Sakya Lam Dre Teachings Bestowed By His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya

The following article is from the Spring, 1991 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.


By Dennis Oliver and Jeffrey Schoening

The bestowal of the Khon lineage Lam Dre teachings in Nepal by His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya was one of the most notable events which occurred in the Tibetan community in 1990. The bestowal of this series of teachings by His Holiness marked the first time he has given the teachings in over thirty years and the first time he has given the teachings outside of Tibet.

The Lam Dre transmission is the Sakya's most precious teaching. Its initial section, called the Triple Vision, presents contemplations of Hinayana topics to cultivate the mind that seeks liberation, and Mahayana practices to develop Bodhicitta, the mind to enlightenment for the sake of all beings, and emptiness, the view of the nature of reality. In the second portion, the Triple Continuum, the disciple prepares for and receives initiation into the great tantra of Hevajra, intended to bring about the total unfolding or transformation of the practitioner to full enlightenment. First revealed to the Indian Buddhist master Virupa in the 7th century, the Lam Dre passed from teacher to disciple in a lineage that reached Tibet and became the specialty of the glorious Sakya sect. His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya is part of that unbroken tradition.

The event was widely covered in the Tibetan press. The Tibetan language magazine Shes bya (Knowledge), January 1991 edition, published by the Tibetan government's Department of Economic Development, reported the event as follows:

The Lam Dre teachings were given in November 1990 by His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya at the request of many Tibetan Lamas, Tulkus, and others from Nepal, India, and Tibet. These teachings were given in Nepal at the new Tharlam Monastery being built in Boudnath.

His Holiness arrived from the United States to bestow the teachings which began on the 14th day of the 9th month of the Tibetan historical calendar. This day is very auspicious as it is the memorial day of Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, founder of the Sakya lineage, who displayed six bodies upon passing into the pure realms. Over 500 people attended the entire month long teachings and initiations. Present were three of His Holiness's sons, his wife Dagmo Kusho and many Tulkus, Lamas, Kenpos and monks from all the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. The teachings were also attended by many Tibetan lay people and many of His Holiness's students from Nepal, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Europe, Australia, United States and Canada.

The month long teachings consisted of two daily sessions, a morning session from 8-1 1am and an afternoon session from l-4pm. Each day patrons and sponsors made mandala offering and offerings of food and tea to those attending with as many as six offerings given each day.

The final day of the teachings was celebrated with a large Tsok offering in thanksgiving for receiving the Lam Dre instructions and to celebrate the birthday of His Holiness. Many individuals contributed to sponsor the Tsok which consisted of blessings from the Lama and a food offering which was distributed to those who attended and the Tibetan community of Boudnath.

We, who live in the Pacific Northwest, feel particularly blessed to have His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya living in Seattle, where he is actively building a Tibetan monastery. He regularly gives teachings and initiations in the tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet, and leads weekly meditation practice, which is open to all. For further information on Sakya Monastery, His Holiness's teaching schedule or on the Sakya tradition, please contact Sakya Monastery, 108 NW 83rd Street, Seatde, WA, 98117.

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