Sharing with Geshe Alak Tsawa Rinpoche a deep spiritual bond for over two decades, once again paved the way to Rinpoche accepting the invitation put forward by Lobsang Norbu (Dragutin Šmalcelj)-President of our Buddhist Society and I ( Reena Šmalcelj-Vice President of our Buddhist Society) to visit our Buddhist Center in Zagreb for the second time, to further spiritually enrich the members of our Society. Lobsang Norbu has in fact known Rinpoche since his early days of Studying the Dharma, in the Sera Jhe Mahayana Buddhist University in South India. Once again it was wonderful to see the loving spiritual friendship between Rinpoche and Lobsang, benefiting the Buddhist Sangha with Rinpoche teaching directly in Tibetan Language and Lobsang Norbu translating the teachings into Croatian language. Everything was so spontaneous. For some of our Buddhist Sangha members it was a reunion with one of their spiritual teachers as they had previously received teachings from Rinpoche during our Group tour to Italy in 2006.

The teachings began on 5th October with the Refuge ceremony which initiates one into the Buddhist path. During this ceremony from deep faith one goes for refuge and pays homage to the 3 jewels- the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. This was followed by receiving the Pratimoksha wows for lay people and the Bodhisattva wows. The Pratimoksha wows also known as’ wows for individual liberation’ are a kind of outer level commitment to practice. The inner level commitment to practice is the Bodhisattva wows of the Mahayana. This is the development of compassion for all sentient beings and a deep awareness of emptiness which is the ultimate nature of phenomena. In fact Bodhichitta is the very heart and distinguishing feature of the Mahayana. It is said that Bodhichitta is needed in the beginning, middle and at the end of the Mahayana path.

On 6th of October, the day began auspiciously with the refuge prayers and an elaborate mandala offering. Rinpoche gave an oral transmission of the text called ‘The Three Principal Aspects of the Path’ (Tib:Lam-gtso rnam-gsum) written by Lama Je Tsongkhapa. This text although small contains the essence of all the sutra teachings which is the basis of all the three vehicles- the Hinayana, Mahayana and the Vajrayana. The three principals as mentioned in the text refer to the mind of Renunciation, Bodhichitta and the correct view of Emptiness. Just as a building might collapse if its foundation is weak, in the same way if our foundation (which is the sutra teaching) is not strong then our Tantric practice will not bear fruitful results. Thus the text was explained clearly and in detail before the tantric initiation on the following day.

On 7th October Rinpoche bestowed upon us the sacred Initiation of White Tara Yeshe Korlo-the Wheel of Wisdom (Tib: Yeshe Korlo Drolkar Tsering). This practice he received directly from the late H.E Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and on several occasions from H.H. the Dalai Lama. Rinpoche had also been practicing this in his previous incarnation. The initiation was given in its entirety consisting of a group of initiations for various purposes such as long life, accumulation of merit, ripening of wisdom and so on.

Our Sangha members felt grateful to Rinpoche for compassionately giving such a wonderful teaching and practice. We all made a commitment to continue to practice these together as a group with the motivation to benefit all sentient beings and later having stabilized the practice to enter into retreat.

Text written by: Lhamo Ozer Chenmo ( Reena Šmalcelj)


Group photo during the teachings given by Ven. Alak Tsawa Rinpoche

Group photo during the teachings given by Ven. Alak Tsawa Rinpoche.

Ven. Alak Rinpoche with Genla Lobsang Norbu (Drago) and Lhamo Ozer Chenmo (Reena)

Receiving Dharma names.

Receiving Dharma names.

Mandala offering

Mandala offering

Prinos koji simbolizira Buddhino tijelo.

Offerings of the representation of the Buddha’s body

Prinos koji simbolizira Buddhin govor.

Offerings of the representation of the Buddha’s speech.

Prinos koji simbolizira Buddhin um.

Offerings of the representation of the Buddha’s body mind.

Altar of Yeshe Korlo.

Blagoslov Yeshe Korlo za vrijeme inicijacije.

Blessing of Yeshe Korlo during the initiation.

Receiving nectar blessing during the initiation.

Tsog prinos.

Tsog offering.

Ven. Alak Rinpoche, Genla Lobsang Norbu (Drago) and Lhamo Ozer Chenmo (Reena) during the initiation.

Neki od učenika za vrijeme odmora za čaj.

Some students during the tea break.

Some students during the tea break.

Ven. Alak Rinpoche, Genla Lobsang Norbu (Drago) and Lhamo Ozer Chenmo (Reena) na Sljemenu.

Ven. Alak Rinpoche, Genla Lobsang Norbu (Drago) and Lhamo Ozer Chenmo (Reena) in Sljeme.