In the holy place of Tsopema (Lotus Lake), the ancient kingdom of Zahor, the great yogi Padmasambhava, Guru Rinpoche and his Indian consort Mandaraiva practiced together and liberated the entire kingdom by turning their minds toward dharma.
Many Buddhists from all over the world frequent this sacred lake and caves on pilgrimage to holy places of Buddhist significance. The area is also a special pilgrimage spot for Hindu and Sikh devotees alike. Tsopema is situated between Dharamsala and Kulu Manali and approximately one hours' drive from the town of Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, North India .
The Venerable Ontul Rinpoche
The Precious Guide
Out of his pure motivation, His Eminence Ontül Rinpoche, (most accomplished Dzogchen yogi and teacher) has generously decided to offer a small piece of land as a place where aspiring practitioners can live together in a small, supportive and harmonious community to engage in the practice of the Vajrayana.
LHUNDUP LING which means "Place of Spontaneous Accomplishment" is a small Ngakpa* hermitage emphasizing study, practice and retreat under the guidance of H.E. Ontül Rinpoche.
* A Ngakpa/Ngakmo is a mantrika (tantric practitioner) who has received the samayas from a qualified master and generally trains to become a yogi practicing in solitude or can also be a householder practicing within the community. Basically it implies that one has committed oneself fulltime to the practice of the Buddha Dharma. Technically anyone who has received highest yoga tantra initiation is regarded as a ngakpa/ngakmo.
Ontül Rinpoche escaped
from Tibet after the Chinese invasion with his teacher Kharnam and his followers
and crossed overland into Nepal during 1960. Rinpoche travelled into India
during 1962 where during this time until 1965 Rinpoche did retreat and studied
with Khenpo Thubten (introduced to him by the highly realized yogini Drikung
Khandro Neni Rinpoche), in the holy place of Tsopema, India. During 1965 Rinpoche
and a group of practitioners established a spiritual community in the hill
station of Dharamsala and did practice in a simple tent. During the first
ceremony in Tsopema on Guru Rinpoche Day (Tsechu) they pitched the tent and
performed pujas next to the holy lake of Tsopema. During 1965 Rinpoche and
the community invited Khenpo Thubten to give teachings and studied with him
until 1970. From there he travelled into Ladakh, India in 1970 on a teaching
tour and bestowed empowerments on the Himalayan Buddhist peoples. Through
the offerings received he purchased land in Tsopema and started construction
of Wogmin Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery in 1971.
Ontül Rinpoche received Mahamudra and Dzogchen teachings from H.H. Dalai Lama, H.H. Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Yogi Pachung Rinpoche, Polu Khenchen Dorje, Ven. Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen, Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche, Khenpo Khedrup Rinpoche and others. From the yogi Chyunga Rinpoche, Ontül Rinpoche received teachings and his personal instructions on the Drigung Kagyu Five-Fold Profound Path of Mahamudra. In the years which followed, Ontül Rinpoche went to Drigung Kagyu Monasteries in Ladakh where he received most of the important empowerments, instructions and oral transmissions of the Drigung Kagyu tradition from H.E. Choje Togden Rinpoche.
is a rare privilege to meet such a qualified spiritual master who is
accessible to practitioners who wish to genuinely embark on the spiritual
path. Ontul Rinpoche lives with his wife, Khandro Tashi Drolma together
with their son Karma Ratna Rinpoche (an emanation of Nuden Dorje), and
their family in Wogmin Thubten Shedrup Ling Gompa next to the Lotus
Ontul Rinpoche and Karma Ratna Rinpoche
at the Guru Rinpoche caves in Tsopema
during 2007 Ven.
Ontül Rinpoche will conduct a retreat based
on the precious text, Kunzang Lama Shelung (Words of My Perfect Teacher) for
beginners and older students. This will include instructions on Ngondro practice
and advanced practices (such as Phowa, Chod etc.)
click here to read more about the lineage and projects of H.E.Ontül Rinpoche and Wogmin Monastery http://www.dharma-media.org/wogmin
The most common word
of what we designate a " Buddhist" is translated from the Tibetan
as "nangpa", which literally means an 'inner person' and implies
inner spiritual cultivation.
