Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Phakchok Rinpoche at RL

Phakchok Rinpoche

Kyabgon Phakchok Rinpoche is an enthusiastic and vibrant young lama–his teachings are direct, accessible, and always fresh, opening our minds in a playful and inspiring way. Rinpoche will be at Rigzdin Ling offering teachings and empowerment for two days in late January. 

Noble Wisdom of Passing Sutra (Daka Yeshe Do)
Monday through Wednesday—January 23rd–25th
10 am-1 pm; 3-6 pm

In this beautifully concise Mahayana sutra, that is merely a page long, Buddha Shakyamuni summarized the five indispensible key points that every Bodhisattva must cultivate and master before they pass beyond sorrow. These five points–impermanence, great compassion, freedom from reference points, non-existence, and Buddhahood–are universally applicable to any Buddhists on the sutra path of Mahayana and the tantric path of Vajrayana.

Two-day teaching fee $130, including lunch but not accommodations

Vajrasattva Empowerment
Wednesday night, January 25th, 7 pm 

In Tibetan Buddhism the Vajrasattva root tantra is called Dorje Gyan, or ‘Vajra Ornament’. Vajrasattva practices are common to all of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and are used both to purify obscurations so that the Vajrayana student can progress through the preliminary purification practices through the stages of the path, and ultimately to a state of sublime buddhahood. Vajrasattva enables purification of any broken commitments and downfalls in terms of teachers, empowerments and teachings, and the sangha.

$25, plus your personal offering to Rinpoche

(No one will be turned away from the empowerment for lack of funds, but everyone should make an offering in order to generate positive interdependence.)

About Kyabgon Phakchok Rinpoche

Phakchok Rinpoche is the Supreme Head of the Taklung Kagyu lineage, the Abbot of a monastery in Chapagaon in the southern Kathmandu Valley, and the Head of Riwoche Monastery in Tibet’s Dokham region. Born in 1981 to Chokling Rinpoche and his wife Dechen Paldron, Phakchok Rinpoche is grandson of Tulku Ugyen Rinpoche and the eldest brother of the Yangsi Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Recognized by the Kagyu regents and ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he has studied with a number of great lamas, including Khyentse Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, Tulku Ugyen Rinpoche, Penor Rinpoche, Trulshik Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche. An enthusiastic and vibrant young lama, his teachings are direct, accessible, and always fresh, opening our minds in a playful and inspiring way.


A Drop in the Ocean

Offering Tsok in front of the Tara at Dechen Ling,  click for slideshow

Lama Trinley at Tara Tsok

On this warm , smoky October afternoon my son Sam and I load non-perishable tsog, offered the previous weekend, into our pickup truck for the short drive down the street from the Gonpa to Community Sharing.

It has become part of Dechhen Ling’s yearly Tara Tsog to include bulk contributions toward the local food bank as part of our tsog offerings. Of the money people offer for buying  tsog, part is used to purchase these foods. And this year canned tuna, Spam, Velveeta, soups, cereals and granola bars—all bought in bulk—again joined the fancier tsog fare on the shrine tables.

Cottage Grove is like a lot of small communities, throughout the United States, that now experience what is officially called ”food insecurity”—what we know of as hunger. What was once just a fringe of people not quite getting by is now quite mainstream, with a surprising number of the official count of “homeless” being teens and children.

When we arrive at the food pantry, which is based in the old Cottage Grove Hospital, I am struck by the fact that the staging area for food is the old emergency room…now practically empty except for a huge palette of Dole banana boxes. Two volunteers are sorting some recent clothing donations and direct me to where we can unload the truck.

Meanwhile the Pantry Director walks up with a big smile on his face, saying something to the effect that we have answered his prayers. He tells us that they are very short on food and that of the three rooms that were full this time last year only one of them has a few shelves of goods left. When I ask him why—whether it is a lack of local donations—he says that the pipeline of food, which comes down from Portland via Food For Lane County, is basically not flowing. All the food banks in Oregon are short of supplies and meanwhile the demand has gone up.

As we unload our small offering—tiny in the face of the need—I think back on the pallets full of food at Costco and how generous so many of our sangha were in offering money to purchase tsog. And I remember the teachings that Chagdud Rinpoche would give on intention—how even the tiniest gift of food (he would give the example of a mouthful of food to a hungry bird) can have great impact if it is offered with the wish that by this generosity, all sentient beings gain freedom from their suffering and secure lasting happiness. He taught us that with good intention even a small gift can be expanded and offered in a big way.

Tsok Offerings

Lama Norbu spoke beautifully during the weekend about how Chagdud Rinpoche established this center, Dechhen Ling, as a field for merit; a place where people could practice the Dharma and through Red Tara practice, learn to be of benefit to others in the greatest possible way. As we place the cans and packages of food in shopping carts I can see how small the amounts are, in terms of an ordinary physical offering. The few cans of Spam, soups, and beans are barely a drop in the ocean of what is needed. But when viewed in terms of the not-so-ordinary context of their transformation through a weekend of strong Red Tara practice, maybe even the most mundane seeming bowl of ramen eaten by one hungry kid, might truly make a difference in that person’s life.

I don’t believe that food banks are going to solve the problem of hunger. But as Chagdud Rinpoche taught us, it is this concern for others, the mind’s movement toward wanting to help them, rather than turn away, that is so important. Maybe it is just a drop in the ocean. But even a drop of kindness can make a big difference in the ocean of someone else’s life.

by Lama Trinley

A Pilgrimage to California

Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche, Summer and Amaya at Rigdzin Ling.

A Pilgrimage,   by Summer Adams

This July along with many South Americans I set out on a pilgrimage to North America, with the Padmasambhava Peace Institute as my main destination. Before attending the incredible event held there I had the good fortune to spend some days at Rigdzin Ling with Khadro. The heat of the California summer was such a relief, having left Khadro Ling in mid-winter. My daughter, Amaya, was able to run around in only a diaper and play with buckets of water outside. It was delightful seeing Khadro and all the activity there. She would often be in front of Tara House talking to the contractor, Lama Norbu driving the tractor and Lama Thubten heading upstairs to do the Gonla practice in Chagdud Rinpoche’s shrine room.

I had only visited Rigdzin Ling once before and I was very impressed with how secluded and beautiful it is. Visiting there I imagined Chagdud Rinpoche’s time before moving to Brazil. Thinking of him planning where to build, performing ceremonies, I imagined how his hand had held that same brass rail in Tara House that Amaya was now reaching up for.  It felt as though I could almost see him there now.

Chagdud Khadro at Rigdzin Ling

Rigdzin Ling was hosting the annual children’s camp. It was great seeing the dynamic and compassionate interaction of the Dharma teens and children. The Lamas and parents supported the activities of the children, while the children ran a wonderful camp. Some of them would arrive for lunch in fantastic costumes, and the dinning room had a lively atmosphere. The parents helped organize creative projects that included making tsa tsas. To support their tsa tsa project they requested the Buddha Akshobya empowerment from Khadro, which she happily gave them. Even the young children seemed very focused during most of the empowerment.

Also, the children did beautiful traditional drawings of auspicious symbols on the driveway (with help of parent and artist Glenn Sandvoss) to welcome Jigme Khyenste Rinpoche, who gave a teaching to the camp participants and others. Before he arrived the children had taken the volumes of the Kangyur down from the main shrine and Lama Padma carefully checked the order. Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche then taught about the history and meaning of the Kangyur at Khadro’s request.

Main entrance to Rigdzin Ling with auspicious symbols that the children drew. 

He mentioned in the teaching that to have the Kangyur there was like being in the presence of the Buddha. The wisdom of his words made that presence even stronger. Also, he spoke about the effort made by wisdom masters and great scholars to preserve these volumes and accomplish their translation from Pali to Tibetan. I wondered as he spoke if some of our young sangha members would become future translators.  Everyone felt blessed by the visit and Rinpoche’s kindness to make the long drive to Rigdzin Ling from San Fransisco. The following day he also traveled to PPI to attend the rare empowerments of the Apong Terton cycle that HH Sakya Trizin would bestow.

Arriving at PPI was like arriving at a huge family reunion. Jigme Tromge Rinpoche was radiant and completely available greeting all of us as participants arrived. I was so happy to have my baby there with us. Even though she probably won’t remember, later I will tell her that she met HH Sakya Trizin and received this precious cycle. Just the fact that this cycle was given in its entirety and attended by so many linage holders felt completely historic. A blessing for the whole Chagdud Gonpa Sangha! Jigme Rinpoche and the PPI sangha were so incredible kind to make the event possible.

Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche teaches the children at Rigdzin Ling, next to the stacked Kangyur volumes. 

Like a whirl wind as soon as the event finished many of the Lamas and participants packed up and set out on another long drive to Pema Odsel Ling to attend Dudjom empowerments being bestowed by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. Even though many of us arrived after midnight the POL staff was kindly waiting to receive participants. Again the South American practioners were there in numbers and there was a strong sense of vajra family. Lama Sonam Tsering and the other Vajrayana Foundation lamas greeted us with great care and warmth. Although I was often running in and out of the main shrine after Amaya, outside was beautifully arranged with speakers, video screen and tents for shade.

Visiting these three locations left me a deep sense of rejoicing in the powerful blessings of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, our teachers and the strength of our sangha here and abroad.

Amrita, Jigme Rinpoche and Amaya in the PPI shrineroom. Photo: PPI’s archive.

Stupa Restoration Project

(click on the picture to view a gallery of the work)

………….  (click on the picture to view a gallery of work at the stupas)

Whoever sees a stupa, or hears the wind blowing around it, or touches it, or remembers it establishes interdependence with enlightened mind.  It is a sacred presence that radiates peace, harmony and healing throughout the world.  Those who help to create a stupa plant the seed of their own enlightenment. 

                                                                                    H.E. Chagdud Rinpoche


Chagdud Gonpa/Rigdzin Ling
Stupa Restoration and Spiritual Park Project
Announces a Matching Fund 

August 2011

Join us!  Contribute to our matching fund.  Join us in meeting our goal to raise $7,000 for the Stupa Restoration and Spiritual Park Project.  When we’ve met this challenge the Project will have a grand total of $14,000.   To watch a slide show of photos of our recent work on the Project and to learn more see

How to offer. To make a donation using a credit card, please call Rigdzin Ling at 530-623-2714.  If you prefer to make your offering by check, please make the check out to ‘Chagdud Gonpa Foundation’ and mail it to P.O. Box 279, Junction City, CA 96048.   Attached is a Donation Form for you to print and mail with your check, if you wish.  Please indicate ‘Stupas and Spiritual Park’ on your check or when you make your credit card donation.

Join us! Participate as a volunteer and/or support a volunteer in the Stupa Restoration and Spiritual Park Project at Rigdzin Ling.  Join us from September  2 to October 2 for Arts Month at Rigdzin Ling and at any other time.  Join us in re-painting the stupas, making clay tsatsas for the Tsatsa House, putting up new prayer flags, carving new roof ornaments for the Prayer Wheel and Tsatsa Houses.  Join us by supporting a volunteer.  To join us and reserve a place at Rigdzin Ling please call 530-623-2714 extension 126, or e-mail Timothy at   For questions or comments concerning the Project and if you would like to participate please contact Prema, project coordinator, at 530-623-4479 or


Chagdud Gonpa Rigdzin Ling
Stupa Restoration and Spiritual Park Project
Matching Fund Donation Form


 Due to the great generosity of a sangha member, we have been promised $7,000 when we meet the challenge to raise $7,000.  This means that the project will then have a total of $14,000.  This is a fabulous opportunity to make your donation twice as effective.

 I wish to make a donation in the amount of  $________.

