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DHARMA ACTIVITIES
OF MOST VEN. DRIGUNG ONTÜL RINPOCHE

Long Life Prayer for Rinpoche

Venerable Ontül Rinpoche holds transmissions of the Drigung Kagyu tradition as well as of the Nyingma tradition. His lineage originated in the 19th century in Eastern Tibet under the spiritual guidance of the Drigung Terton Orgyen Nuden Dorje. To maintain these transmissions, Rinpoche established the Ogmin Thubten Shedrub Ling Monastery in Rewalsar (H.P.) which is traditionally called Tso Pema ("Lotus Lake") by Tibetans.

According to His Holiness the Drigung Kyabgon Rinpoche's intention and to fulfill his own aspiration, Venerable Ontül Rinpoche came to Europe in 1988 for the first time to teach the Dharma. Since then, in order to meet the wishes and needs of Dharma groups, communities and individuals for the Buddha-Dharma on different levels, Venerable Ontül Rinpoche has regularly traveled into various parts of Europe, Asia and Australia during eight years, and spread his extensive profound activities.

In Europe, Rinpoche has regularly been invited to Germany, Austria, Italy, and Slovenia.

PREPARING FOUNDATIONS:

As a foundation for the practise, Rinpoche successively taught the gradual approach to Buddhist practise:
 

Lay-practitioners precepts (Upasakasamvara):
In 1988, Rinpoche granted this reaching, being a skilful means as an antidote against the ten unwholesome deeds. Rinpoche also emphasized the importance of ethical discipline as a basis for approaching all other Dharmas, when he taught from the "Gong Chig", the main work of the Great Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon.
 

Development of Bodhicitta:
In order to awaken the disciples¹ motivation for enlightenment and for benefitting all sentient beings, Rinpopche granted various teachings on Bodhicitta and transmitted the Bodhisattva vows.
 

Preliminary Practices:
Rinpoche explained in detail the different steps of outer and inner Ngondro, especially from the Drigung-Kagyu Ngondro. A brief text named 'Stream of Blessings" for these practices was composed by H.H. Drigung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche especially for western students and presented by Ven. Ontül Rinpoche.

Rinpoche also gave teachings from the Nyingma preliminary practices as taught in Patrul Rinpoche's "The Perfect Words of My Excellent Teacher" (Kunzang Ume Zhal Lung).
 

TEACHINGS ON THE GRADUAL PATH (LAMRIM COURSE):

According to the wishes of H.H. Drigung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, Ven. Ontül Rinpoche started the Drigung Kagyu Study Group in Hamburg, Germany, in 1991 and conducted a six year course about "The Essence of the Mahayana Teaching" by the Great Kyopa Jigten Sumgon's main disciple, the yogi Shedang Dorje or Nyolje Relpa, also called Balpu Gingpa. The course was given for one month every year until 1996. Now Rinpoche wishes and plans that the disciples continue by engaging in the Chag Chen Ngaden path (Mahamudra).

FURTHER ACTIVITIES:

Among the variety of teachings and practices of the Kagyu and Nyingma tradition, Ven. Ontül Rinpoche granted f.e.:

o the "Drigung Phowa"

o the "Precious Garland of the Unsurpassable Path"

o the "Method of Beggars for the Accumulation of Merit" (Chod)

o "Relative and Absolute Truth"

o Development and Completion stage (Kyerim and Tsogrim)

o "Bardo Teachings"

o teachings and retreat on "Dream Yoga" and

o Dzog Chen Teachings

Rinpoche has also given great number of empowerments.

Being non-sectarian in his approach, Rinpoche also followed several invitations to give public talks on subjects of general interest and to speak in school classes and children groups.

Furthermore, Rinpoche has given a great number of individual instructions and advice during question and answer sessions and in interviews.

Recently, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and the Dzogchen Community, Merigar, Italy, invited Ven. Ontül Rinpoche to give teachings there. At those occasions, also group retreats were also performed.

In 1995, Rinpoche was invited to the "Dao-Institut", Dortmund, Germany, whose head, Roland Neumann, himself teacher and successful follower of the Chinese Buddhist and Daoist tradition of the two branches of Qi Gong, emphasizing the practices of the inner energies (Tibetan: Tsa Lung) and of the Tai Ji Quan, asked Rinpoche to take responsibility for disciples and place, and thus Ven. Ontül Rinpoche gave the name "Sri Ratna Chö Gar" and plans to teach there, especially from the Yang Zab, the Dzogchen tradition within the Drigung lineage. After having finished his European tour in 1995, Rinpoche extended his visits by traveling to Australia.  There Rinpoche was invited by the students of his brother, late Gyalsay Tulku Rinpoche, at Sakya Tharpa Ling, Balmain/NSW and another Sakya community in Canberra.  Rinpoche also followed invitations to a Dzogchen community, to the Karma Kagyu Centre in Sidney and a Gelugpa centre. On his way back to India, Rinpoche visited friends and disciples of his brother, late Gyalsay Tulku Rinpoche, in Singapore and granted teachings.

