The gripping theme of 'life and death' was a major element of Lama Jampa's teachings during his visit to SDL in Stuttgart last weekend.
On Friday evening he gave a public talk, and the subject requested by Wolfgang Staufner was 'Death and Dying in Tibetan Buddhism'. Lama Jampa explained the stages involved in the process of dying, the experiences possible in the intermediate state, and the way in which the consciousness is propelled by previous karmas into the next rebirth.
On Saturday part two of the teaching of the Triple Vision took place. Consideration of the shortcomings of samsara are firstly introduced, then considered and finally meditated upon, with particular focus this time on unavoidable suffering as an inherent feature of samsara. This object of this process is to generate the qualities of renunciation and enthusiasm necessary to strive to escape from the cycle of birth and death, and to fulfill our bodhisattva vows to liberate all beings. The Triple Vision is the first part of the profound and extensive 'Lam Dre' (Path and Fruit) cycle of teachings of the noble Sakya Tradition. It includes the whole of the Buddhist path, from complete beginner right up to the achievement of full enlightenment.
On Sunday Lama Jampa bestowed the permission initiation of the Buddha appearing in the form of the female meditation deity called Namgyalma in Tibetan, and Ushnishavijaya in Sanskrit. Lama Jampa explained that revering and meditation on Namgyalma grants both mundane and transcendental siddhis. The most important of her mundane accomplishments is preserving and strengthening life energy, the granting of long life. Her profound siddhi is the swift accomplishment of transcendental wisdom.
All three events were well attended and greatly appreciated by the sangha and by visitors and guests at Sakya Dechen Ling.
Immediately after the initiation, Lama Jampa also kindly performed the consecrating 'Rab Ne' ritual to bless the beautiful new Buddha statue that is now the centre piece of the shrine. Wolfgang and Kunga, together with Sangha members, filled the statue with all the necessary material including the central life tree and 'zhung' mantras, Dharma texts, wealth increasing ingredients, and also precious relics from the Buddha himself, from the five founding Sakya Masters, Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo, Marpa Lotsawa etc. Through Lama Jampa performing the consecration ritual, the object that was until then merely an arrangement of copper, gold, mantras and relics that resembled the Buddha, became transformed into an holy object of reverence. Lama Jampa invoked and requested the assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to reside and remain in the image 'Until the four elements might disturb and destroy it'. Making prostrations, prayers and offerings to such a filled and consecrated statue brings great merits and fulfillment of both mundane and dharma wishes.