The Vajra Assemblies of
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From Acharya Larry Mermelstein
The Vajra Assemblies of the Vidyadhara became his primary teaching vehicle
for all tantrikas, following their immersion in the three-month Seminary
training. They are transmissional in every sense, and I believe they are
among the "holy grail," so to speak, of his vajrayana
presentations--essential instructions for bringing the vajrayana
pointing-out to the path and our daily life. Hearing them can be a
significantly different and more powerful experience than reading the
published version, which itself becomes more useful afterwards. These
teachings will sustain and nuture us, carrying us forward on the path of
From Adam Lobel, Kalapa Acharya
Between the years of 1976 and 1983, the Druk Sakyong convened a series of Vajra Assemblies. These Assemblies provided an intensive learning environment for tantrikas, and in this space the Vidyadhara offered some of his most powerful, direct, and evocative teachings. The Vajra Assemblies are historic moments in the journey of the dharma into modernity. We are tremendously fortunate that these Assemblies were carefully recorded, and we are additionally fortunate that these recordings have been digitally re-mastered and produced by the Shambhala Archives. It is now possible for Shambhala Centers, groups, and individuals to hear the original recordings of these teachings in the Vidyadhara┬'s own voice.
The topics covered over the course of fourteen Vajra Assemblies range from now-classic presentations of ground, path, and fruition Mahamudra to the Vidyadhara┬'s instructions on the vajrayana aspects of the Shambhala teachings. For example, it was during the 1976 ┬ôGreat Eastern Sun┬ö Vajra Assembly that the Vidyadhara evoked the image of the universal monarch, facing East, sitting in the midst of a great hall with the walls falling away. We also find direct instructions on vajrayana view, practice, and action; samaya, and selected themes such as sacredness and the Three Lineages emphasized in the Great Perfection tradition. This ocean of vajra-dharma is both traditional, and made completely fresh and vital through the Vidyadhara┬'s uncanny ability to penetrate directly into personal experience.
These teachings have been central to the path for many of us, and the Collected Vajra Assemblies volumes have been dear companions during many a solitary retreat. It is good news indeed to now have the opportunity to directly listen to these ear-whispered teachings, and the Sakyong is delighted that these Assemblies will be even more available to Shambhala vajrayana students. I encourage centers to consider purchasing these recordings with the intention of allowing more and more beings to assemble under the victory banner of the great mahasiddha and dharma king, the Dorje Drad├╝l of Mukpo.
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Posted: July 18, 2012
Audio CD sets now available at special pre-order prices.
"Welcome everybody. It has never before happened, in the presentation of Buddhism in America, that purely tantrikas have gathered together to discuss Vajrayana alone. In some sense it is a rather nervous situation, but on the other hand it is very delightful. All of you have had very personal experiences with each other, and I seem to have an understanding of every one of you at this point...I know each of your eccentricities, your sanity and your beauty and your weakness...So it is a very moving experience that we could actually talk in this way...In this case, the whole thing is a completely personal experience."
This is how the Vidyadhara, the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche opened the first Vajra Assembly, in April, 1976. From that time onward, he held fourteen Vajra Assemblies, which are now available for the first time as audio CDs.
These are now available in two ways:
1. As a Shambhala center, (or individual), these sets are available at an early-bird price of $300. This is a special pre-order price that will be offered until August 25, 2012.
2. As one of the centers that already have the ARP (Audio Recovery Project) collection, a special pre-order price of $200 will only be offered until August 25, 2012.
We hope all of you, centers and individual tantrikas, will take advantage of this offer. Each purchase will contribute to the preservation of these talks.
There is no more intimate teaching than the talks given at the vajra assemblies, and, the power of actually hearing these teachings is quite extraordinary. It is a transmissional experience that goes beyond what one can glean from reading these talks in edited form.
At the same time, putting the two together, by listening to the CDs as well as reading and contemplating chapters from The Collected Vajra Assemblies, can be an extraordinary way to study the Vajrayana teachings of the Vidyadhara.
For ARP centers, this material was not included in your original Audio Recovery Project collection, as several participating centers such as Naropa University could not offer the restricted material in their libraries. Fifteen hundred CDs were created from more than 3,000 talks given by the Vidyadhara for the ARP original collection. All of these talks were pre-transmission material only.
Over the next few years we intend to offer more post-transmission material, beginning with the production of the Vajra Assemblies. In the future the Early Tantra Groups, and the Vajrayogini Tris will also come out in audio CD format.
These Vajra Assemblies are a place where all Vajrayana students can meet in the study and contemplation of the Vidyadhara┬'s teachings. Many of the topics are applicable to
students pursuing the Rigden ngondrö and the Scorpion Seal Path. Students engaged in Vajrayogini and Chakrasamvara practice will also find these inspirational and informational.
For example, there is an entire assembly entitled "The Great Eastern Sun," and in many other talks, the Vidyadhara speaks of developing a vajra kingdom and an enlightened
society. The assembly on "Samaya" will hit home with all tantrikas, and the Vajra Assemblies on "Renunciation, Devotion, and Awareness" and "Sacred World" will speak to every Vajrayana student.
The Vajra Assemblies are available at this pre-order price $300/$200 ARP only until August 25, 2012. To place your order contact Shambhala Media at the links below. For ARP
centers, be sure to identify that your center participated in the Audio Recovery Project.
May the dharma continue to flourish!
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