Chod Pilgrimage with Lama Wangdu and Amchi Sherab Barma

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Chod Pilgrimage with Lama Wangdu and Amchi Sherab Barma

Post by phantom59 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:29 am

Fulfilling prophecy and the request of Mongolian nomads, the eminent
Tingri-born Chodpa, Lama Tsering Wangdu, (whose fearless compassion
emanates like a 1000 rays of sun), accompanied by Bhutanese amchi
(traditional healer/doctor) Sherab Barma, will pilgrimage to Mongolia
to transmit Padampa Sangye’s skillful shije teachings on how to
alleviate suffering to open hearts and minds.

Instructed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to disseminate these
teachings during this time and in his lifetime, this historic, once in
a lifetime pilgrimage will combine the medical knowledge of Vajrayana
medicines as we explore the plants and medical traditions of the
steppes, with deeper healing.

Travel with a great spiritual master on this journey to discover your
own Wisdom Mind. Learning ancient tantric and shamanic practices, we
will carry these into the vast and spacious heartland of Mongolia.
With the practices of chod, windhorse and more, participants will
reinvigorate both the land and their own life path.

According to Lama Jinpa, “The Practice of Chod (called ‘Zod’ in
Mongolian) is a powerful method of cutting through obstacles-material,
emotional and spiritual. It continually clarifies and frees one's
body, mind and spirit, as well as healing others. Relying on Feminine
Wisdom energy, the body itself becomes an offering to all beings in
the universe. This is the ultimate practice of the compassionate
spiritual warrior, a rich approach to life that leads to ultimate

Chod is an extensive system of meditation and ritual, using sacred
instruments, music and mantras. As a spiritual practice, it is rightly
famed for its ability to transform the mind and heart, and awaken
individuals to their full potential. Chod means to cut, since both the
path and the goal is to cut away the shackles of our fixations,
egocentricity and dualistic grasping. Its twin pillars are Skillful
Means and Wisdom. The first involves the development of unceasing
generosity and compassion. The second is the eventual understanding of
the true nature of the selfless, unborn fabric of reality, from which
we—and all phenomena—arise.

Practice: We will receive the chod empowerment and progressive
training in chod and other transformative sacred technologies. This
will include the cham or chod dance, windhorse, smoke offering,
hayagriva and garuda practice, healing rituals and full day chod
practice, and teachings on the Nature of mind.

Pilgrimage: Visiting sacred places, monasteries and wild power spots
in the Mongolian hinterland, we will balance the outer and inner
landscape, purifying the land and uncovering our inherent lucidity.

Benefit: We will participate in the great Buddhist revival of
Mongolia, bringing back sacred practices that had been banned for 50
years by the Soviets; some will be transmitted for the first time

Lama Tsering Wangdu Rinpoche, born near Mt. Everest in Tibet in the
1930’s, founded Shelkhar Chode monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. He is a
master Chodpa, in the lineage of Machig Labdron and the great Indian
Mahasiddha Padampa Sangye. In March 2003, His Holiness the Dalai Lama
emphasized the importance of the Shije teachings of Padampa Sangye,
which includes the pacification of suffering, especially relevant to
our times and urged Lama Wangdu to spread these teachings.

The traditional Tibetan practice called Chöd (meaning to sever) was
established nearly 1,000 years ago by Machig Labdrön, student of
Padampa Sangye, a legendary female yogini who was married and had
children when she gained realization. By feeding and nurturing our
inner demons, we are able to free ourselves from the battle within. We
all have our demons - fear, anxiety, depression, anger, addictions,
and illnesses. Within the ancient teachings of Vajrayana Buddhism chod
is a meditation tool for severing our attachment and feeding with
compassion the demons which block us from awakening.

Amchi Sherab Barma is a traditional Bhutanese medical doctor, trained
by Trogawa Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama’s personal physician and founder
of Chagpori Medical Institute in Darjeeling. Sherab has been
recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his outstanding mastery
of Tibetan medical sciences. His father Lopon Barma, was a senior
attendant of Dudjom Rinpoche and a famed yogi in Bhutan. Amchi Sherap
Barma received Dudjom tersar from his father. He currently runs Pure
Vision Sorig Healing and Research Center in Boudhanath and a retreat
center in Parphing- where Guru Rinpoche gained realization. He works
extensively with terminal patients. Amchi Sherab has received Yutok
Nyingtig ( Medicine Buddha) teachings and chod from Trulshik Rinpoche
at sacred Maritika cave (where Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal
practiced in union) and janter teachings from Taklung Tsetul Rinpoche
and extensive Drukpa Kargyu teachings from Bhutanese masters. He is
honored to accompany the great Chodpa Lama Wangdu on this important
pilgrimage to Mongolia.

Sherab will act as translator for Rinpoche’s morning sessions and will
provide afternoon seminars on Tibetan Medicine, linking the body and

Mongolian Pilgrimage
We will visit the khandomas (Mongolian for dakinis), Zodoch (Chödpa)
practitioners of the Narkhajhid temple in Ullan Battar as they share
and we learn from them about Mongolian Chöd practice and they receive
teachings from Lama Wangdu. Lay women who have their own temple,
Lujin, offering of the body, is the main focus of their practice, in
the lineage of Danzin Ravjaa, Mongolia's most famous poet, playwright
mystic of the Gobi.

In Mongolia, the sky is worshipped as Ich Tenger, and in Buddhist
practice, a realized mind is as spacious as a vast sky. Increasing
one's windhorse, known in Mongolian as hiimori is an ancient Asian
tradition. A strong windhorse allows one to think clearly, acting with
swift decisiveness. Riding a horse has always been a metaphor in
Vajrayana Buddhism for how to work skillfully with the mind and
yogically with the inner winds of the body. Chöd, a practice for
cutting through fear and creating a view of profound generosity, is
increasing with the revivalism of Buddhism in Mongolia today. In this
vast wilderness landscape of space, we will explore the role of the
elements in healing with Amchi Sherab Barma, and explore the link
between chod and healing.

The core of this pilgrimage is Chöd practice in sacred wilderness. Our
journey takes us from the busy capitol of Ulaan Baatar, to Karakhorim
and deep into the Buddhist heartland of Mongolia in Arkhangai, where
steppe meets forest in our charnel ground retreat beside the Tamir

Celebrating with, and sharing Dharma with nomads, there will be an
optional traverse by horse to a sacred volcanic mountain.
This is a pilgrimage for those who love to steep themselves in the
earth's raw, elemental wilderness. Facilities are simple, and the
elements, like the nature of pilgrimage itself, to be honored with the
spirit of whatever arises as the path.

Day 1 (June 15)
Depart USA. Early travel arrangements encouraged. We recommend United
or Korean Airlines as most reliable.

Day 2 (June 16)
Fly to Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia's capitol, home to half the population
of the country. Met at airport and transferred to a nice little three
star hotel in town called the Amberbaygalant, three blocks from Sukh
Battar square.

Day 3 (June 17) Ulaan Baatar, Amberbaygalan Hotel
Visiting Chod monasteries. We visit Narkhajhid khandomas (dakinis) at
their temple. Bakshaa Bassovd, teacher of the temple will share about
the lineage and practices of the temple, and the khandomas will
perform for us. Lama Wangdu may share some words, give some teaching.
Break for lunch. Afternoon we visit various chod practicing
monasteries: possibilities include: Ürjin Shaddüwlin monastery where
the Abbot is the incarnation of the "young lady saint of the Gobi",
Dechinchoinkhorlin monastery where lujin is practiced. Ürjin Sanag
Rolwii Choilin monastery, where Shönöjin lüijin (all-night Lüijin
ceremony from 8 PM to morning) is practiced with Vajrayogini practice
on the 25th day. Return back to the hotel for dinner.

Day 4 (June 18) Ochirr Hrid (“Old Man Monastery”)
After breakfast, we visit Dechin choilin tawshi sünbrellin monastic
school, the speciality of the temple is the Zod ritual (Tib. gcod,)
cutting through the four Maras (obstacles for practice and
enlightenment) and ego-clinging. We travel by comfortable AC bus
through sweeping Mongolian grasslands and the vast space of sky and
undulating earth to Ochirr Hrid, or “Old Man Monastery.” This is the
name of a beautiful mountain range north of the Gobi, that gets its
name from the ruins of a nearby monastery that was destroyed by civil
wars in the 17th century. Chance for practice. Informal dharma talk by
Lama Wangdu before supper. We will stay in a traditional yuurtz camp
(teepees) called Eden.

Day 5 (June 19) Kharakhorim
Morning nature walk to the ruins of Old Man Monastery after practice
session. Lunch in the yurt camp. After lunch, drive to Kharakhorum,
the old capital built by Chinggis Khaan. Stay in a gher camp at
Kharakorum. We visit Erdene Zhu monastery. The great Ghengis Khan and
his son created the beautiful and legendary city in the 13th century
to serve as the heart of his monolithic empire. There are only a few
traces left of this once great city, but Mongolia's largest monastery,
neighboring Erdene Zhu, was reputedly constructed from the ruins of
Kharakhorim in the 16th century. Erdene Zhu has been a place of
Buddhist activity for more than 500 years. We will meet with the head
lama, and perform chod.

