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Dzogchen Lineage News

Issue 01 – January 25, 2008

Statue of Buddha at Bodh Gaya


Contents

  1. Welcome Message
  2. Some Words From Our Kind Teacher
  3. DRC Volunteer Days – this Weekend
  4. Longchenpa's 700th Anniversary Powerful Practice Day – Jan 25
  5. Losar Celebration Event at DRC – Feb 9 and 10
  6. Dharma Events in Singapore and Malaysia – Jan 20 to Feb 17
  7. Pilgrimage to Buddha’s Sacred Places – Feb 20 to March 24
  8. Dzogchen Spring Retreat – Apr 20 to 27, 2008
  9. Dzogchen Lineage Internship – Jul 4, 2008 to Jan 4, 2009
  10. Fundraising Update
  11. Circle of Compassion
  12. Other Ways to Contribute
  13. Dates Set for All 2008 Dzogchen Retreats
  14. Request of Orgyan Rinpoche
  15. Instructions for the Heartfelt Dharma Aspiration Prayer

Welcome!

I have had the privilege to help broadcast numerous announcement emails to the international students of His Eminence Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche over the past few years. Over this time Khenpo’s main North American organization, the Dzogchen Shri Singha Foundation USA has grown and in May 2007 acquired the Dzogchen Retreat Center USA property in Oregon. As a result of this wonderful development and other amazing Dharma events, the organization has been generating more news to report about progress at the retreat center and upcoming events. This message marks the beginning of a more organized email newsletter format that we have adopted. As a reader, your feedback on the new format and expanded content is encouraged. I’d love to hear your ideas for what we should cover for upcoming newsletters, and I’d love to get your help writing them! We will be publishing at least quarterly, and probably more often. It is my sincere wish that this newsletter will become a vehicle to assist each of us to always keep Dharma in mind.

– Bhadra Dorje, publisher, 4I5-846-36I8, bhadradorje@gmail.com


Some Words From Our Kind Teacher

We feel it’s important to share the words of Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche as a helpful reminder of how to maintain Dharma in our daily lives. This edition’s teaching comes from Rinpoche’s vast commentary on the Bodhicaryavatara as translated by Andreas Kretschmar.

In recent editions of the Bodhicaryavatara and Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary published by the Padmakara Translation Group, Khenpo Choga Rinpoche’s commentary has been lauded as “inestimable”. As a matter of fact in the newly published “Nectar of Manjushri’s Speech” (Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary on the Bodhicaryavatara), Khenpo Choga’s commentary is cited several times in the notes and highly regarded in the introduction, to quote: “In particular, we would like to draw the reader’s attention to the large body of information on all aspects of the Bodhicharavatara generously provided by Andreas Kretschmar on his Internet website and especially to his translation of the extremely rich presentation of Khenpo Kunpel’s commentary given by Khenpo Choga of Shri Simha College, an exposition which is indeed a treasure trove of learning.”

Having such an accomplished and erudite master as our teacher is truly special. We pray that we never take this opportunity for granted and perhaps we can view the recognitions from the Padmakara Translation Group as a reminder to really rejoice in and appreciate Rinpoche’s realization and Dharma activities. We pray that we all fully realize the teachings that Rinpoche has generously provided for us and become Dzogchen Lineage holders in this very life.

Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche

Now some words from Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche:

“You must overcome pride and arrogance without overcompensating by becoming timid. As long as you consider yourself superior to others, you cannot appreciate other people’s qualities, and, therefore, you cannot learn from them. Meditators who think their practice is really fantastic have already fallen under the influence of Mara. A practitioner should have confidence in his practice but without a trace of arrogance and haughtiness. True confidence leads to the assurance of charisma.

A practitioner needs to respect himself or herself. Someone who rejoices in her own qualities and in the work she does will naturally develop respect toward herself. A practitioner who has respect toward her own innate goodness and in the goodness of her dharma practice will naturally gain the respect of others.

