31 March 2015

A-yé Khandro

A-yé Khandro
Born on 31st March, A-yé Khandro Tsé-drüp Déchen Lhamo (A ye ’mKha’ ’gro Tshe grub bDe chen lha mo) was the younger of the two sisters who were the sangyums of Aro Yeshé. The older sister was called A-shé Khandro. The two girls were childhood friends of Aro Yeshé and they were given all the transmission which Khyungchen Aro Lingma gave to Aro Yeshé.

Although it was Aro Yeshé who was the son of Aro Lingma – it was A-yé Khandro and A-shé Khandro who actually passed the teachings on to the other disciples of Aro Lingma. Aro Yeshé himself taught very rarely because the transmissions were seen as more powerful if they were received from women – and particularly from A-yé Khandro – who was regarded as epitomising the Mind transmission of Aro Lingma. A-shé Khandro was regarded as epitomising the Speech transmission of Aro Lingma. Aro Yeshé epitomised the body transmission of Aro Lingma. When transmissions were given, A-yé Khandro would hold up the mirror, A-shé Khandro would give the cryptic introduction to the nature of Mind, and Aro Yeshé would simply sit. Aro Yéshe sat in the centre, with A-shé Khandro on the right and A-yé Khandro on the left.

[See Aro Encyclopaedia]

27 March 2015

April Newsletter – retreat: Heroes and Heroines of Enlightenment

Spring seems to be having trouble deciding whether or not it has arrived. I hope you are enjoying the sunny days and managing to keep warm in the evenings.

Aro Ling Buddhist Centre will be closed for the first week in April because we are away on retreat. So please note that our 1st Saturday of the month event, Discovering the Spaciousness of Mind, will not take place on Saturday 4th, and classes and groups for the following week are cancelled.

We will be open again on Tuesday 14th with a slightly adjusted schedule for the summer term. Please do check out the revised schedule at the bottom of this post.

Our April retreat is entitled Heroes and Heroines of Enlightenment.

April 24 –26
Heroes & Heroines of Enlightenment
A weekend retreat of 5 sessions – attend 1 or as many sessions as you wish
£6 a session, £25 for all 5 sessions paid as one sum

Session 1:  Friday April 24th  19:00 – 20:30
Buddhasstories of Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha; and Padmasambhava and Yeshé Tsogyel, the Tantric Buddhas.

Session 2:  Saturday April 25th  10:00 – 12:00
Tibetan YogisMany realised masters wandered Tibet as incognito yogis and yoginis, often unrecognised – such as Dza Paltrül Rinpoche and Do Khyentsé Yeshé Dorje.

Session 3:  Saturday April 25th  14:00 – 16:00
Wisdom Eccentrics Kyabjé Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche were modern-day mahasiddhas – realised masters who manifested crazy wisdom.

Session 4:  Saturday April 25th  17:00 – 19:00
Tantric Empowerment

Session 5:  Sunday April 26th  10:00 – 12:00
The Aro gTér Lineage the Aro gTér Lineage traces its origins back to Yeshé Tsogyel through a lineage of realised women – the Mother Essence Lineage.

Ngakma Nor’dzin and Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin will lead this weekend of stories of realised Buddhist practitioners. These tales function as inspiration for our own Buddhist practice, but are also often most entertaining. They may challenge our view of morality and societal norms, and enable us to step out of our habitual patterns of perception and conduct. Questions about the stories are warmly welcomed throughout the weekend, so that they can provide a basis for further insight into Buddhist view and practice.

On Saturday evening, Ngakma Nor’dzin and Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin will offer tantric empowerment.

