June 6, 2023 6:00pm

Applying the Bodhisattva Vow to Everyday Life | Khandro Tsering Kunga Bum-ma

Khandro Tsering Kunga Bum-ma | Translator Tenzin Gelek



Tuesday, June 6

6:00-8:00pm ET

$25 | Hybrid


The bodhisattva vow is the commitment to put others before oneself. It is a statement of willingness to give up one’s own well-being, even one’s own enlightenment, for the sake of others.  The six perfections of generosity, moral discipline, patience, effort, concentration and wisdom are practiced by those who have taken the bodhisattva vow and provide a general ethical foundation for actions of body, speech and mind. In this evening discussion, Khandro-la will talk abou the bodhisattva vow, the exchange of self and other, and practical applications of the essential principles of the vow in every day life.


*Tenzin Gelek will be translating for Khandro Tsering Kunga Bum-ma.*

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Applying the Bodhisattva Vow to Everyday Life| Khandro Tsering Kunga Bum-ma

Tuesday, Jun 6, 2023 06:00 PM



I am Khandro Tsering Kunga Bum-ma My ethnicity is Tibetan, my birthplace in a gathering of farmers and nomads. From age seven I sought to understand the causality of nomadic farmers. Although I found joy in the meaning of interdependence and isolated retreat, My parent’s village was lacking education for me. When looking at outer objects and the mind inside Some marvelous bliss, clarity and non-thought directly arose. Various experiences and realizations dawned unimpeded in the mind. Principal of all divine protectresses of the Victorious One’s teachings, Glorious Queen, Palden Lhamo Maksor[1]—I saw her joyful face! She said, “You must go to unfamiliar places at uncertain times.” I received a promise to grant me prophecies and to continuously take me under her care. From then on, conceptual fixations collapsed. In unpredictable ways I visited the sacred sites and the Jowo shrine in Lhasa. I then went to the great monastic seat of Tashi Lhunpo. Due to poor sustenance and clothing, I suffered all sorts of struggles. While on the pilgrimage path, I met an old hermit-sage. He said in order to revive the Fifth Dalai Lama’s twenty-five hidden teachings, I must go to the noble land of India and meet the most exalted Dalai Lama. In that way he bestowed many prophecies, And gave me provisions and money for the journey. On the journey, at Mount Kailash and other places, Within the blissful expanse of illusory relative appearances, I encountered some spiritual guides such as Jigme Lingpa. They granted me introduction to the heart essence of the Great Perfection. Thus, my being was blessed through karma, aspirations, and interdependence. I received the pith instructions for liberating unfavorable negative circumstances. As prophesized by deities and lamas, through hardships and trials, In 1994 I arrived in Swayambu, Nepal. Sickened by contaminated food, I was afflicted by unbearable suffering. In that state, pure visions and various other apparent phenomena appeared as perceptions. Barely surviving, I made it to Dharamsala, in the noble land of India. How I was received at Nèlen by some heartless staff! While being denied an audience with His Holiness, a lot of time was lost. Receiving mistreatment and scorn, this illusory body was filled with illness. At a time when I was slightly better, By the power of various prophesies of deities and lamas, And help given by some spiritual friends, I got the good fortune, the opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama. For many years a deity had sometimes taken me over. I didn’t know who it was, and I didn’t know what to do about it. At the end of meeting the Great Vajradhara, the Victorious Dalai Lama, The Protectors Tseringma and Tenma entered me. I was then authorized and enthroned as the official government oracle of Tseringma and Tenma. I received uncommon, profound pith instructions from His Holiness on Lama, Yidam, Khandro and Protectors. Particularly, His Holiness proclaimed I have a special karmic connection with the secret hidden pure visions of the 5th Dalai Lama, And he authorized me as the Doctrine-holder of those teachings. The Dalai Lama said I am a self-occurring yogini, And gave me empowerments, transmissions, and pith instructions. For ten years I exerted myself earnestly in meditating on approach and accomplishment on what I received from him. For more than twenty years I received teachings from the King of Victorious Ones, Vajradhara Dalai Lama, And empowerments, transmissions, and pith instructions on the great scriptures and so forth Directly from various great masters of all Tibetan Buddhist lineages. I applied myself for a long time in listening, contemplation, meditation, accomplishment, and the activities. Realizing emptiness, compassion naturally dawned, and I arrived at faith. May the undeceiving ocean of the three roots grant auspiciousness!

Translator Tenzin Gelek


Tenzin Gelek is the Senior Specialist in Himalayan Arts and Culture at the Rubin Museum of Art. Tenzin is a co-founder of Latse Project and had worked for Latse Library and Trace Foundation over two decades, implementing cultural and educational projects in Tibetan regions. Tenzin has been studying Buddhism since 1980s, starting in Lhasa at the Potala Palace, with many Buddhist teachers cross the Tibetan traditions. Since late 1990s Tenzin has been translating for many Tibetan senior Buddhist teachers of different traditions hosted by dharma and academic institutes in the United States and Europe, including Tibet Center, Tibet House, Himalayan Library, Columbia University, Harvard University and International Association for Tibetan Studies (IATS).  Tenzin also translates high standard academic and dharma works between English and Tibetan, publishing them in journals and academic research papers in the west.  

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