Friday, August 31, 2007

Thinking of Gyatrul Rinpoche

I heard that Gyatrul Rinpoche is having a time with lung disease. I therefore send a cloud of sympathetic prayers: I have some of the same difficulty.

I first met His Eminence--who I know as "Crazy Jake"--in the 1970s. He never tired of giving me sage advice that was impossible to take out of context because it was never in context: "What you really need to do," he once told me, "is to go get yourself a big-butt Chinese girl, get married, and stay away from India."

The last time I saw him was in Southern California, about twenty years ago, and during that time he became quite celebrated, published several books, and built a few temples.

Jake had, and reportedly still has, a rather singular sense of humor.

Humor helps.

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How to Contact Us

If you want to write to us: rinpoche(at)
You can give us ideas for things you'd like to see, or questions you might have.

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President of Kalmykia: Dharma Protector

I think we should recognize the President of the Republic of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, for having the courage of his convictions, and overtly accepting H.H. the Dalai Lama as his spiritual guide. He is the leader of the only Buddhist nation in Europe, and as such, deserves the Sangha's guidance and support. Kalmykia is one of the poorest nations in the world, and is therefore all the more worthy of our special attention. It would be my hope to visit there someday. Below is a photograph of the "Golden Temple" in Kalmykia's leading city.

The other thing I like to see is the spiritual head of Kalmykia, Telo Rinpoche: born in Philadelphia, as it happened, and frequent resident of Colorado.

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Tibetan Image Resource

With all due respect to Khyentse Rinpoche, who claims he just can't stand Tibetan art, I fancy Tibetan art in all in forms. I understand why he says what he says, and he is quite right: the deities look nothing like they are pictured in the iconography as it has evolved. Still, art is art. Some people have yet to discover the marvelous online resource of Tibetan art at You can spend hours wandering through this digital museum. My favorite piece is this statue of Jigme Lingpa. Now, whether he actually looked like this statue is not the point. Here we have an amusing evocation of what he "might" have looked like.

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Palri Parkhang Digital Pecha Printing

Things have certainly changed in the 40 years since I purchased a Kelsey Excelsior Printing Press, thinking to save the extant literature of Tibetan Buddhism. Now we have entities such as Palri Parkhang, that can print on-demand texts from scanned-in digital images of the originals. If you regularly acquire Tibetan language books, please check them out.

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Orgyan Dzambala Mantra

This came up the other day. The appropriate mantra for the Orgyan Dzambala manifestation pictured above is:


The appropriate mantra for the manifestation pictured below is:


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Longchen Nyingthig Practice Manual

Khyentse Rinpoche's Longchen Nyingtik Practice Manual is available for download upon application to his Khyentse Foundation digital wallah. Highly recommended!

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Source for Tibetan Silk Brocade

Here is the link: These people are the last remaining source of high quality Tibetan silk brocade. They have been in the business for over 100 years, and are the current suppliers to H.H. Dalai Lama, H.H. Karmapa, the Bhutanese Royal Family, and so forth. Likely as not, they were the suppliers of the silk brocade used to make Tenpa Rinpoche's famous "missing shirt." For those of you who do not know the story, when Rinpoche was much younger, he had an antique Tibetan shirt in dark purple silk brocade: the one he wears in his "official" portrait. One day in 1971, a lady friend dropped it off for dry cleaning in New York City, and thereafter forgot to pick it up. This same shop was also used by the motion picture actress Shirley MacLaine, who saw the shirt, fancied it, and bought it from the proprietor. The shirt has never been seen since.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Guhyagarbha Tantra: Online Introduction

If you are looking for authoritative information on the Magical Net, Gyurme Dorje's introduction to the Guhyagarbha Tantra is online, courtesy of the Wisdom Books library. Follow this link.

There are a number of useful references on this site, including a mature discussion of tulkus using Trungpa Rinpoche's typology of named tulkus, blessed tulkus, and direct tulkus.

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U.S. Congress on China Reincarnation Law

New Legal Measures Assert Unprecedented Control Over Tibetan Buddhist Reincarnation

The Chinese government State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) issued legal measures on July 18, 2007, that if fully implemented could transform Tibetan Buddhism as it exists in China into a less substantial, more completely state-managed institution, and further isolate Tibetan Buddhist communities from their counterparts outside China. The "Measures on the Management of the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism" (MMR) (Web site of the SARA (in Chinese), 18 July 07) take effect on September 1. The MMR (ICT translation) would empower the Chinese Communist Party and government to gradually reshape Tibetan Buddhism by controlling one of the religion’s most unique and important features—lineages of teachers that Tibetan Buddhists believe are reincarnations and that can span centuries. As elderly reincarnations pass away, the measures authorize government officials to decide whether or not a reincarnation is eligible to reincarnate, and if one is permitted, the government will supervise the search for the subsequent reincarnation, as well as religious education and training.

An August 3 SARA statement (Xinhua, reprinted in People’s Daily) describes the government objective as "an important move to institutionalize management on reincarnation of living Buddhas." A SARA official summarized political requirements of a reincarnation under Article 2 of the MMR: "The selection of reincarnates must preserve national unity and solidarity of all ethnic groups and the selection process cannot be influenced by any group or individual from outside the country." The remark refers to the Dalai Lama and other high-ranking Tibetan Buddhist teachers living in exile in India and elsewhere. This provision underscores how the MMR will further subordinate traditional Tibetan Buddhism to Party policy, and heighten the barrier between Tibetan Buddhists in China and their teachers and co-religionists living abroad.

The MMR establishes or expands government procedural control of the principal stages of identifying and educating reincarnated Tibetan Buddhist teachers, including:
  • Determining whether or not a reincarnated teacher who passes away may be reincarnated again, and whether a monastery is entitled to have a reincarnated teacher in residence (Arts. 3-4).
  • Conducting a search for a reincarnation (Arts. 5-7).
  • Recognizing a reincarnation and obtaining government approval of the recognition (Arts. 4, 7-9).
  • Seating (installing) a reincarnation in a monastery (Art. 10).
  • Providing education and religious training for a reincarnation (Art. 12).
The measures provide for administrative or criminal punishment to individuals or offices that are responsible for a failure to comply with the measures, or that conduct activities pertaining to reincarnation without government authorization (Art. 11).

The MMR substantially expands the geographical reach of government oversight of reincarnation because the measures will be effective throughout China, not just in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), where less than half of China's Tibetan Buddhists live (according to official census data, 2.43 million of the 5.42 million Tibetans in China were located in the TAR). Once the measures take effect, they will apply to every reincarnated Tibetan Buddhist teacher who is recognized and seated in a monastery. Until now, the Chinese government has intervened only in the selection and installation of exceptionally important Tibetan Buddhist teachers. Most famously, China's State Council in 1995 installed a boy, Gyaltsen Norbu, as the 11th Panchen Lama after declaring the Dalai Lama’s recognition of Gedun Choekyi Nyima as the Panchen Lama to be "illegal and invalid." The government has approved only 30 Tibetan Buddhist reincarnations in the TAR in the period following 1959, when the Dalai Lama fled to India and the Party instituted "democratic reforms," according to a May 2004 State Council White Paper on "Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet," (Xinhua, 23 May 04). Since it is unlikely that any of the approvals occurred until the early 1980s, when the government began to allow Tibetans (and other Chinese citizens) to resume religious activity, the number of government-approved reincarnations in the TAR appears to have averaged less than two per year.

The number of Tibetan Buddhist reincarnated teachers who would be subject to the MMR is far higher. Incomplete information from official Chinese sources provides a reasonable basis to estimate that the total number of such teachers in the Tibetan areas of China probably exceeds 1,000, and could reach or surpass 2,000. The total number of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries probably exceeds 3,300, and each monastery hopes to have a reincarnated teacher in residence, although some monasteries have none and other monasteries have more than one. As current reincarnations pass away, government enforcement of the MMR may prevent Tibetans from searching for and recognizing some reincarnated teachers, and will subject permitted reincarnations to government regulation.
  • There are approximately 1,700 monasteries and nunneries and 46,000 monks and nuns in the TAR, according to the White Paper.
  • There are 655 Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries and 21,000 monks and nuns in Qinghai province, according to statements by an official to a CECC staff delegation in 2003. Another official said that in Huangnan (Malho) TAP in Qinghai, there are 83 monasteries and nunneries and 116 reincarnations. (The Huangnan information suggests a ratio of about 1.4 monasteries and nunneries, or 32 monks and nuns, to each reincarnated teacher.)
  • There are 276 Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries, about 10,000 monks and nuns, and 144 reincarnations in Gansu province, according to statements by an official to a CECC staff delegation in 2004. (The data suggests a ratio of about 1.9 monasteries and nunneries, or 69 monks and nuns, to each reincarnated teacher.)
  • There are 515 Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries and about 38,000 monks and nuns in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP) in Sichuan province, according to an August 2005 report (in Chinese) available on the Web site of the Sichuan Province Party Committee Policy Research Office.
  • The figures above total 3,146 monasteries and nunneries and about 115,000 monks and nuns and do not include those in Aba (Ngaba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and Muli (Mili) Tibetan Autonomous County in Sichuan province, and Diqing (Dechen) TAP in Yunnan province.
The MMR includes a provision that could empower authorities to eliminate, over time, all reincarnated teachers located in certain city areas, perhaps even Lhasa, which has the highest urban concentration of Tibetan Buddhist monks and reincarnated teachers anywhere in China. Article 4 disallows the recognition and seating of reincarnations within urban districts established by governments at the municipal level or higher if that government issues a local decree banning further reincarnations. (See the Web site of China Internet Information Center for a discussion of Chinese administrative divisions.) The Chengguan district under Lhasa municipality is the only urban district within the Tibetan autonomous areas of China. Two of the largest and most influential Tibetan monasteries, Drepung and Sera, are within Chengguan, as well as the two oldest Tibetan Buddhist temples, Jokhang and Ramoche, both of which maintain a resident monastic community. The CECC is not aware of a local government decree banning reincarnations in Chengguan, but the appearance of such language in the MMR may encourage such a ban in Lhasa, or in urban districts that are established in the future.

A partial precedent for the MMR exists in Articles 36-40 of the TAR Implementing Measures for the "Regulation on Religious Affairs" (TAR 2006 Measures), issued on September 19, 2006, by the TAR People’s Congress Standing Committee (CECC translation). But these measures, which took effect on January 1, 2007, provide fewer opportunities for the government to interfere in the reincarnation process than the new national measures do. For example, the MMR—unlike the TAR 2006 Measures—requires that "[a] majority of local religious believers and the monastery management organization [Democratic Management Committee (DMC)] must request the reincarnation." DMCs, charged by the Party and government to implement policies on religion, are unlikely to request a reincarnation that local officials oppose. Local authorities are also well-positioned to discourage "religious believers" from expressing their desire to maintain a reincarnation in a local monastery if that wish does not comport with Party and government preferences.

The government and Party claim historical legitimacy for seeking to assert control over the identification of very high-ranking Tibetan Buddhist incarnations (such as the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama) on the basis of an 18th century Qing Dynasty edict demanding that Tibetans draw a name from an urn in the presence of a Chinese imperial official (State Council White Paper on Freedom of Religious Belief in China, Web site of the Embassy of China in the United States, 16 October 97). An article on the Web site of the government-run China Tibet Information Center explains that the Qing sought control over the "Grand Living Buddhas," but does not suggest that at any time the imperial court attempted to control the entire institution of Tibetan Buddhist reincarnation.