Meditation centers and monasteries can be seen simply as special educational environments. In Buddhist countries the purification of the mind is valued enough that specially created environments are provided for the needs of those embarked on the path.
First, basic bodily needs
are met: Food, clothing and shelter are provided in moderate but sufficient
amounts. Emotional and social needs are met, as one lives in a supportive
group with similar values and interests. The psychological need for seeing
one's activity in life as meaningful and important is also met, since inherent
in the society's support of the spiritual community is a great respect for
the work of self-purification.
Besides meeting basic needs, the environment of meditation centres and monasteries provides special conditions for learning mind control and developing concentration and wisdom.
In a meditation centre there is little talking and little noise. There is quiet for the other senses as well: simple, unadorned food, (private) meditation cottages, and few visual distractions. These factors all aid in quieting the turbulent mind. Social aspects of the community also aid in the process of purification. One is surrounded by good friends, wise people who value honesty and clarity.
The community's norms are those of non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion. Love, compassion and concern for others are practiced and valued, supported and modeled. Awareness is the watchword. Inner and outer harmony and patience in the individual are rewarded and built into the social system.
Daily activities are uncomplicated and straightforward. The community structure and outward discipline further simplify life. There is no need to think about what to do next or how to behave. This frees the mind to concentrate on the various meditation exercises.
True freedom is not found in outward form, true freedom is found only in the mind.
(extracted from Living Dharma - Jack Kornfield)
We wish to help establish this small retreat hermitage, Lhundup Ling, comprising of a like-minded community of non-sectarian practitioners wishing to undertake extended periods of meditation retreat and commit their lives to living in a peaceful environment living in harmony with nature.
The hermitage is situated about halfway up to the caves above the lotus lake in Tsopema. Tsopema is in Himachal Pradesh, in Northwest India in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Fresh air, a simple life, an organic vegetable garden and a private setting ensures conducive outer causes for authentic practice. We plan to erect 4 or 5 rustic bamboo or wooden huts/cabins that ensure a simple yet practical and supportive environment. Set next to hilltop pine forests, surrounded by the breathtaking Himalayas in a serene setting for meditation practice...the rest is really up to oneself.
We invite you to help shape this project as there are so few places available providing these kinds of opportunities and supportive conditions for practice, especially in the holy land that gave birth to the Buddha Dharma. We're all about natural and keeping things simple. One doesn't need much.
The retreat village should be kept very simple.
We wish to use natural resources as far as possible. The traditional method for constructing houses is very suitable for the requirements of retreat huts (i.e. using mud, wood and bamboo.)
The gompa (existing mud and stone house) should also remain simple construction and should aid practice but not be ostentatious and be free from elaborations. Furnishings should also be sparse and simple in the retreat huts. We would prefer to intervene as minimally as possible with the natural environment to aid preservation of the beautiful surroundings and rather plant more trees, flowers and indigenous plants wherever possible.Solar power should be utilized wherever possible.
All community members will be encouraged to be mindful of preserving water and natural resources and keeping the environment clean and pollution-free.It should always be kept in mind that the main reason for living in the retreat village is for dharma practice and simplifying one's life!
This is a very rough draft of
some of the things that will be needed to bring the project to fruition. It
is difficult to confirm how much money is needed towards this project but
we estimate that $20,000 would be enough to give
it the cash injection that is sorely needed to turn it into a conducive practice
environment. Wherever possible we have put an estimate cost of the specific
item. We will humbly accept any kind of financial contribution or support
you are willing to make, including your time, energy and skills.
Please feel free to share your ideas and suggestions and also to open your generous heart should you feel inspired.
This is a link to the photo album for your viewing pleasure ;)
Main Building (Which would comprise of converting the existing stone & mud house.)
