The 5th annual Sadhana Ritual Course began on Guru Rinpoche day, December 31st with the Chokling New Treasures three roots empowerments being bestowed by Neten Chokling Rinpoche. It was an honor that Neten Chokling Rinpoche was able to grant these precious ripening empowerments upon the thirty participants and all were very grateful for the rare opportunity. People from over 10 countries participated in the course at Asura Cave retreat center which was founded by Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and his consort, Mayumla Kunzang Dechen. It is a blessed environment for vajrayana practice and for the Nyingma tradition of Guru Rinpoche.
Two senior lamas from Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling taught upon the profound development stage teachings in general and transmitted the visual and explanatory lineage for the sadhanas of Tukdrup Trinley Nyingpo, Sangtik Phurba and Kurukulle. The course participants were all of varying degrees of experience and knowledge of varjrayana practice and the teachings were deeply meaningful and helpful for everyone. There was ample time for questions and answers both during formal sessions and during breaks with the lamas.
In the early morning the group practiced the given sadhana being taught and offered a tsok each evening led by the lamas. On Dakini day they practiced extensively all day and on Dharmapala day they practiced vajrakilaya together with dharma protector offerings. Throughout the course all who were interested had the chance to learn to be shrine master, make tormas and learn to play the instruments used by the chant master as well as how to use the vajra, bell and hand drum. Everyone learned how to carry out a personal retreat focusing on these sadhana practices as well as how to do the practices in a group.
This course was a great success and all participants came away with a deeper understanding and experience of the development stage practices and the blessing of the lineage practices being taught.
The purpose of the sadhana ritual courses is to allow practitioners to learn, practice and come to master the development stage meditative and ritual tradition along with its profound pith instructions and lineage traditions. The final day was concluded with a Cleansing Smoke (sang cho) Offering on the mountain above Asura Cave.
It is due to the great kindness and initiative of Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche that beginning in 2015 it is planned to offer a number of other such courses though the dates have yet to be confirmed.