The 10th Anniversary of the Annual Drupay Lamas Drupchod (“Practice Offering”): More Than Two Dozen Lamas From All Over the World

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KTD is being decked out for the holiday season with poinsettias and evergreens; flower volunteer Jacqui Gantnier brought in these beauties the other day. A beautiful irony is that in olden times in India, the poinsettia was associated with the buddha Vajrayogini, whose practice we are doing at KTD this week. So the “Christmas flowers” take on a new meaning this week during the Vajrayogini Drupchod!

Keeping the flame of lineage alive in America is not the work of just one person; it takes a veritable village of dedicated people to carry the light of dharma from one generation to the next.

So it was that in 1993, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche began the first Three-Year Retreat under the auspices of His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa in America.

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With 25 Karme Ling Three-year retreat graduates at KTD this week for their annual Drupchod, it’s a sea of red robes at mealtimes in the KTD dining room. At breakfast yesterday, the lamas gathered to read a new morning meal chant recommended to them by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche.

Starting with a group of 11 men and 11 women from all over the United States, Khenpo Rinpoche and others helped train Americans in the priestly arts – dharma recitation, Vajrayana ritual, offerings and blessings. Three years later, 17 of those original 22 students “graduated” from the Three-Year Retreat Center at Karme Ling in Delhi, NY – and became the first Drupay Lamas (“Lamas of the Retreat”) under His Holiness’ direction in America.

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Since then, five classes of Three-Year Retreatants have graduated from Karme Ling, and their benefits are being felt, not just in America, but all over the world. Karme Ling graduates are directing Kagyu dharma centers in Austria, Slovakia, Brazil, Taiwan, and in various parts of the United States. Some lamas, such as Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s nephew Lama Karma Drodhul, have even started new centers in South America and elsewhere.

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From left, Lama Paldron, Lama Chudrun and Lama Tsultrim Gyaltsen – work on creating the Vajrayogini mandala for the annual Drupchod.

The value of the lamas is not just in directing centers and teaching dharma; it is in embodying the practices of love, compassion, and wisdom handed down by our Kagyu Lineage masters.

To that end, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche has invited the Drupay Lamas of Karme Ling back to Karma Triyana Dharmachakra for 10 straight years to perform 7 days of puja at His Holiness’ American seat – pujas aimed at consecrating the space and accumulating great merit for KTD and its members, donors, and friends.

The Eighth Drupchod, in 2011

The Eighth Drupchod, in 2011

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Annual Drupay Lamas Drupchod (“Practice Offering”); more than two dozen lamas from all over the world will be at KTD beginning this weekend to construct an elaborate mandala of the Mother of All Buddhas, Vajrayogini, and to perform her sadhana (meditation practice) to bless KTD and its sanghas.

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Lama Ellen Buckingham and Lama Lodro Lhamo discuss shrine creation in preparation for the Vajrayogini Drupchod.

We express our deep gratitude to the donors of the Sino-Tibetan Buddhist Study Group, who have been major supporters of the Drupchod from the beginning. With the foundation of their generosity and your gifts, we can make this wonderful Drupchod happen this year, and every year.

If you have been inspired by – or even considered doing – the Three-Year Retreat, but because of various situations, have been unable to do the retreat, you might wish to participate in this year’s Drupchod by offering flowers to the Vajrayogini mandala, or tea to the lamas in attendance. By making this auspicious connection, you will deepen your virtuous mind and facilitate the activity of His Holiness Karmapa and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, and create a link between yourself and the Retreat, now and in the future.

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Vajrayogini mandala shrine

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Please read through it, and feel free to contribute any amount you’d like toward the beneficial activities of this retreat.

Click here to go to KTD’s General Donations page. When making your donation, in the “comments” section, please specify that your donation is for the “Drupchod,” and also specify the area – flowers, tea, meals – toward which you’d like to dedicate your donation.

Whether you donate, or merely rejoice in the activities of His Holiness Karmapa and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche and the Karme Ling lamas, know that your merit will grow and ripen for the benefit of yourself and all beings. May all beings benefit!

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2 responses

  1. I was trying to click the link to donate online, but could not get it to work. I’d like to donate $35.00 for one day of tea offering since I am unable to attend now.

    I’ll put a check in the mail if that’s the best way, but you might like to see if the link will work or not.

    Karmapa Chenno!

    Jangchub/Mary Jane

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