Author Archives: Lama Zopa

Week of January 12, 2015 to January 19, 2015

Posted on January 13th, 2015 by Lama Zopa

Dear Dharma Friends,

On Tuesday 1/13 at 7 PM We will recite the Long Green Tara sadhana and the Seven Line Prayer to Guru Rinpoche. Green Tara is the mother of all Buddhas and acts swiftly for the benefit of all who pray to her. She is known as the Great Protector and Savioress. Tibetan Buddhists consider Guru Rinpoche as the second Buddha.

Thursday 1/15 at 7PM Continuation of our book discussion on The Heart is Noble by the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. Chapter 9, “Conflict Resolution: Anger is the Problem”. Each chapter can be read independently so even if you haven’t attended any of the previous discussions, please feel free to come.

Sunday 1/18/2015

  • 9 AM – 10 Chenrezig & Amitabha sadhanas and the Seven Line Prayer to Guru Rinpoche.
  • 10 – 11 Tranquility meditation (shamata) and Compassion meditation (tonglen)
  • 11:15 Lama Zopa will share stories about his recent spiritual pilgrimmage to India and Nepal.
  • Wishing you a blessed week.

    Yours in the dharma,
    Mary Ann Duncan

    “Anger arises out of a disgruntled, unhappy state of mind.”
    from the Heart is Noble by the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

Highlights for January 2015

Posted on January 4th, 2015 by Lama Zopa

Special Events:
On Saturday, January 10, Lama Lodro Lhamo will give a one-day teaching on and practice of Green Tara, a female buddha.
The schedule is as follows: Teaching 9-10:30 AM and 2:30-4 PM; Green Tara practice 10:30 AM-noon and 4-5:30 PM.
Lama Lodro Lhamo is a fully ordained Buddhist nun and currently serves as the women’s retreat master at Karme Ling Retreat Center in Delhi, New York. Suggested donation $40 for the day or $20 for a half day.

On Thursday evenings at 7 we will continue our Study Group on the book The Heart is Noble, by the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

On Tuesday January 27 at 7 PM, we will have a Guru Rinpoche Shower of Blessings Tsok practice. This is a feast offering to Guru Rinpoche and all enlightened beings, in which we share. Preparation is at 6:30 PM. All are welcome. If you can, bring a vegetarian snack or drink such as cheese, crackers, cookies, chips, fruit, candy, nuts, juice or soda.

Sunday Programs at 11:15 AM:
Jan 4: Questions and Answers, led by Marilyn McKee. Senior students will answer questions about topics such as rebirth, karma, other realms, and vegetarian practices.
Jan 11: Teaching by Laura Roth: The Four Seals of the Buddhist View. What you need to believe to be a Buddhist.
Jan 18: Talk by Lama Zopa: My trip Nepal and India
Jan 25: Teaching by Lama Zopa: TBA

Coming Up: On Sunday, February 15, 2015, Albany KTC will hold our Annual Meeting,.

Note: A $5 donation for Sunday teachings for non-members is appreciated.

Week of June 16 – 22

Posted on June 17th, 2014 by Lama Zopa

Dear Dharma Friends,

Please join us this week for one (or all) of the following programs:
Tuesday, 6/17 at 7 PM we will chant the Chenrezig and Amitabha sadhanas as well as the Seven Line Guru Rinpoche prayer 

Sunday, 6/22 from 9 AM – 10 we will chant the Chenrezig and Amitabha sadhanas as well as the Seven Line Guru Rinpoche prayer

From 10 – 11 we will meditate

At approximately 11:15,  there will be a video teaching by His Holiness, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

Wishing you a blessed week ahead.


Proper Care of Dharma Books

Posted on June 3rd, 2014 by Lama Zopa

Dear Dharma Friends,

Attached is an important teaching on the proper care of Dharma books. All of us have Dharma books, but we often don’t know how to care for them in accordance with Dharma. We can accumulate merit through the proper treatment of Dharma materials but also create negative karma due to carelessness. Therefore, I request all Dharma practitioners to keep this instruction in mind.

May all beings be happy!

Lama Zopa


Proper Care of Dharma Books

Dharma books contain the teachings of the Buddha: they have the power to protect against lower birth and to point the way to liberation. Therefore, they should be treated with respect, kept off the floor and places where people sit or walk, and not stepped over. They should be covered or protected for transporting and kept in a high, clean place separate from more ordinary things. If it is necessary to dispose of Dharma materials, they should be burned with awareness and care rather than thrown in the trash. When burning Dharma texts, it is considered skillful to first recite a prayer or mantra, such as Om, Ah, Hung. Then you can visualize the letters of the text to be burned being absorbed into the syllable Ah, and the Ah being absorbed into you. After that you can burn the texts.

­– Quoted from books of Palpung Publications, a branch of Palpung Sherabling Monastic Seat, HP, India.

