Category Archives: Translation

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

Removing Obstacles from the Path: Gift Translation

The wisdom deity, Shenlha Ökar, embodies all of the perfected qualities and represents the unification of all lamas.

 

Within the Yungdrung Bön tradition, the practice of the Bar Che Lam Sel, or Removing Obstacles from the Path, is a powerful method for removing any kind of obstacle being experienced by the practitioner. From the notation within the text,

By reciting this “Spontaneous Wish-fulfillment of Removing Obstacles from the Path” a single time, obstacles of an entire year are pacified. By reciting it one hundred times, obstacles of one lifetime are pacified.” 

One does not need transmission or instruction in order to recite this prayer. However, if the practitioner is able to receive the oral transmission from a qualified Yungdrung Bön lama, the benefit of the prayer is greatly multiplied. Making a commitment to recite the prayer before a sacred image or shrine, and then fulfilling that commitment, increases the power of the practice by virtue of having fulfilled a sacred commitment. The prayer can be recited at any time, but especially during any experience of problems or obstacles, when starting a business or important endeavor, and during an astrologically calculated “obstacle year” which, according to Tibetan astrology, occurs during the ages of 1, 9, 13, 25, 37, 49, 61, 73 and 81. The prayer can also be taken as a daily practice, or recited for the benefit of others and dedicated to their release from obstacles.

This translation is offered to all Yungdrung Bön practitioners for their personal use. A link to download the pdf can be found at the end of this article. May we all be free from obstacles and have positive circumstances that support our continual spiritual practice and development!

The Google Doc link below will provide access to download the pdf of the translation.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1k65MU4_CAr1cTYE6ULizZd8dLKMqUcHV

 

May Everyone have Success and Prosperity!



Within the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition, the powerful wealth deities act to protect and increase the success, wealth, merit, health, and positive circumstances of Yungdrung Bön practitioners. Kubera, also known as Blue Dzambhala or Dzam Ngön, is one of these wealth deities. Along with propitiation and mantra recitation, Kubera is offered sang, smoke purification and offering, in the morning, and torma in the evening.

“In the midst of a mound of many kinds of wish-fulfilling jewels, and seated upon a magically emanated turquoise-colored horse, is the miraculously born Kubera.  His body is a brilliant, dark-blue color.  He wears a helmet of crystal upon his head, and a coat of armor upon his body.  In his right hand, he lifts a golden sword that rains down precious things, and clears away obstacles for Bön practitioners.  In his left hand, he holds a mongoose.  From the mouth of the mongoose, precious jewels overflow and come forth. Without exception, he clears away the suffering and misery of poverty for all sentient beings.  Above his right and left shoulders, two iron hawks soar and circle overhead.  Two tigers leap in front of him, and behind, two lions run.  His inner retinue consists of one hundred-thousand deities who resemble him, and his outer retinue consists of millions of deities who surround him.”

~From A Storehouse of Treasure, the Main Practice of Blue Dzambhala

According to the Yungdrung Bön religious calendar, the lunar dates each month that are specified for Kubera propitiation and practice are: 4, 8, 11, 13, 15,17, 27, and 30.

Tibetan translation by Raven Cypress Wood ©2015 All Rights Reserved

Offering Light

“So that I, and all other sentient beings without exception, may purify obscurations, perfect the accumulations, and look upon the divine face of the deity, I present this victory banner of butter lamps to the assembly of external and internal peaceful and wrathful deities who have gone beyond bliss.

Performing mainly for our kind mothers and fathers, who are the sentient beings within the three realms of cyclic existence, and with compassion for those in the realm of the bardo, having purified all negative actions, karmic potentialities and defilements, may they be liberated from the places within the six realms of cyclic existence!  May they reach the Five Families of Those who have gone beyond bliss!”

From Raising a Victory Banner of Butter Lamps found within The Tantra of the Assembly of Peaceful and Wrathful Deities.

Tibetan translation by Raven Cypress Wood ©2017

New Book Announcement

SO DRUM AH KAR MU LA TING NAM Ö DU MU YÉ TSÉ NI DZA

~Essence mantra of the deity of longevity, Lama Tséwang Rikdzin

In the Yungdrung Bön tradition, the longevity practice of Lama Tséwang Rikdzin is foremost among the many longevity practices within the religious tradition. Indestructible: The Longevity Practice of Lama Tséwang Rikdzin by Raven Cypress Wood contains the English translation of the longevity practice of Lama Tséwang Rikdzin from the Tséwang Jarima Chok Dü scripture. From the foreword written by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche:

“The wisdom of Tséwang Rikdzin and the practices associated with this teaching can help us retrieve, extend, and enhance our life force: healing environmental, physical, emotional, and energetic imbalances in our lives. Strengthening and extending our lifespan provides more time for our spiritual development and for serving and benefiting other sentient beings.”

The Tibetan syllable NI, the syllable of a human being, and support for the vital life force. Calligraphy by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.

Lama Tséwang Rikdzin is the embodiment of the Five Buddha Families and can therefore bestow any quality or wisdom that is needed.  In this particular practice, the attainment of longevity, physical health, vitality, and a complete and healthy soul are emphasized.

“Lama Tséwang Rikdzin is a tülku whose heart emanations are sent forth throughout the ten directions. He has power over longevity and protects the lifespan and prosperity of all practitioners.”

Excerpt from ‘Indestructible: The Longevity Practice of Lama Tséwang Rikdzin”

This book is suitable for both those familiar and those unfamiliar with the practice. It includes information regarding the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition, Lama Tséwang Rikdzin, and the root text which contains the longevity practice. The book is available as a hardback edition with color images and text, or a black and white paperback edition.  It can purchased through the Sacred Sky Press online store at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/SacredSky

“We pray for the mending of all of our lifespan that has been torn.

We pray to be reunited with all of our lifespan that has been separated from us.

We pray for all of our lifespan that has been dispersed to be gathered back together.

May our prosperity and our lifespan be deathless and indestructible!”

Excerpt from ‘Indestructible: The Longevity Practice of Lama Tséwang Rikdzin”

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.

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.

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