Group practice is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. in downtown San Francisco, convenient to public transportation. Tuesday is a beginning meditation workshop and introduction to Tara practice. Thursday is Tara practice. We practice in the Nyala Pema Dundul lineage, which Khen Rinpoche is establishing for the first time in the West. We also observe Tsok on both Guru Rinpocheand Dakini days, as well as other Buddhist holidays.
At Osel Dorje Nyingpo, we do a variety of Tara Sadhana practices. The Carya Yoga practice of The Profound Essence Mind Terma of Tara, The Mandala Sadhana Called Essence of the Two Accumulations (a Terma of the great Terton Chokyur Lingpa), Khenpo's commentary on which appears on this site, is one of our practices, but is no longer the main group practice of Osel Dorje Nyingpo. Although this practice is extensive and fairly long, it is an Outer Tantric practice that most people can encounter and actualize: the visualization is straight forward, and the Mantra is easy to recite. This text and practice have been fairly widely disseminated in the West by a variety of teachers.
On the other hand, the Tara practice we perform as a group on Tuesdays and Thursdays is from a treasure text (Terma) of the great Terton Nyala Pema Dundul, entitled Achieving the Mind of the Sublime Tara: A Meditation on the Goddess Yeshe Tsogyal Ma (translated from the Tibetan by Robert W. Clark, Ph.D. and Khenpo Yurmed Trinley Rinpoche).
This text is an advanced text, which takes as one of its bases the teachings of the Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities and the Five Enlightened Buddha Families (often translated as the Dhyani Buddhas though this name is an invention of early Western scholars and is not the title used in either Sanskrit or Tibetan texts).
Because of the difficulty and complexity of the visualization, it is unsuitable for students of lesser capability. Although it is a text of the Secret Mahayana, thereby technically requiring empowerment, the text is in a sense "self-secret" because few who approach it without empowerment are able to make a connection with it, thus obviating possible harm to a student practicing a text beyond his or her capabilities. As Khen Rinpoche put it, if you are able to encounter this practice, your karma is such that you are ready for it.
If you are bold enough to encounter this powerful practice, you are welcome to join us in it. Khen Rinpoche has authorized one of his senior students to explain the practice and answer questions regarding it while Khenpo-la is in India and Bhutan. A tape of Khen Rinpoche performing the practice in Tibetan is available to students who have been introduced to it, as is a copy of the text.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time the practice has been translated into a Western language.