Torma

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Re: Torma

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:48 am

Tsampa is the best but not always available in Western settings.

Both Lama Migmar from the Sakya tradition and Geshe Sonam when I was preparing tormas for jenangs (initiations) they were giving, told me oatmeal was an acceptable substitute as long as the five whites and other essential ingredients were available. So if you can't find tsampa then it would seem oatmeal is an okay substitute. The oatmeal should be the fine kind, as it will congeal together better and look nicer, while the thick one looks very "flaky".

I would only recommend oatmeal for tormas that you would use for a maximum of two days or so because as it dries out it will crack. If you need to keep the torma around for awhile, you probably need to look for tsampa.

During a deity retreat in India an old Geshe who was helping me said that the gegtor (obstacle dispelling torma) and tormas for the lord of the site should be traditional, but that the tormas that had to be re-offered everyday were better off as biscuits or jam. This is because during monsoon in Southern India the tsampa does not keep very well, and it also attracts various mammals and insects.

This old Geshe did insist, though, that for the fire puja and self initiation at the end of the retreat all the many traditional tormas had to be made.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Torma

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:27 am

You can make your own tsampa actually. It is really easy.

Buy some barley flour, probably from your local health food shop, I imagine some supermarkets would stock it.

Put a large frying pan or saucepan on the stove top (preferably thick bottomed) and turn the heat up high. Throw plenty of barley flour onto the pan and, preferably using a wooden spoon, stir it constantly. When it starts to go brown and smell like fresh baked bread turn the heat down to medium and continue stirring. When "all" of it has turned a nice light to medium brown colour empty the contents into a large bowl to cool off while you make the next batch. Continue until you have finished the bag of barley flour. Once cool place into a sealed container and store in the fridge.

You can also do it by spreading the barley flour onto an oven proof dish and baking it.
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Torma

Postby lobster » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:48 pm

:popcorn: All I had to offer was a bowl of popcorn . . .
:thumbsup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD78nDZROok
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Re: Torma

Postby MalaBeads » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:15 pm

I'm not someone who has ever been very interested in the liturgical aspects of Buddhism and I've never heard anyone talk about what torma and for, ie their function.

So what are you doing when you make torma? What are their function?
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Re: Torma

Postby conebeckham » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:35 pm

Torma's a huge subject.

Each tradition or lineage has it's own specific shapes, colors, ornaments, etc.
Some tormas are seen to represent the deity or deities and mandala, some are seen to represent offerings of food, or the five senses, or other things. Some are seen as weapons.

Some are offered to the jnanasattvas, some to the "gek," some to jungpos and local deities, etc.

Yudron, many of the Sarma practices don't offer a preliminary Kartor for the "host"--and some don't offer "Gektor," per se---though many have a "ngontor," or preliminary torma. It's all specific to a given sadhana. Also, the "mentor" is, to the best of my knowledge, a Nyingma thing--though I may be wrong. The only times I've used Mentor is when performing practices that come from Nyingma lineages.

Greg's diagram of a "Baling" is Karma Kagyu tradition--balings are used for offering to protectors, and also sometimes are used on the Tentors/Phuktors, or deity tormas, as well, depending on the practice being done. Even in the Karma Kagyu tradition, there are two main subtraditions of torma making--the Tsurphu and Palpung methods.

Some folks are working on a movie about Tormas, should be pretty great when it's done.

My Lama teaches tsampa as the basis for tsok tormas, but we use regular barley flour for most other tormas. Sometimes oatmeal can be used, too. We use butter for gyens, but chuppens from India often use Dhalda, which is shortening, mixed with paraffin, for gyens. Also, in Sikkim they cook rice and mash it up to make tormas. So, the main ingredients can vary.
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Re: Torma

Postby conebeckham » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:37 pm

Also, regarding tsampa, we make our own by roasting the barley itself--unhulled, and not "pearl barley"--just as Greg describes it. When it "pops" like popcorn, or browns, it's done, and we let it cool. We have a flour grinder, and we grind it up. Great for breakfast, when made into douughballs using milk tea and butter! :smile:
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Re: Torma

Postby Yudron » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:59 pm

conebeckham wrote:Also, regarding tsampa, we make our own by roasting the barley itself--unhulled, and not "pearl barley"--just as Greg describes it. When it "pops" like popcorn, or browns, it's done, and we let it cool. We have a flour grinder, and we grind it up. Great for breakfast, when made into douughballs using milk tea and butter! :smile:


Wow, we use the same procedure, except with with pearled barley, to make tsampa. We used the unhulled kind once and deemed it not suitable for human consumption. Maybe we have a different flour grinder.

