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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:55 pm 
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I was just curious if anyone's sangha does Medicine Buddha practices regularly.

About 20 members of my sangha and I received a Medicine Buddha empowerment and teachings from a visiting rinpoche last summer; however, no one else besides me seems to have kept up the practice.

I would like to set up some kind of Medicine Buddha practice group in my sangha, but unfortunately, the idea has been met with little interest because the other members are busy doing other practices. I think it's a shame that my sangha members no longer practice this because we received such an extensive Medicine Buddha empowerment from a rinpoche who was also a tulku. That Medicine Buddha retreat was the best moment of my life, so I guess I'm just looking to recreate that experience. Practicing on my own is okay, but practicing with others is even better.

Do you find that Medicine Buddha is also not so popular in your sanghas?

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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 10:32 pm 
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My sangha doesn't seem to practice anything regularly, except the weekly meditations. Hardly anyone seems to attend more than a month or two. In the last year there has been Dorje Shugden and Medicine Buddha empowerments, but the one I could not attend and the other, well, I'm inclined to follow the Dalai Lama's instructions on that.

So instead I just do a seven limbed prayer and meditate, in a vaguely Lam Rim sort of way.

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 5:56 am 
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Luke wrote:
I was just curious if anyone's sangha does Medicine Buddha practices regularly.


My Sakya sangha practices Medicine Buddha regularly. My Palyul sangha does not but individuals may.

Kirt

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 1:29 pm 
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And in the Sakya sangha Medicine Buddha empowerments are given all the time (at least once a year sometimes many times a year). In the Palyul sangha Padmasambhava as Medicine Buddha has been given at least twice since 2003 (maybe more as I have less contact with the Palyul tradition).

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 4:24 pm 
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Hi Luke,
You will find that this happens often. People are attracted to empowerments but have an aversion to commitment.

Its good that you have taken up the practice. Stick with it.


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 6:35 pm 
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Luke wrote:
I would like to set up some kind of Medicine Buddha practice group in my sangha, ...


Why don't you just start a 1 or 2 day retreat once a month?

Kirt

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 4:47 pm 
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kirtu wrote:
Why don't you just start a 1 or 2 day retreat once a month?

Kirt


That's a good idea, but I don't think I have enough seniority in my sangha to make it happen now. Maybe later I'll have enough influence to do this. Since my lama doesn't find Medicine Buddha to be particularly important, neither do his students.


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 1:58 pm 
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Luke wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Why don't you just start a 1 or 2 day retreat once a month?

Kirt


That's a good idea, but I don't think I have enough seniority in my sangha to make it happen now. Maybe later I'll have enough influence to do this. Since my lama doesn't find Medicine Buddha to be particularly important, neither do his students.

What does your lama find important?
Maybe you should concentrate on what he/she does and set aside time to do Sangye Menla at home.


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:56 am 
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Kunzang Palchen Ling does an extended Medicine Buddha practice once a month, although I haven't ever gone -- I don't have instruction on the practice and it's a long drive :) I'm already making the trip for Dakini Day and Guru Rinpoche day :P


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 12:38 pm 
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Nangwa wrote:
What does your lama find important?

For beginners like me: shinay, lojong, and the four thoughts. This is undoubtedly correct and I have no problem with this. The regular pujas we do at my sangha are for Green Tara, Chenrezig, and Mahakala (although I need to complete a special retreat before I can recite the Mahakala puja).

Nangwa wrote:
Maybe you should concentrate on what he/she does and set aside time to do Sangye Menla at home.

Yes, you're probably right. Since I haven't even started Ngondro yet, I admit that sadhana practice is probably not the most important thing for me to do.

I guess I just feel a personal need to show respect and devotion to Medicine Buddha in some way. Perhaps I should set up my own altar? I don't know much about how to do that, but I could learn.


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 1:38 pm 
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Jangchup Donden wrote:
Kunzang Palchen Ling does an extended Medicine Buddha practice once a month, although I haven't ever gone -- I don't have instruction on the practice and it's a long drive :) I'm already making the trip for Dakini Day and Guru Rinpoche day :P

Thank you for the info, but I'm in Europe. But I do think it's cool that that sangha does Medicine Buddha practice on new moon days.


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 3:51 pm 
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Luke wrote:
Nangwa wrote:
What does your lama find important?

For beginners like me: shinay, lojong, and the four thoughts. This is undoubtedly correct and I have no problem with this. The regular pujas we do at my sangha are for Green Tara, Chenrezig, and Mahakala (although I need to complete a special retreat before I can recite the Mahakala puja).

Nangwa wrote:
Maybe you should concentrate on what he/she does and set aside time to do Sangye Menla at home.

