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Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute was established on August 16, 2011 by its founding teachers, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, Lama Tsering Gyaltsen, and Lama Sonam Tsering. Like all Buddhist traditions, Saraha is dedicated to the Buddha's teachings of Enlightenment. The Institute, located in Eugene, Oregon, serves these main roles:
As a Buddhist Shrine, Temple and practice center for the Dudjom Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
As a local community educational resource and library addressing multiple facets of Buddhism, including the practice and study of meditation, ritual, philosophy, and languages.
As a home for Saraha Children's School, which incorporates elements of Buddhist teachings within a full and rigorous child-oriented academic curriculum.
As a wide-ranging online resource for Buddhist teachings and other educational materials.
What is Enlightenment, what is Buddhism, and what is the Dudjom Lineage?
These three questions are what our organization hopes to answer, not just in a rhetorical way, but by actually bringing the meaning to light. Buddhist teachings, methods and philosophy are a vast and profound treasury of wisdom, with a history stretching back over two-thousand years. Practiced correctly, these methods are transformative, bringing peace and wisdom to the individual and to the world.
Practice, the practical engagement of the student with the teachings, is the key point. As the saying goes, "the Dharma belongs to those who practice it." The question then is how to engage with the teachings. Everyone is different. For this reason, Buddha taught many approaches to the Dharma. These include different lifestyles, such as that of a monk, as well as that of a householder. And different activities, such as that of a student, of a scholar or that of a meditator.
In order to express the authentic variety and openness of Buddha's teachings, and to meet the different needs of students, Saraha will offer and present different educational approaches to Buddha Dharma. This will be done withing the context of the vital tradition of the Dudjom Lineage of Buddhism, which openly encompasses the entire spectrum of the Buddha's teachings.
Lineage is the realization of Buddha's teachings in the present, embodied both in the pure aspirations and budding wisdom qualities of
practitioners, up to and including in the irreversible wisdom accomplishment of enlightened masters. Thus lineage is that which unerringly encompasses both the path and the goal of Enlightenment.
In order for wisdom lineage to flourish, the living connection of students and teachers joining together in learning and practice must be sustained. Educated practice is paramount, and an environment where Buddhist education can succeed is of vital importance. For this reason, Saraha hopes to be an educational resource, providing courses, training and access to Buddhist study materials, at the same time as it provides practice facilities where students can master the arts and sciences of Buddhism.
The countless teachings of Buddha, including those of our tradition, the Dudjom Lineage, explicitly reveal how the practice of Buddha Dharma benefits others and ourselves. We hope that Saraha will help you accomplish this benefit, and that this website will be an auspicious gateway to introducing these precious teachings to you.
Arrow, vol. ii. a was published on Monday, March 31, 2014. This edition, which is dedicated to the theme of "Windhorse," recounts the developments at Saraha over the past months, current events and goings-on and upcoming events. Featuring submissions from readers on the "Windhorse" theme. Arrow is published quarterly. Click HERE to view online edition. Or enter your name and email address in the form below to join Saraha's email list and receive future editions of Arrow.
"Saraha" is the name of a Buddhist master who lived in India during the 8th century CE. Saraha was a Mahasiddha, or one renowned for achieving the highest level of wisdom accomplishment during his life.
Saraha's life story is rich and varied. He is known for his early accomplishment as a master of traditional Buddhist scholarship, and later for setting aside the scholar's role to wander freely in the world as an enlightened being, at times found living amongst a so-called lowly caste of arrow makers in India. Saraha's teachings are recorded to the present by many famous Buddhist "dohas," poems or songs of realization, that he composed. The wisdom arrows of his speech fly straight and true, unobstructed in the expanse of his enlightened realization.
The formation of the Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute in August of 2011 is very much connected to the acquisition of the building in Eugene, Oregon which serves as its headquarters. This unique building, previously the home of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene, was the site of a single visit, teaching and Buddhist empowerment event conferred by HH Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, on Nov. 8, 1980, over thirty years prior to the building's acquisition by the Institute.
An account of how our organization came to acquire this building, along with how the Institute was founded as a result can be found in this account published in the Northwest Dharma News online magazine HERE.
Saraha the Mahasiddha, the historical person, is also known as one of a series of previous enlightened incarnations of the root teachers of the Dudjom Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, including the late Buddhist masters Dudjom Lingpa, and then HH Dudjom Ripoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, who actually visited the site of the Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Temple on November 8, 1980.
This enlightened connection between these Buddhist masters of the past and present is described in the poetical lineage recitation known as The Pearl Rosary, and elsewhere.
The Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute was founded as a Buddhist educational and practice facility according the specific vision and intention of its founding directors.
How do you say "Saraha?"
The key is that the three "a's" in "Saraha" are all pronounced as short a's, like the letter "a" in "above." And the word is accented on the first of its three syllables, as in "lineage." Click HERE for audio of a few people saying the word "Saraha" correctly.