Saraha's Arrow Newsletter vol. i.c


Vol. 1. c: 

The Newsletter of the Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute
This edition of Arrow, the quarterly newsletter of the Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute is published today, September 25 , 2013 (AD) / 2140 (Buddhist year-count) in the Year of the Water Serpent
The Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute, or simply "Saraha," is an active center for the teaching and practice of Buddha Dharma in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

Arrow brings to life, in words and pictures, Saraha's direction and developments over time, and embodies the individual voices of its teachers, including HH Dudjom Yangsi Rinpoche, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, Lama Tsering Gyaltsen, and Lama Sonam Tsering, and students who are connected with the Institute.
May Arrow will be beneficial and meaningful for all!

Contents: Arrow Vol. 1. c :
In Tribute to Lama Tharchin Rinpoche
Namo Gurubye, Namo Buddhaye, Namo Dharmaye, Namo Sanghaye.

With undying respect and devotion,
and with the highest positive intent,
this edition of Arrow is specifically
dedicated to Lama Tharchin Rinpoche.

I The Bow: (what happened...)
Since May 10, 2013, Saga Dawa seminar, temple upgrades, vajra dance, the passing of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, the display of holy relics, teaching of Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche...
II The Arrow: (what's going on...)
For this edition, please see our online calendar for our latest schedule of events, including daily meditation practice, courses, and special events...
III The Target: (what's coming up...)
HE Ayang Rinpoche Phowa retreat, Keith Dowman seminar, Tulku Jigme Wandgrak Rinpoche Throma empowerment events...
IV: Some Archers: (words from the Sangha...)
Submissions from those connected to Saraha on this issue's theme, ' In Tribute to Lama Tharchin Rinpoche'...

I: The Bow (what happened...)

On May 25th, the Buddhist holiday of Saga Dawa, celebrating simultaneously the anniversary of Buddha Shakyamuni's birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana, Saraha conducted it first annual Saga Dawa Buddhist Seminar Event

This event featured the visits of Saraha founding teachers Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, Lama Tsering Gyaltsen and Lama Sonam Tsering, as well as Lama Jamie (all seen in accompanying photo).

Seminar events included pesentations by invited speakers, including each of Saraha's founding teachers, and Lama Jamie, Sandra Bishop, Joseph Bailey, Jake Walsh, Matthew Wells, and Heidi Nevin, who presented for the first time an introduction to her recent translation of the biography of Khenpo Ngakchung. 

Also included were events of raising prayer flags, live release of animals, a Kurukulle fire puja, and dances by Anjani Lama, and the Rainbow Dancers. Click HERE for photos from this event.
Following on June 8 was a Vajra Dance weekend teaching event at Saraha Temple conducted by Buddhist master and lineage holder of the Niwar tradition of Mahayana Buddhism, Prajwal Ratna Vajracharya and senior student Helen Appel, both from the Dance Mandal of Portland.
The Passing of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche

The next few weeks were engaged in preparing Saraha Temple for the coming visit of the Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour from July 26-28. These preparations were coming to a conclusion when on July 22 we received the shattering news that Saraha's senior founding teacher, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche had suddenly passed away in California.

Because the Temple was so busy with preparations, and the  arrival of the Buddha's sacred relics was so close at hand, Saraha had to incorporate the two experiences of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche's passing, his Parinirvana, and the arrival of the relics at the same time.

Rinpoche's passing has left many in our sangha with a deep, lingering sadness and emptiness, like the northern star suddenly disappearing from the sky. This simple newsletter cannot begin to encapsulate this event, also, we apologize if any mistakes are made here.  Particularly given our concepts of death and loss, we are certainly engulfed by sadness, yet we have received the most powerful and necessary teaching on impermanence and the inseparability of the guru transcendant of the boundaries of old age, sickness, and death.

Formal ceremonies related to Rinpoche's Parinirvana were conducted at Rinpoche's main Dharma center in California, the Vajrayana Foundation, and led by HE Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Loppon Jigme Rinpoche, Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche, Lama Sonam Tsering, Lama Tsering Gyaltsen and many other excellent Lamas, as well as hundreds of Rinpoche's disciples from all around the world.

The photo above, the arc of sky, light and clouds, was taken at the time of these ceremonies.  A beautiful video tribute to Lama Tharchin Rinpoche created at that time can be seen HERE.

Lama Tharchin Rinpoches activities continue unbroken in the space of wisdom and blessing at his several Dharma centers, including the Vajrayana Foundation in California and here, at Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute in Eugene, and especially in the lives and minds of his many devoted students. 

In connection with Rinpoche's passing, several teachers offered related teachings, or composed texts of aspiration for Rinpoche's swift rebirth. These include:

...Teachings by HE Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on the passing of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche...

