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Registration Form: SHERAB CHAMMA, THE WISDOM LOVING MOTHER A weekend meditation and teaching retreat with GesheTenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
Nov 21st , 22nd and 23rd, 2014
Olympia Women’s Center 1002 Washington St SE Olympia, WA 98501

PO Box 14674
Tumwater, WA. 98511 (PHONE 360.352.7066)
Registration includes tea/coffee and snacks for updates and information
related to the retreat
(Please Print Clearly)
( ) My registration check is $195.00 postmarked by 10/21/14.
( ) My registration check is $215.00 postmarked after 10/21/14.

sherab chamma flyer

Through the power of these Sherab Chamma teachings we learn to connect to our own innate wisdom and its radiance of love and compassion. Overcome struggles and fears on physical,energetic and spiritual levels by opening to self arising wisdom needed to creatively host life’s challenges. Through these practices we connect with the healing qualities of the Five Elements and the deepest essence of our own true nature.

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Founder and spiritual director of Ligmincha Institute, is a highly respected and beloved teacher to students worldwide. Fluent in English, he is renowned for his depth of wisdom, clear teaching style & his ability to make these ancient Tibetan teachings highly accessible and relevant to our everyday lives.

FRI 7:00-9:00, SAT 9:00 –5:00, SUN 9:00 – 1:00 Early Bird by 10/21/14 $195 After 10/21/14 $215
To preregister,
Send check or money order payable to Carel Camerer PO Box 14674 Tumwater, WA 98511. Please include your email contact information. For questions email or phone @ or 360.352.7066

Interview with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche about Tibetan Sound practices published with Snowlion


Ligmincha Northwest Website

QUESTION: Sound is important in the world’s spiritual traditions and is central to many Tibetan healing and spiritual practices. It seems that sound affects us on all levels-physical, mental, and spiritual.

TENZIN WANGYAL RINPOCHE: Yes, there are different levels of sound practice. Ancient Tibetan yogis who lived in the wilderness far from medical care used sound and other yogic techniques to maintain their health, for example.

We know that in acupuncture, when a needle is placed in a part of the body, it sends a vibration or message to another part, bringing balance and healing. In a similar way, the vibration of sound as it reverberates on the lips, in the head, and in the chest can affect the body and organs in a very healing way. As the health is affected, so are the mind and emotions. If you chant the syllable RAM for the fire element, for example, that vibration opens certain channels and chakras, affecting in turn certain organs, and brings a particular experience of higher consciousness.

Q: How does one know what sounds to use?

TWR: This is a very ancient system and is described in a number of Tibetan texts. I’m teaching primarily from the Bon Mother Tantra (Ma Gyud). The Mother Tantra describes specific sound practices to treat physical ailments such as headaches, chest pain, and other problems.

The right sounds create balance between the five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and space. These elements, present in nature, are also present in each one of us. Our own particular balance of the elements strongly affects our mental and physical states – so maintaining this balance is essential to good health. There are practices of chanting certain sounds, certain syllables, which activate or pacify each of the elements. These have a subtle but potent effect on our organs, and on our mental and spiritual states.

Q: Please say more about how we should view sound from the point of view of spiritual practice.

TWR: As a practitioner, you can look at sound in three different ways. First, on the ordinary level, one should become aware of one’s use of words and how these choices affect oneself and others. Secondly, on an energetic level, one may connect with the sounds themselves. These seed sounds contain elemental qualities that vibrate different parts of the body and different chakras, as I mentioned before. As our chakras are affected in this way, a higher vibration may be activated. Thirdly, and ultimately, the role of sound for the practitioner must be for self-realization.

Q: With the first of these, are you talking about “virtuous speech?”

TWR: Yes, partly. In the traditional teachings, four of the ten “non-virtuous actions” are connected with speech: lying, slander, harsh words, and meaningless chatter. But where do these arise? It says in the Dzogchen teachings that when the sound and innate awareness merge, it produces speech -enlightened speech and samsaric speech. If the realization of that union of sound and innate awareness (rigpa) is present, then speech is naturally very pure.

Q: Most of us are not at that level of awareness.

TWR: When someone is completely awakened, speech comes out spontaneously in response to circumstances, without a plan and without concept. For someone who is very mindful, having conscious awareness but without this complete awakening, speech is still very pure. Every word has meaning and purpose. It is not idle and certainly not hurtful. Then, if we are not able to achieve this level of mindfulness, discipline alone is a help, with rules guiding how we use our speech.

The main thing is that when there is a lack of awareness, when our inner space is not clear, wrong speech arises. If we observe ourselves, we see this clearly. When I am upset, it is easy for harsh or foolish words to come out if, at that moment, I also lack awareness. I cannot always change the outer circumstances that are upsetting me. But when I have awareness, I can change my inner space.

Q: It sounds like the relationship between sound and mind states goes both ways. Yogis use sound to express certain mind states or experiences. And, as practitioners, we can use these sounds to induce certain physical and mental states. Is this true?

TWR: Sound is one manifestation of certain qualities and essence, so there is a direct relationship there. This means that if you work with sound, you can connect with those qualities and essence. Also if you connect with certain enlightened qualities, you can express them through sound.

Using sound in spiritual practice is not unlike using your body in spiritual practice. Your body is not you in an ultimate sense, but it is an aspect of you. Through your body you can develop. Through your body you can also be sick. Speech is also like this. Physical sound originates directly in the physical body. The quality, energy, and vibration of sound relate to the pranic level. The essence of sound is the nature of mind, one’s very being. But does working with one level work with all? That has to do with your level of awakening. You might be aware of the gross sound, but the nature of the sound, the deep quality of the sound can be obscured. When you say the sacred syllable A, it is easy for the ear to hear the gross sound, but to recognize the deeper energetic vibration, you need greater sensitivity.

Q: Mantras, strings of sacred syllables, are very important in the spiritual practices of Tibet, India, and other parts of Asia. Can you say anything about the origins of mantras?

TWR: Historically, there were enlightened individuals who themselves awakened in those sounds, who realized the power of those mantras, and saw how they could benefit sentient beings. They then developed whole cycles of teachings and practices related to those mantras. In essence, though, it is much deeper. Energetically, each individual sound is produced by its own root, which is beyond time and space.

Q: Rinpoche, in the generation stage of classic tantric sadhanas, sounds, in this case seed syllables, are used in a very specific way. There is space. Then the seed syllable arises, and from that the deity. Can you say more about this very special use of sacred sound?

TWR: One can look at this in different ways.

In the Bon Mother Tantra there is a beautiful commentary called “The Birthless Sphere of Light.” It says, “From the body of the unborn essence arises the sphere of light, and from that sphere of light arises wisdom. From the wisdom arises the seed syllable and from the seed syllable arises the complete mandala, the deity and the retinue.”

Another way of looking at it is like this. Radios and televisions work by picking up a certain frequency, right? There is space and in that space there is a frequency. In order to perceive that frequency you need a good receiver and a good color screen. In terms of the classic tantric sadhanas, it is not as if one letter just pops up in space. It is not like that. Sound and space are infinite. This subtle vibration that we humans, accustomed to sounds and images, perceive as the sacred seed syllable or as the deity exists in that space and appears in compassionate response to a need.

Q: My own experience with these practices is that, at first, I work hard to visualize something, to create a picture in my mind. But as my practice develops over time, I have a sense of connecting with something much greater than my mind could create. Is this what you are saying?

TWR: Yes. Basically one is tuning into something that already exists rather than making something up. We are trying to be in the right frequency ourselves so we can connect with what’s there. Sometimes we are able to connect; sometimes we are not able to connect. Through practice, through cultivating certain qualities, certain kinds of stability, the ability to connect increases. It depends on the level of the practitioner. The beginner may be more like an old, blurry black and white TV while the advanced yogi perceives the high quality digital image. The frequency they perceive is the same -spontaneously existing in space and arising with wisdom and compassion.

It is not necessary to see this only in esoteric terms. We use this same process in generating any quality. For example, a person is sad and needs to develop joy. Joy may be present and perfect in its essence but is hidden in experience. How do we bring it into expression? First we try to connect with the seed of joy, like a small flame inside. Once that seed is discovered, we cultivate and develop it. Gradually, then, we act it out. Then it becomes complete, at least for human beings like us who have body, speech and mind. Samantabhadra probably doesn’t need to express it in order to feel complete, but we humans do! The “Practice of the Five Warrior Syllables” [see sidebar] is helpful for developing such positive qualities. In this modern time, with the many stresses we face, we need to develop ways to balance and harmonize our energy. This is important of course for health. But, most important, it can support our spiritual growth.

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is the author of Wonders of the Natural Mind; The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep; Healing with Form, Energy and Light; and a forthcoming book on practices of body, speech, and mind, all from Snow Lion Publications. He resides in Charlottesville, Virginia, and teaches worldwide.

