The Thirteen Bön Activities

Offering prostrations before His Eminence Menri Ponlop Yangton Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche. Photo credit: Lee Hartline.

The Thirteen Bön Activities:

  1. Writing the syllables
  2. Reading sacred books
  3. Reciting the scriptures
  4. Turning the wheel of Bön
  5. Presenting offerings and prostrations
  6. Stopping ordinary speech and maintaining silence
  7. Reflecting upon the meaning of the words
  8. Listening to the sacred teachings for one’s self
  9. Teaching the sacred teachings for others
  10. Meditating upon the actual meaning
  11. Practicing towards a goal
  12. Exerting one’s self in performing virtuous activity
  13. Exerting one’s self with the causes to obtain a precious human body

Engaging with these activities is a practice of the two accumulations of merit and wisdom.

Offering Sacred Sound

Nuns of Rayna Menling at Tashi Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India.

Homage to the Greatly Kind Lama!

His Holiness 34th Menri Trizin Rinpoche.

The Three Jewels are the infallible, constant place of refuge.

The Mother and Son are the single refuge from the prevalence of the five degenerations*.

Sidpé Gyalmo is the supreme mother, protector of the teachings.

Greatly kind Lama, embodiment of all of the Victorious Ones, think of me!

I pray single-pointedly that my wish for all obstacles to be removed will be perfectly accomplished!

~Composed by the 20th century saint and Yungdrung Bön lama, Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche

Translation from the Tibetan by Raven Cypress Wood ©2016

* The Five Degenerations: 1) Degeneration of time due to strife, 2) Degeneration of the life-span, 3) Degeneration of the body, mind and speech of sentient beings, 4) Degeneration of the afflictive emotions due to the five poisons, and 5) Degeneration of the view due to erroneous views and misconceptions.

May the Light of Joy Shine for Everyone!

young monks at Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India. Photo credit: Unknown

 

Selection of the New 34th Menri Trizin

Offerings to the Religious Protectors of Yungdrung Bon. Photo Credit: Menri Monastery

After lengthy consultation with His Eminence Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, the selection process for the 34th Menri Trizin began on the 1st day of the 11th lunar month, December 19th 2017, at Menri Monastery under the direction of His Eminence Menri Lopon Yangton Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche. In general, every Yungdrung Bön geshe is an eligible candidate. However, due to the current difficult situation, it has been decided that only those candidates outside of Tibet are eligible. If for any reason, an eligible geshe does not want to be considered as a candidate, he is free to withdraw his name by contacting the monastery. After these considerations, there were approximately sixty names of eligible candidates.

Names of candidates. Photo credit: Menri Monastery

On December 19th, Menri Lopön Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche, Triten Norbutse Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche, as well as other exalted professors and administrative members wrote each candidate’s name onto a small piece of paper, and placed that paper inside of a ball of tsampa dough, which was then dried in the sun. Each of these balls of tsampa dough were placed into two separate vases, and sealed with wax. These vases were placed in the protector temple and will remain there while lengthy prayers and offerings are made to the religious protectors in order to invoke their wisdom.

Prayers and rituals being performed. Photo credit: Menri Monastery

On December 21st, many prayers and offerings were made in order to remove all obstacles and hindrances. On December 22nd, the main rituals began which will take six days to complete. The majority of the monastic community will be performing the One Hundred Thousand Offerings to Sipé Gyalmo in the main temple. Simultaneously, there will also be offerings and prayers to the main yidam of the Menri Trizin, Purba, at the Menri Trizin lama residence by a smaller group of monks.

Yungdrung Bon monks praying in the main temple of Menri Monastery. Photo credit: Menri Monastery.

On the morning of December 27th, His Eminence Menri Lopön Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche will shake the first vase until a ball of tsampa dough comes forth. Then, he will similarly shake the second vase until a ball of tsampa dough comes forth. These two balls of dough, each containing a candidate’s name inside, will then be placed into a vase. Another five days of offerings and prayers to the religious protectors will commence.

Notice and schedule of ritual events posted at Menri Monastery. Photo credit: Khedup Gyatso.

