News and Inspiration from Ligmincha Institute
Volume 5, Number 2
February 2, 2005
For easy reading, we recommend that you print out "The Voice of Clear
Happy 80th Birthday to Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche!
"Bodhicitta and Compassion" - an edited excerpt from oral teachings
given by Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, 2004.
"At Home in the Heart" - an edited excerpt from oral teachings given
by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, 2004.
"Compassion and Diligence" - excerpts from written teachings by His
Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Happy Losar! Tashi Delek! The Tibetan New Year begins Feb. 9 -
it's the year of the Wood Bird!
Come see sangha photos from the Fall Retreat now on Ligmincha's
Letter to the editor.
Retreat reminder.
February Losar sale at Ligmincha's Bookstore.
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Let's all join our hearts as a worldwide sangha to honor and
celebrate Yongdzin Rinpoche's (Lopon's) 80th birthday this month and
recite his Long Life Prayer to ensure his health and prosperity over
a long lifetime! And let's direct our sincere wishes to everyone
at Triten Norbutse Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, where His Holiness
Lungtok Tenpa'i Nyima, the supreme head of the Yungdrung Bon
tradition, will be presiding over this great celebration on the
auspicious day of Feb. 23 - the birthday of Tonpa Shenrab. It is
also the day of a full moon! Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche plans to
be there along with many guests, friends and students of Yongdzin's
from around the world. The celebration will extend over the course
of several days before and after the 23rd. The Long Life Prayers for
His Holiness Lungtok Tenpa'i Nyima, Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche
and Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche appear below.
Long Life Prayer for His Holiness Lungtok Tenpa'i Nyima, by Yongdzin
Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche
Rab jam chog chu gyal wa se che chi
Chen tse ye she ngo wo chik du pa
Zab gye shen ten pel we trin le chen
Lung tok ten pa'i nyi ma tag char shog
The omniscient wisdom of the Buddhas and
Bodhisattvas of the ten directions is condensed
in a single essence in you, Highest One.
Possessor of the enlightened activity of the profound,
expanded, increasing teachings of Tonpa Shenrab,
We pray that you, Lungtok Tenpa'i Nyima, shine
Long Life Prayer for Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, by His Holiness
Lungtok Tenpa'i Nyima
Lob sum ten pe dag nyi dro we gon
Kun chen nyi wang nam rol gong tsel dzog
Do de ngag kyi ne lug dzog pa che
Ten pa dzin chong trin le nam par dak
Yong dzin ma we wang por sol wa deb
To the master who teaches the three trainings,
protector of all beings,
To the emanation of the omniscient Nyi Wang,
who completes the primordial intention and actualization,
Through your great perfection of the abiding nature
of sutra and tantra
You purify the activity of holding and sustaining the teachings,
To you who hold and proclaim all [teachings] we pray.
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Long Life Prayer for Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, by Yongdzin
Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche
Chog sum gyal wa se che chin lab dang
Don dam lu wa me pe den tob dang
Nel jor dag gyi ting dzin nu pe thu
Ten zin kye bu'i ku tse thar chin shog
Through the blessings of the Three Jewels,
the Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas,
The strength of the ultimate unfailing truth,
And the power of the meditation of us practitioners,
Holder of the Teachings, may your lifespan be
perfectly fulfilled.
"BODHICITTA AND COMPASSION" - an edited excerpt from oral teachings
given by Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, 2004.
The arising of bodhicitta within oneself depends, first of all, on
one's development of compassion. Without compassion bodhicitta
cannot come. Nowadays everyone knows this word "compassion," and it
is a very popular word used today. The way that you will truly
understand compassion, though, is first by looking deeply at your
actual experience of your own suffering and miseries. Each time
suffering arises look deeply at how painful the experience is and see
the difficulties that it creates for you. The thought immediately
arises, then, "How can I release myself from this suffering and
misery?" By truly looking into your own experiences of suffering
in this way, you will find that the wish to be released arises when
you are eating, sleeping, talking - all the time.
You must realize your own suffering and want to be released from it.
This is the basic motivation for practicing and following the
teachings, because study and practice are the only method for
When you are seriously sick or in pain, you naturally long for
medicines and for a doctor to make you well. You always think that
way when you are sick or injured. In the same way, when we recognize
our own deeper level of suffering and misery, we sincerely want to
know, "How can I be released? Who can help me? What can I do? What
method can I use?"
