“Emptiness has compassion for a heart. This is the real Chenrezig”.

Khenpo Ugyen’s “floating” Chenrezig shrine

“Emptiness has compassion for a heart.  This is the real Chenrezig”.
Ven. Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

Despite a sprained ankle—and with characteristic good humor–Lama Kathy presided over KTD’s fourth annual Chenrezig retreat, which included a dedicated core group from Hartford, Columbus, the local sangha, and elsewhere.  I enjoyed her well-crafted dollops of teaching throughout the weekend and the way she led us in the practice with her clear, bell-like voice.  Khenpo Ugyen kindly joined in as well.  It was fascinating to witness how the practice transformed as numerous “drop-ins” came and went. The atmosphere took on a honeyed quality, enriched by one neighbor chanting the mantra in an angelic soprano range, while another added a deep, gravely bass to the chorus of sacred sound.   Although the ultimate goal of the practice as I understand it is not to achieve an altered state of consciousness . . . What can I say?  It happens.  Hour after hour, as I chanted the mantra, I started to feel as if I were actually in a pure land.

The benefits of practice extended beyond KTD, as the retreat was streamed live on the internet, with many participating from home.  By the end of the first day, the online counter recorded more than 200,000 mantras.  And although I could not stay past the weekend, I felt that the effects of the retreat definitely traveled with me after I left KTD.

As much as I loved doing the group practice, the highlight of the retreat for me was Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s empowerment on Saturday night.  Having just returned from his long and very successful sojourn in Taiwan, he flawlessly led us through a potent set of prayers and visualizations that invited Chenrezig’s blessings.  His very presence underscored the teaching that “all Buddhas are emanations of Chenrezig.”

— Karen Lucic

Final Totals for the Million-Mani Retreat:

2011 Mantra total: 1.8 million
2012 Mantra total: 3,122,671

Thanks to all for your participation. If you would like to keep reciting Mani mantras, you can add them to our “Mantras for the Long Lives of the Gurus” initiative. Report your mantras to Angie Martin at angiepmartin@hotmail.com

May all beings benefit!

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