Posted in Tibetan Buddhism

Spirit Rock Retreat 2008, Day 8

9:30 AM

Notes from Lama Tsultrim’s closing talk

How to set up a Prajna Paramita shrine. “If one worships Prajna Paramita, one has honored all Buddhas, past, present & future.” – “Buddhist Goddesses of India.” Copy of the 8,000 line sutra, wrapped in yellow cloth, placed on the shrine. In Prajna Paramita temples, that is the object that is revered. An image of her on the shrine or hanging behind [is fine, too]. “Of course, you have to actually read the sutra.” Edward Conze has a good translation.

I asked if all Tibetan chants were this soft. No. 🙂 Tsultrim learned this “melody” for the Prajna Paramita mantra from Alan Ginsberg, who learned it from Gary Snyder. “It’s a lineage!”

“The past has been erased from your heart. But let me tell you who you are.” Tara to Machig.

Then we did another dyad. I had my same lovely partner. The first question was how the sacred feminine manifests in me. Then we did “let me tell you who you are.” My partner saw me as a wise goddess, with wings, who can float. She saw me as manifesting balance in my relationship with my husband, in my work, & in my own feminine & masculine attributes. I saw her as Green Tara, ready to take on the issues of her time, while learning to love & care for herself.

Notes from Anna’s closing talk

We can’t jump over the difficult parts of our lives. No “spiritual bypass.” Employ various methods, because no one practice does everything. “If it did, we would teach it to you.” We need to integrate & stabilize the deep retreat experience into our lives. That is a way of practicing the dharma.

One of the most liberating practices is investigation. Inquiry. What is this demon? How do I feed it? Deep questioning. What is this? Who am I?

Balance between movement & stillness, study & practice, relationships & aloneness.

We finished the retreat as we began, with Tsultrim leading us in the Prajna Paramita manta.

A lady named Teresa is giving me a ride to the airport. I have some powerful karma with a different Teresa – so much so that I have a negative association with the name. I am taking this gift from the universe as an opportunity to get over it.

11:54 AM
I spoke briefly with Tsultrim & told her I’d like to study with her, while continuing my Zen practice. She advised me to start with Kapala Training I – which happens to be offered during the time Michael will be in Laguna Seca. And so my karma unfolds…

I made friends with the woman I had had trouble liking. I spoke to her just now and she’s quite nice! Isn’t that interesting…?


Ven. Dr. Myodo Jabo (Sandy Gougis) is a Zen Master and Priest in the Five Mountain Zen Order. She began studying Theravâdin Buddhism in 1998, adding Zen in 2003, and Vajrayana Buddhism in 2008. She currently practices in both the Zen and Tibetan traditions. Her Zen teacher is Most Ven. Wonji Dharma of the Five Mountain Zen Order, and her Tibetan guru is Lama Tsultrim Allione of Tara Mandala. In her free time, Myodo enjoys painting, jewelry making, and other creative endeavors.

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