SEMINARS WITH LAMA VAJRANATHA — TEACHING SCHEDULE SPRING 2017
March 11-12,. 2017
Tantra and Dzogchen in the Buddhist Traditions of Tibet
[Weekend meditation workshop]
Kunzang Ling Center, Szczecin, Poland
Meditation practice has always been at the core of Buddhism everywhere in Asia, and this is also true of the related Bonpo tradition of Tibet. Accordingly, the teachings and the practices revealed by the Buddha may be classified into the three levels of Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen, corresponding to the three dimensions of human existence of body, energy, and mind. Sutra is mainly concerned with the nature of human existence in the world, especially one’s ethical conduct and behavior towards other living beings in this present life. Nevertheless, meditation practice at the Sutra level is fundamental and is decidedly psychological in its approach. Tantra is more concerned with the individual’s dimension of energy, that is to say, how to access energy and then how to direct and channel it for specific purposes, such as healing. Dzogchen, however, represents the discovery of the nature of mind in one’s immediate experience at the core of one’s being. All three approaches aim at the attaining of liberation from suffering in Samsara and the realizing of enlightened awareness as the essence of one’s being. We shall investigate the foundations of meditation practice in both the Buddhist of Tibet and in the weekend workshop the emphasis will be on actual meditation practice.
April 8-9, 2017
Vajrakilaya Practice in the Nyingmapa Tradition of Tibet
[Weekend meditation workshop]
Kunzang Ling Center, Szczecin, Poland
In the previous century, Düdjom Rinpoche, and before that his predecessor and previous incarnation Düdjom Lingpa, were realized masters in Tibet and leading exponents of the Tantric methods of transformation known as Mahayoga, Anuyoga, and Atiyoga, especially in relation to the cycle of practice for the wrathful meditation deity Vajrakilaya. This seminar will examine some of the methods of these Yogas found in the Terma text, the Namchak Pudri, “The Razor of Meteorite Iron,” of Düdjom Lingpa and the commentaries on this cycle by his successor Düdjom Rinpoche.
April 21-22-23, 2017
Death and Dying according to the Tibetan Book of the Dead
Stockholm, Sweden [Weekend meditation workshop]
Does conscious existence continue after the death of the material body? The ultimate fact of death faces every living being. Whatever is born will eventually die. Nevertheless, according to the teaching of the Buddha, the death of the brain and the material body is not the end of our conscious exerience. Death is only a passage and a gateway, one stage in our transformations along the journey. The Tibetan Book of the Dead, or Bardo Thödrol, “liberation through hearing while in the Bardo,” was one of the most profound texts to come out of the Dzogchen tradition of Tibet, this being established in the 8th century of our era by Padmasambhava. This master not only described the process of dying and how to prepare for this inevitable experience with certain meditation practices, but also detailed the after-death experiences of the individual, known as the Bardo, that eventually leads to rebirth into human existence, or into some other dimension of reality. The Dzogchen teachings of Padmasambhava serve both as the philosophical and the practical basis of the Book of the Dead. In this two day seminar, 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 occuring thereafter will be examined.
May 19-20-21, 2017
Dzogchen according to the Düdjom Tersar Cycle of Vajrakilaya
Maria Lankowitz, near Graz, Austria [Weekend meditation workshop]
The Buddhist teachings preserved in the Nyingmapa school of Tibet, established by the master Padmasambhava in the 8th century of our era, are classified into nine successive vehicles to enlightenment. The three highest of these vehicles are collectively known as the Inner Tantras: Mahayoga Tantra emphasizes the visualization process of transforming oneself into a meditation deity in its mandala palace, thereby accessing the powers, capacities, and wisdoms traditionally associated with that particular archetypal form. Anuyoga Tantra, emphasizes the awakening of inner psychic heat and the experiencing of ecstatic sensual experience by way of yoga, breath control, and practice with a consort. Atiyoga Tantra, also known as Dzogchen, distinguishes between the ordinary discursive mind, or thought process, and the nature of mind at the core of one’s being, which is intrinsic awareness beyond time and space, this representing the individual’s primordially enlightened Buddha Nature. In the previous century, Düdjom Rinpoche, and before that his predecessor and previous incarnation Düdjom Lingpa, were realized masters in Tibet and leading exponents of these methods of Maha, Anu, and Ati, especially in relation to the cycle of practice for the meditation deity Vajrakilaya. This seminar will examine some of the methods of Anuyoga and Atiyoga found in the Terma text, the Namchak Pudri, “The Razor of Meteorite Iron,” of Düdjom Lingpa and the commentaries on this cycle by his successor Düdjom Rinpoche.
June 2-3-4, 2017
The Oral Tradition of Zhang-zhung: An Introduction to Bönpo Dzogchen Teachings
[Weekend meditation workshop] St. Thomas Seminary, near Hartford, CT, USA
Unlike the other traditions of Dzogchen found within the Bönpo tradition, the Zhang-zhung Nyän-gyüd represents a continuous and unbroken transmission from earliest times of the precepts of Dzogchen coming down to our own time. These teachings and practices were transmitted by the enlightened master Tapihritsa to his disciple Gyerpung Nangzher Lödpo at the Darok Lake in the 8th century in Zhang-zhung, or Northwestern Tibet, at that time an independent kingdom with its own language and religious culture. But the ultimate source of the Dzogchen teachings are said to be far more ancient, extending back to the Primordial Buddha, Kuntu Zangpo himself. These represent upadeshas, or secret oral instructions, only put into writing and translated into Tietan much later. They speak of an unconditioned state of being and awareness (rigpa) beyond the tantric process of transformation. This refers to the Natural State of the Nature of Mind, one’s own innate Buddha Nature that is beyond time, conditioning, and causality, but accessible in immediate experience.
In the Bonpo tradition, Dzogchen is regarded as the ultimate teaching of all the Buddhas of the three times, and it is classified as the ninth or highest vehicle to enlightenement. However, the texts of the Zhang-zhung Nyan-gyud never became Termas, or hidden treasure texts, but represented a continuous transmission of oral and written teachings until the present time. Not only is this tradition of singular importance for understanding the historical development of Dzogchen in Early Tibet, but are equally relavent today in terms of teaching and practice for revealing the nature of mind and consciousness. This seminar will survey the teachings, literature, and practices found in this oral tradition coming from the ancient land of Zhang-zhung. This material will be found in the author’s three books, “The Oral Tradition from Zhang-zhung,” “Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings,” and “Precepts of the Dharmakaya,” which will be available at the seminar.
Contact: Cheri Brady,
Last update February 22, 2017