For Dhagpo’s 40th anniversary, we come together to celebrate history. And in the process, we find ourselves experiencing the next steps in the history we are celebrating. We witness the steps taken by all those who came before and we take the next steps into the future together, carrying with us all that has been given and created up till now. So it was during Jigme Rinpoche’s summer course.


Over the course of three days, Rinpoche transmitted instructions and the lung for the 16th Karmapa’s Guru Yoga and the empowerment of the 15th Karmapa, which together offer a practitioner the integral elements for carrying out the practice. He explained the choice and importance of this practice in the context of the Vajrayana and the circumstances of modern life. Vajrayana is, he said, “alchemical. Normal sentient human beings transform through the practice into Bodhisattvas.”


However, the Vajrayana is quite technical and very precise. In order to achieve the true result, all necessary conditions of knowledge of the texts, understanding of the meaning, and ability in meditation must be assembled. For certain practices, this can be a difficult feat. However, 16th Karmapa’s Guru Yoga is a simple practice that yields proper results when applied with regularity and confidence.


The text came about through the request of a disciple of the 16th Karmapa, who, at the age of the 60, became quite conscious of the negative acts he had committed in his life and quite afraid of the consequences of these acts. He asked the Karmapa for help so as not to take rebirth in the lower realms, and in return, Karmapa composed this practice. Just as for this disciple, Rinpoche assures us that if we follow the instructions, apply the practice, and develop trust, the practice will take its effect.


It has been roughly ten years since Jigme Rinpoche gave an empowerment in one of his teaching courses at Dhagpo. There is a certain symmetry in his doing so now—offering the community a connection that allows us to carry out the practice of the founder of this center on the occasion of its anniversary. As well, it is a moving testament to his devotion to his responsibilities in this place for so many years and to the master who entrusted him with this place and with all of us. As the texts say, the greatest offering one can make to one’s teacher is to put into practice what he transmits. May we train in Jigme Rinpoche’s good example.

A big thanks to Lama Puntso for sharing his notes…