TEACHINGS OF YUNGDRUNG BÖN

The Teachings continued

Lama Khemsar Rinpoche teaching a class


MA-GYUD (Mother Tantra)

Gyud, or Tantra, is one of the most profound teachings in the Yungdrung Bön tradition. Such teachings take place against a backdrop of belief in the notion of Samsara (Cyclic Existence), whereby sentient beings go through a succession of rebirths within the various modes of existence. The type of birth which one takes within Samsara is believed to be determined by the karma one has accumulated over previous lifetimes. The ultimate aim of all sentient beings is said to be to liberate themselves permanently from the suffering of Samsara. This is done by achieving Sang-gye (Enlightenment) / Buddha-hood. It is believed that liberation from Samsara may be achieved through three paths:

Pang-lam — the Renunciation Path

Gyur-lam — the Transformation Path (known as Ngag in Tibetan or Tantra in Sanskrit)

Rang-Drol-lam — the Liberation Path.

Of the three paths, Gyur-lam and Rang-Drol-lam are the most subtle and difficult. Unlike Panglam, which is the safest path — generally taking many lifetimes for the attainment of Enlightenment — Gyur-lam and Rang-Drol-lam have the great advantage of allowing the practitioner to attain Enlightenment in this very life and body.

Ngag or Tantra, if practiced authentically through kyed-rim and Dzog-rim, will result in gradual physical and emotional transformation.Thus Enlightenment can be achieved by following practices which have been very carefully prescribed and passed down through the centuries. In selecting a tantric teacher, one should take care to ensure that one is being taught by a fully qualified Lama who stands in the unbroken succession of the Masters of the Teaching.

Tantric masters give their teachings in three main way ways:

* Wang (Empowerment) — through which the master empowers the student to meditate on a deity etc.

* Loong (Transmission) — in which the master bestows the blessing of the text containing the tantric teachings.

* Trid (Instruction) — whereby the master explains the method of practising the particular teaching.

During the teaching, Rinpoche covers vital meditative points, such as one”s “Nature of the Mind” from the Ma-gyud text entitled “Ma-gyud Thug-je Nyi-mei Drol-lam Rin-chen Phur-kyen”. He also introduces his students to the Kyil-khor (mandala), the Lha-tsog (pantheon) and the Yi-dams (personal deities) — in the case of Ma-gyud Gong-Chhöd Nam-som, the Yab (male figure) being Yi-dam Sang-chok Gyal-po and the Yum (female figure) being Kha-dro Kye-ma Wöd-tso — both of whom are central to the practice.

Finally he shall impart Ma-gyud”s consolidated practice, known as Ma-gyud Gong-Chhöd Nam-som (The Threefold Nature Practice of Mother Tantra), thus providing the student with tantric keys with which to open the door to Enlightenment / Buddha-hood. It is then up to the student whether he or she shall be able to turn the key in the lock in order to effect the transformation. The “oil” which eases the turning of the key, or the tïransformation process, is that of sustained practice.

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SANG CHHOD

Sang Chhod is one of the Jin-pa Nam-zhi (The four generosities) commissioned discipline for Drub-dra wa (Those who meditate on Enlightened Path) within authentic Drub-dra discipline Retreat Centres.

The practice is performed each day before ones breakfast and also during Zhi-troi Tshog offerings on practice days and retreats.



SUR CHHOD and SUR NGO

I have seriously thought of introducing teachings such as Sur and Sur-ngo rite healings for the benefit of as many sentient beings as possible. Such teachings are relevant and can be performed practically and see the healing taking place. Sur is one of the Jin-pa Nam-zhi (The four generosities) commissioned discipline for Drub-dra wa (Those who meditate on Enlightened Path) within authentic Drub-dra discipline Retreat Centres.

The Sur-ngo rite is exceptionally relevant and beneficial as I have experienced it. The result of the rite is indescribable when performed accordingly by trained practicer/s particularly for the dead ones during 49 days or more. For thousands of years, in Tibet, in addition to other rites & rituals including bardo thod-drol reading and Zhi-tro, Sur-ngo rite is performed without fail at least for 49 days to aid the dead persons consciousness in liberating. The source of the rite is from bardo thod-drol (Liberation in bardo through hearing) and Zhi-tro (The tranquil and wrathful mandala deities) text, etc.

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CHÖD PRACTICE: Khadroi Ghe-gyang
(The Sky Walker's Laughing-Dance)

Chöd, or Lu-jin, is one of the most subtle and sophisticated concepts of Tibetan spiritual practice. Chöd literally means 'severing' and Lu-jin means 'giving away one's body'. Both terms relate to the concept of surrendering the severed body, without attachment, in a characteristic ritual manner of laughter and dancing. The core purpose behind Chöd is to sever one’s ego . This practice is generally carried out by means of visualization (although occasionally by request in Tibet and other Himalayan regions), it can be performed on an actual dead body as part of a funeral rite — this involving no sacrifice of life whatsoever.

The original concept of this teaching is to be found in Tibet”s pre-Buddhist spiritual tradition, Yungdrung Bön. Other Buddhist schools also have a tradition of Chöd introduced to them by the female Master Ma-chik Lab-dron (1044-1143) who is believed to be a disciple of Pha dam-pa Sang-gye.

According to Yungdrung Bön, Chöd was originally taught by Yum-chen Sherab Jyam-ma (The Great Loving Wisdom Mother) and passed down through successive masters till the present day. Some of these masters are reputed to have received visionary or aural transmissions (nyen-gyud) direct from male and female deities. Trul-ku Tro-nyen Gyaltsen was one such master. He received the two volumes of Tro-nyen Nyen-gyud in such a manner in 1386.

In Yungdrung Bön, there are numerous chöd practices such as Kha-dro Sang-chöd, Nyen-sa Lam-kyer from Ma-gyud including Kha-droi Göng-chöd in Ma-gyud Göng-chöd Namsoom and Khadroi Ghe-gyang.

Khadroi ghe-gyang is one of the most popular practices and is embraced by Bönpos and Buddhists alike — particularly in eastern and western Tibet. This practice was composed by the great Bönpo scholar and 20th century Dzogchen Master, Shar-za Tashi Gyaltsen (1858-1935) who attained Jha-lu Wöd-ku Chen-po (The Great Rainbow Light Body) — dissolving into light and leaving only his hair and nails.

This is one of his many of teachings, which are to be found in Zöd-nga (The Five Treasures) — including Yang-szab Nam-kha Zod-chen (The Surpassingly Refined Great Treasure of Infinite Sky). He composed this at the request of many of his devoted disciples — including Ngag-tsun Tra-nya — who initiated the request by offering a precious silver mandala to his Master, with a traditional, spotless scarf. In the concluding part of the text, the composer dedicated it to help all sentient beings who call upon his secret name — Sharzai Ja-drel Rigpa Rang-shar — to attain enlightenment.

Sharza Rinpoche, as he is more commonly known, was one of Tibet”s pioneer Masters of re-med (non-sectarian teachers) in the 20th Century.

Yungdrung Bön, regards Chöd or Lu-jin as being one of the most subtle and sophisticated meditation practices. It can be practised at different levels, from novice to advanced, according to the Chöd-pa / Chöd-ma's (male or female Chöd practitioner's) ability.

Unfortunately, there has been a tendency by some Westerners to compare and confuse Chöd or Lu-jin with neolithic and shamanic rites involving blood sacrifice. It is to be stressed that this comparison is totally erroneous and is based on a complete misconception which fails to recognize that this practice is carried out entirely by means of symbolic visualization by the Chöd-pa / Chöd-ma, who visualizes him or herself as offering his or her own body, with complete non-attachment, as a selfless act of generosity to pay off karmic debts for the benefit of all sentient beings. It ought not therefore to be compared with the practices of some shamans — past and present — who practice the actual blood sacrifice of animals and humans in some of their ceremonial rites. It is thought that this misconception may have arisen by some Westerners misunderstanding an aspect of Chöd or Lu-jin where, in exceptional circumstances and by request, the rite can be used to dispose of a corpse — involving no slaughter of life whatsoever.

