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What do Buddhists mean by "practice"? Practice means employing the skillful methods of the Dharma in one's own mind to transform one's own habits of ego and misery into habits of wisdom and compassion, and eventually going beyond habits and practice altogether unto complete Enlightenment.
We hope that Saraha will provide an excellent place for people who want to practice Buddhism. For our online schedule of current events, click here...
Pristine mind silent meditation is an objectless, guided meditation practice from the Vajrayana and Dzogchen traditions of Buddhism that has been and continues to be taught at Saraha by Tibetan Buddhist master Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche, the spiritual director of the Pristine Mind Foundation. Practice (brief introduction available for those arriving early) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6-7 pm. For more information these events click here...
That's right, hands-on volunteer work is a very excellent way to do Dharma practice. It is also a great way to get to know the place and people of Saraha Institute. Work assignments include flower arranging, shrine decoration and cleaning, painting, landscape and light construction work, tasks which vary by the season as well as the skills and level of enthusiasm of volunteers who show up. You do not need an appointment to come, just come and there will be something for you to do. Visit the volunteer pages HERE...
Compassion, the altruistic intention to free all beings from suffering, is something that Buddhist practitioners always need to learn, practice, remember, renew, stabilize and grow. At Saraha we try to remind ourselves of this especially with Sundays Chenresig Compassion Practice (Sundays 1-3 pm), which takes the form of reading from the endlessly lively and inspiring life story of the great Buddhist master Thangtong Gyalpo, and then reciting the practice "For the Benefit of All Beings, as Vast as the Sky," which includes the visualization of Chenresig, the Buddha of Compassion, and the blessing of all beings. For an audio teaching on compassion, "The Play of Compassion," by HE Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, click here...
Are you interested in knowing more about Saraha? We will usually conduct 30 minute orientation meetings for new students and curious people on the evening of the first Monday of each month. Check our calendar for a schedule of these events. Open to the public, drop-ins welcome.
Guru Rinpoche, or Padmasambhava, is the Enlightened teacher who entered Tibet from India in the 8th century AD and led Tibet's initial conversion to the Buddhist doctrine. Celebrated monthly on the 10th day according to the traditional Tibetan lunar calendar, Guru Rinpoche Day practices include the standard evening meditation practices with the addition of the "Shower of Blessings" Tsok or assembly practice, composed by the Tibetan Bodhisattva Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche. These monthly practices were stipulated by Guru Rinpoche as a specific means for his followers to celebrate and uphold his tradition, now known as Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Guru Rinpoche Day practices occur on Nov. 21 and Dec. 20 in 2015, and Jan. 19, Feb. 17, Mar. 18, Apr. 16, May 16, Jun. 14, Jul. 14, Aug. 13, Sept. 11, Oct. 11, Nov. 9, and Dec. 9 in 2016.
Enlightened Dakinis are manifestations of Buddha appearing in feminine form. Dakini Day practice is undertaken on the 25th day of each month according to the traditional Tibetan lunar calendar. These practices will be either the same as the Guru Rinpoche day practices, which equally address all manifestations of enlightenment, or alternately a practice related specifically to a female form of Buddha.
Dakini Day practices occur on Nov. 6, and Dec. 5 in 2015 and Jan. 4, Feb. 3, Mar. 4, Apr. 2, May 2, May ?, Jun. 30, Jul. 29, Aug. 27 , Sept. 25, Oct. 25, Nov. 23, and Dec. 23 in 2016.
Shakyamuni Buddha Day, celebrated monthly on the day of the new moon, or the 30th day of the month, according to the Tibetan lunar calendar. Practicing prayer and meditation towards Shakyamuni Buddha, has infinite benefits, but particularly addresses the sufferings of war, contention and strive. On Shakyamuni Day at Saraha, we practice recitation of Buddha Puja by Mipham Rinpoche.
