the PATH of LUMINOUS FIRE—2013
May 3-18, 2013
Journey through Bhutan with Tshewang Sitar Rinpoche, including empowerments and foundational training in the Six Yogas of Naropa, healing Chod, and Mahamudra/ Dzogchen. This trip will be limited to 21 committed participants and will be further facilitated by Lama Pema Tenzin, Lama Jinpa (Dr. Asa Hersh), Ian Baker, and Tshewang Yangchen, an accomplished Bhutanese yogini. To ensure thorough preparation, participants will be asked to complete preliminary readings as well as physical training. The curriculum for this teaching retreat is considered to be the life blood of the dakinis, female embodiments of wisdom and enlightened energy. This is a rare opportunity to receive empowerments and training in core yogic practices, including inner heat, dream yoga, and clear light, that lie at the heart of the Tantric Buddhist tradition and which, since their inception, have been passed down as a secret “whispered lineage”
Friday, May 3
- Arrival in Bangkok. Rembrandt Hotel.
- Alternatively, arrive Kathmandu to see Tsewong Rinpoche, Pema and Lama Jinpa
Saturday, May 4
- Morning flight from Bangkok to Paro. Transfer to Gangteng Palace. After lunch, visit Paro Dzong and Kyichu Lhakhang.
- Introductory evening talk followed by traditional Bhutanese hot stone baths. Evening introduction to Chod.
Sunday, May 5 [DAKINI DAY]
- Vajrayogini empowerment and tsok offering in the Gangteng Palace Lhakhang.
- In the afternoon, optional visit to Taktsang and the Machig Lhakhang, Orgyen Tsemo Lhakhang, Shamar Lhakhang, and Pagmo Phug. Dinner at Gangteng Palace.
- Chod on the mountain.
Monday, May 6
- Early morning instruction in tsalung/ trulkhor at Gangteng Lhakhang.
- After a late breakfast, drive approximately four hours to Punakha, stopping for lunch at the Dochula pass. On arrival in Punakha Valley, visit Chime Lhakhang (he temple of Drukpa Kunleg) and Paro Dzong. Afterwards, continue another 30 minuites drive to Wangdi for overnight at Kichu Resort.
Tuesday, May 7
- Drive approximately eight hours to the Tang Manor in Bumthang, visiting various scenic sites en route. Overnight Tang Manor
Wednesday, May 8
- Six Yogas [Awakening Inner Fire] Day one of teaching retreat, Tang Manor.
Thursday, May 9
- Six Yogas [Awakening Inner Fire] Day two of teaching retreat, Tang Manor.
Friday, May 10 [New Moon)
- Six Yogas [Awakening Inner Fire] Day three of teaching retreat.
- In the afternoon, pilgrimage hike to Kunzang Drak Monastery and Membartso where Pema Lingpa extracted treasures. Overnight Tang Manor.
Saturday, May 11
- Morning Yoga
- Drive into main Bumthang Valley and walk the scenic Kencho Sum trail, visiting Jambay, Kurje, and Tamshing Monasteries. After lunch, drive five hours to Mongar. Overnight at Wangchuk Hotel. Evening Trulkor and Chod
Sunday, May 12
- Morning Yoga. Drive four hours to Tashigang and, after lunch continue two more hours to Tashiyangtse.
- Settle in at retreat houses and explore surroundings which include an early stupa based on the one in Boudhanath in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley.
- Evening yoga
Monday, May 13
- Long Troma Chod with Rinpoche and his Ngakpa followers of Eastern Bhutan
Tuesday, May 14
- Vajraygoini and Tummo Practice. Possible togal introduction: Awakening to Self-perfected Radiance.
- Evening Chod
Wednesday, May 15
- Pilgrimage hike to Sangye Teng Monastery, founded by Sangye Lingpa
- Vajraygoini and Tummo Practice.
- Evening Chod
Thursday, May 16
- Morning flight from Tashigang to Paro. Drive to Thimphu, visiting on the way the temple home of Thongthang Gyalpo. Overnight Pedling Hotel (?)
Friday, May 17
- Visit the Memorial Chorten followed by lunch at the Folk Heritage Museum. In the afternoon, visit the School for Traditional Arts and possibly the living incarnation of Dorje Pagmo at her home near Thimphu. Farewell dinner at Druk Hotel. Overnight Pedling Hotel (?).
Saturday, May 18
- Fly from Paro to Bangkok for onward travel connections
This journey is not a “public event” but restricted to students and folks I know, or have validated their sanity and good heart!
Contact for details…
Chod in the Land of the Dragon—2011
Highlights of our previous event in Bhutan!
In early April, there will be a remarkable opportunity to practice Chod in the sacred enclave of Bhutan. We will learn practices and engage in them in a land of unique spiritual potency.
Bhutan is the last Vajrayana country in the world. Here, we meet the pure energies of Guru Rinpoche, Yeshe Tsogyal, Tontang Gyalpo, Pema Lingpa, PeGyal Lingpa and more, and sit where the yidams, dakinis, protectors dwell. This precious heritage has been preserved and nourished, and the living traditions remain vibrant and palpable. In spite of political, social, economic and cultural issues, not for below the surface, the pure dharma percolates and bubbles forth.
