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Amitabha Pure Land Teachings

Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute

3400 East Speedway, Ste 204, Tucson AZ





HE Jigme Lodro Rinpoche will be returning to Tucson Arizona Wednesday-Sunday, February 5-9. He will be teaching in depth on Amitabha Pure Land practice. Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light is also known as Amitayus, the Buddha of Infinite Life. Together he is called the Buddha of Immeasurable Light and Life. He is known for his longevity attribute, magnetizing red fire element, discerning wisdom, pure perception, and deep awareness of the emptiness of phenomena. He is said to possess infinite merit from doing good deeds over countless past lives as a Bodhisattva named Dharmakara.


After accumulating such great merit, he is said to have achieved Buddhahood and created the Pure Land called Sukhavati (Skt.) or Dewachen (Tib.). Dewachen is located in the Western direction, beyond our own world. By the power of his vows, he made it possible for all who call upon him to be reborn into this Pure Land instead of samsara and receive further teachings so we too may become a bodhisattva or fully awakened buddha. Having done so, we can then return to this world or remain in Dewachen to help others.


In Vajrayana, Amitabha is considered to be one of the Five Dhyani Buddhas (of the Five Buddha Families), representing the Lotus family. He is red in color, seated on a lotus wearing dharma robes with his hands held in the mudra of equanimity and holding a begging bowl. His aggregate is perception, the energy of which manifests as discriminating wisdom. His element is fire which manifests as his consort Pandara (Pandaravasini). He helps us overcome the “poison” of strong desires. His mantra is Om Amitabha Hri (usually pronounced Om Ami Dewa Hri).


His two main disciples are Avalokiteshvara (the male Bodhisattva or Buddha of Compassion) and Vajrapani (the Bodhisattva or Buddha of Power). They are often included in the text of his sadhana practices. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is said to be an emanation of Avalokiteshvara. Amitabha is often invoked during Phowa practices (transfer of consciousness at the time of death) or as Amitayus for preventing an untimely death. These teachings are particularly appropriate for our aging population, helping others with aging and death, as well as our own aging process.


Rinpoche’s teaching schedule is as follows (with suggested donations for each):


Wednesday, February 5, 6pm – Amitabha Empowerment ($25)

Thursday, February 6, 2pm and 6pm – Amitabha teachings, including his relationship to Togal practice and the Bardos ($20 each, $40)

Friday, February 7, 2pm and 6pm – Amitabha teachings continue ($20 each, $40)

Saturday, February 8, 10am and 2pm – Amitabha teachings continue ($20 each, $40)

Sunday, February 9, 10am and 2pm – Amitabha teachings continue ($20 each, $40)


Suggested donation of $150 for all. No one will be turned away for lack of ability to make full donations.











January 2020


Tashi delek! It is hard to believe, but we are celebrating our 20th year in Tucson! Founded by Khenchen Gyaltsen and Acharya Cliff Leftwich as Dharmakirti College, we morphed into the Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute under the Spiritual Direction of HH Khenchen Lama Rinpoche. As we move forward please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you in your practice and application into your daily life. May all beings be happy!


       Khenpo Drimed Dawa (Khenpo Dean).




Winter Retreat - Guhyagarbha Tantra

January 4, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute, 3400 E Speedway, Suite 204, Tucson AZ

(Located just east of Whole Foods in the Rancho Center)


In-depth retreats have been shown to provide a significant improvement in your meditation practice and its benefits. The Guhyagarbha Tantra is the main Mantrayana tantra of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. This Secret Essence Tantra extracts the essence of the eight herukas and the eighteen classes of the great tantras. It is also considered to be the general tantra of enlightened mind. The central figures are Samantabhadra and Samantabhadri, along with the 100 peaceful and wrathful deities.


We will follow the sadhana practice developed by Khenpo Drimed Dawa from the tantra and commentary by Longchenpa. The day will be divided into 4 sessions with a break for lunch. As this is not a sealed retreat, you may bring a lunch or go to a local restaurant. You may also bring a small finger-food snack for the ganachakra "feast" near the end of the day.


Participants need to have the Guhyagarbha empowerment or at least a Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment (if you are not sure, please ask). Please bring your sadhana text or send an email to Khenpo at least two days in advance at Khenpo.Drimed.Dawa@gmail.com to ensure that a copy will be available for you. There are pillows and trays for those who wish to sit on the floor, or you may bring your own cushion. There are also chairs and some TV trays available.




Weekly Meditation & Yoga Opportunities at Awam

Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute, 3400 E Speedway, Suite 204, Tucson AZ

(Located just east of Whole Foods in the Rancho Center)



We offer regular practice sessions suitable for a wide variety of people from beginners to advanced practitioners. We welcome everyone, regardless of religious or secular beliefs, who would like to experience the benefits of meditation and yoga.


Sunday Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Hour- Sundays, 11:00 - noon: Khenpo Dean leads a one-hour meditation practice now based on HH Khenchen Lama's "Treasure Meditation Book" from the Padling Tersar lineage. It includes Rigpa Guru Yoga, Manjushri, Tara, and King Gesar as the Four Roots (Guru, Yidham, Dakini, and Protector). This is an opportunity for group practice in a convenient weekly format. The benefit of group practice is multiplied by the number of participants, so please join us! Everyone is welcome to attend. FREE. Donations welcome.


Wednesday Meditation - Wednesdays*, 6:00 pm: Come rest your mind with any form of silent meditation during all or any part of this hour. We are happy to provide basic meditation instructions and answer your questions. FREE. Donations welcome.


* Third Wednesday is Dakini Day practice - see below.


Tibetan Yoga Class meets on Saturday mornings at 10:00 am (no yoga class January 5 due to Guhyagarbha Retreat) led by Patrick Flint, an experienced yoga practitioner and teacher. The 21 Tibetan Yogas are a form of yoga the Tibetan master Longchenpa that is particularly suitable as a preparation for meditation and is very adaptable to those with physical limitations that are a barrier to many other forms of yoga. A book by Khenchen Lama is available for $15. Suggested donation: $5 per session.


Meet with Khenpo Dean - Anyone may schedule a personal session with Khenpo Dean to discuss your practice, Vajrayana, Buddhism in general, or how best to live the dharma in daily life. Send an email request to Khenpo.Drimed.Dawa@gmail.com. FREE. Donations welcome.



Dakini Day Practice - Yeshe Tsogyal

Wednesday, January 22, 6-7 pm

Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute, 3400 E Speedway, Suite 204, Tucson AZ

(Located just east of Whole Foods in the Rancho Center


We honor Dakini Day on the 4th Wednesday each month. Our Dakini Day practice and tsok, is based on a series of four practices from HH Dudjom Rinpoche's  The Dakini Heart Essence: (1) Yeshe Tsogyal as the outer dakini, (2) Kurukulle as the inner dakini, (3) Simhamukha as the secret dakini, and (4) Troma as the innermost secret dakini. We rotate through these four practices over 4 months.


The next practice will be Yeshe Tsogyal. Although often referred to as being Padmasambhava's main consort, she was primarily a spiritual master and teacher in her own right. She is known to have revealed terma (treasure texts) with Padmasambhava and was also the main scribe for these terma. Later, Yeshe Tsogyal also hid many of Padmasambhava's terma on her own, under the instructions of Padmasambhava for future generations. Based on her spiritual accomplishments, the Nyingma and Karma Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism recognize Yeshe Tsogyal as a female Buddha.


Texts will be provided. Please bring a simple snack food to be included in our tsok offering. FREE. Donations gladly accepted.




Clothes for Women (and Men) in Need - Ongoing

Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute, 3400 E Speedway, Suite 204, Tucson AZ

(Located just east of Whole Foods in the Rancho Center)


The first of the Six Perfections is generosity. As a sangha, we have decided to provide a way for you to practice by helping those in need. We are collecting clothing items in good condition to share with Sister Jose Women's Center. We have a bin in the foyer where you can place items. Clothes should be clean and in good condition. Common needs include underwear, shoes, socks, shampoo, soap and sanitary items. Don't have any of those to donate? You might purchase some new low-cost socks or other items to share. (We can also share men's clothing through other relevant organizations.) Thank you for your generosity!



Other Upcoming

Days & Events!



  • New Year’s Day, Wednesday, January 1 (closed: no meditation session)
  • Guhyagarbha Retreat, Saturday, January 4, 9 am – 4 pm (please see above).
  • Guru Rinpoche Day, Sunday, January 5, good day for Guru Yoga practice and tsok.
  • Dakini Day, Sunday, January 19, good day for Dakini practice and tsok.



  • HE Jigme Lodro Rinpoche teachings, February 5 – 9 – hold the dates! Evening of first day, afternoon and evening Thursday and Friday, mornings and afternoons on the weekend.
  • Guru Rinpoche Day, Tuesday, February 4, good day for Guru Yoga practice and tsok.
  • Dakini Day, Tuesday, February 18, good day for Dakini practice and tsok.
  • LOSAR – Tibetan New Year, Monday, February 24 – year of the iron mouse.



  • Guru Rinpoche Day, Wednesday, March 4, good day for Guru Yoga practice and tsok.
  • Dakini Day, Wednesday, March 18, good day for Dakini practice and tsok.
  • Chotrul Duchen, Monday, March 9, 6 pm, smoke puja and tsok feast.



Dates & Times

May all beings be happy!