Dharma Wheel

A Buddhist discussion forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism
It is currently Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:08 am

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 47 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:13 pm 
Online
Global Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Posts: 3045
Location: Olympia WA
Beautiful!

_________________
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Posts: 1054
Location: Sunny California
About the offering for music, for sure Dudjom Rinpoche taught Lama Tharchin RInpoche to not put out an offering bowl for music--the ambient sound is the music. Presumably this is the Mindrolling style. As for Orgyen Dorje Den, I heard Lama Rinchen Phuntsok kind of scolding your Tashi Choling chopons about having music (shabda) represented on the shrine. He said sometimes Nyingma groups from Eastern Tibet picked up these things. I think he may have said something about the Palyul having done so because of the Namcho, I'm not 100% sure. Lama Dawa's brother certainly has seven water bowls on his shrine... so sometime you guys who go to Iowa to should take away that 8th bowl when he is not looking ; )

Seriously, it is true that sometimes people in the Mindrolling style of ritual and music view the Khampa style as the unrefined country bumkin style, and I apologize if I unconsciously passed that along. When I umze for my Khampa lama I have to hold the rolmo a completely different way... that I would be scolded for in Dudjom Gompas as bad form. Amusing.

The water bowls were metal, probably copper, bowls, that were plated gold. Yes, I bought them retail they were expensive. It's cheaper to take things to metal plating place yourself. You can't do just one item, the company will have a minimum number of items to do at once. We use gold for drilbu handles and usually bumpas, metal kapala bases and caps, and tse bums. Melongs and other "silver" parts can be made silver, but we prefer chrome so they don't need polishing. It's not too outrageous to do these things, and it makes the shrine and lama table extremely elegant.

_________________
My blog:
http://onsausalcreek.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Posts: 1054
Location: Sunny California
The tormas are made from plastic. An artist made an original torma from sculpy, and our artist lama checks and has him or her make corrections countless times. Then, when it is perfect, a craftsman makes a mold using mold making material. Then the molds are sprayed with an anti sticking agent and filled with plastic and put in a chamber that removed air bubbles while they dry. Then the plastic is de-molded. There are about a dozen ways things can go wrong up until this point. Then, if you've got a good one you careful scrubbed with a certain kind of soap.

Then you make the srog shing for the main deity tormas. For this a special mantra unique to the torma is photocopied, dipped in saffron water, cut, and rolled in a special way around a piece of incense--as is done for statues and stupas. The rolled mantra is inserted in a piece of tubing with sang and dzey. Copper is preferred by LTR, but because of sizing, we used aluminum pipe and covered it in yellow electricians tape for the auspicious color. Then the torma was drilled up the center to a specified depth and the srog shing inserted and the hole was sealed.

The protector tormas were drilled with a small drill, tordzey was put in, and they were sealed.

Then you sand off the "gross defilements" of the torma with a belt sander, and make it level using a pre-leveled table. Then you sand off the "subtle defilements" by hand. This can take a long time, depending on your degree of perfectionism.

Then you prime it with spray primer. Then you paint the basic colors using an airbrush. You can airbrush the colors onf the gyen, and everybody did but me. I'm the only one who preferred the hand painted look for that. Then you hand paint the torma. Our group (in druptra) discovered that the piping and the kinnas ("dog nose" ornament) is soooo much easier with a paint pen, if you can afford it. I hand painted most of my kinna. The Throma torma kinna I did with a gold paint pen.

Then you lacquer each piece, and you are done.

I went through all this detail so you all won't want to make plastic tormas. It sounds really easy when you say "we made them out of a mold." but it is much harder than making them by hand. And the ones painted by the artists, not me, are really museum pieces. Lama Tharchin RInpoche's old tormas are still under glass as examples in a monastery in Nepal, and have been displayed in museums in Japan, but he says these are much better using modern western tools and techniques.

Rinpoche has a business of selling perfect plastic tormas, manufactured over seas. He started with a 100-in-one torma--Lha gya tor chik (see upper left of my general shrine) and a few offering tormas. These are for sale at Rinchenbarwa.com. The lha gya tor chig can be use for anything, so if you organize lama events it's great to have around for lamas to give any empowerment with.

We did not have time to make the Throma protectors via this process, so I handmade mine out of oven dried oatdough. They aren't so great. Now, we have a better way of doing this so they don't crack.

_________________
My blog:
http://onsausalcreek.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:13 pm
Posts: 153
Location: Waponi Woo
heart wrote:
byamspa wrote:
In my house the key word for the shrine would be 'cat-proof'.


he he, yes, my cat love all those water bowls that I put there for his pleasure. He is a maine coon and likes to play with water.

