Our hearts are filled with great joy and tremendous blessings at the successful completion of our first Nalandabodhi Tara Drupchen!
Days 2 and 3 unfolded in beautiful ways. Like Day 1 (click here for a brief report), there were four sessions per day, filled with the sounds of chanting, singing, instruments, as well as silent meditation–from the pre-dawn hours until well past sunset. Devoted Tara practitioners made their way through the early morning rain for the first session, which was led skillfully by NB Vancouver resident teacher Lama Rabten. The remaining 3 sessions were conducted in English.
Western students worked in harmony with resident lamas (Acharya Tashi, Seattle; Acharya Lhakpa, East Coast; Lama Rabten, Vancouver; Lama Zopa, Seattle), and senior Nalandabodhi teacher Mitra Dean Tyler Dewar, to make the ritual offerings as well as practice chanting and meditation at every session throughout the day.
Prior to each session, the resident lamas gave helpful teachings about Arya Tara. For example, Acharya Tashi shared Tara’s origin story; Acharya Lhakpa taught about how Tara relieves us from the eight kinds of fears; Lama Rabten trained the umdzes, as well as teaching about the ritual aspects of the drupchen.
Much to our joyful surprise, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche joined us again on Day 3, to teach more about Arya Tara and to practice together with the assembly for the final session.
All the prayer requests and aspirations we received from all over the world were displayed in the foyer of the Mahabodhi Shrine Room. Drupchen participants would look at all of these prior to every sessions, so we could hold these in our heart and dedicate towards these aspirations. In addition to the aspirations being held in Seattle by more than 100 participants, including Nalandabodhi teachers, we were joined in the dedications by practitioners in 17 countries and 107 cities, including at Nalandabodhi centers and study groups. How wonderful!
Many present remarked on the powerful atmosphere of joy, harmony, and positivity that pervaded the entire weekend, and continues to reverberate in the hearts of all.
This tremendous arising of the heart of Arya Tara could not have happened without the interdependent arising of your participation, including Tara practitioners all over the world and the more than 270 sponsors who made it possible, and helped us exceed our goal! Thank you! Special gratitude to the organizers: our Nalandabodhi teachers; and the directors of Nalanda West, Nalandabodhi Seattle, and Nalandabodhi US.
We hope that you’ll be able to join us at our next Tara Drupchen, and until then we trust that Arya Tara’s power and blessing–inseparable from our own awakened mind–will clear obstacles and help the swift realization of all our prayers and aspirations for ourselves and the world.
Most of all, we thank our beloved teachers–especially His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche–for their boundless kindness in sharing this practice with us, and guiding us unerringly on the path of awakening. Through our joyful efforts, may their dharma activities flourish in every direction! May they always remain!
Let’s take this energy and resolve to embody Arya Tara in our homes and communities. Our world needs this, now, more than ever!
Slideshow photos by Nirzhar Pradhan