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Archive of 2009 News & Events

January 1, 2009, 10am

New Year Celebration

Guru offering and fire offering ceremony.

Potluck lunch to follow.

Sunday, January 25

Dzongkar Choede Monastery

Extensive Yamanaka Fire Puja.

Potluck lunch to follow.

Donations requested for Dzongkar Choede Monastery

Saturday, June 27, 10 am

A Welcome Picnic with His Eminence Gongkar Dorje Dhenpa

His Eminence Gongkar Dorje Dhenpa

Join us in welcoming His Eminence to Hawaii for his first visit to the United States. We have the fantastic opportunity to meet with Rinpoche and and enjoy a Picnic afternoon together. Please bring your favorite dish to share. The loveliness of the Temple grounds makes this heaven on Earth!

An introductory talk at 10:00 am will be followed by a pot luck lunch at noon.

Wednesday, July 8, 9 am

Varjapani Fire Puja

Varjapani symbolizes skillful means, the power of all the Buddhas. He represents the ability to enter into any situation, no mater how unpromising, and transform it into a path of spiritual fulfillment. Varjapani represents unrelenting effort in the conquest of negativity. His Eminence Gongkar Dorje Dhenpa will be bestowing a peaceful form of Varjapani.

Saturday and Sunday, July 11 & 12, 10 am – 5 pm

White Tara Initiation & Teaching with His Eminence Gongkar Dorje Dhenpa

To receive this initiation from His Eminence is considered a special blessing. Not only has he personally conducted an intensive retreat on this practice, His lineage has conducted the rituals of White Tara for centuries in the Zhol village just below the Potala Palace in Llasa for the long life of the Dalai Lamas and the welfare of all sentient beings, making Gongkar Choede famous for their emphasis on this exalted Mother Goddess. His monastery in India performs the White Tara ritual without fail, everyday as they have done for centuries.

His Eminence Gongkar Dorje Dhenpa

The initiation is for those who have entered the Buddhist path. There will be an opportunity to take refuge prior to the initiation. This is a rare opportunity not only to receive this precious initiation from His Eminence, but also to hear instruction and learn how to do the practice. We will have time to practice as a group and ask any questions you may have, so that when you leave you will be able to confidently meditate on White Tara, The Goddess of Long Life. You may take this teaching as a blessing. The Temple grounds are a beautiful, tranquil setting for the weekend.

On the request of His Eminence, these events are by donation. In the spirit of generosity, we hope you will be able to make offerings, whatever the size, to help support this program. All offerings are greatly appreciated. May the merit of giving and receiving benefit all Beings!

THE FINE PRINT: For practicing Buddhists receiving this initiation, it is customary to avoid non-vegetarian and odorous food for at least several hours before the initiation is conferred. Please bring your own brown bag lunch for the sake of simplicity. There is also a take away Cafe in Pahala. Tea, coffee & juice will be provided at lunch. lf you wish to stay in the Temple Guest House, check the web site for reservation details.

August 2009 Teachings at

Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling Wood Valley Temple

We are honored to have the head of the Dzongpa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, His Eminence Gongkar Dorje Dhenpa present these rare and profound initiations and teachings during the month of August at Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling, Wood Valley Temple.

The Heart Sutra August 8, 10am–5pm
Vajra Garuda August 9, 10am–5pm
White Mahakala August 11, 10am–4pm
An Introduction To Tantra August 15 & 16, 10am–5pm

The programs are by donation, please give generously to help support the Teachings. May the merit of Giving and Receiving benefit all Beings!

Please bring lunch as none will be provided by the temple on these days.

August 8, 10am to 5pm

The Heart Sutra

The Venerable Tsokchen Khenpo, Jamphel Chozin, will draw on the concise and classic teaching known as the Heart Sutra, which elucidates teachings from the Buddha's second turning of the Wheel of Dharma.

The Teaching describes the view of ultimate reality, and so relates to a gradual training the mind to realize the truth. Khen Rinpoche will explain this process as well as show us how to enhance and elevate our practice of the other main endeavors such as, generosity, virtue, patience, effort and meditation.

