Tara Drupchen: dispelling obstacles and fears

tara statues

Tara statues line the alter in the shrine room at Nalanda West in Seattle.

In the midst of a turbulent time in our country, Nalanda West and Nalandabodhi Seattle held their first Tara Drupchen, a three-day practice intensive.

In all wisdom traditions, loving-kindness is often cited as an antidote to fear. In Vajrayana Buddhism, Tara symbolizes loving-kindness and compassion and is said to have promised to dispel the fears of all beings. The Tara Drupchen, held at Nalanda West on October 28 – 30, 2016, was a special Tara practice intensive, a supplication to the beloved Buddhist deity to clear aways obstacles, illnesses and fears, and to generate blessings.

Prayers and aspiration requests

For two months leading up to the drupchen, prayers and aspiration requests were sent into Nalanda West from across the globe. During the three-day Tara Drupchen, the prayers and aspirations were posted on boards outside the shrine room for those attending to read and hold in their hearts, as they practiced along with other Nalandabodhi members in 17 countries and 107 cities.

Teachers and teachings

The four daily sessions began at dawn, with the first held in Tibetan followed by three English sessions. Nalandabodhi lamas and acharyas gave short teachings about Tara before each practice session.

On the first afternoon, Nalandabodhi founder and guiding teacher Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche gave a teaching on the importance of Tara practice. He likened Tara to a great charitable foundation dedicated to doing good works for the community and for those who ask for help. Yet, like a foundation that does not walk door to door asking whether someone needs help, Tara will not know who needs help without our requests.

Gratitude

Nalanda West and Nalandabodhi Seattle are grateful to the over 250 sponsors who helped make the drupchen possible, to the Nalandabodhi lamas and acharyas and to Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. As the blessings generated from this first Tara Drupchen continue to unfold throughout the world, plans for the next drupchen are in the works.

Enjoy the following slideshow with highlights of the drupchen. Photos by Nirzhar Pradhan

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