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Global Meditation Practice on Lha Bab Düchen

Lha Bab Düchen (lha babs dus chen) in Tibetan translates as, ‘The Festival of the Descent from Heaven.’ We celebrate this great event on the 22nd day of the ninth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, marking the descent of the Buddha from the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven (the Heaven belonging to the thirty-three deities). This year, we celebrate Lha Bab Düchen on October 27th, 2021.

During Lha Bab Düchen, one of the four great festivals of the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, the effects of positive or negative actions are multiplied ten million times. Therefore, we engage in virtuous activities such as lighting butter lamps, giving alms to the needy, circumambulating or reading about sacred sites, making aspiration prayers, and engaging in meditation practices on this day.

This year, Samye Institute invited our global Sangha to commit to sitting in meditation collectively during this sacred time. Our Sangha spent three days, eighteen hours, and fifty minutes in meditation! Over one hundred people submitted their meditation time. We rejoice in this global activity!

As we sit to meditate, we can recall the Buddha Ghoṣadatta’s instructions from the Samādhi­rāja­sūtra on the superiority of meditation practice as the supreme offering. You may wish to recall the kindness of the Buddha of our age by practicing the Treasury of Blessings sādhana, composed by Mipham Rinpoche, or according to other meditation instructions that you have received. You can find visualization aids to support your practice in our chant library.

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Suggested Reading

Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, trans. and ed. by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991), vol. 1, pages 468–474.

Ngawang Zangpo, Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2002.

Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage, trans. Richard Barron (Junction City: Padma Publishing, 2005), pages 41–48.

Padmasambhava, Legend of the Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973

Padmasambhava & Jamgön Kongtrul, The Light of Wisdom, trans. by Erik Pema Kunsang (Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1986-1999), pages 43-47 & Appendix 5.

Taranatha, The Life of Padmasambhava, Shang Shung Edizioni, 2005

Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Shambhala, 1996.

Yeshe Tsogyal, Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, translated by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays (Emeryville: Dharma Publishing, 1978, republished 2008).

Yeshe Tsogyal, Lotus Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004.

‘The Life of Guru Padmasambhava’ in A Great Treasure of Blessings, The Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2004.