New Name for Website – All Lineages Included

Many thanks for your interest in following the Facebook Page and website!

Even though the majority of my own translation work and research is predominantly on Jonang Kalacakra and Shentong, I have decided to broaden the scope to include all teachings or activity on Kalacakra and Shentong Madhyamaka from the various lineages. Thus the new name too. Please feel free to post and share anything you think relevant to this.

May it be of benefit!





Karma Kagyu Kalacakra Masters and the Bokar Rinpoche Kalacakra Stupa

Having spent the last ten days in the presence of three great living masters of Kalacakra, HE 12th Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Bokar Yangsi (whose predecessor was the great Bokar Rinpoche) and Khenpo Lodro Donyo Rinpoche at Bokar Monastery, Mirik for the several empowerments and Red Hat Ceremony of Karma Kagyu Heart Son, 12th Gyaltsab Rinpoche, I was reminded of how the Karma Kagyu lineage have also kept the Kalacakra practises and teachings alive and well.

On the Kalacakra Duchen, two major Karma Kagyu monasteries, Bokar Monastery and Rumtek Monastery performed Kalacakra rituals and creation of sand Mandala and HE 12th Gyaltsab Rinpoche gave the Kalacakra empowerment at his Ralang monastery.

Visiting the Golden Relic Kalacakra Stupa of the former Bokar Rinpoche at Bokar Monastery, which was finished in 2006, was an inspiring experience. The Stupa itself has a Kalacakra image at the top and surrounding it are exquisitely painted images of the Kalacakra deity and all the individual deities in the Mandala (see photos below). It reminded me a little of the beautiful Kalacakra temple in Dharamsala, India.

According to the late Edward Henning:

The situation with regard to the Karma Kagyu school is rather odd. That tradition’s Kālacakra practices originally came from the translator Tsami (tsa mi lo tsā ba), and passed through the siddha Ogyenpa (o rgyan pa), and then to the third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje (rang byung rdo rje). From him it was passed down the Karma Kagyu lineage. However, the use of the practice texts of this tradition, the most notable being written by the eighth Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje (mi bskyod rdo rje), has largely ceased, and the practices of the Jonang tradition written by Tāranātha are now mainly used. But still the maṇḍala is drawn according to the original Karma Kagyu methods (which I will refer to as the Tsami tradition), even though there are some clear, although minor, contradictions between the descriptions given in the maṇḍala drawing texts and the practice texts. These differences have sometimes caused puzzlement to modern Karma Kagyu maṇḍala artists, unaware of the full history of their tradition.

The Kālacakra tradition now practiced in the Karma and Shangpa Kagyu schools is derived from the Jonang tradition and was largely systematized by Jamgon Kongtrul, who wrote the text that is now used for empowerment. The 2nd and 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul (1954–1992) were also prominent Kālacakra lineage holders, with the 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul giving the initiation publicly in North America on at least one occasion (Toronto 1990).

The chief Kālacakra lineage holder for the Kagyu lineage was Kalu Rinpoche (1905–1990), who gave the initiation several times in Tibet, India, Europe and North America (e.g., New York 1982). Upon his death, this mantle was assumed by his heart son, Bokar Rinpoche, who in turn passed it on to Khenpo Lodro Donyo Rinpoche. Bokar Monastery, of which Donyo Rinpoche is now the head, features a Kālacakra stupa and is a prominent retreat center for Kālacakra practice in the Kagyu lineage.

Tenga Rinpoche was also a prominent Kagyu holder of the Kālacakra; he gave the initiation in Grabnik, Poland in August, 2005.

Lopon Tsechu performed Kālacakra initiations and built a Kālacakra stupa in Karma Guen buddhist center in southern Spain. Another prominent Kālacakra master is the Second Beru Khyentse.

Chögyam Trungpa, while not a noted Kālacakra master, became increasingly involved later in his life with what he termed Shambhala teachings, derived in part from the Kālacakra tradition, in particular, the mind terma which he received from the Kalki.

Here is a list of contemporary Kalacakra Masters who teach and give empowerments outside of Tibet, many of whom are Kagyu lineage holders:

Taranatha Text used for the Five Tantric Deities of Shangpa Kagyu Empowerment at Bokar Monastery today

Today at Bokar Monastery, Karma Kagyu master 12th Gyaltsab Rinpoche began the initiation of the Five Tantric Deities of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition to Bokar Yangsi, Khenpo Donyo Rinpoche, tulkus, monastics and the public.

Gyaltsab Rinpoche’s oral translator told me today that the vast majority of the existent main commentaries and Sadhanas on the Five Tantric Deities practise of Shangpa Kagyu were composed by Taranatha. For example, the empowerment text used today was written by Taranatha.
Both Jetsün Tāranātha and Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye, certainly two of the greatest minds ever to appear in Tibet, considered the Shangpa Kagyu unique among all Tibetan lineages of Buddhism and wrote about it in various of their works. In his “jo nang khrid brgya’i brgyud pa’i lo rgyus kha skong” or “Supplement to the Transmission History of the 100 Instructions of the Jonangpas”, Tāranātha writes: “Even though the Shangpa lineage has spread throughout countless lineages of masters, the instructions and their meaning have never departed from each other. This is due to the firm seal of the dakini’s words. Since there are no polluting embellishments, the Shangpa Kagyu are at the very summit of all lineages of meditation practice.”

For more information on the Shangpa Kagyu lineage, one of the eight main practise lineages of Buddhism, see here.

What a small, small world indeed! Karma ripening. PHUN SUM TSOK!

དེ་རིང་འབོ་དཀར་དགོན་པ་ལ་རྒྱལ་ཚབ་རིན་པོ་ཆེས་ཤངས་པ་བཀའ་བརྒྱུད་རྒྱུད་སྡེ་ལྔའི་དཀྱིལ་འཁོར་དབང་ཀུར་གནང་པ་རེད། ཇོ་ནང་རྗེ་བཙུན་ཏཱ་ར་ནཱ་ཏ་ཤངས་པ་བཀའ་བརྒྱུད་བླ་མ་ཆན་པོ་རེད། དཔེར་ན་དེ་རེང་གི་དབང་ཀུར་ཀྱི་གཞུང་དཔལ་རྒྱུད་སྡེ་ལྔའི་དཀྱིལ་འཁོར་གྱི་ཆོ་ག་དོན་གསལ་རྒྱས་བྱེད་ཟར་ཏཱ་ར་ནཱ་ཏས་རྩོམ་པ་པོ་རེད།

Today the Parinirvana of Jonang master, Jetsun Taranatha (1575-1634)

Today, the 28th day of the 3rd lunar month, is said to be the Paranirvana day of Jetsün Taranatha (Tib. རྗེ་བཙུན་ཏཱ་ར་ནཱ་ཐ་, Wyl. rje btsun tA ra nA tha) or Kunga Nyingpo(ཀུན་དགའ་སྙིང་པོ་, kun dga’ snying po) (1575-1634). A great accomplished master of the Jonang tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

After the Gelug forceful takeover and suppression of Jonang monasteries in Central Tibet, the 5th Dalai Lama recognized the son of a Khalkha Mongol Khan as the reincarnation of Jetsün Tarnatha. This boy and his successive incarnations became the Jetsün Dampa Hutuktu (Tib. རྗེ་བཙུན་དམ་པ་ཧུ་ཐུག་ཏུ་, Wyl. rje btsun dam pa hu thug tu), the spiritual heads of the Gelug lineage in Mongolia.

Many monastics in Tibet and in exile today will be remembering and paying homage to not only one of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist lineage masters of Jonang but also within Tibetan Buddhism. Without whom many great teachings on Shentong and Kalacakra would not be available still today. Today is a good day to read the biography, texts and supplications to Jetsun Taranatha. May the Jonang teachings flourish!

For more on his amazing life and accomplishments see the bio at Treasury of Lives:


The supreme master of all yogas


Who realised the ultimate Dharma endowed with all aspects

Who went beyond all nirvana and samsara


I bow down at the feet of Taranatha.

Translated by Adele Tomlin, 13th May 2018.



First-time visit and empowerment by Khenpo Chokyi Nangwa Rinpoche to the main Jonang Centre in Taiwan

Today the repesentative of Jonang in exile, Khenpo Chokyi Nangwa Rinpoche, visited for the first time the main Jonang centre in Taiwan to bestow an empowerment on their disciples (see photos below):

Earlier this month, Rinpoche met for the first time the Lama of that centre with some of his students (see photos below):

May all the Jonang Lamas in exile and their students make genuine, positive and long-lasting friendships and connections 🙂

Tibetan Buddhist History Teaching Series, including Jonang and Shentong tradition with HE Khentrul Rinpoche and HE Kathog Rigzin Chenpo – May 30-June 5

At the request of Khentrul Rinpoche, His Eminence Kathog Rigzin Chenpo will give five days of profound teachings on the extraordinary history and unique views of each of the five main traditions of Tibetan Buddhism—Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Jonang and Geluk.

Don’t miss this opportunity to receive these precious and rare teachings by an incredible Vajrayana master.

