When the Lama Passes Beyond: A Brief Explanation

On September 14th, 2017, the spiritual leader of all Yungdrung Bön and head of Tashi Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India, His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche entered into a state of tukdam at his lama residence at Menri Monastery. In general, tukdam refers to a state of meditative stability attained by meditation masters that continues after the external breath of their body has ceased but the internal breath, or winds, remain.  Therefore, the subtle channels through which these winds move remain stable. The area of the body containing the heart chakra remains warm to the touch.  The skin remains soft, and the face retains a glow of vitality.  Often, the master is sitting in meditation posture, but can also be in the yogic posture of the “sleeping lion” lying upon the right side of the body, knees together and slightly bent with the right hand under the head and the left arm resting upon the body.  During this time, great care is taken to not disturb the body or interrupt the state of mediation.   Great blessings can be received by connecting with the master during this important time.

After an indeterminate number of days, the internal winds cease, the channels collapse, the physical body slumps, and the warmth dissipates from the heart center. For His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche, he ended his state of tukdam after five days on September 18th, 2017. At that time, chants related to the cleansing of the sacred body are recited while the physical remains are ritually bathed with water mixed with special herbs.  Sacred seed syllables are then written on the body and the body is wrapped in a pure white cloth. Disciples who connect with the lama during this time either by being near the sacred remains or at a distance, can receive great blessings.

Tsok offerings after the passing of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche. Photo credit: Unknown.

Because the master has attained a state of enlightened realization, the prayers and rituals that are offered during this time are different than that for an ordinary being.  Rather than offering prayers to support their experience of death, disciples focus upon practices to honor the teachings of the master.  These prayers and practices include performing acts of virtue to benefit all beings, reciting aspirational prayers such as the Tséwang Monlam found at this link https://ravencypresswood.com/2017/09/14/tsewangs-precious-mala-of-meaningful-aspiration-prayers/, and practicing guru yoga in a pure and fervent way.  Additionally, the monastic community offers many tsok, or sacred feast offerings. At the time of cremation, an elaborate fire ritual called Kün Rik is performed during which a wide variety of offerings are presented to the entire cycle of deities.

An example of Kun Rik offerings from 2014. Photo credit: Geshe Nyima Kunchap Rinpoche

Although the master has attained the ultimate state of realization and therefore does not experience the 49 days of transiting the bardo, the 49 day period is still observed as a time to continue with prayers, spiritual practice, renewal of vows, and acts of virtue in order to honor the teachings and spiritual guidance of the master.

Prostrations to the Root Lama!

Offerings outside the lama residence at Menri Monastery after the passing off His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche.

Tséwang’s Precious Mala of Meaningful Aspiration Prayers

In response to the passing of HH 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche, I am providing this aspiration prayer for the Yungdrung Bön community to recite.  I apologize that it is currently only in the English language.  Although I am providing it for everyone’s use, please respect my copyright and do not publish or distribute.  However, share the link to this page.  What follows is the translation of the Tibetan.  The portion that is to be recited is within quotation marks.

Now, this “Precious Mala of Meaningful Aspiration Prayers”, words from the mouth of Tséwang, was composed within the meditation cave of Tong Gyung on the island within Lake Namtso  The oral transmission was given to the shepherd, Rikpa Rangshar himself, and is for the benefit of many life-times.

“At the crown of my head, upon a throne of a sun, moon, and lotus, is a divine gathering of lamas, enlightened beings and yidams.  I meditate steadfastly upon the assembly of the three supports, the shenrap lamas, buddhas and bodhisattvas, whose bodies are radiant and made of light.

(Say this in order to confidently generate devotion towards that divine assembly of refuge.)


From within an infinite realm of completely pure space, is the divine assembly of lamas, enlightened beings, and yidams;

and an assembly of the three supports: the shenrap lamas, buddhas and bodhisattvas.

Although they are never separate from the space of self-nature,

I, and all other sentient beings pray to the lama seated upon a lotus throne at the crown of the head, please hold us with your compassion.

I, and all other sentient beings respectfully prostrate to all these powerfully wise and compassionate places of refuge.

I openly admit and confess my non-virtuous and negative activities.

I present the external world along with its internal contents as a pleasing offering. Please bestow the supreme attainment of non-conceptual wisdom.

Whatever acts of virtue that I have done during the three times,

I dedicate completely for the welfare of all sentient beings who are as pervasive as the sky.

