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Friday, April 8, 2011

Greetings from Tashi Choling

Lama Chonam and I arrived back home at Tashi Choling about ten days ago and found that spring is just emerging from the earth; plants and trees in the form of green grass, sprouts and buds and the skies are majestically changing patterns and going through stages of transformation. It is a very beautiful and dynamic time here. What a wonderful land this is and the blessings of the dharma practice and the great masters are very apparent.

A day or two after arriving we began the annual Troma Nagmo retreat that is held here, lead by myself and the group of seasoned practitioners who support this completely through their devotion and joy. Each year new practitioners join us and this year it was particularly tight as a strong group and a powerful practice. We do the intermediate sadhana throughout the day combined with the four feasts and we also hold an early morning session for Troma ngundro and prostrations. This time we also included a guru yoga sadhana for accomplishing Dudjom Lingpa that Light of Berotsana translated prior to this retreat. This sadhana was practiced each day as a way to consecrate the amazingly beautiful statue of Dudjom Lingpa that the master artist Sonam Tsering is just finishing up in the shrine room here. We all agree that this is the most delicate and shockingly beautiful statue of the the great Dzogchen master that has ever been seen. As each day passed the colors and presence of the statue increased and we all felt the blessing of the guru entering not only the statue but the shrine and everyone involved. Each day we offered a bountiful ganachakra in the evenings and also practice the kilaya sadhana for the extension of Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche's life. One thousand kilaya mnatras were accumulated daily by everyone present. On the final two days of the retreat a large group of vultures and also ravens arrived to spend time close to the temple. This is also a sacred sign for this land as each year when Troma is practiced here in retreat these birds suddenly appear whereas they are not seen otherwise.

Now Lama Chonam and I are settling in here and getting our son Sangye Tendar set up for home schooling and a few classes in town. We are hoping the local sangha members will help us to support Tendar in his western education as we continue to teach him dharma, Tibetan language reading and writing and speaking. We are beginning preparations for the fourth year of teachings on the Tsig Don Rinpoche Dzod that are about to commence with Khen Rinpoche Namdrol on June 3rd-18th. Lama Chonam and I, along with the shedra students assistance, will make our rough draft translation of the teachings that also includes many quotes from the Dzogchen tantras. We are told by Sidney Piburn of Snow Lion publications that the the great commentary to the Guhyagarbha Tantra written by Lonchenpa that we have worked on for the last ten years, "Dispelling Darkness Throughout the Ten Directions", will be published in time for Khen Rinpoche's arrival in America again. We are extremely excited about this and look forward to all of you being able to read this masterpiece. We will keep in touch and in the meantime hope that all of you have a wonderful spring experience wherever you are. Thanks again for you continued support and friendship. May all beings benefit through our combined efforts!

Sangye Khandro and Lama Chonam