Longchenpa 2019

Longchenpa is an invitation-only community chanting ceremony held at Nyingma Institute.  It starts with a 1.5 hour evening chant on the full moon day of Sunday, January 20th at 7:00 pm. The continuous chant begins on Monday, January 21st at 10:30 am.

Doors remain locked during this event, and RSVPs in advance are required. Please read over the commitments below before contacting us with the hours you would like to attend.

If you are unable to attend in person, please join us online via Livestream: www.nyingmainstitute.com/longchenpa-live

 

Required Ceremony Commitments for Participants

 

If you wish to participate in Longchenpa, please make the following commitments before signing up to come: 

  1. I will take great care to enter and exit only at appropriate times and with my assigned group.
  2. If I am late, I will not enter the ceremony room. Instead, I will wait for the next shift.
  3. Once I am inside the ceremony room, I will not exit until it is time to do so with my group.
  4.  I will abide by essential speech, using my voice for chanting only.
  5. If asked to modify my behavior or leave by staff, I will do so immediately and respectfully. 

In order to invoke the blessings of the ceremony, it is important to observe these 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. 

 

 

Dates and Times

  • Sunday, January 20th, 7 – 8:30 PM: Evening chant dedicated to Longchenpa
  • Monday, January 21st:  Continuous chant begins at 10:30 AM
  • Tuesday, January 22nd: Continuous chant all day and all night
  • Wednesday, January 23rd: Continuous chant ends at 11:30 AM

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. We ask that participants sign up in advance for shifts, so that together we can cover all time slots. 

Please find the schedule for the continuous chant below. 

How to RSVP

Please get in touch to let us know the following:

  1. If you’ve read and agree to abide by the commitments and guidelines for participating. 
  2. Which hours and shifts you’d like to sign up for. 
  3. If you’d like to request a room. Please note that space is extremely limited, so we try to prioritize those who are traveling from far away, staying for multiple days, and taking overnight shifts. Letting us know early helps. We will take your name and get back to you. 

You can RSVP in person at the Front Desk, or by contacting us at 510-809-1000 or info@nyingmainstitute.com

Guidelines for Practice

Important:  Please do not attend the chant if you have a cold or flu. Thank you. 

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. 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 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.

Preparation

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

Conduct

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: be in the Kanjur Tangyur Room (formerly known as the Stupa Room) several minutes before your group enters the chant. (If you do arrive after your group has entered the meditation room, don’t go into the meditation room late; you may remain in the Kanjur Tangyur Room and chant there if you like.)
  3. While on break, be mindful of the ceremony. There will be reading materials available in the reading area and the Kanjur Tangyur Room.
  4. Inside the meditation room, 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. Never speak in the meditation room during the chant.
  6. Chant in an even voice—neither too loud nor too soft.
  7. When you change positions or leave the meditation room, move quietly and mindfully. Never extend your legs toward the altar or sit with the soles of your feet pointing at the altar.
  8. No food or water should be brought into the meditation room. This includes bottled water, water bottles, etc. 

Offerings

We encourage you to bring flowers or food offerings such as candy or fruit for the ceremony. The Institute has bought and prepared offerings of flowers, candles, and food that are arranged at the front of the meditation room. If you would like to contribute to these offerings, please make a donation (check or cash) and leave it at the front desk. You may also make a contribution toward the cost of meals. Each evening the food offerings are removed from the meditation room and made available for you to eat in the dining room. These offerings should not be considered ordinary food; when you eat them, please eat with awareness, mindful that the food has served as an offering.

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! Listen attentively to the pace set by the group leaders, and do not embellish the chant with extra notes.

The first two rows of seats in the meditation room will be assigned. If you do not have an assigned seat, please fill up seats toward the front of the room first (unless they are reserved). If you are participating in the chant all day, you may save your seat by placing a piece of paper on top of the cushion when you leave for a break or meal. Paper will be available in the Kanjur Tangyur Room for this purpose.

Group leaders should sit at the front of the room, and are responsible for keeping the beat of the chant with bells or cymbals. If the group leaders are out of the room for any reason, other persons should take over this responsibility. Responsibility for keeping the beat should be shared among two or more people, who should relieve one another at fifteen to twenty minute intervals.

Particular people have been assigned to care for offering candles and incense. Please do not light incense unless this is your job.

Coming and Going

During the chant enter and leave the meditation room through the back entrance (via the Kanjur Tangyur Room). The front entrance is used only for the beginning and ending of the ceremony. Everyone in a group should enter and leave at the same time. When you leave for a break, wait for the bell to sound before leaving; when you return gather in the Kanjur Tangyur Room and come in together.

Breaks range from brief rest periods of 15 minutes up to one hour for lunch and dinner. During the meals, the last 30 minutes are for clean-up.  Particular people will be assigned for cleanup, but EVERYBODY should help! Please be sure that you know the timing of the break, and can return to the ceremonies in time.  Stay nearby and 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.