... Teachings by Loppon Jigme Rinpoche on the passing of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche...

... audio teachings by Loppon Jigme Rinpoche and Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche...

... the prayer for swift rebirth composed by Loppon Jigme Rinpoche...

... finally, prior to his passing, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche himself had prepared his own written statement, his final words of advice to his students,...

Those with faith and interest are welcome to download these materials and study them, and for the swift rebirth  prayer, to recite it regularly with aspiration for Rinpoche's swift rebirth.
The Visit of the Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour to Saraha
On July 25, less than 3 full days after the passing of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, the traveling collection of holy Buddhist relics, including the physical remains of Buddha Shakyamuni and hundreds of other enlightened Buddhist masters,  known as the Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour, arrived at Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Temple in Eugene. 

As said, these were trying times for Saraha. Nevertheless, the relic exhibition event, from July 26-28, was extremely wonderful, auspicious and in inspiring.
... Photos from this event can be found HERE ...

... An article by Northwest Dharma News on the visit of the relics to Saraha can be found here HERE...

Visit and teaching by Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche at Saraha

Then, on Aug. 3-4, 2013 Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche visited Saraha  and taught on Dzogchen Master Longchenpa's teaching known as "chos zhi rinchen threngwa" or "Precious Garland of the Four Themes of the Dharma."  For photos of this event, click HERE. (audio coming soon)

Finally, on Sept. 7, Lisa Stein visited and introduced her (and Lama Ngawang's) newly published translation of Buton's classic history of Buddhism in Tibet and India. 

HE Ayang Rinpoche PHOWA Retreat
Sept. 27 ~ Oct. 6

The first of course is the long-awaited, much anticipated, wonderful visit of HE Ayang Rinpoche to lead the Phowa Retreat

This ten-day retreat is quite full, but there are still a few places available. Apart from the option of attending the full retreat, you can also attend individual events which are open to the public on a drop-in basis. Please click through the link HERE to register, or send an email to with any questions.

Next, on Sunday, Oct. 13, is the visit and teaching of the  yogi and renowned andprolific author and translator of Buddhist and especially Dzogchen teachings, Keith Dowman. Click HERE for more information..

A rare, precious and historical event. On the weekend of Oct. 19-20Tulku Jigme Wangdrak Rinpoche will confer the Vajrayana empowerment, transmission and and teachings of the wrathful dakini Throma Nagmo, and also lead an inaugural session of Throma practices at Saraha.

The Throma Nagmo cycle of teachings is a Terma revelation of the founder of the Dudjom Lin
eage, Dudjom Lingpa, of whom Tulku Jigme Wangdrak Rinpoche is a direct fifth-generation descendant. Click HERE. for more info...

IV: Some Archers (what people are saying...)

Tributes to the passing of our dear teacher Lama Tharchin Rinpoche...
PARINIRVANA, Nyima Marc Olmstead the hospital his eyes were open mouth agape, face relaxed, magnificent old
chieftan who went out right
eskimo cheeks
warrior hair long to shoulders...

(Click HERE for full text)

From La'akea Sky Smith

"...I have two messages from Rinpoche saved on my answering mahine. They are both the same. "Hi, sweety. It's Popo calling. Give me 'call when you get a chance ok? I love you..." Most times when I'd call our conversation would essentially be a slightly extended dialogue version of the message he'd leave me. So when he died I wondered only briefly if there was something I wished I would've said, or something I should have asked him..."

Read full text HERE.
From Elizabeth Darago Hayes

Reminiscent of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's words in regard to Dudjom Rinpoche and Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, and their students such as Lama Tharchin, "...there is something quite unique, which is [that] there is a simplicity, there is outrageousness, there is elegance, and these three seems to be sort of trademark..." 

I wish I could relay my immediate memories that have welled up & flitted through since Rinpoche's passing, but often they are some of his dirtiest jokes--sly, bawdy quips that belied his idiosyncratic take on the English language, delivered with a light squeeze of the hand and a deep, smoky laugh. For all of those who were lucky enough to delight in Rinpoche's outrageousness and all-pervasive kindness, I hope we have the wherewithall to remember and cultivate both these 'sweet and salty' elements of our beloved teacher in our every day.

From Brett Greider

When he taught, the animals would walk out of the woods and graze on the hillside beside the shrine - deer and rabbits and squirrels - and the ravens would circle and caw around the shrine, then land on the roof and tap on the metal parts above our heads while he taught inside, and the sunbeams poured through the clouds and redwoods on winter afternoons, and his shining grin on his face as he greeted us and bumped foreheads to say "how wonderful to see you" and look into your eyes and say "I Love you" and really mean it ~ this is just the way he always related, always treated us like family; and we knew we were his children and felt so secure in this, that he made Dharma intimate to us...."

Read the full text HERE...

from Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute, speech given as commencement address of Maitreya Buddha Relic Exhibit on July 26, 2013, in commemoration of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche... 

"...For those of us who knew, loved and studied Buddha Dharma with Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, this week and now the opening of this mandala, this opening ceremony of the Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour, revealing these holy relics in our humble temple, is like an excruciating key to the origin and meaning of relics. At once it is suffused with the immeasurable blessings of enlightened passed masters, suddenly joined before our eyes by our precious teacher Lama Tharchin Rinpoche....."

Read the full text HERE...

In Conclusion

Prayer for the swift rebirth of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche

É, basic space, the pure essence of indestructible vajra life force
Supreme method, unceasing involvement, the radiance of compassion
Their unity, the glorious Heruka, Tötreng Tsal
We invoke the gathering of the wisdom mind of the Three Roots from basic space.
In your previous life, you gave rise to the peerless awakened intention
            that the heights, strength, and stability
Of the great long-standing tradition of the practice lineage of Padmakara
            not decline, but flourish.
You, mantra-holder, vidyadhara that expounds the teachings,
Tamer of beings, hero of all, please see it from our side.
We cry in pain that the gathered array of your rupakaya is gone.
But through the spontaneity of your previous training,
            the expression of your responsiveness,
The unceasing strength of interdependent arising,
May the emanation of your moon-like face quickly appear
In the clear mirror of our unwavering three types of faith.
We pray for your return, sublime, mighty protector of the teachings and beings.
By the truth and strength of the infallible Three Jewels and Three Roots,
And the meaning of our single-pointed prayer,
May our wishes be fulfilled without obstacle. Samaya.
Composed by Loppon Jigme Rinpoche

Finally, Saraha founding teacher Lama Tsering Gyaltsen requested that the following Dharma teachings be inserted here, please read and practice them..

The following stanzas from Nagarjuna's "Letter to a Friend"

Stanza 5:

May your body, speech and mind always rely
On wholesome deeds, the tenfold virtuous path.
Avoid liquor and intoxicants at all costs.
Lead a life of virtuous deeds and you will find true joy.

Stanza 6:

Know that possessions are essenceless and ephemeral---
Generously give to monks, noble
brahmins, to the poor and to your friends.
There is no greater friend than giving itself.

Stanza 13:

Carefulness is the way to deathlessness,
while carelessness is death, as Buddha taught.
And thus, so that your virtuous deeds may grow,
Constantly and respectfully, be careful.

'The Mirror Clearly Showing What to Adopt and Abandon' by H.H. Kyabje Dudjom RinpocheOm svasti prajnabhya!

Incomparable guide of this fortunate aeon, king of the Shakyas,
Embodiment of all the buddhas, the lake-born Lord of Oddiyana,
King and subjects, and all the vidyadharas of the kama and terma lineages—
To you, this perfect field for gathering merit and wisdom, respectfully I bow!
Two communities of sutra and mantra practitioners, shaven-headed monks and long-haired yogins,
With the view of the Middle Way and the conduct of the vinaya,
And the ultimate union of the generation and completion stages, the Great Perfection—
This is the great secret tradition of Ancient Translations in the Land of Snows,
With its six qualities of greatness. For those vidyadharas who have set out upon this path,
With its teachings of the oral transmission, terma revelations and pure visions,
I will now carefully set out a few points of conduct as guidelines,
Describing what should be adopted and abandoned, daily and on special occasions,
So pay attention with a mind that is clear and attentive...

(Clean up your conduct and click HERE for full text)

The prayer prayer dzam ling chi dang... by HH Dujdom Rinpoche

at this very instant, for all the people and nations of Earth,

Let not even the words "disease," 'famine," "war" and "suffering" be heard,

But may virtue, merit, wealth and plenty increase

And auspiciousness and well-being ever abound

and the prayer khenlob cho sum...

May the great tradition of the Abbot Shantarakshita,
the Master Padmasambhava, and the Dharma King Trisong Detsun

Increase and spread throughout the three realms of this world.

May the appearance of the Three Jewels and the mindstreams of beings

Remain inseparable and bring sublime well-being throughout the three times.

Composed by Kyabje Dudjom Yeshe Dorje


This Arrow Newsletter and its contents are published by Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute, who retains copyright to its content, including text and images. Content may not be reproduced in any form for commercial purposes without the express written consent of the publisher.

Mailing Address:  Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute
                                 1430 Willamette St., #37
                                 Eugene, Oregon, USA
Tel:                           +1(541)359-3588

This editor of the current edition, Arrow Vol. 1.b, is Elizabeth Hayes.

Saraha is a registered 501(c)(3) designated non-profit religious organization based in Eugene, Oregon, USA.
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