Tashi Delek Dharma Friends,
We are honored and delighted to share with you some more details on an upcoming auspicious opportunity to participate in a weekend of teachings that will be given by Most Venerable Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche, the founder of our Dharma center. Khenchen Rinpoche will be teaching on the meaning and practice of Vajrasattva, on the Five-fold Path of Mahamudra, Bodhichitta, and will also be giving the Refuge and Bodhisattva vows following Sunday’s teachings. Khenchen Rinpoche is regarded as a highly esteemed teacher in our Drikung Kagyu lineage, with his deep knowledge, profound wisdom, and compassionate guidance inspiring and benefiting countless students around the world. His bio is included below.
Rinpoche’s teachings to our sangha will all be taking place during Saga Dawa, the most sacred month in Tibetan Buddhism. Saga Dawa begins this Saturday, May 20. For Buddhists this most sacred time is a wonderful occasion to deepen one’s Dharma practices and wholeheartedly engage in virtuous activities. During Saga Dawa merits multiply by hundred of thousands.
The final day of his instructions, when he will teach on bodhicitta and give Refuge and Bodhisattva vows, will be on Saga Dawa Duchen, the full moon day of Saga Dawa and the highest day on the Tibetan Buddhist calendar. Saga Dawa Duchen is when we celebrate the birth of Shakyamuni in Lumbini, his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya at the age of 35, and his mahaparinirvana in Lumbini at the age of 80.
All teachings will be held in the side chapel at First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh, 5401 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. The entrance is through the glass door off the courtyard behind the church. You get to that entrance either by coming up the steps off Centre Ave or by walking around from the front of the church. We will hang some prayer flags at the correct entrance!
The schedule is as follows:
Friday June 2, 7-9 pm. Instructions on the meaning and practice of Vajrasattva.
Saturday June 3, 9am-12pm / lunch break / 1:30-4:30pm. Teachings on the Five-fold Path of Mahamudra.
Sunday June 4, 9am-12pm. Teachings on Bodhicitta / lunch break / 1:30-2:30pm. Refuge and Bodhisattva vows will be given for those who are interested. Aspirants may bring an offering for the Three Jewels (flowers, fruit, etc).
Zoom: we will be streaming all sessions except Refuge and Bodhichitta vows on our Zoom room here.
We will have tea, coffee, and some snacks available. Attendees may pack a lunch or go out to eat nearby. For people who want to bring a lunch, if the weather is nice Morrow Park directly across Aiken from the main church entrance would be a great spot.
Parking: we’re welcome to use their lot on Friday and Saturday. Sunday morning they have a worship service, so we’ll need to park off site. There is metered parking on the streets around and residential parking in Bloomfield / Friendship, just a few blocks away.
The suggested donation for these teachings is $60 for the entire weekend, $20 for Friday or Sunday, and $40 for Saturday. Your donations will support TRTCC’s many teaching and cultural events year round. No one will be turned away from Dharma teachings for insufficient funds. You may make your donations by cash or check at the event, via our PayPal, or Zelle (the Zelle QR code is included at the bottom of this post!).
It is also customary to offer a khata and dana to Rinpoche at the end of the teachings as a gesture of gratitude for their kindness and appreciation for their teachings. To learn more about khata offerings and dana, follow this link.
We kindly ask that you please fill out this registration form. Your response will help us plan and is greatly appreciated! If you have already indicated that you are interested in attending, there is no need to register again!
May the illumination of wisdom teachings shine through all obscurations of our mind, and may our practices be beneficial to all beings!
Most Venerable Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche’s Bio
Three Rivers Dharma, which became Three Rivers Tibetan Cultural Center, was founded in 1993 under the auspices of Most Venerable Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche. Khenchen Rinpoche was born in 1946 in Tsari, one of the most sacred areas in Tibet. In 1959 he fled with his family to India and in 1967 began intensive Buddhist studies at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, the place of the Buddha’s first teachings. He received full monastic ordination in 1968. He has received teachings and transmission from many great masters, including Kalu Rinpoche, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, His Holiness the 37th Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, and Khunu Lama Rinpoche. He completed his three-year retreat under the direction of Khyunga Rinpoche.
In 1982, the force of karma and the requests of many practitioners combined to bring Khenchen Rinpoche to the United States. By late 1983, the Tibetan Meditation Center was well established in Washington, DC. In 1985 he received blessings and transmission of Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa from the venerable Pachung Rinpoche at Drikung Thil Monastery, the main seat of the Drikung Kagyu lineage.
Between 1983 and 1990, Khenchen Rinpoche singlehandedly translated critical Drikung Kagyu practices, prayers, and histories into English. The originals of the texts were all written out by his hand: Achi Chokyi Drolma, Amitabha, Bodhicitta, Chakrasamvara, Chod, the complete Ngondro, Five-fold Mahamudra, Four-Session Guru Yoga, Green Tara, Lama Chopa and tsok, Mahakala, Mandala offering, Manjushri, Medicine Buddha, Milarepa Guru Yoga, Nyung Ne, Peaceful Guru Padmasambhava, Phowa, Refuge, Chenrezig, Vajrapani, Vajrasattva, Vajrayogini, and White Tara. Additionally, he is the author of over a dozen books, some of which are listed here. This priceless work forms the essential base from which the holy Dharma may be taught and practiced.
In teaching Dharma, Rinpoche always emphasizes the importance of letting Dharma penetrate our hearts rather than chasing after so-called “higher” teachings or practices or engaging in empty ritualism. Rinpoche’s teachings are thoroughly grounded in the unique view of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon, founder of Drikung Kagyu. Rinpoche has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe, and North America, giving teachings, initiations, and empowerments to students of all backgrounds. Rinpoche is known for his great wealth of knowledge and skills in engaging his audience, especially in communicating the deepest insights in English without losing the original meaning.
In recognition of his contributions, Rinpoche has been awarded numerous honors and titles, including the distinguished title of Khenchen, or “Great Scholar.” His profound wisdom, compassionate heart, wonderful sense of humor, and dedication to the Dharma has inspired students all around the world, and his teachings continue to have a profound impact on the lives of those who study with him.
Sources: drikungdharmasurya.org, drikungkc.org, wisdomexperience.org, threeriverstibetancc.org
Three Rivers Tibetan Cultural Center exists and is sustained solely by voluntary donations. Please know that no amount is too small. It is the intention to help that matters. We very much appreciate any support you are able to give.
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ALL ARE WELCOME
Write to us:
7313 Florence Ave.
Swissvale, PA, 15218