Category Archives: Prayer and Ritual

Annual Retreat of the Peaceful & Wrathful Walsé Ngampa

The Yidam Walsé Ngampa and the Great Mother Ngammo Yumchen Tröpe Taktenma

Each year on the 23rd-29th lunar days of the 2nd lunar month, Menri Monastery performs a week-long retreat of the yidam Walsé Ngampa. In 2023, these dates correspond to April 13th-19th on the Western calendar. The retreat includes recitation of the complete yidam text along with accumulation of the mantra, one hundred feast offerings to the yidam and his retinue, as well as a ritual of protection to turn away malevolent forces as well as the causes for illness, accidents, conflicts, and other types of harm and danger.

The yidam Walsé Ngampa is one of the Five Supreme Embodiments, or literally the Five Supreme Citadels of the Father Tantra that are manifestations of the enlightened body, speech, mind, quality, and activity of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoché. Walsé Ngampa is the embodiment of Enlightened Body. He is dark blue with nine heads and eighteen arms with which he holds various weapons for subduing obstacles. He is the manifested form of the wisdom of emptiness. His consort has the nature of Buddha Satrik Érsang and is known as Ngammo Yumchen Tröpé Taktenma with a body color that is dark green with blue hair and eyebrows. In her right hand, she holds an amulet containing the earth and sky. In her left hand, she holds a vase of nectar. And she wears a necklace of the planets and stars.

The main ritual text for this deity is entitled, Stages of Practice for Walsé which was composed by the great sage Drenpa Namkha and rediscovered as a terma by Matön Drol Dzin in 1091 from a rock in Dangra Khyung-dzong. Reciting this text and performing the associated rituals has a profound benefit of blessing and protection. Menri Monastery will be performing this sacred activity or the benefit and welfare of all beings in support of their happiness and development of wisdom.

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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A Gift Translation for the Year of the Water Rabbit!

The first day of the first lunar month is the Royal Tibetan New Year’s Day. In 2023, this coincides with February 21st and is an auspicious day for making prayers of aspiration. As a gift of practice support for the worldwide Yungdrung Bön family, the English language translation of the Aspiration Prayer of the Ten Grounds from The Three-fold Aspiration Prayer known as the Mönlam Namsum, is being made freely available for private use. Below is an excerpt of the translation.

The complete translation of the prayer along with the Tibetan text can be downloaded as a pdf from the Publications page of this website.

May everyone have a year of happiness, health, and prosperity! And may those favorable conditions support rapid spiritual accomplishments!

“I prostrate to the teacher Küntu Zangpo who has not gone beyond, and who is a completely compassionate guardian! To begin, in order for suffering sentient beings to traverse the extraordinary place of the grounds, with a completely pure mind of enlightenment, through the compassion of Trül Bön Sangwa Nangring, and having renounced all negative places of cyclic existence, I offer this aspiration prayer in order to traverse the pure paths and grounds.

(First: The Ground of Immense Joy) Upon the ground of immense joy, having cleansed and purified the stain of greed and having perfected the great accumulation of generosity, may I see the face of Jinpa Jamma, the Loving Mother of Generosity!

(Second: The Ground of Stainless Crystal) Upon the ground of stainless crystal, having cleansed and purified the stain of immorality and having perfected the great accumulation of moral discipline, may I see the face of Tsultrim Jamma, the Loving Mother of Moral Discipline!

(Third: The Ground of Radiance) Upon the ground of radiance, having cleansed and purified the stain of insensitivity and impatience and having perfected the great accumulation of patience, may I see the face of Zöpa Jamma, the Loving Mother of Patience!

One of the Four Supreme Lords, Buddha Satrik Érsang.

May I see the face of Satrik Érsang! Having seen the face of Satrik Érsang, may I spontaneously accomplish benefit for myself!

Having spontaneously accomplished benefit for myself, may I perfect benefit for others!

Having perfected benefit for others, may the welfare of sentient beings ripen! Having ripened the welfare of sentient beings, may I tread upon the ground of universal light!

Having tread upon the ground of universal light and also upon the ground of the great bliss of Bön, may I perfect the three bodies upon the ground of unmoving equanimity where everything is inexpressible!