The Regulation on Religious Affairs (RRA), issued by the State Council in November 2004, draws on the Qing edict and mentions reincarnation in Article 27: "The succession of living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism shall be conducted under the guidance of Buddhism bodies and in accordance with the religious rites and rituals and historical conventions" (translation available on the Web site of China Elections and Governance). The December 1991 TAR Temporary Measures on the Management of Religious Affairs (CECC translation) contain only one article referring to reincarnations (banning the involvement of "foreign forces"), a contrast with the MMR and TAR 2006 Measures that illustrate how recent measures make more elaborate use of the law to repress the freedom of religion.

See Section V(d), on Freedom of Religion, "Religious Freedom for Tibetan Buddhists" of the CECC 2006 Annual Report for more information.

Source: State Administration for Religious Affairs (2007-08-22 / Chinese / Free) | Posted on: 2007-08-22
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Online Tibetan Translation Tool

Here is the new link to the online Tibetan Translation Tool:

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Monday, August 27, 2007

We Thank the 9th Ogyen Tulku

The immediate family, students, and friends of Tenpa Rinpoche most humbly and sincerely thank the gracious mercy of His Eminence the Ninth Ogyen Tulku for composing this long life prayer upon learning of Tenpa Rinpoche's ill health.

Ogyen Tulku
also sent us the following pronunciation or performance guide (not a transliteration):

Chog sum tsa sum che dang ke bar du.
Tse wang rig zin pema den tob kyi.
Chi nang bar ched gong long ying su shi.
Ku tse mi shig kal gyer shab ten sol. 

Updated 5 December 2009: Ogyen Tulku graciously prepared the typeset version, seen above, and sent it along to us last week (after making contact on Twitter, of all places). We have also received the following translation of the prayer, with a bit different performance guide, done quite recently, in India:

Keywords: Tenpa Rinpoche, Tulku Urgyan Tenpa Rinpoche, Tulku Tenpa, Long Life Prayer for Tenpa Rinpoche, Tibetan original, translation, performance guide.

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Chilly Grove

There is a nice desktop image of the Chilly Grove (a.k.a. Cool Grove) cemetary ground in India on Rangjung Yeshe's site.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Illness of Efforts

The Fourth Gyangkhang Rinpoche, celebrated heart son of Palyul Lineage throne holder Penor Rinpoche, visited Southern California over the weekend. A strange old man wandered in off the street, and presented him with a digital copy of the 10th century manuscript of a commentary on the Upayapasa Tantra, written by Padmasambhava. Later, Gyangkhang Rinpoche performed empowerments for a small group in San Gabriel Valley. He returns to Taiwan on Monday.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Picture Worth A Thousand Words

Extreme financial problems in the Palyul Lineage of the Nyingma Sect are spawning reverberations like a pebble thrown into a pool of still water.

The Palyul response is raising questions about what is and is not an acceptable fundraising exercise, i.e. is the crass, Taiwanese-Chinese commercialization of Tibetan Buddhism acceptable if it feeds the monks and pays the bills?

The larger question is how monastic Tibetan Buddhism can survive in a world which no longer supports the institutions it represents.

Donations to Tibetan Buddhist centers and projects are dropping off all over the world, and the people who built those centers and inculcated those projects are aging rapidly. Very few young people are entering the milieu to replace those who are being lost.

How will Tibetan Buddhism sustain itself in the years to come?

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Silk Road Archaeology: What If?

Since DNA analysis has conclusively proved that China's famous "Silk Road mummies" are Caucasian, and their settlement pre-dates that of East Asians by at least 1,000 years, what are we to make of Shambhala?

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Chenrezig Empowerment

Gyangkhang Rinpoche, from the Palyul Lineage, will be giving a Chenrezig empowerment in Southern California on Friday, August 24, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. If you would like to attend, write to

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Trungpa's "Embodiment of All the Siddhas."

The original text of Trungpa Rinpoche's Sadhana of the Embodiment of All the Siddhas is available for download. This work was intended by its author for free, unrestricted distribution, and was indeed published and distributed without copyright in the late 1960s and early 1970s, (before the general advent of Dharma, Inc. in the mid 1970s). Trungpa Rinpoche regarded the composition of this work as the single most important act in his entire life. Please download this work, study it carefully, practice it, and cause it to be reprinted and freely distributed to others. Once, long ago, in a land far away, a young man vowed to benefit all sentient beings.


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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tibetan Massage Textbook

Here is a link to download a book on Tibetan Massage (sorry, no illustrations).


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Five Lectures on Tibetan Medicine

Here is a link to download five lectures on Tibetan medicine.


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Brief Sadhana of the Medicine Buddha

Here is a link to download the Brief Sadhana of the Medicine Buddha.


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Brief Sadhana of Chenrezig

Here is a link to download the Brief Sadhana of Chenrezig.

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Sadhana of the Embodiment of All the Siddhas

Here is a link to Trungpa Rinpoche's immortal treasure: The Sadhana of the Embodiment of All the Siddhas.


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DunHuang Sites

We encourage you to encourage them by visiting
Thereafter, for one of the finest sites on the entire web, visit
I have remarked many times that if I had this life to live over, I would spend it at Dunhuang, redefining history. Then again:

Even though the nature of the diversity (of all phenomena)
is without any duality,
In the terms of the individuality of the things themselves,
they are free of any conceptual elaborations.
Even though there exists no thought or conception of what
is called the state of being just as it is,
These various appearances which are created are but
manifestations of Samantabhadra.
Since everything is complete in itself, one comes to abandon
the illness of efforts
And thus one continues spontaneously in the calm
state of contemplation.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Never Forget Trungpa Rinpoche

To say "he was this," or "he was that," is to bespoil his memory.
To say "he did this," or "he did that," is to ignore his treasure.
To embrace his fearlessness and accomplish his fondest wish for you:
Ah, that is something!

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Tibetan Travel Permits

Authoritative information on obtaining Tibetan travel permits may be had by clicking here.