/magnus


Yep, there are two shrine water-bowl thieves in our house. So anything with fringe, strings or that was delicate got put away. (Not on my shrine, but a friend had her kitty eat a damaru striker bead once, kitty was OK and the damaru just ended up with new strikers ) They do appreciate the 7 small bowls of water put there just for kitties.

It has to be for the kitties, because the kitties find it to be such a cool spot.

_________________
Phenomenon, vast as space, dharmata is your base, arising and falling like ocean tide cycles, why do i cling to your illusion of unceasing changlessness?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:47 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm
Posts: 3143
:smile:

/magnus

_________________
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:30 pm
Posts: 136
I think art is valued in many lineages, thus the efforts of http://www.tseringschool.org/, who also make a series of lineage tormas for practitioners. It's also encouraged and cultivated in a number of traditions. I also think that at the shedra at Namdroling you can focus on mastering ritual which includes mastering constructing mandalas, tormas and all forms of ritual art and objects.

_________________
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Posts: 1054
Location: Sunny California
Nice.

I don't know, but it seems a lot of centers in the U.S. and Europe don't seem to focus on Vajrayana students making tormas.

_________________
My blog:
http://onsausalcreek.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:30 pm
Posts: 136
Yudron wrote:
I don't know, but it seems a lot of centers in the U.S. and Europe don't seem to focus on Vajrayana students making tormas.

Originally, I was discouraged from any unessential ritual and instructed to focus on the practice itself, and if that developed then the ritual aspect could be incorporated into the practice later (here I am still sitting with just my mala, where all the new students are getting into the full blown vajra/ghanta/damaru expression... guess I just have to apply myself better, its getting embarrassing). Don't know if this applies to what you are referring too.

_________________
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 10:56 pm
Posts: 265
Really nice photos, Yudron! I have finally completed renovating my house that I purchased two years ago, and I think it is time to work on the shrine room. Regarding tormas: I practice the Yangzab terma cycle of the Drikung Kagyu, and this summer I took a torma workshop with one of the main lamas from the Garchen Institute. Although any chopon worth their weight in tsampa would laugh at my torma-making skills, I feel that I have a much deeper connection to my practice and even my teachers since I started incorporating tormas into my practice. As Yudron has said elsewhere, the process of making tormas sort of primes your mind into practice mode. I would highly encourage anyone who is serious about Vajrayana to learn how to make tormas.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Posts: 1054
Location: Sunny California
CrawfordHollow wrote:
Really nice photos, Yudron! I have finally completed renovating my house that I purchased two years ago, and I think it is time to work on the shrine room. Regarding tormas: I practice the Yangzab terma cycle of the Drikung Kagyu, and this summer I took a torma workshop with one of the main lamas from the Garchen Institute. Although any chopon worth their weight in tsampa would laugh at my torma-making skills, I feel that I have a much deeper connection to my practice and even my teachers since I started incorporating tormas into my practice. As Yudron has said elsewhere, the process of making tormas sort of primes your mind into practice mode. I would highly encourage anyone who is serious about Vajrayana to learn how to make tormas.


If nothing else, it often gets you a free ticket to hang out in close proximity with lamas, informally, before big events. If nothing else, we can do the dishes!

_________________
My blog:
http://onsausalcreek.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:49 pm
Posts: 2
Yudron,
these tormas are exquisite! I've made Tersar tormas from dough (not masterpieces to say the least!) - my lama likes to make all the tormas fresh, but a permanent torma is so practical :)
I hope to get a Lha gya torchik from Rinchen Barwa - do you know if it is possible to order Drollo or Vajrakilaya? The only other tersar tormas I've seen for sale are wooden and a bit flimsy.
You are very fortunate to live so close to such wonderful dharma centre


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Posts: 1054
Location: Sunny California
chimed wrote:
Yudron,
these tormas are exquisite! I've made Tersar tormas from dough (not masterpieces to say the least!) - my lama likes to make all the tormas fresh, but a permanent torma is so practical :)
I hope to get a Lha gya torchik from Rinchen Barwa - do you know if it is possible to order Drollo or Vajrakilaya? The only other tersar tormas I've seen for sale are wooden and a bit flimsy.
You are very fortunate to live so close to such wonderful dharma centre


For a group tsog we make the tormas that go out, or are eaten, out of dough. Not the main support torma, though. Wow, you make that new every time you do tsok together?!

No, Rinpoche does not have anything ready that is not on the website. These tormas are years in the making. Last I heard, Throma and Khandro Thukthik will be the next one's to appear, and it will not be right away.

I live a couple of hours from our Dharma center, but there are a lot of affiliated lamas near me who used to live at the center or are otherwise connected to Rinpoche. We have such a unique situation here, that I really recommend Nyingma people move to the Bay Area now, if they can afford it. It's very expensive to live here.