You can also think in the same way on behalf of another person, and
then another person, and then another - and eventually on behalf of
all who suffer in a similar way as you. You are always thinking the
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same thing, "How can I help? How can I release them?" This is real
compassion. It doesn't matter if it is an enemy or a friend; you
see, any being who has problems similar to yours is wishing to be
released from their miseries and suffering just as you are.
Think of it in this way: If right in front of you someone were to cut
another person's throat and then come to cut your throat, how would
you feel at that moment? You would experience very real suffering.
But the other person, who has completely perfect senses,
consciousness, everything, is able to easily kill others. That is
completely the opposite of compassion. Compassion is very clear.
Usually we refer to it as recognizing all beings as having been our
own mother in a previous lifetime. So, you are wanting this release
from suffering for all others just the same as for yourself. The
true meaning of compassion is as close as our own experience. If you
are able to recognize your own condition, and see that it is the same
for others, that is real compassion. That is the foundation of
Yungdrung Bon. Yungdrung Bon practitioners must have this compassion.
"AT HOME IN THE HEART" - an edited excerpt from oral teachings given
by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, 2004.
In the Tibetan Buddhist and Bon teachings on compassion, the idea of
loving everyone as if they were your own mother is repeated many
times. You see, at one point or another, throughout countless
lifetimes, everyone has been your mother. This metaphor, though,
doesn't make sense for many people in the West. In my first years
teaching here, when I would ask students to view everyone as their
mother, people would say things like, "Oh, then that means that I
won't be able to love anyone." Or they would wince and say, "You
mean everyone has been like her?"
This is very sad to see. I understand that there can be many
different kinds of parents - some better and some not so good. But
one's own parents cannot be expected to be perfect. You would not
expect yourself to be perfect, so in the same way, you cannot expect
your parents to be perfect either, can you?
As your parents grow old, and when they are dying, that is the great
opportunity, probably the only one, to conclude things with them.
You should! After all, they are the closest people to you
biologically, aren't they? You have the opportunity to find out,
"Am I able to deal with the issues that I have with them or not?"
I've seen many people go to visit their parents for a weekend to try
to help them and then all they talk about afterwards is how hard it
was and that their parents never change! But, don't you see, of
course they never change! You never change either, do you? No one
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ever changes like that! Look, they never managed to change you
working at it their entire lives! So don't even think about changing
them now!
Instead, realize that you have a last opportunity here to love and
spoil your parents. So, spoil your parents - but not your teenagers!
[laughs] Just let your parents do whatever it is that they do; let
them laugh, let them scream, let them do this and not do that. Just
be there with your heart open. Whatever they want and however they
want to be in their situation, let them be. What do you lose? You
don't lose anything. The more you allow them to be who they are, the
more you gain, not lose, because you feel your heart opening and you
feel the space to let them be who they are. It's not like you are
going to spend the rest of your life with them. Usually, people are
talking about seeing their parents for just a weekend! So what is
the big deal about giving up a weekend? Sometimes people sleep for
an entire weekend! [laughter]
So when you go to visit your parents for the weekend, just allow them
to be who they are. Love them as they are. When they say something,
just agree with it. What's the problem with doing this? Are you
running for president against them as their opponent and you need to
defeat them in debate on that issue? It's just a game of words,
ideas, egos. And this is not the time to exercise your ego - you
have enough of that exercise outside in the world during the rest of
the week. Instead, you are supposed to be helping your mother and
father who are getting old or sick, who are having fears of dying,
feeling hopeless and lonely, and missing your presence. This is the
real opportunity to share and to give.
So, I would like to encourage everyone to work with their parents, if
there is still an opportunity. Try to change your attitude, and try
to do something for them and be with them.
We have been talking during this retreat about being open, feeling
this sense of openness, connecting with your essence. So when you
are there with your parents, just be yourself - and let them be
themselves. In being yourself, you allow the compassion to come.
Recognize their needs. Recognize their age. Recognize their fear of
death. Recognize their loneliness. Recognize that you are not able
to be there that often. Recognize all of those things and change
your attitude, rapidly. Not slowly, rapidly. Change your attitude
and start working very differently with them. That would be the real
sense of bodhicitta.
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From "An Open Heart," by His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
"Once we are able to combine a feeling of empathy for others with a
profound understanding of the suffering they experience, we become
able to generate genuine compassion for them. We must work at this
continually. We can compare this process to the way in which we
start a fire by rubbing two sticks together. To get to the
smoldering point, we know that we must maintain a continuous friction
to ratchet up the temperature to the point where the wood can catch
fire. Similarly, as we work at developing mental qualities such as
compassion, we must diligently apply the mental techniques necessary
to bring about the desired effect. Going about this in a haphazard
way is of no real benefit."
