Recently, I have heard from many people who are curious about what translations and projects I am working on at the moment. So, I thought that it would be beneficial to post an update for everyone who is interested, especially for the many people who have offered donations of support. First, a few words about what has recently been completed. In November 2021, Sacred Smoke: The Ritual Practice of Fumigation and Offering in the Yungdrung Bön Religious Tradition was published by Sacred Sky Press. This book was close to publishing when Covid-19 arrived. So, it has been especially satisfying to see it become available. It is available both on Amazon and through LuLu. See the Publications page of this website for more information about this and other publications.
Due to the pandemic, my translation of the healing practice of Sigyal Drak Ngak entitled The Heartdrop of Si Gyal that is All-pervasive and Clears Away Afflictive Emotions and Illness was published and made available for purchase for those with the transmission. This healing practice is especially effective for protecting against contagious illnesses and primarily uses mantric water. This has also been translated into French and is currently being translated into Portuguese. These translations are now being used by lamas and practitioners worldwide. If you have the transmission for this practice and you would like to order a copy of the translation, contact me and I can provide the order link.
I continue to translate prayers and practice texts for both Yungdrung Bön lamas and individuals. For example, His Eminence Menri Pönlop Yangtön Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche will be teaching in Poland soon and I was happily able to provide him with translations for each of his events related to practices of the Medicine Buddha, Mawé Sengé, and the longevity practice of Tséwang Rikdzin.
Currently, I am working on two books. First, I am translating select chapters from The Precious Lamp that Shakes the Depths of Cyclic Existence. This is a tantric text associated with the MA TRI mantra of the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition. Some years ago When H.E. Menri Ponlöp Yangton Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche was giving the empowerment for the MA TRI, he suggested to me that it would be of great benefit to translate the chapter from this text entitled, The 32 Benefits of the Recitation Practice of the Precious Lamp. It begins with the story of how Buddha Tönpa Shenrap himself gave the MA TRI teachings and spoke about the special qualities of the mantra.
“For ordinary men and women, when their awareness becomes free from its physical container, if they remember this mantra when the four elements of their body disintegrate, that alone will keep them from falling into the condition of a lower rebirth and they will attain a blissful place of liberation.”Extract from The 32 Benefits of the Recitation Practice of the Precious Lamp
This book will contain information regarding the historical source and lineage of the MA TRI mantra, translations for the yidam retreat, the daily practice, the MA TRI longevity practice, and the MA TRI practices for the intermediate state after death, as well as illustrations of each of the syllables and deities. These practices are profound and direct. My goal is to have this book ready for copy editing by the Autumn of 2022.
The second book that I am working on is about the process of dying and death as it relates to the philosophy and ritual practices of the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition. I am writing this for both Yungdrung Bön practitioners and also for ordinary people who want to support a loved one who is a Bön practitioner. It is being written as a support for those who want to prepare for death during life through spiritual practice, for those experiencing the dying process, and for their loved ones. This book began as a pamphlet after a dear sangha sister had passed away. Years later, that pamphlet has grown into many chapters, translations, and many, many hours of research. One of the texts that I am translating for this book is the yogi Lishu Taring’s A Small Lamp that Clarifies the Signs of Death. This text gives detailed information about the signs of death and how to extend the lifespan if possible in order to enable the practitioner to prepare for the final moment of dying.
“I respectfully bow and offer prostrations to the place of great bliss, Kuntu Zang!
I, Lishu Taring, have written The Lamp that Clarifies the Signs of Death. Regarding that, there are two kinds of death. Untimely death and death from exhaustion of the elements. The examinations in order to know the time of death are of three kinds: (1) the examination regarding the external aggregates, (2) the examination regarding the internal winds, and (3) the examination regarding the secret awareness.”Extract from A Small Lamp that Clarifies the Signs of Death
I have heard from many people, both religious practitioners and non-religious individuals, who are in need of guidance regarding the process of dying, and how to support both themselves and others. In this book, I plan to offer information regarding the physical, mental, and spiritual process of dying and death together with the associated translations of the prayers and ritual practices that can be performed by the dying person and their loved ones.
It is my hope that both of these books will be of far-reaching benefit. In order to be sure that the translations are as clear and accurate as possible, much time is spent in research, cross-referencing, and talking with scholar monks who are familiar with the material. After the initial translation, time is spent in editing and annotation in order to make the material both true to the original texts while also making it as clear as possible for an English-speaking audience. Then, there is the formatting and copy editing of the written material. So, this work takes a large commitment of time. Because this work is not funded by grants or trusts, I am able to continue devoting time to this work, including the continuation of the website, because of the continued kind generosity of donors. Therefore, from the depths of my heart, I would like to thank all of you for your continued support and interest in Nine Ways. I am committed to continuing this work for as long as possible. we are all so fortunate to have encountered these authenticate teachings of wisdom during this lifetime. may we all have abundant health, joy, and prosperity! And ultimately, may we all attain the fruit of our practices!
Raven Cypress Wood
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