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Yogi Lama Gursam Teachings

June 25-30 2024

Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute

3400 E Speedway Blvd, Suite 204, Tucson Az

(East of Whole Foods)

About Lama Gursam (click and scroll down)

  • Tuesday June 25, 6-8pm – Achi Chokyi Drolma empowerment

Achi is a “wisdom dakini” and mother of Jigten Sumgon, founder of Drikung Kagyu. She is known as a protector (dharmapala) in that lineage. She is also a protector in the Karma Kagyu as Achi Chodron and a dharmapala and dakini in the life story of the Nyingma terton Tsasum Lingpa.

She is described as a manifestation of Vajrayogini or Vajravarahi, the embodiment of wisdom and compassion of all Buddhas, as well as the divine “Mother” of all Buddhas. She was born around 11th century in the Drikung region of Tibet. Even as a small child she is said to have recited Tara mantras and began teaching others by age 3! She was incredibly beautiful and many wanted to marry her, but she refused. She traveled to the region of Kham and married Ame Tsultrim Gyatso, with whom she had 4 sons who became great scholars. Her great grandson, Jigten Sumgon, founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage, composed a sadhana practice on her. Her mantra is:

Om Mame Tsakra Soha Yar Du Sarwa Du Radza Radza Du Mama Du Hung Phat Soha

Achi did not pass away in an ordinary manner. She led her disciples to a huge cave where many sacred and secret items were discovered. She offered a tsok feast and composed a text including her sadhana. She then flew up to the Buddha Field on her blue horse without leaving her body. She remains highly regarded across all Buddhist lineages.

  • Wednesday June 26, 6-8 pm – Achi practice

  • Thursday June 27, 6-8 pm – Tsa Lung (channels, winds, and drops)

The subtle body yogas like the Six Dharmas or Yogas of Naropa make use of human psycho-physiology composed of "channels" (Skt. nadi), "winds" (Skt. vayu), "drops" (Skt. bindu), and chakras (or "wheels"). There are 3 channels - right, left and central. The bindus or "drops" move within the channels with "winds" or energies. At key points are the chakras - crown of the head, throat, heart, and navel, from which are branches or spokes radiating out into the body.

These subtle energies are seen as "mounts" for consciousness, the physical component of awareness. They are engaged by various means such as breath control to produce blissful experiences that are then applied to the realization of ultimate reality. Lama will share his thoughts and experiences with these practices.

  • Friday June 28, 6-8 pm – Tsa Lung cont.

  • Saturday June 29, 10-12 and 2-4 – Mahamudra Prayer

This prayer was composed by the Third Karmapa. One of the most beloved and oft-recited prayers in the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, this prayer is a concise guide to Mahamudra practice and the stages of the path to enlightenment. It is a short yet thorough and profound text which presents all the essential points of Mahamudra teaching in terms of view, practice, and fruition. It is a classic that has been widely used as a first introduction into Mahamudra. The Third Karmapa shows how to recognize our ultimate potential as a buddha. 

  • Sunday June 30, 10-12 and 2-4 – Milarepa empowerment and practice

Milarepa was a Tibetan siddha (“one who is accomplished”). It refers to great masters who have achieved perfection of the intellect as well as liberation or enlightenment. He is venerated as an exemplar of dedication and mastery, especially in the yogi tradition.

He is said to have been born in a wealthy family. When his father died, his family was deprived of the wealth by his aunt and uncle. At his mother’s request, he left home to study sorcery and take revenge, killing many people.

Later he felt deep sorrow about those deeds and became a student of Marpa, who made him undergo abuse and numerous trials like building towers of stone only to have him demolish them. Finally, Marpa allowed one tower to remain, which still exists today, and took him as a student. Among his teachings were tummo, the practice of “inner heat”. He was then told to practice solitary meditation in caves and mountain retreats.

After many years, he came to a “deep experiential realization of the true nature of reality”. Eventually, he mastered Mahamudra practice and attained enlightenment, living as a fully realized yogi. He also forgave his aunt for hording the family wealth. His life is often used as an example of how even a murderer can become a Buddha. One of Milarepa’s principle students, Gampopa, established the Kagyu lineage.

Best known books on Milarepa are The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, published most recently by Shambhala, and also highly regarded is The Life of Milarepa.

 

Suggested donation - evenings $20 each, weekends $35 each, or $120 for all sessions (cash or check please). It is also customary to make a direct donation to the teacher at the end of the last session in which you participate, while also offering a katha scarf to Lama. (We have katas available if you do not have one.) 

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