August 9, 10am to 5pm

Vajra Garuda Initiation

This particular initiation of the multi-colored Vajra Garuda being conferred is an initiation of the Annutara Yoga Tantra classification deriving from the Kalacakra Tantra and one of the special mandalas of the 1st Dorje Dhenpa, Kunga Namgyal. The wisdom, compassion and power of all the Buddha's manifest as a magical bird who has the power to subjugate all the dark energies and spirits-associated with magnetizing the energy and blessings to attain the power, compassion and wisdom of a Buddha. Garuda balances the elements (earth, air water, fire, and space) within ourselves and in our environment, and subdues negative interferences that affect our health and well-being. This is the first time His Eminence has bestowed this initiation and teaching outside India.

Restricted those who have had a (Annutara) Highest Yoga Tantra Initiation, please call the Temple in advance to register.

His Eminence Gongkar Dorje Dhenpa

August 11, 10am to 4pm

White Mahakala Blessing

His Eminence Gongkar Dorje Dhenpa Rinpoche will bestow the White Mahakala Blessing and commentary. This aspect of Mahakala specifically supports the prosperity and well being of tantric practitioners. Restricted to those with a foundation of Buddhist Teachings. Please call the Temple in advance to register.

August 15 & 16, 10am to 5pm

An Introduction To Tantra

A Letter of Essential Instructions to the Yogi of Kongpo, Nyida Zangpo His Eminence Gongkar Dorje Dhenpa Rinpoche will give teachings based on the “Nyida Zangpo Damngak” by the first Dorje Dhenpa, Kunga Namgyal (1432-1496). The author was a great Tantric Master, acclaimed as one of the Six Ornaments of the Sakya Tradition, founding abbot of the great Gongkar Choede monastery and the Dzongpa lineage of the Sakya tradition. Of his numerous profound teachings, this concise text is a particularly lucid manual of timeless advice for those embarking on the Vajrayana path.

These sessions will include time for questions and answers, meditation practice, and are open to anyone who has entered the Buddhist path.

A Short History

His Eminence Gongkar Dorje Dhenpa Rinpoche is the Head of the Dzongpa branch of the Sakya Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and regarded as one of the highest lamas in the Sakya tradition. The first Dorje Dhenpa, Kunga Namgyal, was considered one of Tibet's greatest masters, with students from all traditions. His monastery, Gongkar Choede, just outside Lhasa, Tibet's capital, housed over 3,000 Sangha members, and became a center of Buddhist learning in Central Tibet, specializing in sacred rituals, ceremonial dances, the Khyenri school of art, and Tantra.

During the time of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, Gongkar Choede monastery was given the Kalachakra Temple within the Potala Palace, where rituals were conducted around an exquisite three-dimensional Kalachakra Mandala made of gold, as well as responsibility for the White Mahakala Shrine next to the Meru Nyingpa Nechung Protector Temple, adjacent to the Jokang Temple in Lhasa, where the Dzongpa monks conducted rituals to the Goddess Tara.

This all came to an end with the Chinese invasion of Tibet. In the following years, the Dzongpa monks struggled to preserve their traditional practices and studies without the guidance of their master, until H. H. the Dalai Lama and H. H. the Sakya Trizin informed the monks that auspicious signs indicated that the new incarnation of the 6th Gongkar Dorje Dhenpa had been born.

After He was officially recognized and ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His studies began under His Holiness the Sakya Trizin. He went on to become the youngest graduate ever of Sakya College of Higher Buddhist Studies, and under took many intensive retreats, and received all the teachings and transmissions of his tradition.

By 2003, HH the Dalai Lama came to inaugurate the completed Gongkar Choede monastery-in-exile in the forests outside Dehradun. From there, His Eminence guides the education of more than 120 monks, as well as offering teachings, blessings, and divinations to the local Tibetan community and countless others who come to seek counsel.

A Special Weekend Program August 29th & 30th
with Nechung Kuten, the Venerable Thupten Ngodrup, The Medium of the Chief State Oracle of Tibet


Saturday, August 29, 10 am

The Nechung Kuten will preside over a Fire Ritual with Gongkar Dhenpa Dorje Rinpoche, Khenpo Jamphel Chozin, and the Nechung Monks, Lobzang Toldan, Ngawang Khenrab and Tenzin Rinchen.

Donation $50, lunch included

Sunday, August 30

The Nechung Kuten will speak on the significance of the Nechung Oracle and his role as Medium, followed by a Vajrakilaya Blessing and a Guru Padmasambhava Tsok Offering.

Biographical Summary of Nechung Kuten

Thupten Ngodrup was born on July 13, 1958, in Pari, Tibet. As a child he was artistically gifted, and had great compassion for others. In 1966, he and his family escaped Tibet by way of Bhutan to arrive in Dharamsala, India. In Dharamsala, he took ordination as a monk at Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling Monastery in 1970 at the age of 12. Nechung monastery is an institution that has been closely affiliated with the Tibetan Government and the succession of Dalai Lamas for centuries. It was just beginning to get reestablished, and Thupten Ngodrup was one of the first wave of new monks. Due to his qualities and artistic abilities, he quickly rose to the position of the Chief Ritual Assistant to the Nechung Protector while in trance.

Nechung Kuten

After the passing of Lobzang Jigme, the previous Medium in April 1984, there was a gap of three years when there was no presence of a Medium for the Nechung Oracle. The Nechung monks and the Tibetan community requested for the rapid appearance of a new Kuten in daily prayers. On March 31, 1987, the Venerable Thupten Ngodrup entered into his first spontaneous trance, during Drepung Monastery’s annual offering ceremony to the Protector at Nechung Monastery in Dharamsala. He displayed signs that he may indeed by the next Nechung Kuten.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama advised that he conduct an extended retreat and engage in special meditations and rituals and ripen and stabilize his abilities. On September 4, 1987, he was fully recognized to be the Medium of Nechung the Tibetan Oracle. The Nechung Kuten is an important figure for the Tibetan people and Tibetan Buddhism, and holds a position of great responsibility in the Tibetan government.

For more information about Nechung Kuten and the Nechung Monastery, please visit our Nechung Monastery page.

About the Vajrakilaya Blessing

The Venerable Nechung Kuten, Thupten Ngodrup, Medium of the Chief State Oracle of Tibet will bestow a special Vajrakilaya Blessing during his 2009 tour of the United States.

Utilizing a sacred Object – a Kilaya treasure, the Mantra of the deity and abiding in Meditative Samadhi, while generating the divine pride of the deity Vajrakilaya, Kutenla gives this unique blessing, which arises from his personal insight and awareness.

Obstacles, such as illness, surface when previous accumulated karma interacts with existing conditions. At times when conventional means are ineffective, a spiritual approach such as this Vajrakilaya blessing may be beneficial. People from all over the world travel vast distances to request this particular blessing from Kutenla. It is very fortunate that we will have the opportunity to receive this from him in America.

Vajrakilaya is a deity of the Highest Yoga Tantra, symbolic of the Activity of all Enlightened Beings. It is considered to be one of the most powerful practices to overcome delusion, negativity and obstacles. Outwardly, Vajrakilaya has a wrathful appearance, but inwardly, emanates great compassion for all beings. In another level of tantra, Vajrakilaya manifests as the Bodhisattva Vajrapani.

Many great Tibetan masters of all the lineages, especially Nyingma and Sakya, have engaged in this quintessential practice to accomplish full enlightenment throughout the ages. The continuous transmission of this Tantra comes from these great lamas in an unbroken lineage until the present day.

In Buddhism, there are various traditions of practice and emphasis on specific aspects of the philosophy. There is Hinayana, which focuses on individual liberation, while Mahayana is based on altruistic thought and action, reliant on aspiration and actual engagement, which results in Buddhahood for the benefit of others.

Within the Mahayana, there are the categories of Sutra or the Perfections, and Secret Mantra or Tantra, also known as Vajrayana. Tibetan Buddhism is very complete; it includes Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana.

Secret Mantra encompasses four levels — Kriya, Charya, Yoga, and Highest Tantra Yoga. The word mantra means, "mind protection" (man, mind and tra, protect). This indicates that the practice of mantra protects the mind from ordinary appearances. By cultivating a pure view of the external world, as well as of one's physical, verbal and mental facilities, the aspirant can transform ordinary appearances and activities into exalted ones; not only in meditation, but in all aspects of daily life.

This Vajrakilaya blessing, complemented by positive thoughts and deeds, creates favorable conditions to remove difficulties and increases merit and wisdom for ultimate realization.

Nenchung Kuten 2009 Tour Schedule

To review the full 2009 schedule for the Nechung Kuten, please see the Nechung Kuten Schedule pdf file.

To view this file you will need Adobe Reader.

Every Sunday 10 am - 11:30 am

Four Mandala Tara Practice

This practice is cancelled when there is a teaching program.

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Events are located at the Wood Valley Temple.

Donations are greatly appreciated. May the merit of giving and receiving benefit all Beings!