The program for this series is as follows:

The Rimé Philosophy with HE Khentrul Rinpoché
Wednesday, 30 May : 7:30pm – 9 pm

The Nyingma Tradition with HE Kathog Rigzin Chenpo
Thursday, 31 May
10am – 1pm : Nyingma History
7:30pm – 9pm : Teachings on Dzogchen

The Sakya Tradition with HE Kathog Rigzin Chenpo
Friday, 1 June
10am – 1pm : Sakya History
7:30pm – 9pm : Teachings on the Path and Its Result (Lamdre)

The Kagyu Tradition with HE Kathog Rigzin Chenpo
Saturday, 2 June
10am – 1pm : Kagyu History
6pm – 8pm : Teachings on Mahamudra w/ Medicine Buddha Empowerment

The Jonang Tradition with HE Kathog Rigzin Chenpo
Sunday, 3 June
1pm – 3pm : Jonang History
6pm – 8pm : Teachings on Zhentong w/ Long Life Empowerment

The Geluk Tradition with HE Kathog Rigzin Chenpo
Monday, 4 June
10am – 1pm : Geluk History
7:30pm – 9pm : Teachings on the Geluk View

The Spiritual Legacy of Tibet with HE Kathog Rigzin Chenpo
Tuesday, 5 June : 7:30pm – 9pm

Registration for the teachings can be made here:

Kalacakra Teachings and Empowerment and Taranatha’s Mind Training instructions by Jonang Lama Yonten Gyatso, Minsk, June 2018



Taranatha’s Mind Training, Kalacakra Preliminaries and Empowerment, June 2018

Jonang Lama Yonten Gyamtso is giving an introduction to the Kalacakra Preliminaries and a three-day Kalacakra empowerment (seven stages of a child) in Minsk from 20th-24th June. In addition, he will teach a Taranatha Lojong (Mind Training) text as well as Shine meditation from June 11-16. Translation into English and Russian.

More details can be found in Russian here (use Google translate to get the English).

Teachings in St Petersburg, Russia 2 May to 6 May 2018

Lama Yonten Gyamtso is also giving teachings this month in St Petersburg on the Six Yogas of Niguma and a teaching and empowerment on the generation stage of Vajrayogini.

‘From 2 to 6 May, the revered Lama Yonten Gialtso will retreat on the intensive practice of the Six Yogas of Niguma near St. Petersburg. Retreat is intended only for the disciples of the Lama, who previously received initiation and commentary from the Teacher on the Six Yogas of Niguma. During the retreat, the Lama will give the disciples meditation techniques to the Sixth Yogi of the next, second, level.

Program May 8-9

May 8 – initiation of Vajrayogini and transmission and explanation of the practice of the stage of initiation (kierima) of Vajrayogini

Vajrayogini is one of the main Yidams associated with the practice systems of the Six Yogas of Naropa and the Six Yogas of Niguma. This is the embodiment of the timeless openness and bliss of our true nature. Communication with her and meditation on her is a source of unlimited inspiration. Meditation of the stage of initiation can be performed both in connection with the practice of the Six Yogas, and as an independent practice.’

Grand Kalacakra Duchen, 29th April 2018, Tibet, India, Nepal, Hong Kong…..

Yesterday, 29th April 2018, several Tibetan Buddhist monasteries who practise Kalacakra in the Jonang and Kagyu tradition, organised grand Kalacakra sadhanas and events to commemorate the day Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Kalacakra Tantra.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the commemoration at the Jonang monastery in Nepal and offered the Lama and Khenpos there my newly published English translations, includin the Four Mandala Tara Offering that is regularly practised in the Jonang monasteries. I was generously offered a khatag, incense and a newly published Tibetan pecha text of the Kalacakra Nine Deity Sadhana.

Offering newly published English translations of Jonang texts to Lama Yonten Gyamtso and Khenpos at Jonang Monastery, Nepal, 28th April 2018.
Offering given to me by Khenpo la on 29th April 2018, newly published Tibetan pecha text of The Glorious Kalacakra Nine Deity Extensive Sadhana

Tsangchen Monastery, Dzamthang, Tibet

See more photos here.

In attendance, Jigme Dorjee Rinpoche.

Jonang Buddhist Institute and Monastery, Pharping, Nepal

In attendance Lama Yonten Gyamtso.

Jonang Takten Chophel Monastery, Mongolia

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In attendance Kyabje Rinpoche.

Jonang Jamda Kalacakra Centre, Hong Kong

Two Kagyu monasteries in India also made extensive pujas and preparations for the special day:

Bokar Monastery, Mirik, India

Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim, India

For photos and information click on the links.

May the Kalacakra teachings flourish and remain long! May all sentient beings attain full awakening.