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Tenpa Rinpoche's High Desert

Tenpa Rinpoche's new book High Desert is available for purchase.

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Largest Dharma Project in the World

Few people realize the magnitude of Kyabje Tarthang Rinpoche's book distribution program: over 2 million books, over 1 million thangkas, and over 100,000 prayer wheels have already been distributed. Please, if you only do one thing in your life, I beg of you: support this project.

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After the Storm

Melong called several times during the typhoon, which made landfall very near Hualien. There was one fatality. Pictured above is one of the Karmapa's centers in Hualien; unfortunately we do not know which one, or the identity of the lady standing next to the throne. As of this morning, Melong reports everything is getting back to normal.

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Former "Supreme Head" of Nyingma Reported Ill in New York

Penor Rinpoche, former Supreme Head of the Nyingma Sect of Tibetan Buddhism until his resignation from the post in 2001, has been reported quite ill in New York and is apparently unable to continue with his scheduled visit to France. We send the deepest possible prayers for his recovery, and trust that he will be able to better help all sentient beings because of this experience.

Note that as applied to the Nyingma Sect, the "Supreme Head" designation is largely ceremonial, and was created only after the Tibetans went into exile. Previous holders of the title were Dudjom Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and Penor Rinpoche. The current Supreme Head is H.H. Mindroling Trichen XI.

Long Life Prayer for His Holiness Penor Rinpoche


DOD NEI SID SHI KUN KYAB DORJE SEMHis Holiness Penor Rinpoche - click for larger picture
Originally, the all-pervasive Vajra mind, encompassing samsara and nirvana.

Son of the gods, Samaya upholder, the display of primordial wisdom's play,

Known as Pedma Norbu, the powerful holder of Accomplishments;

Please remain firm, Protector of unequaled kindness!

In the long tradition of Enlightened Ones, the great secret school of Nyingmapa,

You are the chakravartin ruler of the ocean of Sutras and Tantras, both academic and applicable.

Assembler of the seven-branch wealth of the Aryas,

Please remain firm, like a fearless snow lion throne.

Immortal life, unchanging and firm,

Indestructible, free from calamity is the original Buddha.

Please remain as the nature of the dharmakaya Primordial Buddha.

Through my fully-endowed fervent devotion and

The Truth of the Three Jewels and the three Roots,

May all aspirations be wish-fulfillingly accomplished,

And may the glory of good fortune prevail throughout the Three Realms!

This was written by Khenpo Nga-ga Rinpoche.

May virtue prevail!

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Magnificent Altar and Torma

This is a photo of the large torma done back in June for Jamgong Mipham Rinpoche's Anniversary celebration. Note the scale.

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Pure Vision of the Wing of White Purity

We hope to shortly make available a link to a breathtaking work, in English, that has been in preparation for over 40 years. Meanwhile, we continue to cultivate the dralas.

In the interim, here is a small collection of sadhanas: White Mahakala, Dzambhala, and Kurukulle, available in a .zip file with one click.


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Sunday, August 19, 2007

White Mahakala Sadhana

White Mahakala Sadhana.
If you would like to practice this sadhana, please look here.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

China's Reincarnation Law: The Fallacy

Since all sentient beings are Buddhas, then is it China's intention to regulate all sentient beings? Further, if a tulku decides to reincarnate in the West--for example--and then later travels to China, does China assert the right to make a force majeure determination of that tulku's "legal" reincarnation status upon his or her arrival?

More questions to follow. Meanwhile, scroll down to see our translation of the complete text of this law and various news articles elsewhere on this site.

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The Tibetan Altar Digital Amulet

If you enjoy our site and would like to help us get a bit more exposure, kindly consider placing our small "amulet" on your web site, blog, or email signature.

Use this link --

Thanks for your support.

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The Tempest: Nyingma Prayer for Typhoons

Prospero's righteous outrage notwithstanding, there is a Super Typhoon bearing down on a Buddhist nation right now. Here is a prayer from the Nyingma lineage, right on point:

When the obstacles from earth, water, fire, or air
Endanger or destroy our illusory bodies,
Without hesitation or divided mind we pray to you:
Orgyen with the female deities of the four elements,
Without doubt will pacify the elements instantly.
Padmasambhava of Orgyen, to you we pray;
Please bestow the blessing of spontaneous fulfillment of our wishes.

We send our best to Melong, who is battening down the hatches in Hualien, where they have closed schools and ordered workers home in anticipation of the storm.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Text of New Tulku Regulations in China

State Religious Affairs Bureau Order

Order No. Five

These "Management measures for the reincarnation of living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism" were passed at the administrative affairs conference of the State Administration of Religious Affairs on July 13, 2007, and will be implemented on September 1, 2007.

Bureau Director, Ye Xiaowen

July 18, 2007

Article 1: These measures have been formulated in accordance with the "Regulations on Religious Affairs" in order to guarantee citizens' freedom of religious belief, to respect Tibetan Buddhism's practice of inheriting living Buddha positions, and to regulate the management of living Buddha reincarnation affairs.

Article 2: Reincarnating living Buddhas should respect and protect the principles of the unification of the state, protecting the unity of the minorities, protecting religious concord and social harmony, and protecting the normal order of Tibetan Buddhism.

Reincarnating living Buddhas should respect the religious rituals and historically established systems of Tibetan Buddhism, but may not re-establish feudal privileges which have already been abolished.

Reincarnating living Buddhas shall not be interfered with or be under the dominion of any foreign organization or individual.

Article 3: Reincarnating living Buddhas should have the following conditions:
(1) A majority of local religious believers and the monastery management organization must request the reincarnation;
(2) The inheritance lineage should be real and have continued to the present day;
(3) The monastery applying for the living Buddha reincarnation must be the monastery at which the living Buddha monk is registered, it must be registered as a Tibetan Buddhist place of religious activity, and it must have the ability to train and raise living Buddhas.

