Boulder Valley Ngakpa House is a Tibetan Buddhist practice center in Lafayette, CO. We hold regular sadhana practices and pujas on a monthly basis. We can also perform special pujas on request. In addition, we regularly host visiting Tibetan Buddhist Teachers. Although we are mainly Nyingma, we consider ourselves Ri-med or non-sectarian in our approach and welcome other Tibetan Buddhists of all lineages to our practices and pujas. Within Nyingma, we practice a number of sadhanas and pujas from different Terma cycles. These mainly include Longchen Nyingthig, Yuthok Nyingthig, Dudjom Tersar, Namchos, Sera Khandro, Pegyal Lingpa, and Cho-kyi Go-cha. Boulder Valley Ngakpa House does not belong to any one Teacher or lineage.
Our mission is to become a powerful dynamo for the generation of vast amounts of merit and wisdom for the sake of all sentient beings through the various skillful means of Vajrayana.
Ngakpa means a practitioner versed in the use of mantra and other Tantric skillful means. (In Tibetan, Ngakpa is the male and Ngakma is the female.) In terms of practice, Ngakpas may be monks and nuns or they may be laymen and laywomen. However, when most Himalayan people use the word Ngakpa, they mean a layperson who has dedicated him- or herself to the practice of the Vajrayana. In some Asian communities, these practitioners may wear white clothes, special red and white shawls, and wear their hair uncut in either buns or dreadlocks. Ngakpa and Ngakpma may also wear ordinary clothes and be indistinguishable from the outside. To be a real Ngakpa means not just to hold and have trained in mantra but to actually have achieved some power through the use of mantra. In Himalayan communities, Ngakpas often function as village priest. Within Tibetan Buddhism, there are a number of famous Ngakpa lineages. Ngak-khang means Ngakpa House. This is what many Ngakpa centers are called in Golok, an area famed for its Ngakpas. We have chosen the name Ngakpa House in order to emphasize that this center does not belong to any one Teacher or lineage and that we mainly practice Tantric skillful means.
We believe that money and Dharma should be kept as separate as possible. In terms of that, we have no membership with any kind of dues. Nor do we charge for any of our regularly scheduled practices or pujas. On occasion, we invite Lamas or Teachers from outside Colorado to teach or give transmissions and empowerments. In that case, those Lamas or Their organizations may set a fee for that event and all those monies collected go directly to that Lama or Their organization. When possible, we try to maintain a policy of admitting all ordained Sangha (monks and nuns) for free, and we try to make sure there is some mechanism in place for those who truly cannot pay whatever is the fee that has been set.
On the other hand, it is the tradition within Tibetan Buddhism for students to make a monetary offerings at the end of teachings and empowerments to the presiding Lama (and sometimes to all other Lamas, monks, nuns, and anyone working in an official capacity at the event). Typically these offerings are presented in an envelope along with a khata or ceremonial scarf. We urge all recipients of the Dharma in such cases to be as generous as possible, remembering the tons of gold Tibetans offered to their Indian Gurus when trying to bring the Dharma to Tibet. Also, because we try to keep our events as no- or low-cost as possible, we do not supply offering envelopes or khatas.
When offerings are made for the commissioning of special ceremonies and practices, those monies are only used for Dharmic purposes and not for personal use or pleasure.
TIBETAN LUNAR CALENDAR
All our regularly scheduled practices and pujas happen on particular days within the lunar month. This is because it is traditionally believed that the energies in the outer world and the energies active within our inner bodymind are mirror images of each other and that these days are the most effective for performing these activities. We know this makes things a little difficult for us Westerners who operate on the solar calendar. However, we believe the effects of practicing on these traditional days make the difficulties involved in scheduling worth it. To make things as easy as possible, we post a calendar on this site each month listing the practices and pujas according to the solar calendar. We also send out emails reminding people of each month's schedule and we announce each month's schedule on Bob Flaws/Lama Pema's Facebook page. The calendar we use for determining our dates is the Rigpa Tibetan Calendar.
S T A F F
Lama Pema Chophel
Lama Pema has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for 47 years. He has studied under a large number of Tibetan Buddhist Teachers, mostly in the Nyingma sect. He began his training under Sonam T. Kazi. His main Teacher now is Acharya Lama Dawa Chodrak. Also known as Bob Flaws, upon retiring from the practice of medicine six years ago, Lama Pema has devoted himself to full-time Vajrayana practice.
Honora Lee Wolfe (Orgyen Khandro)
Honora is our Chopon or Mistress of Ceremonies and otherwise assists Lama Pema in all activities. She is a student of Lama Surya Das. Tulku Sherdor, and Lama Dawa Chodrak among others. Like Lama Pema, Honora retired from the practice of medicine several years ago.