May all beings realize the true nature of their own mind!


Wise and compassionate places of refuge abiding in un-manifested space,

please pay heed to me and listen without missing anything.  Because I offer this aspirational prayer of devotion,

Accordingly, I pray that what I have asked will be accomplished.

Now, may I obtain a pure human body in order to reach to the limit of virtuous activity of my three doors.

Having cleansed all defilements of the conceptual mind,

May non-conceptual wisdom arise within my mind-stream!

Having pacified all obstacles of virtue and all adverse circumstances,

May I accomplish all my wishes and complete the ten virtues!

Having spread the teachings and lived a long time,

May I benefit all sentient beings who come into contact with me!

When the great time of impermanence arrives at the moment of death,

May the illness and pain of the body be pacified, And having cleared away the clouded visions of dullness and lethargy,

May unobscured, unimpeded innate self-awareness appear!

Because of hope, may I not have desire and attachment towards performing the deluded activities in this world!

Having completely pacified terror, misery, and the afflictive emotions,

May I abide in the unmoving state of the natural mind!

When fear arises in this mass of flesh and bones, this illusory body,

And deluded visions arise from the five lights,

Having recognized them as a magical display of the mind, the self’s expressive energy,

May I liberate to the five Enlightened Bodies and the five wisdoms!

When the life-force has come together into the center of the consciousness,

Having liberated the deluded visions of sound, light, and rays into themselves,

And having recognized the three Enlightened Bodies,

May I escape from the deluded vision of the narrow passageway of the bardo!

Having sent out the essence of the natural mind, which has the characteristics of AH, from the central, dark-blue channel of bliss,

And having dissolved into the dimension of Küntu Zangpo at the crown of my head,

May I become perfectly enlightened in the space of absolute reality!

If, due to the power of karma, I take a rebirth,

Having renounced all negative places of the hell-beings, hungry ghosts, animals, gods and humans, as well as savage places that have lost morality,

May I be born in the middle upon the victorious southern continent!

Having renounced all impure doors of birth into negative families such as being born a predatory animal, a bird, a beast of burden, a wild animal, a slave, a human who has a bad influence, a military person, or a butcher,

May I obtain a human body in an honorable and wholesome family!

Not born into a body that is crippled, deaf, mute, blind or with incomplete sense organs,

And having perfected the characteristics of a positive and beautiful form,

May I be a proper vessel of truth, a speech emanation!

Renouncing the world of deluded leisure activities and non-virtue,

And having met with strong devotion towards virtue which has the three kinds of faith,

As well as having met together with a lama who has the three kindnesses,

May I have perfect renunciation when I am young!

Having pacified the demons and the eight classes of beings,

As well as the mind of delusion, the mind of malice and the mind of suffering,

May I be surrounded by loyal helpers and have an abundance of favorable circumstances of virtue!

Having generated an intense, tireless zeal and forsaking laziness as well as the distraction of amusement,

And having purified my three doors and the phenomena of my mind-stream,

May I skillfully perfect the three trainings!

Then, having renounced all pride of cleverness and knowledge,

Essentializing words for the benefit of not following speech,

And having purified the view of yogic power,

May I have an experience of the profound, great vehicle!

Having produced within my mind-stream a lack of desire or attachment towards this world, Toward friends or enemies, material things or property and wealth,

And having liberated the knots of greediness regarding subject and object,

May I abide in the state of the unmoving, nature of mind!

Self-liberating in their own places the truth-less vision of the external six senses, the ego as well as subject and object,

And being free from the reference point of any graspable, substantial entity,

May I realize the magical illusion of all the various visions!

Having cleared away inner conceptuality, the movements of the intellect,

Into a state of non-attachment that has been pure since the beginning,

And having increased insight arising from non-deluded meditation,

May I attain the state of enlightenment for myself!

Having liberated dullness and lethargy, anger, agitation, doubt, hope and fear into the inseparable, luminous state,

And having recognized my own self-nature as the manifestation of the three Enlightened Bodies,

May deep certainty and confidence be produced!

Having attained the signs of accomplishment of the outer, inner and secret paths,

As well as the power of both ordinary spiritual accomplishments as well as illusory emanations,

And having completed the stages of the intellectual paths and grounds,

May I perceive myself the same as the equal taste of the natural state!

Not being separate from non-conceptual wisdom,

But having been separate from the essential taste of experience and realization,

May the supreme accomplishment of omniscience be accomplished!