On the morning of January 1st, the vase containing the two names will be shaken in front of the sacred image of Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche in the main temple by His Eminence Menri Lopön Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche. The tsampa dough that emerges will contain the name of the 34th Menri Trizin. This traditional process is known as Lha Sung Den Tarwa, Requesting the Religious Protectors to Reveal the Truth.

During this time, it has been requested that the worldwide Yungdrung Bön family offer prayers and aspirations for the selection of the 34th Menri Trizin.

The Eighth Way: The Way of the Primordial Shen

The Deity of Longevity, Tsewang Rikdzin. This longevity practice is one of the tantric practices classified in the Eighth Way among the None Ways of Bon.

Among the Nine Ways of Bön, the Eighth Way is The Way of the Primordial Shen.  This Way is focused upon higher tantric practices which are distinguished by having both a generating stage of practice and a perfection stage of practice.  These two are based upon instructions for both method and wisdom.  Although they are united as one in ultimate reality, in order to guide sentient beings, they are taught individually due to our bias towards duality and conceptuality.

Because the root lama is the source of all spiritual accomplishment, one begins with arousing great devotion towards the root lama, taking refuge and generating a mind of great compassion.  After gathering the necessary ritual implements, Lord Tönpa Shenrap has emphasized the importance of making offerings to the governing spirits of the retreat place in order to elicit their support in providing circumstances to assist the practitioner.  After that, instructions are given in setting up the retreat place including the construction of the appropriate mandala. The main practice is focused upon generating a view of the external world as a palace of the divine and the sentient beings within it as gods and goddesses, and purifying the view of one’s own material body into the insubstantial body of light of the enlightened deity.  This process is supported by a single-pointed focus, visualization, and the use of sacred seed syllables.  According to the direct teachings of Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche,

“From the light of meditative stability, the seed syllables radiate out and the environment along with its inhabitants, substantial forms, the physical body and karmic potentialities are all purified. The impure physical body is purified and transformed into a pure mudra in the form of the enlightened deity and the channels are transformed into buddha realms. The five elements and the five poisons are transformed into the five wisdoms.”

From this state of realization, mantra recitation and feast offerings are offered to the deities.  To conclude, one receives the blessings and extraordinary qualities of the deities.   From that, one abides within the state of realizing the phenomenal world and its activities as empty. This realization is developed and integrated  into every perception, and the ordinary conditions of avoidance and attachment are liberated.

 

Offering Light

Offering light at Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India. Photo credit: Unknown.

Presenting Offerings and Accumulating Merit

The Thousand Offerings to Nampar Gyalwa. Photo credit: Raven Cypress Wood

To all Those who have gone beyond bliss and their retinues,

who have the nature of the unborn and unceasing sky

and who have the un-arisen characteristics of the natural state of the mind,

with their countless, billions of emanations,

each unwavering from the ultimate state of great bliss,

and inexpressible beyond visualization and recitation,

prostrating and praising,

I present these offerings to You!

~ Excerpt from Presenting the Five Offerings.

Translated from the Tibetan by Raven Cypress Wood ©2017 All Rights Reserved

Receiving Blessings

Rayna Menling nuns receiving a memorial chorten of 33rd Menri Trizen from HE Menri Lopon Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche.

Offering Devotion and Receiving Blessings

His Eminence Yangton Menri Lopon Rinpoche presents the butter lamp offering.

On November 4, 2017, on the 15th day of the 9th Tibetan month, Tashi Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India held memorial events to mark the 49th day after the passing into liberation of the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche. By invitation of His Eminence Menri Lopon Trinley Nyima Rinpoche, the tulkus, professors, geshes, and monks assembled in the temple. There, before the precious cremation bones, ash and relics of the 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoche, with a feeling of intense longing, they prostrated and recited the Prayer to the Victor Bön, His Holiness Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche.

L-Holy cremation ash C-Holy ringsel R-Holy cremation bone

Following that, the Praise of the Twelve Deeds of Shenrap Miwo Künlé Nampar Gyalwa was recited. Having formally presented the precious cremation bones, ash and relics to His Eminence Menri Lopon Rinpoche, he gifted each member of the monastic community with the actual accomplishment of the support for blessings, a majestic and empowered cremation bone.

