"It is excellent to know what the genuine Dharma is. However, if one does not meditate the ultimate result will not be obtained, so practice is very important. Further, rather than practicing alone in a solitary place, it is better to practice in a group. Repa Shiwa said, 'The basis of virtuous activity is compatible Dharma friends.' Through the encouragement of lamas and friends who truly follow the Dharma, one's faith and diligence grow, and one's laziness and discouragement are turned around."
- Khyabje Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
Sunday practices vary each week, please refer to our meditation schedule for a list of upcoming practices.
Wednesday practices are done in the following order:
(click each practice for a short description)
The Dorje Chang Prayer
is the lineage prayer which in Kagyu Tibetan tradition is recited before each practice session. Dorje Chang is the Tibetan word for Vajradhara, the primordial Buddha who represents the quintessence of the awakened state itself, the essence of the historical Buddha's realization of enlightenment. By reciting this chant one takes refuge in the lineage holders, the teachings and group practices stemming from a continuous unbroken tradition of Karma Kagyu practitioners. At Karma Tashi Ling, the chants are recited in the original sacred Tibetan language, at the request of our main teacher, The Very Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche. Rinpoche teaches that the beneficial power of these very traditional chants is not diminished even when the practitioners do not understand the exact meaning of all the words being recited. The power of these words to evolve our practice depends more on the sharing of the chanted sounds which the words invoke. The English meanings of the words can be investigated and explored by the practitioner over time as the results of the practice begin to ripen.
Calm Abiding Meditation
is a method of resting the mind and becoming more familiar with its characteristics. In allowing our mind to become more stable, we can begin to experience greater precision, gradually developing clarity and insight which makes it possible to transform our confusion into wisdom. Since everyone's mind is different, everyone's mediation is also different. Therefore individual instruction from a meditation instructor prior to practicing meditation is highly recommended. To develop the proper disposition, one should think that whatever we are doing, we are doing it to help all beings be free from suffering. One thing common to all meditation practice is having the right motivation of wanting to benefit all persons, not just ourselves. Besides this, one also needs to have a very strong devotion to our guru and all gurus of our lineage, that through their blessings we may experience a quick growth of our meditation.
The Chenresig Practice
is named after Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva or deity of compassion. This deity is the embodiment of the awakened qualities inherent within ourselves which make it possible to bring all sentient beings to a state of ultimate happiness and freedom from suffering. In this practice one takes refuge in the three jewels, Buddha (the enlightened one), Dharma (the teachings) and Sangha (the community). Taking an attitude of awakened heart, wishing to help others be free of suffering, one then visualizes the body of Chenresig peacefully radiating compassion to all beings. Finally one recites the six syllable mantra OM MANI PE ME HUM, thus purifying the five poisons (pride, envy, ignorance, attachment and anger) and transforms them into the six wisdoms (wisdom of equanimity, wisdom of activity, the wisdom born of itself, the wisdom of dharmadhatu, discriminating wisdom, and mirror-like wisdom).
The Dewachen Prayer
expresses our aspiration to be born in the pure land of Amitabha. It is said that of all the pure lands which are filled with bliss and are free from suffering, Dewachen is the easiest pure land to reach. One needs only to cultivate a strong aspiration to do so. From this pure realm we can work most effectively for the benefit of all beings.
The Longevity Chants
consist of three short prayers expressing our genuine wish that His Holiness The Dalai Lama, His Holiness The Karmapa, and The Very Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche all lead long and healthy lives for the benefit of all beings.
Dedication of Merit
is the final chant which dedicates the merit gained by the evenings practice to the benefit of all beings. By sharing the merit in this way it is never lost and it grows even more abundant.