Article 4: Applicants to be reincarnating living Buddhas who have any of the following conditions may not be reincarnated:
(1) Reincarnations which are not regulated by the religious doctrine of Tibetan Buddhism;
(2) Those in city-level people's governments and above with delineated districts, which ordered no reincarnations to be permitted.

Article 5: Reincarnating living Buddhas should carry out application and approval procedures. The application and approval procedure is: the management organization at the monastery applying for the living Buddha reincarnation where the monk is registered, or the local Buddhist Association, should submit applications for reincarnations to the local religious affairs departments at the level of people's government above county-level; once the people's government above county-level has made suggestions, the people's government religious affairs department reports upwards, and examination and approval shall be made by the provincial or autonomous regional people's government religious affairs department. Living Buddha reincarnations who have a relatively large impact shall be reported to the provincial or autonomous regional people's government for approval; those with a great impact shall be reported to the State Administration for Religious Affairs for approval; those with a particularly great impact shall be reported to the State Council for approval.

Verification and authorization of the living Buddha application should solicit the opinions of the corresponding Buddhist Association.

Article 6: When there is debate over the size of a living Buddha's impact, the China Buddhist Association shall officiate, and report to the State Administration of Religious Affairs to be put on the record.

Article 7: Once an application for a living Buddha's reincarnation has received approval, depending on the size of the living Buddha's impact, the corresponding Buddhist Association shall establish a reincarnation guidance team; the management organization at the monastery where the living Buddha is registered, or the corresponding Buddhist Association, shall establish a search team to look for the reincarnate soul child, and search affairs shall be carried out under the leadership of the guidance team.

The reincarnate soul child shall be recognized by the provincial or autonomous regional Buddhist Association or the China Buddhist Association in accordance with religious rituals and historically established systems.

No group or individual may without authorization carry out any activities related to searching for or recognizing reincarnating living Buddha soul children.

Article 8: Living Buddhas which have historically been recognized by drawing lots from the golden urn shall have their reincarnating soul children recognized by drawing lots from the golden urn.
Requests not to use drawing lots from the golden urn shall be reported by the provincial or autonomous regional people's government religious affairs departments to the State Administration of Religious Affairs for approval; cases with a particularly large impact shall be reported to the State Council for approval.

Article 9: Once a reincarnating living Buddha soul child has been recognized, it shall be reported the provincial or autonomous regional people's government religious affairs department for approval; those with a great impact shall be reported to the State Administration for Religious Affairs for approval; those with a particularly great impact shall be reported to the State Council for approval.

Reincarnating living Buddhas who have been approved by the provincial or autonomous regional people's government religious affairs departments or by the autonomous regional people's government shall be reported to the State Administration of Religious Affairs to be put on record.

Article 10: When the reincarnating living Buddha is installed, a representative of the approving authority shall read out the documents of approval, and the corresponding Buddhist Association shall issue a living Buddha permit.

Living Buddha permits shall uniformly be issued by the China Buddhist Association and reported to the State Administration of Religious Affairs to be put on record.

Article 11: Persons and units who are responsible for being in contravention of these measures and who without authority carry out living Buddha reincarnation affairs, shall be dealt administrative sanction by the people's government religious affairs departments in accordance with stipulations in the "Regulations on Religious Affairs"; when a crime has been constituted, criminal responsibility shall be pursued.

Article 12: When the reincarnating living Buddha has been installed the management organization at the monastery where he is registered shall formulate a training plan, recommend a scripture teacher, and submit the plan to the local Buddhist Association, which shall report upward to the provincial or autonomous regional people's government religious affairs department for approval.

Article 13: Provinces and autonomous regions which are involved in affairs of reincarnating living Buddhas may formulate and implement detailed measures in accordance these measures, and report them to the State Administration of Religious Affairs to be put on record.

Article 14: These measures shall be implemented from September 1, 2007.

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Kurukulle Sadhana

Here is a brief Kurukulle Sadhana for daily practice. Please respect the idea that this sadhana really should not be attempted without the associated empowerment. However, if one's motivation is quite purely to benefit others, what is the harm in that? Please read and consider all of our other Kurukulle materials, and carefuly examine your motivation. Please respect this. Do not re-post without permission.

For the benefit of the Search Engines: Kurukulla, Kurukulle, practice text, practice manual, sadhana.



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Brief Daily Sadhana of Kurukulle
In the tradition of the great Terton
H.H. Jigdral Yeshe Dorje Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-1987)
Supreme Head of the Nyingma Sect of Tibetan Buddhism

1. Refuge and Bodhicitta. (recite three times)
rang rik yay shay khan dro mar
du drel may par kyap su chi
ma tok nyi dzin trul pay lo
rang drol chen por sem kyay do

In the self-existing awareness as the wisdom dakini,
I take refuge beyond coming together and separation.
The confused mind of unrealized beings clings to duality.
I arouse the awakened mind of natural liberation.

2. Dorje Tsig Dun-pa
(Seven-Line Prayer to Guru Padmasambhava)
ur-gyan yul gyi nub chang tsam
pe-ma ge-sar dong-po la
ya-tsan chog gi ngo-drub nyay
pe-ma jung-nay zhay su drag
kor du kan-dro mang-po kor
kyed kyi jes-su dag drub kyi
chin gyi lob chir sheg su sol
gu-ru pe-ma sid-dhi hum

In the northwest direction of the land of Uddiyana
Upon the stem and filaments of a lotus,
Is the one who has obtained all the unique and supreme siddhis,
The famous one called Padmasambhava.
Many dakinis surround him as a retinue.
I shall practice sadhana following Thee.
I pray Thee come and bestow blessings upon me.

