Our weekly schedule has several different levels of practice.
Tuesday evening is Introduction to Practice. This online class introduces the general structure of practice and the meaning of the foundational invocations of practice in our lineage. Discussion includes such topics as bodhicitta; refuge; The Four Immeasurables; dedication; and basic instruction in shamatha meditation.
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 Tea Break – Tea breaks are a traditional part of longer Tibetan practices and give people a chance to talk to each other about the practice or teachings. Great masters tell us it’s important for us to talk to each other about dharma, and that’s what Evening Tea Breaks are for — to talk about practice and what we’re reading and studying, not as part of a class, but more informally. So make a cup of tea and join the conversation for as little or as long as you like. Beginners are very welcome.
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.