It is a sign of a genuine practitioner to be peaceful, tame, and relaxed. Such a practitioner is in accord with the true nature of her mind. Being proud and arrogant means being not in accord with one’s true natrue. A genuine practitioner is humble as she has nothing to defend. Being humble does not mean to be meek or fearful. Being meek and frightened is based on fear. To trust and rejoice in one’s own 
qualities and innate goodness is called confidence or certainty. This should never be confused 
with pride or arrogance.

A practitioner should always rejoice in her buddha nature, the fact that she is primordially endowed with all the infinite qualities of the Buddha. This is called to ‘generate joy in one’s basis', in one’s buddha nature. When practicing the path of dharma, the pracitioner should generate joy in her own dharma practice. She should practice with a joyous mind, knowing that she is doing the right thing. That is called to ‘generate joy in the path’.

...Do not think, “This is all too difficult. How could someone like me ever develop the precious bodhicitta?” You must establish in yourself the confidence that you are perfectly able to meditate on bodhicitta. Practice then with a heart overflowing with joy and inspiration.”

Download the first five chapters of the Bodhicharyavatara with Khenpo Choga’s Commentary for free at Andreas Kretschmar's Kunpal.com website.

Read more about Khenpo Choga at the Dzogchen Lineage website.


DRC Volunteer Days

There are usually always some planned volunteer work days scheduled at the Dzogchen Retreat Center to make minor improvements and continue our clean-up effort. Your assistance is encouraged and very much needed to help move us forward. Meals and overnight accommodations are available during your visit here. Since this is our Sangha home, volunteers are asked to reimburse the DRC for the expense of hosting them here at a rate of $20 for up to three meals including overnight accommodations, $15 for two meals only, or $10 for one meal only.

Mandala Garden Project – January 25–27, 2008 (Friday through Sunday)

We will be breaking ground on the Mandala Garden Project back in the meadow known as Pema Tong. Please come and help us out. This will be good physical labor – digging, spreading gravel to put in a gravel pathway. This will not be super heavy labor. We will be using the tractor for the bulk of the heavy lifting. Also, we are hoping for quite a few folks – so support help will be essential. If you can’t work in the field, please come help with the feeding and support side of the work party. There is lots to do and we’ll have a great time doing it. Folks are coming in from Portland, Eugene and San Francisco. Thanks in advance for your help. If you have any questions or you are planning to come, please email me (Erik Jung) as soon as possible.

Please RSVP to: Erik Jung, ejung@realtytrust.com, 503-998-8088 (cell, does not work at the DRC)

Tech Department Project – January 26–27, 2008 (Saturday and Sunday)

The Portland Sangha along with volunteers from other sanghas will be making some improvements to the upstairs of the Tech Department building. We’ll be needing some extra hands on January 26 and 27 on our initial planning and kickoff weekend as well as some subsequent weekends, other dates to be announced. If you think you can lend a hand please let me know.

Please RSVP to: Susan Lanker, smlanker@juno.com


Longchenpa Paranirvana 700th Anniversary

Powerful Pracitice Day: Friday, January 25, 2008

All members of the Dzogchen Lineage sanghas are asked to participate in the celebration of the 700th Anniversary of Longchenpa's Parinirvana. This occurs in the Western Calendar on Friday, January 25th, 2008. This is a highly auspicious and powerful day to practice as individuals or especially in groups. Khenpo encourages local sanghas to gather on this special day for it will increase the results of our practice. We recommend performing fire pujas or light offering prayers to help expand the Dzogchen teachings in this world

Longchenpa, or Longchen Rabjam, (1308-1364), is renowned as one of the greatest adepts and scholars in the Dzogchen Lineage and all of Tibetan Buddhism. His major collection of writing, The Seven Treasures (Dzod Dun), is considered the highest pinnacle of Dzogchen teachings. Through the visions of Jigme Lingpa, Longchenpa also transmitted the teachings of the Longchen Nyingthig lineage, one of the most widely practiced of Dzogchen traditions to this very day.

