Blog Archives

Anniversary of the Birth of His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoché

Close-up of traditional scroll painting depicting His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoché

His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoché was born in Tibet on the 15th day of the 5th lunar month in the Western year 1929 in the village of Kyongtsang in the far eastern province of Amdo. In 2021, this date corresponds with June 24th on the Western calendar.

When he was eight years old, his father took him to the nearby monastery of Phuntsok Dargyé Ling where he learned to read, write and chant. At the age of fourteen, he received instructions on the preliminary practices of dzogchen and completed the nine-hundred thousand accumulations three times. In 1945 at the age of seventeen, he received novice monk vows from Kyangtsang Lama Sherap Tenpé and was given the name Sherap Namdak. He completed his Geshé Degree at the age of twenty-five under the guidance of Lopön Tenzin Lodro Gyatso Rinpoché. The following year, he traveled South to the Bön province of Gyalrong, where he printed copies of the Bön Kanjur from traditional woodblocks. After gathering a vast amount of material and using mules to carry more than 100 volumes of the sacred texts, he made an arduous six-month journey back to his monastery. In 1956 at the age of twenty-eight, he traveled to the famous Yungdrung Ling Monastery and received monk vows from the Pönlop and was given the name Sangyé Tenzin. In 1960 at the age of thirty-two, as he passed through Mustang and Dolpo on his way to India, he borrowed many rare texts in order to reprint them in India and ensure their preservation.

In 1968, many esteemed Yungdrung Bön lamas gathered together in order to coordinate the process of selecting a successor of the late 32nd Menri Trizin. After several days of extensive prayers and rituals, Sangyé Tenzin’s name emerged as the one to hold the lineage of Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen. In 1969 at the age of forty, after extensive preparatory initiations, he assumed his duties as the 33rd Abbot of Menri Monastery and began leading the effort to re-establish Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hh33-with-statue-1.jpg
His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoche. Photo credit: Unknown

In 1970, he began construction of the main temple of Pal Shenten Menri Ling in Dolanji and lead efforts to restore Menri Monastery in Tibet. In 1972, he opened a dispensary at Pal Shenten Menri Ling that distributed medicine freely to the monks, the Tibetan settlers in the nearby village, as well as to the local Indians. In 1975, he began a school for the Bönpo children, and in 1978 he founded the dialectic school to continue the tradition of in-depth education of the traditional and philosophical sciences that results in the esteemed degree of geshe.

After many years of indescribable and tireless efforts on behalf of the Yungdrung Bön tradition as well as the worldwide Bön community and all sentient beings, he displayed the truth of impermanence and passed into nirvana on the 27th day of the 7th lunar month in the Western year 2017. The auspicious occasion of the celebration of his birth is an opportunity to generate great merit through spiritual practice and virtuous activities of body, speech and mind.

“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, paying homage with single-pointed motivation and devotion!

May the negative actions and defilements of my three doors become purified!

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA KO PUNG AKSHO TRI TSE GU DÜN HRUN”

— From Offerings for the Lama

All translations 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.

Don’t want to miss a post? Scroll to the bottom and click “Follow this blog.”

Aspiration Prayer of the Ten Grounds

Jamma, the Loving Mother

“I prostrate to the teacher Küntu Zangpo who has not gone beyond, and who is a completely compassionate guardian!

Here at the beginning, in order for suffering sentient beings to traverse the extraordinary place of the grounds,

I offer this aspiration prayer with a completely pure mind of enlightenment, through the compassion of Trül Bön Sangwa Nangring, having renounced all negative places of cyclic existence, and in order to traverse the pure paths and the grounds.

First is 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 is 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 is the ground of radiance. Upon the ground of radiance, having cleansed and purified the stain of impatience and having perfected the great accumulation of patience, may I see the face of Zöpa Jamma, the Loving Mother of Patience!

Fourth is the ground of the mudra of transformation. Upon the ground of the mudra of transformation, having cleansed and purified the stain of laziness and having perfected the great accumulation of diligence, may I see the face of Tsöndru Jamma, the Loving Mother of Diligence!

Fifth is the ground of cloud banks of the Bön essence. Upon the ground of cloud banks of the Bön essence, having cleansed and purified the stain of agitation, and having perfected the great accumulation of concentration, may I see the face of Samten Jamma, the Loving Mother of Concentration!

Sixth is the ground of realizing bliss. Upon the ground of realizing bliss, having cleansed and purified the stain of being weak and with little capacity, and having perfected the great accumulation of power, may I see the face of Topkyi Jamma, the Loving Mother of Power!    

Seventh is the ground of accomplishing wishes. Upon the ground of accomplishing wishes having cleansed and purified the stain of having a cruel mind and having perfected the great accumulation of compassion, may I see the face of Nyingjé Jamma, the Loving Mother of Compassion!

