Category Archives: Translation

The Power of Aspiration

Yungdrung Bön nun circumambulates. Photo credit: Mary Ellen McCourt

“Never being separate from the divine places of refuge and having brought together the causes and conditions of faith and compassion, may I generate the mind of enlightenment for the benefit of all migrating beings!

With the establishment of mindfulness as well as a vast and pure renunciation, and through the four kinds of miraculous abilities along the path of accumulation, and because of these roots of virtue which are in accord with the path of liberation, may my mind-stream become ripened!

Instantly having perceived the clearly manifest meaning of the essential nature which is non-dual clarity and emptiness, may I be free from the activities of this world and obtain the ground beyond only having a mere taste of experience!

Unwavering from the state of pure space and having accomplished benefit for others through the unsurpassed ten perfections, may I proceed along the path of meditation and fulfill the two accumulations!”

— Extract from The Eight-branched Aspiration Prayer

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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To Act with Compassion

An older horse that has been protected and blessed through the Tshe Thar ritual in honor of HE Menri Ponlop Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche. Photo credit: Unknown

Within the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition, there is a ritual for protecting the life of animals that are destined to be killed. This ritual is known as Tshe Thar, life release or freeing life. In Tibet, it is common to purchase live fish just after they have been caught and release them back into the lakes or to purchase yaks and allow them to live out the full length of their life span.

HH 34th Menri Trizin, Latri Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche, and Geshe Nyima Künchap Rinpoche performing the Tshe Thar ritual for a fish release. Photo credit: Angel R. Torres

An individual or group requests a lama to perform the tshe thar ritual either as a general practice of compassion, on a particular auspicious day, as a method to protect the longevity of a lama, or to prolong the life-span of an ill person, etc.

“Marvelous source of the teachings who holds the treasury of all exalted qualities, the lama has the control of discipline through many activities.

He is the unequaled lord of the teachings and the ornament of the crown of the head.”

— Extract from The Skillful Method of Saving the Life of Beings and Setting Them Free

The ritual begins with the usual preliminary practices of taking refuge in the places of wisdom and enlightenment, generating a fervent intent towards enlightenment for one’s self and others, admitting and purifying non-virtue that one has committed, and setting a boundary to prevent disturbances to the ritual. Then, the lama generates their body, speech and mind as the enlightened body, speech and mind of the wisdom deity and bestows blessings and empowerment upon the animals. To mark this and to indicate that the animals are forever protected, a sacred badge containing the mantric syllables of the wisdom deity is affixed to the animals. In conclusion, prayers of good fortune and aspiration are performed and the virtue of the activity is dedicated for the benefit of all sentient beings.

“Although it is difficult to produce the four kinds of thoughts of enlightenment,

compassion is easy if one’s self is used as an example.”

— Words of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoché from The Fifth Way: The Way of Those Who Follow Virtue

A yak in Dolpo, Nepal that has been protected and blessed through the Tshe Thar ritual. Photo credit: Geshe Tenzin Yangtön

“Through the blessings of saving the life of these beings and setting them free for the benefit of pacifying the obstacles of the sponsors, may obstacles be pacified!

May the lifespan be undiminished! May the lifespan not be lost! May the lifespan be long!  

You, animals whose lives have been saved, having attained a precious human body in the future, may you have the good fortune of practicing the Yungdrung Bön!

— Extract from The Skillful Method of Saving the Life of Beings and Setting Them Free

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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Praise to the Unsurpassed Teacher!

The enlightened Lord Tonpa Shenrap Miwoche. Photo credit: Khedup Gyatso.

“EMAHO!

Even though he had gathered the two accumulations of merit and wisdom over three incalculable eons and had become omniscient and an unsurpassed teacher,

and although he had perfectly fulfilled renunciation and realization and had manifested as an enlightened being,

he mercifully perceived migrating beings and set the intention to be born as a son to King Mugyal Thökar in order to guide sentient beings.

I pay homage to the deed of accepting rebirth!”

— Excerpt from Praise of the Twelve Deeds of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoché

For more information about Buddha’s deed of being born, see the previous article: https://ravencypresswood.com/2013/09/19/buddha-tonpa-shenraps-1st-deed-birth/

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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Clearing Away the Darkness

Butter lamp offering. Photo credit: Unknown

“EMAHO!

Throughout the ten directions of the immeasurable three thousand-fold universe are many kinds of goddesses including the butter lamp offering goddesses.