In this place, where synchronicity is commonplace, the sacred environment has the power to transform. Through the guidance of a unique Dzokchen master and a skilled Western Buddhist teacher, we will discover a renewed energy and dynamic that will inform the rest of our days, and create a seed in all future lives.
Participants will receive (or re-receive) the Chod Initiation, and various transmissions (lungs). During our time in Bhutan, aside from the full-day Rinchen Trengwa, we will learn and practice the PeGyal Lingpa Chod, Kusli Tsok Chod, short Chod Tsok, Laughter of the Dakinis, and especially the Chod Ngondro (translated and presented for the VERY FIRST time in the West), as well as various other daily practices, protector practice, and so on!
Over schedule, subject to minor change, looks like this:
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Go to Hotel Gangtey Palace, a great old mid-range hotel high on the hillside above the valley.
Empowerments & Transmissions (Lung). Group Meditation in LhaKang. Dinner in Paro or hotel.
Monday, April 4
KuDung of Dilgo Khyentse
Here is the golden stupa with the sacred remains of the great sage of our era, and one of Rinpoche’s teachers, Dilgo Khyentse. We will do the Chod confession (shakpa) and prayer to the four gates of MaChik
Built by Fist Kind of Tibet; pins down the famed Tibetan ogress at the left foot. One of the oldest lhakhangs in Bhutan. Great statues of 1000 armed Avalokiteshvara. Dilgo Khyesntse Rinpocheâ€™s meditation area. We will also visit Tontang Gyalpo’s anceint Gompa and practice Chod there.
Tuesday, April 5
Built by the Shabdrung to celebrate victory over the Tibetan invaders (the Shabdrung story is incredible in every aspect). Vews of Jomolhari on the way there. Visit the ruins and practice there.
Cultural sites and also sacred (like everything in Bhutan!
Base of Taksang
Depending on weather, transport and capability of the students, pilgrimage to the base or top of Taksang, Tigers Nest, and the speical MaChik temple.
Built in the 17th century, but now houses the National Museum
Wednesday, April 6
Hot stone bath
Day of rest, or — stone baths are not turned into a spa they are more like the traditional ones.
Thurs, April 7
Tashi Cho Dzong & Thimpu Sights
Drive to Thimpu (90 minutes) and settle in at the Pema hotel and Thimpu orientation. Visit to Tashi Cho Dzong, the main â€œfortâ€ and monastic complex of Thimpu. This is a magnificent, multi-faceted group of buildings and we will have permission to practice in one of the many temples there, and explore further. After this, we will visit other important Thimpu sights: the national Zoo, and School of (13 traditional) Arts and Crafts.
Fri, April 8
Precious Rosary of Chod: Preparations
Drive to Thimpu (90 minutes) and settle in at the Pema hotel and Thimpu orientation. We will go to the open air market to get supplies for the upcoming Tsok, and then go off set up of shrine and Tsok offering at Memorial Chorten. We will learn torma-making from the ulitmate expert, Lama Pema!
Sat., April 9 & Sun, April 10
Precious Rosary of Chod
Memorial Chorten, in the heart of Thimpu, will be the site of this all day Chod practice. The Chorten is a very popular spot for cirucmambulation and mantra, visited by hundreds of Bhutanese each day. Many local lamas will be in attendance, and this will be an important local event.
Mon., April 11
Tongten Gyalpo Lhakhang
In the morning we will complete our walking tour of Thimpu. Then we will head to the samll temple across the river to the Zilukha Nunnery and Lhakhang. This is an ancient TongTang Gyalpo site, with possibly the largest gold statue dedicated to this great master. Previously a favorite spot of Kalu Rinpoche, the nuns regularly practice Chod. We will perform the Kagyu Lujin with them, as well as our own practices, such as the DenTok Chikma, MaChik yidam practice.
On the edge of Thimpu, this is an extremely powerful site, where the Protectors of Bhutan entered into a rock dwelling. The tower is dark, one ascends through a steep ladder and the top floor houses the large statues of the three deities. We will do short protector practices here, and then longer practice in the adjacent lhakhang.
Tue., April 12
This 9,000 foot pass has a beautiful view of the surrounding valleys, and like all moutnian passes, is the abode of many local spirits and land deities. This is an ideal place to perfome the prayers of Sang, Lungta and Yangguk. Lunch somewhere. Return to Paro for overnight for those flying out on Wednesday.
Wed., April 13
Tango and Cheri
Flight of those traveling back to Kathmandu, Delhi or home!
We travel 30 minutes outside Thimphu to this idyllic spot at a covered bridge over an incredibly beautiful tributary of the Thimphu river at the road head. We will lunch and meditate here. Another 30-45 minute walk up, we come to Cheri, the first monastery built in Bhutan by the Shabdrung and site of first 3 year retreat.
Thurs., April 14
Fri., April 15
Evening return to Paro for flight the next day.
Sat., April 16
Blessing send off by Rinpoche and the lamas. Flight back to one’s home country, with a deeper richer understanding of dharma.