3. Visualization of Kurukulle, and Mantra Recitation

rang sem ma chö tong pay tsel
rik pa hri yik tro du lay
rang nyi wang dzay da ki ni
mar ser nyi ma char kay dok
chu druk lang tso dzay chak nyam
pay may chak kyu zhak pa dzin
cher mo ut pal rat nay gyen
pay nyir gar gyi gyur pak chay
day drö ö pung long du röl
tuk kar nyi teng hri mar tar
ngak kyi kor lay bar way o !
pak may zhing kün kyap par tro
ten yö ngö kün wang dü nay
tuk sok la tim zi jin kyay
day tong gyur may lhen chik kyay
rang dröl rang wang top par gyur

From the very nature of unfabricated mind and the dynamic energy of its emptiness,
Awareness, as the syllable HRI, radiates and reabsorbs light.
From HRI, I appear as the magnetizing dakini:
Vermilion, the color of the rising sun;
Sixteen years of age, youthful and beautiful, with a passionate expression;
Holding a lotus hook and a lasso;
Naked and adorned with utpala flowers and jewels;
Dancing on a lotus and sun, and
Manifest within a vast mass of light, the bliss of meditative heat.
At the heart center, above a sun disc, a red HRI,
Encircled by the mantra, blazes with light
That radiates forth pervading all countless realms.
It magnetizes all matter, animate and inanimate,
And dissolves back into the heart life force syllable, engendering splendor and
Changeless bliss-emptiness is coemergent.
The mastery of natural liberation is attained.

Thus recite the mantra 1,080 times, settled in the expanse of primordial purity.
Not wavering from awareness, with indwelling confidence in the view;
Poised in the fundamental nature free of transition and change;
When stability in natural liberation, without conceptual grasping, is attained,
Mastery over all the phenomena of existence and peace is gained.

4. Dispelling the Extreme Views of Permanence and Nihilism

rik pa rang shar tsen may lha
nyi may lo day chen por dal
lar yang zung juk gyu may tsel
nö chü yay shay röl par shar
om ah hung

Self-arising awareness, the deity of characteristics,
Pervades great nonduality beyond the conceptual mind.
Once again, indivisible unity, illusory dynamic energy,
Arises as the wisdom display of the universe and its beings.

5. Dedication and Verse of Auspiciousness

dü sum sak pay gay tsok kün
mik may ta dral long du ngo
kam sum kor way sem chen kün
dak nyam chen por sang gyay shok
tsa sum khan drö jin lap tu !
dak chak drup chok kor chay kyi
gal kyen kün zhi sam dön drup
dro kam dong truk tra shi shok

All virtues accumulated in the three times,
Without conceptuality, I dedicate in the expanse that is free of limits.
May all sentient beings in the three realms of cyclic existence
Awaken as buddhas in great equal purity.
By the power of the blessings of the three roots and the dakinis,
For myself and the retinue of excellent practitioners,
Pacify all unfavorable circumstances and fulfill our wishes.
May there be the auspiciousness of stirring the depths of sentient beings.
With flowers falling from the sky, everything is imbued with happiness and excellence.

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Dzambhala Sadhana

Here is a Dzambhala Sadhana, newly composed by Tenpa Rinpoche, available for download.
And for the benefit of the search engines:
Orgyen Urgyen, Urgyan, Orgyan, Dzambala, Zambala, Zhambala, Zhambhala, Zambhala, practice text, practice manual, daily practice.


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Excellent Resource for Downloads

Try for excellent translations (in English) of key texts, inclusive of things from Mipham Rinpoche.

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New Chenrezig E-Card

Here are the front and back of a new, high resolution, Chenrezig E-card for you. The back is Tenpa Rinpoche's Wind Across the Grass prayer, used during the liberation of small creatures.

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New Kurukulle E-Card

Here is a new, high resolution, Kurukulle E-card for you. These are actually the proofs of the postcards we print for use at empowerments.

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New Dzambhala E-Card

Here is a new, high resolution Dzambhala e-card you are welcome to download, print out, or save.

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Chenrezig Sadhana by Thangtong Gyalpo

Chenrezig Sadhana (Avalokiteshvara)

by Thangtong Gyalpo


Refuge and Bodhicitta (three times)

In the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
I go for refuge until Bodhi.
By the merit of practice may I
Reach buddhahood to help all beings.
On my head and that of all beings,
Is a white lotus and moon on which,
A HRI transforms into Chenrezig,
White, radiating five colored lights.
He is smiling, with warm, caring eyes.
With four arms: two joined in prayer, while two
Hold crystal mala and white lotus.
He is arrayed with silks and jewels,
With a deer skin over his shoulder.
His head is crowned with Amitabha,
His two feet in vajra asana,
A stainless moon supporting his back.
He is the essence of our refuge.

Devotional Prayer (three times)

Faultless lord of white color,
Crowned with a perfect buddha,
And eyes of warm tenderness:
Chenrezig, I bow to you.
A Prayer of the Six Syllable Mantra
I pray to you lama Chenrezig.
I pray to you yidam Chenrezig.
I pray to you sublime Chenrezig.
I pray to protector Chenrezig.
I pray to lord of love Chenrezig.
Great Buddha, hold us with compassion.

For beings who have been wandering
Countless times in endless samsara,
Enduring unbearable torments,
There is no protector besides you.

Through bad karma gathered throughout time,
Due to hatred some are born in hells.
There they suffer from both heat and cold,
May they be reborn in your presence.


Through bad karma gathered throughout time,
From greed some are born as hungry ghosts.
They suffer from hunger pangs and thirst,
May they be reborn in Potala.


Through bad karma gathered throughout time,
Dullness leads to animal rebirth.
They suffer from helpless ignorance,
May they be born in your protection.


Through bad karma gathered throughout time,
From desire some are born human.
They suffer from many frustrations,
May they be reborn in Dewachen.


Through bad karma gathered throughout time,
Jealousy leads to birth as titans.
They suffer from constant quarling,
May they be reborn in Potala.


Through bad karma gathered throughout time,
From pride some are born among the gods.
But they will suffer from low rebirth,
May they be reborn in Potala.


