Ligmincha Institute

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Bon preceded Buddhism in 18,000 BC, originating in Tibet. The founder of the Bon tradition, Tonpa Shenrab, was born in Olmo Lungring, with Ol meaning the unborn, mo the undiminishing, lung the prophetic words of Tonpa Shenrab, and ring, his everlasting compassion. Bon Buddhism incorporates many of the Buddhist precepts, such as attaining enlightenment, finding oneself within, meditation, and remaining at peace with life. There are three consecutive cycles of teachings that Tonpa Shenrab is believed to have taught. The first is the “ Nine Ways of Bon;” the second is the “Four Bon Portals and the Fifth, the Treasury;” and the third is the “Outer, Inner and Secret Precepts.” In this final teaching, the outer cycle is the path of renunciation, or sutric teachings; the inner cycle is the path of transformation, or tantric teachings; and the secret cycle is the path of self-liberation, or dzogchen teachings. The outer, inner, and secret precepts are the main teachings in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.

In its early stages, Bon was largely based on the Shamanistic views that encompassed the practices of the communication with the spiritual world. Animals played a significant role, acting as signs and message-bearers. The Shamans subscribe to the belief that the rituals they perform can heal human suffering. There are five elements of the Khandros, natural elements that play a role in many of the ancient healing and spiritual traditions. According to the Institute, these five elements are understood as the underlying energies from which all experience the physical world-made up of our bodies, our emotions and our minds arises. Each of these elements is connected with a khandro, or goddess. These khandros represent the pure, enlightened characteristics of the elements. To connect with the khandros of space is to be connected with the quality of spaciousness; the khandro of air, flexibility; the khandro of fire, joy and creativity; the khandro of water, calm and comfort; and the khandro of earth, stability and groundedness.

As a result of the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese in 1959, Bon Buddhism began to spread in the United States and other parts of the world including India and Nepal. Hundreds of the monasteries in Tibet were destroyed, as well as numerous texts, ritual items and artwork. Thousands of people were exiled from Tibet to neighboring countries. With the dispersion of the refugees, their culture also spread and the religion grew. A portion of the Bon community in Tibet has re-established Tashi Menri Ling monastery at Dolanji near Pradesh, India, with the support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Council for Religious and Cultural Affairs. Since the invasion, Bon Buddhism has been gaining popularity and support around the world.

Founded in 1992, the Ligmincha Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia is one of six institutes in the United States where Bon Buddhism is practiced. The Institute’s founder, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, was ordained as a monk at Menri Monastery near Dolanji, India at the age of ten. The head teacher Lopon Sangye Tenzin Rinpoche acknowledged Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche as a reincarnation of the famous master Khyung Tul Rinpoche, a meditation master, teacher, scholar and healer who died in the mid-20 th century.

The largely American Bon po (practitioners) meet once a week to meditate and have teaching sessions for one hour at Fulton Studio in Richmond. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche travels to all of the Bon-related institutes around the world. Each member of the Bon tradition is required to meditate twice a day on their own. The Bon tradition promotes meditation as a practice that helps that releases negative energy, increases one’s ability to concentrate, cleanses one’s mind, promotes relaxation, and encourages enlightenment. The religion is very interactive and engages the human spirit. One of the primary goals is to assimilate the teachings of Buddhism into modern everyday life as much as possible.

The Ligmincha Institute hosts four retreats a year at Serenity, Virginia, which is thirty miles south of Charlottesville in Nelson County. The retreat site encompasses nearly 20 acres of land on top of a mountain ridge overlooking the Rockfish River Valley. During the retreats, followers from the other institutes are invited to come and participate. Winter sessions are the basic meditations of Tibetan Buddhism, called Ngondro, where a newcomer would begin their practice. In the spring, the retreat centers on retrieving one’s soul, which derives from the Shamanistic view of re-finding energy. Each retreat is one week long, with the exception of the month-long summer retreat. During the summer, the Tummo practice takes place, a longer course that requires three separate years to complete in full. This practice teaches the monks to learn how to heat their bodies from the inside out, while purifying karma, and burning off the negative karma. In Tibet, the Bon po lived in mountains with no heat, so it was necessary to warm their bodies from within, which they accomplished through meditation. In the fall, the sessions concentrate on lucid dreaming yoga, which involves learning how to become aware of your dreams while sleeping and learning how to control one’s own thoughts.

Ligmincha Institute

Bon preceded Buddhism in 18,000 BC, originating in Tibet. The founder of the Bon tradition, Tonpa Shenrab, was born in Olmo Lungring, with Ol meaning the unborn, mo the undiminishing, lung the prophetic words of Tonpa Shenrab, and ring, his everlasting compassion. Bon Buddhism incorporates many of the Buddhist precepts, such as attaining enlightenment, finding oneself within, meditation, and remaining at peace with life. There are three consecutive cycles of teachings that Tonpa Shenrab is believed to have taught. The first is the “ Nine Ways of Bon;” the second is the “Four Bon Portals and the Fifth, the Treasury;” and the third is the “Outer, Inner and Secret Precepts.” In this final teaching, the outer cycle is the path of renunciation, or sutric teachings; the inner cycle is the path of transformation, or tantric teachings; and the secret cycle is the path of self-liberation, or dzogchen teachings. The outer, inner, and secret precepts are the main teachings in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.

In its early stages, Bon was largely based on the Shamanistic views that encompassed the practices of the communication with the spiritual world. Animals played a significant role, acting as signs and message-bearers. The Shamans subscribe to the belief that the rituals they perform can heal human suffering. There are five elements of the Khandros, natural elements that play a role in many of the ancient healing and spiritual traditions. According to the Institute, these five elements are understood as the underlying energies from which all experience the physical world-made up of our bodies, our emotions and our minds arises. Each of these elements is connected with a khandro, or goddess. These khandros represent the pure, enlightened characteristics of the elements. To connect with the khandros of space is to be connected with the quality of spaciousness; the khandro of air, flexibility; the khandro of fire, joy and creativity; the khandro of water, calm and comfort; and the khandro of earth, stability and groundedness.

As a result of the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese in 1959, Bon Buddhism began to spread in the United States and other parts of the world including India and Nepal. Hundreds of the monasteries in Tibet were destroyed, as well as numerous texts, ritual items and artwork. Thousands of people were exiled from Tibet to neighboring countries. With the dispersion of the refugees, their culture also spread and the religion grew. A portion of the Bon community in Tibet has re-established Tashi Menri Ling monastery at Dolanji near Pradesh, India, with the support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Council for Religious and Cultural Affairs. Since the invasion, Bon Buddhism has been gaining popularity and support around the world.

Founded in 1992, the Ligmincha Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia is one of six institutes in the United States where Bon Buddhism is practiced. The Institute’s founder, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, was ordained as a monk at Menri Monastery near Dolanji, India at the age of ten. The head teacher Lopon Sangye Tenzin Rinpoche acknowledged Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche as a reincarnation of the famous master Khyung Tul Rinpoche, a meditation master, teacher, scholar and healer who died in the mid-20 th century.

The largely American Bon po (practitioners) meet once a week to meditate and have teaching sessions for one hour at Fulton Studio in Richmond. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche travels to all of the Bon-related institutes around the world. Each member of the Bon tradition is required to meditate twice a day on their own. The Bon tradition promotes meditation as a practice that helps that releases negative energy, increases one’s ability to concentrate, cleanses one’s mind, promotes relaxation, and encourages enlightenment. The religion is very interactive and engages the human spirit. One of the primary goals is to assimilate the teachings of Buddhism into modern everyday life as much as possible.

The Ligmincha Institute hosts four retreats a year at Serenity, Virginia, which is thirty miles south of Charlottesville in Nelson County. The retreat site encompasses nearly 20 acres of land on top of a mountain ridge overlooking the Rockfish River Valley. During the retreats, followers from the other institutes are invited to come and participate. Winter sessions are the basic meditations of Tibetan Buddhism, called Ngondro, where a newcomer would begin their practice. In the spring, the retreat centers on retrieving one’s soul, which derives from the Shamanistic view of re-finding energy. Each retreat is one week long, with the exception of the month-long summer retreat. During the summer, the Tummo practice takes place, a longer course that requires three separate years to complete in full. This practice teaches the monks to learn how to heat their bodies from the inside out, while purifying karma, and burning off the negative karma. In Tibet, the Bon po lived in mountains with no heat, so it was necessary to warm their bodies from within, which they accomplished through meditation. In the fall, the sessions concentrate on lucid dreaming yoga, which involves learning how to become aware of your dreams while sleeping and learning how to control one’s own thoughts.

Ligmincha Institute
313 Second Street, S.E., Suite 207
Charlottesville, VA 22902
www.ligminchainstitute.org

Sources:

The Bon Religion of Tibet: The Iconography of a Living Tradition. Available at Av http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ZSuuyhy06xIC&oi=fnd&pg=PA6&dq=bon+buddhism&ots=2bnq5MYFeJ&sig=1QZCWhLJCRfkXm-rP75XKWsKGsw

Bon po practitioner
Bonpo website

Profile prepared by Sarah Chumney
April, 2008

Ligmincha Institute

Bon preceded Buddhism in 18,000 BC, originating in Tibet. The founder of the Bon tradition, Tonpa Shenrab, was born in Olmo Lungring, with Ol meaning the unborn, mo the undiminishing, lung the prophetic words of Tonpa Shenrab, and ring, his everlasting compassion. Bon Buddhism incorporates many of the Buddhist precepts, such as attaining enlightenment, finding oneself within, meditation, and remaining at peace with life. There are three consecutive cycles of teachings that Tonpa Shenrab is believed to have taught. The first is the “ Nine Ways of Bon;” the second is the “Four Bon Portals and the Fifth, the Treasury;” and the third is the “Outer, Inner and Secret Precepts.” In this final teaching, the outer cycle is the path of renunciation, or sutric teachings; the inner cycle is the path of transformation, or tantric teachings; and the secret cycle is the path of self-liberation, or dzogchen teachings. The outer, inner, and secret precepts are the main teachings in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.

In its early stages, Bon was largely based on the Shamanistic views that encompassed the practices of the communication with the spiritual world. Animals played a significant role, acting as signs and message-bearers. The Shamans subscribe to the belief that the rituals they perform can heal human suffering. There are five elements of the Khandros, natural elements that play a role in many of the ancient healing and spiritual traditions. According to the Institute, these five elements are understood as the underlying energies from which all experience the physical world-made up of our bodies, our emotions and our minds arises. Each of these elements is connected with a khandro, or goddess. These khandros represent the pure, enlightened characteristics of the elements. To connect with the khandros of space is to be connected with the quality of spaciousness; the khandro of air, flexibility; the khandro of fire, joy and creativity; the khandro of water, calm and comfort; and the khandro of earth, stability and groundedness.

As a result of the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese in 1959, Bon Buddhism began to spread in the United States and other parts of the world including India and Nepal. Hundreds of the monasteries in Tibet were destroyed, as well as numerous texts, ritual items and artwork. Thousands of people were exiled from Tibet to neighboring countries. With the dispersion of the refugees, their culture also spread and the religion grew. A portion of the Bon community in Tibet has re-established Tashi Menri Ling monastery at Dolanji near Pradesh, India, with the support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Council for Religious and Cultural Affairs. Since the invasion, Bon Buddhism has been gaining popularity and support around the world.

Founded in 1992, the Ligmincha Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia is one of six institutes in the United States where Bon Buddhism is practiced. The Institute’s founder, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, was ordained as a monk at Menri Monastery near Dolanji, India at the age of ten. The head teacher Lopon Sangye Tenzin Rinpoche acknowledged Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche as a reincarnation of the famous master Khyung Tul Rinpoche, a meditation master, teacher, scholar and healer who died in the mid-20 th century.

The largely American Bon po (practitioners) meet once a week to meditate and have teaching sessions for one hour at Fulton Studio in Richmond. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche travels to all of the Bon-related institutes around the world. Each member of the Bon tradition is required to meditate twice a day on their own. The Bon tradition promotes meditation as a practice that helps that releases negative energy, increases one’s ability to concentrate, cleanses one’s mind, promotes relaxation, and encourages enlightenment. The religion is very interactive and engages the human spirit. One of the primary goals is to assimilate the teachings of Buddhism into modern everyday life as much as possible.

The Ligmincha Institute hosts four retreats a year at Serenity, Virginia, which is thirty miles south of Charlottesville in Nelson County. The retreat site encompasses nearly 20 acres of land on top of a mountain ridge overlooking the Rockfish River Valley. During the retreats, followers from the other institutes are invited to come and participate. Winter sessions are the basic meditations of Tibetan Buddhism, called Ngondro, where a newcomer would begin their practice. In the spring, the retreat centers on retrieving one’s soul, which derives from the Shamanistic view of re-finding energy. Each retreat is one week long, with the exception of the month-long summer retreat. During the summer, the Tummo practice takes place, a longer course that requires three separate years to complete in full. This practice teaches the monks to learn how to heat their bodies from the inside out, while purifying karma, and burning off the negative karma. In Tibet, the Bon po lived in mountains with no heat, so it was necessary to warm their bodies from within, which they accomplished through meditation. In the fall, the sessions concentrate on lucid dreaming yoga, which involves learning how to become aware of your dreams while sleeping and learning how to control one’s own thoughts.

Ligmincha Institute
313 Second Street, S.E., Suite 207
Charlottesville, VA 22902
( 434)-977-6161

Sources:
The Bon Religion of Tibet: The Iconography of a Living Tradition. Available at Av http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ZSuuyhy06xIC&oi=fnd&pg=PA6&dq=bon+buddhism&ots=2bnq5MYFeJ&sig=1QZCWhLJCRfkXm-rP75XKWsKGsw
Bon po practitioner
Bonpo website
Ligmincha Institute website

Profile prepared by Sarah Chumney
April, 2008

 

 

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