COMPLETED – KHENPO MIGMAR TSETEN will teach at Ewam Choden on Thursday, June 16th, 2016 Differences between Sutrayana and Tantrayana

April 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Completed Special Events, Special Events

Ewam Choden is very pleased to welcome back Khenpo Migmar Tseten to the Center. During his last visit, he taught on the Heart Sutra and on the Four Noble Truths.  His teachings, in fluent English,  are always clear and compassionate, combining straightforwardness for a beginner with depth for the more advanced student and practitioner.  He kindly explains comprehensively and answers questions patiently.   Everyone is welcome.  REQUESTED donation: $30.  Dana (offering) to the Lama is separate.

LAMA MIGMAR’S SUBJECT for this teaching is the differences between Sutrayana (mdo’i-theg-pa) and Tantrayana or Vajrayana (rgyüd-kyi-theg-pa, rdo rje theg pa). Specifically, the topic is  How four philosophical schools of Vaibhashika, Sautrantika, Chitamatrin and Madhyamika are relevant to the understanding and practice of four classes of Kriya, Charya, Yoga and Anutarayoga of Tantra.

Lama Migmar has been serving at Harvard University as a Buddhist Chaplain since 1997.   Born in Tibet, he received both a traditional and a contemporary education in India. He graduated with an Acharya degree in 1979 from Tibetan Institute of Sanskrit University, Varanasi, India,  with the first position among four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He was awarded a medal for academic excellence by His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
  Lama Migmar served as the head of Sakya Center in Rajpur, India, and the Sakya Monastery in Puruwalla, India, from 1981 to 1989, taking care of the well-being of several hundred monastic residents. During this time he reintroduced the original form of the geshe educational system of Tibet, with degrees from kazhipa up to the rabjampa degree, with a curriculum that included all of the eighteen major texts, which are known as the Dragchen Chogyed.
  Additionally, Lama Migmar supervised the editing and publication of over 50 rare volumes of Sakya literature including the 31 volumes of Sakya Lamdre and the rare Golden Manuscripts of the Five Founding Masters of Sakya. He founded Sakya Institute for Buddhist Studies in Cambridge, MA, USA in 1990.   He was recognized as Khenpo for his scholarship and service to the Dharma by His Holiness Sakya Trizin.  Lama Migmar leads retreats at Buddhist centers throughout North America and Europe.  He is the author, editor and translator in a series of four Vision books and of the Treasures of the Sakya Lineage.  He has also written explanatory commentaries on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path and on the Heart Sutra. These books are available for purchase on Amazon.  He generously shares his teachings in podcasts and videos through the website,   His other website for his Buddhist center, Sakya Institute for Buddhist Studies, is





Completed—Ewam Choden Members Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 12:30 pm Everyone welcome

March 27, 2016 by  
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At the Annual Members Meeting, Lama Kunga Rinpoche and the Ewam Choden Board of Directors report on the state of our Center, which Rinpoche started about 43 years ago.  Members are asked to give requests and make suggestions.  Also, we look forward to including more participants in the many activities and chores around the Center.  Everyone who attends events and studies with Rinpoche is most welcome to attend, but only dues-paying members will vote.


October 31, 2015 by  
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Ven. Lama Kunga Rinpoche will conduct the annual Memorial Prayer service at Ewam Choden. This is a gathering to offer prayers for the benefit of all of our friends, relatives and countless sentient beings who have passed on in this year and in previous years.  The event is open to everyone.
If you wish, you may bring a photo of a special person or animal to include, and you may bring tea candles or flowers to set up near the shrine. The gathering begins at 7 p.m. and lasts for about one and a half to two hours.

Completed—Ven. Lama Kunga Rinpoche will give empowerments in Arcadia, California on October 3rd, 2015

September 19, 2015 by  
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Ven. Lama Kunga Rinpoche will kindly bestow the empowerments of Two-Armed Black Mahakala, Six-Armed White Mahakala, and a Ngondro Transmission. For details, please click to go to the website for Tsechen Chokhor Ling.


August 1, 2015 by  
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This information is from Bay Area Tsechenling. CLICK on the image below to enlarge it.


***** HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY to VEN. LAMA KUNGA THARTSE RINPOCHE ***** Wishes for continuing long-life and good health

Ven. Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, originally from Ngor Monastery in Tibet, has kindly and generously shared his dharma wisdom with us in many ways for over forty years. We are infinitely grateful for Rinpoche’s display of patience and compassion, his profound teachings, his heartfelt empowerments, and his enduring patience.  Over the years, Rinpoche has kindly instructed students in Tibetan cooking as readily as in spoken and literary Tibetan language. We learn from him how to make tormas and treasure vases. He performs marriage ceremonies and conducts tsoks. He translates and interprets sadhanas and texts, guiding us in our understanding of them.  And especially, he imparts how and why to practice the Bodhisattva path of Vajrayana, measuring the teaching for each individual student. How fortunate we are to have such a wonderful Lama in our midst, and that we could meet him !

Rinpoche’s 80th birthday is on July 25, 2015.  Let’s honor his continuing presence and show our appreciation.

SAY LONG LIFE PRAYERS—You may find the long and short versions of Ven. LAMA KUNGA RINPOCHE’S Long Life Prayer on this website, as follows: On the front page, go to the yellow horizontal bar–Sakya School. From the pull-down menu there, stop at Prayers and move to the right for the prayer.

MAKE A DONATION TO EWAM CHODEN—Ven. Lama Kunga Rinpoche founded this Center and continues to lead it.  The Center is sustained by donations.  Use the PayPal link on the right side of the front page or send a check to make your special Birthday gift donation. (All donations are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged.)   This is the best birthday gift to Rinpoche (other than dharma practice).

Virupa-Vol III-1-1976_cover-sm


Monthly Group HEVAJRA Sadhana Practice at Ewam Choden

October 26, 2014 by  
Filed under Special Events

There is a continuous group practice of the middle-length sadhana of Hevajra on the first Sunday of (almost) every month.  It begins at about 1:00 pm.  Participants must have received the Hevajra Cause and Path Empowerments from a Sakya Lama in order to participate.  For more information, please contact Mike at (510) 526-6867.



October 25, 2014 by  
Filed under Special Events

SCHEDULE for the Teachings 

SATURDAY, NOV 1—10:30 am  to 12:30 pm   *Lunch Break*    2:00 pm to 4:30 pm

SUNDAY, NOV 2——1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

REQUESTED DONATION AMOUNT —  $40 per day or $60 for both days.      Pre-registration isn’t necessary, but please arrive prior to the starting time.

Lama Jampa has kindly offered to teach on the first two points of the Seven Point Mind Training, which includes the preliminaries and the actual practice of Tong-Len (གཏོང་ལེན་) (giving and taking ).

He will teach from the untranslated commentary of Tokmé Zangpo, (ཐོགས་མེད་བཟང་པོ), who lived from 1297 to 1371.

Training the Mind in Seven Points  is the famous Lo-jong (mind-training) (བློ་སྦྱོང་)  text that Atisha, (982–1054 CE), the Indian meditation master,  brought to Tibet. An explanation of Buddha’s instructions on training the mind, it outlines in basic steps, the attitudes and practices to be used in daily life. It shows the way to combine ordinary behavior with the highest view.

Lama Jampa Thaye is a scholar and meditation master trained in the Sakya and Kagyu traditions by his two principal teachers,  His Holiness Sakya Trizin and Karma Thinley Rinpoche.  Born in England in 1952, he became a student of Rinpoche at the age of 20 and met His Holiness a year later.

Lama Jampa obtained his PhD in Tibetan Buddhist history and served as Lecturer of Buddhist Studies and the History of Ideas for over twenty years at the University of Manchester. He was appointed by Karma Thinley Rinpoche as his dharma-regent in 1977 and given the authority to bestow Vajrayana initiations in 1988.  Since then he has traveled extensively giving teachings and initiations and is the author of numerous books and dharma treatises. His many dharma activities include a YouTube channel where his teachings can be heard.
The main website for his centers is

When Lama Jampa visited Ewam Choden last year, he taught on the history of the Rime movement and on comparing the views of emptiness in Rangton and Shangton.




July 31, 2014 by  
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There is a great weekend of teachings & practice with Khenpo Pema Wangdak at EWAM CHODEN.

PUBLIC TALKExploring Patience and Its Strength


REQUESTED DONATION—$15.00  Dana (offering) to the Lama is separate.

The enduring positive effects of peace, loving-kindness, and compassion, and everything else that is good in human nature—its values and ethics, its aspirations and goals—are possible only when combined with the strength of the power of patience. Without that strength, these values, profound and noble though they may be, are often seen to be fragile and frail, and thus are neglected, ignored, and misunderstood even by those who aspire to live by them.       