Please make your check out to:  Chagdud Gonpa Foundation and indicate ‘stupas and spiritual park’ on your check.  Mail your check to: Chagdud Gonpa Foundation, Rigdzin Ling,P.O. Box 279, Junction City, CA 96048.


My name is          ________________________________

Mailing Address        ________________________________


City                        ________________________________

State/Province             __________________Zip Code  _______

Country                   ________________________________

e-mail                      ____________________________________

Phone                        ____________________________________

May all beings benefit!



Three Taras at Rigdzin Ling

Lama Trinley, Lama Sherab, Lama Tsering
Three Taras at Rigdzin Ling

In the next six weeks Rigdzin Ling will be graced by the presence of three knowledgeable and inspiring female teachers. On Saturday, July 23th, Lama Trinley, a resident lama of Dechen Ling in Cottage Grove, Oregon, will offer a one-day teaching on the relation of dharma and family life. From Saturday, August 14th, through Sunday, August 28th, Lama Sherab, a resident lama at Khadro Ling in southern Brazil, will lead a retreat in shamatha meditation. On the following weekend, Saturday, September 3rd through Labor Day Monday, September 5th, Lama Tsering will lead a Red Tara ceremony. 

It is said that all manifestations of feminine wisdom are aspects of Tara, and each of these three lady lamas certainly expresses Tara’s wisdom in a special way. Lama Trinley is the mother of two teenage boys, a cancer survivor, and is a long-time practitioner respected for maintaining view and meditation in her mundane activities. Although she does not specifically teach Great Perfection and her words are always modest, her way of being is a teaching. She is a talented writer and a poetic observer. 

Lama Sherab is a living proof that if our faith in the sacred sources of refuge is deep and strong, we will certainly find our teacher no matter how remote the place of our birth. Born in the state of Amapá in the extreme north of Brazil–perhaps the only Brazilian in the sangha from that remote place–she met Chagdud Rinpoche and immediately connected to him as her teacher. Setting aside a career as a dentist, she served him constantly as a translator and assistant for eight years, until his death. Since then she has continued to serve, as a teacher, as a resident lama of Khadro Ling, and more recently, as the mentor of a young girl who Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche brought from the Amazon with the intention that she be trained. Lama Sherab without hesitation re-organized her activities to tutor the girl in both schoolwork and the dharma. 

Thorough in her study and practice of dharma, Lama Sherab has deeply integrated the shamatha methods of the Tromge Chenrazig cycle. Although the retreat require a traditional structure and a two-week duration, if we consider how many hours we meditate with wandering minds, how many deity practices we do without visualization–and perhaps how many lifetimes we have been practicing without full accomplishment–the two weeks invested in the retreat is obviously worthwhile! In January, Lama Sherab lead such a retreat for one month at Khadro Ling, and many of the participants had a moment of brilliant clarity when their visualization actually unfolded. 

As a third aspect of Tara, Lama Tsering Everest exemplifies Tara’s qualities of speech with her articulate, generous flow of teachings, her unusual turns of phrase, and her memorable examples. Chagdud Rinpoche saw her as the manifestation of a very old nun he encountered as he was leaving Tibet. “I’ll see you in the West!” the nun exclaimed. Afterwards Rinpoche wondered if the nun was a real person or a vision, but when he met Tsering in 1980, he knew that she was the fulfillment of the prophecy. 

The Red Tara ceremony she will lead on Labor Day Weekend is especially auspicious because a lovely, life-sized Tara statue that she purchased years ago for Chagdud Gonpa has come to reside at Rigdzin Ling and to grace the recently remodeled shrine room. Red Tara is at the very heart of the Chagdud Gonpa sangha, a subtle force of compassion and wisdom that pulsates through our lives and refines them. As Rigdzin Ling opens wide its doors, it is hoped that many of you will come through them.

2011 Practice Dates

The 2011 Practice Calendar is now complete, with moon phases, tsok dates, and special anniversaries.
Many thanks to Chagdud Gonpa Amrita!