News and Inspiration from Ligmincha Institute
Volume 7, Number 5
June 27, 2007
For easy reading, we recommend that you print out "The Voice of Clear
To access an archive of previous issues, visit
“Finding Freedom Through a Change in Focus” - excerpts from Tenzin
Wangyal Rinpoche’s book “Tibetan Sound Healing”
A conversation with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche about his book “Tibetan
Sound Healing”
Serenity Ridge schedule, fall-winter 2007
Ligmincha Council News from Candace Byers, director of fund-raising
Special item available for Ligmincha’s upcoming fund-raising auction!
New items at Ligmincha Institute Bookstore and Tibet shop
Wangyal Rinpoche’s book “Tibetan Sound Healing”
There is a considerable amount of power related to where we focus our
attention. Every time we dislike something and struggle with a
situation, a person, our own health, or even our own identity, we focus
on the negative. The experience is negative. We often continue in
this way instead of finding another solution. We are trapped. “Why am
I feeling this?” “Why is this person doing this?” We continue on and
on. What’s the point of repeating these thoughts? If we are saying a
mantra, we repeat it to accumulate the positive result of the mantra.
There is power in the accumulation. But repeating, “Why am I always
doing this?” or “Why is this person always acting like this?” is not
only asking the wrong questions, but continues to solidify a sense of
problem, especially when we repeat them more than three times!
Repeating the same question over and over is the result of the
restlessness of no awareness and no solution. When we ask the same
question again and again, we will find the wrong answer. Even if the
question is a good one, if we are asking it from the wrong space, the
result will not be good. In this practice of the Five Warrior
Syllables, we are focusing on the space or focusing on the energy or
focusing on one of the Four Immeasurable qualities. Focus on anything
except the tired, negative pathway of your repetition of a problem. If
you are able to do that, then positive changes are possible. A very
common problem is not recognizing that we need to change our focus
Perhaps you have heard this familiar advice: “Let go. Just let go.”
There is wisdom in it. But perhaps you have not completely discovered
that wisdom. When we say, “Let go,” we usually focus on what is going
rather than what is revealed when you let something go. By always
focusing on the object or problem, the wisdom is not discovered; it is
overlooked, and therefore it remains obscured.
So we come back to simply being. What could it mean to be? Don’t
think about a problem for the moment. Don’t occupy yourself for this
moment. Just get out of the familiar system of worry altogether.
Breathe. Feel whatever is in this moment. If the sky is clear and the
sun is shining, the only way to have a complete experience of this is
if the mind is clear. Otherwise, no matter how beautiful the weather
is, our internal experience is cloudy. You sit in the park on a
beautiful, clear day with a completely cloudy mind. You are sitting on
your karmic cushion, the very familiar, all too comfortable, habitual
cushion of your habitual thoughts.
It is quite useful to think of the Four Immeasurables as doorways
inward to our deepest essence and also as doorways outward through
which we express virtue and goodness in the world. Through them we
enter the center of our being, the union of openness and awareness.
They support us to recognize and rest in the nature of being. This is
the wisdom aspect. It is wisdom that cuts suffering. I often describe
wisdom as openness. Openness is the sword that cuts ignorance, the
root of suffering. Through the openness of our being, through the
inseparable state of openness and awareness, we spontaneously express
the qualities of enlightened energy in the world.
Are you happier when you rest in the inseparable state of space and
awareness? Absolutely! You will be happier if you abide in this way.
You connect with presence, potential, flow. You experience fewer
blocks. Most of us would agree that joy is connected with the
experience of freedom. The ultimate sense of freedom is a mind unbound
by conditions. Most of us do not experience our mind unbound by
conditions, or we do not recognize this open state. We usually only
recognize freedom when a block we have experienced releases. The
experience of feeling free is wonderful, because the flow that was
previously blocked is now cleared.
Every time someone blocks your flow you suffer. The beauty of life is
in the flow. I am using the word flow to refer to the inseparable
state of emptiness and clarity. A traditional word used to describe
the experience of the inseparable state is bliss. When openness and
awareness are there, we experience bliss; from this bliss, all positive
qualities spontaneously manifest. This is referred to as spontaneous
perfection: perfection that is already there.
“Tibetan Sound Healing,” by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and edited by Marcy
Vaughn, is available online at Ligmincha’s Tibet Shop. The cost is
$19.95. For order information, please go to and
click on "search by category or description" and then click on "New
items." Or, go directly to:
Voice of Clear Light: Would you recommend any preliminary practices to
help us move beyond the mere conceptual understanding of “Just be” and
into an actual sense of resting in the space of being?