“With conscientiousness, introspective vigilance, self-restraint and a sense of dignity,
                        bring your own mind under control.
            See the equality of praise and blame, approval and disapproval, good and bad reputation,
                        for they are just like illusions or dreams and have no true existence.
                        Learn to tolerate them as if they were mere echoes,
                                    And sever at its root, the clinging to an ‘I’ or a self.”
                                                —Longchen Rabjam


Losar Celebration

Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10, 2008

There will be a Losar Celebration (Tibetan new year party) at the Dzogchen Retreat Center on Saturday, February 9th starting at 6 PM and going all evening. Guests are welcome to stay overnight or longer. For those who stay over, or who can’t make it until Sunday, we’ll hold Sunday practice together at 11 AM the next morning. Please RSVP with your estimated arrival and departure times to John Sullard by February 4th. Please state if you'd like vegetarian fare and whether you plan on staying overnight. There will be food, group practice, music and dancing. Please come rejoice in the year of the Earth Mouse with your Sangha friends.

Please RSVP to: John Sullard, johnsullard@gmail.com


Dharma Events in Singapore and Malaysia

January 20 – February 17, 2008

Teachings, Initiations, Pujas, Meetings and Retreat
with Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche

Singapore: January 20th through January 28th
Khenpo Choga Rinpoche’s Winter tour of Asia began on Jan 20, 2008 in Singapore. During this visit, the Singapore sangha will prepare for a “Grand Rigdzin Dupa Padmasambhava Puja” on January 25th and 26th. The puja will be followed on the next day with an “Animal liberation & Wind Horse Puja” as well as a “Vajrakilaya Fire Puja and Empowerment.”

Malaysia: Jan 30th through February 3rd
Khenpo Choga Rinpoche will make a visit to Malaysia for a Tara Puja Initiation on February 1st. This will be following by a Medicine Buddha Initiation and Puja on February 2nd and a Long Life Buddha Initiation and Puja on February 3rd.

Singapore: February 6th through February 16th
Rinpoche returns to Singapore for a four night series of teachings in Chinese from February 6th through February 9th. On February 7th there will be a special Chinese New Year's Celebration with a Long Life and Wealth Accumulation Puja and Empowerment. From February 10th through February 16th will be the Dzogchen 2008 Singapore Retreat. The Singapore tour will conclude with a 10 year Anniversary Celebration for the Singapore Dzogchen Shri Singha Buddhist Centre.

For complete descriptions of all Singapore and Malaysia teachings, event details, download event posters, and more, visit the Dzogchen Lineage schedule page.

For more details on Singapore activities, to register and to sponsor, please contact padamba@gmail.com, dzogchenshrisingha@yahoo.com or telephone 65-93362198, 65-98347275, 65-81988488.

For more information on Malaysia activities, please call 60-3-61868426


Pilgrimage to Buddha’s Sacred Places with Khenpo Choga Rinpoche

February 18 through March 24, 2008

Stupa at Bodh Gaya

This year our kind teacher Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche and twelve of his students from the Dzogchen Shri Singha Sangha are going to Asia on a Buddhist pilgrimage. Our sangha will visit various holy places in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Although we are unable to bring everyone along, you are invited to participate in this pilgrimage by making a generous offering. In this way, all of us can create the similar good karma of making offerings.

The purpose of this pilgrimage is to create positive conditions for world peace and to ensure the success of the Dzogchen Lineage 6-Month Internship Program. This is a great opportunity for everyone involved to practice generosity by offering at the holy places of the Buddha, the Dzogchen Lineage Masters, and the Dakinis.

