Triten Norbutse Ponlop Tsangpa Tendzin Rinpoche

The Nine Ways of Bön, and, in particular, Dzogchen

Teachings by Ponlop Tsangpa Tendzin Rinpoche in Yeshe Sal Ling, St. Radegund bei Graz, Austria, 2024

In 2024, the Ponlop of Triten Norbutse monastery in Kathmandu, Tsangpa Tendzin Rinpoche, continues his teachings in Yeshe Sal Ling on "the Nine Ways of Bön, and the ninth and highest way, Dzogchen, in particular", that he started in 2019.

The teachings give an overview of Yungdrung Bön and are suitable for beginners as well as for advanced practitioners. New students are welcome. Having participated in previous teachings in the series is not a prerequisite.

We expect Ponlop Rinpoche to concentrate Gen-Nyän in 2024, and to teach us an extensive ritual for water offerings to the five deities of Gen-Nyän (the same five deities that we know from our usual shorter Chutor text).

This year's teachings are are independent of those in 2019 and 2022.

The Nine Ways of Bön are divided into the four lower ways of "cause", useful in this life, but not capable of providing an escape from it towards Buddhahood, and the five higher ways of "result", true spiritual paths leading to Buddhahood.

Regarding the four ways of cause (phonetically rendered according to Kham pronunciation), the first one, Tza-Shen, comprises oracles (mo), astrology (tsi), short rituals (to), and medicine (djae). The second way, Nang-Shen, contains longer rituals, and is divided into the sections: white water, black water, Phän-Yul (containing ransom rituals) and Pön-See (containing long-life rituals). The third way, Thrül-Shen, contains rituals for the dead, and the fourth way, Sri-Shen, soul-retrieval rituals (la-koug).

Regarding the ways of result, the fifth way, Gen-Nyän, is a Sutric vehicle for virtuous laypersons, the sixth way, Drang-Song, also belongs to Sutra and is the way of monks and nuns; the seventh and eighth ways belong to Tantra: A-kar, the way of the white A (containing the Ma Gyud), and Ye-Shen, the way of the primordial Shen (containing cycles of Drenpa-Namkha, and Khandro Drubkhor). Finally, the ninth and highest way of Bön is Dzogchen.

After a condensed survey of the Nine Ways of Bön, Rinpoche will give a short introduction to Dzogchen. Unlike the other eight ways, Dzogchen is not culture specific, and, therefore, more accessible for non-Tibetans than the other ways.

Dzogchen's apparent simplicity and directness does not prevent it from being very hard to practice. So, even though there is only one Dzogchen, there are many ways of introduction to it and many different hints and tricks for entering into the ever present but often elusive state of Dzogchen. Ponlop Tsangpa Rinpoche will teach us his personal approach and the methods he has found most useful. The equanimity that Ponlop Tsangpa Rinpoche projects wherever he goes makes it particularly interesting to hear his advice on how to attain it.

Prerequisites: New students are welcome to join - there are no formal prerequisites.

Tentative schedule: