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Great Drikung Phowa Transmission

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Great Drikung Phowa Transmission

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His Holiness the 37th Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche will be bestowing the Great Drikung Phowa Transmission. Since the time of Drikung Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon (1143–1217), the tradition of giving yearly summer and winter teachings was established, held in different places in the Drikung valley by the Drikung Kagyu lineage throne-holders. The next throne-holder Thrinle Sangpo established a new tradition of four major teaching cycles given every three years only. That was in the monkey year, the pig year, the tiger year, and the snake year. The tradition of the three major teaching cycles has been kept alive until today. Traditionally, those teachings lasted for seven days, from the 8th to the 15th, the full moon day, on which always the transmission of Drikung Phowa was given.

Phowa is the transference of our consciousness at the time of death to a pure Buddhaland. In the Vajrayana, the Phowa practice is the most direct and quickest path to achieve enlightenment. It is said that even the heaviest of sinners has a chance for enlightenment through the practice of the Phowa. A devoted practitioner who has no doubt in the qualified Lama and teachings can experience the sign of Phowa merely through receiving the Lung (oral transmission).

The Drikung Kagyu Order is famous for its ability to successfully transfer the power of the Phowa meditation to initiated and devoted practitioners who practice it. The Drikung Phowa became so powerful that it became a tradition in Tibet to have a Drikung Phowa Chenmo ceremony every twelve years at Drongor Sumdho at Drikung in central Tibet. From that time on, it became famous throughout all Tibet and its neighboring areas that people traveled to Drikung to receive the transmission of the Drikung Phowa Chenmo or the Great Drikung Phowa, which was renowned for its strong blessing of being a special teaching held in a special place, at a special time, and by a special teacher. The fame of this Phowa continued to spread as thousands of participants would experience the signs of the Phowa during the “Lung” (Blessing Transmission) given by a head Lama of Drikung Kagyu. Due to the accumulated energy of the lineage and the blessing of the teaching itself, the qualified Lama is able to directly transfer the blessings of this practice to the pure and devoted disciples who can experience the signs very quickly. Outside of Tibet, His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang still continues the tradition of giving all three teaching-cycles, including the transmission of Drikung Phowa Chenmo.

When one has received any of the signs of the Phowa meditation, then one is considered to be prepared to enter into the Buddhafield of Amitabha Buddha (Dewachen) at the time of death. It is taught that one does not return to the samsaric realms after having entered Dewachen and that one can quickly achieve Enlightenment. Because of all this, the Drikung Phowa is becoming particularly relevant in these times simply because in today's society we do not have the time nor the circumstances to walk the spiritual path of the Dharma as did our predecessors in the past. We desperately need a spiritual path that is simple, relevant, and direct, enabling us to transform the stresses and pace of modern life into a vital force that cuts through materialism and attachment to worldly phenomenal, and awakens in us the realization of our Buddha-natures.

“There are teachings for one to become enlightened, but I have a teaching (Phowa) that offers enlightenment without meditation,” said Marpa Lotsawa, the great translator and father of the Kagyu lineage. Marpa Lotsawa also said, “From now, if you study Phowa, purify, purify time and time again. Then, at that time, when death is approaching, you will know no despair. If, beforehand, you have become accustomed to this Path of Phowa, then at the time of death you will be full of cheerful confidence.”

This event will be in Frederick, MD. The location will be disclosed to registrants.

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