Gyalwang Karmapa’s Preliminary Kagyu Monlam Teachings

Posted on January 7th, 2014 by Lama Zopa

Dear Dharma Friends,

As you may already know, our supreme master, the Gyalwang Karmapa recently gave preliminary Kagyu Monlam teachings in Bodhgaya, India. His teaching is based on the commentary on the mahamudra preliminary practices by Jamgon Lodro Taye. The first few teachings concern the nature and function of refuge which is important for all Buddhists to understand and practice. The teachings were expertly translated by KTD’s own Lama Yeshe Gyamtso. As you won’t find anything more brilliant or relevant than this, I urge you all to take the time to properly receive these teachings. Please don’t be lazy! Even if you are exceedingly busy, at least listen to the first teaching in the series. You will not be disappointed.

Karmapa Chenno!

Lama Zopa

“We still look for something outside ourselves, not knowing how priceless and how important what we already have is. We need to look at these seeds of virtue in our mind as if they were as rare as a Buddha.”

– The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

These teachings may be found at the following link:


Posted on December 14th, 2013 by Lama Zopa

From our offical email list:

Hi, folks,

Due to a snowstorm that could potentially continue into Sunday morning, we will be cancelling all events at Albany KTC on Sunday. The slideshow and talk by Karen Lucic will be re-scheduled.


Nelson Kent

The Shower of Blessings

Posted on November 9th, 2013 by Lama Zopa

The Shower of Blessings is a sadhana of Guru Rinpoche composed by the great Jamgon Mipam Rinpoche that includes a tsok.

In general, veneration and offering to Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava is extremely important for vajrayana practitioners. Along with the Jetsunma Arya Tara, reliance on Guru Rinpoche is one of our primary means of dispelling obstacles on the path. In particular, for followers of the supreme Gyalwang Karmapa, the chanting of The Seven-Line Prayer (included within the Shower of Blessings) will help remove obstacles to the Karmapa’s enlightened activities. As a group, we can dedicate the merit of our accumulation of the prayer to the long life and far-reaching activity of the Buddha Karmapa. Moreover, the tsok or ritual thanksgiving offering is a unique vajrayana practice not found within the lower vehicles. Done properly, it is a powerful method for purifying violations of the three vows and accumulating merit.

For these reasons, I request you all to participate in this special puja when it is scheduled at KTC. Please bring your mala and a vegetarian snack or drink to include in the tsok. Because the food and drink is offered to Guru Rinpoche and the Three Precious Jewels, it should not be old or previously used in any way. In order to accumulate merit, offerings should always be fresh and of the best quality. Attached is a beautiful image of Guru Rinpoche drawn by the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa himself. It includes the Seven-Line Prayer. All vajrayana practitioners should memorize this essential prayer drawn from the terma or hidden treasure tradition. I urge those of you who have not yet done so to memorize and recite this prayer in your daily practice.

Yours in Dharma,

Lama Zopa

seven-line prayer

Open House on Sunday October 20th, Everyone is Welcome!

Posted on October 17th, 2013 by Lama Zopa

Dear Friends:

We cordially invite you to an open house at Albany Karma Thegsum Choling on Sunday, October 20, at 11:00 AM, after our regular Chenrezig/Amitabha practice at 9 AM and meditation at 10 AM.

We welcome newcomers and old friends to meet members of Albany KTC, share some refreshments, learn about KTC’s programs, and have your questions about Buddhism answered.

Of course you are also welcome to come to meditation beforehand.

Please do join us on Sunday!

With best regards

Laura M. Roth, Director


Week of June 24-30

Posted on June 25th, 2013 by Lama Zopa

Dear Dharma Friends
Tomorrow, June 25 at 7PM we will hold a Short Green Tara Sadhana.
Sunday, June 30th from 9 AM to 11 AM we will have a special live streaming webcast of the Kagyu Monlam from Toronto Canada.  This is in lieu of our usual meditation program.
Wishing you a blessed week.
Mary Ann Duncan

May all beings be happy!
This Week at Albany KTC – Week of May 20, 2013

Posted on May 21st, 2013 by Lama Zopa

Dear Dharma Friends,

Tomorrow Tuesday 5/21 at 7 PM we will recite the Chenrezig and Amitabha sadhanas as well as the Seven Line Guru Rinpoche prayer for the unhindered flourishing of the Buddha activities of H. H. the 17th Karmapa.

Please note there will NOT be a Dakpo Targyen class on Thursday night. Lama Zopa will be attending the Amitabha retreat at Karme Ling Retreat Center from Thursday to Saturday. All are welcomed to attend as their schedules permit. If you’re interested in going, it’s advisable to call Karme Ling beforehand to let them know you’re coming.

On Sunday 5/26 we will hold our usual program. Starting at 9 AM we will chant the Chenrezig and Amitabha sadhanas as well as recite the Seven Line Guru Rinpoche prayer. From 10 to 11 we will do shamata and walking meditation as well as tonglen. There will NOT, however, be a teaching. After the meditation, we will head over to the Colonie Town Park in Latham for some picnic fun, friendship and good vegetarian food. As the saying goes “the more the merrier” so I hope many people come and enjoy the afternoon on the banks of the Mohawk. This is a good opportunity to invite others so please feel free to bring your friends and loved ones. BTW there is a dock and boat launch so if you have one, bring it along. There is also a bike path and kids playground. If you are coming, please call me at: 785-5271 or 763-7556 and let me know what you are planning to bring. Attached is a list of some suggestions.

