arapacana manjushri

(Photo: Ling Rinpoche preparing for Orange Manjushri wang at Tehor Khangtsen, Sera Jey Monastery, August 30, 2022. Photo from Ling Rinpoche Facebook page, publicity available 8/31/2022)

In May of 2019 Khangser Rinpoche visited Lion’s Roar Dharma Center – he recently visited there again. At that time he gave teachings on mediation and bestowed the Orange Manjushri jenang. And I had no idea what it was….

While I had been at LRDC for a fair bit at that time, due to various reasons I had missed all of the prior visiting teachers and jenangs/wangs (different types of permissions or empowerments to do a trantric practice). As the time got closer and closer, I was helping to plan and prepare for the event, I started to think that I couldn’t attend it! I just didn’t know enough.

I talked to Lama Jinpa about this. Well, I really went to tell him that I wasn’t going to event. This chat, by the way, was maybe 3-4 hours ahead of it. Lama’s response surprised me. He said go. Even when I told him I didn’t feel ready for it, that I didn’t know anything and I that I didn’t want to take the jenang because of these things. That was fine, he said, but come, sit in the audience and receive the blessings of being there.

And so I did. It was a bit scary actually. I learned a lot, and I have strong memories from that evening. Lama Jinpa later had me lead the Orange Manjushri practice at Temple on Sundays. Then Dirk let me tag along with a larger Manjushri practice during the pandemic.

Slowly, over the last few years, these practices have been small seeds growing from my initial hesitation. There was never a giant leap or love at first sight, just a slow building of friendship with it.

Today, I had a great honor to receive the Orange Manjushri wang from Ling Rinpoche. I’ve received enough jenangs and wangs since May 2019 that today I walked into the Sera Jey Tehor Khangtsen gompa without apprehension or fear. Rather with Bodhicitta and respect for the Teacher, and a bit of wisdom gained from doing this practice for a few years. I knew what was happening and was ready to receive it in a way I was not in the past.

Although, from what I have learned in the intervening years, sometimes there is an introduction of sorts, and then the student goes and practices for a while, then returns for another ceremony. I think the words we use may confuse this concept, so I’ll leave it at that, and I don’t fully know myself.

I do know that I am grateful to all my teachers. Manjushri practice is essential for study – even my language teachers insist on it.

Om Ah Ra Pa Tsa Na Dhih