Having attained the primordially empty and rootless state of equanimity as regards external existence, outside and inside, cyclic existence and all phenomena,

And having completed these multiple and diverse things all at once,

May I arrive at the level of the inexpressible, Bönku!

From the faith and devotion of all transmigrating beings,

Manifests the four immeasurables within the state of the Enlightened Mind,

And the darkness of the minds of sentient beings is cleared away.

May the wheel of the Yungdrung Bön turn!

Having subdued obstacles, and fully developed and spread the teachings,

And having transformed into each protector and object of refuge in order to

Suppress the brightness of the opponent’s appearance,

May I, myself, possess the four kinds of compassion!

From great compassion and skillful means,

Without weariness and for the benefit of sentient beings,

May I, myself, quickly and compassionately guide all sentient beings of the six realms, without exception!

Through the capacity and power of compassionate blessings of knowledge and kindness from the places of refuge, as well as the devotion of my three doors,

Having quickly and fully accomplished this completely pure aspiration prayer,

May all of cyclic existence be shaken from the depths!

The places of refuge, the sugatas, the assembly of outer and inner deities,

As well as myself and other beings of the six realms who are as limitless as the sky,

From the equanimity within the state of the single taste of the varied phenomena,

May we be liberated into the space of inexpressible absolute reality!


Thus, recite this three times.  As for this “Precious Mala of Meaningful Aspiration Prayers”, the great TséwangRikdzin, composed these words for the benefit of many lifetimes while in a secret cave upon an island in Lake Namtso  The oral transmission was given to the shepherd, Rikpa Rangshar himself. In order to manifest into the liberated family of Tséwang, don’t forget the benefits of this!  Morning and evening on auspicious days, make this aspiration prayer again and again in an unbroken way.  Thus, Tséwang spoke this from his mouth.

Pé!  By offering this single, powerful sound, my consciousness dissolves into the heart of Tséwang.  Tséwanghaving dissolved into light, dissolves into the heart of Küntu Zangpo.

Make this aspiration for both one’s self and others.  Having the three extraordinary supports, and in the presence of the excellent lama, and having extraordinary abiding during the time that the sun or moon is eclipsed, or at the [anniversary] of the victor Shenrap taking birth or passing away, or the time of one’s benevolent parents passing away, or at the time of one’s root lama passing away, offer this aspiration prayer.  After a long period of veneration, perform the yidam practice.  From that, if you perform a yidam practice, guard your discipline even for a single generation stage.  If you make a commitment regarding this very aspiration prayer, in the future, it is said that you will be reborn into the presence of Tséwang.


This prayer was translated by Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved.

Do not copy, publish, or distribute in any manner without permission.

May the protectors forgive any errors!

May countless beings benefit!













The Lama Returns

His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen returns to Menri Monastery August 13, 2017. Photo credit: Unknown

Sacred Signs

Handprint in stone of the one known as the Second Buddha, the 1st Menri Trizen, Nyamme Sherab Gyaltsen. Photo credit: Unknown

The Field of Accumulation: The Yidams

Tsok zhing according to Menri

Tsok zhing according to MenriThe Yungdrung Bon Merit Field of the Menri Tradition

In the Yungdrung Bön tradition, the place where the deities and objects of veneration are gathered is called the “Tsok Zhing”, the “Field of Accumulation”.  It is also sometimes translated as the “Field of Merit” or the “Merit Field” because what is being accumulated by paying homage and making offerings to this place is merit, or virtue.  This is the Merit Field according to the Menri Tradition from a drawing done by the great master and scholar HE Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche.

Yidams are deities who have their own individual cycles of practice with the aim of acquiring the qualities and blessings of the yidam being meditated upon.  In general, these cycles of practice are centered around an individual retreat in which the practitioner focuses upon self-transformation into the deity, recitation of the deity’s mantra, along with any other ritual or meditation specific to the deity which support the attainment of the deities qualities and blessings.  There are yidams specific to a family lineage, to monastic lineages as well as personal yidams.  Some of the vows associated with yidam practice are general to all, and some vows are specific to each yidam.  Some yidams are represented more than once to signify their different tantric cycles.

#2-4, 14 & 18: The Five Supreme Embodiments of the Father Tantra (See previous post:https://ravencypresswood.com/2016/06/05/the-five-supreme-embodiments/)

1. Zhiwa Künnang Khyappa: This yidam represents all peaceful yidams

2. Trowo Tsochok Khagying: This yidam is an embodiment of the Enlightened Mind of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche.

