Ngakpa House As A Generator of Merit

Many people of good heart want to do something good for the world. We look about and see suffering everywhere. The world seems to be "going to Hell in a hand-basket" (and it is). Every day, things seems to get worse and worse. But many people also either don't know what to do or don't feel they have the power to make a difference. Ngakpas, wielders of mantra, do have the skillful means for generating vast quantities of merit that can be dedicated for any purpose under the sun. When Bodhicitta, the will towards universal liberation from suffering, combines with mantra (and other Tantric methods, such a mudra, puja, visualization, and meditative concentration), we have an almost inconceivably powerful set of tools for working for the betterment of all sentient beings, and that's what Boulder Valley Ngakpa House is all about.

For me, Boulder Valley Ngakpa House is a place where I and other Vajrayana practitioners can work for the world. It's a place where we can come together -- at either regularly scheduled events or on an ad hoc basis in response to some pressing need -- in order to use our Tantric skillful means to effect change in the world and its inhabitants.

Every Vajrayana practice is made up of three parts called the dam-pa sum, the three excellences. We begin with developing Bodhisatvic motivation. In other words, we determine to do something for all sentient beings, not just ourselves. Then we employ our Tantric skillful means -- mantra, mudra, puja, visualization, and meditative concentration or samadhi -- to generate vast quantities of merit or positive energy in a short period of time. And finally, we dedicate that merit through a series of aspiration prayers to accomplish whatever is the general or specific change we are hoping to accomplish during that session.

For instance, when we do Naga puja, on the one hand we are trying to make the Nagas happy and healthy through our offerings. On the other, we are trying to enlist the power of the Nagas to cure disease, bestow fortune, and heal the environment. When we come together to do Amaghopasha practice after a disaster or catastrophe, we are trying to generate merit in order to relieve the suffering of those suddenly and violently thrown into the bardo. When we do Medicine Buddha sadhana or any of the Yuthok Nyingthig pujas, we are trying to generate merit in order help heal the illness and disease of sentient beings. Similarly, we have all sorts of other practices to make beneficial changes in world and its beings, such as generating wealth and prosperity, cleansing and blessing houses and other buildings, extending lifespan, eliminating hindrances and obstacles, purifying bad karma, and insuring a fortunate rebirth for those who have died.

In particular, when a group of ngakpas practice together, the merit they generate is multiplied by the number of participants. Thus a group of practitioners can generate far more merit than a single practitioner practicing alone. This why, in Vajrayana, group practice is so important. In Tibetan, practice is called drub-pa. But, when a group of practitioners get together and practice intensively for a period of time, this is called drub-chen, great practice or great accomplishment.

So that's what Ngakpa House is all about -- generating vast quantities of merit for the sake of the world and its inhabitants through the group practice of Tantric skillful means. If you are a Vajrayana practitioner living in the Boulder/Denver area, we invite you to join any of our group practices regardless of which sect or sangha to which you belong. Ngakpa House is not the center of any particular Rinpoche or lineage. The people who gather here are students of a variety Teachers and members of various sects and lineages. We have no "students" but are all cho-dro, Dharma friends, and all our group practices are free and open to anyone with a mind for helping others.

Tashi delek.