Being Vegetarian for the Month of Saka Dawa

by Tifany Henderson

Lama D. Dorjee has requested that his students observe a vegetarian diet for the month of Saka Dawa, from May 26 until June 24.

Rinpoche also said each of us would determine what vegetarian means to us.

So, let’s keep in mind the intention behind being vegetarian during the month of Saka Dawa. All virtuous actions are multiplied. By going vegetarian, we reduce the number of animals that must be killed for our benefit. (It’s not a complete reduction because even when growing and harvesting plant-based foods, worms, insects, and micro-organisms are killed.) This is helpful on our environment. By simply adding more fruits and vegetables to our diet, it is helpful to our health. Also, virtuous actions require us to sacrifice a little, to stretch out of our comfort zones.

Our Lama has asked us to do this, so we do it for him and his long life. We meet this request to the best of our abilities, with our best intentions, to benefit all sentient beings. Then, we commit to it.

Vegetarianism is eating a plant-based diet, along with dairy, eggs and honey, but free from animal flesh of any kind. So, in the strictest sense there is no beef, chicken, fish, poultry, etc. But, you could eat food that comes from animal that doesn’t require killing the animal to get it. So, you could eat milk, cheese, yogurt, honey and such. Of course, all plant-based foods are acceptable to eat such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and grains.

To help you define what “vegetarian” will mean for you during the month of Saka Dawa, here are a few creative ideas. Remember, whatever you choose it should be a stretch and it should be for the benefit of our Lama and all sentient beings.

  1. One Vegetarian Day a week – Does this whole vegetarian thing seem very daunting to do for an entire month? Then, try the old stand-by Meatless Mondays. Basically, you choose one day a week to go completely vegetarian, have absolutely no meat of any kind. Maybe you can do two days a week! It doesn’t have to be Mondays, it can be any day of the week, just be consistent and commit to it. You could do Simple Saturdays, Trying Tuesdays, We Got This Wednesdays, These Veggies are Good Thursdays, Fun Fridays or Sacred Sundays.
  2. Semi-vegetarian – Can you do vegetarian part of the time, but you have a health need for some meat in your diet on a daily basis? Try being vegetarian everyday until 6pm! Eat whatever plant-based foods you want during the day along with eggs and dairy. After 6pm (dinner and later), add meat back in.
  3. Mostly vegetarian – Maybe you can do everything vegetarian without a problem, but you find you still need a little meat protein. How about keeping it minimally by adding some sort of meat broth to your vegetarian day? Bone broth is a popular thing these days. There are recipes everywhere for it, but it is possible to purchase packaged bone broth too. You could sip on bone broth between meals, or add it to your recipes.
  4. I’m-All-In Vegetarian – Great! Just remember no meat or meat broth products in your diet, and you got this!

Here are a few tips for your vegetarian meals:

  1. Check your current recipes. Can you drop the meat in any of them and just double the veggies and/or add beans? A lot of soups and stews can be done this way.
  2. Pinterest is your friend! I have found tons of recipes on Pinterest. Beware, just because you search for vegetarian, doesn’t mean only vegetarian meals will come up. Always double check the recipe!
  3. When eating out, restaurants will often have a vegetarian option, or can change an entree to be vegetarian. It’s usually a great idea to ask them to double the veggies.
  4. To meet protein needs, realize that all plant-based food have the building blocks of amino acids that make protein. But if you want to make extra sure, then incorporate beans, grains, nuts and seeds into your diet. Quinoa is actually a powerhouse for protein needs. Of course, dairy and eggs have protein as well.
  5. It’s helpful to have healthy snacks on hand as you transition your diet. Keep nuts, seeds, veggies sticks, and hummus on hand. If you like boiled eggs as a snack, boil up a batch to make it super easy to get what you need when you need it.
  6. Just because the package says “vegetarian” doesn’t mean it’s good for you. There are lots of highly processed foods out there that can be labeled vegetarian. It doesn’t mean it’s healthy! Try to stay close to the original form of the food where possible and you will find your body will appreciate it.
  7. You don’t have to eat eggs, dairy, and honey. It’s just allowed. But, feel free to omit it if you prefer!

Best Tip: Determine how you want to be vegetarian for the month – one day a week, partial days, completely vegetarian, or another creative variation. Once you have a definition that fits you, commit to it! Once you’re committed, plan for it! Get your recipes out, Google them. Plan your meals. Plan your healthy snacks. Stretch to something more, but be realistic. Commit again. Remember, we do this for all sentient beings.

Whether it is making one small change or going full-on vegetarian, it is about virtuous action. Keep your heart and mind present at all times.

Tifany Henderson is a long time member and practitioner at KTC Dallas. An Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Yoga Instructor and Meditation Instructor, Tifany helps her clients find the right nutritional approach for them, along with what is right for their mind, body and spirit. She believes in taking small steps that lead to big lasting changes. To find out more about Tifany and her approach to working with clients, classes and workshops, visit www.yogatif.com.

BlueBunny Retreat 2017 Up and Rolling!

Bluebunny Retreat at the KTC – March 10 – 17, 2017

Continuing a flow of Dharma teaching extending back sixteen years, Lama Dudjom Dorjee continues the Bluebunny Retreat with his own direct translations from the original ‘Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen’ texts, specific to his audience.

 “This type of retreat generates much good energy and removes obstacles from all four directions. We will provide the opportunity to actually practice Mahamudra.”   –  Lama Dudjom Dorjee

The experience of the retreat is immersive and creative, incorporating exercise, walking meditation, enlightened song, group storytelling and rites (such as meal prayer and fire puja), along with the joy of preparing and working with good food.

The Chenrezik Sadhana is done every evening with Lama Dudjom Dorjee, an opportunity for you to more deeply connect with the practice.

Prerequisite for the Retreat. Retreatants need to have taken refuge within the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
If you have refuge within another lineage or school of Buddhism, or would like to take refuge before the retreat so that you may attend, speak with Lama Dudjom Dorjee at the KTC on  Sunday.

We have two tracks; Lama Dudjom Dorjee requests that his retreatants sign up for either the weekend or full week options; partial retreat attendance is discouraged. The main blessing of the retreat will be Sunday afternoon at the close of the weekend retreat.

Retreat information and sign-up links here

Saturday November 12 – Juliet’s Jewels 15th Anniversary Open House and Dharma Talk!

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Lama Dudjom Dorjee Visits Duluth in September 2016

Printable PDF here: CopyofDharmaTeachingwithLDD2015.docxMicrosoft Word - CopyofDharmaTeachingwithLDD2015.docx.docx

Saturday, June 11 One-Day Denton Retreat with the Ven Lama Dudjom Dorjee Rinpoche

WHEN : Saturday, June 11th, 2016

WHERE : Dawa Dolma Meditation Center (behind Juliet’s Jewels, 940-565-5005 )

TIME : 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Lunch break from 12:00 to 2:00 pm)

COST: $60 (Incl. Indian Vegetarian lunch, drinks and snacks throughout the day and donation).       Cash or checks only. 

I’m pleased to announce that our Precious Lama Dudjom Dorjee Rinpoche will be with us on Saturday June 11th for the second half on the Four Noble Truths, The Truth of the Cessation of Suffering  (believe it or not, there is an end to suffering) and the Truth of the Path that leads to that cessation.

In addition, Rinpoche will speak on Karma, Cause and Effect and in between talks, we will be meditating and contemplating on the teachings. If this speaks to you then please register as soon as possible because space is limited.

Come by the store to register Monday thru Saturday, 10am to 6:00 pm. Registration will close on June 8th. 

Thank you for your continued support of Juliet’s Jewels, a store that also makes an effort to help improve the lives of individuals who in turn benefit those they come in contact with helping make the world a better place. 

Sincerely,

Dawa Juliet Sangmu

ph. 940-566-5005

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From Benchen.org: What is a Kagyu Monlam?

Adapted by Lama Rinchen for benchen.org/pl (Poland, 2010)

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Monlam tradition in Kagyu school

The name Kagyu Monlam was established in Tibet about 500 years ago when the 7th Karmapa Choedrak Gyatso initiated an annual prayer festival to strengthen the feeble discipline of vows among the ordained Sanhga, make offerings to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and to fuel the faith of local people who arrived for the event to participate in the prayers and listen to the teachings. Over 10,000 monks headed by the Karmapa gathered in the first month of the Tibetan calendar on the holiday commemorating the miracles performed by the Buddha, to recite a liturgy of the twenty Monlam sections compiled by the Karmapa. The prayers were recited with the intention for all beings to reach happiness: accumulate merit, liberate from mundane suffering, plant the seeds of ultimate liberation and remove all obstacles and disturbing circumstances spoiling global  harmony. This became the foundation of Kagyu Monlam, a tradition which has been continued uninterruptedly until today. Similar group Monlam prayers are practiced in other schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

In 1983 Kyabje Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche held the Kagyu Monlam at Bodh Gaya, the place where Buddha Shakyamuni attained the complete and perfect Awakening – to recite 100,000 repetitions of the Zangcho Monlam (The King of Aspiration Prayers). This way the Kagyu Monlam was established in the Noble Land of India.

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa took the responsibility for this annual ceremony in 2004. His Holiness, following the steps of great masters of the past who adjusted their dharmic activity to the changing times, modernized the event. He edited a new selection of prayers which reflects the wealth of this timeless tradition and adds a solemn note to the ceremony. He has initiated the process of translating the prayers into various languages, so people of different nationalities could actively participate in the ceremony. Owing to the 17th Karmapa, Kagyu Monlam Chenmo – the grand annual Monlam held at Bodh Gaya – has become a central event in the Kagyu calendar. Over 5,000 Kagyu monks and nuns and equal number of lay Buddhists from the world gather at the Bodhi tree. Pilgrims from the far East: Chinese from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China main land are the most numerous; many Koreans, Vietnamese, Indonesians and Singaporeans arrive as well; practitioners from Europe, both Americas and Australia also arrive in large  numbers.

The recent 27th Kagyu Monlam Chenmo at Bodh Gaya was attended by the representatives of 52 countries. His Holiness Karmapa said during the ceremony that even though sometimes one must wait even three kalpas for some prayers to be fulfilled, it seems that the wish of the 7th Karmapa that representatives of different nations met to recite prayers became reality only after 500 years!

The Monlam festival in its refreshed form adjusted to the needs of the international Buddhist community brings even more benefit to the world. Nowadays, Kagyu Monlam is practiced also in other countries. This year it will be held in Nepal (Kathmandu), Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Poland and the United States (Woodstock NY).

 

Why are the prayers recited in Tibetan?

Kagyu Monlam is attended by practitioners of different nationalities and it is simpler when everybody recites the prayers in one language. The Tibetan language was chosen for two reasons. First of all, the majority of Mahayana texts were originally written in Sanskrit which is considered the sacred language of the dharma. Tibetan alphabet, inspired by Sanskrit letters, was created especially to translate dharma texts and the Tibetan language was formed and enriched with many new terms crafted to precisely convey Buddhist ideas. Therefore the Tibetan language is closely connected with Sanskrit.

Second of all, Buddhism settled in Tibet owing to the activity of many Bodhisattvas filled with compassion. Many of the prayers recited during the Monlam were written by Tibetan masters who were the embodiment of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Reciting the original texts as they arose in the awakened minds brings great blessings. Following the suggestion of HH Karmapa, some of the prayers like taking refuge and the Prajnaparamita Sutra are recited in Sanskrit.

 

What motivation should accompany the prayers

As a rule, generating good wishes in your mind and expressing them in the form of prayers always brings good results. Therefore we should try to pray for great things. For example, we should feel a deep desire “may all sentient beings are free from suffering!” or “may I purify all defilements and attain Awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings!” The power of prayers coming from small motives or concerning only our individual well-being is very limited. However, if we are inspired by the motivation to bring endless benefits to ourselves and others, when we wish for full Awakening, happiness for all sentient beings, the flourishing of Dharma, peace in the world etc., the force of our prayers becomes immeasurable. Our wishes should not be limited to selfish and worldly intentions. We should pray with an altruistic attitude and a sense of responsibility for all sentient beings.

 

The Kagyu Monlam logo

LogoMynlamuThe Gyalwang Karmapa designed this logo in 2007 out of his feelings of closeness with the natural world and of a special connection with the elements.

The earth has provided us immeasurable help, but we have not done anything to actually help the earth in return. We never think of loving or protecting the world, and so now we have come to time where the earth is scowling at us. We are approaching a situation where the earth is going to give up on us, but neither the earth nor the beings who live in it should forsake each other. Instead, they should join hands together.

As a symbol of this, the insignia takes the shape of two hands clasping. Since the Kagyu Monlam is an occasion where we pray for peace and happiness on earth and for the earth to remain for a long time, this sign is now the logo of the Kagyu Monlam as well a symbol of our affection for the earth and our wish to protect it. Wearing it regularly indicates not only a feeling of a particular connection with the natural elements but also a great affection for the earth. Since both the body and mind are strongly connected to the unaltered, natural elements, it can probably also provide some protection against dangers from the natural elements of the external world.

 

 

Poem from the Bluebunny Retreat 2016 and Dates for Bluebunny 2017!

On the last day of the Bluebunny Retreat 2016, when Lama Dudjom Dorjee was giving us our yearly “Homework” assignment, one of the things he requested was that participants write testimonials. Rosana’s poem is art and self-expression, not a testimonial, but it functions as a splendid testimonial to the retreat.

If you were not able to attend Bluebunny this year, pencil it in for next year – we have the date!

The 2017 Bluebunny Retreat will be held Friday March 10 through Friday, March 17. Join us if you can!

Far from the city, away from the cars, and the noise, and the buildings….
also far from the diapers and cute little faces….
I found a Green Ocean, with a pair of ducks, and hundreds of birds.
Where the sun shares his brightest rays and covers the place with warmth and many, many colors.
It is a pristine, unique territory.
I can run straight and fast with no obstacles around,
I can do cartwheels, and pretend I am a little girl getting dizzy, and feeling ‘I am everywhere!’
I can see a small half moon, and three airplanes fly at once
I can talk to my friends, and play with water on my head
In my mind, in this scenery, it is all good!
This is my family.
This place is my home-
Begining with the leaves that get stuck in my clothes and hair when I lay flat in the grass smelling purity and freshness, peace and harmony, having the sun sing to me in silence.
….to all the spiders, ants and bugs that crawl into my red picnic blanket to get some food from my plate.
….to all the Kids like me, that come from all backgrounds, faiths and lifestyles.
All different ages, colors and sizes.
All. United.
When I am here the time stops.
These days have been heaven.
My belly has tasted heaven.
My body has been in heaven.
I am here to learn, to transform, to make a metamorphosis of my body, and my speech, and my mind.
To make lifelong commitments,
To make an offering of all of me, to all beings for their benefit.
Simply.
This is just the Beginning.
Because I am just a beginner…

— Rosana

Lama Dudjom Dorjee Returns to Waco February 20, 2016

Microsoft Word - LAMA DUDJOM DORJEE IN WACO.docx

Photo by Robert Hansen-Sturm of Storm Photo.

The Essence of Dependent Origination Dharani

Print the file here: The Dharani of The Essence of Dependent Arising
Microsoft Word - The Dharani of The Essence of Dependent Arising

“Little Lama from the Roof of the World” is now available on Amazon!

You can now order “Little Lama from the Roof of the World” on amazon.com. May All benefit!

There will be a book-signing for “Little Lama from the Roof of the World” by Khenpo Dudjom Dorjee Rinpoche this Sunday, November 29, at 11:30 am at the KTC in Irving, Texas. Directions to the KTC here.

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