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Ripening the Mind-stream with the Practice of Realizing Impermanence

A traditional offering of butter lamps for the deceased. Photo credit: Unknown

In the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition, the practice of realizing impermanence is used as a method to ripen the mind-stream of an individual in order to prepare a solid foundation for further spiritual development. By reflecting upon the truth of the impermanent nature of all worldly phenomena, the wild mind that craves entertainment and distraction, and constantly seeks things to acquire or posses, is tamed. When the truth of impermanence is deeply realized rather than merely understood intellectually, the mind has a more open and relaxed relationship with worldly phenomena. Positive experiences such as love and joy are more appreciated since they are understood to be fleeting. Patience with discomfort and suffering is easier knowing that it too will not last. For the spiritual practitioner, the realization of the truth of impermanence turns the mind away from meaningless distraction and towards the spiritual path.

Traditionally, in order to deeply realize impermanence, the practitioner would reflect upon worldly phenomena. For example, thinking about how each season has come and gone since childhood, or the constant changing of the weather. Often the practitioner would go to the cremation ground or cemetery and reflect upon the fact that no matter how powerful, rich, famous, or adored a human being has ever been, no one has been able to live forever. In modern times, the truth of impermanence can be seen throughout the world.

As a support for the practice of realizing impermanence, the English translation of The Chanted Verse of Impermanence from the Aural Transmission of Zhang Zhung is being made publicly available for personal use. While undergoing the practice of realizing impermanence as a foundational practice, this prayer is chanted before and/or after a fervent period of reflection. Once impermanence has been realized and the mind has been tamed, this prayer can be chanted daily as a reminder and motivation to remain focused upon meaningful activities of body, speech and mind. The translation can be downloaded from this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/146WL9uyT8u842TVHKnmXJH60CHr5dHJz/view?usp=sharing

“Even though all phenomena change, I alone expect to be permanent.

How sad!

Bless me that the realization of impermanence will arise in my mind-stream!

When thinking of death, I am instantly without distraction, but then I become lazy and procrastinate.

How sad!

Bless me that the realization of impermanence will arise in my mind-stream!”

—From The Chanted Verse of Impermanence

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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3rd Anniversary of the Parinirvana of H.H. the 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoché

Menri Monastery shrine dedicated to H.H. 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoché. Photo credit: Khenpo Nyima Künchap 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 2020 this date coincides with September 11th. On this day, Yungdrung Bön religious centers worldwide will recognize this auspicious day with special prayers and rituals.

Golden statue of HH 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoché in his home village.

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.”

“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!”

— 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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The Mind of Generosity

His Holiness 34th Menri Trizin Rinpoche and other Menri monks offering the mandala. Photo credit: Unknown

“OM

With devotion and non-attachment, and for their complete satisfaction,

I offer to the four supreme places a golden mandala of the three thousand-fold universe containing mountains, continents, and clouds of offerings filled with the riches of gods and humans.

May the abundant wealth and success of all migrating beings be established!”

— From the publication The Heartdrop of Jamma, the Loving Mother

For more information or to order the publication, see previous post: https://ravencypresswood.com/2019/07/20/the-practice-of-jamma-chenmo-the-great-loving-mother-2/

 

Practicing Generosity and Non-attachment

His Eminence Menri Ponlop Yangtön Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche being offered a mandala representing all inner and outer offerings. Photo credit: Unknown

“Mandala Offering

Emaho!

Within a golden mandala of a boundless buddha realm are arranged heaps of beautiful and brightly shining precious jewels.

These vast clouds of offerings, both real and imagined, that include the completely fulfilling and marvelous wealth and riches of both gods and humans,

I and all other sentient beings present this offering to the three precious jewels in order to perfect the two accumulations of merit and wisdom.

Please accept this with your compassionate blessings!”

— From The Accomplishment of Purifying Defilements with DU TRI SU, A Lamp that Clears Away the Darkness and Shakes the Depths of Cyclic Existence

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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Book: Nangshig – A Tibetan Bönpo Monastery and its Family in Amdo


Nangshig: A Tibetan Bönpo Monastery and its Family in Amdo is a 146 page study of the largest Yungdrung Bön monastery in Tibet as well as the family and reincarnation lineages associated with it. The chapters are short, concise and dense with information. It is written by Tsering Thar from information gathered during his fieldwork in Amdo that he performed on behalf of the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan.

In the eleventh century, Do Phak Yönten Gyaltsen, a.k.a. Do Phak Chenpo, established a hermitage in Eastern Tibet in a region now known as Amdo. In 1168, this hermitage was expanded by his oldest son, Nyima Dzin, into Nangzhig Monastery. For over two centuries, Bön was the only religion in the area and the entire population were followers of the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition.

This book touches on the subject of Nangzhig’s history as both a religious temple and a center for education, the associated reincarnation and family lineages, the ritual services that are regularly performed, and the hierarchy and succession systems of the monastery. Although not an exhaustive study, it is broad enough in its scope to provide a solid overview of one of the most important Yungdrung Bön monasteries that continues to thrive to the present day.

“Nangzhig monastery is the largest monastic university of the Bön religion in the Tibetan cultural area. monastic education was by far the prevalent educational system in Tibet, and this system produced the great masters and scholars in Tibetan history. Even today, it continues to play a very important role in Tibetan education, especially in maintaining traditional culture. Monastic education in the Bön religion is an important and influential part of Tibetan monastic education. Its lineal succession system and method of teaching also influenced Tibetan Buddhism.”

— Extract from Nangshig: A Tibetan Bönpo Monastery and its Family in Amdo

Published and distributed by Vajra Books.

For more about Nangzhig Monastery, see previous post: https://ravencypresswood.com/2019/05/18/nangzhig-largest-yungdrung-bon-monastery-in-tibet/

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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