Having perfected the three bodies upon the ground of unmoving equanimity, may I instantly be born upon a pure lotus!

Having been instantly born upon a pure lotus, may I fulfill complete benefit for sentient beings!”

—Excerpt from Aspiration Prayer of the Ten Grounds from The Three-fold Aspiration Prayer, the Mönlam Namsum

All translations and content by Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved.

No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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5th Anniversary of the Parinirvana of H.H. the 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoché

On the 24th day of the 7th lunar month in the Western year 2017, His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoché displayed his realization by passing into nirvana from his physical body. In 2022, this date coincides with the Western calendar date September 19th. On this day, Yungdrung Bön religious centers worldwide will recognize this auspicious day with special prayers and rituals.

It is an especially auspicious day to recite the Tséwang Mönlam, Tséwang’s Precious Mala of Aspiration Prayers. The English translation of this prayer is freely and publicly available for private use on the Publications page of this website.

In accordance with the request of H.H. 34th Menri Trizin Rinpoche, a statue with the likeness of H.H. the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpe Nyima Rinpoche was commissioned and has been newly installed at Menri Monastery in India.

His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoche traveled the world teaching and sharing his advice and wisdom. In this way, many Westerners were blessed with the experience of hearing the sacred teachings directly from the mouth of the holy teacher.

“It is important for you to feel grateful every day to the one who introduced you to the nature of mind. When you do a meditation you feel gratitude, blessings, and thankfulness, experiences of inspiration and devotion. It is not like your gratitude is benefitting the master. Rather, it is important in order for you to develop your practice. If you cannot do a form of guru yoga every day, then just before you are going to sleep, as you are going to bed, feel the blessings, gratitude, and joy and dissolve the master from the crown to the heart. Feel the master in your heart and go to sleep. You will have beter dreams and more peaceful sleep. When you wake up in the morning, those energies can come out from the top of the head, that liveliness, and you can have a better day. You can begin the right way.”

Extract from Living Wisdom: Dzogchen Teachings from the 33rd Menri Trizin, His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche published by Sacred Sky Press

This book can be published from Ligmincha International’s online store at this link:

Supplication Prayer to H.H. the 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoché

“The omniscient wisdom of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions is condensed into a single essence in you, Highest One.

You carry out the enlightened activities of spreading the vast and profound teachings of Tönpa Shenrap.

To you, Lungtok Tenpé Nyima, I supplicate and pray.”

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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Developing Knowledge & Wisdom with the Lion of Speech

Mawé Sengé, Lion of Speech, with a sword of knowledge and a scripture.

After the Tibetan New Year celebrations, students at Menri Monastery enter into an intensive retreat to cultivate the qualities of the wisdom deity Mawé Sengé, Lion of Speech. This retreat begins on the 24th lunar day of the 1st month and concludes on the 30th lunar day. In 2022, these dates coincide with March 26th – April 1st on the Western calendar. The purpose of this retreat is to receive the blessings and empowerment of the wisdom deity Mawé Sengé in order to develop and sharpen the students’ intellect to support their upcoming studies in the new school year. The practice of Mawé Sengé is performed many times each day and the mantra of the deity is recited as much as possible throughout the retreat with a minimum accumulation of 100,000 mantra recitations.

Mawé Sengé is the manifestation of the Dzok ku, the Enlightened Body, or state, of Perfected Qualities. If practiced regularly as a yidam deity, he clears the darkness of confusion, develops the intellect, and gives a quick and steadfast memory without forgetfulness. If his practice is properly applied and accomplished, there are seven specific signs that arise. These are called The Seven Signs of Attaining Wisdom that Blazes Like Fire. These seven signs are:

  1. The sign of having removed the darkness of lack of knowledge from the intellect. Specifically, this refers to removing a weak or unclear intellectual understanding. 
  2. The sign of having the eye of wisdom. This is the attainment of clairvoyance, expansive knowledge and wisdom.
  3. The sign of being like a lion of glorious poetry. This refers to the ability to write expert discourses, specifically scholastic poems and compositions.
  4. The sign of the sun of superior knowledge arising. This refers to the capability of having clear knowledge, without any confusion, regarding the qualities of any knowable object. 
  5. The sign of attaining the recollection of intelligence that is never forgotten. This refers to a steadfast capability of remembering what has been learned without forgetfulness.
  6. The sign of being like a thunderbolt when debating. This refers to the capability to brilliantly overcome all others, without defeat or fear, when debating any subject whatsoever.
  7. The sign of the intellectual memory being fast like lightening. This refers to an extraordinary ability of having a clear and quick memory.