May I throughout all of my rebirths,
Always emulate you Chenrezi.
Thus may all be freed from impure realms,
And may this mantra spread everywhere.

By the power of praying to you,
May all beings heed karma and strive
To act purely and practice Dharma
For the benefit of all beings.
Becoming Aware Of One's Identical Nature With Chenrezig
From praying like this one-pointedly,
The noble one's form radiates light,
Cleansing karmic appearance and mind,
The outer world becomes Dewachen,
The body, speech, and mind of beings
Become Chenrezig: the union of
Appearance, sound, and mind with voidness.

Reciting the Short Mantra


Reciting the Long Mantra

Namo ratna tra-ya -ya / nama a-rya jna-na /
sa-ga-ra / be-ro-tsa-na /
Ba-yoo ha-ra-dza-ya / tat-ha-ga-ta ya /
ar-ha-te / sa-myak sam / budd-ha-ya /
Na-ma sarva tat-ha-ga-te bhay /ar-ha-te bhay/
Sa-myak-sam bhudd-he bhay /
nama a-rya a-va-lo-ki-tesh-va-ra-ya /
bod-hi-satt-va-ya / ma-ha-satt-va-ya /
maha ka-ru-ni-ka-ya / te-ya-ta
Om dha-ra dha-ra/ dhi-ri dhi-ri /
dhu-ru dhu-ru / itt-eh witt-eh /
tsa-leh tsa-leh / pra-tsa-leh / pra-tsa-leh /
ku-su-me / ku-su-ma wa-reh /
i-li-mi-li tsi-ti dzo-la ma-pa-na-yeh so-ha.

Integrating Everything Into Practice

All bodies and forms are his body,
All sounds the song of six syllables,
All thoughts the vast expanse of Jnana.

[perfection stage dissolution]


By virtue of this may I
Soon realize Chenrezig;
And may I bring all beings,
To this same enlightened state.


This text called The Meditation and Recitations of the Great Compassionate One for the Benefit of Beings as Limitless as Space was composed by the Mahasiddha Thangtong Gyalpo and bears the blessing of his speech.

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17th Karmapa's "Brief Teaching on Refuge"

A Brief Teaching on Refuge

by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa

I would like to present a brief teaching on Refuge. It is the understanding and observing of the Refuge vow which defines one as a Buddhist. It is also said, "You are not a Mahayanist if you don't have Bodhicitta." The generation of Bodhicitta or the Bodhisattva aspiration to aid all sentient beings is what defines whether or not your practice is Mahayana.

It should be understood that the entire Buddhist path is included within the principles of Refuge and Bodhicitta. All the teachings given by the Buddha Shakyamuni come down to Refuge and Bodhicitta. Therefore we have teachings on the roots of Refuge, the general and particular precepts of Refuge, and many other instructions related to Refuge. The roots of Refuge are faith and compassion. First there is trust and confidence in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha (the Three Jewels). Also, there is compassion, wishing to liberate all sentient beings from suffering.

Faith in the Three Jewels consists of three types. Inspired faith is the positive inspiration you receive when visiting places of worship where there are many sacred objects, or when you meet great masters and attend sangha gatherings. Aspiration faith is when you wish to get rid of suffering and attain the peace of higher states of existence; you wish to practice good deeds and abandon negative deeds for that purpose, and have confidence in the possibility of achieving that goal. The faith of full confidence is to understand that the Three Jewels are your only and ultimate Refuge. One has heartfelt trust in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

Compassion for all sentient beings is the pure wish to liberate sentient beings from all the kinds of problems and suffering in the ocean of Samsara. One should think, "All living beings have been my mothers (in past lives). All have loved me and cared for me as my mother. Therefore, I would like to help them to become liberated from all their suffering." This is compassion. These are the roots of Refuge.

What is the essence of the refuge vows? It is that I have no other ultimate guide but the Buddha, I have no other true path but the Dharma and I have no other companions with whom to tread the path of dharma but the supreme Sangha. We need companions with whom to tread our path: If we want to cross the river we need a boatman; the boat will not move on it's own. If we rely on wrong companions or friends we can be led astray, so we want to find the right companions and travel together on the right path. That is the supreme sangha (the noble sangha of bodhisattvas).

Clear and unchanging commitment to the Three Jewels of Refuge is necessary. The instructions on observing the Refuge commitments are many and can be categorized into the general, the particular and so on.

First of the general instructions is not to give up your Refuge vow even in exchange for your life, or for great awards. For example, even if someone might pile up the greatest amount of wealth on one side and tell you, "This could be yours if you would abandon your Refuge vow," one should not abandon the Refuge vow.

Second, whatever suffering and hardships you go through, you should not rely on anything but the Three Jewels.

Third, you should always make offerings to the Three Jewels and the sacred objects which represent the body, speech and mind of a Buddha.

Fourth, you should observe the Refuge vows and bring others to have confidence in the Three Jewels as much as possible. It is not enough that oneself alone should abide by the Refuge precepts, one should also bring others to the right direction; if somebody is going the wrong way you should try to lead them on the right path.

Fifth, you should make prostrations to the Buddhas of the ten directions, to the Buddha of whichever direction in which you are heading. This simply means to have respect, recall the kindness of and pay homage to the Buddhas morning, noon and evening.

There are the instructions on the particular precepts regarding the Three Jewels.

First, if we go for Refuge to the Buddha we do not ever take worldly deities and gods as an ultimate source of Refuge. Worldly gods are those like Brahma, Indra, Vishnu and Shiva, or Tsens and Gyalpo and other spirits. Since they themselves are in Samsara, how can they help you to become liberated from it? So, as it is said in the Thirty-seven Practices of a Bodhisattva (by Thogme Rinpoche), one should not go for Refuge to unenlightened and worldly beings.

Second, going for Refuge to the Dharma means giving up harming sentient beings. These living beings here include not just those with four legs and hair, but all those who have senses or a mind (including insects). One should give up killing and robbing, and should tread the path of non-violence.

