His Holiness Lungtok Tenpa Nyima

The following article is from the Spring, 1997 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

Head Lineage Master of the Bon Religion

Coming to the U. S.


His Holiness Lungtok Tenpa Nyima, head of the Bon religion and Abbot of Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India, will visit the United States for the first time in June.

The Abbot of Menri is the most senior lineage holder of the Bon religion, and spiritual head of all Bon-po monasteries in Tibet, India, and Nepal, a position he has held since 1969. During more than thirty years in exile, he has worked hand-in-hand with Lopon Tenzin Namdak, the lineage's most senior teacher, to rebuild both lay and monastic aspects of the Bon community. Together they created the Bon-po community in Dolanji, the heart of which is Menri Monastery, where they reinstituted a rigorous training for the monks who study philosophy, debate and rituals, among other subjects, as they pursue their Geshe degree (an equivalent to a Ph.D. and Th. D.). In fact it is there that Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, founder of Ligmincha Institute and its associated Khyung Dzongs and the only Bon-po Lama (teacher) who resides in the West, obtained his Geshe degree.

In most locations, the Abbot will impart weekend-long teachings. Undoubtedly the m^j or event of his visit will be the three-week-long summer retreat, the fifth organized by Ligmincha Institute. This will take place from June 30 to July 20 in Sunrise Springs, NM, only 15 miles away from Santa Fe, providing majestic views of the Sangre de Cristo and Sandia mountain ranges.

The teachings will focus on the path of meditation from the Mother Tantra (Ma Gyu) of the Tibetan Ancient Bon Tradition, in particular on the Essence of the Elements and Phowa chapters. After the transmission of the practice, three different kinds of Phowa will be explained:

1) A Dzogchen form of Phowa

2) The transference of consciousness of Dzok-ku, the body of perfection of the wisdom deities, which is a tantric form of Phowa

3) The transference of consciousness of Chang-chub chen-bo, the Great Enlightenment, which is a sutric form of Phowa

The second and third weeks will be devoted to the chapter on Essence of the Elements, explained through the principles of tsa, the channels of our body; lung, the energetic winds; thigle, the essential sphere or seminal essence; and yi-ge, the syllables. These practices utilize sacred syllables in order to open and purify the channels, heal diseases and cultivate wisdom.

Also for the first time ever, Kyangtrul Rinpoche will be giving complete instructions on the sacred dance of the goddess Yeshe Walmo. And as in the past, instruction on Trul Khor (Magical Wheel), the physical yoga of the Bon tradition from the Zhang Zhung Nyan Gyud, will also be offered. These two practices will be taught throughout the three weeks.

The retreat center can accommodate a maximum of 75 overnight guests, and up to 100 sitting in the meditation hall. The cost is $275 per week plus housing. These fees include teachings, instruction in meditation, sacred dance and Trul Khor, and three meals a day. A limited number of work-study positions are available.

His Holiness Lungtok Tenpa Nyima's tentative schedule:

Houston, TXJune 26-28. Contact: Houston Khyung Dzong 713-523-7330 or eddy@hti.net

Sunrise Springs, NMJune 30-July 20. Summer RetreatTeachings and Practices from the Mother Tantra. Contact Ligmincha Institute 804-977-6161 or Ligmincha@aol.com

Santa Fe, NMJuly 25-27, Weekend Retreat. Contact: Jim Casilio 505-474-5881

Boston, MAAugust 2-3, Dzogchen Teachings from the Bon Tradition. Contact: Jim and Wanda Mangianello 617-661-9400

Conway, MAAugust 8-10, Teachings on Medicine Buddha and Healing. Contact: Tsegyalgar Dzogchen Community, 413-369-4153 or 74404.1141@compuserve.com

Washington, D.C.August 15-17, Teachings at the Shambhala Center. Contacts: Mark Hoyer 703-931-9319 and Jill Sidford 703-486-0448

Charlottesville, VA.August 2324, Stories of the Lives of Dzogchen Masters. Contact: Ligmincha Institute 804-977-6161 or Ligmincha@aol.com

For more information contact: Alejandro Chaoul-Reich and John Jackson, Ligmincha Institute, 804-977-6161, fax: 804-977-7020, e-mail: Ligmincha@aol.com, web page: http//www.comet.chv.va.us/ligmincha ä_æ

Back to all Snow Lion Articles