The Buddha explained that five factors would be needed. About the importance of stupas –

Stupa-in-Dallas

Above: Illustration of what it might be like to have a stupa at the KTC!

The Buddha explained that five factors would be needed. If these five factors were present, people would be free of interference from negative forces and they would live long. As well, these five factors would gradually contribute to the practitioners’ attainment of enlightenment.

The first factor is to give Dharma constantly with the intention of helping others.

The second factor is constantly to give sentient beings a sense of security, or freedom from fear. This means to constantly save beings whose lives are at risk, and provide them with security and peace of mind.

The third factor is constantly to reflect on the four types of immeasurables.

The fourth factor is constantly to repair old stupas or to commission or construct new stupas.

The fifth factor is constantly to maintain the mind of enlightenment, Bodhicitta, the universal altruism to want to achieve the state of enlight-enment for the sake of all sentient beings. One needs to maintain this in one’s mind all the time.

Of the five factors the Buddha spelt out, one is repairing old stupas and making new ones. If one is able to do that it will bring a lot of benefit to oneself and others in the future.

From Turning the Wheel of the Dharma: The Immeasurable Benefits of Stupas
A teaching given by the Venerable Thupten Rinpoche at the Dhargyey Buddhist Centre, 5 May 1996.
© Copyright Dhargyey Buddhist Centre, 1996.

KTC Intro Class Starts September 10, 2017

Eight Classes, offered each Sunday, For eight weeks.
The course will generally follow Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s book Dharma Paths, and it would be beneficial for you to have this book. Ordering information below.
Our mission is to introduce you to Buddhism, specifically Tibetan Buddhism; the stages of the path, the main practices, and the goal.
You may pay for the series per class; $5 suggested donation. A link to pay for the whole thing online will be available soon.
The class will start about 20 minutes after Lama Dudjom Dorjee Rinpoche’s Sunday morning teaching concludes, and will be one hour long. Approximately 11:20am-12:20pm.
Anyone who has taken an Intro/Newcomer Class before
 is more than welcome to join the class gratis, 
as is any KTC Member.
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SCHEDULE
Class 1: September 10
Energetic aspects of the Vairocana posture, 
Overview of the entire course
Class 2: September 17
Buddha’s life, the Four Noble Truths, Noble Eightfold Path, Refuge and Precepts / Vows. 
Class 3: September 24
The Six Realms and the Wheel of Life
Class 4: October 1
Introduction to Relative and Absolute Truth, Bodhicitta 
Class 5: October 8
The Six Perfections 
Class 6: October 15
The Six Perfections Continued
 
Sunday, October 22 – Lama Rinpoche at KTD. No class.
Class 7: October 29
Perfection of Wisdom – EMPTINESS 
Class 8: November 5
Stages of the Path and Three Vehicles
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Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s book Dharma Paths
Dharma Paths, the first book of teachings by one of the most highly respected lamas in North America, is a broad and in depth introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. 
It cuts through the complexity of the Tibetan tradition, revealing a flexible approach based on our individual capacities. Without assuming an academic background or knowledge of Buddhist terminology, Dharma Paths presents both basic and quite advanced material, making the essence of the vast Tibetan teachings suprisingly accessible.

 

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About the presenters – 
Beth Keenan has studied with Lama Dudjom Dorjee, her primary teacher, for 24 years; she is also a graduate of the five-week Buddhism course at Kopan Monastery in Nepal, the first five Shambhala levels, and many years of the Treasury of Knowledge Retreat in San Antonio with Ponlop Rinpoche. 
 
Other highlights have been teachings by Thrangu Rinpoche (particularly “Creation and Completion”), Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, His Holiness Karmapa and others, in addition to attending nearly every teaching given by any teacher at KTC Dallas in the past quarter century, including Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Kathy Wesley, Ari Goldfield and Rose Taylor-Goldfield.
Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche (author of the source text we will study) is very special to Beth; as her refuge lama, as the Abbot of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (the Kagyu Lineage headquarters in New York), and as her first Dharma ‘boss’ and teacher.
Larry Keenan began his study and practice of Buddhism under the guidance of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s students in the early 1980’s.  He became a student of Lama Dudjom Dorjee in the late 90’s.  He has benefited from the teaching and blessings of many great beings, but holds a particular devotion for Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.  He has been Director of KTC Dallas since 2001.
 

Happy 32nd Birthday, to His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa

Happy 32nd Birthday, Your Holiness!

HH Karmapa’s Birthday was celebrated at the KTC Sunday June 25th – first there was a teaching by Lama Rinpoche from Vasubandhu’s Commentary on the Treasury of the Abhidharma (Abhidharmakośabhāṣya), on karma and the root downfalls; then group singing of “Praise to the Buddha Activity of the Gyalwang Karmapa” with two guitars adding additional oomph and polish (thank you Brad and Jayce); then singing happy birthday and enjoying His Holiness’ Cake, with torma from the recent Karma Pakshi practice; finally, to wrap it all up, pulling weeds in the parking lot for a period of not less than ten minutes and not more than fifteen. All in all, the kind of wide ranging, interesting event we’ve come to expect.

Look for additional comments on each photo. Click on photo to view larger.

Rinpoche finishes up his comments – Brad is on the far left, Jayce is on the right and the woman with the camera is Julia, a videographer who has been filming Lama Dudjom Dorjee Rinpoche at the KTC this week.
We’ve found that the end of the little walkway in front of the Shrine Room is a nice place for meditation instruction – here Jayce approaches with his guitar. Zach and Katie are responsible for the lovely flowers.
This is His Holiness’ 32nd birthday cake – “Happy Birthday Tashi Delek” in Tibetan – the lettering was made from chocolate. The cake itself proved to be quite popular – Lama Rinpoche had asked for a “German Cake,” so a hazelnut cake was made by Henk’s Black Forest Bakery.
Others, like Rich, brought lovely snacks to accompany the cake.
Singing Happy Birthday to His Holiness Karmapa –
Rinpoche’s candle extinguishing technique was a combination of blowing and waving. It worked quite well – and he said he had made a wish.
Karma Pakshi Torma – Rinpoche said for those of us interested in doing the Karma Pakshi practice (which is generally learned after finishing Ngondro) to make sure and taste the blessings. Ben Franklin loved it so much he took all the leftovers.
A very convivial and nice time, followed by good natured pulling of parking lot weeds. The parking lot looks much better!
SARVA MANGALAM!

 

CD Supports for Nyungne Practice

The Next Nyungne Practice Scheduled at the KTC is August 5-7.

Lama Dudjom Dorjee worked with Jared Hughes to produce these CD’s as support for three different audiences: the longtime Nyungne Practitioner, the beginning (or about to begin) Nyungne Practitioner, and the person who appreciates and likes to listen to chanting with strong healing properties.
The first CD is the 3rd Karmapa’s Mahamudra Prayer, the second is Gelongma Palmo’s Praise to Chenrezik (Om Jigten Gompo) and the third is the long Avalokiteshvara Mantra. To purchase, see Jared at the KTC any Sunday or email him here

Mahamudra Ngöndro Series Started Last Night

Wednesday, June 14

The Mahamudra Ngöndro series began with the reading transmission (lung) and words of introduction. As with the Sadhana series last December, Rinpoche arrived at the Shrine Room early.

He said there were a lot of reasons not to teach Ngöndro, the ordinary and extraordinary foundation practices of the Vajrayana; the practice takes four months for young people in a dedicated retreat setting where they do nothing else.

“People are so busy,” Lama said. “If it is not made into a priority, people won’t come anyway… I haven’t taught anything in this detail for twenty years, and, quite frankly, I don’t know when I will teach this again.”

But for this year, this particular year, he is encouraging (us).

As the foundation or basis for entering the Vajrayana, Rinpoche stressed how different we all are with regard to understanding the teachings. There is the level of apprehending consciousness itself, the result of our karma, with its singular level of devotion, faith, and concentration.

Where we are matters – so many of us are obsessed with whether we are ugly or sick or getting old… Rinpoche says, “You have to lift yourself up.” He went on to discuss precious human birth in this fortunate aeon of 1000 Buddhas.

“Buddha left a map for humanity.” Lama Dorjee said. “Buddha said, my letters are my form, my sign.” We become valuable because of the cause (timing) and conditions around us. We don’t have the obstacles of difficulty that the lower realms do, and we don’t have the problem of being too happy that one has in the god realms.

“Now, at this time, you have something inside you that is precious, and precious is as precious does. This has the connotation of love and compassion and unconditionality.”

Our worst enemy is our ego. “If anybody hurts your ego, you have to defend! Western people have so much ego, which is good for temporary, short-term survival and competition for jobs.”

Ngöndro, on the other hand, is about receiving – full of devotion, not with skeptical mind.

The ability to do this depends on the quality of karma, the quality of wisdom, the quality of generosity and the quality of compassion. How much have you accumulated so far?

Beth Keenan, from informal notes

Rinpoche last night, talking in a mysterious way about goals and plans, after the class.

 

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.