Until then, wishing you a blessed week.

Yours in the Dharma,

Mary Ann Duncan

The Importance of Dharma Friends and Group Practice

Posted on May 17th, 2013 by Lama Zopa

Dear Dharma Friends,

I would like to encourage all KTC members to come to our weekly pujas,
practices, and teachings: Chenrezik at 9:00 on Sunday and meditation at
10:00, Chenrezik or Short Green Tara on Tuesday evenings at 7:00. Having
Dharma friends and engaging in study and practice is one of the main
reasons we keep the Albany KTC open. If we could practice Dharma correctly
on our own without the support of lamas, Dharma friends, and pujas, we
would have no need of a Dharma center at all. However we cannot practice
Dharma properly on our own until we develop deep experience and
realization. As Kyabje Thrangu Rinpoche, the senior tutor to the Gyalwang
Karmapa, asserts:

It is excellent to know what the genuine Dharma is. However, if one does
not meditate, the ultimate result will not be obtained, so practice is very
important. Further, rather than practicing alone in a solitary place, it is
better to practice in a group. Shiwa Repa said, “The basis of virtuous
activity is compatible Dharma friends.” Through the encouragement of lamas
and friends who truly follow the Dharma, faith and diligence will increase
and laziness and discouragement be reversed.

So please join us at KTC for teaching and practice in a supportive
environment blessed by great Kagyu lamas.

Yours in Dharma,

Lama Zopa

*We should not be satisfied just by merely knowing some teaching,*
*We should be satisfied when we put it into practice.*

-The Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Week of May 13, 2013

Posted on May 14th, 2013 by Lama Zopa

Please join us for one (or more) of  this week’s activities.

Tomorrow, Tuesday 5/14 at 7 PM we will chant the short Green Tara sadhana  as well as recite the Seven Line Guru Rinpoche prayer.

Thursday 5/16 at 6:30 PM Lama Zopa will continue teaching on the Dakpo Targyen, finishinChapter 2.

Sunday 5/19 at 9AM we will recite the Chenrezig and Amitabha sadhanas and from 10 – 11 we will do shamata and walking meditation as well as tonglen   After a short tea break, we will continue our study and discussion of Traleg Kyabgon’s book “The Practice of Lojong – Cultivating Compassion through Training the Mind”, finishing up on Point 2, The Actual Practice:  The Cultivation of Bodhichitta.

The following Sunday 5/26 we will have a picnic after our usual meditation program.  It will be held tentatively at the Colonie Town Park in Latham.  I hope you can join us for an afternoon of fun, friendship and good vegetarian food!  Please bring a dish or beverage to share.  In case of rain we will have it at the center.

Wishing you a blessed, sunny and peace filled week ahead!

Albany KTC Program Highlights for May, 2013

Posted on May 11th, 2013 by Lama Zopa

Recent Events:

This spring we had some wonderful programs. Karen Lucic’s fascinating slide show on March 24 of her pilgrimage to India and Nepal was enhanced by showing it on a flat screen TV, and that inspired us to purchase a large flat screen TV with the welcomed help of Karen Roth. This greatly enhanced our viewing of the webcast from KTD Monastery of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s inspiring teachings on April 5-7. Meanwhile Lama Pema Tsewang from Vancouver gave an evening teaching on The Four Dharmas of Gampopa on March 26th, and Lama Tashi Dondrup from Toronto gave an evening teaching on The Three Principle Aspects of the Path on April 3. We are truly blessed.

Special event:

On Sunday, May 26, 12 noon to 3:00 PM Albany KTC will have a Spring Picnic at a location to be announced. We will have a place to cook veggie burgers and such. Bring something vegetarian or vegan food to share. Family and friends are particularly welcome. Please contact Laura Roth (434-7420) or Mary Ann Duncan (785-5271) to coordinate what you are bringing. In case of rain, we will have an indoor picnic at the center.

Special Event:

On Thursday Evenings 6:30-8:30 PM, Lama Zopa will continue his in depth teaching on the Dakpo Targyen, or Ornament of Precious Liberation by Gampopa. Lama Zopa has provided us with a wonderful letter describing the teachings, which is available for you to read here.

Please take note: Due to its advanced nature this is a restricted members class. Attendance with permission only.

Sunday programs at 11:15 AM:

May 5: Lama Zopa will give a teaching on The Bardo.
May 12: Lama Zopa will give a teaching on Meditation for Beginners. This will be an opportunity for students at all levels to learn meditation or refine their practice.
May 19: Our Study group will continue on Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche’s book, The Practice of Lojong, Cultivating Compassion through Training the Mind. We will continue with Chapter 2, The Actual Practice. Copies of the book are still available at KTC.
May 26: No teaching – We will be setting up for KTC’s Spring Picnic.
June 2: Members’ Meeting.

Download the May schedule as a .PDF file: KTC May 13 Sched