Online: Machig Labdrön – Opening the Gate to the Sky Chod Empowerment & Retreat
About the Practice of Chöd
Chöd is a powerful practice of accepting willingly what is undesirable, cutting through our concepts, reducing our self-cherishing nature leading us closer to our own true nature. The main obstacle to our own enlightenment is our clinging to our own ego, our own existence. When fear, fixation, and self-clinging are cut through, giving rise to the awareness of the pure nature of emotions and the emptiness of mental obscurations. Machig Labdrön created a unique practice of Mahamudra Chöd practice. She is the manifestation of Prajnaparamita, the Great Mother who gives birth to realisation of emptiness. Furthermore, Machig Labdron is also the manifestation of Arya Tara, who gives birth to compassion. A chöd pa (practitioner) can cut through anything and therefore his or her main intention should be to unify understanding of emptiness and loving kindness and compassion, just as Machig Labdron did. Khentrul Rinpoche has received the Chöd transmission and practiced in multiple traditions such as the Nyingma Kagyu, Jonang and the Gelug traditions.
Throughout Buddhist history, female practitioners have been models of leadership in virtuous conduct, meditation, discipline and practice. Machig Labdron is an extraordinary example of a highly realised female practitioner. One of Rinpoche’s aspirations is to cultivate more realised female practitioners around the world and we hope this practice inspires the prominence and proliferation of more female Buddhist masters.
About the Empowerment
This is an incredibly rare and precious empowerment of Chöd from the primordial mind of master Jetsun Taranatha. It is the most extensive and detailed Chöd Empowerment. We will include a booklet to follow along through the empowerment. Part of the transmission includes stories of Machig Labdrön’s life in which we can all be inspired by this precious Dakini’s presence.
The Practice Texts Translated for this Retreat
“An Offering of the Body in Accordance with the Profound Meaning” by Mangé Kalden, from the Jonang Tradition
“A Brief Practice of Object Severance” by Shar Khentrul Rinpoché
“A Condensed Offering of the Body” by Dudjom Rinpoche, from the Nyingma Tradition
Who can attend online?
This retreat is open to all.
Retreat Schedule – Online or In Person
SAST SOUTH AFRICA
Saturday 11 December
A Pearl Garland Narration of the Chöd Empowerment that Opens the Gate to the Sky (required attendance) This precious empowerment text by Jonang Lineage Master Jetsun Taranatha.
4:00 AM Session 1 Empowerment
7:00 AM Session 2 Empowerment
10:30 AM Session 3 Empowerment
12:00 AM Midnight Session 4 Practice and Teaching
Sunday December 12
4:00 AM Session 5 Teaching and Practice
8:00 AM Session 6 Teaching and Practice
10:30 AM Session 7 Teaching and Practice
12:00 AM Midnight Session 8 Teaching and Practice
How does the Online Retreat Work
1) Register for each attendee that will be receiving the empowerment. You will receive a confirmation email. All of our online events use the Dzokden learning center. If you are not already enrolled in it, you will be invited to learn.dzokden.org
2) Before the empowerment, you will receive information on some simple supplies you should get to help make the experience as authentic as possible. If you are not able to get them all don’t worry. They are symbolic and you can still receive the empowerment. More important you must understand what is happening. Just attending an empowerment does not mean you receive it. You must know what is going on. To ensure everyone will receive the empowerment, Rinpoche will kindly make his instruction booklet available to you as an eBook so you can follow along so you know exactly what is happening. You are not allowed to share this program book with anyone else or give them access to the empowerment. This is private for your personal use. Rinpoche typically gives the eBook out the night before.
3) You will receive access to the zoom for each of the sessions. You will be able to watch any of the course in learn.dzokden.org The empowerment must be received in real time. There are no recordings available of the empowerment.
Karma Shadpa Lama
Karma Shadpa Lama is a yogi living in California, USA. He practiced and received teachings from Khentrul Rinpoche’s root Guru, Lama Lobsang Trinle. He has practiced Chöd for a long time and completed several Chöd retreats in many traditions including the Nyingma, Kagyu, Gelug and Jonang. He received the Chöd empowerment in the Nyingma, Kagyu and Jonang traditions including the initiation in Taranatha’s Opening the Gates to the Sky empowerment which this retreat is based upon. He has taught students in the Dzokden community Tibetan language via private tutorship since 2018.
Khentrul Rinpoché Jamphel Lodrö is the founder and spiritual director of Dzokden. Rinpoche is the author of Unveiling Your Sacred Truth, The Great Middle Way: Clarifying the Jonang View of Other-Emptiness, A Happier Life, and The Hidden Treasure of the Profound Path.
Rinpoche spent the first 20 years of his life herding yak and chanting mantras on the plateaus of Tibet. Inspired by the bodhisattvas, he left his family to study in a variety of monasteries under the guidance of over twenty-five masters in all the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Due to his non-sectarian approach, he earned himself the title of Rimé (unbiased) Master and was identified as the reincarnation of the famous Kalachakra Master Ngawang Chözin Gyatso. While at the core of his teachings is the recognition that there is great value in the diversity of all spiritual traditions found in this world; he focuses on the Jonang-Shambhala tradition. Kalachakra (wheel of time) teachings contain profound methods to harmonize our external environment with the inner world of body and mind, ultimately bringing about the golden age of peace and harmony (dzokden).