For detailed information on the pilgrimage and how you can participate in the offerings, please visit:
http://www.dzogchenlineage.org/pilgrimage.html


Dzogchen Spring Retreat 2008

A week of intensive Buddhist training with Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche

Spring Retreat – Sunday, April 20, 2008 to Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dzogchen Buddha Institute and the Dzogchen Lineage are pleased to announce that Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche will lead the 4th Annual Dzogchen Spring Retreat with Teachings on The Six Bardo Instructions starting Sunday, April 20th, 2008 and ending on Sunday, April 27th, 2008. This will be the first time in America that Khen Rinpoche has taught extensively on The Six Bardo Instructions. The retreat will also include in-depth and direct teachings by Khen Rinpoche on the sacred text The Buddha Path and he will also lead us in many practices including mantra recitation, reciting sacred text, visualizations, music making, light offerings, torma offerings, and food offerings.
The teachings will be given at the Dzogchen Retreat Center USA. Seating is limited, so please register early. Register now at: www.dzogchenlineage.org/springretreat
Please Contact: Bhadra Dorje, 4I5-846-36I8, bhadradorje@gmail.com

About The Six Bardo Instructions
The Tibetan Buddhist term "Bardo" means "between two" and commonly understood as the interval between death and rebirth. In truth, a bardo is an "intermediate" state marking key phases in our lives where we can heighten our potential for enlightenment. The Six bardos refer to the states of the life bardo (between birth and dying), the meditation bardo (between entering and exiting), the dream bardo (between sleeping and waking), the departing bardo (between dying and death), the natural bardo (between arising and disappearing), and the illusion bardo (between death and rebirth).

            Guru Padmasambhava Khyenno! 
            May I liberate the ceaseless death and rebirth 
            of this wandering ignorant mind. 
            May I liberate this beginningless 
            and endless wandering ignorant mind. 
            May I rest this wandering ignorant mind 
            in the natural great perfection. 
            AH AH AH 
                        —from The Buddha Path


Dzogchen Lineage Internship 2008

A Six-month Residential Dharma Training Retreat at the Dzogchen Retreat Center USA.

Friday, July 4, 2008–Sunday, January 4, 2009

This intensive course will focus on establishing a solid foundation of knowledge in the view, conduct and meditation of the Buddha Path. Under the daily guidance of H.E. Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche, students will observe a full-time schedule of teaching, practice and individual and group-oriented study based on the traditions of the great Buddhist universities of ancient India and Tibet. The actual curriculum will draw from selected quintessential texts and commentaries that elucidate the profound points of the Buddha's teachings.

This Internship is specifically designed for those students who want to benefit others, increase world peace and help to preserve the Dzogchen Lineage. This rare and invaluable course will help students immensely in fulfilling those goals by deepening their understanding of Dharma and thereby enhancing their ability to clearly teach others. If you are someone who aspires to make the most of this precious human life there is simply no more worthwhile endeavor than the dedicated Dharma study, contemplation and meditation offered in a retreat setting.

Space for this special event is very limited and is filling up quickly. All applicants will need to complete an approval process conducted by the Internship Committee. The upcoming Spring Retreat will be the final opportunity for prospective students to fulfill the requirement for attendance at prior retreats. Please read the Internship Overview for more information including all requirements as well as the online application form.

The Internship Committee is also seeking volunteer work staff who would like to generate great merit through supporting the Sangha by assisting with activities and daily operations at the Dzogchen Retreat Center prior to and during the Internship.

Internship Overview and Online Application:
http://www.dzogchenlineage.org/internship/

Please Contact: Kunzang, Internship Director; 702-343-5833, internship@dzogchenlineage.org


Fundraising Update

A Message from Chris Carelli, Fundraising Committee Chair

My name is Chris Carelli and I am honored to chair the fundraising committee. I want to bring you up to speed on what has happened since the acquisition of the Dzogchen Retreat Center in May 2007. Due to the help of generous donors and volunteers we have:

  • Cleaned and repaired the land and buildings from long-time neglect
  • Improved facilities for retreats
  • Erected a large shrine tent
  • Upgraded our electrical system
  • Improved our kitchen facilities
  • Installed a satellite broadband internet system
  • Successfully held our annual 2007 Summer, Autumn, and Winter retreats at the Dzogchen Retreat Center.

