Weekend Workshop with Erik Jampa
In this workshop, we will explore the ancient Tibetan Buddhist practice of Chöd as found in the Yuthok Nyingthik. This is known as the Yuthok Nyingthik Kusali Tsok (“Beggar’s Feast”) or Lujin (“Body Offering”). Similar to the rest of the Yuthok Nyingthik, this Healing Chöd practice is essential and pithy, making it a perfect sadhana for modern times.
Based on the teachings of the 11th-century Tibetan yogini Machig Labdrön, the ritual of Chöd ("Severance") has been employed by yogis, healers, and weather-makers across the Himalayas for nearly a millennia. Accomplished adepts are famed in Tibet for their capacity to quell epidemic disease and appease troublesome local spirits, though traditional Chödpas will shun any such acclaim and spend their lives abiding among the cadavers and vultures in desolate charnel grounds as wandering beggars. Nonetheless, Chöd has gained a widespread reputation in the Himalayas as a potent healing rite, and practitioners across the globe use the practice for self-healing, healing for others, and healing for the environment.
The allure of this esoteric ritual has captivated spiritual seekers and academics alike for centuries, yet its essence is not one of occult mystery, but rather a profound understanding of the human mind. Machig's teachings on the nature of the "four demons" reveal the true nature of our hopes and fears, while the ritual framework offers an opportunity to accumulate positive karma, develop spiritual potency, cancel karmic debts, and heal both the environment and sentient beings. On a most essential level, however, the true power of Chöd lies in its power to cut through dualistic ego-fixation, the root of all negative emotions.
Along with the Yuthok Chöd practice, we will learn an offering ritual to Shanglön Mahakala from the Chöd tradition. Shanglön is the primary protector of the Yuthok Nyingthik, and was “revealed” by Traba Ngönshe, an 11th century master who is credited both as being Machig’s primary Prajnaparamita and Dzogchen teacher, and the tertön (spiritual treasure revealer) of the Four Tantras of Tibetan Medicine. This short offering explores some of the qualities of Shanglön and his consort (Nöjin Kundrupma), as well as their extended retinue.
Guest Teacher Erik Jampa Andersson has been studying and practicing Chöd since he was a young teenager, and draws from a wealth of both traditional study and personal experience in sharing this practice with others. In this course, he will cover the history, philosophical foundations, and ritual framework for Chöd, including its captivating melodies and traditional instrumental techniques, as well as some techniques for applying the practice in a healing environment. By the end of this course, participants will feel confident in their ability to perform this beautiful practice on their own.
Those who don’t already have Chöd instruments (and would like to use them) will find a limited number of high quality Chöd instruments (drum and bell and and dorje) available for your use or purchase onsite at the workshop.