Kagyu Changchub Chuling is pleased to announce that, per the wish of Khenpo Lodrö Donyö Rinpoche, Lama Eric Triebelhorn has agreed to offer Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche’s Mahamudra Seminar covering the preliminary and main practices of the mahamudra tradition. We heartily welcome the dharma community to participate in this opportunity to spend a week at Ser Chö Ösel Ling (SCOL) receiving teachings and meditating together.
The Practice Program
As a support for deepening one’s experience, participants are asked to commit to program of practice consisting of the preliminary practices of the Mahamudra tradition (ngondro), calm abiding meditation (shamatha), and the recitation of Chenrezi’s mantra.
Various techniques for calm abiding meditation are practiced daily for at least a half hour. The four preliminary practices are each practiced for one quarter of the year. Students are asked to complete 10,000 of each of them; this also takes about 30 minutes per day. The goal for the recitation of Chenrezi’s six-syllable mantra is 100,000 repetitions.
For those new to this tradition, there is an option to commit solely the calm abiding meditations and the recitation of Chenrezi’s mantra. However, for those who wish to proceed to the subsequent stages of insight (vipashyana) and mahamudra meditations in later years, the preliminary practices must also be completed.
Who Should Attend
Practitioners at all levels are welcome to join the seminar. One must attend the whole seminar and be willing to take on the accompanying practice commitments. Participants should have already received the vow of refuge—the formal act of becoming Buddhist—or be ready to take it. This will be offered at the seminar.
The September Seminar
The teachings will include an overview of the Mahamudra tradition. Participants will be introduced to the various aspects of the preliminary practices, and there will be guided meditations in the main practices of calm abiding, insight, and mahamudra, according to how many years of the program one has completed.
The day will begin with calm abiding meditation and end with the Chenrezi practice. There will be detailed instruction for all of the practices to be done of the course of the year and plenty of time for questions and discussion. The daily schedule will be fairly full but will also allow for ample stretch breaks and time for rest and reflection.
Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche (1940-2004) was a renowned master of the Karma Kagyu lineage and the principal lineage holder of Shangpa Kagyu, which he inherited from his root guru, Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche. Drawing from a lifetime of study, intensive meditation, and many years of experience as a retreat master, Bokar Rinpoche initiated this program in 1992 to provide a concise yet complete approach to the stages of mahamudra practice in a manner suited to the lives of modern lay practitioners.
Khenpo Lodrö Donyö Rinpoche, Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche’s main student and the abbot of Bokar Monastery, continues to offer this seminar roughly every other year in India.
Lama Eric first came to KCC in the fall of 1995. He met Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche in 1996 and began practicing and studying under him. Having served the dharma center as president for four years and as the first care taker of the SCOL retreat land, in 2002 he moved to India where he intensified his practice and study of Tibetan language.
Shortly before his passing in August of 2004, Bokar Rinpoche granted Lama Eric a seat in his newly built Shangpa Kagyu retreat center at his monastery in Mirik. He completed that retreat from February 2005 to September 2008, and continued to study and practice in Mirik, while also serving as translator for Khenpo Lodrö Donyö Rinpoche, His Eminence Gyaltsab Rinpoche and others. Since the recognition of Yangsi Bokar Rinpoche in January of 2015, Lama Eric has been offering him classes in English.
Whether teaching, guiding meditation, or illustrating a point with a story, Lama Eric offers an inspiring example with his depth of knowledge, insight, enthusiasm, and kindness. We are further pleased to announce that he has recently been offered and has accepted the role of KCC’s new resident lama, which he will formally begin in January 2020.