Our weekly schedule has several different levels of practice.
Tuesday evening is an informal introductory class led by a senior practitioner. This class explains the invocations that begin every practice and offers basic instruction in meditation in our lineage. Although this class is not a practice in the formal sense, study and learning undertaken with positive intention are within the meaning of practice in our tradition. Tuesday class is currently on spring break.
Wednesday evening is yidam practice. These practices will be on the schedule only when Lama Kalsang or another monastic teacher is able to join us. Yidam practices are meditative visualization practices involving different manifestations of enlightened or awakened presence. Although there is no prerequisite for attending, it is good to have some guidance or instruction before beginning these higher practices.
Thursday evening is Basic Buddhism: Practice and Study. This practice, which recently moved from Saturday morning, begins with the foundational invocations of Tibetan Buddhist practice and then moves to study and discussion of subjects like The Four Noble Truths, The Four Thoughts That Turn The Mind, The Six Paramitas and also introduction to yidam practice, concluding with dedication prayers. The topic of study will usually be noted on the weekly schedule. Thursday class is currently on spring break.
Saturday morning is Vajrasattva yidam practice, which involves meditative visualizations and mantra recitations. This is an important practice for purification, or clearing away mental imprints and negativity. As with all practices in the Tibetan tradition, but especially yidam practices, it must be entered with the altruistic intention of bodhicitta.
Sunday practice changes from time to time, but most often involves recitation of The 37 Bodhisattva Practices; a meditative visualization practice on the seed syllables Om Ah Hung; and a practice invoking Achi Chokyi Drolma, an historical 11th century female figure who attained realization and became a great dharma protector, or dharmapala. Although she is practiced in all Tibetan lineages, as the grandmother of Jigten Sumgön, the founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage, she has a special connection to this lineage. She is invoked to remove obstacles and to create positive conditions for spiritual and worldly activities undertaken with positive intention. We only practice Achi with Lama Kalsang. So when he is traveling and unable to join us, Sunday practice will not include Achi practice.
There are also three lunar practices each month. The full moon day is Medicine Buddha practice, which is a yidam practice. The new moon day is 35 Buddhas practice, also known as The Sutra of the Three Heaps, which is a purification and prostration practice. The 10th day of the month on the Tibetan calendar is Guru Rinpoche practice and tsok. These practices will be on the schedule only when the center is open for in person attendance. When Lama Kalsang is traveling, or the center is not open for in person practice under our Covid policy, they will not be on the schedule.
There is no prerequisite for attending any practice at the center.
If you have any questions about any of the practices, please email us at TRTCC@threeriverstibetancc.org.