Upcoming Feb. & March 2019 Special programs

Dear Sangha members and Dharma friends,

I hope everyone is doing well and happy.  I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you with this short note.  I came to the United States in 1987 sent by my perfect teacher His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang.  From the first time that His Holiness wrote me a letter telling me that I must study hard and told me that “I am going to send you outside of India”.  He said that “I have confidence that you can establish the Drikung Kagyu teachings of Lord Jigten Sumgon and help many students. Therefore, my blessings are always with you.” I still carry this letter with me where ever I go. It is a great blessing for me.  When I received this, I looked at it as a prophesy of my gurus.  In order to fulfill my guru’s prophesy, it took a quarter century of my life, with difficulties and hard work.  But in Samsara, nothing is easy.  Life is up and down. My life has been blessed by many masters, and so I was encouraged to continue my work and not to give up no matter what difficulties arise. I’m grateful to their teachings and instructions.  With your help and support, I was able to establish the Dharma center and now complete it with the help and support of many sangha and generous supporters.  When I was doing the 3-year retreat with Venerable Druwang Khyunga Rinpoche, many times he told me to study well and carefully follow my instructions because an old man like me is not going to stay forever. You will go far away from home and will settle there.  There you will find the people for whom you have a connection with from your former life.  His Prophesy became very powerful to me.  I’ve met so many wonderful people.  They are very devoted and have a good Bodhicitta, and they have helped me in many ways.  We have worked together to build the monastery by our own hands.  Along each step we did many prayers and meditations for the benefit of all sentient beings dedicated to world peace that each and every sentient being will have everlasting peace and happiness.

I would like to invite all of you for the consecration of the monastery and stupa by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang on March 16th and 17th 2019.  This is a very important dedication for us working for more than 25 years.  On Saturday March 16th, we will have a special Stupa consecration.  In the morning we will have the cleansing ritual, consecration blessing and aspiration wish fulfilling prayers.  This consecration is very important because when you look at the previous history of the Stupa in Nepal, built by 3 brothers.  After that consecration (in Nepal) the brothers dedicated their merit.  The first brother said, “By this merit, may I be born as a powerful miracle yogi and subdue all the demons and maras”, which is Padmasambhava. The 2nd brother said, “I dedicate the merit that may I be born as a spiritual king and flourish all the virtuous deeds and clear all negative deeds and may the people achieve temporary and ultimate happiness and Buddhahood, which was the king, Trisong Detsen. The 3rd brother said, “By this merit may I be born as a spiritual master to flourish the teachings of the Lord Buddha”, which was the Khenchen Bodhisattva in Tibet. 

This aspiration prayer becomes so important for many benefits and especially for dedication for World Peace.  Also, the program includes the Tantric Sacred Dances and reciting the Heart Sutra and other auspicious prayers.  The tantric dances are important for world peace.  The dances are also part of the consecration and to dispel obstacles and clear any negatives, disease and to bring in positive energy and healing in many different ways.   Every step of the sacred dance has the meaning of drawing the mandala on the earth and in the space, communicating to both visible and invisible beings to benefit all to achieve peace and happiness.   

On Sunday March 17th, we will have the Phowa transmission and VajraYogini empowerment and Long Life Ceremony for His Holiness.  In the morning we will have the Phowa transmission.  It is such a blessing to have this transmission bestowed to us by His Holiness.  The Drikung Phowa transmission is so important in Tibet and India. People come from far away to receive this precious transmission.  In the afternoon, we will have the Varayogini Empowerment.  Vajayogini is a very important deity as she is an aspect of emptiness.  Whereas, Chakrasamvara is an aspect of appearance.  Lord Buddha said, “Appearance is not different from emptiness and emptiness is not different from appearance.  They are inseparable.”  All our practices lead to achieving the unity of appearance and emptiness.  This is why it is such an important empowerment and to enable us to practice this high deity yoga.

After the empowerment, we will have a Long-Life ceremony for His Holiness.  Sometimes people are thinking that they will stay for the empowerment but that it’s not necessary to stay for the Long-Life ceremony.  That is a misunderstanding because you need long life.  We are praying for long life for His Holiness.  His Holiness’s blessing will also extend your long life. This ceremony has the power and blessings for you to achieve what you are looking for.  It gives long life for teachers to stay to continue to teach the Dharma; Long life prayers for everyone to have a happy and health long life.  Even trees, flowers, fruit trees will have long life so that every year, the fruit of generosity will be plentiful to feed many people and enable them to be free from hunger.  When we offer the Long-Life ceremony, we always do it in a traditional way. My thinking is that it is important for all of us to perform the Long-Life ceremony together. 

 I also invite you to our special one-day retreat and Losar celebration together on Sunday Feb. 3rd.  In the morning session we will have the Stupa Life Force stick blessing ceremony.  During the ceremony everyone can hold and touch the life force sticks that will go inside the stupas.  This is your opportunity to hold the stick and make a once in a life time aspiration prayer.  Because all of you are a part of manifesting the monastery and the stupas, I would like you all to be a part of this wish-fulling ceremony.  If you are not able to attend, you can send your mala or holy object with a friend to touch the life force stick and in that way, it will always be apart of you.  Then we will also have Guru Yoga and Tsok offering.  This year we won’t have the Sacred tantric dances on Losar as they will be performed in March during the Stupa Consecration day. 

In the afternoon on February 3rd, we will have some Tibetan singing and dancing to celebrate the Tibetan New Year.  2019 is the year of the Female Earth Sow.  It is said that the year of the Pig can bring good fortune and wealth.  I join my hands with thanks from my heart especially for the local Tibetan community for many years of helping and supporting us. 

I want to thank all of you.  You are the Dharma Champions.  You have pushed me to reach the final goal to fulfill the prophesy of the gurus and your kind generosity and support, near or far, I dedicate from my heart to achieve Buddhahood for all sentient beings.  In Milrepa’s Vajra Song says, “Those who meditate in the mountain and those who sponsor the meditator, have an auspicious connection to achieve enlightenment at the same time.  The essence of this auspiciousness is dedication.”  Therefore, this dedication is very important for all of us.   Thank you again to all of you.  May the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and the great masters, blessings always be with you. I pray that whatever you do will be successful and that your wishes will be spontaneous fulfilled. — Drupon Samten

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Ani Chodron