Honoring Saga Dawa Duchen

On a pilgrimage to Nepal in August 1999, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche asked me to take a photo of him next to this Shakyamuni Buddha statue at the Swayambhunath stupa in the Kathmandu Valley. Rinpoche said that when he was staying in Nepal near the stupa in the early 80’s, he would often do khorwa (circumambulation) here and felt so strongly drawn to this statue to the point that he would sometimes shed tears without knowing why.

The holy day of Saga Dawa Duchen, June 5, 2020, celebrates Buddha Shakyamuni's enlightenment and parinirvana and represents a powerful time to practice generosity and virtue, accumulating merit and wisdom. In honor of this day, we are offering a PDF download of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche's teaching, special to his heart students, on "Cultivating the Two Accumulations," originally given to the incoming three-year retreatants at his Pema Ösel Ling drubdra in February 2005.

In this teaching, Rinpoche says,

Our path then comprises purifying these two obscurations (emotional and cognitive), of taking this enlightened nature from within its enclosure and thus revealing it. In order to do so, we cultivate the two accumulations of merit and wisdom... Before any other enlightened being, there is Buddha Ever-Excellent, Samantabhadra, that is the essence of our own mind. When we recognize this entirely, at that point there is no delusion. Without delusion, then there is no creation of karma. And without karma, there is no happiness or suffering within the wheel of existence... Until that time, our ordinary dualistic mind is still present. And because there is this dualistic mind, it is creating karma, which creates happiness and suffering and this life as a sentient being. So, in order to do away with the contaminating presence of dualistic mind, we cultivate inseparable skillful means and the transcendent knowledge or wisdom of the dharma using the special techniques of the Vajrayana.

Download a PDF of the teaching here.

Photo: Lama Tharchin Rinpoche at Swayambhunath Stupa with his "favorite Buddha," August 1999 (by Pema Dechen)

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