Nuns of Menri perform the Tsewang Bo Yulma Tsok.

In the afternoon, the Menri community of nuns gathered and performed the Feast Offering of the Tséwang Bö Yulma. During this time, other monastic colleges within Menri Monastery performed various practices and rituals as well. Later, everyone gathered outside in the courtyard and again recited the Praise of the Twelve Deeds and the Prayer to His Holiness Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche.

L-Cremation tsa tsa containing holy cremation bone. R-Public receiving a tsa tsa.

From then until midnight, both the monastic community and the public offered butter lamps, prostrations, and circumambulated the lama residence where the 33rd Menri Trizin had lived. At midnight, the public were invited to come before HE Menri Lopon Rinpoche and to receive a holy tsa tsa containing a majestic cremation bone inside. All of these holy relics, which are imbued with extraordinary power, are objects of support for the faithful to receive unlimited blessings and to develop profound devotion.

The Yungdrung Bon community chanting in the courtyard.

Once everyone had received a holy tsa tsa, they gathered outside where HE Menri Lopon Rinpoche led the presentation of the five offerings, the recitation of Offerings to the Lama, and the Prayer to His Holiness Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche.

The Light of Awakening

Menri Monastery draped in lights after the passing into liberation of HH 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpa’i Nyima Rinpoche. Photo credit: Menri Monastery

Receiving Blessings on the 49th Day

Placard handed out at Menri Monastery on the occasion of HH 33rd Menri Trizen’s cremation. Photo credit: Raven Cypress Wood

November 4th, 2017, the full moon day of the 9th Tibetan month, will mark the 49th day since the passing into liberation of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpa’i Nyima Rinpoche. Although His Holiness has liberated and therefore has no need for traveling through the experience of the six realms of cyclic existence in the bardo, these 49 days are marked as an auspicious time to make offerings and perform virtue in order to generate powerful benefit for both ourselves and others. For ordinary beings who have died, we make offerings and perform ritual in order to support them. In this case, we make offerings and perform ritual to generate merit which we dedicate for the benefit of all suffering beings. This is also a powerful time to connect with the presence of His Holiness, receive his blessings, renew commitments made to him, and to remember the teachings and guidance that he offered.

At Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India the prayer Offerings for the Lama has been recited regularly since the passing of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche. This prayer will be one of the prayers offered on the 49th day. It is also appropriate to offer butter lamps or candles, perform the prayer specific for His Holiness, perform guru yoga emphasizing the presence of His Holiness, or abide in the natural state of the mind.

Butter lamp offerings at Menri Monastery. Photo credit: Menri Monastery

Offerings for the Lama

 EMAHO!

Within a completely pure and unchanging manifested realm,

is the spiritual master, the essence of the Enlightened Ones of the three times.

In order for the migrating beings of the six realms to cross the ocean of cyclic existence,

please remain seated upon the jeweled throne, on faultless cushions of a radiant lotus, sun and moon

within an unsurpassed palace of the immeasurable three places.

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA TA TSEN RA YO DZA

 

Prostrations

EMAHO!

To the lama who is the embodiment of all of the Victors and spiritual masters,

who acts principally through the accomplishment of Bön for sentient beings who are as limitless as the sky,

I offer prostrations with my body,

prostrating with my arms, legs and head!

I prostrate with my speech,

chanting with a joyous and inspired melody!

I prostrate with my mind,

prostrating with single-pointed motivation and devotion!

May the negative actions and defilements of my three doors become purified!

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA KO PUNG AKSHO TRI TSE GU DÜN HRUN

 

Admission of Wrongdoing and Purification

Before a supreme object of refuge, in the presence of my principal lama,

from the beginning until today,

I admit my actions of wrongdoing and non-virtue.

I admit corrupting the three vows and defiling the promises that I’ve made.

I admit my pretension even though not understanding the nature of mind.