Third, when you go for Refuge to the Sangha you should not spend time with negative companions; if you spend time with negative companions you will be led into negative ways and not into positive ways.

There are three precepts to observe with regard to paying respect to the Three Jewels:

First, regarding going for Refuge to the Buddha, you show reverence to the Buddhas and their representatives. This includes putting Buddha images in a place of respect, making prostrations and offerings, and so on (images of the Buddha should not be placed on the floor).

Second, going for Refuge to the Dharma requires you to show reverence to the Dharma and its representations, even to a letter or a syllable by which the Dharma is written.

Third, taking refuge in the Sangha requires you to show respect to the sangha and the representatives of the Sangha, like those who are wearing the robes of the Sangha. Even if you find a piece of red robe on the street you should think that this is also a representation of the Sangha and should not treat it in a disrespectful way.

Now for the three instructions on accordance of the vows.

First, in going for Refuge to the Buddha, let your mind be in accord with the Dharma. If we claim to go for Refuge to the Buddha but our mind is completely in opposition to the Dharma it is not right. Let your mind be infused with the Dharma, and generate peace and humility in your mind.

Second, in going for Refuge to the Dharma, we should let our speech be in accord with the Dharma. If we claim to be taking Refuge in the Dharma but let our speech be totally contrary to the Dharma this is very wrong. Therefore we try to give up telling deceitful lies, slandering others, and speaking hurtful words; we try to infuse our speech with the Dharma in our daily life.

Third, in going for refuge to the Sangha we should let our body be in accord with the Dharma. We should try to live our life in accord with the Dharma and give up negative actions of the body, such as sexual misconduct and so on.

What are the benefits of observing the Refuge precepts? By going for Refuge we begin to practice the Buddha's Dharma, this generates numerous benefits. We create a favorable basis for all precepts and levels of ordination. Also, we are protected from the harm of negative humans and non-human beings; all obstacles and harmful influences are pacified. We will not be separated from the blessings of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha in all our lives to come. The effects of negative karma will be reduced. There are so many benefits that it is difficult to count them all.

Now we'll talk about Bodhicitta. All of the paths of a Bodhisattva must be completed within the context of Bodhicitta. First try to think of all those beings experiencing great suffering whom you have seen, like those people who are disabled or sick, and then think of all the other beings who are undergoing immeasurable sufferings. You think of this again and again until you feel real and great compassion for them. You feel as if one will personally dispel all their sufferings; I will do it even if I must do it alone.

When this kind of aspiration and courage arises in you, it is the beginning of becoming a Bodhisattva. Developing this kind of compassion and courage constitute the preparation and training of a Bodhisattva.

There are three kinds of aspiration for a Bodhisattva.

First is the king-like aspiration. A king has power and can give orders to help and benefit his subjects. This means one aspires to become enlightened, in order to be able to help all other sentient beings attain enlightenment.

Second is the captain-like aspiration, which means you want to become enlightened alongside all other sentient beings. A boatman loads his boat with passengers and goes with them across the river.

Third is the shepherd-like aspiration, which is when one aspires, "May all beings become enlightened because of my positive deeds. I will become enlightened only after every one of them has attained enlightenment." A shepherd will take care of the sheep first, and only then will he go home. This is the most supreme type of courage and compassion.

Of these three, the most noble is the third. But you can choose whichever is more suitable for you; there is no difference. There are three precepts of the Bodhicitta vow: abstaining from negative actions, accumulating positive actions, and working for the benefit of others. Abstaining from negative actions can be elaborated into the eighteen root precepts, but the essence of all of them can be condensed into not abandoning sentient beings. To give up on any sentient being is worse than any other negative deed, therefore one must place emphasis on this.

The Refuge vow and Bodhicitta are not just preliminary practices, or something to be done in the beginning and then be left behind. We recite verses on Refuge and Bodhicitta at the beginning of our practices, but they are not only for the beginning. These two should always accompany you throughout the path. One should maintain compassion, not give up on any sentient being, and should keep a strong commitment to the Refuge vow. This is the most important basis for the Buddhist path and one should always think that “I will personally bring all sentient beings to Enlightenment.”

One should try to generate a genuine aspiration of this kind and work on it as one would dig for gold. This means one should be genuine, and not false or hypocritical. For example if you are not drunk but act like a drunk to impress others, you are not being genuine. When someone is digging for gold, he or she is not thinking of anything else but that gold. Likewise, one should focus one's mind solely on the generation of Bodhicitta and not do it for fame.

If you do not place emphasis on Refuge you cannot even practice the Hinayana, let alone the Mahayana. If you do not have an inclination towards Bodhicitta you cannot practice Mahayana, let alone Vajrayana.

It is very important to understand this basic principle. If genuine Bodhicitta is established in your mind, you will enter the path of the Bodhisattvas and you will always meet genuine spiritual friends in your lives to come. One will receive the nectar of the Dharma teachings, and will actualize Enlightenment, the perfect Buddhahood, without much delay. Perfect here means the complete abandonment of all that is to be abandoned and the full accomplishment of all that is to be accomplished.

Buddha is translated into Tibetan as Sangye. 'Sang' means awaken: you awaken from all the afflictions. 'Gye' means blossom: the wisdom opens like the petals of a blossoming flower.

Now that we have laid the foundation for the ocean of Bodhisattva activities, we should say prayers such as the Zangpa Chopa Monlam, the prayers composed by Nagarjuna, etc. We should say them not just once or twice but every day, and as constantly as possible throughout our lives for the benefit of others.

The reason why I talk about Refuge is that we should not waste this life of ours which is endowed with the eight freedoms and ten opportunities. Of course there are many who are more learned than I am, but I have tried to say a few words on this. A fool like me doesn't know much, but if you keep it these words in mind I think there will be some benefits.

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