Tsok and Nyungne Offerings
Tsok (Feast) practices
Twice monthly – on the 10th and 25th days of the Tibetan lunar month - we practice "tsok," or a feast offering, which accumulates merit, purifies negative karma and repairs the broken vows (called "samaya") of Vajrayana practitioners.
•The Guru Rinpoche Tsok honors Padmasambhava and the teachers who bring Vajrayana practices to their students.
•The Karma Pakshi Tsok honors the second Karmapa who created the strong spiritual foundation for the evolution of the Kagyu lineage.
•The Mahakala Tsok honors the Protectors of the Karma Kagyu lineage, Mahakala and Mahakali.
Tsok sponsorship: $50 donation [Insert link to 4th button’s Donations page for tsok sponsorship]
Monthly Schedule of Tsoks
Karma Pakshi Tsok6:30 – 8:30 pmNovember 17 (Monday), December 16 (Tuesday), January 15 (Thursday)
Guru Rinpoche Tsok7:00 – 8:00 pmunless otherwise indicated, November 2 (Sunday), December 1 (Monday),
December 31 (Wednesday), January 29 (Thursday)
Mahakala Tsok3:00 – 5:30 pmNovember 21 (Friday), December 21 (Sunday)
Four times a year, KTD sponsors Nyungne fasting retreats, which are special opportunities to purify negative mental afflictions and negative actions and to make vast offerings on behalf of suffering beings. In this way, KTD and its spiritual community serves the world, bringing merit and blessings to our region and to the planet as a whole.
Nyungne retreats are frequently sponsored by families to benefit their loved ones who have died. In Himalayan countries, it was common for children to either participate in, or sponsor, 100, 50, 25, or however many Nyungne retreats they could to dedicate merit to their parents upon their parents' passing.
Nyungne retreat sponsorship:$108 donation [Insert link to 4th button’s Donations page for Nyungne sponsorship]
Lamp offerings & sacred blessings
[Photo of lamp offerings]
Since the Buddha Shakyamuni attained enlightenment 2,500 years ago and dispelled the darkness of ignorance that obscures the mind’s true nature, lamp offerings in Buddhist practices have symbolized his realization. Each lamp offering celebrates the Buddha’s enlightenment and thus is associated with great good fortune.
For Tibetan Buddhist practitioners, a lamp offering also carries the wish to attain Buddhahood and the aspiration to recognize the clear light at the time of death, thereby experiencing liberation in that moment. In this way lamp offerings are associated with transitions in one’s life.
Lamp offerings are best made before consecrated representations of fully awakened wisdom, loving kindness and compassion. With its magnificent Buddha rupa, statues of major bodhisattvas, and the stupa containing relics of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the Main Shrine Room at KTD offers a most auspicious setting for making lamp offerings. Here, lamps burn continuously each day, radiating the prayers and aspirations made by numerous sangha members and visitors.
Because of the association with great good fortune, lamp offerings are made for any individual or family life event that is celebrated, such as the birth of a child, the marriage of a couple, the graduation of a son or daughter, the birthday of a friend, and the anniversary of one’s parents.
Lamp offerings may also be made in difficult times or uncertain transitions. The gift of light and the accompanying prayers help to bring about less suffering and greater happiness in times of illness, loss, uncertainty, and death. Lamps may be offered for a parent who is facing an operation, for a friend changing careers, for a student facing a difficult exam, and for a family member experiencing extreme stress.
At the time of someone’s death, it is traditional to offer a “bardo” lamp which burns for 49 days. Offer lamps online.
To request a Lamp Offering please contact Guest Services at 845-679-5906, ext. 3, or the Shrine Coordinator at 845-679-5906, ext. 1400.
The resident Tibetan Buddhist lamas of the monastery have been trained at Karma Kagyu monasteries in Sikkim, India and Nepal, and they can perform traditional Buddhist blessing ceremonies. If you would like a blessing—for example, a blessing for a child, a pet, or sacred items that you will place on your altar—you can request a special Blessing ceremony.
It is best to bring the person or item being blessed to KTD monastery during the middle of the week, when there are no teaching programs or retreats.
To request a special Blessing ceremony, please contact Guest Services: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 845-679-5906, ext. 3.
Flower and Incense Offerings
By making an offering of pure, fresh flowers or a package of incense in a shrine room, you not only bring beauty and fragrance to the shrine room, but you also nourish your mind with positive qualities of generosity, respect for Dharma, and awareness. Seeing and smelling become meditative practice activities, and the expanse of space in the shrine room becomes refreshed by your offering.
If you would like to sponsor flower offerings for one of KTD’s weekend teaching programs or one of KTD’s meditation retreats, please contact the Shrine Coordinator at 845-679-5906, ext. 1400. If you would like to offer incense for KTD’s shrine rooms, please send the incense to: Shrine Coordinator, KTD Monastery, 335 Mead Mountain Road, Woodstock, NY 12498.
A wedding ceremony celebrates and blesses a couple’s commitment to share a life. The resident Tibetan lamas at KTD can perform a Tibetan Puja Wedding Ceremony either at KTD monastery or at a location near Woodstock, NY. The ceremony is in Tibetan language; it may be supplemented by the couple’s own additions (such as a poem, memories of their first meeting, and other personal expressions of their entering into marriage).
It is best to schedule a planning meeting here at KTD monastery, so that the couple can look at the different shrine rooms and discuss the details of the ceremony, as well as meet the lama who would perform the ceremony. There is a Wedding Ceremony information/application form that includes the pricing of the ceremony and the different options available.
To schedule a planning meeting, please contact the Director of Operations at 845-679-5906, ext. 1090 or Email: KTD.email@example.com.