Newsletter January 2024


This month Matthew is leading the pujas (in both Tibetan and English) for our larger Yeshe Nyingpo community, so we want to share some more general information on the pujas as practiced in our tradition. Also, Matthew is offering to share the process of making tormas, and an in-person explanation of the rituals, beginning at 1:00 pm on each of these January puja days. We hope that some of you are able to join us for these important practices this month.

So, what are Pujas?

Pujas/Sadhanas are the enactment of the Wisdom intent of our teachers, the lineage masters in whom we've taken refuge for the sake of illumination of our spiritual paths. Through these ritual practices we accumulate merit (the positive causes and conditions) which enables our paths to flourish. We also purify our lapses of samaya, the many vows and promises we've made in our engagement with the Buddhadharma.

Through these sadhanas, we enact our Refuge Vows:

In Buddha, by upholding our lineages

In Dharma, by practicing with Deities

In Sangha, by strengthening our community of practitioners, and our

Dharma Centers, which are a critical support for our individual

spiritual aspirations.

All branches of Buddhism teach the foundation of egolessness and the practice of meditation. But Vajrayana promises to be the esoteric, speedy path. Ritual is one of the aspects that makes Vajrayana distinct, with mudra, mantra, and samaya. It can only help us to develop a relationship with this vast system of Tibetan Buddhist magic.

Practices this month

Ngondro Practice

Sunday mornings 

11:00 am - 12:15.

Ngondro Teachings

January 7 & 14

12:20-1:30 pm

In person at Dorje Ling

and on Zoom

We practice the Dudjom Tersar Ngondro, which was written by Dudjom Lingpa and his reincarnation, H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche. It was Dudjom Rinpoche who asked Ven Gyatrul Rinpoche to establish Yeshe Nyingpo centers in the West (including Dorje Ling, in 1980).

Ngondro Zoom Link

Meditation Class

Wednesday nights

7:00 - 8:30 pm

In person

No prerequisites needed,

everyone invited, and

drop-ins encouraged.

Each week we contemplate short readings and follow instructions from meditation masters. In recent weeks, Matthew has been sharing some recorded meditation teachings from Lama Alan Wallace.

Lunar Day Pujas

All pujas are held

4:00 - 6:30 pm

Dakini Day

Yeshe Tsogyal

Saturday, January 6

New Moon

Troma Nagmo

Thursday, January 11

Guru Rinpoche Day

Saturday, January 20


Full Moon

White Tara

Thursday, January 25

Puja zoom link

Calendar Notes beyond the Regular Practices

Winter is Coming! Even in this El Nino winter, ice, snow, or utility outages could cause us to cancel practices, or go online only, because at 1500 feet, Skyline Road can be treacherous even if driving lower down is relatively safe. We plan to update the website calendar as soon as such a situation becomes clear, so you can check there when in doubt. DL Calendar

Fri-Sun, January 12-14 - Dharma teachings from Lama Chonam and Sangye Khandro, from Yeshe Nyingpo Mexico, in English with Spanish translation. Info and Registration

Sun, January 21, 2-3:30 pm - Riwo Sang Chod, the Smoke Offering

Sat, January 27 - Sangha Work Party and potluck lunch. 10 am to 2 pm. Winter landscape care outside, and clean up, including kitchen renewal part 2, inside.

Sat., January 27 - Tara Dancing at KCC, 6:30 - 8 pm. Send a note to Dorje Ling's gmail and we'll forward Phyllis's January invitation, which just went out. You can find Tara Dhatu online.

Save the Dates: Coming in February and March

February 5-10 - Losar, the Tibetan New Year. At Dorje Ling, the traditional cleaning day will be on February 9. Our Sangha Losar gathering, with Puja and Celebration, will be February 10. If you aren't familiar with Losar, many resources can be found online.

Orgyen Dorje Den will be offering pujas and ceremonies February 5-10, and we will join by Zoom from our shrine room each day. More information in the February newsletter.

March 19-26 - Ven Gyatrul Rinpoche's Decho. From Orgyen Dorje Den, in Alameda California: Please join us for this special 8-day gathering in honor of the lunar anniversary of Rinpoche's passing. Sangha from all of Rinpoche's centers are invited to attend, in person or on zoom. Details to Follow.

Some links we've been wanting to share,

to inspire us now,

in the dark days of winter

Sangye Khandro's talk on the Sacred Feminine in Vajrayana, from October:

Sacred Feminine talk

Her talk also given this fall on the Parinirvana of Gyatrul Rinpoche:

Sangye's talk on Rinpoche's passing

If you have never checked Wisdom's website, you will find many other wonderful talks here:

Wisdom Dharma Chats

Tulku Thondup passed into parinirvana on December 29; another extraordinary Tibetan lama and teacher has left us. Here you can find several video interviews with him, as well as Sam Bercholz's moving tribute written last week:

Tulku Thondup link


One of Carolyn's favorite teachers is Lama Lena, and she has many teachings shared on her website, including a recording of the talk she gave here in Portland in September:

Lama Lena teachings

Dorje Ling's Tuesday Book Study group continues unabated! Since October, we've been reading Pema Chodron's How we Live is How we Die. We close the group to new members a few weeks into new books, and in February the next one will be chosen. In December, Jeff Clemes and James Allen set us up with WhatsApp for notes and comments between the Tuesday meetings, and now a deeper dive in dharma study is in the works, using a Google Group. Jeff calls the three tech platforms a "three-legged stool" for Dharma study - Google Meet, WhatsApp, Google Group. Wow! Meanwhile, heart-felt acknowledgement to Beverly Daggett and Therese Gorman-Steward, the long-time, stalwart leaders of our study group.

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