Please bestow complete purification and the supreme attainment!

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA KO PUNG AKSHO TRI TSE U DUK SHA YA NI SOHA

 

Mandala

EMAHO!

To the great, unmatched lama possessing characteristics,

I present unequaled external, internal, and secret offerings.

Externally, I offer the environment and the beings within it.

Furthermore, I offer my own body and its vitality as an ornament.

I present these offerings with non-attachment.

Internally, I offer the arising of my mental and physical aggregates.

I offer my accumulated realization that whatever arises as a subject and object is illusory.

Furthermore, I present these offerings within the vast space of self-liberation.

Secretly, I offer the natural radiance of my unborn mind,

which is unceasing, and understands whatever arises as enlightened manifestation and wisdom.

Furthermore, I present these offerings within a completely vast and all-pervasive space.

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA ZUR NAM DÉ SHO HA RA TIM TIM YÉ SOHA

 

The Five Offerings

EMAHO!

Free from extremes and unchanging is the container of my mind.

Free from elaborations, I establish the wick of great self-liberation.

I fill the lamp of authentic, completely pervasive great bliss.

To the One who has characteristics, I present this butter lamp to look upon with the eye.

This unmoving and naturally clear incense burner

is filled with the non-grasping, radiantly clear light of pure incense.

The fresh and continuous smoke permeates everywhere.

I present this incense to the Protector of beings.

This unfabricated and self-clear water offering bowl

is filled with unobstructed, playfully self-arising offering water.

Including various ornaments of non-attachment such as nectar and medicine,

I present this offering water for the enjoyment of the Dimension of great kindness.

The primordial Buddha of the conch shell of the mind

is filled with manifested experience and realization like the utpal flower.

Radiating the wonderful light of spontaneously benefitting others,

I present this flower of enlightened activity to the Heart of great kindness.

AH OM HUNG NÉ TING SHIM PÖ DANG RA BONG NGÉ NÉ RA ZUR NAM DÉ SHO HA RA TIM TIM SOHA

 

Praise of the Enlightened State

EMAHO!

At the crown of my head, the changeless palace of great bliss,

abides the state of Künzang, completely equipoised and free from extremes.

I pray to the dimension of the Bön lamas,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

At the neck, the space of the palace of Ogmin,

are the peaceful and wrathful deities who have the major and minor characteristics.

I pray to the dimension of lamas of the Dzok ku,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

At the center of the heart

is the realm of the manifested subduer of migrating beings,

the One who teaches whatever is needed and performs a variety of enlightened activity.

I pray to the dimension of manifested Lamas,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

To the collective of all the victorious Lamas who have the endowments of leisure and fortune,

who teach the entire collection of scripture with completely pure speech,

who have the extensive wisdom of knowledge and kindness, and a mind free from elaboration,

who protect migrating beings like their own children with the exalted qualities that arise,

and who have spontaneous enlightened activity as limitless as the sky,

I pray to these unrivalled Lamas,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

I pray to Those who are unrivaled and who have perfected the Three Bodies,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

I pray to Those whose speech is an ornament of the world,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

I pray to Those who blaze like the incomparable udum flower,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

I pray to Those who are free of defilements and have the two kinds of knowledge,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

 

Receiving the Accomplishments

You, my Lama, who has brought cyclic existence and nirvana under your power,

I, and your other followers, pray

please bestow benefits that are as limitless as the sky to migrating beings!

Please grant our wishes to be continuously without separation from your presence!

Continuously hold us with your unequalled compassion!

 

Aspiration Prayer

Until I obtain complete enlightenment,

not born into a negative place,

may I obtain a body of renunciation with the advantages of the leisures and fortunes.

Having practiced the three trainings and loosened the mind stream, and having traveled the paths and the grounds,

from the state of complete Buddhahood,

may I accomplish benefit that is equal to the vastness of the sky!

Translated from the Tibetan by Raven Cypress Wood on the occasion of the passing of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpa’i Nyima Rinpoche

Raven Cypress Wood ©2017 All Rights Reserved. No other distribution or publication allowed.