“I go for refuge to the wisdom deity for the intellect.

I generate the supreme mind of enlightenment for the benefit of vigorous training in the highest wisdom.

Having compassionately purified all karmic obscurations without any exception,

please bestow the attainments of an increased intellect, useful knowledge, and a divine voice!”  

— From The Short Practice of Mawé Sengé. Tibetan translation: Raven Cypress Wood

Mawé Sengé holding a sword and a butter lamp

In the Yungdrung Bön tradition, there are two principal forms of the wisdom deity Mawé Sengé. Both of these forms share most characteristics. However, one form holds a sword and a scripture as the hand objects. The other form holds a sword and a butter lamp. This second principal form of Mawé Sengé is according to the prayer, An Offering of Praise for the Supreme Wisdom Deity Sherab Mawé Sengé, A Garland of Utpala Flowers composed by the highly revered Nyammé Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche.

“With a sword of wisdom held in your right hand, you cut the root of deluded thoughts and self-grasping.

With a butter lamp of clarity held in your left hand, you dispel the dark intellect and ignorance of migrating beings.

In the space to your right and left, the sun and moon blaze with the splendor of the inseparability of method and knowledge.”

— Extract from An Offering of Praise for the Supreme Wisdom Deity Sherab Mawé Sengé, A Garland of Utpala Flowers

In order to support his Dolpo Bön School for Girls and Boys in Dunai, Nepal, Khenpo Nyima Künchap Rinpoche has commissioned a limited number of thangkas depicting this particular principal form of Mawé Sengé. As the North American coordinator for the Dolpo Bön Society which supports the Dolpo Bön School, Raven Cypress Wood is selling some of these thangkas on behalf of Khenpo Rinpoche. The images are high quality prints framed in beautiful brocade and include the traditional silk covering. The deity image measures 23″ x 16″ and the full thangka measures 50″ x 39.” Anyone within the continental U.S. who is interested in purchasing one of these thangkas for $190.00 can email Raven directly at

About The Dolpo Bön Society and the Dolpo Bön School for Girls and Boys

The Dolpo Bön Society was formed in 2001 in response to the great degeneration of the Bön culture and religion in the Dolpo region due to poverty, illiteracy, and a desire to send the children to the places like Kathmandu and India for their studies. When that happens, the children rarely return to their villages. As a result, the culture and traditions of the villages were being destroyed. Recognizing this, all the great lamas and representatives of monasteries within the region held several conferences and came to the conclusion that a welfare society needed to be formed. Therefore, the non-profit Dolpo Bön Society was formed in 2001.

Although there has been a government school available, many parents cannot afford the cost and the school does not teach the Tibetan language. Therefore, as part of the Society’s mission to maintain and develop the Tibetan, and specifically Bön, culture and traditions throughout the Dolpo region, the Dolpo Bön School for Girls and Boys was established by Khenpo Nyima Künchap Rinpoche. In addition to a well-rounded modern education within the framework of the Tibetan Bön culture, the school also provides food and lodging, supplies for daily living, clothing, and even medical care when needed. All this, plus staff salaries and building and maintenance costs are primarily provided for from Rinpoche’s personal funds acquired through his worldwide teaching and rituals. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, he has not been able to travel outside of Nepal and India for the past two years. However, he has enjoyed being able to spend much more time with his students and teachers.

Khenpo Künchap Rinpoche distributes clothing to the Dolpo Bön School children

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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Feast Offering to the Deities of the Mother Tantra


Mother Tantra deities as painted by Lama Kalsang Nyima. Photo credit: Raven Cypress Wood

On the 21st and 22nd lunar days of the 1st month, Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India will perform a feast offering to the deities of the Mother Tantra according to the Shen tradition. These dates are March 23rd and 24th, 2022 on the Western calendar. This kind of feast offering, known as tsok [Tibetan: tshogs] literally means “collection, accumulation, assembly.”

