News and Inspiration from Ligmincha Institute
Volume 5, Number 8
August 25, 2005
For easy reading, we recommend that you print out "The Voice of Clear
"A Cupful of the Ocean of Bon" - edited excerpts from the transcript
of oral teachings given by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche during the
Bardo Retreat, 2003.
Annual Fall Retreat at Serenity Ridge: Nov. 2-6, 2005.
"The Bon Pantheon" - a column devoted to deepening our connection
to our great Bon family. "Who is Salgye Du Dalma?"
New Items at Ligmincha's Bookstore.
Retreat reminder: Sept.7 is the "early-bird" registration date for
the "Magical Movements of Zhang Zhung" (Intro. to Tsa Lung Trul Khor
and Trul Khor Part II) retreats at Serenity Ridge, Oct. 26-30.
"A CUPFUL OF THE OCEAN OF BON" - edited excerpts from the transcript
of oral teachings given by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche during the
Bardo Retreat, 2003
We feel fortunate for the very deep knowledge that is available to us
from thousands of years of teachings and practices in the Bon
Buddhist tradition. An ocean of knowledge is there. What we take is
only a cupful, yet that cupful is enough. In the Bon tradition, there
are external, internal, and secret images of the divine. These
divine images have different names and iconography and are associated
with different rituals and mantras. For most tantric deities, there
is a teaching indicating who that deity is, the meaning of the deity,
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how the deity manifests, and how one works with the deity. There are
also rituals and meditation practices related with the deities.
When we are growing up, most of us don't have a master. At first we
must rely on our father and mother, who are similar to a yidam and
dakini. Maybe they are a good yidam and dakini. We have these two
parents, these two different forces with two different energy fields
and two different ways of thinking. These two forces are in union. We
are part of them both, part of this union. We try to connect with
our parents and to understand them, and we are constantly influenced
by them. They represent our capabilities and capacities, and how we
will live in and relate to this world. Later, when we enter into the
teachings, we have the actual yidam and dakini, who are two different
divine forces in inseparable union. Through the yidam and dakini we
are trying to understand how to go beyond this world to understand
the deeper meaning of our selves.
Of course, there are many different deities. People say, "There are
so many of them!" So? If the deities don't have a problem with that,
why should we? We probably need to worry more about how many people
there are in the world; deities don't take up any extra space.
I think it is very interesting that in Buddhism, the clear intent is
to take us from a dualistic view to one that is, as closely as
possible, at one with the divine. If you look at the hierarchy of
these cycles of teachings, the higher the teaching, the more you
become one with the divine, and the lower the teaching, the more you
are separated from the divine. Higher and lower refer to the
distance between you and the divine. There is no other meaningful
definition of higher and lower. We can become one with these divine
qualities and images. We each have our identity, and the moment we
lose that identity, we merge with the essence.
Living fully means living life with energy, with breath, with joy,
and with complete connection to where we live and who we live with.
That is what we refer to as living fully, rather than worrying about
the future. The moment you worry about the future ˆ you clearly
know those moments ˆ your experience of life is already
diminished. You're worrying about losing something you already
have. It's a very silly mind game that we play all the time.
Sometimes, if our circumstances are very easy, we don't learn from
them. For me, difficult circumstances often have turned out to be
the only chance I had to face certain problems and learn from them.
Going through a very difficult situation with a lot of pain can be a
great way of learning, and for that reason it can be seen as a gift.
Generally speaking, everything in life is a gift. We have so much
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opportunity to learn from things. But it is a question of recognizing
that they are gifts and of learning to be with them.
Fundamentally you will always be complete. Your completeness does
not have to do with what you have. Your completeness is who you are,
and at the deepest level, who you are never changes. It doesn't take
much force to change what you have - all it takes is rain, fire, a
thief, or simply one day going into the next day. But no force can
change who you are.
"Sleep of Clear Light" - The Sleep Yoga Practice From the Bon Mother
Tantra, with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.
** "Early-bird" registration date for this retreat is Sept. 7.
Centuries ago, Tibetan yogis developed the practice of sleep yoga to
transform the dark hours of ignorant sleep into a path toward
enlightenment. A powerful tool for awakening, sleep yoga is more
than a practice of the night. It helps us to integrate all moments -
waking, sleeping, meditation, and even death - with the clear light
of awareness.
During this intensive five-day retreat, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
will teach and guide us in the clear-light sleep practices of the
Mother Tantra, one of the most important cycles of teachings in the
Tibetan Bon Buddhist tradition. Students will learn the proper
position of the body and of the mind during sleep; the images and
visualizations associated with the practice; as well as physical
exercises that support meditative awareness by clearing obstacles of
the body, energy and mind. There also will be at least one 24-hour
period when retreatants will stay awake continuously in order to
directly introduce the experience of clear-light sleep.
An important support for dzogchen practice, the sleep yoga practices
bring more clarity to all experience. One performs them during
normal daytime activities, during meditation practice, during
preparation for sleep, and as one falls asleep. The primary goal of
sleep practice is to open the door to the pure experience of rigpa -
the luminous, open awareness that is the true nature of the mind.
Ultimately, the purpose is to help the practitioner attain final
liberation at the time of death.
The retreat is open to everyone, from newcomers to students who are
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doing commitment practices from the Mother Tantra. All will find
this retreat to be a powerful support for beginning or deepening
spiritual practice and for enriching their daily lives. May all
beings benefit!
Retreat cost:
$400 if received by Sept. 7; $450 if received by Oct. 5; $500 if
received after Oct. 5.