 

The Wise and the Young

HE Menri Lopon Rinpoche talks with young students at Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India.

Sacred Ground

Yungdrung Bon lamas preparing the mandala base of a Nampar Gyalwa Fire Offering. Photo credit: Raven Cypress Wood

Incinerating Negativity: The Fire Ritual of Nampar Gyalwa

In celebration of nearing the completion of their new building as well as 25 years of operation, Ligmincha International is sponsoring The Thousand Offerings to Nampar Gyalwa and the Nampar Gyalwa Fire Ritual. The ritual is being led by the master ritualist and Yungdrung Bön lama Geshe Nyima Künchap Rinpoche and assisted by a number of monks and geshes.

R-Geshe Kunchap Rinpoche sprinkles the shrine with the Six Excellent Substances. L-Geshe Takla prepares the incense offering. Photo credit: Raven Cypress Wood

In order to protect the construction of a temple, the enlightened Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwo manifested in a wrathful manner in the form of Nampaor Gyalwa. See previous post: https://ravencypresswood.com/2016/12/25/buddha-tonpa-shenraps-eighth-deed-the-deed-of-being-completely-victorious/  

Therefore, although there are many fire rituals within the Yungdrung Bön tradition, the fire ritual of Nampar Gyalwa is especially powerful for the consecration of new buildings and increasing prosperity. During any fire ritual, all of the deities are invited to manifest through the wisdom fire. A great variety of offerings is then given to the fire such as the five grains, the three sweets things, the three white things, and representations of things such as music, coats of armor, and jewels etc.

Some of the fire offerings.

We imagine that through making these offerings to the wisdom fire of the deities, we generate great merit and all of our negativity such as the five poisons including ignorance and lack of awareness, karmic potentialities, contamination due to desecration of our vows, obstacles, dangers, illness, bad omens and dreams, bad astrological influences, and any other negativity is completed and utterly incinerated. In this way, we become completely victorious over obstacles and clear the way for blessings,prosperity, success and spiritual development to manifest.

Fire ritual offerings. Photo credit: Raven Cypress Wood

Raven Cypress Wood ©2017

May the Wheel of the Yungdrung Bön Turn Forever!

Monks at Menri Monastery during the commemoration time for His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche. Photo credit: Unknown

 

Fire Offering for the Holy Physical Remains of a Realized Being

Some of the many Fire Offering Ritual items to be burned with the holy remains. Photo credit: Menri Monastery

During the early morning hours of October 2, 2017, the holy physical remains of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche will be cremated during an elaborate fire offering ritual at Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India. For the past five days, concluding at 3:30 a.m. prior to the beginning of the actual cremation ceremony, the monks have been performing the Kün Rik Le Zhi Gyü Nga, The Full Cycle of the Four Activities and the Five Tantras with cycles for each of the four kinds of enlightened activity which are classified as peaceful, expansive, powerful and wrathful.

Cremation chorten for HH 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche at Menri Monastery. Photo credit: Lee Hartline

In preparation for the cremation, a special cremation chorten has been constructed near the gompa and the butter lamp house. This cremation chorten (Sanskrit: stupa), built under the guidance of Khedup Gyatso who is a treasure of knowledge in the Yungdrung Bön community and a relative of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche, will be where the holy remains will be taken for cremation. This chorten has been constructed exactly to the dimensions of the sand mandalas of the Kün Rik cycle that will be burned with the holy remains. After the cremation ash has been collected, this chorten will be torn down.

Extensive offerings for the fire offering ritual for HH 33 Menri Trizen Rinpoche. Photo credit: Menri Monastery

The Kü Dung, or holy physical remains, will take up to three hours to burn. After that, it will take an additional day to offer and burn the vast array of offerings that are housed inside the gompa at Menri Monastery. Everything is made clean through prayer, and cleansing with pure water and incense. Among the many offerings are prayers of aspiration that have been written in pure gold and silver and placed upon tall wooden boards that will be read aloud and then offered to the sacred fire. This vast array of offerings are not given as a support for His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche.  Rather, his sacred activity of having attained realization is taken as an auspicious opportunity to generate great benefit for all sentient beings.

