Dear Friends & Members of Guhyasamaja Center,
For the past few weeks, I’d been wanting to send out a brief overview of the center’s very full, varied, and dynamic program for 2011. Our offerings for this year are unusually rich.
Through the end of March, Ven. Tendrol will continue facilitating the Discovering Buddhism class on Emptiness for two Saturdays per month. On the other Saturdays, I will continue leading classes on the 7 Points of Mind Training–the Path of Radical Compassion. We’ll also continue having our monthly Youth Loving Kindness Class. And, during March we’ll also organize some special after-class prayer sessions.
On Saturday, March 26, the center will host a one-day special teaching by the well-known author, translator and teacher, Glenn Mullin. That day, Glenn will teach two session on “The Seventh Dalai Lama’s Easy Enlightenment Oral Transmission,” a teaching that encompasses the Buddhist paths of both Sutra and Tantra. This teaching will be open to all.
Then, beginning on April 9th, the center will again host Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa. For those of you who don’t know him, Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche is a former abbott of Gyumed Tantric College in India (appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama) and also a senior lama of Sera Mey Monastic University. He is a senior lama, a great scholar, and an accomplished meditation master as well, fully qualified to teach on all aspects of Buddhist theory and practice! Khensur Rinpoche will be in residence for the center through April, May, & June. Each Saturday, Rinpoche will teach on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lam Rim in Tibetan), basing his teachings on a text called Path to Bliss. These teachings will later be edited and published as a book by Wisdom Publications. This series of classes will be held at the Unitarian Church in Reston and will be open to all. Every other Sunday, Rinpoche will teach on Highest Yoga Tantra in Manassas, covering the generation and completion stages of tantric practice. Rinpoche will base those teachings on The Guhyasamaja Prayer; this series will only be open to those who have received a Highest Yoga Tantra Initiation. Also, through Memorial Day weekend, Rinpoch will give a special 4-day teaching on Emptiness–the ultimate nature of reality. This series of teachings will run from May 27-30 and will be based on Lama Tsongkhapa’s famous poem, “Praise to Dependent Origination,” which he wrote on the morning of his own final achievement of realizing emptiness!
Then, Washington, D.C. will be very fortunate in hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama for teachings and for a Kalachakra Initiation from July 6-16. You can learn more about the details of that event (which is being hosted by the Capitol Area Tibetan Association) at: http://www.kalachakra2011.com/ If you are interested in volunteering to help with that event, details on how to do so are on that website.
Just after that event, Guhyasamaja Center will be hosting a one-day teaching on July 17 by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, our center’s founding teacher and spiritual director. Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche is one of the most well-known Tibetan teachers in the world. He is spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition and of the Maitreya Project. Rinpoche teaches in English, and if you haven’t previously heard him teach it will really be a very special experience! This teaching is planned to be held downtown, somewhere close to the Verizon Center (where the Kalachakra itself will be held). The subject of this teaching will be Kalachakra 6-Session Guru Yoga. For those who will be attending the Kalachakra, one can attend either as an observer (to gain some experience of being around H.H. the Dalai Lama and to receive blessings) or as a full participant doing the meditations and visualization described by His Holiness and thus taking the Kalachakra Initiation itself. For those who do take the Kalachakra as an Initiation (or who have taken any other Highest Yoga Tantra Initiation), doing the 6-Session Guru Yoga each day is a commitment which allows you to keep the vows and other commitments you take during the initiation. So, Rinpoche’s teachings will help those who take the initiation to understand how to engage in such a daily practice!
Then, in the late summer and early fall, Ven. Tendrol and I are planning to co-teach the Discovering Buddhism class on Introduction to Tantra, which will be open to all. We’ve also sent out invitations to other visiting teachers for the fall and will have more on that later.
Also, for those who have taken Highest Yoga Tantra initiation in the past (or who will be taking the Kalachakra Initiation), Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche will return to the area from November 14-20 to lead a residential retreat on The Union of Great Bliss & Emptiness–The Stages of Practicing Highest Yoga Tantra. This will be a very rare and precious chance to gain an in-depth understanding of such practices from a tantric abbott.
Well, that’s a summary of our schedule for the coming year. I thought to share it now so that people can be aware and plan in advance for things you may want to attend.
Center Director, Guhyasamaja Center