Regular events:
Discovering the Spaciousness of Mind – first Saturday of each month, 10 – 12, £5 (not April 4th)
Tibetan Yoga for the over 50s – Tuesday 10:30 11:30 requested donation £3
Song & Meditation – Tuesday 12:00 – 13:00 requested donation £3  

Siop Siarad Tuesday 13:15  
Meditation Group –
Tuesday 19:00 – 20:30 requested donation £5

Tibetan Yoga – Wednesday 14:00 15:00 requested donation £3
Yogic Song & Mantra – Wednesday 15:15 – 16:00 requested donation £3

Siop Siarad Wednesday 16:15
Tibetan Yoga – Wednesday 17:30
18:30 requested donation £3

21 March 2015

Jomo Menmo

Jomo Menmo
Born on 21st March, Jomo Menmo was the incarnation of Ma-gÇig Labdrön. She was born in Zarmolung , in the vicinity of the cave in which both Padmasambhava and Yeshé Tsogyel once stayed. Zarmolung is located in an area of Tibet called É-yül, which means ‘primordial-awareness country’. Her father, Dorje Gyalpo, was an accomplished Tantric practitioner. Her mother was a dakini named Padma Paltsum. Her parents named her Pema Tsokyi which means ‘Lotus of the Ocean’. Jomo Menmo spent her life as a wandering yogini; changing people’s lives irredeemably merely through the fact of their adventitiously finding themselves in her presence. In this way she engendered many lineages of female practitioners, two of whom entered the sky-dimension with her at the time of her disappearance from the world. At the age of thirty-six, she climbed to the summit of Tak-lha-ri (Mountain of the Sky Tiger), and on the tenth day of the seventh month (4th of August 1283) she and her two female disciples offered a Tsog; they then entered the sky-dimension.

[See Aro Encyclopaedia]

Aro Yeshé

Born on 21st March, Ngak’chang Drüpchen Aro Yeshé Wangdrak Düd’dül Dorje (sNgags ’chang grub chen a ro ye shes dBang sGrags dud ’dul rDo rJe, 1915-1951) was the son and only child of the Nyingma gTértön Khyungchen Aro Lingma. He received Khyungchen Aro Lingma’s gTérma cycle, as well as gTérmas of Jomo Chhi’mèd Pema, Jomo Pema ’ö-Zér, and A-Kyong Düd’dül Dorje. Aro Yeshé, Khyungchen Aro Lingma’s successor, held these lines of transmission in concert with his two consorts – A-yé Khandro and A-shé Khandro, but it was the two consorts who actually gave teachings and transmissions. Aro Yeshé manifested secret activity as a khandropa – never giving teaching or transmission on anything but an individual basis.

The three Lamas – Aro Yeshé, A-yé Khandro and A-shé Khandro, taught and gave transmission as an inseparable set, and their disciples considered the silence of enigmatic Aro Yeshé to be as loquacious as the oral instructions of the two khandros. Aro Yeshé was said to be very much a male reflection of his mother and disciples often saw the two of them merging during the times when transmissions were given to the vajra assembly.

[See Aro Encyclopaedia]

03 March 2015

Happy New Year & March Newsletter

Happy Losar – Tibetan New Year. Everyone at Aro Ling Buddhist Centre wishes you a healthy, happy and prosperous year of the Wood Ewe.

We have one main event in March, a new scheduled event plus the ongoing regular classes and groups. Don't forget that this Saturday, 7th March, is the first of the month. Do come along to Discovering Spaciousness of Mind, 10 - 12.

March 13 – 15
Songs of the Owl Faced Dakini
A weekend retreat of 5 sessions – attend 1 or as many sessions as you wish
£6 a session, £25 for all 5 sessions paid as one sum

Session 1:  Friday March 13th  19:00 – 20:30
Fundamental Certainties the first and most fundamental teaching of Buddhism: the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Session 2:  Saturday March 14th  10:00 – 12:00
Being a Buddhist taking refuge, becoming a Buddhist, and living within the five precepts; understanding the principles of Buddhism (NB this is a teaching on the topic. Attending this session does not mean you are committing to becoming a Buddhist or to the Aro gTér Lineage. There will be a refuge ceremony on the Sunday morning if it is requested.)

Session 3:  Saturday March 14th  14:00 – 16:00
Irrepressible Expansiveness the 10 paramitas as a means of becoming a Bodhisattva, an Awakened-Mind Warrior

Session 4:  Saturday March 14th  18:00 – 20:00
Tantric Empowerment – transmission of the practice of Padmasambhava, the tantric Buddha and founder of the Nyingma tradition of Buddhism in Tibet

Session 5:  Sunday March 15th  10:00 – 12:00
Cyclic existence the mechanism of samsara; how we maintain the cycle of dissatisfaction and how to let this patterning dissolve and unravel itself of itself

Ngakma Nor’dzin and Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin will lead this weekend of teachings. The Songs of the Owl-faced Dakini encompass the teachings of Sutra presented from the basis of Inner Tantra.