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche: The nine breathings of purification and tsa
lung are wonderful supports. But simply taking deep breaths, simply
being in nature, simply doing something that you really, really love to
do, these are all good methods for getting closer to yourself. A
student recently told me that what he really loved to do was to watch
the birds as he would feed them. It’s true that for some, a simple
activity like feeding the birds brings them very close to being. So
when you find yourself in a particular situation that brings you very
close to the space of being, then stop for a moment and see if you feel
the openness of that space more as a quality that resides within you,
rather than associating it with the external activity of feeding the
birds, for example. Just rest there and recognize that the spacious
quality is also present in the absence of action. With practice you’ll
see that you can bring that presence into many other kinds of
VOCL: You speak of a deep trust that arises naturally in one’s self
with this practice of the Five Warrior Syllables. In what ways might
this sense of trust unfold within one’s life off the meditation
Rinpoche: For example, you might be thinking, “I don’t have confidence
in finding a love relationship.” Often people want to find a nice
looking guy or a nice looking woman with certain qualities and not
others. And then all they see is the failure of not finding such a
person. I am offering a different orientation with this practice, one
in which you look back within yourself and go to your source, your
root, your base, your nature, and you feel a connection to that.
Connect to that, abide in that and ripen that connection. And through
that you develop a familiarity with your base, a confidence and
certainty in that base. From there this confidence manifests outward.
It manifests in the way you feel about yourself; it manifests in the
way you gesture; it manifests in the way you speak; it manifests in the
way you hold yourself and in the way you hold others. Resting there,
you’ll naturally attract people in a completely new sense. Can you see
that? You are no longer dependent on a certain outcome, on something
outside you to be complete. And because you’re not dependent on the
outcome or on something external, everything is available there.
Sept. 12-16
Tibetan Yoga: Tsa Lung Trul Khor
Introduction to the Harmony of Body, Breath & Mind
with Laura Shekerjian
Oct. 10-14
Annual Fall Retreat
Fear and Attachment: Doorways to Liberation
The Practice of Cho from the Mother Tantra of the Bon Tradition
with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
Nov. 7-11
Dzogchen Teachings From the Bon Tradition
with Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche
Dec. 27-Jan. 1
Annual Winter Retreat
The Experiential Transmission of Zhang Zhung
Completion of the Cycle
with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
Sept. 12-16, 2007
Tibetan Yoga: Tsa Lung Trul Khor
Introduction to the Harmony of Body, Breath & Mind
with Laura Shekerjian
Tsa lung trul khor, or Magical Movement, Channels and Vital Breath, is
a distinctive Tibetan practice of physical yoga. Its vigorous exercises
are a wonderful aid to meditation practice, supporting an open, clear
and stable experience of abiding in the natural state of mind.
During this five-day retreat you will learn postures and movements that
harmonize the vital breath (lung, prana, qi) and guide its flow through
your body's physical and energetic dimensions. By helping to clear
longstanding blocks in your body, energy and mind, tsa lung trul khor
facilitates the spontaneous arising of unclouded awareness in
meditation practice and in everyday life. As such, this powerful
practice is an excellent support for all spiritual practitioners, not
just for those with an interest in physical yogas.
This introductory retreat is designed as a complete teaching for
everyone from beginners to experienced practitioners. Although it
serves as a prerequisite for ongoing training in the tsa lung trul khor
program, you need not commit to the entire program to attend this
Retreat cost (includes meals; accommodations are available):
$300 received by Aug. 8; $350 received by Aug. 22; $400 received after
Aug. 22
LAURA SHEKERJIAN is a student of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and has
studied Tsa Lung Trul Khor for many years with Alejandro Chaoul, and
more recently with Ponlop Trinley Nyima. Laura is a psychotherapist in
Berkeley, California, and teaches at John F. Kennedy University and the
California Institute of Integral Studies.
By Candace Byers, Director of Fund-Raising
This summer we will continue the tradition of having a Silent Auction
during the first week of summer retreat. This year the Silent Auction
will feature items purchased in India during travels with Geshe Tenzin
Wangyal Rinpoche and Geshe Thubten to view the Lishu Institute land in
Dehra Dun. There are silk saris, as well as cashmere, pashmina and silk
shawls. There are beads and more shawls from Kathmandu, malas made by
sangha members, silver jewelry made in India, and earrings and gaus
galore. Remember that it all goes toward paying off our mortgage on the
new dorm.
We have so many interesting items. There is a copy of the book The
Lamas of Tibet. It contains photographs of all the living Tibetan
masters, with nearly every portrait personally signed by the master
himself, including the Dalai Lama. (See below.) In addition, we have a
beautiful soul stone and an illuminated copy of the Tummo text,
designed by a sangha member.
These two auctions are our major fund-raisers each year. This year all
proceeds from the auctions will go toward paying off our mortgage on
the new Garuda House dorm. We will have more information about how much
money we raised during the auctions in the next brochure.
Ligmincha Institute is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization. Donations
are tax deductible. We appreciate and continue to rely on your
donations to continue the development of our retreat center. If you
would like to make a tax deductible donation to the Garuda House
construction project please contact Ligmincha’s director of fundraising,
Candace Byers, at 203570-7320. Those donating by Dec. 31,
2007, will receive a letter of acknowledgement from Ligmincha for the
2007 tax year.
This is your new residence while you are on retreat at Serenity Ridge.
Both inside and out the new wing of Garuda House provides a lovely,
supportive environment for our sangha in its gardens, guest rooms and
lounges. There are more single guest rooms; there are lovely public
bathrooms; there is a Tibetan silent contemplation room; there is a
room for practitioners of the healing arts to offer their services to
sangha members. The two lounges in the old wing have been tidied up to
provide more relaxing space. The new wing was designed and nursed
through the construction phase by Norman Dill leading the committee of
Lee Hartline, John Massie and Candace Byers, along with the
construction team from Abrahamse and Company and architect Marti Rowan.
A base coat of paint was applied to all interior walls and woodwork
during a three-day painting retreat in April through the hard work of
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and sangha members from near and far - saving
Ligmincha about $20,000 in finishing costs! (Thank you to everyone who
came to help, it was a great success.)
This summer renowned thangka painter Kalsang Nyima will be joining us
both to participate in the summer retreat and to create thangkas as
support for the Tummo practice. All the expenses for his trip, work and
art supplies have been funded through a grant from the Shelley and
Donald Rubin Foundation in New York. We are so grateful for the
foundation’s support and interest in Ligmincha Institute.
Available for Absentee Bids:
Book Signed by Tibetan Spiritual Masters
At a July 13, 2007, fund-raising event at Ligmincha Institute's retreat
center in Nelson County, Va., many wonderful items will be auctioned
off. Among them is an irreplaceable book, "The Lamas of Tibet: The
Ancient Wisdom of Nalanda," by Melina Mulas, published by 5 Continents
Editions, Milano.
What makes this copy of the book particularly special is that nearly
all of the 66 living Tibetan Buddhist and Bon masters whose striking
portraits grace its pages have personally penned their signatures in
the book. Included are signed photographs of Bon, Gelugpa, Kagyu,
Nyingma and Sakya masters, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
as well as (from the Bon Buddhist tradition) His Holiness Lungtok
Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche, Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche and Ponlop
Trinley Nyima Rinpoche.
"The Lamas of Tibet" also includes a brief history of Tibet, sections
on Tibetan Buddhism and the Bon tradition, and a conversation with
Venerable Jetsun Tsering Paldron.
This copy of the book accompanied the travels of Bon Buddhist master
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, spiritual director of Ligmincha Institute,
while he was engaged in founding Lishu Institute, a new center in India
where Westerners can engage in intensive short- and long-term study of
Tibetan Bon Buddhism.
This extraordinary book will be offered on July 13, 2007, at the annual
Summer Auction at Ligmincha's Serenity Ridge retreat center in Nelson
County, Va. The cut-off date for absentee bidding will be Monday, July
9. Retreat attendees will be able to make their bids in person. To make
an absentee bid, please contact Candace Byers at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or
203-570-7320. Please supply your full name, email address, phone
number, address, method of payment, and bid amount. Please do not
provide your credit card number via email.
Feel free to forward this announcement to anyone you believe may be
interested. All proceeds from the sale of this book and other auction
items will go toward funding the construction of residential guest
accommodations at Ligmincha's Serenity Ridge Retreat Center. For more
information about Ligmincha Institute, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
and the Tibetan Bon Buddhist tradition, please visit
To read descriptions and see photographs of the newest items at
Ligmincha Institute’s Bookstore and Tibet Shop and for order
information, please go to and click on "search
by category or description" and then click on "New Items." Or, go
directly to:
Red Garuda
Dream Khandro
Sherab Chamma painted in 24 kt. gold, smaller size thangka
Ma Gyu painted in 24 kt. gold, smaller size thangka
Tapihritsa together with Nangzher Lopo
Inflatable meditation cushion (zafu) – great for travel! Available in
navy, black and burgundy. $26 - $29.

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