We use quick oats, the lamas like it better than barley flour and it is cheaper. I did see someone from your center boil barley flour somehow once and make some nice dough, though. Maybe too much work for us lazy Nyingmapas. We also use a mixer (dough maker) when we have one.
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Re: Torma

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:14 pm

A photo of the Gelug geg-tor (obstacle dispelling torma) made from oats and marzipan. The tiny cups in front are to put oil and wicks for candles that are lit during the ceremony.
If the lama comes from the Gyumey Tantric college, like Geshe Sonam, the torma is left white. Lamas from the Gyuto Tantric college colour them red.
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384023_475114062512772_1285371969_n.jpg
This is how the Gelug geg-tor (obstacle dispelling torma) looks when made from oats and marzipan. The tiny cups in front are for the candles that are lit when the lama does the ritual
384023_475114062512772_1285371969_n.jpg (114.03 KiB) Viewed 927 times
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
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Re: Torma

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:22 pm

This is was called a torma by the monks who made it but I think it is more life a butter sculpture using some techniques of torma making. This is from the Karmapa's Kagyu Monlam, the figure is Mahasidha Tilopa.
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Tilopa
264426_1791249697473_7999144_n.jpg (53.92 KiB) Viewed 911 times
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
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Re: Torma

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:25 pm

Incredible!
:bow:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Torma

Postby conebeckham » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:28 pm

Image

This is from our annual Mahakala puja, penultimate day's tsok. In front you'll see a martor, a kartor, and the Tenma torma (yellow/red/blue)...in mid-field, you'll see a Rinpoche tsok torma on the left, and trays of smaller, oblong tsok tormas....all the way in the back are Tentors representing the deities...I'll see if I can find some more pics.

This is a Shangpa puja, and the general offering tormas are, for the most part, the same as Kamtsang--and this is Tsurphu's style.
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Re: Torma

Postby conebeckham » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:30 pm

This is a Shelze, in Palpung tradition of Karma Kagyu. Image
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Re: Torma

Postby conebeckham » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:33 pm

This is Dorje Phagmo Lha Nga, also Palpung style gyens...

Image
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Re: Torma

Postby Yudron » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:34 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:You can make your own tsampa actually. It is really easy.

Buy some barley flour, probably from your local health food shop, I imagine some supermarkets would stock it.

Put a large frying pan or saucepan on the stove top (preferably thick bottomed) and turn the heat up high. Throw plenty of barley flour onto the pan and, preferably using a wooden spoon, stir it constantly. When it starts to go brown and smell like fresh baked bread turn the heat down to medium and continue stirring. When "all" of it has turned a nice light to medium brown colour empty the contents into a large bowl to cool off while you make the next batch. Continue until you have finished the bag of barley flour. Once cool place into a sealed container and store in the fridge.

You can also do it by spreading the barley flour onto an oven proof dish and baking it.
:namaste:


We do this when we don't have a grain mill. The taste is okay for Injie palates, but distresses the lamas.
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Re: Torma

Postby conebeckham » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:34 pm

This is Zabtik Drolma Torma, Chogyur Lingpa's Tara.....also Palpung style.

Image
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Re: Torma

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:36 pm

Wow! The Kamtsang/Shangpa deity tormas are beautiful.

This is the deity torma for one of the main Gelug yidams. Often made for self-initiations.
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In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Torma

Postby conebeckham » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:37 pm

Here are some tormas from the 3rd North American Kagyu Monlam held in San Francisco.

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Torma

Postby conebeckham » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:38 pm

Image

Kagyu Monlam shrine, SF, June/July 2012.
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Re: Torma

Postby conebeckham » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:41 pm

Losar puja....this is the main shrine, wish I had a better close-up of the tormas....

Image
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Re: Torma

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:43 pm

Dear Cone,
Are the main figures Lama Marpa, Je Milarepa and Je Gampopa? And last one Karmapa Karma Pakshi?
Last edited by JKhedrup on Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

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