Did everyone have a splendid Saga Dawa? Certainly hope so. I am busy preparing for another round of travel, so for me, simplicity was the word. Apart from pujas, mantra accumulations, and so forth, we made numbers of tsa-tsas, arranged the liberation of some birds, and hoisted new flags. Only half the flag shipment arrived, so that aspect wasn't quite as grand as intended. We got lovely orchid garlands to offer the stupa, and made continuous 108 lamp offerings, throughout the day and night. We arranged donations to selected projects, which we always try to do on all auspicious occasions, and dedicated special prayers to the success of those projects. The day ended with a rather pleasant moon, as seen in the above photograph.
So, now the year's early business is well and truly concluded, and I am off to see the world again. This will be a busy summer for me, so I hope you will not mind if we slow down the pace of posting for two or three months.
Actually, in terms of teachings, empowerments, and the annual wandering of the lamas, 2010 is in some respects one of the busiest years on record. There are major events all over Europe, Asia, and the Americas, well into the autumn.
In this latter regard, Orgyen Dorje Den has announced the complete Rinchen Terzod cycle of empowerments for October, to be bestowed by Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche, somewhere in the neighborhood of Alameda, California. I will miss this, as I will be in Asia, but I feel for those who plan on attending. Here is the latest from Orgyen Dorje Den:
Don't you love this? Less than six months to go before an event that typically takes about four months, and "Please refrain from asking many questions for which we can't answer yet!" Takes me back to China. Somebody in Alameda needs to adjust attitude, and shape up that operation. Finding affordable housing in the Bay Area from October to January is a quest rather more elusive than the Rinchen Terzod itself.
Other major events are Dilgo Khyentse's centennial, and the world tour of his incarnation, Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche. The First North American Kagyu Monlam is running in July, in Woodstock, and Sakya Trizin is pacifying the Western Hemisphere from now through September. I believe he is in Boston right now, on his way to Walden, New York, isn't that correct? There is a Kalachakra initiation in Vermont, in July, by Choden Rinpoche, and numerous empowerments planned by Gyalwa Drikungpa, including Marpa's Hevajra-Nairatmya, Cakrasamvara, Vajrayogini, Drigung Great Phowa, and others. I could go on and on.
One very sad note is that Dungse Rigdzin Dorje Rinpoche's 2010 tour has been canceled. The nuns could not get visas due to new Obama Administration policy restrictions now in force. Even "Congressional interest" letters could not move the Clinton State Department off the dime. This is just disgraceful, as the Healing Chod Tour has been coming to the U.S. for the past several years with no problems whatsoever. It is not like they are an unknown quantity.
Now, in the old days -- and here I am remembering the late 1960s and early 1970s -- we would make up lists of where the lamas were going to be, and then we would just take off and follow one or more of them all over the globe. In the U.S., the old "circuit" is still in effect -- polished by time -- and there are still people who observe that noble tradition to this very day. If ever you wanted to immerse yourself in teachings, this is the summer to give it a try.
Of course, there is an alternative to all this running around. You can take the empowerments you already have, and the teachings you already have, and actually practice. I realize this is almost unthinkable, so I just toss that suggestion out there in passing.
Does Volkswagon still make buses?