March 05, 2004

Tulpas and Transmissions

Posted at March 5, 2004 08:42 PM in .

It was kind of odd to read this piece at http://www.livejournal.com/users/mistersleepless/14073.html after coming home from a Tibetan Buddhist (Dzogchen) event this evening though I am familiar with the concept of Tulpas.

R and I went to the Garab Dorje transmission and empowerment with the Dzogchen Community's branch in Seattle this evening. I attended this a year ago, it was my first official introduction to the Dzogchen Community and Namkhai Norbu in a direct sense. I'd read some of his books and was familiar with his work but that's when I began to actually work with his practices. He is the lama that I attended the retreat with this last fall on the East Coast.

The transmission is one of three that is done every year. Basically, there is a video that is an explanation of the practice being done and then the practice itself performed by Namkhai Norbu. What practitioners do is at a set time (8:00 AM in Pakistan for this one), all of the people who work with Norbu around the world do the practice in time with the video. Norbu Rinpoche is, himself, doing the transmission part of the practice at the same time wherever he is. In a sense, it sounds like a Scientology sort of thing but I have a lot of respect for Norbu and what he is trying to teach so I believe that this is done with the right intent. These three practices allow people who can't go on a retreat with Norbu to get a basic introduction and connection to him ritually and it allows them to start doing some of the basic practices, like the Ganapujas, which are a kind of feast ritual, with other practitioners in an official way.

R hadn't attended this before so I'm sure it was a change of pace for her though she did come to a Chod practice once before. My friend Darkover and her husband, J, were there as well. They have a background in Tibetan Buddhist practice of some sort (I haven't ever had her really explain it all to me though I'm sure she will now!).

In any case, we came to the practice, stayed through the transmission and have now made it home with most of an evening left. Tomorrow, we're going to rent a van and get all of the accumulated crap that's been in our house since we moved in taken to the dump. Bye bye shitty little loveseat! Bye bye 50 lbs. of cardboard! Bye bye old, ugly carpet! I might start painting the bathroom blue this weekend too.

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