, healing lies at the heart of the practice of traditional shamanism in Tibet, as well as at the core of Buddhist and Bönpo teaching and practice.
In this weekend course, we shall investigate the energetic basis of healing in both Tibetan Shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism, including the use of meditation and visualization for invoking Tse, or healing energy, from a higher spiritual source. Furthermore, we shall focus on such traditional practices as Tseguk (recalling life-energy), Laguk (recalling the soul), Soktik (balancing energies), Tsedrub (self-healing), and Tsewang (transmitting healing energy to others). This will include the practices associated with the long-life Buddha Amitayus, White Tara, and the Medicine Buddha, the patron of all professional healing practicioners.
Conact: Cheri Brady,
October 28-29-30-31, 2016
The Wrathful Black Dakini Simhamukha for Protection and Defence
Marie Lankowitz near Graz, Austria [Friday night talk, weekend meditation workshop]
The Wisdom Dakini Simhamukha, who represents the enlightened feminine energy of Guru Padmasambhava, has many functions and aspects. Her principal manifestation is that of the Vajra Dakini Simhamukha, dark azure in colour with a white lion’s face, dancing in the center of the mandala. Her principal magical actitivity is that of protection and the avereting of negative energies. Surrounding her in the four directions, she manifests four aspects of herself for specific magical functions: the white Buddha Dakini in the east for healing, the yellow Ratna Dakini in the south for enrichment and prosperity, the red Padma Dakini in the west for attraction and enchantment, and the dark green Karma Dakini in the north for wrathful practices and the overcoming of obstacles.This seminar will focus on a special aspect of the latter, known as Krodhikali Simhamukha, for the diffusing and transforming of negative energies and for defense against psychic and magical attacks. For this purpose, we will draw on the teachings of both Dudjom Rinpoche and Jamyang Khyenste Wangpo.
November 5-6, 2016
Protection Practices and Psychic Self-Defence
Sambhala Center, Budapest [Two day seminar and practice workshop]
When the illustrious Buddhist master Padmasambhava introduced Vajrayana, the Tantric form of Buddhism, into Tibet in the 8th century of our era, he encountered many negative energies and evil spirits who violently opposed these higher spiritual teachings of Buddhism. With his mantric power he was able to subdue and transform these neagative energies so that they could be employed by practitioners for beneficial purposes. As Padmasambhava himself said in the Rinchen Bumzang, “Those who have now obtained a precious human rebirth and intelligence next need to free themselvres from incidental blocks and obstructions of negative energy in the way of their path, thereby realizing benefits both in this present life and in future lives. Therefore, I shall teach here methods of skillful means for summoning good luck, prosperity, and protection for the individual.” In this weekend workshop, we shall examine and engage in some of these action practices taught by Padmasambhava for the improving of the everyday condition of our lives, especially relating to protection and psychic self-defense.
Info. Sambhala Center:
November 18-19-20, 2016
Dzogchen in Theory and Practice
Kunzang Ling Center, Szczecin, Poland [Weekend seminar and meditation practice]
In Tibetan Buddhism, Dzogchen, “the Great Perfection,” is considered to be the highest teaching of the Buddha, having been introduced from India into Tibet in the 8th century of our era by Padmasambhava. Dzogchen makes a fundamental distinction betweem “mind,” our thought processes characterized by emotional confusion, and our “Nature of Mind,” the calm luminous center of our being that lies beyond time, space, and causality, this being the source and matrix of the mind itself. By way of the meditation exercises of Semdzin and Rushan, we come to discover in our meditation experience what is mind and how it is distinguished from the Nature of Mind. These exercises prepare the individual for the direct introduction to the Nature of Mind.
November 25-26-27, 2016
Tibetan Dream Yoga
Normally, we human beings spend at least a third of our lifetime in sleep and dreaming. Nevertheless, it is possible to engage in a dialogue with our dreams, receiving portents of the future, and even to become awake and self-aware in them awake and self-aware in our dreams and experience what is generally known as “lucid dreaming.” Becoming conscious in our dreams without awakening from sleep, we may come to find ourselves in control of our dream and be able to transform it, even practice meditation while asleep and journey in a dream-body to explore other worlds and dimensions of existence. Moreover, dream yoga represents an excellent training to prepare us for dying and the after-death-experience known as the Bardo, where, as is the case with the dream state, we are confronted with our karmic visions as virtual realities. In this course, we shall explore some of the methods found in the shamanistic and tantric traditions of Ancient Tibet, including Dzogchen, used by the Lamas of Tibet to realize lucid dreams and bring about their transformation, which in turn will affect the waking state life and the consciousness of the individual.
December 1, 2016
Witches and Dakinis
Lekdan Ling, Hackney, London
This evening talk will explore the similarities in practice between Wicca and Western Ceremonial magic and that of the Higher Tantras in the Buddhism of Tibet. Specifically, the similarities between the archetypes of the dark feminine of thze Witch in the Western tradition of Christinaity and the Dakini, in the Tantric tradition of Tibet will be examined. The Dakini represents all those aspects of the feminine that are outside and beyond the control of male-dominated partiarchal culture and society, whether in the religious or secular contaxt. The speaker,formerly a lecturer in Comparitive religion in the US, is bothe an ordained ngakpa Lama in the Nyingmapa tradition of Tibet and a high priest in the Gardnerian tradition in the West.
Contact: Michael Gilmore,
December 2-3-4, 2016
Dzogchen and Mahayoga Tantra in Tibetan Buddhism
Lekdan Ling, Hackeney, London
Dzogchen, "the Great Perfection", which teaches the path of self-liberation, is traditionally regarded in Tibet as the highest and most profound teaching of the Buddha. Introduced into Tibet in the eighth century of our era by the great Buddhist Tantric master Padmasambhava, who came from the country of Uddiyana in Central Asia, Dzogchen has been preserved until the present day, especially in the Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism. However, Padmasambhave taught Dzogchen to his Tibetan disciples largely in the context of the Mahayoga Tantra, which is found as both a continuous transmission from his own time, or Kama, and as re-discovered hidden treasure texts, or Termas. Dzogchen points directly to the nature of mind which is beyond the thought process, whereas Tantra is more concerned with working with energies and their transformations, in particular, transforming the energies of the negative emotions into positive enlightened awareness. In this seminar, we will examine the relationship of the mind-teachings of Dzogchen to the energy-transformation methods of the Mahayoga Tantras, especially with regard to that of Vajrakilaya as taught by HH Dudjom Rinpoche.
Last update October 15, 2016