The source of the Mother Tantra within the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition is the primordial Buddha Küntu Zangpo. It has three cycles: external, internal and secret. Each cycle has a root text and a commentary that was written by the sage Milu Samlek. The main yidam of the Mother tantra is Sangchok Tartuk and his consort Khandro Chema Ötso. Of the two types of either peaceful or wrathful, the tsok of the Mother Tantra is categorized as wrathful.

menri ma gyud tsok 2021

Tsok offerings for the principal deities and retinue of the Mother Tantra. Photo credit: Unknown

For those who have vows with a yidam deity, performing a tsok is an opportunity to repair broken vows or commitments related to the yidam practice and increase merit and wisdom. Having offered to the enlightened beings, we gain more power and energy. Additionally, past negative actions and the obstacles and imbalances of daily life are purified. Qualities such as health, longevity, prosperity, confidence, stability are enhanced. When undergoing a deity retreat, a tsok is performed during the final session of practice each day.

When performing a tsok, the ritual can be done in its condensed, medium-length, or extensive forms. This is determined by the purpose of the tsok, the sponsor, the circumstance, and the umdzé or ritual director of the feast offering. However, every tsok has a similar structure consisting of preparation, preliminaries, prayers related to the specific deity together with their retinue, and the concluding prayers.  In general, once the length of the tsok is determined the necessary sacred substances, offering torma, and food offerings are prepared. Everything must be clean, prepared according to the text, and placed in its proper position in the shrine area. The preliminary practices consist of the usual foundation of setting an boundary in order to keep out obstacles and to keep in the blessings, going for refuge, generating the mind of enlightenment for self and others and admission of wrongdoing and purification.

The tsok offerings are then ritually cleansed with water and incense. The tsok is then empowered through visualization and mantra and becomes delicious, containing the eight qualities of nutrition, as well as limitless auspiciousness and positive qualities. The principal deity are retinue are formally invited to tsok and asked to reside in the objects of support such as the yidam torma or image that has been centrally placed on uppermost level of the shrine. Now that the enlightened deity is present, prostrations are offered. One can also take this opportunity to confess any broken vows or commitments to the deity and receive purification and renewal of those vows.

wrathful tsok

A wrathful tsok offering. Photo credit: Unknown

The eight offering goddesses are imagined to present the eight external offerings to the assembly of deities. Then, rakta mixed with tea is offered and is symbolic of a blood offering. This represents offering the liberation of our desire and attachment. Next, the ritually prepared medicinal alcohol is empowered and presented to the yidam deities which represents offering our wisdom. The tsok is then liberated by being cut. The top-most portion is offered to the deities, and the next portion is offered to the lineage lamas of the practice being performed. The linga torma represents outer enemies and obstacles as well as the inner five poisons, wrong views etc. This torma is now presented to the yidam, liberated by cutting, and then offered while requesting the ordinary and supreme attainments of the practice. The Yungdrung Bön protectors are presented with offerings, the prayer of delighting the deities and the lineage with the tsok is performed, and the prayer of attainment is performed.

“Within this mandala where marvelous things arise,

there is a collection of enjoyable things such as sights, sounds, smells, tastes, things to touch, ornaments, Bön treasures, etc.

Through this unsurpassed cloud of offerings, both actually set out and imagined,

may our sacred commitments be fulfilled!

Through the blessings of having fulfilled our sacred commitments to you,

may the enlightened teachings of the Yungdrung Bön spread!

Dispel into space all external, internal, and secret obstacles!”



This sacred food is the essence of spiritual attainment.

I will partake of it and receive both the ordinary and the supreme spiritual attainments!”

Then, by eating the tsok, we renew our vows with the yidam deities and receive their blessing and empowerment. We then share the leftovers of the tsok offerings as a charitable gift to those lower beings who are powerless to take part in the tsok and depend upon our generosity to receive its blessings.

The concluding practices include prayers of aspiration and auspicious followed by dedicating all of the virtuous activity performed during the tsok for the benefit of every sentient being within cyclic existence.

For more information about the cycle of Mother Tantra texts, see previous article:

Tibetan translations by Raven Cypress Wood

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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