Saraha's Arrow Newsletter vol. ii.a


Vol. ii. a : Windhorse

The Newsletter of the Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute
This edition of Arrow, the quarterly newsletter of the Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute is published today, March 31, 2014 (AD) / 2141 (Buddhist year-count)
in the Year of the Wood Horse
Contents: Arrow Vol. ii. a : Windhorse
Namo Gurubye, Namo Buddhaye, Namo Dharmaye, Namo Sanghaye.

pure sprung, ever
devotion flowing river
(all the) horse, even a lion
that drinks from you rise up

I The Bow: (what happened...)
Since Jan. 5, 2014 ... Himalayan Archaeology Presentation, Lama Tsering Gyaltsen Torch of Certainty Teachings, Tibetan Grammar Classes, Losar Year of the Horse Events, University of Oregon Communication Class Results, Saraha Children's School Inaugural, Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche Seminar and Webinar...
II The Arrow: (what's going on...)
New Tibetan Language Classes, Camas Power..

III The Target: (what's coming up...)
Drupon Rinchen Dorje Seminar on Saraha's Mahamudra Instructions, Lama Chonam & Sangye Khandro Translation Seminar, Sam Bercholz Cascading Waterfall Seminar, Saraha Children's Summer Camp...

IV: Some Archers: (words from the Sangha...)
Lama Tsering Gyaltsen, "Neither White Nor Gold," Poem by Nyima "Published in Space," Sangye Khandro on "An Ambrosia Ocean of Sublime Explanation," Geoff Kaessner "Running Downhill," Dr. Steve Stwertka "A Brief Reflection on Unconventional Wisdom," Heidi Nevin "A Trip to Nepal"...
About Saraha and Arrow:
The Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute, or simply "Saraha," is a center for the teaching and practice of Buddha Dharma in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

Arrow brings to life Saraha's direction and development 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!

I: The Bow (what happened...)

On Jan. 30, University of California archaeology Professor Mark Aldenderfer visited Saraha and gave a presentation on his experiences and findings doing archaeological research in Tibet and other parts of the Himalayas. At left is a burial artifact purported to derive from Princess Wen-Cheng, the Buddhist queen of Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo.
On February 2nd, 15 & 16, Saraha founding teacher Lama Tsering Gyaltsen visited and gave an extensive series of teachings on the Preliminary Practices of the Dudjom Lineage of Buddhism, based on HH Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje's exposition " A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom." These teachings were translated live on-site by Cy Kassoff. For audio recording of the first hour of these teachings, click HERE... for the book, HERE...
Saraha is intensifying its Tibetan Language program under the leadership and guidance of founding teacher Lama Tsering Gyaltsen. An important step was taken starting in February with Lama Gyaltsen beginning weekly (Sunday) classes in Tibetan grammar, using the original text of the fanatically elegant, precise, unique and traditional Tibetan grammatical-rules-educational-poem (yep) known in English as "The Divine Tree."
Losar 2014
March 2, 2014 marked the start of Tibetan Losar, or New Year, the year of the male wood horse. Events at Saraha started on Feb. 28, with Gutor, practices for averting the carrying-over of negativity into the new year, and cleaning and more prayers on March 1. March 1 was also the day that Lama Gyaltsen put Saraha student member Matthew Wells on the spot for the first time as a live translator of Tibetan language. Matthew flew and it was great. March 2, New Year's Day, was for Tso Kye Thug Thig (Heart Essence of the Lake-Born) sadhana practice...
This past term, University of Oregon Strategic Communications class (J495/595), under the guidance of Professor Jennifer Schwarz, did research on Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute to determine ways that the Institute could improve its communications methods. On Thursday, March 13, Saraha founding teacher Lama Sonam Tsering together with his daughter Katherine Zhu-Tsang (Yeshe) visited Eugene and attended the students' final presentation of results from their studies. Click for photos...
On March 13 and March 15, Saraha founding teachers Lama Tsering Gyaltsen together with Lama Sonam Tsering led the inaugural events for the new Saraha Children's School, which is scheduled to begin activities this summer. For some photos of these inaugural events, click HERE...
On March 22 & 23, Buddhist scholar and meditation master Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche, the spiritual director of Pristine Mind Foundation, led a weekend seminar entitled "Heartfelt Advice of Padmasambhava, the Lotus Buddha," practical advice for living one's life on the path of Enlightenment, based on the teachings of Padmasambhava to Tibetan king Trisong Detsen. For an audio recording of the first session of these teachings, click HERE...

I: The Arrow (what's going on...)

II The Arrow: (what's going on...)
Schedule Contents, Camas Power...
Schedule Additions

Saraha is shoring up its Tibetan language offerings by adding a new language course "Tibetan Reading & Study," and a new study group "Translation Review " In addition, Lama Tsering Gyaltsen, when he returns to the area in the end of April, will also be conducting two days per week of language training, plus general Dharma Q&A events, on the weekends. See Saraha's online calender for details HERE...
Camas Power

In case you didn't know, the 2+ acres of forested property surrounding Saraha Temple is a unique urban haven for the beautiful native flower known as the Camas Lily. These flowers should start to bloom about mid-April. This is a spectacular, free and annual delight that you are welcome to attend. Click HERE for some photos from last year's display...

I: The Target (special events, what's coming up...)

III The Target: 
Drupon Rinchen Dorje Mahamudra Seminar, Lama Chonam & Sangye Khandro Translation Seminar, Acharya Sam Bercholz, Saraha Children's Summer Day Camp...
On the weekend of April 18-20, meditation master Drupon Rinchen Dorje of the Kagyud Lineage of Buddhism, will honor Saraha Institute with his visit, and present teachings in an event entitled "A Song for the King : Mahamudra Instructions of the Mahasiddha Saraha." These important teachings are pith instructions for the view and meditation of Vajrayana Buddhism, originally offered in verse form by the Buddhist master Saraha, the namesake of Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute.

The event title refers to an excellent book by Khenchen Trangu Rinpoche of the same name. Interested students are encouraged to read this book in preparation for this event. For more information on the event, click HERE. To get the book, HERE...
On the weekend of May 9-11, renowned Light of Berotsana principal translators Lama Chonam & Sangye Khandro will present a seminar on Buddhist translation entitled "Carrying Buddha's Voice," addressing many important subjects, such as the origins and scope of Buddhist translation, the motivations and paths of the translator, types of translation, and the technical, personal and lifestyle skills a translator requires. Attend onsite or via live webcast.

For more about this event, including daily schedule, click HERE.

For Light of Berotsana click HERE (a treasure site full of wonderful materials).

To register to attend the live webcast, send an email saying you do to, or click HERE...
Sam Bercholz : Cascading Waterfall
Teaching Seminar

From May 30 - June 1, Sam Bercholz, a senior teacher in both the Kagyud and Nyingma Buddhist traditions, and a longtime student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, both of whom empowered him to teach Dharma, will conduct a weekend seminar on Thinley Norbu Rinpoche's English-language masterwork of spiritual instructions entitled A Cascading Waterfall of Nectar. Sam is particularly entrusted with the teaching of this subject.

For more on Sam and this teaching subject, click HERE...  To buy the book A Cascading Waterfall of Nectar, HERE... More schedule and other details for this event coming soon...
Children's Summer Day Camp
We are busy these days, thinking into existence Saraha Children's School. This is step one. Starting in the 3rd week of June, Saraha will begin to conduct a children's summer day camp onsite. Employing our beautiful forest grounds, our children's playground and our four child-ready classrooms downstairs, this camp will combine fun indoor and outdoor activities with Buddhist themes of compassionate virtue, honesty and wisdom. Details and schedule soon forthcoming...

IV: Archers (words from the Sangha...)

Contributions and offerings on the subject of windhorse...

IV: Some Archers: (words from the Sangha...)
Lama Tsering Gyaltsen, "Neither White Nor Gold," Poem by Nyima "Published in Space," Sangye Khandro on "An Ambrosia Ocean of Sublime Explanation," Geoff Kaessner "Running Downhill," Dr. Steve Stwertka "A Brief Reflection on Unconventional Wisdom," Heidi Nevin "A Trip to Nepal"...
"Neither White Nor Gold,"
adopting a genuine lineage of Dharma practice
by Lama Tsering Gyaltsen, translation Matthew Wells...

...Having met a Lama, the virtuous spiritual guide, from the stable roots of the wisdom of studying sutra and tantra, the flower of the wisdom of contemplation blossoms, and the fruit of the wisdom of meditation ripens. The signs of study and contemplation are that your mind is peaceful and tame. The sign of meditation practice is having only small afflictive emotions. If you have all the sacred qualities of selflessness, love, compassion and so on in your mind you can be called a sacred being. Then whether your hair is shaved or not, whether you wear red or white clothing, since it is fine to be neither lay nor ordained you abide in the carefree ease of the exalted HERE for more...
"Published in Space"
a poem by Nyima,

...fame looks for a cross-eyed lion, 
talent got drunk and took a bullet, 
success is a tombstone live or dead my legion ring out forgotten 
publish in space where all can read 
your invisible shout of love...

click HERE for more...
"An Ambrosia Ocean of Sublime Explanation,"
by Pema Lungtog Gyatso, translation by
Sangye Khandro & Light of Berotsana

...O solitary meditators, who hope to wander in isolated places, listen here to this song with a mind of delight. Not being able to decide yourself, it is rare to find a true friend who will encourage you in this way

     If you feel inspired to retreat to a remote mountain—then if you can remain at the upper slopes of a mountain concealed by misty clouds where a glacial cave awaits you, happiness in this and the future lives will ensue...

click HERE for more...
"Running Down the Mountain"
by Geoff Kaessner

After such a big snowfall, the boy would put on his warm clothes and thick leather boots to head up the hill. Coming down was especially exciting since he would “cut” the trail through the untouched snow. Everyday thereafter, the trail down would become more pronounced and smoother. Eventually, over the winter he could almost slide down the path that he had cut through the snow. The path would become deeper and the walls would become firmer....

click HERE for more...
"A Brief Reflection on Unconventional Wisdom,"
written & compiled by Dr. Steve Stwertka
...Into the heart of dualistic thought
You shoot the arrow - primordial awareness for which
subject and object are inseparable,
And release [living beings]
into a realm where
samsara and nirvana are equal.
To you, the illustrious arrowsmith Saraha
I bow down....

click HERE for more...
"A Tip to Nepal,"
by Heidi Nevin

...We arrived in Nepal in the middle of the night. The taxi stopped right next to the Boudhanath Stupa, which was softly illumined in the darkness. I stood there in the cool night air, awed at the silence. Never had I seen it so still...

click HERE for more...

In Conclusion


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. ii. a, is the Saraha Office Staff ....

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