Our special thanks to Snow Lion Publications for their help and support in granting us permission to reprint this article, which originally appeared in the Snow Lion Newsletter.

This interview with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche was conducted and edited by Helen Gatling-Austin. FOR MORE INFORMATION: email:

Good news! Audio recordings of the recent Five Element Soul Retrieval teaching (Olympia, WA, April 29, 30, & May 1 of 2011) are now available to those who attended the teaching. A donation of $12 or more is very much appreciated. All proceeds will benefit Ligmincha’s Lishu Institute in Dehradun, India.

Please make your check out to Ligmincha Institute and put “Lishu” in the memo line.

Mail donations to:

Ligmincha Institute
554 Drumheller Lane
Shipman, VA 22971

Please fill out the following form to notify us of your interest in receiving the recordings. You will receive by email an invitation to access the MP3 files online at, where you may listen to them or download them to your hard drive.

Dear Northwest Sangha,

Many of you have shared heartfelt words of appreciation since our time together at the retreat. Thank you and we send our gratitude and love right back at ya.
The presence and focus of each and every one of you contributed greatly to the transformative power of the practice. Revealing once again that the Northwest Sangha rocks and is a perfect home for the unbroken Bon-Buddhist lineage and wisdom teachings to grow and flourish.

During this time of challenge and transition it feels clear and necessary that we find, embrace and wholeheartedly engage in practices that directly connect us to ourselves, each other and the natural world.

We are fortunate in our neck of the woods, the Great Northwest, that nature is abundantly alive and still talking to us. Rinpoche felt all this and more. In fact during the retreat it became clear to him that the West coast needs a Center. How, when and where this will manifest is unknown, at least to us, but I have no doubt about his vision, power of manifestation or the generosity of others. So thank you again for the spirit you brought to this event.

More good news. Rinpoche will be back with us again on November 16-18, 2012 to teach the practice of Dream Yoga. Better set your clock and put it on your calendar, it would be a drag to sleep through this one, (sorry couldn’t resist.) We will send you more information about this teaching in the future. Meanwhile if you haven’t already read Rinpoche’s book on the subject we highly recommend it. I’ve read it twice and the last chapter five times now.

There’s more…., on Saturday August 6, two months from now, Marcy Vaughn, lineage bearer and one of Rinpoche’s senior most students will be here to teach the combination practice of the Six Lokas. This is an opportunity for those of us who attended the retreat with Rinpoche last year or anyone presently doing this practice to deepen in understanding and experience.

For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of practicing with Marcy at Ligmincha Institute, this is a rare opportunity and an experience not to be missed. Marcy’s teaching style is powerful, clear and laced with fiery wisdom, compassion and humor. She is a seasoned practitioner with over thirty year’s experience. She serves as the Communications director at Ligmincha, chief editor on many of Rinpoche’s books and is currently teaching US students in the Three Doors Academy. Space may be limited so please take some for yourself.

Please let us know if you can attend just as soon as possible. The fee for the teaching will be $108.00. We are hoping to do a fire ceremony on the day before or after the teaching and will let you know as soon as it is confirmed. If you are planning to attend, call 360.709.0918 or contact us using this form:

Last but not least….how about the CD from the Soul Retrieval retreat, what’s up with that, you guys?

The good news…, it worked and it’s downloaded. The bad (or patience-is-a-virtue) part of the news…., is that we are working on how to configure it on the website for retreatants only. This will hopefully be accomplished in less time than it takes to do 100,000 mantras.

More soon….,

In Bon with joy,
Lynn and Carel

Here you are invited to share your stories of practice. Post your questions, your insights, your experiences. Respond to one another’s posts to build a conversation. What was the Five Element Soul Retrieval teaching like for you? How is your life affected by your practice? How is your practice affected by your life? What are you struggling with? What realization are you celebrating?


Register now: Dream Yoga

Dream Yoga

November 16-18, 2012

To invite the blessing of compassion for yourself or another, please click on the spinning prayer wheel.

Perpetually Spinning Prayer Wheel

Remember in prayer: Lynn, Carel, Beth Fisher, Tommy, Jane, Claire O'Keefe, Jules Unsel, Khalid Montgomery, Sujaila, Jenneth Webster, Anne-Marie, Tim

Your Practice Stories

5 Elements Khandro

Share your experience of the Soul Retrieval training and of your own practice.

Visit the Ligmincha Bookstore for more about "The Tibetan Yogas of Dream & Sleep" and other titles by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.

Visit the Ligmincha Bookstore for more about this and other titles by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.

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