To register, contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 434-977-6161.
"THE BON PANTHEON" ˆ a column devoted to deepening our connection
to our great Bon family. "Who is Salgye Du Dalma?"
Salgye Du Dalma (She Who Clarifies Beyond Conception) is the guardian
of the sleep yoga practice. She belongs among the six khandros of the
secret teachings of the Ma Gyu (Mother Tantra). Entirely composed of
white light, she is peaceful in appearance, with one face and two
hands. Adorned with a crown of skulls and bone ornaments, in her
right hand she holds a curved knife to cut through darkness and
awaken the practitioner's inner clarity. Her left hand holds a skull
cup. A trident staff passes through the crook of her arm and rests
against her shoulder. She stands in a dancing posture with her right
leg raised and left leg standing on a moon disk atop a lotus in full
bloom. Orange flames of wisdom surround her, and a green halo
encircles her head.
The radiance of Salgye Du Dalma illuminates the darkness of the
night, allowing the practitioner to attain pristine clear-light
sleep. She embodies the sphere of clarity of the practice of sleep
yoga. While the body sleeps, the practitioner abides in a state of
pure awareness, falling neither into the ignorance of unconsciousness
nor the agitation of dreams. (Excerpt from Ligmincha Institute's 2003
calendar, "Thankgas of the Bon Buddhist Tradition of Tibet.")
Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche offers us excellent advice on sleep
yoga practice in this excerpt from his book "The Tibetan Yogas of
Dream and Sleep":
The Mother Tantra teaches that there is a dakini who is the protector
and guardian of sacred sleep. It is helpful to make a connection
with her essence, which is also the nature of the practice, so that
she can guide and bless the transition from unconscious to conscious
sleep. Her name is Salgye Du Dalma (gsal-byed-gdos-bral-ma). This
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translates as "She Who Clarifies Beyond Conception." She is the
luminosity hidden inside the darkness of normal sleep.
When we develop a relationship with Salgye Du Dalma, we connect to
our own deepest nature. We can further this connection by
remembering her as much as possible.
Imagination is very powerful, strong enough to bind one to the
sufferings of samsara for an entire life, and strong enough to make
the dialogue with the dakini real. Often practitioners act toward
the dharma as if it is rigid, but it is not. The dharma is flexible
and the mind should be flexible with it. It is your responsibility
to find out how to use the dharma to support your realization.
Rather than imagining how the day will go tomorrow, or the fight you
had with the boss, or the evening ahead with your partner, it may be
more helpful to create the presence of this beautiful dakini who
embodies the highest goal of practice. The important point is to
develop the powerful intention needed to accomplish the practice and
a strong relationship to your true nature, which the dakini
represents. As often as possible, pray to her for the sleep of clear
light. Your intention will be strengthened each time you do.
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. "The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep."
Edited by Mark Dahlby. Ithaca: Snow Lion Publications, 1998.
Available in several languages at Ligmincha's Bookstore. Visit: or call toll-free (866) 522-5269. In the
Charlottesville area, call (434) 220-0060.
EDITOR'S NOTE: You can find an image of Salgye Du Dalma at: (This site
also includes a great picture of Tenzin Rinpoche. Thank you, Garuda
Switzerland!) The Ligmincha Bookstore has beautiful photos and
thangkas of Salgye Du Dalma available for purchase. To preview
these, go to:
To see photographs of the newest items at Ligmincha Institute's
Bookstore and for order information, please go to, click on "search by category" and
then click on "New Items."
"Guidance for Living and Dying: Bardo Teachings from the Bon Mother
Tantra," by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. Softcover, 110 pages. $18
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"The Fivefold Teachings of Dawa Gyaltsen," by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal
Rinpoche. Booklet, 8 pages. $3.50
"rdzogs pa chen po'i cha lag gal po rtsod pa'i bon de phyogs
bsgrigs". In Tibetan. A collection of writings on Dzogchen, including
a chapter by Yongdzin (Lopon) Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche. Published by
Triten Norbutse Monastery, Kathmandu, Nepal. Paperback, 168 pages.
"snyan rgyud rinpoche nam kha hphrul mdzod drang nges gnyis kyi
gshung cha lag dang bcas pa". In Tibetan. A Dzogchen text written by
Drenpa Namkha, 7th century, Tibet). Published by Triten Norbutse
Monastery, Kathmandu, Nepal. Paperback, 397 pages. $28
"This Precious Life: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on the Path to
Enlightenment," by Khandro Rinpoche, forward by the Dalai Lama.
Paperback, 192 pages. $13.95.
"Clarifying the Natural State," by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal. Paperback,
107 pages. $18
Sept. 7 is the "early-bird" registration date for the "Magical
Movements of Zhang Zhung" retreat (Intro. to Tsa Lung Trul Khor and
Trul Khor Part II, taught separately and concurrently) at Serenity
Ridge this Oct. 26-30 with Alejandro Chaoul-Reich.
To learn more about this retreat go to:
To register, contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call: 434-977-6161.
The Voice of Clear Light is a free, e-mail publication of Ligmincha Institute. Your suggestions and
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For more information about Ligmincha Institute, the teachings of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, or retreats at
Serenity Ridge or our regional centers, please contact us:
Ligmincha Institute
313 2nd St. SE Suite #207
Charlottesville, VA 22902
434-977-6161 fax 434-977-7020
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
For books, tapes and transcripts of teachings by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche as well as other books and items
supportive to Bon and Buddhist practice, please visit the Ligmincha's Online Store at or contact the Ligmincha Store at 434-220-0060
or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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