Tibetan Buddhist Ritual

Sidok Raksha Tötreng Puja, Ka-Nying monastery, 2020

Feb 4, 2020

I had been waiting with anticipation and finally the day came for this amazing annual puja to dispel obstacles! This specific practice, in which Guru Rinpoche takes the wrathful form of Raksha...

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Annual Three-Day Sidok Raksha Tötreng Puja Event Roundup

Dec 22, 2019

January 21st, 2020—January 23rd, 2020 Raksha Tötreng is a wrathful manifestation of Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava. When Guru Rinpoche left Tibet, he manifested as the king of the cannibals (sri) called Raksha Tötreng....

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Nyungné Fasting Practice

Nov 26, 2019

Nyungné is a fasting ritual of the 1000-armed Avalokiteshvara belonging to the Kriya Tantra tradition. Its purpose is to purify negative karma in a short time and to develop great compassion. For...

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Impressions of the Seven-Day Kurukullé Puja, Day One

Oct 23, 2019

Thursday, October 17, 2019 marked the first of seven days of the Kurukullé puja in Do-ngak Nyida Zungdrel Sherab Raltri Ling Monastery. We also refer to this place as Vajra Varahi Monastery,...

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What is Ritual?

Sep 23, 2019

What is Ritual? I’m Only Here For the Meditation Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche teaches and travels widely throughout the world.  On his tours, he often encounters modern people who are highly skeptical about...

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Ngensong Dongtruk Puja–a Student’s Eye-View

Aug 28, 2019

Making an Auspicious Connection   As the third of the 2019 puja series, the Ngensong Dongtruk or “Dredger of the Lower Realms’ Depths” puja was held for three days from August 10th-12th...

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Reflections on the Auspicious Occasion of the Sampa Lhundrup Tsokbum

Jul 24, 2019

Sitting in the tsokbum at the Asura cave in Kathmandu feels relaxed and almost normal or natural to be there—until I take a moment to contemplate what I am actually part of...

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Bell and Dorje: Understanding Ritual Objects

Feb 4, 2019

In the Vajrayana context, practitioners utilize the bell and dorje as important symbolic ritual items. At the outer level, these two implements represent the indivisibility of means (vajra) and the wisdom recognizing emptiness...

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Vajrakīlaya Seven-Day Gutor Pūjā

Jan 29, 2019

The Vajrakīlaya Gutor Pūjā will be celebrated from  February 16-22, 2020. Vajrakīlaya (Tibetan: Dorjé Phurba) is the embodiment of the powerful compassion of all buddhas.  Moreover,Vajrakīlaya, the wrathful transformation of the deity Vajrasattva,...

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Fear of Death: Practice for Long-Life

Dec 23, 2018

Fear of death often arises sneakily in the middle of the night. So, if we wake with this fear, we can learn to practice a simple long life meditation visualization.  When we experience this fear,  it indicates that our life...

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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.