Yes, you're probably right. Since I haven't even started Ngondro yet, I admit that sadhana practice is probably not the most important thing for me to do.

I guess I just feel a personal need to show respect and devotion to Medicine Buddha in some way. Perhaps I should set up my own altar? I don't know much about how to do that, but I could learn.


Its great that you want to take up the practice but it might be in your best interest to just stick with your lama's advice.
Maybe you could ask him/her to let you start ngondro?


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 8:42 am 
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Luke wrote:
Jangchup Donden wrote:
Kunzang Palchen Ling does an extended Medicine Buddha practice once a month, although I haven't ever gone -- I don't have instruction on the practice and it's a long drive :) I'm already making the trip for Dakini Day and Guru Rinpoche day :P

Thank you for the info, but I'm in Europe. But I do think it's cool that that sangha does Medicine Buddha practice on new moon days.


Yeah, that's a bit of a trip. :)

Nothing to stop you from doing the practice yourself though. To be honest I like practicing alone better than in a group, I can take it at my own pace.


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:31 am 
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Nangwa wrote:
Luke wrote:
Nangwa wrote:
What does your lama find important?

Its great that you want to take up the practice but it might be in your best interest to just stick with your lama's advice.
Maybe you could ask him/her to let you start ngondro?


Yes, that is an excellent idea and would allow me to express some of the devotion which I feel I need to express.
I have already asked him about that. He said that I need to complete a one week lojong retreat first. I'm hoping that I'll be able to do that this summer, so that after that I can begin Ngondro (which may require another retreat).


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 11:09 pm 
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I've started to notice a pattern: It seems that Medicine Buddha practice is most popular in the Sakya and Nyingma schools. Do the rest of you think this is a correct observation?

Although a Kagyu lama taught me the Medicine Buddha sadhana, the sadhana itself was from the Nyingma lineage.


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 7:02 pm 
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Luke wrote:
I've started to notice a pattern: It seems that Medicine Buddha practice is most popular in the Sakya and Nyingma schools. Do the rest of you think this is a correct observation?


I think that's basically correct. Lama Zopa as a Gelug lama also comes to mind but he is also in some ways eclectic.

Kirt

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 3:04 pm 
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kirtu wrote:
Luke wrote:
I've started to notice a pattern: It seems that Medicine Buddha practice is most popular in the Sakya and Nyingma schools. Do the rest of you think this is a correct observation?


I think that's basically correct. Lama Zopa as a Gelug lama also comes to mind but he is also in some ways eclectic.

Kirt

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is very interesting.
He is a tulku of a Nyingma lama who has been brought up in the Gelug setting. He also has strong connections to the Sakya lineage.
He is a very dynamic and non-sectarian lama.


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:13 pm 
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The Medicine Buddha is very important to us.

Though our lineage is Linji (Zen, and not Esoteric), we still consider the Medicine Buddha Sutra to be one of the most important.

In fact, during the Rainy-Season retreat period, all temples under the Chung Tai Chan lineage recite the Medicine Buddha Sutra and Mantra daily.

The monastics in Chung Tai encourage this practice, and dedicate the merits to all beings who work for the Dharma, as well as a form of gratitude to all parents, teachers and benefactors.

The 3-month long Medicine Buddha practice for 2010 started last Saturday for us :p


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:48 am 
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Luke wrote:
I've started to notice a pattern: It seems that Medicine Buddha practice is most popular in the Sakya and Nyingma schools. Do the rest of you think this is a correct observation?

Although a Kagyu lama taught me the Medicine Buddha sadhana, the sadhana itself was from the Nyingma lineage.


Whatever Sanjay Menla teachings exist in Gelug and Kagyu have been taken from Sakya and Nyingma. Santarakshita brought the tantric Medicine Buddha teachings to Tibet originally from where they entered Nyingma and Sakya. Subsequently there were Sanjay Menla termas revealed by authentic Nyingma tertons, most famously that of Mingyur Dorje (gnam chos). This was spread by Karma Chakme in the Karma Kagyu school to some extent so is practised there sometimes. My own sangha (Dechen) does Menla as well as Jetsun Drolma (also from a terma lineage) on the 8th day in Kagyu centres.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:12 pm 
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Dear Luke,
in Kyabje Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoches and Kyabje Tenga Rinpoches main European center on the German/Belgium border in November there will be a Menla practice weekend led by Lama Yönten Palsang, who is a fine Lama and a nice guy. http://www.benchen.org/en/benchen-phunt ... urses.html

Also in the polish Benchen Karma Kamtsang center near Warszaw the practice is done once a year I think, as Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche gave extensive teachings on the practice there in 2008. http://benchen.org.pl/index.php


These medicine Buddha teachings by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche might also interest you: http://www.shenpen-osel.org/issue9.pdf


Best

Tashi


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