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Days one through fifteen of the first month of the Tibetan calendar, during which Monlam takes place, mark a period when Lord Buddha performed many miracles, beginning with Losar (the Tibetan New Year) on the first day and culminating on the fifteenth day, Chotrul Duchen (the Day of Miracles).
Losar took place this year on March 2, and Monlam continues through the Day of Miracles on Sunday March 16.
Losar is the most important yearly celebration in Tibetan Buddhist culture. The annual Tibetan prayer festival, Monlam Chenmo, or the Great Prayer Festival, was established by Lama Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, in 1409. The first two weeks of the new year, Monlam, commemorate the time when the Buddha displayed his power by performing a number of miracles. Lama Tsongkhapa chose the Monlam Chenmo to coincide with the anniversary of incredible events in Shakyamuni Buddha’s life traditionally celebrated during the first two weeks of the lunar new year.
The new year commemorates a time of increase in virtuous activity. Any actions done during that period of time, both auspicious and harmful, are multiplied in their power. Karmic results are multiplied by one hundred million, as cited by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the Vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logic. It is a very powerful time to practice and increase one’s commitment to both practice and study.
Please keep in mind: According to Ven. Choden Rinpoche, one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachers, observation of auspicious days should be according to the date in India, not the date in one’s home country. Therefore, when Lama Zopa Rinpoche is not in India, Rinpoche celebrates Buddha Days and other auspicious dates according to the time in India.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche has recommended practices for these special days. You can find Rinpoche’s advice on Monlam collected here (on Rinpoche’s Advice page, under Buddha Multiplying Days), specific advice for practices to do on the Buddha Multiplying days here, and a calendar of all the dates here.
Special thanks to the Liberation Prison Project for preparing the Tibetan Calendar.
If you decide to recite the Sutra of Golden Light on this special day, you might like to report your recitations using the facility on the FPMT website – which you can find that on the Sutra of Golden Light reporting page.
FPMT Education Services is happy to release this revised and reformatted version of “A Meditation on Orange Manjushri.” This practice includes the short sadhana written by the 5th Dalai Lama as well as, “Practice to Receive the Seven Types of Wisdom.” Excellent for developing wisdom and clarity, improving one’s memory, and for understanding and explaining Dharma to others.
Tara, The Liberator, is a completely enlightened buddha who had previously promised to appear, after enlightenment, in the form of a female bodhisattva for the benefit of all beings. Her primary activity is to protect from the eight fears. Tara or simply Drol-ma in Tibetan, is one of the most widely venerated deities in Tibet. Tara represents the miraculous activities of all buddhas. In myth she is born from Chenrezig’s tears of compassion. There are innumerable manifestations of Tara arising according to the needs of others, such as the dynamic Green Tara who quickly overcomes obstacles and saves beings in dangerous situations.
FPMT Education Services is pleased to announce a revised Short Practice of Green Tara. This practice includes the short sadhana, commentary from Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and three versions of Praises to the Twenty-One Taras. A Kriya Tantra empowerment of Green Tara is needed to practice this sadhana in full. However, one can do this practice without such an empowerment as long as one does not generate oneself as the deity. If one does not have the empowerment, one can do the self-generation practice at the crown of one’s head.
Students have anxiously anticipated the continuation of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Lam-Rim teaching retreat series, Light of the Path.
FPMT Education Services will be working closely with Kadampa Center, FPMT’s North Carolina center, as they present Light of the Path Retreat 2014 on Sunday 3pm, May 4 to Sunday Noon, May 18, 2014, at YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, NC.
Light of the Path Retreat 2014 is the third of a 5-year series of teaching retreats led by Lama Zopa Rinpoche based on Lama Atisha’s text, Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment. The first two retreats took place in 2009 and 2010 and many resources and materials have been developed from these precious teachings:
- All teachings from the 2009 and 2010 Light of the Path retreats are freely available in the resources area of the FPMT Online Learning Center.
- MP3 audio and mp4 video files are available for download in the Light of the Path Retreat Materials 2010: text, audio, video course. This course also contains the root text and other information associated with the retreat, including reviews, guided meditations, and the complete transcript of the retreat.
- The Living in the Path online program has been created from the Light of the Path retreat teachings of 2009 and 2010. Organized into structured modules you will find this, and other, programs on the FPMT Online Learning Center.
Please contact Kadampa Center for more information about the upcoming Light of the Path retreat with Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
Compiled from various teachings by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Benefits of Medicine Buddha Mantra and Practice details the many blessings associated with engaging in Medicine Buddha practice.
FPMT Education Services is happy to freely offer this compilation.
The Medicine Buddha encompasses all the buddhas. This means that when we practice the seven-limb prayer and make offerings with the seven limbs, we receive the same merit as we would if we had made offerings to all the buddhas. Similarly, when we recite the mantra of Medicine Buddha, we collect unbelievable merit just as when we offer the seven-limb practice to Medicine Buddha.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s The Perfect Human Rebirth: Freedom and Richness on the Path to Enlightenment, edit by Gordon McDougall, is the third book in the FPMT Lineage Series published by the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.
The FPMT Lineage series is comprised of books of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings on the graduated path to enlightenment (lam-rim) drawn from his four decades of discourses on the topic based on his own textbook, The Wish-fulfilling Golden Sun, and several traditional lam-rim texts. The books in general are arranged according to the outline of Pabongka Rinpoche’s Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand.
The first in this series is Heart of the Path and the second is How to Practice Dharma: Teachings on the Eight Worldly Dharmas. The Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive is now actively working on the next book in the series, Rinpoche’s teachings on impermanence and death.
- Tagged: lam-rim
As Lama Zopa Rinpoche advises, “If you want others to love you, you must first love others. If you benefit others, naturally they will benefit you. The cause and effect of karma is as simple as this. The Vajrasattva purification practice, which is more powerful than negative karma, can prevent you from experiencing the problems that negative karma would otherwise bring you. Thus, the practice of purification is one of the most important solutions to our problems and is extremely necessary, even for people who believe that we have only one life.”
For many of us, the new year signifies a time for reflecting on our past year and making aspirations to improve the actions of our body, speech and mind for the benefit of ourselves and others.
You can find a short Vajrasattva sadhana complete with a purification practice including the four opponent powers through the FPMT Foundation Store.
Additionally, the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive has collected and made available extensive advice on purification practices.
Basic Program Guidelines 2013: The new, entirely revised edition, is now available online!
The new edition of the updated and revised Basic Program Guidelines for Implementation is now available online.
The Basic Program Guidelines 2013 web page (members area login required) presents the document in separate parts with contents listed, to make it easy to find and access the specific advice you need for your Basic Program. Please explore!
PLEASE NOTE: The Basic Program CD is no longer in use, and the old edition BPGuidelines2006 that was included on the CD should no longer be used. The Basic Program materials pages (in English, French and Spanish) are accessible for Basic Program implementing centers and teachers from the Members Area.
Basic Program in English to start in Australia
Western teacher Jampa Jaffe will teach the second Basic Program at Vajrayana Institute, Ashfield, NSW, Australia, starting February 2014. Jampa was the teaching assistant for the first FPMT Masters Program at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Italy.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche translated Padmasambhava’s Instruction on Offerings to Stupas, which details the benefits of prostrating to, making offering, circumambulating , and offering service to stupas.
We are happy to offer this in:
One of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Vast Visions for FPMT is to build 100,000 stupas around the world. The Stupa Fund was established in 1992 with the aim of providing the resources needed to fulfill Rinpoche’s wishes.
If you would like to contribute to the Stupa Fund, you may donate any amount.
All those who with virtue help the stupa will, in all lives, enter into the perfect path of the ten virtues, never be separated from the support of virtuous friends, and achieve all the realizations they wish.
Since 1999, the Liberation Prison Project has produced the Liberation Calendar, a Tibetan lunar calendar which includes dates and information about more than thirty kinds of practice days and auspicious and inauspicious days for each month.
The calendar is prepared by astrologer Ngawang Thartho based on the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institutes calendar, with additional advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director of FPMT, and Geshe Ngawang Dakpa, astrologer lama of FPMT’s Tse Chen Ling in San Francisco.
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