Geshe Khorden Lhundup Gyaltsen
March 23rd - 25th
I'm happy to announce the opportunity to meet and talk with Geshe Khorden Lhundup Gyaltsen. There will be an open public talk on the 23rd March 19:30 - 21:00 which will be held at The Stables on Fumbally Lane, the cost will be €10. There also will be the option for a 2 day workshop on the 24th & 25th March 10:00 - 17:00 also held in The Stables on Fumbally Lane, the cost will be €150. Concessions available.
Geshe Lhundup was born in Tibet in a very small village called Damranji, in Kham, to a nomad family. His mother was a serious dharma practitioner. When he was about 6 years old he began to tend the yaks and sheep. At about age 12, he made the decision to become a monk (all of his brothers and sisters also became monks or nuns) and went to Patsang Monastery in Kham. Patsang is one of the lineages of important Yungdrung Bon families.
His first master, Rashi Togden Rinpoche, lived about 60 miles from Geshe Lhundup’s home. The master was from the lineage holder of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen, a great Dzogchen master of the Bon tradition of Tibet. Geshe Lhundup learned much from his master, who spent his life in dzogchen meditation. He spent a year in the mountain with his second master, Beru Togden Rinpoche, learning dzogchen and tsa lung. From his third master, Togden Sherab Phuntsok Rinpoche, Geshe Lhundup received, along with about 200 monks from all over Tibet, transmission of all of Shardza Rinpoche’s texts, plus trul khor and dzogchen teachings.
Geshe Lhundup was already a monk when, taking the advice of his uncle, a Phatsang lama who left Tibet in 1959, he decided to leave Tibet to study in India. In 1993, along with a group of 29 people (including four Bonpo monks) he escaped by traveling through the Himalayas, which included a month’s walk from Mt. Kailash to Nepal. They were met in Kathmandu by H.E Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, most senior teacher in the Bon tradition and founder of Triten Norbutse Monastery in Nepal. After offering them lodging at Triten Norbutse for a week, Yongdzin Rinpoche encouraged the monks to continue on to Menri Monastery in India, where they could study for the Geshe degree.
Geshe Lhundup studied at Menri Monastery from 1993–2009, progressing through the eight levels in the Bon dialectic school. The traditional course of study for all the monks included sutra, tantra and Dzogchen, and also Tibetan grammar, poetry, astrology, medicine, mandala painting, yoga and meditation. After 15 years, he received his Geshe degree.
Upon leaving Menri, Geshe Lhundup went to Dharamsala, India to learn English. After about a year, Tibetan friends in Europe advised him to go to France. He quickly got a residence card, and began working in a bakery, where he remained for a year. In France, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche contacted him in 2010 to provide advice and suggest that Geshe Lhundup begin working with Rinpoche’s students in France. Students at that time had a small practice group. They helped Geshe Lhundup get an apartment and take French lessons, and he began teaching yoga.
In 2013 Geshe Lhundup began working more directly with students in France. The group met for trul khor three hours each week, where sangha members helped him develop the French vocabulary of anatomy to help him to teach Western students. He also worked on a one-year meditation program so people with no prior meditation experience could progress in their practice..
What began as a small group of five to six people has grown to a sangha of about 25, and the group has met in a new location since September 2015. In addition to leading the Ligmincha France sangha, Geshe Lhundup also has taught several times in Germany, Austria ,belgume, bulgaria, has been invited to teach in the Netherlands and expects to visit other countries in Western Europe.
The Meditation Practice of the Six Lokas
By Geshé Tenzin Wangyal
(Based on the text from the Zhang Zhung Nyen Gyü)
Traditionally the Six Lokas practice has been explained in terms of the purification of beings in other realms of existence. Meditation practitioners may find it more useful to experience each of the lokas or realms within their own experience. At various times in life through our emotions we manifest the attributes of beings in each of the six realms of existence and experience the same suffering. In our society you can observe that some neighborhoods are more hell-like—abandoned, broken, neglected. Some neighborhoods are more greed-oriented, some more heavenly and absorbed in pleasure, and so on. These manifestations come about through the dominance of a particular negative emotion. These negative emotions are the source of the pain of life.
Through the power of the practice of the Six Lokas one relates to the suffering associated with each of the realms and purifies them in one's own life, bringing the great joy of self-awareness, which is supported by the antidote quality of the affliction that is purified. Affliction refers to the six negative emotions that are obstacles to enlightenment: hatred or anger, greed or desire and attachment, ignorance, jealousy, pride, and self-absorbed pleasure. These obstacles arise as a result of one’s previous actions or karma, and through secondary conditions such as warfare, draught, economic loss. They manifest as raw emotions that cause suffering and obscure one’s true nature. While the association of the particular emotions to realms varies among Tibetan lineages, all agree that self-awareness is essential to living creatively and peacefully with one’s emotions.
When one’s actions and thoughts are driven by negative emotions one becomes powerless and may generate more bad karma. The Six Lokas meditations through the power of mantra, visualization, and the base of contemplation, purifies one’s karmic seeds before they manifest, and supports the practitioner to rest in his or her true nature. The strength that arises through this practice comes from your connection with your true self, the source of all joy and happiness. The negative emotions have less and less control as one grows strong in self-awareness. No longer driven by one’s emotions, one can lead a more open, balanced and creative life.
In order to better understand these negative emotions and how they influence one’s life, we can look at each one in more detail. Becoming more familiar with the afflictions, one is better able to recognize them as they arise, and can reinforce self-awareness and apply the appropriate antidote.
Anger is the seed of the hell realm. When anger manifests there are many possible displays such as tension, arguments, destruction, and violence. Many people die as a direct result of anger. Anger never resolves a problem. When anger overcomes the consciousness, one loses all control and self-awareness, becoming unstable, volatile, ungrounded. Each negative emotion has an associated location in the body, a doorway through which the realm may be experienced more vividly. The soles of the feet are the doorways to the hell realm. Each realm also has its antidote. The antidote for anger is love—the love, which arises from the unconditioned self.
Greed is the seed emotion of the hungry ghost realm. When greed arises there is a feeling of excessive need or thirst that can never be filled. Greed can be associated with attachment to
possessions, money, or sexual desire. It is physically correlated with the secret chakra, approximately four finger widths below the navel. When one is lost in the grip of greed one looks Six Lokas outward for fulfillment instead of inward. The loss that is felt is really the lack of knowledge of the self. Generosity unties the hard knot of greed.
Ignorance is the affliction of the animal realm. The location is the navel. Through ignorance one feels lost, not knowing what to do next. Many people feel great self-doubt and loneliness through the darkness of ignorance for they feel a great need yet do not even know what it is that they want. In Western culture, people are considered happy if they are continually busy and their lives are filled with activities. One can be lost in ignorance through busyness if one is continually engaged yet out of touch with one’s self. Turning inward, one comes to know the true self and wisdom arises. Gaining wisdom, one comes to understand and experience that one is complete from the very beginning. Knowing this, one’s path becomes clear.
Jealousy is the root affliction of the human realm. The heart is the location. When possessed by jealousy we want to hold on and contract to secure what we have. Feeling jealousy one sees the source of happiness as something outside the self. Jealousy has to do with a closed nature, for you cannot release an object to which you are strongly attached. The antidote to jealousy is a great opening of the heart, the opening that arises when you are connected with your own true nature.
Pride is the principle affliction of the demi-god realm and its physical location is in the throat. The feeling of pride has to do with accomplishment and has an aspect that is very territorial. Wars are caused through the pride of individuals and nations believing they have the solutions to other people’s problems. There is also a hidden aspect of pride: feeling you are worse than all others at some particular task or ability. Since pride is often connected with wrathful action, the antidote is the great peace and humility that arises from resting in one’s own true nature.
The god realm is afflicted by a combination of all the negative emotions. The physical location is the crown. When the negative emotions are balanced, we experiences a type of false harmony or self-centered pleasure in which we can become absorbed. It may seem as if all our needs are fulfilled, but the situation never lasts as long as we would like. When the ideal situation changes, we feel afflictions stronger than ever. The antidote to this self-absorbed pleasure is the all-encompassing compassion for all sentient beings that arises from self-awareness.
Through each of the negative emotions that arise we suffer in the same ways as the beings in each of the six lokas. In order to overcome these obstacles we should practice the meditations on each of the lokas until there are purification signs in dreams (such as flying or impurities coming from the body). By faithfully practicing, the root causes of suffering will gradually dissolve and all beings will enjoy great benefit.