From "Live in a Better Way," by His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
"Just as we are concerned for ourselves and think about ways to
remove suffering and how to actualize nirvana and liberation and the
state of ultimate happiness, if we turn our thoughts upon others and
concern ourselves with the welfare of other sentient beings and
reflect upon the removal of their suffering, we generate altruism or
the wish to actualize Enlightenment for their benefit. That
motivation is bodhicitta - the determination that is needed if we
want to achieve Buddhahood."
H.H. the Dalai Lama. "An Open Heart." Edited by Nicholas Vreeland.
Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2001.
H.H. the Dalai Lama. "Live in a Better Way." Compiled and edited by
Renuka Singh. New York: Penguin Compass, 1999.
Happy New Year and Happy Losar to Everyone!
I am very pleased to announce that the group photos from the October
retreat with Yongdzin Rinpoche have been uploaded to the Ligmincha
The photos are at the following link:
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If you click on this link you will go to that page on the Ligmincha
website and see a list of all the groups. (Or you can get to the
page from the Ligmincha home page by clicking on the "Photo Gallery"
link under "New Features.")
To download the image(s) to your computer, do the following:
Double-click on the group you wish to download. The photo will
appear large on your screen. Go to FILE and choose SAVE AS. Save
the image to a folder where you know you can find it. Double-click
on the file and a prompt should ask you what program you want to use
to open it. Choose whatever photo program you usually use to open
and print picture files. Choose PRINT and print to your printer.
I use a Macintosh so it's always easy for me. If you have a PC and
you run into a problem with the above, an alternative is:
When you choose SAVE AS, rename the file with something
like "group.JPG". Sometimes PCs need the .JPG (period JPG) extension
or they don't recognize the file for what it is.
If you still can't download it, contact a member of your group and
ask if they can send the file to you. If you still have a problem,
contact me at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Lots of love,
Mary Ellen
Mary Ellen McCourt
Ligmincha Institute
Communications Director
[Editor's Note: I recently received this e-mail from Daan Van
Ophuijsen of the Netherlands. Thanks, Daan, for sharing! Others can
feel free to drop me a note with their thoughts and I'll try to
share them, too! Send your e-mail to me, Aline Fisher, at:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]
From Daan Van Ophuijsen:
Thank you for your regular mailings of "The Voice of Clear Light." I
appreciate getting them very much. The last issue [January 2005]
which emphasized the best postures for meditation had good quotes and
Mon, Oct 3, 2005 11:57 AM
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good information. Perhaps the following thoughts would be useful to
others as well:
Few remarks by teachers have been more inspiring to me than Tenzin
Rinpoche's words about practice - that although time seems scarce,
you can always do SOMETHING! And he emphasizes that the practice is
there for YOU - it's not that you are there for the practice!
In Lopon's words about practice, he says that we should find whatever
works for each of us! Lopon urges us to see that while married
people have marriage problems, single people have singles' problems,
so never use that excuse to postpone practice!
In short, regarding one's practice: Never postpone, never force and
never stray - whatever your posture or situation! Of course, sitting
straight is the best among postures, but doing something is nearly
always better than not practicing at all, isn't it?
- Daan Van Ophuijsen
There is still space available to attend the Zhine "Dwelling in
Peace" Retreat, Feb. 24-27, 2005, with Gabriel Rocco at Serenity
Everyone is invited to attend this four-day retreat, an opportunity
for beginning and senior students to gather and practice zhine, or
calm abiding. Zhine strengthens the attention and develops the
powers of concentration necessary to calm the mind, experience inner
peace, and enter the tantric and dzogchen practices of Bon. For more
experienced practitioners, zhine continues to develop the stability
necessary for contemplation, the capability to rest in the
uncontrived natural state of the mind.
Contact Ligmincha Institute at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (434) 977-6161.
In honor of Losar, which falls on Feb. 9 of this year, we are
offering sale prices on some of our books and ritual items. You will
find these items at, by going to "Search by
category and subcategory," and clicking on "February Losar Sale!"
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The Voice of Clear Light is a free, e-mail publication of Ligmincha Institute. Your suggestions and
contributions to the Voice of Clear Light are welcome. To contact us, simply reply to this message 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
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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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