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Thrangu RinpocheSpecial Events 2018

Karma Tashi Ling is delighted to be hosting the visit of Very Ven. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche in July this year (detailed schedule). He will be giving teachings on:

  • The Four Dharmas of Gampopa by Je Gampopa, July 13, 14, and 15

  • Rinpoche will bestow the Medicine Buddha Empowerment in the afternoon of the 15th

(Background and history)

The empowerment is a way of receiving the blessings of the guru, and connecting with the Buddha through the continuity of the lineage, since these teachers have maintained the teachings down through the years to our times. If you feel motivated or inspired to deepen your practice, it's important to have the empowerment. It's like using high-octane gas in your vehicle, instead of regular gas.

Rinpoche will also be offering the Refuge Vow, which is a rare and special opportunity for those interested in connecting with the dharma in this traditional form common to most branches of Buddhism.

If you are interested in taking refuge, please bring a kata to the ceremony (available through the centre), and an envelope to offer Rinpoche. If you have any questions about what the vow means or how it helps your practice, please feel free to contact Ani-la Kunsang at: (780) 633-6157. We have a short biography of Rinpoche on our website that may also be beneficial to read beforehand.

If you would like to take the refuge vow with Rinpoche, please email Sheridan Mahoney at before the retreat if possible.

Retreat Cost

The cost for all five sessions of the teaching is $120, or $25 for each individual session if you are not able to take in the whole weekend. Payment is by cash or cheque payable to Karma Tashi Ling only - we are not taking other forms of payment at this time.

We hope these teachings and the empowerment will give everyone resources for cultivating their spirituality, and help to create favorable conditions necessary for sustained Dharma practice.

Venue for the Teachings

The venue for the teaching will be at this location:

Pleasantview Community League,
10860-57 Avenue NW,
Edmonton, AB

Detailed Schedule of Teachings

 Rinpoche Teaching Four Dharmas of Gampopa

Background and history related to the teachings:

In the words of Je Gampopa: "To all future individuals devoted to me who think they cannot meet me: Please read the treatises composed by me, such as Precious Garland and The Ornament of Precious Liberation. It will be no different from meeting me personally."

Gampopa Sönam Rinchen was born in Nyal in central Tibet in 1079. He studied medical sciences and received training as a physician.  He also became interested in dharma. At the age of twenty-five, his wife and children died from an epidemic disease, and this caused him to fully turn his mind towards dharma. At the age of twenty-six, Gampopa received the fully monastic ordination from Geshe Loden Sherap of the Kadam order. Hearing of the fame of the Lord of Yogins, Milarepa, he decided to search for him. Gampopa arrived at Trode Tashigang, where it appeared that Milarepa already had been expecting him. After this significant meeting, Gampopa practiced with great diligence and endured many hardships under his guru; he had many experiences and finally attained great realization. He became the most important disciple and the lineage holder of Milarepa. In Gampopa we see the combining of both the monastic tradition of academics and scholarship with the yogic tradition of Indian Buddhism. Gampopa was the founder of the monastic order of the Kagyu School and the lineages that branch out from him is known as the Dhakpo Kagyu. He founded the Dhaklha Gampo Monastery where he continued his activities of teaching, meditation, and benefiting beings. Gampopa is the author of a most famous book, The Jewel Ornament Of Liberation, and many others. His collected works comprise three or four volumes.

The above is exerpted from the Karmapa's website.

The Four Dharmas of Gampopa

It is said that in order for a genuine teaching to occur, certain things need to be in place. One of these things is an auspicious time and place. Over the years, there have been several occasions when Thrangu Rinpoche has given teachings on The Four Dharmas of Gampopa. At Karma Tashi Ling we feel very fortunate that such a beneficial elucidation of "The Four Dharmas" will be given in Edmonton this year. Rinpoche's website, has the full text from a teaching he gave in 1993 if you would like to become more familiar with "the Four Dharmas" before the day of the retreat.

The Four Dharmas of Gampopa were translated from the Tibetan in the following way during the 1993 retreat:

  1. Grant your blessings so that my mind may be one with the dharma.
  2. Grant your blessings so that the dharma may progress along the path.
  3. Grant your blessings so that the dharma may clarify confusion.
  4. Grant your blessings so that the confusion may dawn as wisdom.

An alternative translation from Ken McLeod, a teacher and translator in the Shangpa Kagyu tradition:

  1. Let my heart turn to practice.
  2. Let practice become a path.
  3. Let this path dissolve confusion.
  4. Let confusion become wisdom.

For an interesting look at this author's insights on translating these lines, please see his blog. The blog presents the Four Dharmas in the reverse order they are given here.

Medicine BuddhaMedicine Buddha Empowerment

Rinpoche has chosen to give an empowerment for Medicine Buddha at this year's teachings. There is connection between the empowerment and the weekend teaching in that Je Gampopa was a physician and healer as well as being a dharma practitioner. And one view of the Buddha's teachings is that they are like taking medicine for an ailment or injury. From this perspective, dharma practice or spiritual cultivation is a way of relieving suffering in the world, both for yourself and for others.

For more information about Medicine Buddha, please see the website, which is connected with Rinpoche.

As a side note, for those wishing to connect to the practice of Medicine Buddha in our Edmonton community, Karma Tashi Ling has an ongoing schedule of Sunday practices which include the Medicine Buddha sadhana. Please see the Sunday Sadhana section of our website for more information.

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