We are now busy preparing for our first ‘Six-Month Dzogchen Lineage Internship’. The Internship will begin July 2008 and end January 2009. Students from across the world will be attending including myself. When I look back five years, I shake my head in amazement at what we have been able to accomplish by working together.

All of you faced an important crossroad last year. You were given the opportunity to preserve the Dzogchen Lineage, which is the Buddha's lineage in its most complete form, and you did not turn away. Instead you listened, you learned, you offered donations, and you kept the Dzogchen Lineage alive. Because of you, over $143,000 was raised in 2007, and Dzogchen Retreat Center USA was acquired. Because of you, H.E. Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche now has the opportunity to fulfill the next phase of our aspirations, which is to train the next generation of Dzogchen Lineage Holders.

In order to continue and finish what we have started we need your support. If you look at a few foundations that are working to improve the lives of others, you will see that not a single one can function without the support of donors and volunteers. Our foundation is no different. The next year is critical to our mission. To succeed, and to really plant the seeds of Dzogchen Lineage successors:

We must the funds to pay our next installment of $112,000 for the land by July 3, 2008.
(Once the immediate $112,000 goal is accomplished we will be much closer to our larger goal of owning the property free and clear with only two more installments totalling $236,000 to pay in the following two years.)

Another crossroad is upon us. Help us to preserve this ancient wisdom tradition, a tradition which is over 3,000 years old, and would be long gone without the generosity of deep thinking and compassionate people like you.

To Donate, send a check to:

Dzogchen Shri Singha Foundation USA
1400 Colorado St. Ste C
Boulder City, Nevada 89005

The Dzogchen Shri Singha Foundation USA is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

For other ways to help us raise the financial resources to accomplish our mission, please contact me as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Chris Carelli
ccarelli@gmail.com
619-806-9541


Join the Circle of Compassion

Support the Dzogchen Retreat Center Project

For the peace and happiness of all beings, the Dzogchen Shri Singha Foundation USA is asking for your support for the Dzogchen Retreat Center USA, under the spiritual guidance of Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche.

Your help is urgently needed to ensure the preservation, practice, and transmission of the unbroken Dzogchen Lineage tradition for increasing personal happiness and creating lasting world peace. Please visit our website where you can donate online and join our ongoing giving program, the Circle of Compassion, or make a one-time donation to the Dzogchen Retreat Center USA Project.

"Generosity is the root of wealth and prosperity." Learn more at:
www.dzogchenlineage.org/giving

Other Ways to Contribute

We also have special projects that need earmarked support. If you’d like your contribution to go to a special project, then please make a note of that when you make your donation.

Mandala Garden Project
A lovely brochure that explains this project is available upon request.
For details contact: Erik Jung, ejung@realtytrust.com, 503-998-8088

Tech Department Improvements
The Portland Sangha is taking the lead on this effort.
For details contact: Susan Lanker, smlanker@juno.com

Laundry Room Improvements
The San Francisco Sangha is taking the lead on this effort.
For details contact: Bhadra Dorje, 4I5-846-36I8, bhadradorje@gmail.com

The Dzogchen Shri Singha Foundation USA is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.


Dates Set for All 2008 Dzogchen Retreats

Lead by Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche

Dzogchen Spring Retreat 2008
Sunday, April 20th, 2008 through Sunday, April 27th, 2008 – one week

Dzogchen Lineage 2008 Internship Program
Friday, July 4, 2008 through Sunday, January 4, 2009 – six months

Dzogchen Summer Retreat 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008 through Friday, July 25, 2008 – three weeks

Dzogchen Autumn Retreat 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008 through Saturday, October 11, 2008 – one week

Dzogchen Winter Retreat 2008/2009
Saturday, December 27, 2008 through Sunday, January 4, 2008 – one week

All of these retreats will be held at the Dzogchen Retreat Center USA in Oregon. The summer, autumn, and winter seasonal retreats will all be held concurrent in the same location with the 6-month Dzogchen Lineage Internship. You do not have to register for the 6-month Internship in order to attend any of these retreat and conversely if you are accepted into the Internship, then you don’t have to register for any of the concurrent seasonal retreats since they are included in the Internship. Please mark your calendars and we’ll be posting updates on the schedule page as our planning continues.