Listed below are the bare essentials needed to make the above possible:** immediate needs are highlighted
|Meditation & Teaching Room||We envision converting the top main room (size 5m x 3m) into a small shrine room (mini Gompa for max 10 people). This will be used for teaching instruction from Rinpoche and also for group tsog practice and special pujas occasionally.||Rs
|One large Buddha statue||Rs
|Puja/practice tables, meditation mats & cushions (max for 10 people)||Rs
|Library||The existing room on the ground level can be converted into a small library. Currently there is only a very small window and no flooring. It is just a very basic roughly finished mud and concrete box, but with great potential for a cosy library.||Rs
|Dharma books, audio & texts for library each local print book costs around Rs300 / $7 and texts vary in price.||Rs
|Bookcases, wood or bamboo with glass door (for monsoon)||Rs
|Cushions and Low reading tables||Rs1500
|Computer for dharma resources i.e. reading and watching teachings & Audio Players to listen to audio dharma teachings.||Rs40,000
|Kitchen||We need to convert the existing dark store room on the upper level into a kitchen with basic kitchen facilities.||Rs
|Work surface, shelves, etc.||Rs3000
|Table & benches||Rs3000
|Basic kitchen utensils:(pots, pans etc.), crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment i.e. gas cooker and bottle||Rs
Washroom & Toilet
|Basic facilities, have been constructed but there is a need to Build a wall and install a door for the existing open toiletand wash area. A simple wash basin is required. Earlier this year and electric borehole pump was installed at great expense but the good news is we have running water!||Rs
|Entrance||To construct a small slate patio with awning and some simple wooden benches for sitting out in the sun during breaks.||Rs
|**Ceiling||at present the ceiling is temporarily tacked with plastic sheeting and during monsoon it becomes more and more flimsy and less functional)||Rs
|**New door||For main building (the existing wooden door is warped and doesn't provide much security)||Rs500
|Flooring for Library & Kitchen||Either wooden or temporary linoleum which is inexpensive||Rs10,000
|Solar Power||Better lighting and electrical wiring fitted, preferably solar generated||Rs
|**Water Filter system||We have running water by means of electrical borehole pump but it is necessary to filter by either reverse osmosis system or by simple filtration methods.||
Rs 6000/ Rs800
|Paint & brushes||Rs
|**Labour costs||Labour varies between Rs100~150 per person per day|
will consist of live bamboo barrier and sectioned off areas also of bamboo
poles (We have found a supplier locally who can provide these materials.
For more information see http://www.bambootech.org/files/Perimeter.pdf
This is not only a beautiful natural enhancement to the environment and will assure that the area is a lot more isolated since it is in close proximity to the road.
|Please help to sponsor some trees, plants and flowers. India doesn't seem to encourage tree planting (or much natural growth for that matter) There is a lot more chopping going on each day and the trees hardly get a chance to grow big and strong.||Rs
|At the moment there is no proper gate and one has to climb through the barbed wire fence. In India it is imperative to have a fence to ward off curious wanderers and hungry bovines. A secure metal gate is desperately needed!!||Rs
|**Labour costs||Labour varies between Rs100~150 per person per day|
NEWS UPDATE Recently we received a donation for the perimeter and we purchased a 100 bamboo seedlings!! For about a week volunteers and labourers dug holes of 2m3 and soon planting will commence as we await manure and more monsoon rains. THANK YOU!
For each Retreat Dwelling (we estimate a maximum of 5 huts would be sufficient)
Approximate Total Cost per Hut : $ 2000
frame of similar style Bamboo house in Sikkim.
For a Buddhist the
sacred is seen as a manifestation of enlightenment inherent in all sentient
beings and as an invitation to communion with it through the cultivation of
merit and of a non-dual timeless awareness.
