Vajrakilaya Empowerment And Teachings Program
At Tsechen Kunchab Ling

Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen is delighted to announce that His Holiness the Sakya Trichen has consented to bestow a ten-day series of very important Dharma teachings, including the Vajrakilaya empowerment and meditation instructions at Tsechen Kunchab Ling in June and July, 2024. As an additional blessing, His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin has kindly consented to give the afternoon reteaching sessions.

The first part of the program will condense the essence of the Paramitayana Path with teachings on Loppon Sonam Tsemo’s great classic Entering the Door of Dharma, and bestowal of Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows.

His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trichen

The Vajrayana portion of the program begins with a White Tara initiation, followed by a two-day Vajrakilaya major empowerment, and three days of teachings on the Vajrakilaya meditation practice. Following the teachings, students will have an opportunity to undertake a personal Vajrakilaya retreat.

The program will conclude with a grand celebration requesting His Holiness the Sakya Trichen to prolong his holy life far past his current attainment of eighty years. All of His Holiness’ disciples are encouraged to make an offering of long-life deity practice to our precious guru in the form of White Tara retreats and/or mantra accumulations.

All are welcome at this very special showering of the precious Dharma.

His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin

Key Information

Date Time Event
Saturday, June 1 to Friday, June 14 White Tara Retreat to Accumulate Recitations Dedicated to His Holiness’ Long Life
Tuesday, June 25 Audiences with His Holiness
10:30 am Audiences with His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trichen and His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin
12:30 pm Registration and Welcome Reception for students hosted by Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen
Wednesday, June 26 Teaching on Entering the Door of Dharma by Loppon Sonam Tsemo
9:30 am Teachings by His Holiness 41st Sakya Trichen
2:30 pm Teachings by His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin
Thursday, June 27 Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows
9:30 am Bestowal of the Vows – His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trichen
2:30 pm Explanation of the Vows – His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin
Friday, June 28 White Tara with Six Rays of Light
Program sponsored and hosted by Vikramasila Foundation and Palden Sakya Centers at Tsechen Kunchab Ling. Separate Registration is required. Contact:
Saturday, June 29 Vajrakilaya Major Empowerment – Preliminary Day
9:30 am Disciples Accumulate an Offering of White Tara Mantras dedicated to His Holiness the Sakya Trichen’s long life
2:30 pm Vajrakilaya Major Empowerment – Preliminary Day – His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trichen
Sunday, June 30 Vajrakilaya Major Empowerment – Main Day
9:30 am Disciples Accumulate an Offering of White Tara Mantras dedicated to His Holiness the Sakya Trichen’s long life
2:30 pm Vajrakilaya Major Empowerment – Main Day – His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trichen
Monday, July 1 Teachings on the Vajrakilaya sadhana (Prerequisite – June 29/30 empowerment)
9:30 am His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trichen
2:30 pm His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin
Tuesday, July 2 Teachings on the Vajrakilaya sadhana (Prerequisite – June 29/30 empowerment)
9:30 am His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trichen
2:30 pm His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin
7:00 pm Appreciation Dinner for Sponsors and Members with the holy family
Wednesday, July 3 Teachings on the Vajrakilaya sadhana (Prerequisite – June 29/30 empowerment)
9:30 am His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trichen
2:30 pm  His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin
Thursday, July 4 Celebration Requesting His Holiness to Prolong His Holy Life Far Past His Attainment of Eighty Years
9:30 am Ceremonial Long-Life Request and Offerings
2:30 pm Traditional Performances and Words of Congratulation
Friday, July 5 Students Depart
Saturday, July 25 Three-month Vajrakilaya Retreat begins

Vajrakilaya is one of the highest tantric teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Vajrakilaya manifests the Buddha’s wise and compassionate activity in a wrathful form in order to overcome the forces of evil and protect the practice of Dharma. Meditation on Vajrakilaya is a skillful method to deal with the many obstacles that arise to block progress on the path, especially in these degenerate times.

The great 8th century Indian master Padmasambava brought the light of Dharma to Tibet, including the Vajrakilaya practice. Two ancestors of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin’s Khon family lineage, Khon Nagendra Rakshita and his younger brother Vajra Ratna, were among the first seven Tibetans to receive full ordination.  They received this empowerment and teaching directly from Padmasambava.

The Khon lineage of this Vajrakilaya practice is unique is several ways. First, the Khon lineage itself is very special, being said to have descended from celestial beings known as the Clear Light Race who settled in Tibet, subjugated local wrathful spirits, and then married their daughters. The name Khon derives from this overcoming of demons and strife.

Second, ever since Khon Nagenda Rakshita received the Vajrakilaya teaching from Padmasambava, the teaching has been passed down exclusively within the Khon lineage. This brings the added blessing that the biological father-to-son lineage of the transmission of this teaching, and the spiritual guru-to-disciple lineage of transmission of this teaching is the same.

The third and most significant uniqueness of the Vajrakilaya practice is that all of the lineage holders from Adi Buddha until now have attained very high realization and accomplished all the common and uncommon siddhis through this teaching. Many great miracles have been performed by each of the lineage holders in all four types of virtuous activity, such as pacification, power, wrath, and increase. These include stopping the flow of rivers, leaving imprints of feet and hands in solid rock, subduing worldly demons, and most importantly overcoming evil forces that are harmful to the teachings and practice of Dharma.

During the eleventh century, when the Khon lineage holders began to adopt the tantras newly arriving from India, they attempted to conceal the teachings of the older tantras, including Vajrakilaya. However, due to the extraordinary power of the protectors associated with this practice, it was unable to be concealed. Since that time, it has been transmitted, practiced, and accomplished for over one thousand years. Today, it remains one of the most important practices of the Khon Sakyapa.

