Program Details

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Seattle Shambhala 2020 Weekthun: Celebrating the Vajrayana

with Christie Cashman
March 6 / 8:00 AM - March 12 / 5:00 PM

The vajrayana teachings are renowned for providing the strongest medicine in times of the greatest confusion. But it’s also during these times that practices such as invoking the deity, resting in the nature of mind, or engaging in sacred perception can feel very remote. Throughout this week-long retreat, we will explore how wrathful, peaceful, and effortless vajrayana methods “touch the fruition,” and thus remind us of our inherent wisdom.

We’ll engage in group practices of Vajrakilaya, White Tara, and the Rain of Blessings Guru Yoga, and separately practice Werma, ngöndro, Scorpion Seal, Vajrayogini or whatever vajrayana practices you would like to practice at this time. The program will include discussions with each group of practitioners, talks, and personal interviews with the acharya. Lungs will be given for the Rain of Blessings Guru Yoga and Feast by Mipham Rinpoche, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s White Tara and The Short Daily Practice of Vajrakilaya by Mipham Rinpoche—more information to follow.  Partial attendance is allowed. The program counts toward group practice requirements.

Discussion topics: Yeshe Tsogyal and the feminine principle; understanding the Heart Sutra’s message as the basis of vajrayana; the luminosity practice of kyerim; recognizing naked awareness whatever we are doing; remembering our vajrayana training for when we are nearing death; and making direct contact with confusion in order to liberate it. As Tulku Ugyen has said, “The ground is gold, and the path is gold mixed with impurities that are slowly being purified, and the fruition is buddhahood.”

Practice Requirement: Vajrayana Seminary or Sacred World Assembly

About Pricing: 
We have a generosity policy to make our offerings available to all who wish to participate. If the program price is an obstacle for you, please consider what works for you, and offer as much of the program fee as you can. For those who can offer more than the program price, we have a “patron price”. Your generosity in offering the patron price helps cover the costs for others who are not able to pay the full price.

Minimum cost for the attending the full week is 0, which covers basic expenses and meals. 

  • Program Fee: 0

  • Patron Fee: 0

  • Pay what you can afford (minimum 0)

  • Daily:

Lodging at the Center: /day

About The Teacher: 

Christie first encountered the dharma as a young girl. During a long stay in Japan, she made daily visits to Buddhist and Shinto temples and began to feel a deep connection with the penetrating quietude of these environments. It was years later in 1968, while studying at the University of California in Berkeley, that Christie learned to meditate under the guidance of Suzuki Roshi.  A few years later Christie picked up Trungpa Rrinpoche’s Meditation in Action.  Learning of Rinpoche’s “resonant and outrageous” lifestyle, she sold her belongings, packed a little bag and moved to Boulder, Colorado to become his student. That was January 1971 and Christie was 21.

For the first two years in Boulder, Christie lived in a little downstairs room in Trunga Rinpoche’s house.  He encouraged her to put away the guitar, practice meditation three hours a day, and enter month long retreats.  Her life began to revolve around these meditation retreats and intensive study of Buddhism.  Along with many other students, she began to teach a full range of courses-from introductory meditation intensives at Naropa University to Vajrayana sadhana classes.  For many years beginning in 1973, she attended and taught at the annual three-month Vajradhatu Seminaries and worked closely during that time with Rinpoche on course curriculum design  and implementation.  During the 17 years she resided in Boulder, Christie worked full-time in Trungpa Rinpoche’s international administration.

In 1987, when Christie moved to Nova Scotia, she spent a good part of each year in solitary retreat to delve further into the Shambhala terma tradition and vajrayana practice. During this time, she worked in the areas of environmental protection and dispute resolution before serving as Shambhala Training International’s Executive Director from 1999 to 2003.

In 1999, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche appointed Christie as an acharya, thus beginning for her a life of traveling and teaching.  She enjoys teaching a variety of Shambhala Programs, but her main teaching focus has been on the Vajrayana path retreats: Werma Sadhana Vajrayogini Ngondro and Sacred World Assembly.  In 2012, the Sakyong requested that Christie offer a program.  The Sacred World of Kyerim,  to both his Werma and Scorpion Seal students to enrich and ease their journey from the first stages of the natural and healing capacity to imagine into the sacred world of pure vision

Seattle Shambhala Center, 3107 E Harrison St., Seattle WA

Questions? Contact Tom Gaylord [email protected]

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