Amitabha Buddha Day, celebrated monthly on the day of the full moon, or the 15th day of the month, according to the Tibetan lunar calendar. Practicing prayer and meditation towards Shakyamuni Buddha, has infinite benefits, but particularly addresses the sufferings of famine, deprivation and want. On Amitabha Buddha Day at Saraha, we practice recitation of Buddha Puja by Mipham Rinpoche.
Medicine Buddha Day, celebrated monthly on the day of the new moon, or the 30th day of the month, according to the Tibetan lunar calendar. Practicing prayer and meditation towards Shakyamuni Buddha, has infinite benefits, but particularly addresses the sufferings ofillness and disease. On Medicine Buddha Day at Saraha, we practice recitation of Buddha Puja by Mipham Rinpoche.
Celebrated on the full moon (the fifteenth day) of the first Tibetan lunar month, this holiday celebrates the culmination of the fifteen day period where the Buddha, in order to increase the faith of his disciples and silence his critics, performed a different miracle on each day. On this day, we will do our regular evening practice, with the addition of the Buddha Puja, composed by Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche.
Celebrated on the full moon (the fifteenth day) of the fourth Tibetan lunar month, this holiday celebrates the anniversary of Buddha Shakyamuni's Enlightenment, as well as his Parinirvana. On this day, we will do our regular evening practice, with the addition of the Buddha Puja, composed by Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche.
Celebrated on the fourth day of the sixth Tibetan lunar month, this holiday celebrates the anniversary of Buddha Shakyamuni's first teaching, or "Turning of the Wheel of Dharma," following his Enlightenment. On this day, we will do our regular evening practice, with the addition of the Buddha Puja, composed by Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche.
Celebrated on the twenty-second day of the ninth Tibetan lunar month, this holiday celebrates the anniversary of Buddha Shakyamuni's descent, and return to Earth, from the heavenly realms, where he had gone to teach and guide the reincarnation of his mother, Mayadevi, who had been reborn there. On this day, we will do our regular evening practice, with the addition of the Buddha Puja, composed by Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche.
People are inspired to start practice for many reasons. Dharma practice can start as the seed of natural, irrepressible intention to benefit others, or by a curiosity, interest, or by encountering an extraordinary teacher, or as a breakthrough intelligent reply to to the crushing negative experiences of life, and starting then and proceeding on with learning, steadfastness, care and peaceful effort, developing into wisdom, love and fearlessness.
Next is who can come to Saraha Institute? You can come. Unless noted otherwise, events at Saraha are open to the public, young and old. Beginners are welcome.
Finally, "how to start the starting?" You can start by coming to the Institute for regularly scheduled practices, and meeting and talking with the staff leading the events.
If what you are looking for is books to read, you can find book lists in Saraha's Library...
Pracitce texts are available onsite. A brief instruction in practices will be available to newcomers who arrive before scheduled practice time. Don't worry about this. For more in-depth instruction, contact onsite staff or see Saraha's educational courses.
Unless otherwise indicated up front on event descriptions, regular practice events at Saraha are conducted free of charge on a voluntary donation basis. That said, Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute is a registered tax-exempt non-profit organization that depends on donations of its members and visitors. Any form or level of kind donation will be much appreciated.
A final reason for the Tibetan is because Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute is an educational organization which teaches Tibetan language, and reciting these practices in Tibetan encourages students in their learning.
Making offerings to the Triple Gems, including supporting teachers and places of practice like Saraha is an important element of all Buddhist practice. Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute is a registered religious non-profit organization. We welcome donations during events and other times. If you are interested in this, please see our Generosity pages HERE
In general, offerings in the form of donations and flowers are always welcome. To make offerings specifically for "Tsok" or "Assembly" practices that are performed daily at the temple, students are also encouraged but not required to bring food offerings of fresh, clean and wholesome foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and dried foods such as nuts.
We don't have a lot of rules, but we have a few. Basically no shoes or food in the shrine room and please attempt good manners everywhere. Shrine rules are posted near the doorway entry to the shrine room. Click here for a link as to how they appear. If you have any questions after reading these rules, please ask the staff or a teacher at the temple.
See you for practice at Saraha Nyingma Temple.