3. Walsé Ngampa: This yidam is an embodiment of the Enlightened Body of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche.

The Yidam Walse Ngampa, Embodiment of the Enl ightened Body

4. Lhago Tokpa: This yidam is an embodiment of the Enlightened Speech of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche.

5. Sangwa Ying Rol

6. Tséwang Rikdzin: As a long life deity, this yidam is white in color.

7. Magyü Sangchok Tartuk: This yidam is the principal deity of the Mother Tantra and is also known as Tukjé Galpo.

8. Drenpa Namkha

9. Bumpa

10. Rampa

11. Rolpa

12. Dütsi Yungdrung Khyilwa

13. Takla Pudri Marpo

14. Gekho Sangwa Drakchen:  This yidam is the embodiment of the Enlightened Qualities of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche.

15. Trowo Druksé Chempa: This yidam is the Embodiment of the Enlightened Activities of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche.

16. Meri Walchen Gekho

17. Chidul Yidam Gyatso Trogyal Raksha Khagying

18. Sangpur

19. Walsé Khyungnak Trowo Karpo

20.Wal Khyung Marpo

Yidams of the Other Tantras

#22-#25 The Four Principal Enlightened Ones (See previous post https://ravencypresswood.com/2016/08/20/the-four-principal-enlightened-ones/)

21. Gyepa Kunnang Khyapa

22. Tönpa Shenrap Miwo

23. Sipa Sangpo Bumtri

24. Lhachen Shenlha Ökar

25. Yumchen Satrik Érsang

26. Shenrap Nampar Gyalwa

27. Namdak

28. Jamma

29. Mélha

30. Kéngtsé Lenmé

31. Sherab Mawé Séngé

The Yidam Mawe Senge

32. Dülchok Tönpa Tritsuk Gyalwa

33. Jamma

34. Namdak

35. Mönlam Taye

36. Menlha

37. Künying

38. Gényen Tékpa Lha

39. Jamden

40. Dükhor

41. Künrik

42. Gyalwa Gyatso

43. Namjom

The Yidam Namjom, aka Nampar Jompa, and his emanations.

Gaining Knowledge

Yungdrung Bon monks during exams at Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India. Photo credit: Unknown

Lung Kar Monastery – Precious Sanctuary for the Teachings of Shenrap

Ye Ta Lung Kar Gon Shenten Rinchen Ling, aka Lung Kar Monastery. Photo credit: Unknown

The full name of this Yungdrung Bön monastery is Ye Ta Lung Kar Gön Shenten Rinchen Ling, Lung Kar Monastery of Ye Ta, Precious Sanctuary for the Teachings of Shenrap.  It is commonly called Lung Kar Monastery and is named for the deity of the region, Lung Kar.  The monastery is located in North Eastern Tibet in a region whose population is predominately Bönpo.  There are about four thousand people living in the vicinity who support the monastery through donations and services.

In 1715, the chief of the Hor lineage in Ye Ta established a hermitage for the local lama to support religious practice and services for the lama and the surrounding community.  However, after the death of the lama, the hermitage was neglected.  In 1808, Yu Lung Monastery was established at the very same location.  The king of all of the Hor families stated that this monastery should be for all of the various lineages in the Ye Ta region.  This monastery began to thrive but was destroyed by an avalanche in 1868.

Years later, the king of the Hor lineages ordered that the monastery should be rebuilt as its destruction by avalanche was seen as quite inauspicious. In 1925 on the 22nd day of the 9th month, according to a prophecy by the 22nd Menri Trizen Yungdrung Wangyal Rnpoche, and with the support of the king and community members, reconstruction of the monastery began.  On this day, many important members of the Bön community were present including the tertöns Sang Ngak Lingpa and Khandro Dechen Wangmo.  (See previous article about this female treasure revealer https://ravencypresswood.com/2016/07/31/modern-day-khandro-treasure-revealer/ )  On that day, Sang Ngak Lingpa revealed a hidden text from the sacred mountain behind the monastery.  He also designated a path to be used by the community for circumambulation of the mountain.

Currently, there are more than fifty monks, teachers and administrators at the monastery.  The monks and lamas meet many times each day to practice meditation and perform rituals.  Additionally, each month has its own ritual cycle that is performed.  For example, during the last month of each lunar year, the complete ritual cycle of the deity Takla Mebar is performed.

The Kind Spiritual Guide

In the Language of Zhang Zhung…

Offering 100,000 Torma to Remove Obstacles

Wrathful offering torma for a Yungdrung Bon ritual. Photo credit: Unknown


Praying for Support

The Great Lama and yidam, Drenpa Namkha

“EMAHO! May the collective, compassionate blessings of the Victors of the ten directions, the yidams, and the khandro come for the welfare of sentient beings in this world!

I pray for the uninterrupted blessings from the subduer of demons, Drenpa Namkha!

Now, during this negative time, there is lots of fighting and violence, and many sentient beings die because of weapons.  You are surrounded by the fierce, enlightened male and female deities.

I pray to the Great Lama and his two sons, to the subduer of demons, Drenpa Namkha, stop the fighting and violence!

Now, during this negative time, virtuous activities aren’t accomplished and there are many obstacles to the practice of virtue and morality.  You are surrounded by the root lama and his retinue.

I pray to the Great Lama and his two sons, to the subduer of demons, Drenpa Namkha, bring the practice of virtue to its fulfillment!

Look upon me with your unbiased compassion morning and night, during the past, present and future.  Turn back both seen and unseen enemies!

My present and future refuge and protector, bless me to accomplish my intentions!”

~Translated from the Tibetan by Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved


Birthday of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

HH with Chenrizig statue

July 6th is the birthday of the one born as Lhamo Döndrup, recognized at the age of two, and formally installed at the age of fifteen, as the head of the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism and therefore also the spiritual leader of Tibet and its people.  Upon his enthronement, he was renamed Jetsun Jampel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, Holy Lord, Gentle Glory, Compassionate Defender of the Faith who is an Ocean of Wisdom.   He is referred to as Yizhin Norbu Rinpoche, the Precious Wish-fulfilling Jewel.  He is known around the world as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Especially on this day, it is beneficial to make offerings and to offer many prayers for the long life of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the Precious Wish-fulfilling Jewel.

Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Gang ri ra wé kor wé zhing kham su
In a heavenly realm, surrounded by a chain of snow mountains,

Pen dang dé wa ma lü jung wé né
The source of all happiness and help for beings

Chenrezik wang Tenzin Gyatso yi
Is Tenzin Gyatso, Chenrezik in person.

Shyap pé kal gyé bar du ten gyur chik
May his life be secure for hundreds of kalpas!

Celebrating the Sacred

HE Menri Lopon Trinley Nyima Rinpoche lights candles on a cake celebrating the birth of Lord Tonpa Shenrap Miwoche. Photo credit: Unknown

Faces of the Future

Young students at Menri Monastery prepare for a ritual. Photo credit: Unknown

Buddha Tönpa Shenrap’s Ninth Deed: The Deed of Complete Awareness

Lord Tonpa Shenrap Miwoche after becoming a monk and assuming the renunciate name of TritsukGyalwa

Because Lord Tönpa Shenrap possessed complete awareness of the suffering of cyclic existence, and out of compassion for sentient beings, he demonstrated a skillful method for sentient beings to release themselves from suffering and misery and to attain liberation.  This method was the path of renunciation.  Being an enlightened being, he did not need to do this for himself but chose to demonstrate this path as an example for his followers of Yungdrung Bön.  Therefore, at the age of 31 (according to shen years which equal 3,100 human years), he announced to his family and disciples that he would leave worldly activities behind and devote himself completely to the path of renunciation.

He removed his jewelry and silk robes, and then cut off his hair with a sword.  Leaving behind all of his possessions, he went to a higher realm in order to receive ordination from a disciple of the Enlightened One of the previous eon.  Returning to earth, he devoted himself to the practice of fasting, disciplined behavior, and teaching the Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind to various groups of demons.  After this, he retired to the nine-storied yungdrung mountain in order to practice in solitude.  Upon entering into the path of renunciation, many of his disciples abandoned him and his teachings and returned to their worldly activities.  However, a few disciples of greater capacity remained with him on the mountain, and to them he taught the highest view, the Great Perfection.




