Phowa Retreat

Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche

July 3 - 9

  • $500.00 – Basic Program Price (Includes meals, does not include lodging)
  • $560.00 – Program Price with CAMPING (Includes meals. Camping fee fixed for any length of stay.)
  • $650.00 – Program Price with TENT CABIN (Includes meals and 6 nights in a shared tent cabin.)

Date and Time Details: Registration July 3 at 3-5 pm Closing ceremony July 9 at approx. 12pm

Program Contact: Ani Marcia.
Phone: 707-925-0201.

Rangjung Yeshe Gomde CA is deeply honored to host H.E. 4 th Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche’s first ever Phowa Intensive Retreat in the West this July 3-9, 2012.  Rinpoche will compassionately transmit the very special practice known in Tibetan as Phowa, the transference of consciousness.  This simple, concise, yet profound practice will ensure the dying practitioner, even those burdened with heinous negative karma, rebirth in higher realms endowed with positive circumstances conducive to further spiritual development towards enlightenment.  The foremost practitioner can actualize full and complete Buddhahood in Amitabha Buddha’s pure land of Great Bliss.

Padmasambhava, with ineffable wisdom and compassion, bestowed this precious phowa practice and then concealed it until it could be revealed by the Great Treasure Revealer Chokgyur Dechen Zhikpo Lingpa (1829-70) for the sake of modern practitioners who can ill-afford the time to perfect the profound sacred dharma.   There are merely three realized masters between Guru Rinpoche and H.E. 4th Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche, the fourth reincarnation of Chokgyur Lingpa. Hence, this particular practice is from a truly pure, short, profound and blessed lineage untainted by broken commitments and degenerations.

The Guru of Oddiyana himself praised Phowa as follows:

Everyone knows about Buddhahood through meditation

But I know a path without meditation.

We are extremely blessed to have the fortunate opportunity to learn in a few days one of the simplest, most efficient and effective skillful means that can help us actualize Buddhahood without meditation.  By the end of this intensive retreat it is our fervent wish that all attendees will attain the signs of accomplishment and gain “transformative” confidence.  According to a student who attended the 2011 International Phowa Retreat in Malaysia, ‟It was an amazing experience for everyone, even for those who have known and followed Rinpoche for a long time.  While the organizers planned for the retreat to last for five days, which is already shorter than most other Phowa retreats, with Rinpoche’s kind and remarkable blessings all participants received the sign of success within two and a half days!”

Pre-requisite for this program is having taken refuge.  H.E. Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche will offer a refuge taking ceremony on Tuesday, July 3 as needed.

Pending the completion of the Phowa Retreat within 5 days, H.E. Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche will continue with two days of teachings and empowerments on July 8th and 9th.

Retreat check-in for the Phowa Retreat will be open from 3-5 pm Tuesday, July 3rd.

Please register today to secure your seat.

Rejoice in this wonderful opportunity and join in the good fortune of this momentous occasion.


Q&A on Phowa with Kyabgon Phakchok Rinpoche (2009)

Does Amitabha Buddha’s Western Pure Land of Great Bliss really exist?

Yes, according Mahayana Buddhism’s Pure Land Sutra, Amitabha Buddha’s pure land or buddhafield exists in the westerly direction. It arose from the power of one of the most astonishing and unique vows borne from the infinite compassion of Amitabha while still a bodhisattva or a buddha-in-training, that if he became enlightened he must actualize the ability to emanate a pure land where any sentient being who has great faith, devotion to Amitabha Buddha, and compassion to sentient beings can be reborn without regressing back into cyclic existence. At the secret level, Amitabha Buddha’s pure land is actually the pure essence of our mind and hence intrinsic to each and every sentient being. If we can accept this key point then it would make sense that as our mind becomes purer, we will begin to perceive directly that all is divine and perfect.

When we arrive at Amitabha Buddha’s Pure Land what happens to our bad karma and obscurations?

Reaching Amitabha Buddha’s Western Pure Land of Great Bliss does not automatically free us of the effect of negative actions nor eradicate our obscurations that prevent us from attaining full and complete enlightenment. Otherwise, merely being reborn in Amitabha Buddha’s buddhafield would be the equivalent of buddhahood. As is taught extensively in the Pure Land Sutra, after rebirth in Amitabha’s buddhafield, we easily continue to purify our negativities and reach enlightenment. Because, infinite emanations of Amitabha are present everywhere to turn the wheel of dharma and everything in the environment from the inanimate (like sounds of wind, water, and so forth) to the animate (birds, bees, and so forth) emit sacred sounds of dharma and dharanis that turn our minds towards virtue and practice.

How can we go to Amitabha Buddha’s Pure Land?

It is taught that four factors help facilitate our rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land. Firstly we must have unstinting great compassion known as the heart of enlightenment (or bodhicitta in Sanskrit) towards all sentient beings and one-pointed faith and devotion to Amitabha Buddha especially at the point of our death. Secondly, while facing the westerly direction we must habitually make offerings to Amitabha Buddha, recite his name while visualizing him in the space in front of us, and make one-pointed aspiration prayer to be reborn in the Western Pure Land of Great Bliss, especially when we are dying. Thirdly, we need to dedicate all the merits that we have accumulated towards rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land. Finally, every year we should do at least one Amitabha Buddha retreat for at least a day, a long weekend, or a month if possible.

What is Phowa and how to practice it?

As mentioned earlier, phowa is one of many skillful means in Buddhism practiced by many past great masters and practitioners all over South Asia, the Himalayas, China, and the Far East to free themselves from cyclic existence and actualize enlightenment. Although the details are secret, the practice can be simply described as learning of how to send our consciousness to Amitabha’s buddhafield through our ninth orifice, also known as the Brahma gate of the central channel. At the same time we also learn to block off the remaining eight gates, namely, our anus, urinary orifice, navel, mouth, nose, eyes, ears, and the eighth gate that is located above our hairline when we are still an infant. If we do not learn to block the lower eight gates, when we die our consciousness will leave through one of them and thereby perpetuate our rebirth in cyclic existence. That’s why it is so vitally important to learn how to practice phowa and thereby free ourselves from suffering.

What are the prerequisites for attending the Phowa retreat?

Chokling Rinpoche requests that all attendees should at least be Buddhists. This means all participants should have already taken the vow of refuge in the Triple Gem. Those who have not should do so at the beginning of the Phowa Intensive Retreat. Furthermore, to ensure success and remove obstacles, it is highly recommended that participants accumulate at least 10,000 recitations of the Longevity or Amitayus Buddha mantra: OM AMARANI JIVENTIYE SVAHA.


About the Teacher

Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche

Kyabje Tsikey Chokling Mingyur Dewey Dorje, born in 1953 as the second son of Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche was recognized and enthroned as the 4 th authentic incarnation of the great 19 th century treasure revealer, Terchen Chokgyur Dechen Shikpo Lingpa by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, Rangjung Khyapdak Rigpe Dorje. H. E. Tsikey… more »