On passing of Kyabje Shenphen Dawa Norbu Rinpoche

With continuous waves of birth, old age, sickness and death as long as we read and write here or there it is possible to feel like a “survivor”. But that situation may presenocd1t further complications, lets try to quickly glance in direction of what may lay on the other side of the threshold.

Within the 20th and 21st centuries we had some of  most interesting Buddhist Masters of Buddhism as a whole and certainly of Tibetan Buddhism in particular. The image of the Great Stupa of Tibetan Buddhist traditions founded, built and then broken and swept into the vast ocean of all of humanity is for sure very unique period of Buddhism and Buddhism of Tibet. As a result we had some of the most celebrated masters pass away in places like France, in case of  Dudjom Rinpoche, Nepal in case of Chadrel Rinpoche and farther still, Upstate NY in case of Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and Shenphen Dawa Norbu Rinpoche. As well as many others. While I can not say that I am dedicated disciple of Shenphen Dawa Norbu Rinpoche, I did endeavor to visit Rinpoche’s center in NYC and in Upstate NY as much as possible and was able to meet and observe this great master over 10 times. So, while I am not well placed to say anything, it is still an opportunity to try and publish general, meritorious talk for all to read and for myself to contemplate.

In a way of list I set out from these, following markers.

What did we come to think of the act of Historical Buddha’s passing. And how we work with it today. The 12 deeds of Buddha is the life example teaching that we can work on directly, without too much study. Emulating the glorious example in our own life.

What Chardel  Sangye Dorje Rinpoche (June 18, 1913 – December 30, 2015) left us  in the his last testament was a few short lines and one of them was: “Do not be sad“. This was a kind of Master that one would feel devotion to, without having ever met them, at least in my case. So, it is not easy not to feel sad, it is also difficult to know what some of the direct disciples felt.

Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-1987) amongst so much brilliant writing left us with volumes of books that stand apart from all others. And in the famous Prayer to Recognize my own Faults we receive very clear information on the direct focus of the spiritual practice. On the actual work of correcting things with our own view.

And to the reason for writing these few notes out. In Greenville, NY state (not far from Albany) Kyabje Shenphen Dawa Norbu (born  February 17, 1950) entered into tukdam meditation on Sunday, 15th of April at 12:02AM

-How not to be sad about that!

How to engage in the correction of the faults of the view that may feel as parting?

In the Glorious Arya Nagarjuna text Praising the Twelve Events in the Life of Lord Budda, in Dharma Samudra translation when we come to the end we read:

In order to motivate those who are complacent in dharma practice,

At the pure ground of Kushinagara

You reached the deathless vajra body.

We praise your deed of passing into parinirvana.

And just like that if we perfectly adjust the view of the Lama to be non other then Buddha himself, with direct sharpness of Lord Nagarjuna we are left with nothing to do but abandon the sadness as much as possible, however hard it maybe, all in favor of practice of view and conduct that actually emulate these great beings that come again and again to guide us on the spiritual path of arrival in certainty that Buddha is always within and never apart, thus can not really ever leave us.

Pictures are from 3rd month and 10th day in Upstate NY, August 13th, 2016. Above, Rinpoche is with his son, during Tsog offering, Tulku Namgyal Dawa Rinpoche. Below is Rinpoche’s seat during the short afternoon break.ocd2

With condolences to the Dudjom family on this momentary parting from this brilliant guide of all beings. With aspiration for Rinpoche’s quick return.

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Kyabje Penor Rinpoche opening door to Kalachakra at Palyul Retreat Center, Upstate NY June / 2007

1184489682-hr-150It is just over 10 years since this was all as fresh as a snap of fingers, you seem to just have turned your had to look to th right or the left and the Lama is still perfectly in front of you. It is still fresh but almost 11 years have passed and it is turning into a sweet memory, a little bit.

Here is a short video that some one had uploaded to facebook.

And my own collection of photographs on flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sherabgyatso

Picture on top is of the fire offering that was burning very high under very heavy rain, at the end of the empowerment.

amazon.com review for An Ocean Of Blessings

ocean_of_blessingsAmazon review for:

An Ocean of Blessings, Heart Teachings of Drubwang Penor Rinpoche

amazon.com:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1N6FGV56JAKJC

Translated by Ani Jinba Palmo

With Forwards from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpoche, Mugsang Kuchen Rinpoche, Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche.

Do get this book and more.

This is a gem unlike others. This gem should have gotten no polish and remained as it is. As with Buddhist ideas in view we know of such things as nature and resting in things as they are. So, this collection of the heart teachings that Kyabje Rinpoche made spontaneously speaking to the audience of disciples of various levels of experience all during summer retreat in rural, secluded in the lush forests of Upstate NY,  Palyul Ling retreat facility. These teachings were the atmosphere, the electricity that quietly electrified spiritual lives of most listeners in a perfect and complete way. With realized master of such an overwhelming reach it should be a direct goal to give date and translate whole teaching, completely. The foundation of the book is drawn from initial pool of 130 teachings that were offered for the book effort, with resulting 30 chapters comprising of the 85 actual talks that were selected and edited.

A good example is on page 77-78, chapter titled “Great Perfection”. Most of this chapter is drawn from the 2003 Guru Yoga teaching, there is a description of Dza Patrul Rinpoche going East to find a source of the beam of light that he sees emanating into the sky. Stopping at Kathok Dorje Den monastery he proceeds to the Palyul Monastery and finds that the light is emanating directly from the building of the three year-three month retreat, which he circumambulates and receives blessings from. In the book it is cut short at the point when Patrul Rinpoche asks what’s to the East of Kathok Monastery.

Rinpoche was a force of nature that one could feel while just in the area, just near by, that powerful, perfect inspiration towards actual liberation. And the best feel for that perfect natural phenomena in this book comes from the forwards of Kyabje Rinpoche’s heart son Mugsang Kuchen Rinpoche and Kyabje Rinpoche’s Summer retreat voice (English translator) Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche as well as the venerable translator for the book Ani Jinba Palmo.

Our venerable translator opens up her preface by setting up the stage so to speak, amongst her remarks in the 1st paragraph it mentions: “Before starting the main topic of the seminar, Rinpoche would always give an introductory talk about the importance of guru yoga, mingling one’s mind with the master’s mind, devotion, faith, pure perception,…” -In my selfish understanding, I was hoping to relive these times but a lot of that core of Kyabje Rinpoche teachings as mentioned above does not seem to have gotten included.

With the folded hands wishing for more complete transcripts of Kyabje Rinpoche heart advice to be translated in the future.

Currently to fill in any incomplete parts with the actual meaning there seems to be a perfect remedy, the glorious facility which Kyabje Penor Rinpoche started in the Upstate NY, the Palyul Retreat Center has annual Summer retreat in just the same way as envisioned by Kyabje Rinpoche and masters, embodiment of these very teachings in perfect, completely accomplished way are all there and it continues to gather many students every year.

May we all continually connect to the direct teachings on what really matters until Samsara and Nirvana are of one taste.

Painting Shares

IMG_20171028_100215_648[1]As I am contemplating on painting and possibly making more, here is a page on this site to start an instagram tag #sherabpainting and from time to time, I can be expected to have a random picture shared through the instagram. Here is a one for good luck, to all of us. Dragonfly butterfly,

-Cheers

Letter of Un-Awareness

There is a letter that some people, more and more are sharing and Lion’s Roar has published. I was not about to share and commented on some one’s share only. Now still more people are sharing it.

I will organize my comments and post them in this message. If you disagree with this, my  social media comments to a point where it causes negativity to raise. Please feel free to unfollow, unfrend or most effective, to block.

1142615015-hr-37
An image of Guru Rinpoche called “Looks like me”

1st comment about what it is, or what I, in my narrow view see it as:

An effort by western Buddhists to enforce christian values onto their own teachers of, Buddhism. On the same page mass teachings of Vajrayana in the West are like that: no one gets it. And then again if you establish a throne here (not in old Tibet) they will challenge you. The whole game of thrones and how tantalizing it it to so many people. Wish I had patience to get through ONE season, but all these machinations feel so useless. Moral of the story: you live like a king, expect to be challenged for the throne by self righteous ignorant masses armed with pitchforks.

Then some one who is much older and is a respected person came in and said: Is such and such part of the self righteous ignorannt masses?

My 2nd comment:
My personal and doubtlessly very ignorant comment is non person specific. It is very much geared towards this “in the open” face palm discussion. It also has to be considered as a whole post. I personally while believing that certain types of conduct are not to be openly displayed will never agree that they do not exist and are only good when sanctioned. This whole discussion about what is good and what is not according to others seems very pointless.

To finalize more:
In a nutshell so many people seem to get so deeply emotional about practice or conduct of others and not them selves. If they were so deeply emotional about giving rise to the mind of awakening taking these “others” as the path rather then this is good, this is bad, this is good and so on, who knows?

Then same person comes in and just puts the name in:
in a way: “But him?”

To that I answer:
But him?” -substituting the name for the name of the Lama in person.
Because it is all, always to a point is subjective and depends on one’s point of view?

More comments from myself:
Five poisons / five wisdoms do manifest in this dream like reality. To deny this while attempting to study these is a special type of escapism.

And:
On a prosaic note. In Tibet’s history there was quite a bit of finger pointing and power struggle. If we read about it today in histories, it is all part of this life in samsara, as well. The most interesting thing here is idea of going beyond, of liberation. But often times it is easier to think in ethernalist-goodness framework of this life only somehow. Or even more simply fix samsara with samsara. Pretty foundational type of delusion that is very different from merit accumulation.

So, yet another bottom line is warranted:
Not a single nail in the foundation of any building in the center in France or anywhere in the world where they are at, for which these students now days are so confidently speaking for, nothing would be purchased or built without the blessing and accomplishment of the Lama. No one would even get an idea to do any of this.
All these students, ex students, senior students and the volunteers had a privilege to connect to the Buddhist teachings through participating in these centers on many levels. Now instead of discovering their inner Guru they made their mind up to push aside their outer Guru. And there is never any merit in that. Instead of feeling self righteous, they could have just left and concentrate into positivity, if they could, because this is the good thing to do. Not criticizing some one. But we all get to pick our interests and this just yet again proves that there are very few people interested in liberation from samsara.
May my comment provide some one who has merit to practice to see a possibility to do so. -Please know you are not alone in your attempts, despite the odds, especially if you are connected to this wonderful organization of awareness, that just seemingly has fallen into disharmony. The teachings are still there. May Lama live long and have his wishes fulfilled, exceedingly.

Ngakmang ཨ་ལ་ལ་ཧོ

upstate_rainbowWe all come to agree that we need farmers, builders even writers, singers and actors.

However just like a rainbow in the sky is there  sometimes and we do not plan on any such and it serves no direct purpose, but some of us love to see it and enjoy looking at and at times even take pictures of.

If you agree there should be something as useless and as necessary in the same time as that, a community of spiritual practitioners that have a “job” of in conventional terms to do nothing. Then this fundraiser is of interest for you.

You can participate in several ways,

Read and pass it on,

Resolve to become one of this marginal “profession”

And obviously reach out to contribute in any of the ways you feel is right or directly helpful.

Go-fund-me fundraiser page:

https://www.gofundme.com/ngakmang

This community conceived by many and not even in this instance or recently. It does not mean participants are a type of “priestly” character or a teacher of others of sorts.

However people aiming to join in should strive to lead a simple way of life and be of spiritual inclination.

Here for example is a definition that I have written online recently for the difference between what can be defined as a tradition of spirituality and an organized religion.

“Historically Christianity almost completely served as a societal control mechanism along with army, police, royalty… While Buddhism in big part always attempted to place it’s self outside the society bounds as an ultimate self help for any interested individual, without interest to create or run countries and convert others”

And one more:

“The key differences in this are all at one point really, setting aside philosophy and purpose. One is really presented as a set dogma. Meaning: an injunction “Believe this”. Other is presented for a very complex situation that has to evolve as a condition. Meaning One has to have a persistent question of what is the meaning of all of this, one has to persist in it and in the same time one has to accept that the current faculties may not be able to handle the answer and need to be refined, that too has to go on as well …”

http://www.choying.org/tag/choying Some writing on “Ngakmang” -a mantra practitioners village.

I have written about these questions a little bit for last 3+ years, there is quite a lot more that anyone can always add, as my writings are mine alone please to do not feel that even I, myself feel strongly about these. However these ideas are the only ones “I” have access to.

May it be of liberating benefit!

Go-fund-me fundraiser page:

https://www.gofundme.com/ngakmang

Picture is of rainbow above the area of Palyul Temple in Upstate NY by Janet Borges

 

Retreat Village – Ngakmang

I had this fundraiser for the Annual Summer Retreat cost and for donation to the center for 2017 going for a while and this year seems like a very small year donation wise so far, I have received $178 towards that goal.

Now, I am rewriting some of this fundraiser as my understanding of particulars of how to establish some simple housing around that area is increasing.

Please consider reading following update to this fundraiser:

https://www.gofundme.com/ngakmang20160514_063145

I have written at length about relocating into a more rural area in order to “take a breath” and not of a car exhaust but of the actual fresh air.
As I was not able to come to the all time favorite place of mine, The Palyul Retreat Center in Upstate NY in a number of years, after a while I knew that I have to take steps to change something, anything, possibly just simply move closer? And so about seven years ago a move to near by bigger town of Binghamton started to come into focus. However the more specific plan is to develop a model for good year round housing somewhere real close to the main temple of the Retreat center.

Several people in these past 4 years have moved into the area, talking to them I think I have gathered enough information on how to obtain a small amount of land and I have settled on the shipping container conversion as cabin design that I am proposing to utilize through this builder:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDoymT_pxKY
As a start the break down of costs, that are bound to be subject to inevitable change, but still possibly be at around these figures:
Land of under 2 acres for $3K
Cabin Building delivered with fever custom pre-builds at $10K
Formation of a not-for-profit corporation to hold funds, then handle ownership, sale and / or rental of the cabin, make it hopefully plural: cabins. Is at $2K
Biggest point that needs to be researched is septic system build out, this is not priced or factored in.
This initial plan would provide for the foundation sufficient for future up to 3 more cabins in same location to be purchased, making total of four, possibly providing housing for about 8 people.

This hopefully also may prove to be an open ended fundraiser, which actually is more or less the goal.

If you always thought of getting a cabin to do a retreat in, this could become an anchor point for you.

The goal is to fundraise from everyone that can give and to offer housing to anyone that would like to go and live there, regardless of their contribution to the build up. There will obviously be bills, but the goal is to lower the bills as much as possible.

I have written about this in the past, it maybe a good idea to see if there are any ideas there that one may like:
https://gurupemasiddhihum.wordpress.com/tag/choying/
Always feel free to reach out to me personally as well.
More people responding and participating, more gets accomplished, naturally