Longchenpa 2021

At this time, there is so much negativity in the world, including the suffering from COVID, so coming together to pray for world peace is even more important. The Longchenpa ceremony is celebrated throughout the Nyingma community on the anniversary of Longchenpa’s death. It is a special opportunity to approach the radiant realization of Longchenpa and the compassionate lineage of Padmasambhava. 

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. The ceremony at the Nyingma Institute (Berkeley) is not open to the general public, it is by invitation only. This year, we are holding it entirely online and in cooperation with the international Nyingma Institutes in Amsterdam, Köln, Rio, and Sao Paulo. 

Important:  By participating, you are promising 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 Wednesday, January 27th. After the continuous chant begins on Friday, January 29th at 10:30 am, we will no longer be responding to questions or emails. If your invitation was missed or lost, please contact us! 

Guidelines and Information 

Conduct

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.

To help the chanting ceremony run smoothly, and avoid disturbing your own concentration and the concentration of others, please:

  1. Aside from chanting, be silent except for essential speech.
  2. Take great care to stay with the schedule: enter the digital waiting room of Zoom early (we suggest being 5 minutes early) before your group is scheduled to enter the chant. (If you are late, you will need to wait for the next session.) Do not leave the session early.
  3. While on break, be mindful of the ceremony. (Reading Dharma books, especially those by Longchenpa, can be helpful.)
  4. 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.
  5. While you’re in the chant, just focus on the chant. (Don’t eat food, check emails, or watch videos, anything that is overly casual or splits your attention.)

Online Protocol 

We would like to ensure that the ceremony is as smooth as possible, and in order to do that, we also ask for your kind agreement to the following:

  1. Turn off your microphone during the sessions.
  2. 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.
  3. Ensure that you are not interrupted during this time with other calls, background conversations or people appearing on screen.
  4. Try not to get up from your seat during a session and if you have to attend to something unexpected, turn your video off temporarily.
  5. 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. 
  6. Please do not record the chants or take photos or post to Instagram, Facebook, any social media site, or anywhere online. This is a sacred ceremony purely intended to invoke the blessings of Longchenpa for the benefit of our troubled world. 
  7. Please keep your video on, as it enhances a sense of presence and participating together. (If your internet connection is too weak and you have no choice but to keep it off then that’s okay.) 

Preparation

Prepare for the ceremony physically and mentally. Do not eat meat or fish during the ceremony. Avoid substances that produce strong odors, such as raw onions, raw garlic, or tobacco.

Please shower beforehand and put on clean clothes. 

Clean and prepare the space you will participate in. 

Dress Code 

Dress respectfully and neatly. Maroon colors are appropriate but not required.

Please do not wear any hats or cover the head with blankets or shawls, and wear appropriate, discreet clothing, as you would in a temple. Traditionally we do not cover the head when we enter a temple hall or receive a dharma teaching.

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.

Sitting and Chanting

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.

Please mute yourself when entering the chant. Group leaders (our assigned chant masters) will be the only ones whose voices are heard for this online version of the event.

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. (Please do note that while the number of sessions you participate in is flexible, you must only enter and exit the chant according to the schedule and are agreeing not to exit early so once in you must participate for the full session, which is usually about 1 – 2 hours long.)

Coming and Going

Breaks range from brief rest periods of 15 minutes up to one hour for lunch and dinner. Please be sure that you know the timing of the break, and can return to the ceremonies in time.

Between sessions, strive to preserve a contemplative state of mind. 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.

  • Thursday, January 28th:  45 minute evening chant, 8:30 – 9:15 PM, PST (Optional) 
  • Friday, January 29th: Continuous chant begins at 10:30 AM, PST
  • Saturday, January 30th:  Continuous chant all day and all night
  • Sunday, January 31st : Continuous chant all day and all night (same schedule as Jan. 30)
  • Monday, February 1st: Continuous chant ends at 11:30 AM, PST

In order to continue the chant without pause, during the day two groups take breaks alternatively, and during the night smaller groups of people take overlapping shifts. This year, we will have chant masters from all of our different centers take turns leading.

Please find the schedule for the continuous chant below. 

Introduction 

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 purpose of the Longchenpa 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.

The Longchenpa ceremony is celebrated throughout the Nyingma community on the anniversary of Longchenpa’s death. It is a special opportunity to approach the radiant realization of Longchenpa and the compassionate lineage of Padmasambhava.

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.

Prayers

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.

Update:  Please email us to receive the private link for online registration. 

Students should contact the center that they have been invited by.

For those affiliated with Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, please get in touch to confirm the following:

  1.     If you’ve read and agree to abide by the commitments and guidelines (see “Conduct and Preparation”) for participating.
  2.     Which hours and shifts you’d like to sign up for, and also whether you’d like to be in Group A or Group B. 

You can contact us at 510-809-1000 (please leave a message and we’ll get back to you) or info@nyingmainstitute.com

We ask that participants sign up before midnight on Wednesday, January 27th, so that we can send you the link in time before the event starts.

 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. 

Schedule for Continuous Chant

We have included three time zones below:  Berkeley (PST), Amsterdam and Köln (CET) , and Rio and Sao Paulo (BRT). 

Please make sure you’re checking the column with the correct time zone!

Please make sure you’re checking the column with the correct time zone! PST, CET, and BRT are listed below.

 

Please make sure you’re checking the column with the correct time zone! PST, CET, and BRT are listed below.

 

Please make sure you’re checking the column with the correct time zone! PST, CET, and BRT are listed below.