Eighth is the ground of pure non-attachment. Upon the ground of pure non-attachment, having cleansed and purified the stain of each individual doubt and having perfected the great accumulation of aspirations, may I see the face of Mönlam Jamma, the Loving Mother of Aspirations!    

Ninth is the ground of the wheel of letters. Upon the ground of the wheel of letters, having cleansed and purified the stain of holding contradictory views and having perfected the great accumulation of skillful means, may I see the face of Tabkyi Jamma, the Loving Mother of skillful Means!  

Tenth is the ground of the changeless yungdrung. Upon the ground of the changeless yungdrung, having cleansed and purified the stain of delusion and dull-mindedness and having perfected the great accumulation of wisdom,  may I see the face of Sherap Jamma, the Loving Mother of Wisdom! 

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 the ground of universal light!

Having tread the ground of universal light and also tread 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!”

—Extract from the Mönlam Namsum, the Three-fold Aspiration Prayer found within the Zhiwa A Sel

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.

Don’t want to miss a post? Scroll to the bottom and click “Follow this blog.”

Want to join the mandala of Nine Ways supporters? Follow this link https://ravencypresswood.com/donate/

Homage to the Buddha Satrik Érsang

Buddha Satrik Érsang

“Having the uncreated and uninterrupted nature of space,

You are the Sole Mother who has completely clear wisdom.  

From unborn space, clear light streams forth and becomes the Lord of Compassion. 

I prostrate to the enlightened state of Satrik Ersang!” 

Homage to Satrik Érsang from Sutra of the Mother’s Essence

In the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition, there are Four Principal Enlightened Ones, the Dershek Tsozhi.  These are the four principal buddhas who offer skillful means in order to guide sentient beings during the time when the human life span averages one hundred years.  These Four Principal Enlightened Ones are often depicted individually as a central figure surrounded by two hundred fifty enlightened emanations.  These four buddhas are: (1) Satrik Érsang, (2) Shenlha Ökar, (3) Sangpo Bumtri, and (4) Tönpa Shenrap.

Satrik Érsang:  The name “Satrik Érsang” is from the Zhang Zhung language.  “Satrik” means “sherap, wisdom.” “Érsang” means “Jamma, loving mother.” Satrik Érsang appears as gold-colored with a single face and two hands.  In her right hand, she holds the external Five Warrior Seed Syllables: YANG, RAM, KHAM, SUNG, and OM. In her left hand, she holds a mirror.  She sits upon a throne held aloft by lions.  Surrounding her throughout the ten directions are: 1) the fifty peaceful, white goddesses who are emanations of her Body and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror, 2) the fifty peaceful, green goddesses who are emanations of her Speech and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror, 3) the fifty peaceful, red goddesses who are emanations of her Quality and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror, 4) the fifty peaceful, blue goddesses who are emanations of her Activity and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror. and 5) the fifty peaceful, gold colored goddesses who are emanations of her Mind and who hold the Five Warrior Seed Syllables and a mirror.  Together, these five groups of goddesses constitute her retinue of two hundred and fifty goddess emanations.

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.

Don’t want to miss a post? Scroll to the bottom and click “Follow this blog.”

Want to join the mandala of Nine Ways supporters? Follow this link https://ravencypresswood.com/donate/

Supplication to His Holiness the 31st Menri Trizin Nyima Wangyal Rinpoche

The Hagiographies of the Successive Abbotts of Menri is a collection of short biographical sketches of the thirty-four abbots of Tashi Menri Monastery that was published in 2021 by the Menri Monastery librarian, Menri Geshe Tri Yungdrung. Menri Monastery is the mother monastery for the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition and it is the seat of the head of the religious tradition, the holder of the golden throne, the Menri Trizin. Menri was originally established in Tsang, Tibet in 1405 by His Holiness Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen Rinpoche following the destruction by flood of his monastery, Yeru Wensaka. Later due to political events in Tibet in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Menri was destroyed and Yungdrung Bön lamas fled to India and reestablished Menri Monastery in a remote area of Northern India. Subsequently, Tashi Menri Monastery in India has developed and flourished. Its colleges for both monks and nuns is greatly respected and held in high esteem.

His Holiness the 31st Menri Trizin Khen Chen Nyima Wangyal Rinpoche (1910-1954) was born in Gyalrong, Tibet. As Menri Trizin, he sanctioned the construction of a new college and reformed the curriculum. He passed away at the age of 45 in the Western calendar year of 1958.

“I supplicate to the unrivalled Nyima Wangyal

who upheld the system of the Nine Vehicles at the practice center of Menri!

You tamed whoever needed to be tamed.

Precious establisher of the path of bliss,

grant your blessings that we may be shaken from cyclic existence!

