Nyingma Tradition - lineage of Khyungchen Aro Lingma
The Nyingma Tradition
The Nyingma Tradition originates from Buddha Padmasambhava, who came to Tibet in the year 817 CE (AD) at the request of Chögyal Trisong Détsen. Padmasambhava—in collaboration with Shantarakshita and Trisong Détsen—built Samyé monastery, which became a principal centre of learning and the site where many of the texts that would make up Tibet’s vast Buddhist literature were first translated into Tibetan.
Padmasambhava is the Tantric Buddha – the second Buddha, who brought the teachings of the Nine Yanas of Buddhism to Tibet and the entire trans-Himalayan area. He founded the two sanghas: the red sangha of monks and nuns, and the gö-kar chang-lo’i dé, the white sangha or ngak’phang sangha of ngakpas and ngakmas, naljorpas and naljormas.
Padmasambhava gave widespread teachings of the three Inner Tantras to Yeshé Tsogyel and to his twenty-five principal disciples. These first Tibetan siddhas are renowned for their spiritual accomplishments.
The Aro Lineage
Aro is a Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist tradition whose unusual characteristics make it singularly appropriate for many Westerners. Aro is principally concerned with transforming our experience of everyday being, rather than achieving an esoteric or spiritualised mode of existence. Our aim is to engender cheerful courage, perceptive consideration, sincere determination, natural gallantry, graciousness, creativity, and spaciousness.
The Aro teachings descend from a lineage of enlightened women – beginning with Yeshé Tsogyel. She was the female Tantric Buddha, who—together with Padmasambhava—founded the Nyingma tradition of Buddhism. Aro is a small family lineage within that tradition – founded by the female visionary Lama Aro Lingma in 1909 (picture left). The Aro Lineage Lamas are Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen, a married couple with two children, who live in Penarth, South Wales.
There are three distinct yet compatible approaches within Buddhism: self-liberation, transformation, and renunciation. Aro emphasises self-liberation and transformation, whereas it is more common to prioritise renunciation. more on the principles of the three yanas
Aro emphasises simplicity, clarity, and depth – both of practice and understanding. To wield the essential functions of Buddhism is the Aro mode of practice. To grasp the essential principles of Buddhism is the Aro mode of study. more about Aro
Dzogchen is ‘complete’ in that all other Buddhist teachings are contained within it. All Aro teachings—whether on Dzogchen, Tantra, or Sutra—are rooted in the Dzogchen perspective. Aro is quite unusual in teaching even basic concepts of Sutra, such as the Four Noble Truths and Five Precepts, from the point of view of Dzogchen
Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen
“The nine vehicles of the Nyingma School can roughly be described as the three vehicles of Sutrayana, and the six vehicles of Vajrayana – the three Outer and three Inner Tantras. The highest Inner Tantric vehicle, Ati yoga, can also be called Dzogchen. When Dzogchen is viewed as a path in its own right, we talk about the three vehicles of Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen, rather than about Sutrayana and Vajrayana. Sutra incorporates all teachings and practices of the path of renunciation with the experience of emptiness as their fruit. Tantra embraces all the teachings and practices that use symbolic method as the path of transformation. Dzogchen includes all teachings and practices that provide an opportunity for direct introduction into the experience of non-duality.” (Spacious Passion, Chapter II, ‘Sky Mind’)
Thursday evening practice with Yogic song and silent sitting, on the second and fourth Thursday each month. No previous experience of Vajrayana practice or meditation is needed. Sessions are in the home of apprentices to Lamas of the Aro sangha at 22, Clarence St., Penzance. Occasional Sunday sessions are at Trescowe Common, on the side of Godolphin Hill, between Penzance and Helston. email dates of events
In Sutric dön-pa it is the meaning of the words which is the focus. In Tantric dön-pa the words are used as a guide to visualisation. The melody is employed in order to give power to the words – to animate them.
Yang or Dzogchen Gardang are terms we usually translate as yogic song. There is no translation in English for these words as they do not equate to anything within Western religions or spiritual traditions. With yang there is no concept – it is a Dzogchen practice. The primary function is finding the presence of awareness in the dimension of the sound. For this transmission is required, both for the method and for the vajra melody of the yang. more on Yogic song.
Location at Trescowe Common: between Townshend and Trescowe.
Bristol 8 September at Aro Ling Bristol
Weekend event with Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen
The Nyida Mélong teachings on the intrinsically enlightened nature of romance, concern the subtle interpersonal dynamics which are the innate glory of our being as women and men. ‘Nyida Mélong’ means ‘the mutual reflection of Sun and Moon’ &ndaash; these being symbols of the genders. In relationship, we reflect each other’ s innermost nature. We see each other and are seen by each other as no one else can. These reflections may be distorted and horrifying, or clear and invigorating, according to the nature of how we perceive.
The paradox and passion of romantic love provide unmatched opportunities for both neurotic misery and ecstatic enlightenment. The Nyida Mélong illuminates: the problems we often encounter within relationships; the reasons we may lack fulfilment, while also failing to meet our partner’s emotional needs; and the ways romance may degenerate into clinging, cruelty, and indifference. The Nyida Mélong also reveals: romantic love as the nearest analogy for enlightenment we can find in everyday life; emptiness and enjoyment as bases for romantic relationship; the practice of taking one’s lover as a divine teacher; and the practical possibility of continuing the delicious initial rush of falling in love, in perpetuity.
“To fall in love is to taste the energy of existence and non-existence. To fall in love is to go beyond the boundaries that we set up for ourselves. To experience the real meaning of a loving relationship, is to live with impeccable verve in the sheer vividness of each moment.”
details of location, price and booking.
Cost £35 (reductions available); booking essential, tel 0117 239 8505 email
Aro Ling Centre in Bristol
Aro Ling is a Buddhist bookshop and meditation equipment supplier, at 127 Gloucester Road, Bristol City Centre. It is also much more than simply a shop. Aro Ling is a creative space, where you will find local artists’ works on display. It is a stimulating space, home to the Chhi’méd Rig’dzin Research Library, containing a host of titles on Buddhist teachings, and Asian culture, for casual perusal or serious study by practitioners and scholars. It is a healing space, in which Aro Elemental Balancing and Aro Bodywork are practiced, along with other complementary therapies in our therapy room. It is a space to explore – to develop an understanding of oneself through meditation, martial arts, and dance – by spending time practicing in our shrine room. Above all, it is a welcoming space, where you can sit and read, chat with our staff or with passing friends and acquaintances – about meditation, the arts, or whatever enters your mind.
Aro Ling is an idea: that openness and appreciation – life and art – are inextricably intertwined, and that the process of discovering that fact can be a joyful one, shared with friends.
email or telephone 0117 239 8505.