About Yeshe Tsogyal:
Yeshe Tsogyal was the chief disciple and consort of the Indian master Padmasambhava during the 8th century in central Tibet. A master or guru in her own right, Tsogyal preserved Padmasambhava's teachings and demonstrated the path to enlightenment through the example of her own life.
Yeshe Tsogyal, whose name means Victorious Ocean of Wisdom, is said to have lived 211 years. Centuries later, she is still revered as the epitome of all the female buddhas and beloved mother of the Tibetan people. She promised her disciples to send a billion self-emanations of compassion to benefit of beings.
Although the culture of her time no longer exists, she continues to benefit the world through her wisdom. Her autobiography is lauded as a story "as lovely as the music gandharavas play upon their lutes". Not only a literary masterpiece, Tsogyal's story is also an archetypal guide to the path of spiritual awakening through the practices of Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism.
Her autobiography, published as Mother of Knowledge by Tarthang Tulku in 1983, was written by Tsogyal in a symbolic dakini script and hidden as a treasure. It was later discovered and transcribed into Tibetan by Taksham Samten Lingpa in the 17th century. A second English translation became available in 2002 as Lady of the Lotus Born, Padmakara Translation Group.
In her non-manifest dharmakaya aspect, Yeshe Tsogyal is Samantabhadri or Prajnaparamita. In her subtle sambhogakaya aspect, she is the great wisdom dakini, Vajra Yogini. In her manifest nirmanakaya aspect, she continually benefits beings in inconceivable ways.
In the pure lands, she is Saraswasti and at the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, she lived as Ganga Devi, custodian of the Mahayana teachings.
In Tibet, she was the noble Lady of Kharchen. Throughout the Himalaya and in the minds of destined ones, she concealed countless treasures or termas to be discovered in the future, even to the present day!
At all times, she abides timelessly in the indestructible form of her rainbow body, pervading all the reaches of space and benefiting beings.
Prayer to the Life Story of Yeshe Tsogyal, Jamgon Kongtrul download
Prayer to Yeshe Tsogyal by Khandro Tare Lhamo download
Tsogyal's Prayer to Guru Rinpoche As He Left Tibet download
The Dakini Heart Essence:
In 1928, the timeless wisdom dakini, Yeshe Tsogyal, transmitted the seminal verses of The Dakini Heart Essence (Khandro Thuk Thik) to His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, one of the greatest masters of the 20th century.
Featuring only female buddhas, this compendium of teaching includes the three internal tantra-yogas—maha, anu, and ati. The exquisite deity circle consists of Yeshe Tsogyal as the outer dakini, Kurukulle as inner dakini, Singhamukha as secret dakini, and Throma as innermost secret dakini.
The teachings and meditation practices most accessible are those of the first level, mahayoga. This includes the foundational practices (ngondro), the devata deity yoga practices of visualization, mantra, and contemplative stability; severance (chod), transference of consciousness (phowa), and other practices such as fire offerings, feast offerings, and helpful rituals.
At the next level, anuyoga, one finds the practices of chandali (tummo) and the yogas of illusion, dream, luminosity, in-between states and the transference of consciousness.
The culmination of the Dakini Heart Essence is the two aspects of atiyoga Great Perfection— cutting through and crossing over.
Nowadays, mahayoga is the traditional starting point but some masters will bring students directly into atiyoga. For anuyoga, sadly, there are few living masters teaching Westerners. Despite this shortcoming, the inclusion of all levels of learning and realization into a single cycle of transmission is one of the special qualities of the profound Dakini Heart Essence path.
For more information and connection, visit Vajrayana World where Lama Yeshe Wangmo offers online teachings and practice opportunities.
His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-1986):
His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, was the immediate re-birth of Dudjom Lingpa and one the greatest 20th century scholars and treasure masters. His revelatory writings are the heart essence of the wisdom dakinis and are revered as a crown jewel of contemporary vajrayana. Rinpoche lived in Tibet, Nepal, India, Europe and the USA.
Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche (1931-2011):
Thinley Norbu Rinpoche was the eldest son of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche. Recognized as an incarnation of Tulku Trimé Özer, one of Dudjom Lingpa son's, he was also considered an emanation of Longchenpa. In 1990, Rinpoche advised Lama Yeshe Wangmo to focus her path and activities on The Dakini Heart Essence.
Lama Tsedrup Tharchin Rinpoche (1936-2013):
Repkong Lama Tsedrup Tharchin Rinpoche was the tenth generation descendant of Palchen Namkha Jigme (1757-1821), founder of Kyunglung and the 1900 Ngakpa Group in Amdo, Tibet. Rinpoche received the lineage through his grandfather, Wöntsang Druk-gyal, and then his father, Lama Chimé Dorje. Born in Kongpo, southern Tibet, Rinpoche studied with His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche in Tibet and India. In 1984, he settled in the USA and established Vajrayana Foundation and Pema Osel Ling in California.
Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo (1949- )
Lama Yeshe Dechen Wangmo became a lineage holder of The Dakini Heart Essence (mkha 'gro thug thig), a treasure teaching of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, when Repkong Lama Tharchin Tsedrup Rinpoche enthroned her in 1992.
Based on thirty-eight years of vajrayana study and practice in Canada and the United States, her knowledge is informed by personal retreats, her competence in literary Tibetan, and personal guidance received from the 16th Karmapa, Kalu Rinpoche, His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and Lama Tsedrup Tharchin Rinpoche.
As a teacher and sangha leader, Lama places a high value on authenticity, accountability, and connectedness.
In 2002, she established Jnanasukha Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, as a venue for the teachings of Yeshe Tsogyal and the female buddhas. The Foundation has sprouted several initiatives including support for Tsogyal Latso, the birthplace of Yeshe Tsogyal in Tibet and several programs for scholarships, grants and humanitarian aid. www.jnanasukha.org
Since 2009, she has traveled to Central Tibet every year, leading pilgrimages and deepening her connection with her spiritual roots.
Lama's early activities included textile arts, stone sculpture and a career in sociology and body-based psychotherapy. Born in Montreal, Canada, in 1949, she has lived on the Big Island of Hawai'i since 1986.
About the Foundation:
- Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo, since 2002 (president, Tsogyal Center, Vajrayana World, Benefit-All Projects)
- Ellis Widner, since 2002 (vice-president, Dakini Emporium)
- Rikzin Smith, since 2009 (secretary-treasurer, Scholarships)
- Charles Goldman, legal counsel
- Chonyi Drolma, translation
- Libby Luning (Pema Dechen), Heart Teachings of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche
- Mukara Meredith, Coaching for Group Genius & Mindful Leadership Development
- Tsogyal Lhamo Matthews, Tsogyal Latso & Fundraising
- Shayna Kristen, fundraising
- Woeser Phel, Tsogyal Latso & Tibet Pilgrimages
- Dechen Maria Steele, Sangha Journeys
- Ani Ngawang Sangye Chozom, research, transcription and occasional cat whisperer
- Genevieve Legacy, editor