You are an all-illuminating sun, a non-sectarian protector of migrating beings.

You are a powerful king who has the brilliant light of a wish-fulfilling jewel.

You are incomparable in having opened hundreds of doors of happiness and well-being.

You accomplished great benefit for migrating beings through the four kinds of sacred activity!”

— Excerpt from The Hagiographies of the Successive Abbotts of Menri

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.

Don’t want to miss a post? Scroll to the bottom and click “Follow this blog.”

Want to join the mandala of Nine Ways supporters? Follow this link https://ravencypresswood.com/donate/

100,000 Offerings for the Queen of Existence

HH 34th Menri Trizen Rinpoche with a statue of Sipe Gyalmo who rides a black mule. Photo credit: Staff of Lhamo Handicraft in Lalitpur, Nepal.

Beginning on April 18, 2021 and continuing for one week, Tashi Menri Monastery in India will be performing the extensive ritual of One Hundred Thousand Offerings to the Queen of Existence, Sipé Gyalmo. This ritual important ritual is performed at least once each year for the purpose of requesting the enlightened protector Sipé Gyalmo to remove obstacles and support the spiritual doctrine and its practitioners. This year, emphasis will also be upon requesting her help in eradicating the global pandemic that is causing so much suffering and misery. Monks, nuns, and laypeople all participate in the ritual. Especially, 100,000 small torma are made that will be offered alongside the other offerings of food, flowers, butter lamps, pure water, and sweet smelling incense. The merit of participating in this ritual removes obstacles, increases prosperity and fortunate circumstances, and supports spiritual development.

From afar, one can participate by engaging in Sipé Gyalmo practice, reciting her mantra, engaging in virtue and avoiding acts of non-virtue during the week-long ritual, or by making a monetary donation to support the vast offerings. It is possible to sponsor breakfast, tea, offering materials, the entire day of ritual activities, or simply make a donation of any amount towards the seven-day ritual. To read the message from Menri Monastery regardig this special event and/or to make a donation of any amount, follow this link to the website of Latri Khenpo Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche’s center, Yeru Bön: https://yeruboncenter.org/sidgyal-bum-tsog-at-smenri-monastery/?fbclid=IwAR1BPztJwn5kcEBZ9Y-hI41MmzI2jtMlIWrrH4tPZdGbBpgyVPyxRYQzBdA

100,000 offering torma for the enlightened protector, Sipé Gyalmo. Photo credit: Unknown.

Sipé Gyalmo is an enlightened protector and also a yidam, or meditational deity. She is one of the principal female deities, and her invocations and offerings are performed daily in Yungdrung Bön Monasteries. She protects from enemies, danger, illness, misfortune, and confusion, and supports the success, prosperity and spiritual development of Yungdrung Bön practitioners.

Monk dancers dressed as the the Six Manifestations of Sipe Gyalmo. Photo credit: Unknown.

Sipé Gyalmo has countless manifestations and emanations. She manifests with different characteristics in order to meet the varied needs of sentient beings. She manifests riding a red mule, riding a black mule, and standing with a hundred heads and thousands of arms and legs. Her Body emanations are the Six Manifestation of Day and Night. Each of these six manifestations arise during a particular cycle of time during every twenty-four hour period. These six manifestations are White Sipé Gyalmo of Dawn, Golden Sipé Gyalmo of Sunrise, Red Sipé Gyalmo of Mid-day, Maroun Sipé Gyalmo of Sunset, Black Sipé Gyalmo of Evening, and Dark-blue Sipé Gyalmo of Midnight.

According to the Yungdrung Bön religious calendar, there are specific days set aside for the practice of Sipé Gyalmo riding a red mule. These dates are according to the lunar calendar and vary according to the month. During the 1st month of each season, which is the 12th, 3rd, 6th, and 9th lunar months, her practice day is the 8th lunar day. During the middle month of each season, which is the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th lunar months, her practice day is the 4th lunar day. During the final month of each season, which is the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th lunar months, her practice day is the 5th lunar day.

SO MA MA DZA JO

EMAHO!

You are the Mother of the vast expanse of the Bönku, which is primordially pure and free from elaboration.

In order to establish the Bön teachings in the Land of Snow, 

merely by calling out to you Single Mother Sipé Gyalmo, wherever you are, 

please come!

Great mother of space,

everywhere from this moment forward, 

with a laugh of “Ha! Ha!” and showing a radiant smiling face,

establish the victory banner of the Yungdrung Bön of the white AH!

From The Alphabetical Praise of Sipé Gyalmo. Translation by Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved

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

Don’t want to miss a post? Scroll to the bottom and click “Follow this blog.”

Want to join the mandala of Nine Ways supporters? Follow this link https://ravencypresswood.com/donate/

%d bloggers like this: