Six Preparatory Practices

The next series of Geshe la’s teachings is on the Six Preparatory Practices (Jorchoe), and will begin Sunday, March 5, 2017. These hands-on instructions will help us to prepare our environment, body, and mind to be open to the presence of the enlightened ones so that our practices become meaningful:

  1. Purifying the space and setting up the representations of body, speech & mind of Buddha. This involves cleaning the altar room, setting up the altar, etc. which will be a very auspicious beginning.
  2. Arranging the offerings
  3. Resting in 7-point Vairochana’s equipoise, setting motivation, taking refuge and arousing bodhicitta
  4. Visualizing the merit field
  5. Accumulating merit and purifying misdeeds through the seven-limb prayer and offering mandala
  6. Requesting inspiration through prayers


Current teaching

The current teachings on Eight Verses of Training the Mind will be focusing on Verse 8.

For Feb. 19th, the instruction will be continue where we left off last week on the topic of interdependent co-arising.

Eight Verses of Training the Mind

by Geshe Langri Thangpa

  1. By thinking of all sentient beings
    As more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel
    For accomplishing the highest aim,
    I will always hold them dear.
  2. Whenever I’m in the company of others,
    I will regard myself as the lowest among all,
    And from the depths of my heart
    Cherish others as supreme.
  3. In my every action, I will watch my mind,
    And the moment destructive emotions arise,
    I will confront them strongly and avert them,
    Since they will hurt both me and others.
  4. Whenever I see ill-natured beings,
    Or those overwhelmed by heavy misdeeds or suffering,
    I will cherish them as something rare,
    As though I’d found a priceless treasure.
  5. Whenever someone out of envy
    Does me wrong by attacking or belittling me,
    I will take defeat upon myself,
    And give the victory to others.
  6. Even when someone I have helped,
    Or in whom I have placed great hopes
    Mistreats me very unjustly,
    I will view that person as a true spiritual teacher.
  7. In brief, directly or indirectly,
    I will offer help and happiness to all my mothers,
    And secretly take upon myself
    All their hurt and suffering.
  8. I will learn to keep all these practices
    Untainted by thoughts of the eight worldly concerns.
    May I recognize all things as like illusions,
    And, without attachment, gain freedom from bondage.

| Rigpa Translations. Revised 2012.

The Fourth Great Occasion in Lord Buddha’s Life

Dear friends and relatives,

We are now entering the fourth great occasion in Buddha’s life. Buddha’s mother Maha Maya had been reborn in the heaven of Thirty Three. To repay her kindness and to benefit the gods, Buddha spent three months teaching in the Heaven of 33.

The day Buddha returned to the world was celebrated as Lha Bab Düchen. Although some traditions celebrate this on full moon day, we Tibetans celebrate it on the 22nd of the 9th lunar month. How fortunate that we have two of this special day to practice. Because of its huge potency, every action good or bad is multiplied 1 million times as per Lama Sopa Rinpoche.

Anyone wishing to observe the whole month, it starts from October 31st. But, the 2 days where you need to be especially mindful are:

Full Moon of 9th lunar month:         Monday, November 14, 2016

22nd of the 9th lunar month:             Sunday, Nov 20,  2016

This act of Buddha’s great compassion for his mother reminds us to think of our own parents who have raised us with so much kindness and protected us with love. His Holiness always teaches us to use the example of our own mothers’ kindness to generate love & compassion for all sentient beings for they too have been our mothers in our past lives and while they were our mothers they have loved and cherished us in the same manner.

So on the above two days do not lose the opportunity to practice virtue such as generosity, patience & forgiveness etc. for the sake of not only our parents of this life but for all mothers we have had from the beginning-less time. Just as our practice is the best offering we can make to our Lamas, like His Holiness, it is also the best way that we can repay the kindness of all our mother sentient beings.

Because our parents of this life are the motivation behind our diligent practice they too will accumulate immeasurable merit – as many as there are sentient beings who are limitless in number. And at the end of the day do not forget to dedicate the merit you have accumulated to the enlightenment of all sentient beings and to His Holiness’ long life and realization of His Three Main Commitments for the world and for Tibet. Source:

Once more I share this beautiful story from Jatakamala that I found in: I never get tired of reading this every Lhabab Dhuchen. I hope you feel the same.

Long ago, in the hills of the Himalayas near a lotus pool, the Buddha was once born as a baby elephant. He was a magnificent elephant, pure white with feet and face the color of coral. His trunk gleamed like a silver rope and his ivory tusks curled up in a long arc.

He followed his mother everywhere. She plucked the tenderest leaves and sweetest mangoes from the tall trees and gave them to him. “First you, then me,” she said. She bathed him in the cool lotus pool among the fragrant flowers. Drawing the sparkling water up in her trunk, she sprayed him over the top of his head and back until he shone. Then filling his trunk with water, he took careful aim and squirted a perfect geyser right between his mother’s eyes. Without blinking, she squirted him back. And back and forth, they gleefully squirted and splashed each other. Splish! Splash!

Then they rested in the soft muck with their trunks curled together. In the deep shadows of afternoon, the mother elephant rested in the shade of a rose-apple tree and watched her son romp and frolic with the other baby elephants.

The little elephant grew and grew until he was the tallest and strongest young bull in the herd. And while he grew taller and stronger, his mother grew older and older. Her tusks were yellow and broken and in time she became blind. The young elephant plucked the tenderest leaves and sweetest mangoes from the tall trees and gave them to his dear old blind mother. “First you, then me,” he said. He bathed her in the cool lotus pool among the fragrant flowers. Drawing the sparkling water up in his trunk, he sprayed her over the top of her head and back until she shone. Then they rested in the soft muck with their trunks curled together.

In the deep shadows of afternoon, the young elephant guided his mother to the shade of a rose-apple tree. Then he went roaming with the other elephants.

One day a king was hunting and spied the beautiful white elephant. “What a splendid animal! I must have him to ride upon!” So the king captured the elephant and put him in the royal stable. He adorned him with silk and jewels and garlands of lotus flowers. He gave him sweet grass and juicy plums and filled his trough with pure water.

But the young elephant would not eat or drink. He wept and wept, growing thinner each day. “Noble elephant,” said the king, “I adorn you with silk and jewels. I give you the finest food and the purest water, yet you do not eat or drink. What will please you?” The young elephant said, “Silk and jewels, food and drink do not make me happy. My blind old mother is alone in the forest with no one to care for her. Though I may die, I will take no food or water until I give some to her first.”

The king said, “Never have I seen such kindness, not even among humans. It is not right to keep this young elephant in chains.” And set the elephant free.

The young elephant raced through the hills looking for his mother. He found her by the lotus pool. There she lay in the mud, too weak to move. With tears in his eyes, he filled his trunk with water and sprayed the top of her head and back until she shone. “Is it raining?” she asked. “Or has my son returned to me?” “It is your very own son!” he cried. “The king has set me free!” As he washed her eyes, a miracle happened. Her sight returned. “May the king rejoice today as I rejoice at seeing my son again!” she said.

The young elephant then plucked the tenderest leaves and sweetest mangoes from a tree and gave them to her. “First you, then me.”

May every sentient being develop heart as great as this Great Elephant and swiftly attain enlightenment!


Lynn Chazotsang
October 25, 2016

Regular scheduling resumes Oct. 16 – Geshe la’s teaching schedule released

Hello friend,

We are currently taking a break from regular programming. There will be NO teaching Sunday Oct. 9 and NO meditation/prayer on Tuesday Oct. 11. Events will resume Sunday Oct. 16, which will be a Full Moon Tara prayer instead of a Dharma teaching.

Geshe la’s teaching schedule from October through December has been added to our calendar, and is presented below.

Eight Verses for Training the Mind is a highly revered text from the Mahayana Lojong (mind training) tradition. These instructions offer essential practices for cultivating the awakening mind of compassion, wisdom, and love. This eight-verse (Mind Training or Lojong) enshrines the very heart of Dharma, revealing the true essence of the Mahayana path to liberation.

Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016
Verse I – How to cherish and care for others which is the source of all happiness.

Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016
Verse 2 – How to train the mind in proper humility, eliminating our habitual arrogance and pride and taming our exaggerated sense of self importance and for cultivating true humility and respect for others.

Sunday, Nov 6, 2016
Verse 3 – This verse calls for the sincere practice of mindfulness, closely examining our state of mind throughout all our actions and encourage us to firmly face and avert any disturbing emotions or negative attitudes the very moment they arise.

Sunday, Nov 13, 2016
Verse 4 – This verse suggests reversing our usual self-cherishing attitude by learning to cherish and care for others less fortunate and to overcome the delusion and egoism of our self-cherishing mental state

Sunday, Nov 20, 2016
Verse 5 – Learning to accept loss and defeat which is the very foundation of the bodhisattva practice.

Sunday, Nov 27, 2016
Verse 6 – How to transform difficult experiences (such as when people repay our kindness and trust by harming us or treating us in hurtful ways) into the actual path to enlightenment.

Sunday, Dec 4, 2016
Verse 7 – This verse refers to the essence of Tong-len practice (Giving and Taking).

Sunday, Dec 11, 2016
Verse 8 – Training on how to our spiritual practice should not be defiled or stained by the eight worldly concerns and to act exclusively and compassionately for the benefit of other beings. This training practice also include direct perception of ultimate truth—emptiness.

Thank you,