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TSEWANG CHHOK-DHU or TSE-DRUB JARIMA

Rite for Accomplishing Longevity or Long-life initiation

The secret rite for Accomplishing longevity or long-life initiation found in Tibet’s Yungdrung Bön Tradition. It is designed to rejuvenate and restore the untimely disintegration of the body’s elements and, as a result prolongs the lifespan of those sentient beings whose lives are either coming to an end or whose life force is declining (due to incidents and karmic conditions).

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DUTRI-SU DRIB-JONG (An essential practice for purification of karma)

For the last thousands of years in Tibet, this Dutri-Su Drib-Jong has remained one of the Essential Practices. Tibetan Bonpos have treasured and applied the Drib-jong Rites including the Dutri-su Drib-jong in every aspect of their life.

’Dutri-su‘ here means one of the three healing essence Mantras found in the Dzogchen Ngondro teaching and ’Drib-jong‘ means purification of karma and karmic imprints that one has accumulated. According to the textual sources, the teaching has two main purposes:

(a) to purify karma — one‘s own as well as that of other living or dead beings and
(b) ultimately to result in the attainment of Enlightenment. Thus the teaching is taught for the benefit of all sentient beings.

I strongly suggest ALL humans including practitioners not to miss such an opportunity. The teaching is absolutely relevant to each of us Human beings today regardless of one‘s background. People always talk about Healing one self and others and so, here is the opportunity to learn the 18000 years old healing teaching from the Spiritual Tradition known as Yungdrung Bon — the Ancient Buddhism of Tibet.


If you are interested in learning how to heal yourself and others, or if you are interested in attaining Enlightenment, then the teachings on Du-tri su Drib-jong are for you. According to Yungdrung Bon, all illnesses have root causes and secondary causes. Traditional western medicine has a tendency to treat the secondary causes, or the presenting symptoms / illnesses — omitting to treat the root. For any illness or disease to flower, there must first have been a seed that has been provided with the right conditions to take root and grow. This seed is Karma and it can be sown in this, or previous life-times. As any good gardener will tell you, cutting the surface growth and leaving the root is asking for trouble since it simply grows again — often more strongly.


Du-tri su is one of the 3 healing essence mantras to be found in the Dzog-chen Ngon-dro teachings. The Drib-jong aspect is concerned with the purification of karma and the karmic imprints that one has accumulated in this and previous life-times and this, ultimately results in the attainment of Enlightenment. This ancient, esoteric rite was passed from Je-Kuntu Szangpo to Dzog-ku Mawei Seng-ghe who then passed it to Trul-ku Sherab Gyaltsen and so on, down through a lineage of teachers — including Lama Khemsar - to the present day.


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TRUL-KHOR (Dzogchen Yoga Meditation Aid)

Trul-khor in Tibetan, literally means a machine tool or also a fantastic attribute of gods etc. Unlike above, here, The Trul-khor must be understood as one of the most profound Yogic teachings: firstly, designed to clear all the obstacles of meditation. Without trul-khor practice, practitioners cannot progress in their progressive realisations.

Here the emphasis is made as per the Dzogchen tawa /view to prepare Dzogchenpa (Dzogchen practitioner/s) on the path including seven weeks or forty nine days total dark retreat. To do so, he/she had to receive the Seven Ways Clear Light practice (tsa-lung trul-khor wö-sel dhun-kor) teachings and get familiar with it.

It is a vast teaching and as such we can only teach part by part. The teaching is based on the Oral Transmission of Zhang Zhung (Zhang Zhung Nyan Gyud ) text. Sharza Tashi Gyaltsen has written commentary on the teaching which is combined here too. The practice will be particularly absorbable by those who have sufficient experience in meditative practice such as series of Zhiney and Lhak-thong. Thus it is a great aid towards discovering of the Nature of the Mind!

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