Day 6 (June 20) Bunkhan Valley
After lunch we will drive to the Bunkhan valley, deep in the Buddhist
heartland of Mongolia, walking down the Princess Pass near sunset to
be welcomed by our nomad staff. Settle in to our retreat ghers before
supper. Lapis Sky Gher Camp.

Day 7 (June 21) Bunkhan Valley Chod Retreat
Summer Solstice. Dark Moon.

We wake on the morning of summer solstice in our yurts, and begin our
Chod Retreat ( Longchenpa’s”Laugh of the Bellowing Dakinis”) with Lama
Wangdu, amchi Sherab Barma assisting. Bunkhan Valley. Teachings,
initiations, chod practice. Optional yoga, archery, and horse riding
in afternoons. Our retreat is held in Bunkhan Valley. Bunkhan means
"valley of the graves of our ancestors." 3,000 year old Scythian
burial mounds surround the campsite of individual yurts (ghers)
nestled beside the curling Indigo Blue Tamir River, with the sacred
Bayon Hondur mountain looming above. Our camp is simple eco luxury
with nomads performing tasks to economically benefit the local
community. Meals are simple, hearty, home style cooked over open wood
stoves. Please tell us if you are vegetarian. Solar bags are used for
showers, and a stove heats up buckets of water for the outside shower
in the woods on cloudy days. Walks and horse rides are abundant in the
surrounding area. Explore the varied wilderness surrounding us.
Evening tsang ritual bonfire by the river, white offerings to the
river. Sign up for private meeting with Lama Wangdu. Beginners work
with Sherab on chod basics. Afternoon medical healing sessions with
Dr. Sherab.

Day 8 (June 22) Chod retreat with Lama Wangdu Bunkhan Valley
Bunkhan Valley. Morning meditation and practice session. Optional
yoga. Lunch. Optional horse riding and archery. Horse tips by Namkha,
and horse practice in the vast valley. Swim in the bracing river or
enjoy the forest solitude. Yak cart-pulled evening picnic (traditional
Mongolian warrior stone Barbeque) by sacred spring. Question and
answer, clarification, help with practice.

Day 9 (June 23rd) Chod Retreat with Lama Wangdu
Bunkhan Valley. Morning meditation. Teaching. Lunch. Optional yoga,
horse riding and archery, visit nearby nomad friends. Traditional
Mongolian bonesetter visits and shares his methods of treatment. Amchi
Sherab talks on dreams and healing. Chance to explore archeological
sites by jeep. Evening chod practice.

Day 10 (June 24) Chod Retreat with Lama Wangdu
Bunkhan Valley. Meditation and yoga. Lunch. Nomads come from far away.
Pilgrims return from Suvarga mountain. Wang (initiation and
empowerment) Lama Wangdu teaches nomads with Mongolian translator.
Tsok feast.

Day 11 (June 25) Chod Retreat with Lama Wangdu
Bunkhan Valley. Meditation and yoga. Lunch. Nomads come from far away.
Pilgrims return from Suvarga mountain. Wang (initiation and
empowerment) Lama Wangdu teaches nomads with Mongolian translator.
Tsok feast.

Day 12 (June 26) Naadam-Summer Folk Festival
Nomads come from afar to ride their horses to please the mountain
spirits and lift the hiimori windhorse of their family and herds. Lama
Wangdu blesses them. Naadam – the summer festival of competitive
racing to celebrate the fastest steed, wrestling, to honor the
strongest man and the spirit of garuda, demonstrating two of the three
‘manly’ arts of Mongolia. Picnic, merriment. Evening concert of
traditional music, throat singing and horse fiddle are sure to send
shivers up and down the spine, filled with spirit.

Day 13 (June 27) Rest Day Lapis Sky Camp
Silent day, rest day, reflect day, writing day, personal practice day.
Tsok and Evening farewell feast with nomad friends.

Day 14 (June 28th) Depart Bunkhan Valley
Visit Tsetserleg monastery enroute. Drive to Khankhar Khad gher camp
250km from Tsetserleg and 280 km from Ulaan Baatar, settled into
steppe sand dunes. Overnight.

Day 15 (June 29th) Arrive in Ullan Baatar
Back at the Puma Hotel. Celebration dinner.

Day 16 (June 30th)
Depart Ulaan Baatar." onclick=";return false;

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