The Songs of Realization of the Kagyu Masters
Saturday, March 7, 8:00am - 6:00p.m.
*See updated information on event webpage — Read on and click 'Read More,' below.*
NOTE: Although last-minute attendees are welcome, the booklets mentioned below are being made specifically for this event according to registration numbers. Therefore, if you would like to have a booklet and/or reserve the "Rain of Wisdom" textbook for loan or purchase — Please register by noon, March 5.
For the past 1,000 years, masters of the Kagyu lineage have expressed their realization in spontaneous songs to instruct and inspire contemporary and future disciples. A selection of these are gathered in a compendium called An Ocean of the Songs of the Kagyu (a translation of the Tibetan title, Kagyu Gurtso). Under the direction of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, this collection was translated into English and published as The Rain of Wisdom.
These songs are traditionally recited on several important occasions. One such instance is the 15th day (the full moon) of the first lunar month, this year corresponding to March 9th. This is the anniversary of the Buddha displaying many miracles— one of four main Buddhist holidays observed in Tibet. This day is also the anniversary of Marpa the Translator, the first Tibetan forefather of the Kagyu, and just one day prior is the anniversary of the great lord of yogis Milarepa.
On Saturday, March 7th, we will gather at KCC and read these expressions of awakening, from beginning to end, in a contemplative environment. Steeping ourselves in a stream of wisdom will offer glimpses into the world of enlightened mind—the expressive play of our own buddha nature when freed of adventitious veils. This is sure to be a memorable and moving experience, and I hope that as many of you who are able will join us.
We will be reciting some brief introductory and closing prayers. A short booklet will be printed that will contain these, as well as a song by Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche that we will chant. We will print these according to the number of people who register. Also, if you would like to buy or borrow a book (there are limited copies for loan and for purchase), it is important that we know in advance so we can prepare - please register.
People are welcome to come for just part of the day. Here is a rough outline of the timings, but understand that we will break at the end of chapters in the book, so the schedule is approximate. This event will be livestreamed but will not be recorded for later viewing.
8:00-9:40 - Opening Prayers and Reading Session
10:00-11:40 - Reading Session
12:00-1:00 - Reading Session
1:00-2:00 - Lunch Break (Bring your own brown bag lunch!)
2:00-3:40 - Reading Session
4:00-6:00 - Reading Session and Closing Prayers
All should feel free to stretch, stand, use the restrooms, or move to a chair as needed. There will be no breaks within the Reading Sessions. Of course it is optimal to read the entirety of the work, but from time to time, you can read silently or just sit and listen if you need a break.
What to Bring
- Brown Bag Lunch. To save time during the meal break, lunch will be a brown bag affair. Please bring your own.
- Snacks to share. We will have tea fixing, as usual, and our Shambhala friends will make Milarepa nettle tea and spiced chai to add to the spirit. Some snacks will be provided. Feel free to bring snacks to share.
- Water bottle. Given that we will be reading all day, you may want to bring a water bottle to have hydration at the ready.
- Throat lozenges. Some may also find throat lozenges helpful.
- Bookmarks or sticky notes. As we will be reading quickly, you will likely encounter passages that you’d like to revisit with more leisure. Having some small bookmarks or sticky notes might be useful to have.
- Tissues. One of our friends from Shambhala recommends having tissues handy as these songs can be moving!
There is a suggested donation of $20 for the event, but this is optional.
You will need to have a copy of The Rain of Wisdom. To encourage participation, we will have a limited number of copies for sale at $30, a 25% discount from the retail price of $40. There will also be a small number of copies to borrow for the day on a first-come, first-borrowed basis. When you register, you can reserve a copy to purchase or borrow.