Martsang Kagyu Lama Chopa Puja in 2018
The founder of Martsang Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism Choje Marpa Sherab Yeshe ascended to the pure land of Akshobhya Buddha on the 10th September in the Tibetan calendar. The Lama Chopa puja takes place once a year on the day the founder of Martsang Kagyu, Choje Marpa, achieved Buddhahood.
This is a special practice of Choje Marpa and while there are many guru yoga sadhanas, Lama Chopa is considered to be a highest yoga tantra practice. It includes the mahamudra of the Martsang Kagyu Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, in addition to the six yogas of naropa. Once one has taken empowerments into the practices of highest yoga tantra, it’s important that the source of our devotion is constantly renewed, as all success on the path comes from correct devotion to the Spiritual Master. Without guru worship, it is impossible to achieve anything through all the various practices.
The main aim of the Lama Chopa practice is personal transformation through the practitioner merging his or her mind with the guru as the meditational deity. The essence of the practice is to see the guru as an enlightened being, a Buddha, and to receive their blessings. A complete meditation practice, it purifies the four obscurations through receiving the four empowerments of transforming one’s body, speech, and mind into the pure enlightened state. Part of this practice also includes the offering of tsok, a ritual feast which includes donations of flowers, fruits, vegetarian food and incense, to show our profound love and respect to the great masters of Martsang Kagyu. In a tsok practice, we visualize that these great masters and other beneficial beings come and accept our offerings. Then we enjoy the food offerings together. Tsok helps us to accumulate skies of merit and purifies eons of negative karma. It also benefits us by supporting our meditations to achieve greater realisation.
Guru Yoga meditation practice is one of the most important and effective methods for attaining enlightenment. While there are various Guru Yoga lineages Lama Chopa is very profound and comprehensive. Most of the previous lineage lamas did this as their heart practice. One of the most important functions of Guru Yoga is to give oral transmissions connected with the lineage to practitioners. It is through the guru that we find the most accessible source of spiritual energy.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama:
“Guru yoga is not just a practice where one visualizes a deity and then makes seven-limbed offerings, but rather it is where one views one’s own root guru as a real buddha from the depths of one’s heart. Having cultivated such an attitude and strong faith, one then engages in actually pleasing the guru by following his advice. It is through such a method that one should try to achieve a transference of the guru’s realizations to one’s own mental continuum. Such a practice is called guru yoga.“
The puja is also an opportunity to receive blessings from Choje Marpa and obtain many merits. Furthermore it provides time for us to reflect on Choje Marpa’s achievement, which like a beacon in the dark, will guide and encourage us in our Buddhist practice while dispelling confusion and doubt.
2017 Martsang Kagyu Lama Chopa Puja will take place:
Date: 3rd November 2018
Time: 13:00pm to 15:00pm
Everyone is warmly welcome to free attend the puja.