Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen, lineage holders and principal lamas of the Aro gTér tradition of the Nyingma school of Vajrayana Buddhism, will conduct an online teaching on the inner astrology of Khyungchen Aro Lingma on 1 March, titled: “Oxen Becoming Tigers – Essential Astrological Teachings on Time in Transit from the Aro gTér.” The webinar conincides with Losar, the traditional Tibetan New Year, which this year falls on 3 March.
“The gTérma of Khyungchen Aro Lingma approaches astrology in terms of the perceptual dimension of practice—of Living the View,” the organizing community at Drala Jong in Wales announced. “It has no connection with trying to make the future ‘safe’ by trying to out-guess it. Everyone can tell the future in any case. One only has to look at a person to be able to say: ‘You, sir or madam, are going to die.’
“Khyungchen Aro Lingma’s astrology therefore concerns living the view and how best to live the view in terms of the patterns that appear in the present moment. Practice is about change. This perceptual astrology concerns facilitating change—so it is not concerned with prediction, expectation, prognostication, or divination. It does, however, convey suggestions or metaphors of what could evolve with regard to View and the functioning of View.”
The event will be live-streamed from Drala Jong in Wales, in the UK. While attendance is free, donations are welcome and will be matched by anonymous donors toward the Storm Arwen Woodland Damage Emergency Appeal.
“Oxen Becoming Tigers” will be held at the following times:
Auckland: 9am, Wednesday 2 March
Canberra: 7am, Wednesday 2 March
Seoul, Tokyo: 5am, Wednesday 2 March
Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei: 4am, Wednesday 2 March
Bangkok, Jakarta: 3am, Wednesday 2 March
New Delhi: 1:30am, Wednesday 2 March
Moscow: 11pm, Tuesday 1 March
Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm: 9pm, Tuesday 1 March
London: 8pm, Tuesday 1 March
Montreal, New York: 3pm, Tuesday 1 March
Los Angeles, Vancouver: 12pm, Tuesday 1 March
“The 12 animals of the Himalayan calendar give an opportunity each year which can function like a New Year’s resolution. It arrives however, with a wide spectrum of guidance, we gain a means of activating potential in the present, in relation to patterns of the past and the potential of the future,” Ngak’chang Rinpoche shared with BDG.
“It could cause us amusement to observe how we have weathered Storm Arwen [in the UK last November]. We have done so as good solid oxen, but soon we shall have to be more sophisticated in our approach. After Losar, we shall need to be like tigers ready to act in dependence of whatever presents itself. To procced in a linear fashion ploughing a furrow was good, but when that approach will inevitably exhaust itself, we then need to author lateral initiatives—like tigers primed to spring in unexpected directions.
“This may give some sense of how the cycling of the 12 animals is valuable in terms of how we approach life. Life is a creative challenge in terms of active compassion, and if we can equip ourselves with symbolic tools of invention, we can be less trammeled by habit and self-defeating procedures.”
The Aro gTér tradition traces its lineage of enlightened female practitioners to the mother of Tibetan Buddhism, Yeshe Tsogyel, a female master and teacher who, together with her consort Padmasambhava, founded the Nyingma school of Vajrayana Buddhism. Aro gTér is a small family lineage within that tradition, founded by the female visionary Lama Aro Lingma in 1909. The teachers of the Aro gTér tradition are householders who are ordained tantrikas, rather than monastic practitioners. Many of them teach as married couples, maintaining conventional careers and raising families alongside their practice and teaching commitments.
In describing the practices and aims of the tradition, the affiliated Bristol-based Buddhist charity Sang-ngak-chö-dzong states: “The teachings of the Aro gTér, a Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist lineage, is singularly appropriate for many Westerners. The Aro gTér tradition is principally concerned with transforming our experience of everyday being, rather than achieving an esoteric or spiritualized mode of existence. Our aim is to engender cheerful courage, perceptive consideration, sincere determination, natural gallantry, graciousness, creativity, and spaciousness.”