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The Great Empowerment of Medicine Buddha: A Healing Ceremony Open to All
The Venerable Choden Rinpoche will visit the Lion's Roar Dharma Center in Sacramento this coming June (2009), to bestow the Great Empowerment of Medicine Buddha. This very special event will be the capping event on Lion's Roar's monthlong practice and celebration of Medicine Buddha.
Please join us in Sacramento on the weekend of June 13 & 14 when Choden Rinpoche will bestow the Great Empowerment of Medicine Buddha!
For more details, please visit our Sangha's website at Lion's Roar Dharma Center, or the special event page at Choden Rinpoche bewstows the Medicine Buddha Empowerment - 2009.
Who/What is the Medicine Buddha?
Medicine Buddha is one of many Buddhas who, through eliminating all negativity and perfecting all positive qualities, has attained the state of perfect enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings
Medicine Buddha's blue sky-colored holy body signifies omniscient wisdom and compassion as vast as limitless space and is particularly associated with healing both mental and physical suffering. Making a connection with him, practicing meditation, reciting his mantra or even just saying his name helps us achieve our potential for ultimate healing.
Eight Medicine Buddhas
Many aeons ago, seven bodhisattvas strongly prayed for the temporal and ultimate happiness of all sentient beings, that their names become wish-fulfilling in order to heal both the mental and physical sicknesses and diseases of sentient beings. They vowed that their prayers will be actualized during these degenerate times when the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha are in decline. When they became enlightened, one of the ten powers of a Buddha is the power of prayer - that means that all the prayers that have been made get fulfilled. As the Buddha’s holy speech is irrevocable, you can wholly trust in their power to quickly grant blessings to help all sentient beings in these degenerate times. They are called the Seven Medicine Buddhas, the main one is `Lapis Buddha of Medicine, King of Of Light'. Buddha Shakyamuni taught the teachings on the Medicine Buddha, and according to one tradition, is also considered as one of the Medicine Buddhas, and hence the Eight Medicine Buddhas.
Venerable Choden Rinpoche
Born in 1933 in Eastern Tibet, Choden Rinpoche was recognized at age three as an important incarnate lama, and ordained by Pabongka Rinpoche at the age of six. He entered Sera Je Monastery when he was fifteen, where he mastered all the philosophical teachings required for the highest monastic title of Geshe Lharampa. Choden Rinpoche was one of the two Sera Je lamas selected to debate with His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama during His Holiness' examination for the geshe degree.
When the Communist Chinese invaded Tibet in 1959, Choden Rinpoche was arrested and jailed for several months. After his release, Rinpoche went into solitary retreat for 19 years. He never left his tiny, dark room in Lhasa for twenty years. In 1985 he was allowed to leave Tibet for India. Since then he has taught thousands of students at Sera Je monastery in South India, and in Dharma centers around the world.
Choden Rinpoche is regarded as one of the great masters of the day, and is particularly famed for his pure moral conduct. He has taught worldwide, and at the FPMT Centers at Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s request. His great insight into the Dharma and his peerless and compassionate conduct have inspired many students in the West to follow in his example to take ordination vows.
What is an empowerment?
In Vajrayana Buddhism (Tantric Buddhism), one of the main paths of personal transformation and spiritual practice is that of Deity Yoga, where after receiving the empowerment (initiation) of a specific meditational deity (Yidam), and taking the associated vows, one engages in visualizing oneself as that Buddha. In this practice of taking the result as the path, the practitioner transforms the world through transforming ones own mind. In the empowerment, the Lama, who meditates on being the Buddha of the empowerment, bestows the vows, confers the blessings of the Buddha upon the students’ body speech and mind, offers the mantra, and authorizes the students to engage in that particular meditation ritual (Sadhana).
Vows and Commitments
Full Participants of the empowerment will be taking the Refugue vows, The (lay) Praktimoksha vows, and the Bodhisattva vows. Students are encouraged to learn what these vows are, and be enthusiastic about having the rare opportunity to receive them from a true master who is currently holding these vows perfectly, before taking them. It is also suggested to recite the medicine buddha mantra regularly.
Witnessing the Empowerment as a Blessing
For those who do not wish to take the vows or engage in the tantric practice, the empowerment will be open to receive as a blessing.
Links: Lion's Roar Dharma Center and Choden Rinpoche 2009