Prayers

In the opening session we begin with three prostrations and then, once seated, you will receive instructions in the meditation and practice. You will receive copies of these prayers, which will be collected at the close of the practice (and can be placed in the Kanjur Tangyur Room when you have finished with them). Please treat these copies with respect. Later in the days of 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. Copies of these prayers will be available in the Kanjur Tangyur Room before the last session begins. After the final prayers, there will be a period of silent meditation.

Schedule for Continuous Chant

Monday, January 21st

Group A Schedule for Monday, January 21

10:30–11:30 AM                Chanting, Group A

11:30–12:30 PM                Lunch, Group A

12:30–2:45 PM                 Chanting, Group A

2:45–3:15 PM                     Break, Group A

3:15–5:00 PM                     Chanting, Group A

5:00–6:00 PM                     Dinner, Group A

6:00–8:00 PM                     Chanting, Group A

8:00–8:15 PM                     Break, Group A

8:15–10 PM                        Chanting, Group A

Group B Schedule for Monday, January 21

10:30–12:30 PM                Chanting, Group B

12:30–1:30 PM                  Lunch, Group B

1:30–3:15 PM                     Chanting, Group B

3:15–3:45 PM                     Break, Group B

3:45–6:00 PM                     Chanting, Group B

6:00–7:00 PM                     Dinner, Group B

7:00–8:15 PM                     Chanting, Group B

8:15–8:30 PM                     Break, Group B

8:30–10:00 PM                 Chanting, Group B

All night chant Monday, January 21

Group 1: 9:55PM–midnight

Group 2: midnight–2 AM

Group 3: 2–4 AM

Group 4: 4–6 AM

Group 5: 6–8 AM (Group 5 breakfast, 8–8:45 AM)

Tuesday, January 22

Group A Schedule for Tuesday, January 22

8:00–9:15 AM                    Chanting, Group A

9:15–9:45 AM                    Break, Group A

9:45–11:30 AM                 Chanting, Group A

11:30–12:30 PM                Lunch, Group A

12:30–2:45 PM                  Chanting, Group A

2:45–3:15 PM                     Break, Group A

3:15–5:00 PM                     Chanting, Group A

5:00–6:00 PM                     Dinner, Group A

6:00–8:00 PM                     Chanting, Group A

8:00–8:15 PM                     Break, Group A

8:15–10:00 PM                  Chanting, Group A

Group B Schedule for Tuesday, January 22

7:15–8:00 AM                    Breakfast and clean-up

8:00–9:45 AM                    Chanting, Group B

9:45–10:15 AM                  Break, Group B

10:15–12:30 PM                Chanting, Group B

12:30–1:30 PM                 Lunch, Group B

1:30–3:15 PM                     Chanting, Group B

3:15–3:45 PM                     Break, Group B

3:45–6:00 PM                     Chanting, Group B

6:00–7:00 PM                     Dinner, Group B

7:00–8:15 PM                     Chanting, Group B

8:15–8:30 PM                     Break, Group B

8:30–10:00 PM                 Chanting, Group B

All night chant Tuesday, January 22

Group 1: 9:55 PM–midnight

Group 2: midnight–2  AM

Group 3: 2–4 AM

Group 4: 4–6 AM

Group 5: 6–8 AM (Group 5 breakfast, 8–8:45 AM)

Wednesday, January 23

Group A Schedule for Wednesday, January 23:

7:15–8:00 AM               Breakfast and clean-up

8:00–9:15 AM               Chanting, Group A

9:15–9:45 AM               Break, Group A

9:45–11:30 AM            Final Chanting Session and closing ceremony

Group B Schedule for Wednesday, January 23:

7:15–8:00 AM                    Breakfast and clean-up

8:00–9:45 AM                    Chanting, Group B

9:45–10:15 AM                  Break, Group B

10:15–11:30 AM                Final Chanting Session and closing ceremony

11:30–1 PM                     Snack and clean-up for all groups

How You Can Help 

There is no charge, but we are grateful for donations to help cover the cost of housing, meals, and the offerings. There will be a donation box available on site. 

We encourage you to bring flowers and food offerings like fruit, candy, crackers, cheese, or nuts.

We’d be delighted if you would like to volunteer to assist in the kitchen with cooking! 

As a reminder, everyone should help with meal clean up and dishes. Thank you! 

RSVP

Please get in touch to let us know the following:

  1. If you’ve read and agree to abide by the commitments for participating. 
  2. Which hours and shifts you’d like to sign up for.
  3. If you’d like to request a room. Please note that space is extremely limited, so we try to prioritize those who are traveling from far away, staying for multiple days, and taking overnight shifts. Letting us know early helps. We will take your name and get back to you.

You can RSVP in person at the Front Desk, or by contacting us at 510-809-1000 or info@nyingmainstitute.com