Drawing on the teachings of Buddha, the virtues of patience, in the length and depth of its meaning, will be presented as an indispensable component of and the very key to a successful life, spiritual or mundane, and every meaningful thing we do: at home, at work, in social life, education, health, and all else that is conceivable. Our measure of accomplishment is fundamentally based on a solid foundation of patience.

 The talk includes discussion, meditation on the subject of patience, and question-and-answer session.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY—-SOJONG and LOJONG བློ་སྦྱོང  A weekend meeting with Ven. Khenpo Pema Wangdak for intensive teachings and practice sessions on  purifying and training one’s mind toward compassion

INFO FROM KHENPO PEMA—-The three most influential Lojong textsParting From the Four Attachments, Eight-Verse Lojong, and Seven-Point Mind Training—which have sustained the spirit and purpose of life for millions over the centuries, will be reread, reviewed, and reflected upon, accompanied by step-by-step alternating meditation throughout the day. We will do this as a reminder, as well as an introduction for those who are new to the Lojong teachings, that everything worthwhile in this world and in our life is rooted in the spirit of compassion and kindness that is nurtured by joy of life and equanimity of mind. There will be group practice sessions for beginners and experienced students alike.

The daily schedule will consist of alternating periods of teaching, practice, and guided meditation, with a personal audience with Khenpo Pema. Dedicated practitioners, believers and nonbelievers, the curious as well as beginners, all are welcome to attend this weekend meeting.

SCHEDULE for Teachings and Practice Sessions

SATURDAY, OCT. 25—–START AT 10:30 am  BREAK for Lunch from 12:30 to 2:00 pm,   STOP AT 4:30 pm

SUNDAY, OCT 26—–START AT 1:00 pm,   STOP AT 4:30 pm

REQUESTED DONATION AMOUNT —  $40 per day or $60 for both days.

LAMA PEMA_banner Brief Biography of Khenpo Pema Wangdak

Khenpo Pema Wangdak was born in Tibet and escaped to India as a child in 1959. Having graduated from the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Benares, India, he received his Acharya (masters) degree from Sanskrit University in 1980, while studying with the highest Sakya Lamas..  In 1982, he was sent to the West by His Holiness Sakya Trizin,  as the first of the younger generation of Tibetan teachers in America from the Sakya School.

In 1989 Lama Pema founded the Vikramasila Foundation which encompasses several Palden Sakya Centers in New York,  three other states, and in some other countries. Lama Pema is the creator of “Bur Yig”–Tibetan Braille, and the founder of Pema Ts’al (English for Lotus Grove) Schools in Mundgod, India (for Tibetan lay children); Pokara, Nepal (monastic schools for boys); and Pema Ts’al School in New York City, with a curriculum modeled on that of Sakya College, India. The Pema Ts’al School in New York City provides a traditional Buddhist education of monastic training and study, in the format of Western university teaching.

Lama Pema was recognized with the title of “Khenpo” by His Holiness Sakya Trizin in 2007. He received the distinguished  “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” award by the National Ethical Coalition of Organizations in May, 2009 at Ellis Island for his humanitarian work around the world. Lama Pema is the first Tibetan ever to have received such an award. Recently, Khenpo Pema has been doing translations of sadhanas for his Holiness Sakya Trizin, as well as, traveling to give teachings in various places. He maintains his focal Centers in New York.

Check out Khenpo Pema’s interesting website at  and find him on Twitter at    You can also go to his Facebook site at   and finally, if you’ve read this far, but have never met or heard Khenpo Pema , there are a few short bits on YouTube at


GUEST LAMAS COMING to the CENTER—Khenpo Migmar, Khenpo Pema, and Lama Jampa Thaye–See below for info

June 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Special Events

August 15 through 17, 2014—Khenpo Migmar Tseten will give teachings on the Heart Sutra  (Prajnaparamita, the “Perfection of Wisdom”) and on the Four Noble Truths.

October 24 through 27, 2014–Khenpo Pema Wangdak will teach (topic to be announced)

November 1 through November 2, 2014—Lama Jampa Thaye will teach (topic to be announced)
 These Lamas are very popular teachers at Ewam Choden, and we’re fortunate for their visits.  Mark your calendars.

LMigmarone         LAMA PEMA_bannerLAMA JAMPA

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