In Buddhism, there are three principles for establishing and maintaining the Buddhadharma: Shed, Drup and Le. Shed refers to teachings and listening, Drup is our meditation, and Le is talking about activity. Orgyen Khamdroling Sangha is focused on firmly rooting the Dharma here in the West, and has been working with great diligence and effort over these past years. We are refining our understanding of the Nyingmapa view, with the motivation of helping not only ourselves, but also all other beings. These principles of Shed, Drup and Le are evident in our Sangha, here in the West.
Our Shedra is the principle of Shed – teaching and listening. Our Sangha has been fortunate enough to study Madhyamaka logic under the direction and guidance of our amazing lama, Anyen Rinpoche. Through the study of great texts, Rinpoche has helped us to deepen our understanding of the two truths, valid cognition, the difference between sutra and tantra, to name a very few topics. Rinpoche has led us in our study of Madman’s Middle Way by Gendun Chopel, Beacon Of Certainty by Mipham Rinpoche, and just recently completed Distinguishing the Philosophies and Views, by Popa Tulku. He has encouraged us to make a regular commitment to reviewing such texts as The Way of the Bodhisattva, Words of My Perfect Teacher, and 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva. How many beings in this world have the chance to study these kinds of texts so closely with a lama who has such strong scholarly background, such experience with putting these teachings into practice, and such a short and unbroken lineage ? What merit each of us must have accumulated to have this precious opportunity, it is no accident that each of us is a part of this!
The principle of Drup, or meditation can also be seen here in our Sangha. Just as our intellectual understanding has developed with Shedra, so has our meditative experience and stability improved. We have been putting great effort into increasing the frequency and consistency of our meditation together at the center. Our calendar includes annual events such as the Medicine Buddha Monlam and Nyungne. What’s more, regular monthly practices are attended for Tsok, Vajrasattva, Phowa, Medicine Buddha, and open meditation. Not only this but many of us are committed to regular daily practices, such as Ngondro. How much more time and effort we now spend on practice, both as a group and individually, compared to seven years ago! Purification and the accumulation of merit are continuing for us – how wonderful!
Le, or activity, is not difficult to identify within our Sangha. In a very short period of time, we have obtained our own Dharma center and made significant renovations to the building. We have put in hours of physical labor and effort, working together to complete projects. Our Sangha works hard in keeping our center clean, making fresh flower and fruit offerings, and supporting the ongoing efforts of the physical work on the center. Not only has the scope of our activity expanded here in Denver, but even further – recently, Orgyen Khamdroling Canada became incorporated. The Phowa Foundation’s outreach with Dying with Confidence training is expanding to new locations, and the first level III group training will be complete this April. Our activity in Denver continues with the creation of an incredible shrine room – supported by Sangha near and far, complete with large golden statues that will inspire many people!
Shed, Drup and Le are not independent of one another, they are interrelated. As one increases, so will the others increase. Over the past seven years, our Sangha has flourished with regard to these principles. What’s more, Orgyen Khamdroling Sangha has so many new experiences and opportunities on our horizons. Rejoice in our development of the three principles of Shed, Drup, and Le!