_________________
My blog:
http://onsausalcreek.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:19 pm
Posts: 612
Location: Lafayette, CO
Yudron,

Thanks for the very good, detailed description of making the plastic tormas. I was a jeweler in my 20s and early 30s and I still have all my tools. So I probably will give this a go. Before reading this, I probably would've stopped at Sculpey and called it good.

Thanks also for the discussion of seven as opposed to eight offering bowls. I'm gonna start asking Lamas about this and see what answers I get. Should be interesting. Your supposition about Khampa style as opposed to Mindoling is a good one.

Keep up the great work!

Thug-dam gom phel.

_________________
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Posts: 1054
Location: Sunny California
You're welcome. I'm pretty burnt out on the plastic torma factory, but I understand the appeal

Well, PM me if you want me to drum up the name of the plastic company. The plastic is made from two liquids you mix together. It's expensive. Once you open the bottle, you can only make plastic from that batch for 6 months max... the stuff degenerates. Don't make our mistake and try to save money on the mold making material--get expensive latex mold materials... unless you really never want to use that mold for making multiple tormas. The cheaper ones tear. There is a mother mold, then a mold... you probably know this from jewelry making.

Things do really need to go into a compression chamber, or the plastic will have bubbles. Complex molds sometimes leak and need to be re-made. It is sometimes hard to get the plastic into sharp points and piping. Depends on the torma shape.
Pouring the plastic is a skill, you only have a short time to pour before it solidifies.

You sound like you have the patience, skill set, and a workshop.

The lamas want go-trams, the chevron that goes on top of tormas instead of the sun-moon-array. They are even more complicated--truly pieces for jewelers to make. They think it looks really cool.

The main advantage over sculpey is that the tormas don't break, and are replicable.

Personally, I may experiment with making the main body of my next big torma out of salt dough, then coat it with an epoxy based substance -- like they use in doll-making -- to make it unbreakable and even smoother. Not sure about the piping.


pemachophel wrote:
Yudron,

Thanks for the very good, detailed description of making the plastic tormas. I was a jeweler in my 20s and early 30s and I still have all my tools. So I probably will give this a go. Before reading this, I probably would've stopped at Sculpey and called it good.

Thanks also for the discussion of seven as opposed to eight offering bowls. I'm gonna start asking Lamas about this and see what answers I get. Should be interesting. Your supposition about Khampa style as opposed to Mindoling is a good one.

Keep up the great work!

Thug-dam gom phel.

_________________
My blog:
http://onsausalcreek.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:30 pm
Posts: 136
FYI http://www.tseringschool.org/node/32. There used to be a list of specific tormas one could order, but it was on the old Shechen site I think.

I think many students make tormas or have them made for them when they do their inner practices, but they keep it to themselves, so it may appear other sanghas aren't doing it, but it is done, and you will find them on their personal shrines. They also require sacred substances to be placed within them.

_________________
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:30 pm
Posts: 136
FYI - http://www.tibetantreasures.com/product.cgi?group=4954&product=4955

_________________
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Posts: 1054
Location: Sunny California
Yeti wrote:


Yeah, that's Lama Tharchin Rinpoche's Lha Gya Tor Chig, same as from rinchenbarwa.com

_________________
My blog:
http://onsausalcreek.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:46 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 2811
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA
Yeti wrote:
FYI http://www.tseringschool.org/node/32. There used to be a list of specific tormas one could order, but it was on the old Shechen site I think.

I think many students make tormas or have them made for them when they do their inner practices, but they keep it to themselves, so it may appear other sanghas aren't doing it, but it is done, and you will find them on their personal shrines. They also require sacred substances to be placed within them.


Agreed, I think you'll find tormas in the personal shrines of many practitioners here in my area, regardless of specific (Tibetan) tradition....

_________________
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:46 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:35 pm
Posts: 972
Incidentally, Phil Karl makes some really lovely tormas:

http://tormas.biz/gallery.htm

He is a former three year retreatant I believe from Salt Spring. As he is working full time now, it takes a while but you can see from the gallery he does really nice work (particularly the Mindroling Vajrakilaya).

_________________
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
~Arthur Carlson


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Posts: 1054
Location: Sunny California
Karma Dorje wrote:
Incidentally, Phil Karl makes some really lovely tormas:

http://tormas.biz/gallery.htm

He is a former three year retreatant I believe from Salt Spring. As he is working full time now, it takes a while but you can see from the gallery he does really nice work (particularly the Mindroling Vajrakilaya).


Nice to see he has the Konchog Chidu.

_________________
My blog:
http://onsausalcreek.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 47 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group