Within these small, circular containers is placed a wick of twisted gauze.

They are filled with clarified, melted butter which is a divine, concentrated essence.

By lighting these bright offering lamps, the fire of the lamps clears away darkness and obscurations and radiates throughout the vast, clear space of the sky.

I offer this fire which has manifested from the vast space of wisdom to the dimension of the divine assembly of peaceful deities.

And may this offering fulfill my sacred vows with the divine assembly of wrathful deities.

Please accept this enjoyable offering!”

— Extract from Raising a Victory Banner of Butter Lamps

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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Offering Everything that is Good

Women of Lubrak, Mustang symbolically offering the entire internal and external universe to the places of refuge. Photo credit: Unknown.

“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 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.”

— Extract from Offerings for the Lama

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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Homage to the Spiritual Master

Monks at Menri Monastery welcome HH 34th Menri Trizin Rinpoche upon his return to the monastery. Photo credit: Unknown.

“Above the crown of my head upon a throne of a lotus, sun and moon is the essence of all victorious ones, my kind lama.

I pray to those who have the ability to lead beings out of cyclic existence. Grant your blessings so that I may effortlessly accomplish benefit to self and others!”

— Extract from Tsa Lung Sol Dep, Supplication Prayer for the Practice of the Channels and Winds written by Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche

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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The Mind of the Lama

HE Menri Ponlop Yangton Trinley Nyima Rinpoche helps a student during an exam at Menri Monastery. Photo credit: Unknown.

“EMAHO!

Enlightened Ones of the ten directions who appeared in the past,

Enlightened Ones of the ten directions who appear in the present,

Enlightened Ones of the ten directions who will appear in the future,

the Mind of the lama is the embodiment of all these Enlightened Ones of the three times.”

— Extract from The Spontaneous Wish-Fulfillment of Removing Obstacles from the Path

For more about this important Yungdrung Bön prayer, see https://ravencypresswood.com/publications/

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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Daily Practices: The Cleansing Water Rite

H.E. Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche offers cleansing water to a monk at Triten Norbutse Monastery in Nepal. Photo credit: Samaya Producciones.

Within the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition, there are many rituals to imbue water with the power to wash away contaminations and defilements. Because they pollute our individual forces of good luck, vitality, power, etc., they can attract negative circumstances or illness, they can decrease our longevity and increase circumstances of disharmony and conflict. Contaminations and defilements are created through many kinds of behavior and environmental factors such as breaking one’s vows or encouraging others to break their vows, interfering with the spiritual practice or virtuous activity of others, negative astrological constellations, etc. Therefore, each morning upon rising, it is traditional for monks, nuns, genyen, and even ordinary practitioners to perform a cleansing water rite. When the rite is performed by a lama for others, the water is poured onto the crown of the head and then a small amount of the water is given to drink. Having done so, the practitioner imagines that even the most subtle obscurations, contaminations and defilements are completely washed away.

“Anyone affected by contaminated energy, latent karmic potentialities, misfortune or defilements, having recited the mantra into clean water and ritually washed, even karmic defilements will be purified.”  

—From Benefits of the Recitation Practice of the Precious Lamp (The MA TRI Mantra)

The MA TRI mantra on a cliff face in Tibet. Photo credit: Unknown.

“Having washed with this water, I clearly imagine that any remaining contamination is washed away because of this medicine.

Without exception, any migrating being will be released from all suffering and misery, and illness and injury will be pacified. 

Obstacles along with their causes will be overcome. Both the lifespan and virtuous merit will increase. 

Glory and fame will spread, and the ripening of karma will be purified.”

—From The Cleansing-Rite Mantra of Nampar Jompa

“If you recite the mantra to good quality water mixed with powdered, medicinal incense and then cleanse with that water, all illness and sickness caused by negative forces will be pacified and all defilements and contaminations will be purified.”

—From The Heartdrop of Jamma

(For more information about The Heartdrop of Jamma and its translation, see previous post: https://ravencypresswood.com/2019/07/20/the-practice-of-jamma-chenmo-the-great-loving-mother-2/

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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Compassionate Refuge and Protection

The Great Lama Drenpa Namkha.

The 10th lunar day of each month is the time to practice Drenpa Namkha and his two sons, Tséwang Rikdzin and Pema Tongdrol according to the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition. August 10th 2019 is the 10th day of the 6th lunar month. Drenpa Namkha was an historical figure who realized complete liberation and is revered as both a great lama and also a yidam, or meditational deity.