Request of Orgyan Rinpoche

The following is an excerpt of a letter written by Justin Armour, who is attending to Khenpo Choga during his trip to Asia, and is writing an account of the trip.

Day 3 – January 19, 2008
I came by early in the morning at about 8 o’clock with Khenpo’s main host and attendant of the Singapore trip, Tan Cheok Ann, who is also the President of the Dzogchen Shri Singha Association of Singapore. Khenpo and his childhood friend, Orgyan Rinpoche from Dzogchen Monestary were already up and discussing Dharma. Dzogchen Geydrak Rinpoche then came. Tan Cheok Ann and I sat and listened as best we could, and attended to each of the lamas.

During this time something very special happened. Orgyan Rinpoche turned to Geydrak Rinpoche and said: “look to me, I request to you that you write down every single thing Khenpo Choga says in Tibetan.

He then made the same request directly to all of us in America and around the world to write down every single word Khenpo Choga says and put those words down in a book to share such amazing teachings with this world.

He continued and elaborated further that this was very important for us to do, because even in Tibet one will hardly ever find people talking Dharma all the time, even lamas, not all of their speech and conversations are of Dharma.

Orgyan Rinpoche taught that it is so incredibly rare and necessary to find a good teacher who really understands Dharma and can extract the essence of the teachings to convey to their students. He said that while he has met with Rinpoche for the last two days every single thing he has heard come out of Khenpo’s mouth has been nothing but Dharma; it needs to be recorded and shared with everyone in this world to receive.

Also he said: “I’m very happy, whatever you (Khenpo) say really benefits me (Orgyan Rinpoche), and I really appreciate and am grateful that every sentence and teaching you give is vast and profound Dharma.”

His instructions to us were that when we do this incredibly important project, there is no need to edit the writings or worry about repeating something, but rather we just need to write down whatever Khenpo says, word for word, and publish it. There is no need to make it look like written language, already we have many texts, and right now what we need is something very special that has the direct, vernacular and applicable teachings that Khenpo gives everyday.

Before we left that night, Geydak Rinpoche and I each promised to fulfill his request for this world.

To hear more of the account of the trip, please contact: Justin Armour at spiritualseeker17@yahoo.com


Summary of Instructions for the Heartfelt Dharma Aspiration Prayer

Our Vajra Master Khenpo Choga has provided instructions for the best approach to practicing the Heartfelt Dharma Aspiration Prayer for the Dzogchen Internship. Below is a summary of these instructions. Following them will permit us to merge our practice of this powerful prayer with the most auspicious conditions for success of the Internship regardless of our level of daily practice:

For those practicing personal Buddha Path on a daily basis or at weekly group practice the best time to pray for the Dzogchen Lineage Internship is right after the end of the Preliminary Practice. Thus if one practices once a day then one should practice Preliminary Practice with the Heartfelt Dharma Aspiration Prayer.

If one practices only the Concluding Practice as a daily practice, then one should recite the Heartfelt Dharma Aspiration Prayer at the beginning of Concluding Practice.

If people don't do Buddha Path practice once day, then reciting the Heartfelt Dharma Aspiration Prayer alone is a very good prayer to recite first thing in the morning to help set one's pure intention.

It is more powerful for one to joyfully recite the prayer only one time a day than to do it more than once and feel it is a is becoming a burden.

These instructions provide an opportunity for all of Khenpo’s students and supporters of his Dharma activities to create the most beneficial conditions for success of the Internship program.

The prayer can be downloaded here:
http://www.dzogchenlineage.org/internship/heartfelt_dharma_aspiration.html

Contact: Robert Carande rcarande@yahoo.com and Justin Armour, spiritualseeker17@yahoo.com

 

 

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