Prayers of aspiration written in precious gold and silver.

During the time of the Fire Offering Ritual, lay people continuously circumambulate the sacred site. It will take many days for the cremation ashes to cool. At that time, the monks will collect the sacred ash and also look for kü dung ringsel. These kü dung ringsel, or relics of the holy physical remains, can appear in the cremation ash of realized beings and take many forms including the appearance of sacred images on small bone fragments or small, pearl-like spheres. The cremation ash will be made into tsa tsa and placed within a special memorial chorten dedicated to His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche.

Some of the many offerings for the Fire Offering Ritual dedicated to His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche. Photo credit: Menri Monastery

Offerings For the Lama

Ku dung khang, or house of the holy physical remains, for HH 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche

 

“EMAHO!

To the lama who is the embodiment of all of the Victors and spiritual masters,

who acts principally through the accomplishment of Bön for sentient beings who are as limitless as the sky,

I offer prostrations with my body,

prostrating with my arms, legs and head!

I prostrate with my speech,

chanting with a joyous and inspired melody!

I prostrate with my mind,

prostrating with single-pointed motivation and devotion!

May the negative actions and defilements of my three doors become purified!

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA KO PUNG AKSHO TRI TSE GU DÜN HRUN

 

EMAHO!

To the great lama who has no equal and possesses characteristics,

I present unmatched external, internal, and secret offerings.

Externally, I offer the environment and the beings within it.

Furthermore, I offer my own body and its vitality as an ornament.

I present these offerings with non-attachment.

Internally, I offer the arising of my mental and physical aggregates.

I offer my accumulated realization of whatever arises as subject and object as illusory.

Furthermore, I present these offerings within the vast space of self-liberation.

Secretly, I offer the natural radiance of my unborn mind, which is

unceasing and understands whatever arises as enlightened manifestation and wisdom.

Furthermore, I present these offerings within a completely vast and all-pervasive space.

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA ZUR NAM DÉ SHO HA RA TIM TIM YÉ SOHA

 

EMAHO!

At the crown of my head, the change-less palace of great bliss,

abides the state of Künzang, completely equipoised and free from extremes.

I pray to the dimension of the Bön lamas,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

At the neck, the space of the palace of Ogmin,

are the peaceful and wrathful deities who have the major and minor characteristics.

I pray to the dimension of lamas of the Dzog ku,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

At the center of the heart is the realm of the manifested subduer of migrating beings,

the One who teaches whatever is needed and who performs a variety of enlightened activity.

I pray to the dimension of manifested lamas,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

To the gathered Victors of the dimension of leisure and fortune

who teach the entire collection of scripture with completely pure speech,

who have the extensive wisdom of knowledge and kindness, and a mind free from elaboration,

who protect migrating beings like their very own children with the exalted qualities that arise,

To Those who have spontaneous, enlightened activity as limitless as the sky,

I pray to the unequaled lamas,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

I pray to those who are unrivaled and who have perfected the Three Bodies,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

I pray to Those whose speech is an ornament of the world,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

 

I pray to Those who are free of defilements and have the two kinds of knowledge,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

 

You, my lama, who has brought cyclic existence and nirvana under your power,

I, and your other followers, pray,

please bestow benefits that are as limitless as the sky to migrating beings !

Please grant our wishes to be continuously without separation from your presence!

Continuously hold us with your unequalled compassion, we pray!

 

Until I obtain complete enlightenment,

not born into a negative place,

may I obtain a body of renunciation with the advantages of the leisures and fortunes.

Having practiced the three trainings and loosened the mind stream, and having traveled the paths and the grounds,

and from the state of complete Buddhahood,

may I accomplish benefit that is equal to the vastness of the sky!”

~Excerpt from prayers offered at Menri Monastery during the time after the passing of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche

Translated by Raven Cypress Wood ©2017 All Rights Reserved

Prayers for the Master

Monks offering prayers and butter lamps after the passing of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche September 2017. Photo credit: Unknown

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.

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