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Visits of Khenpo Karma Wangyel

By |August 17th, 2016|Categories: Retreat center|

Khenpo Karma Wangyel’s visits

Khenpo Karma Wangyel, the resident Khenpo for Europe, appointed by Gangteng Rincoche, who has resided in France in Blye in Pema Yangdzong from 2011, came first to visit us in November 2016.

We walked through all the land of Khordong Association in Estonia, which size is 48 hectars, finally deciding for the plot of land situating in the south-western edge of the land. On the eastern side of the land, there is Umbusi river, together with some forest, and on the western side, there is a view to the open  plains surrounding the village of Umbusi.

Since that time, Khenpo Karma Wangyel has supervised the retreat center project, every decision in regard to this project is made with his consent.

Khenpo Karma Wangyel came back in March in 2017 to give teachings about preliminary practices, Dzogchen ngöndro according to Pema Lingpa’s tradition which was preceded by a public talk about the main techinques of meditation – shamatha, the calming of mind practice, and vipashyana, the practice of clear seeing.

Khenpo Karma Wangyel supervised each and every aspect of Sungtrul Rinpoche’s visit in Aprill 2018. It was also him who placed the central naga vase for the future retreat house building at the right place.

Sungtrul Rinpoche in Estonia

By |August 17th, 2016|Categories: Retreat center|

Sungtrul Rinpoche in Estonia

In accordance with the request of Gangteng Rinpoche, from 7th to 9th April 2018, Sungtrul Rinpoche, an emanation of Pema Lingpa, gave teachings and performed the earth ritual (sa’i cho ga) in the future retreat center’s land,  placing the naga vase in the middle of the 3-year retreat center building.

On April 7th in Tallinn, Sungtrul Rinpoche gave the Künzang Gongdü empowerment (Samantabhadra’s gathered intention, introduction to the nature of mind). This is the basis for all the future teachings in the Pema Lingpa’s tradition starting from the  Dzogchen preliminary practices, ending with the trekchö, thögel and bardo teachings. After that, on April 8th, Sungtrul Rinpoche gave the combined Hayagriva-Vajrapani-Garuda empowerment belonging to Dudjom Tersar in Umbusi in Põltsamaa county in the middle of Estonia, nearby the location of the future retreat center.

On April 9th Sungtrul Rinpoche performed the earth ritual ( the main part of this ritual is “requesting the land” – sa blang).

About the earth ritual

In Tibetan Buddhism, the earth ritual (sa’i cho ga) is an essential preparatory ritual to make the land suitable for the Vajrayana practice. Earth ritual is necessary for a variety of occasions, for example, before going to a retreat or while doing a spiritual practice session, marking the outer borders of the practice place, so creating a clean and perfect place – mandala. The transformation of the earth is also used for making a new place suitable for Vajrayana practice. This is what will be done in Umbusi Yeshe Khorlo’s retreat center’s land as well.

One part of the earth ritual is requesting the land from visible and invisible beings (sa blang). Visible beings are people to whom the land belongs, but a longer and more extensive ritual is associated with the invisible owners of the land. Both in Tibetan Buddhism and in many other traditions it is believed that the natural environment affects the lives and well-being of beings living in it, including humans. Earth and energies from the nature are called earth spirits (sa bdag), the ground is also considered to be the location of a serpent-like creatures, nagas (klu). If these energies or the invisible creatures are disturbed, this can manifest in the form of disasters in the lives of humans, or as obstacles in the form of natural disasters.

Different rituals, which create harmonious relationships between invisible spirits and people who use the earth, are used to balance these energies, or to calm down the spirits. Invoking the earth spirits is also related to the awakening of the Buddha Shakyamuni, while the Buddha asked the earth goddess to witness his awakening. The request of the Vajrayana Buddhist practitioner is similar here to the request of the Buddha – the main landowner is requested to accept the use of the land as Vajrayana mandala, and to become a protector of the Buddhist teachings that the spiritual progress will be swift on the blessed surface and the signs of awakening will manifest with ease.

With that, all preparations for the successful construction of the retreat center have been done and the building works may start.