The appearance of the sacred is like the sight of the sun through a thick patch of clouds that obscured it. The sacred is not the mundane, nor is it the extraordinary, it is reality, the truth, the nature of the animate and inanimate universe. The place in which one practices should be conducive and provide the support in order to do so. Places of great spiritual power can enhance and accelerate one's spiritual practice tremendously. In the sphere of Buddha-vision, where the nature of mind is understood as emptiness and space, mandalas serve as the infrastructure of awareness. Appearances, such as the landscape, are still in their seemingly chaotic natural order, but within the perception that is a unity of outside and inside, they are mandalas.
To answer how a piece of land can be sacred, we can begin by identifying the ground of the sacred within ourselves. Likewise our faith and respect for sacred ground far from home should also enhance our sensitivity and appreciation for our immediate and entire world in which we live.
This is the domain that Tantra identifies and explores. In the guru's mind there is no radical distinction between outer phenomena an inner noumena. It may be useful to consider tantric vision as a way of 'seeing' that cuts through the duality of ordinary perception, where self and other, physical and mental, inside and outside are separate. Pure perception being awareness of the underlying purity and perfect symmetry and harmony of every perception.
The Buddha did not teach us how to create Buddha-nature, but how to create the conditions for its discovery. The sacred is rooted in the primordial ground of our being.
Guru Rinpoche is the ultimate magician able to manipulate, pacify, to control or to subjugate the spiritual energies resident in the environment. The energies may be elemental, environmental, human or animal or relating to the realm of gods, demons and spirits.
Buddha vision is a unitary vision of outside and inside, a unification of objective and subjective mind. Guru Rinpoche through his past powerful spiritual deeds and strong prayers of dedication for the enlightenment of all sentient beings, transformed the places he visited into realms of spiritual power and blessing. He visited many places in India, Sikkim and Tibet, and Tsopema is regarded as one of the most holy places of great blessing and ample opportunity to accelerate one' spiritual progress. Tsopema, imbued with enlightenment became sacred ground.
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche says:"Guru Rinpoche is the union of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who dwell in the countless buddha-fields throughout the ten directions. Gathered within him are all of their excellent qualities, ability, and power to benefit beings. In this universe, he dsiplayed an absolute and unchallengable mastery of all the techniques and accomplishments of the secret mantrayana."
the personification of the vision of tantra and transmutation. Lotus-born
can be understood as symbolical for the example of a lotus born from muddy
water, just as we are plagued in the same manner by our disturbing emotions,
their inherenbt nature is wisdom energy, implying that delusion need not be
abandoned but can be transmuted and freed to blossom into its true nature.
Guru Rinpoche is partucularly powerful during this era when we are overcome
by mental delusion and it is said that the more delusions ther are, the swifter
and more powerful he is. In a deeper sense, Padmasambhava is a timeless, cosmic
principle; the embodiment of the Great Perfection. The enlightened principle
which is invoked as a source of protection amidst the turmoil of this age.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche says: According to the ways in which sentient beings perceive reality, there exists an inconceivable number of life stories of the three mysteries of his body, speech and mind."
Padmasambhava is regarded as an emanation Buddha Amitabha, the Buddha of Limitless light, appearing in a variety of forms according to the needs and capacities of those to be trained. The great master, Tsele Natsok Rangdrol (17C), says: "We should understand that all Padmasambhava's deeds and the examples in his life are a magical display, shown to tame people according to their particular inclinations. By regarding him as a normal human being, we will fail to perceive even a fraction of his enlightened qualities. He certainly does not remain within the reach of people's solid fixation on a permanent reality, but appears according to the needs of disciples."
In a hidden treasure
teaching revealed by Jamgon Kongtrol, Padmasambhava says:
"Billions of wisom dakinis joined, as of one voice,
And in order to ensure the flourishing of the secret mantra teachings
In this world, the realm tamed by Shakyamuni,
They invited me, with the melody of these seven lines".
Homage to the yidam deity!
Fortunate men and
women of the future,
Sons and daughters of an enlightened family,
When you turn to me, the guru of Orgyen for refuge, Take yourslef to an isolated place, and
Make deep feelings arise of melancholy at impermanence
and disgust with samsara - thi is vital.