“EMAHO! 

May the collective, compassionate blessings of the Victorious Ones of the 10 directions come for the welfare of sentient beings in this world. 

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

Now, during this negative time, the forces of good are lost and the forces of evil rule the land. 

You are surrounded by the gods and goddesses of the earth and their retinues. 

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

may the forces of good have power to act in this world!

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

— Extract from the Fourteen Verse Supplication to the Subduer, Drenpa Namkha

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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Homage to the Spiritual Masters!

H.H. 34th Menri Trizin Rinpoche and H.E. Menri Pönlop Rinpoche visit the medical college at Menri Monastery. Photo credit: Unknown.

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!”

—Extract from Offerings for the Lama

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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Aspiration of The First Way

The tree of health and illness. Photo credit: Raven Cypress Wood.

Germinating and ripening,

like a blaze of good fortune within the realm of appearance and existence,

giving birth to the positive result of longevity, prosperity, and good harvests,

providing healing for the benefit and happiness of migrating beings in the world;

may we have the auspiciousness of The Way of the Shen of Prediction!*

—Excerpt from The Auspiciousness of the Stages of The Nine Ways

*For more information about The First Way, The Way of the Shen of Prediction, see previous post:

https://ravencypresswood.com/2013/03/27/1st-of-the-nine-ways-divination-astrology-and-medicine/

 

All content and translations 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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Essence Mantra of Yungdrung Bön: the MA TRI Mantra

The MA TRI mantra at Tokden Monastery. Photo credit: Unknown.

The MA TRI mantra is one of the three primary essence mantras of the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition. The syllable OM is the seed syllable of the buddha Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwoché. The syllable MA is the seed syllable of the buddha Sherap Jamma. The remaining six syllables are the seed syllables of the Six Subduing Shen, the buddhas who liberate each of the six kinds of beings from the suffering and misery of cyclic existence.

Lord Tönpa Shenrap and Sherap Jamma according to the practice of the MA TRI.

OM Upon cushions of a sun, moon and lotus and within a beautiful, jeweled palace is the victorious deity and his consort.*  I present this offering of the essence mantra to them along with their retinue.

I request that you receive me within your compassion.  May the defilements and karmic potentialities of both myself and others be purified!  Please bestow both the supreme and the ordinary accomplishments! OM MA TRI MU YÉ SA LÉ DÜ.”

— From Sending Out and Gathering Back with the MA TRI Mantra. Translated from the Tibetan by Raven Cypress Wood

*This refers to Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoché and Buddha Sherap Jamma.

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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Giving Without Attachment

Mandala Offering at Tokden Yungdrung Bon Monastery. Photo credit: Unknown

“EMAHO!

To the great, peerless lama possessing characteristics, I present unequaled external, internal and secret offerings.

Externally, I offer the environment and the beings within it. I offer my own body and its vitality as an ornament. Furthermore, 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 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.”

—From Offerings for the Lama. Translated from the Tibetan 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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Uplifting Auspiciousness & Good Fortune

His Eminence Menri Ponlop Yangton Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche offering lungta papers to the sky during a ritual to increase good fortune. Photo credit: Unknown

“Having produced within my mind-stream a lack of desire or attachment towards this world, toward friends or enemies, towards 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!”    

—From the book Indestructible: The Longevity Practice of Tséwang Rikdzin. 

Lama Tséwang Rikdzin was born a human being as one of the twin sons of Lama Drenpa Namkha. But having realized the ultimate result of his practice and thereby transcending cyclic existence, he purified all obscurations and perfected all positive qualities and became an enlightened being. In this way, Lama Tséwang Rikdzin came to be practiced as a yidam deity. Although there are many longevity practices within the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition, the practice of Lama Tséwang Rikdzin has become the longevity practice most commonly performed.

To learn more about the book: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/SacredSky

Tibetan translation: 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

White emanation of Mawé Senge, Lion of Exposition.

After the Tibetan New Year celebrations, students at Menri Monastery in India enter into an intensive retreat to cultivate the qualities of the wisdom deity Mawé Senge, Lion of Exposition. This retreat begins on the 24th lunar day of the 1st month and concludes on the 30th lunar day. In 2019, these dates coincide with February 28th through March 6th on the Western calendar. The intention of this retreat is to develop and sharpen the student’s intellect related to their upcoming studies. The practice of Mawé Senge is performed many times each day and the mantra of the deity is recited as much as possible throughout the retreat, but at least a minimum of 100,000 recitations are completed.