An Offering of Pure Sound

A Yungdrung Bon monk plays the cymbals during a religious ceremony. Photo credit: Unknown


Harmony and Disharmony of the Five Elements

“From totally void emptiness, a totally clear light appeared. That light…came into being as a luminous wheel, whirling spontaneously. From the self-produced energy of the wheel, weightless wind came into being. The moving energy of the wind grew stronger and stronger and…from the energy of the wind, heat came into existence. From the clash between the heat of fire and the cold of the wind, moisture and water came into being. Subtle and coarse particles gathered in the water, and when their energy developed, they came into being as the Golden Earth that Supports Everything.”
~from the Yungdrung Bön text: The Precious Citadel where Everything is Brought Together as translated by Donatella Rossi in The Light of Kailash By Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

The Five Elements of Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth are the basis for all the exists.  These elements are in constant relationship with one another, and it is this harmony, disharmony, balance or imbalance that determines the health or disease of organisms as well as the development or disintegration of dynamic systems.  Many cultures around the world acknowledge the importance of the Five Elements in both mundane and spiritual activities.  Within the Yungdrung Bön tradition, each element has its own distinctive qualities which are represented by a specific color, shape, sound, and direction.  Within our physical bodies, the Earth element is related to our flesh, the Water element is related to our blood, the Fire element is related to our internal  heat, the Wind (or Wood according to astrology) element is related to our breath and movement within the body, and the Space (or Metal according to astrology) element is related to our consciousness.

Among the Five Elements themselves, one way of describing their interactions is through the  five kinds of relationship: Mother, Friend, Self,  Child, and Enemy.  The relationship of ‘Mother’ is the one of greatest harmony.  The relationship of ‘Friend’ is very harmonious.  The relationship of ‘Son’ is considered to be neutral.  The relationship of ‘Enemy,’ as the name indicates, is considered to be the one of greatest conflict.  The relationship of ‘Self’ occurs when the same elements encounter one another.  This can either be good or bad depending upon the specific element involved.  Therefore, the possible relationship combinations for the Five Elements are defined as the following:

Mother: these relationships are considered the most harmonious

  • Earth is the mother of Metal
  • Metal is the mother of Water
  • Water is the mother of Wood
  • Wood is the mother of Fire, and
  • Fire is the mother of Earth

Friend: these relationships are considered to be very harmonious

  • Earth is a friend to Wood
  • Wood is a friend to Metal
  • Metal is a friend to Fire
  • Fire is a friend to Water, and
  • Water is a friend to Earth

Son: these relationships are considered to be neutral, and are in fact the ‘Mother’ relationships in reverse

  • Earth is the son of Fire
  • Fire is the son of Wood
  • Wood is the son of Water
  • Water is the son of Metal, and
  • Metal is the son of Earth

Enemy: these relationships are considered the least desirable and most destructive, and are in fact the ‘Friend’ relationship in reverse

  • Earth is an enemy to Water
  • Water is an enemy to Fire
  • Fire is an enemy to Metal
  • Metal is an enemy to Wood, and
  • Wood is an enemy to Earth

Self: When two of the same elements meet, the quality depends upon the elements involved

  • Earth to Earth and Water to Water are both considered to be a good combination, but not as positive as the Friend relationship
  • Fire to Fire and Metal to Metal are both considered to be a bad combination, but not as negative as the Enemy relationship

There are many ways to apply this knowledge in daily life.  For example, by understanding the relationship between the element of the lunar year and an individual’s astrological elements, it can be determined what kind of elemental forces will be active for that individual for any given year.  The year 2017 is ruled by the element of Fire, which is actually the energy of wangtang, or personal charisma for people born in that year.  For those born in Earth years, the Fire Element (lunar year) to Earth Element (individual birth year) is in a Mother relationship as regards the wangtang.  Therefore, these people might feel very strong personal power and charisma during this lunar year.  However, for those born in a Fire year, it is a Self relationship considered to be bad.  This indicates that it is possible for these people to experience a decrease of power and influence, and perhaps even encounter bad luck.  Knowing this, before any negativity develops, this individual could benefit from activities and/or practices that would increase their wangtang such as wealth practices, making offerings, or other virtuous spiritual activity.  This is but one example of how the Five Elements directly influence our daily lives.  With this knowledge, we can support our health and prosperity as well as support our spiritual practice and growth.

Offering Everything that is Marvelous

HE Menri Lopon Rinpoche offers a mandala to 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche at Menri Monastery in India. Photo credit: Unknown

May the Yungdrung Bön Flourish!

Nangzhik Yungdrung Bon Monastery in Tibet


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