Please let us know if you would like to be included in the booking for lunch on Saturday 14th at a local restaurant.

New event at Aro Ling starting Tuesday 10th March:
Siop Siarad
Aro Ling is hosting two Welsh language conversation meetings for Welsh learners: Tuesdays at 13:15 and Wednesdays at 16:15. Everyone welcome whatever your level of competence with the language.

Regular events:
Discovering the Spaciousness of Mind – first Saturday of each month, 10 – 12, £5
Tibetan Yoga for the over 50s – Tuesday, one hour class 10:30 re,quested donation £3
Guided Meditation – Tuesday, 12:00 – 13:00, requested donation £3  

Siop Siarad Tuesdays, 13:15  
Meditation Group –
Tuesday, 19:00 – 20:30, requested donation £5

Tibetan Yoga – Wednesday, one hour class 14:00, requested donation £3
Children’s Story-time – Wednesday, 15:45 – 16:15, requested donation £1

Siop Siarad Wednesday, 16:15
Tibetan Yoga – Wednesday, one hour class 17:30, requested donation £3

Tibetan Yoga – Thursday, one hour class at 10:30, requested donation £3
Guided Meditation – Thursday, 12:00 – 13:00, requested donation £3  

01 March 2015

Khandro Shardröl Rinchen Wangmo

Khandro Shardröl Rinchen Wangmo
Born on 1st March, Khandro Shardröl Rinchen Wangmo was the incarnation of Khandro Losèl Drölma – the sister of DoKhyentsé Yeshé Dorje.Khandro Shardröl Rinchen Wangmo held a family tradition concerning birds which she had received from her mother – A-shong Rig’dzin Gyalmo (A shong rig ’dzin rGyal mo) and received a considerable body of teaching from Aro Lingma on this subject.

Khandro Shardröl Rinchen Wangmo did not see a great deal of her mother when she was a young child as she was brought up by her father’s other two wives. She would however go up into the mountains to spend some of each summer with her mother and at these times she learnt a great deal about practice. She was unafraid of wild animals and was never injured by them – no matter how ferocious they were toward human beings. She left home permanently to live in the mountains as her mother’s attendant and disciple when she was thirteen, and remained with her until her death.

After her mother’s death she left the area and travelled as a wandering practitioner until she met with Aro Lingma’s party as it travelled south from Golok. She taught Aro Yeshé how to play flute and dramyen and many practices of envisionment. She had experience of rTsa rLung exercises and was highly proficient in the sKu-mNyé and A-tri systems of the Aro gTér.

[See Aro Encyclopaedia]

A-shé Khandro

A-shé Khandro
Born on 1st March, A-shé Tashi Pema Khandro (A shes bKra shis pad ma mKha’ ’gro, 1911-unknown) was the elder of the two sang-yums of Aro Yeshé (the younger sister was A-yé Khandro – A ye mKh’ ’gro). A-shé Khandro was master of the family histories of the major yogis and yoginis of the Aro Gar and could recite all their family trees and lineage trees by heart. She had been given many instructions and teachings by Aro Lingma – particularly concerning the dissemination of the Aro gTér and her rôle in supporting Aro Yeshé and A-yé Khandro.

A-shé Khandro was inordinately fond of animals – so much so that many of the wild animals in the area were remarkably tame. There was no hunting in the area, by the insistence of A-shé Khandro. A-shé Khandro could attract the presence of eagles in the sky with her voice, and they would swoop down very close to her. The two girls were regarded as Dakinis and therefore whatever they did was regarded as an inspiration. Once Aro Yeshé passed on the transmission of the Aro gTér to A-yé Khandro and A-shé Khandro – and subsequently to the yoginis who were his five adoptive mothers; he never taught again. All teachings and transmission after that point were given by A-shé Khandro and A-yé Khandro.

[See Aro Encyclopaedia]