 Right from the beginning we could sense and greatly appreciate Rinpoche's openness towards people who grew up and were educated under quite different circumstances than Tibetans.  And the fact, that Rinpoche travels in company of his wife Tashi Dolma and his son Konchog Aka, is always highly welcomed by all his students, since they reveal to us the integration of the holy Dharma into family life.

Rinpoche, of couse, has been engaged in numerous Dharma activities in Asia, which are not mentioned here.

by Drigung Kagyu Study Group, Hamburg



 In 1996, Ven. Ontül Rinpoche visited Germany to complete the six year course on Thegchen Tenpai Nyingpo (The Essence of Mahayana). Rinpoche was also invited by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche to returen to the Dzogchen Community in Italy.  Here he led the Easter retreat.  While in Europe, Rinpoche also visited Austria, France and Slovenia where he gave various empowerments and teachings including on Mahamudra and Dzogchen.

 In 1997, Rinpoche did a sixth month world tour at the invitation of the Dzogchen Community.  He went to Merigar Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Chile, Peru, Argentina and America.  While in America, Rinpoche visited San Francisco, Massachusetts, Santa Fe New Mexico, and Tara Mandala in Colorado.

While in Germany and Austria, Rinpoche went to a Karma Kagyu center and several Drigung Kagyu centers.  During this world tour, Rinpoche led retreats; gave teachings on Mahamaudra and Dzogchen and was available for interviews and divinations.

In 1998, Rinpoche was invited to the USA by several Drigung Meditation Centers.  While in Maryland, he gave the short teachings and Sadhana of the Very Profound Vision of the Three Roots and Shitro (Peaceful and Wrathful) Bardo empowerment.  These are from the Yang Zab (very profound), the Dzogchen tradition within the Drigung Kagyu lineage.  He also gave the Ngagpa vows.  At the end of this tour, and at the request of the Drigung Meditation Center in Maryland, Rinpoche returned to lead a special Dzambhala (Deity of Wealth) ritual ceremony.  In connection with this ceremony, Rinpoche also prepared Yang Bum (Treasure Vases).  The Drigung Meditation Center in Maryland then distributed these to all of the Drigung Meditation Centers in America.  While in America, Rinpoche gave teachings and empowerments in  response to each Center¹s requests and needs.

At different times, people have asked Rinpoche to open centers.  In locations where Drigung Centers already exist, he has not felt that another center would be needed.  However, in New Orleans, where no Drigung Center was available and at the request of many people, he founded Lotus Lake Drigung Kagyu Dharma Center.

In 1998 Rinpoche was also invited to Toronto Canada.  Here he gave Chod empowerments and teachings as well as instruction on the proper use of the various ritual instruments.

In India in 1999, Ven. Ontül Rinpoche continued teachings to the monks at his monastery as well as to some of his other students who came to visit.  He also found time to do a personal retreat.  In addition to providing teachings, he supervised the construction of a new kitchen for the monks and a large house.  The house provides a space for a few retreatants; a library cum teaching hall; guest quarters for visiting high Lamas and his personal residence.

In February 2000, Rinpoche spent the month in Malaysia and Singapore.  Here he gave empowerments, teachings, divinations and house blessings.  He also led a special Dzambhala fire puja (Deity of Wealth) ritual ceremony.  In the spring, he traveled to Japan and gave seminars at the Cultural Center of Tibet.

By invitation from many of the Drigung Centers that he had previously visited,  Rinpoche returned to America at the end of July.  He also visited two new centers; the Tucson Meditation Society and the American Gar Dharma Island of Enlightenment.  While in Tucson, AZ, Rinpoche gave the Shitro (Peaceful & Wrathful) Bardo empowerment which comes from the YangZab (very Profound) the Dzogchen tradition within the Drigung Kagyu lineage.  He followed this with teachings on the Bardo.  While in Chino Valley, AZ, at the American Gar Dharma Island of Enlightenment, Rinpoche gave teachings on the Bardo, the 7 Mind Trainings of Mahayana and on the nature of the mind.

Early in his tour of America, Rinpoche made a return visit to the Drigung Kagyu office in Toronto, Canada.  While here, he also visited the Karma Kagyu Center.  During his time in Toronto, he gave the Long Life empowerment and a brief teachings on the Fivefold Profound Path of Mahamudra.

Rinpoche continues to give public talks when requested as well as being available for interviews for advice and personal instructions.


DEDICATION
Dedicated to the impeccable perpetuation of the glorious Kagyu lineage and to the
success of its leaders and followers in accomplishing their commitment to
bring all sentient beings to the state of enlightened awareness.

THE FOUR LIMITLESS THOUGHTS
May all mother sentient beings, boundless as the space, have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they be liberated from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be separated from the happiness which is free from sorrow.
May they rest in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion.