Longchenpa Online 2024
Friday, January 26 – Sunday, January 28
Registration closes on midnight on Tuesday, January 23
The Longchenpa ceremony is a special opportunity to approach the radiant realization of Longchenpa and the compassionate lineage of Padmasambhava.
This is the fourth year that we are holding it entirely online. The ceremony is closed; by invitation only for a selected group. If you think someone was missed or should be considered, please send us their name and email. Please do not share the invitation or link with anyone.
All participants must promise to uphold the conduct guidelines as described under “Conduct and Preparation” below, including joining on time and not leaving sessions early.
In order to receive the link for this event, please sign up by midnight on Tuesday, January 23rd. After the continuous chant begins on Friday, January 26th at 10:00 am, we will no longer be responding to questions or emails. Registration is online; scroll to the bottom of this page after reading through the information below.
Guidelines and Information
In order to invoke the blessings of the ceremony, it is important to observe certain basic rules. The formality of the ceremony is intrinsic to its power; traditionally it is said that failure to follow the form can counteract the effect of the ceremony, or even produce negative consequences.
Any amount of participation is considered beneficial. Some people participate in as many sessions as possible, others only come to one or two each day. We recommend participating at least in the first session and the last session.
To help the chanting ceremony run smoothly, and avoid disturbing your own concentration and the concentration of others, please abide by the following:
1. The most important aspect of the ceremony is to maintain the continuity of the group’s chant. Do not allow the chant to come to a halt! Even if there is a technical issue, please continue the chant, ensuring that it is continuing in real time even if the connection skips.
2. Inside the chant, practice with clear intention. Whatever you do, maintain the wish that your actions will benefit others. Even if you feel restless, negative, or uncomfortable you can still maintain this underlying positive intention.
3. Aside from chanting, be silent except for essential speech.
4. Turn off your microphone during the sessions.
5. Please keep your video on, as it enhances a sense of presence and participating together.
6. If your internet connection is too weak and you have no choice but to keep your screen off then that’s okay.
7. Try not to get up from your seat during a session. However, if you have to attend to an emergency, then do turn your video off temporarily.
8. Don’t eat food, check emails, or watch videos, anything that is overly casual or splits your attention.
Protecting the Form of the Ceremony: Entering and Exiting
9. Take great care to stay with the schedule: enter the digital waiting room of Zoom before your group is scheduled to enter the chant. You must enter on time with the group. If you are late, you will need to wait for the next session.
10. Do not leave the session early. Do exit the session at the end of each session.
Setting Your Space
11. Clean and prepare the space you will participate in.
12. Participate from your home in a tidy, sacred space with a thangka or a Buddha image or some kind of offering of merit or beauty, like a butterlamp or flowers.
13. In the decorum of how we would conduct a ceremony in a temple, please avoid having your pets on the screen. This may mean you need to keep pets in a different room.
14. Ensure that you are not interrupted during this time with other calls, background conversations or people appearing on screen.
15. Between sessions, strive to preserve a contemplative state of mind.
16. If you are attending multiple sessions, please be sure that you know the timing of the break, and can return to the ceremony in time.
17. Suggested: It is good to read Dharma texts, like Kindly Bent to Ease Us, the Bodhicharyavatara, Voice of the Buddha, and Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava.
No Recording or Photos
18. Please do not record the chants or take photos or post to Instagram, Facebook, any social media site, or anywhere online.
19. Dress respectfully and neatly. Maroon colors are appropriate but not required.
20. Traditionally we do not cover the head when we enter a temple hall or receive a dharma teaching, so please do not wear any hats or cover the head with blankets or shawls.
21. Wear appropriate, discreet clothing, as you would in a temple. Please do cover your shoulders.
22. Shower beforehand and put on clean clothes. This is part of preparing physically and mentally for the ceremony.
23. Optional: It would be good to have your mala in hand. Prayer wheel use is fine during the ceremony, but the focus should be on reciting the prayers.
24. Suggested: Do not eat meat or fish during the ceremony. Avoid substances that produce strong odors, such as raw onions, raw garlic, or tobacco.
- Friday, January 26th: Continuous chant begins at 10:00 AM, PST
- Saturday, January 27th: Continuous chant all day and all night
- Sunday, January 28th : Continuous chant ends at 11:30 AM, PST
Chant masters in Berkeley will take turns leading the chant.
Please find the schedule for the continuous chant below.
A ceremony is a ritual offering through which ordinary, finite consciousness is brought into contact with a higher, spiritual sphere, from which blessings and power radiate in streams of light and joy. Entering the realm of the ceremony is like entering the mandala, a sacred, consecrated space beyond worldly activity and ordinary time.
The Longchenpa ceremony is celebrated throughout the Nyingma community on the anniversary of Longchenpa’s death. The purpose of the ceremony is to purify negativity, to acquire merit through the activity of body, speech, and mind, and to dedicate this merit to the welfare of all sentient beings.
In the U.S., the Longchenpa ceremony was held for the first time in 1971 by Rinpoche, who introduced his students to this form of practice. During the chant at the Nyingma Institute, we commit ourselves to maintaining a continuous chanting of the Vajra Guru mantra for several days and nights.
In the opening session we begin with three prostrations and then, once seated, you will receive instructions in the meditation and practice. The prayers will be shared on the screen so that you can follow along. During the continuous chant we will be chanting the Vajra Guru Mantra.
At the end of the final session of the ceremony, a special closing mantra is chanted, prior to the closing dedication of merit. This prayer will also be shared on the screen so that you can follow along.
We would like to dedicate this ceremony and all of our prayers for:
- The longevity of our beloved teacher and founder, Venerable Tarthang Rinpoche.
- The continued flourishing of the Dharma activity of Rinpoche’s family, his community, and our Nyingma Mandala organizations.
- The longevity of the Buddhadharma in the world, both in Asia at the roots in its traditional homelands, and here in new lands in the West.
- The swift end of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the complete healing and easing of pain of all people around the world who are afflicted with the illness, for those whose lives have been taken by it, and all those affected or impacted by it.
- The deep religious, political, ideological, and socioeconomic divisions of our time to be healed, so that a new age of universal wisdom, compassion, harmony and prosperity may dawn for humanity.
- An end to violence in all its forms through body, speech and mind and the never ending cycle perpetuated by systems and instruments of violence, for all the precious beings with whom we share this beautiful planet.
- The balancing and renewal of the environment of our whole planet, to stabilize the climate emergency and all its attendant disruptions, disasters, and dangers.
As always, we dedicate the merit of our prayers to the complete and perfect awakening of all sentient beings, past, present and future. May all beings throughout all time and space connect with the Lotus Born Guru Padmasambhava, whose blessings flow so powerfully through the enlightened lineage of Longchenpa. May all beings be healthy, happy, peaceful, and have the profound fortune to enter, persevere upon, and complete the path of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas.