Special Announcement Issue

Volume 9, Number 7  /  July 2009


  • “Healing Through Love and Wisdom” – Now on our Web site: Recording of June 21 Live Internet Teaching of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
  • Upcoming Teachings at Chamma Ling in Crestone
  • Upcoming Retreats at Ligmincha’s Serenity Ridge Retreat Center
  • Just Released: New Book on Chod Practice by Alejandro Chaoul-Reich


On June 21, 2009, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche gave a live Internet teaching in which he guided the Sherap Chamma practice, a practice of the Bon Buddhist tradition that helps one to access and connect deeply with one’s innate qualities of love and wisdom.
To view this 77-minute broadcast, visit: https://www.ligmincha.org/retreats/live-internet-teaching-june-21-2009.html


We are blessed this year to have three wonderful retreats coming up later this summer and in the fall at the Chamma Ling retreat center in the Sangre de Christo mountains of southern Colorado. The first event will be a Ngondro Practice Retreat led by Lharila Kalsang Nyima from Aug. 27 through Sept. 6, 2009. This is a great opportunity for those who have already received the ngondro teachings/transmissions to develop their accumulations in a small-group setting under the close guidance of a qualified lama. Lharila will be available to clarify questions and deepen understanding of these profound foundational practices of the Bon tradition. The retreat will be limited to 20 people, so don’t wait and miss out on this incredible opportunity. Prior ngondro transmission is required to attend this practice retreat.

From Oct. 1 through 4, 2009, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche will bless Chamma Ling with his unique teachings on the elements, “Connecting Through the Elements: The spiritual path of relationship with nature.” The Elements teachings are drawn from the six yogas of the Bon Mother Tantra (Ma Gyud), and are fundamental to understanding how the subtle energies of the natural elements of earth, water, fire, air, and space affect us emotionally, mentally, and physically. Through the simple practices of the elements one can rebalance the inner elements to become more quiet, centered and poised. Tenzin Rinpoche will add a unique taste to this retreat by teaching outdoors much of the time alongside pure mountain streams, among ancient cedars, surrounded by spectacular mountain peaks. Practicing among nature’s perfect beauty we will be led to reflect on correct relationship to the world, and to bring harmony to our thoughts and actions.

From Oct. 5 through 7, immediately following Tenzin Rinpoche’s retreat, Alejandro Chaoul-Reich will lead “Exploring and Experiencing the Subtle Body: External, Internal and Secret Tsa Lung.” Many who have trained with Alejandro have remarked about his warm, affable teaching style, and his mastery of the subtle energies in the body. His teaching will be an excellent doorway for anyone new to the use of the breath and body in meditation, as well as for those who have had an introduction but wish to gain a deeper understanding of these profound practices.

We hope that you can join us at one or all of these events, or spend some personal retreat time in one of our cabins. The Chamma Ling cabins have become renowned for their beautiful, quiet setting and superb design. This summer, Pema Chodron, director of Gampo Abbey, and Reggie Ray, founder of Dharma Ocean, both chose Chamma Ling for their personal retreats. Come and experience for yourself what they find unique.
For more information about our events, cabins, and other aspects of Chamma Ling, visit www.chammaling.org.


The retreats described below will take place at Serenity Ridge, Ligmincha Institute’s retreat center in Nelson County, Va. To register or for more information, please visit www.ligmincha.org and click on “Retreats”; or contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or our new telephone number, 434-263-6304.

Oct. 7 – 11, 2009
Powa: The Transference of Consciousness
Annual Fall Retreat at Serenity Ridge
With Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

For a dedicated practitioner on the spiritual path, nearly any moment of transition provides a potent opportunity for positive transformation and never more so than at the Great Moment of death. Engaging in the powa practice of the Bon tradition of Tibet enables one to transfer one’s consciousness directly into a pure realm at the time of death, thus increasing one’s chances for liberation in a single lifetime.

During this retreat Rinpoche will explain how to accept death as a natural and expected process; how to adopt the right attitude in preparation for death; and how to perform the powa practice at the time of death.
These teachings, from the Bon Mother Tantra, or Ma Gyud, are known to be particularly detailed, powerful, and in-depth.

Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, the founding director of Ligmincha Institute, was one of the first Tibetan teachers to bring the Bon teachings to the West. He is an acclaimed author as well as a highly respected teacher to students throughout North America, Mexico, and Europe. Fluent in English, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is renowned for his depth of wisdom, his clear, engaging teaching style and his ability to make the ancient Tibetan teachings highly accessible and relevant to the lives of Westerners. His books include “Healing With Form, Energy, and Light”; “Wonders of the Natural Mind”; “The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep”; “Tibetan Sound Healing”; and “Unbounded Wholeness: Dzogchen, Bon and the Logic of the Nonconceptual,” written in collaboration with Anne Carolyn Klein, Ph.D.
Retreat cost (includes meals): $450 received by Aug. 26; $525 received after Aug. 26
FOR MORE INFORMATION about this retreat or to register, visit Ligmincha.org and click on “Retreats,” or go directly to: https://www.ligmincha.org/component/option,com_retreat/Itemid,131/retreat_id,43/

Nov. 12 - 15, 2009
Tibetan Yoga: Spinning the Magical Wheel of Trul Khor
With Alejandro Chaoul-Reich

Beginners and experienced students alike are invited to join us for instruction in the ancient practice of Tibetan yoga, from the Oral Transmission of Zhang Zhung. This form of yoga is more vigorous than the A-Tri form taught during recent Serenity Ridge retreats.

Tibetan yoga can serve as a powerful support for all spiritual practitioners, not just for those with an interest in the physical yogas. In the Tibetan spiritual traditions, body, energy, and mind are known as the three doors to enlightenment. The contemplative physical movements of Tibetan yoga (trul khor) enable us to enter all three doors at once through a single practice, offering a powerful, skillful means for clearing the obstacles and obscurations to openness and clarity in meditation practice.

Alejandro Chaoul-Reich has been teaching these retreats for more than a decade at the request of Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, guiding students in a deep exploration and familiarization of the body’s energetic dimension.

All students are warmly encouraged to learn these movements and benefit from practicing them. There is no prerequisite for attending. For those interested in deepening their practice of Tibetan yoga, this
retreat serves as the first part of a four-part training program to be offered over the next two to three years at Serenity ridge. In the past this course included sets 1 and 2, but in the new curriculum we start by teaching sets 1 and 6. Those who have taken the course previously are welcome to join too.

Alejandro Chaoul-Reich, Ph.D., is a senior student of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and has studied trul khor with many masters of the Bon Buddhist tradition of Tibet. Alejandro is an assistant professor at the University of Texas (U.T.) Medical School. He teaches meditation to cancer patients and their supporters and is involved in research using tsa lung trul khor with cancer patients at the U.T. MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Alejandro received his Ph.D. in Tibetan religions from Rice University.
Retreat cost (includes meals): $275 received by Oct. 7; $325 received after Oct. 7
FOR MORE INFORMATION about this retreat or to register, visit Ligmincha.org and click on “Retreats,” or go directly to: https://www.ligmincha.org/component/option,com_retreat/Itemid,131/retreat_id,46/

Dec. 27, 2009 – Jan. 1, 2010
The Experiential Transmission of Zhang Zhung, Part 2
Annual Winter Retreat with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

This retreat is nearly full, so sign up right away to reserve your place or to get on our waiting list. The Experiential Transmission of Zhang Zhung is the centerpiece of Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s dzogchen teachings and is presented solely at Serenity Ridge each year at our winter retreat. The concise and essential practice manual of the Experiential Transmission, the Chag Tri, provides pith instructions for those who aspire to practice dzogchen, the path of self-liberation.

Part Two presents the third chapter of the Chag Tri, now available in English translation for those who attend the retreat. It includes the practice of zhine as the skillful means to establish a calm abiding mind; the methods for stabilizing the resulting mindfulness through practices of dark retreat, sun and sky gazing; and guidance for recognizing experiences of rigpa – innate awareness. These meditation practices, including physical postures and eye gazes, can introduce the practitioner to the nature of mind.

Prerequisite: It is essential to study and practice the chapters of the Experiential Transmission in sequence. Therefore, participants must have received the teachings for Part One of the Experiential Transmission of Zhang Zhung (the Ngondro), before progressing to these Part Two teachings. Practitioners who have already participated in or completed one of our previous cycles of Chag Tri teachings are warmly invited to attend this retreat.

Retreat cost (includes meals): $450 received by Nov. 11; $525 received after Nov. 11
FOR MORE INFORMATION about this retreat or to register, visit Ligmincha.org and click on “Retreats,” or go directly to: https://www.ligmincha.org/component/option,com_retreat/Itemid,131/retreat_id,42/

To register for any of the above retreats, or for more information about teachings in the Bon Buddhist tradition of Tibet, please visit www.ligmincha.org or contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 434-263-6304.


Note: To see other new items just in at Ligmincha’s Bookstore and Tibet Shop, visit Ligmincha.org and click on “NEW items” in the left-hand menu, or go directly to https://www.ligmincha.org/store/by-type/new-items/view-all-products.html?practice=0

“Chod Practice in the Bon Tradition” by Alejandro Chaoul-Reich, with forwards by Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche and Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.
New! Just published July 2009!
From the back cover:
This book is the first to trace the history of Chod practice in Tibet's indigenous Bon tradition. Chod ("cutting through") is a meditative practice in which the practitioner imagines offering his or her body in sacrifice through elaborate contemplative visualization. Although a meditative practice, Chod is not traditionally done sitting comfortably on a cushion in a shrine room, but instead is often practiced in terrifying places like cemeteries or charnel grounds. The feelings of fear that result are used by the Chod practitioner to "cut through" his or her own ego. Chod contains elements of early shamanism, of sutric and tantric teachings also found in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, and of the Tibetan highest school of dzogchen. "In the last few years the interest in chod has suddenly re-emerged, and a few books have been written about it from the Buddhist perspective. Chaoul's work on chod from the Bon's perspective could not be more timely. His thorough analysis of this syncretic and fascinating religious practice and the use of the metaphor of cutting as a way to go beyond assumed boundaries, provides a broader picture of chod and sheds light on the interrelation of Buddhism and Bon." -- Giacomella Orofino, University of Naples Alejandro Chaoul (http://www.snowlionpub.com/pages/chaoul.html) obtained his Ph.D. at Rice University and has also completed the seven-year program at the Ligmincha Institute for the study of the Bon Buddhist tradition of Tibet. He is assistant professor at the John McGovern Center for Health, Humanities and the Human Spirit in University of Texas Medical School at Houston, where he teaches meditation and yoga to patients. Paperback, 122 pages. Price $18.95
To see more, visit: https://www.ligmincha.org/store/by-type/books/general-tibetan-buddhism/512-chod-practice-in-the-bon-tradition.html

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