Then rely on me
completely, heart and soul.
Reflect how every kind of refuge, all your hopes
Are all fulfilled and complete within me, the guru of Orgyen.
Whether in happiness or in sorrow,
Have total trust and confidence in me.
No need to make offerings or praise;
Set aside all accumulating
Simply let devotion flood your body, speech and mind, and
Pray, pray with these seven lines:
ORGYEN YUL-KYI NUP-CHANG TSHAM,
PEMA KESAR DONG-PO LA,
YA-TSHEN CH'OG-KI NGODRUP NYEY,
PEMA JUGNE ZHEY-SU TRAG,
KHORTU KHADRO MANGPO KOR.
KHYED-KYI JEYSU DAG-DRUB KYEE,
CHIN-KYEE LAB-CH'IR SHEGSU SOL,
GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG.
OM AH HUNG BENZRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG!
benefits of contributing towards & supporting Dharma projects or activities
Supreme Holy beings of the past have said that living in quietude they have found the nectar (of dharma experience). You naturally practice the Dharma and somber thoughts of impermanence arise. Your possessions are put aside and you have no work or distractions. Masses of good qualities like faith and renunciation multiply and because there is no involvement with people, your activities automatically become fewer. Therefore without the eight wordly feelings, not worrying about others or saving face, pass your days and nights with the dharma in the bliss of having total freedom. - Longchenpa
It is wise to attempt to create the cause for success as much as possible in our everyday life, therefore accumulating merit is essential. One can receive the benefits of meritorious actions such as building holy objects and spreading dharma. With these holy objects, they create the cause of success and happiness. Because these holy objects exist, sentient beings make offerings to them, pray to them. This helps them to create the cause of happiness, and this is how they experience happiness up to the highest happiness of enlightenment. Every time you look at a holy object - i.e. pictures of the Buddha, statues, scriptures, stupas - they plant the seed of liberation and enlightenment in your mental continuum. So every time you look at them, they purify your mind. They plant the seed of enlightenment which includes all the causes to achieve enlightenment. How? When you look at them they plant a seed or positive imprint on your mental continuum so that later when you meet the BuddhaDharma, either in this life or in future lives, you are able to understand the words and the meaning of the teachings. From that, you are able to practice the meaning of the Dharma you have understood, which causes you to cease the gross and subtle defilements by actualizing the path and then your mental continuum becomes omniscient mind. That is what is meant when it is said that by seeing holy objects it plants the seed of enlightenment in the mind. Because the temporary and ultimate happiness of yourself and others depends on the existence of holy objects, there is a purpose and a need to make them. - extracts from Lama Zopa RInpoche
Please we need your help
The world needs Dharma and Dharma practitioners! Join us in this effort to enhance this place of meditation and practice, situated on sacred ground. The most valuable contribution is to practice for the sake of all living beings. By contributing to projects such as these and all dharma projects that help preserve the practice of dharma, not only for oneself but also future generations, one not only accumulates merit, but also creates favourable conditions for oneself to be able to do retreat if one is not able to do so at this time. It is said that by supporting practitioners or helping bring about conducive living and practice conditions, one creates the same amount of merit as if one were doing the practice oneself. The great yogi Milarepa stated that the meditator and the benefactor supporting the meditator will attain enlightenment at the same time, due to the auspicious karmic link they created.
If you would like to contribute in any way, either financially materially or by volunteering your time and skills, please send us an
e-mail: email@example.com for more information.
We appreciate your enthusiasm and support gratefully.
HOW TO MAKE A DONATION
May the value of establishing such a meditation hermitagebe of great benefit to all sentient beings.
May all our practice unite right motivation with action that encompasses all without bias.
May all beings be happy!
If you would like to see more information about H.E. Ontul Rinpoche his monastery and his other projects go to http://www.dharma-media.org/wogmin