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

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

Having compassionately purified all karmic obscurations without exception,

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

—From The Short Practice of Mawé Senge. Tibetan translation: 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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Anniversary of the Human Birth of Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche

Lord Tonpa Shenrap Miwoche. Photo credit: Khedup Gyatso.

The 15th day of the 12th lunar month, January 21, 2019 on the Western calendar is the 18,036th birth anniversary of the founder of the Yungdrung Bön tradition, the Enlightened Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwo Künlé Nampar Gyalwa.  Already an enlightened being, Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche chose to be born into this world in order to guide beings from suffering to liberation.  He was born into the royal Mu lineage in the kingdom of Tazig Olmo Lungring.

Traditionally, the anniversary of his birth has been celebrated on the 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar.  However, based upon research by the renowned Yungdrung Bön scholar and supreme lama, His Eminence Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, the actual date is believed to be the Full Moon day of the last month in the Tibetan lunar calendar.  This is a powerful and auspicious day for performing virtue or spiritual practice.  The benefits of these activities are greatly multiplied.

“King of Teachers, and the glorious guide through cyclic existence, you are the illuminating light that overcomes all darkness.

A primary medicine that removes the torment of the illness of ignorance, you are the king of the Mu clan, an extraordinary being who took human form.

With an army of immense fire that dries up the ocean and mire of the five poisons, you are a luminous holy man who possesses the special marks and characteristics.

Having undertaken a multitude of hardships, you completed a multitude of activities. Through both the four valid means of cognition and the six valid thoughts, and with great loving kindness, you liberate the migrating beings within cyclic existence.

I prostrate to the manifestation of wisdom, Tönpa Shenrap!”

This Praise and Homage for the Compassionate Teacher was composed by the great Lama Drenpa Namkha and is extracted from “The Definitive Meaning of the Lamp that Dispels the Darkness.”

Tibetan translation 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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May Everyone have a Mandala of Good Fortune!

Yungdrung Bon chorten in Dolpo, Nepal established by Geshe Nyima Kunchap Rinpoche.

“EMAHO!

May there be an immeasurable mandala of good fortune,

incredibly beautiful and pleasing, wonderful, and stunning to look upon,

where the five elements are spontaneously perfected and free from destruction and disintegration!”

Excerpt from the book, Indestructible, The Longevity Practice of Lama Tséwang Rikdzin by Raven Cypress Wood

Link to the book: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/SacredSky

Lama Think of Me!

His Eminence Menri Ponlop Yangton Trinley Nyima Rinpoche. Photo credit: Unknown

“EMAHO! 

With the devotion of my body, speech and mind, I pray to the essence of the three Enlightened Bodies, the kind root lama.

Please bestow upon me right now the realization of my own enlightened mind and the meaning of the view, realization and behavior.

May I recognize my natural mind, without modification and free of extremes.

May I recognize the brilliantly clear power of the wisdom of self-awareness.

May the many kinds of unceasing mental perceptions arise as self-appearances.

May I recognize my own enlightened mind, I pray.

Bless me that I may see my true face!

Bless me that self-awareness will arise for me!

Bless me to recognize my own true nature!

Bless me to see my own enlightened mind!

Lama, think of me!  Lama, think of me! Lama, think of me! 

Hold me, and all other sentient beings, in your compassion, I pray! 

Protect us with your compassion, I pray! 

Lead us with your compassion, I pray!

A Powa Prayer written by Lord Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen and included in his Kalong Gyatso, An Ocean of Instructions. Translation by Raven Cypress Wood ©2015 All Rights Reserved.

In the Language of Zhang Zhung: MU RA TA HEN

The Zhang Zhung language was a written and spoken language which predates the Tibetan language. In ancient times, the Yungdrung Bön scriptures were translated from Zhang Zhung into Tibetan, as well as many other language such as Chinese and Sanskrit.

There remains examples of the Zhang Zhung language throughout the texts. This Zhang Zhung language reference to Tönpa Shenrap Miwo, Buddha and founder of the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition, occurs twice within the commonly practiced one hundred syllable mantra.

The Indestructible Yungdrung Bön

Yungdrung Bon monks performing a ritual. Photo credit: Unknown.

“Like the sun rising at dawn, through uncontrollable power, may the teachings of Yungdrung Bön spread!”

From A Storehouse of Treasure, The Main Practice of Blue Dzambhala

Translation: Raven Cypress Wood

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