This year students are extremely fortunate to be able to receive major empowerment and teachings on this very special and powerful practice directly from its two primary lineage holders, followed by a supervised opportunity to undertake a traditional Vajrakilaya retreat.

The temple is offering the teachings free of charge. Sponsors are gratefully appreciated and make it possible for the temple to offer the teachings to everyone. See below for sponsorship opportunities.

July 25 – October 30: Vajrakilaya Retreat

Following the Vajrakilaya empowerment and teachings, students are encouraged to undertake Vajrakilaya retreat in the Tsechen Kunchab Ling retreat cabins. According to His Holiness’ advice, the retreat should begin during the waning moon, and conclude during the waxing moon. The mantra accumulation is 1,600,000, which takes about three months.
On July 5 and 6, Khenpo Khenrab Woser will give private small-group retreat instructions to those who plan to undertake Vajrakilaya retreat either at home or at Tsechen Kunchab Ling. The instruction will include the additional sadhanas to be used, session scheduling, torma offering, etc.
On July 25, at the beginning of the waning moon, Tsechen Kunchab Ling welcomes students to do Vajrakilaya retreat in the temple retreat cabins. The retreat will continue through October 30th.
For more information on undertaking retreat, click here.
June 1 – 14: White Tara Retreat Dedicated to His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trichen’s Long Life 
The eightieth year of a guru’s life is a very important time for disciples to accumulate merit by participating in accumulation of long life mantra as an offering of practice to their guru, praying that he preserves and protects his precious health and prolong his holy life for many, many years to come.
In preparation for the July 4 Celebration Requesting His Holiness to prolong his holy life far past his attainment of eighty years, all disciples of His Holiness who have received a White Tara initiation are encouraged to accumulate as many White Tara mantras as possible. This can be done in one or all of three ways:
  1. Undertake a short two-week  White Tara retreat June 1 through 14 in the retreat cabins at Tsechen Kunchab Ling. For more information, click here. And/or
  2. Accumulate as many White Tara mantra as possible at home dedicated to His Holiness’ long life and add the number of your recitations to the collective total to be offered to His Holiness during the July 4 Celebration to Request His Long Life and/or
  3. Join White Tara Mantra accumulation sessions dedicated to His Holiness’ long life during breaks in the June 26-July 3 teachings.
You can add your White Tara mantra accumulations to a collection box that will be available onsite at Tsechen Kunchab Ling during the program.

An undertaking of this size and cost is only possible with the generosity of devoted Dharma sponsors. All those with fortunate means and motivation are invited to share in the great merit of hosting these profound teachings.  In addition to the virtuous karma of being a patron of the Dharma, sponsoring this profound teaching cycle is a very special way to strengthen one’s connection to these profound teachings.

Gold Patron – $5,000

Silver Patron – $2,500

Patrons’ generosity covers the considerable costs of hosting the teachings. In appreciation for patrons’ kindness in making the teaching possible for all, patrons receive special priority patron seating in the assembly, onsite parking passes, gifts of appreciation, and recognition. Patron seating is provided for the patron and one family member. Two people may join together to become a patron.

Publication Sponsor – $1,000 

Publication Sponsors cover the cost of preparing, printing, and distributing the prayers, sadhanas, and other publications distributed during the teachings. Publication Sponsors are recognized during the teachings and acknowledged in the publications distributed to the assembly.  All Publication Sponsors are invited to attend the appreciation dinner on July 2.

All Gold and Silver Patrons and Publication Sponsors are also recognized as members of Tsechen Kunchab Ling for one year.

In addition, those who wish to sponsor empowerments, meals for the sangha, tea, and flowers, please inquire onsite at the registration desk after you arrive.

This lovely evening at the lake on July 2 at 7:00 pm with His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trichen, His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin, Her Eminence Gyalyum Chenmo-la, and the lamas will include musical performances, a gala dinner, and special remarks by His Holiness.
The event is a special appreciation for those who help to sponsor the construction of additional spaces for retreat at Tsechen Kunchab Ling. Retreat cabin sponsors offer $500 toward the construction of  new retreat rooms, in appreciation for which, they become temple members for one year and will be presented at the dinner with a consecrated purba by His Holiness the Sakya Trichen. Retreat room sponsors are also welcome to undertake a week-long personal retreat at Tsechen Kunchab Ling at a time of their choice.
For Gold and Silver Patrons and Publication Sponsors, attendance at the Sponsor Appreciation Evening is automatically included as a token of the temple’s appreciation of their important role in making the teachings possible.

Membership Opportunities 

We welcome you as a member of Tsechen Kunchab Ling, the seat of the Sakya Dolma Phodrang in the Americas. As a temple member, you are an official part of His Holiness the Sakya Trichen’s temple Dharma family. Your membership offering makes the daily activities of the temple possible and supports the efforts of Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen and the resident sangha as they strive to carry out His Holiness’ intentions for the growth of the Dharma in the West. Old members are treasured and new members are welcome.

In addition, members receive the benefit of priority seating during large temple events.  To qualify for membership priority seating, you must either: have already been a member for one full year, or choose the “Membership – Vajrakilaya 2024 Program – 1 year” membership option.

The temple welcomes those who wish to accumulate merit by offering service to the temple and sangha during their stay. Volunteers may help in various ways, including parking, and cleaning, and resetting the shrine room each afternoon. A regular commitment of an hour a day is requested from those who wish to become official volunteers from June 25 through July 4.  Please note the jobs with which you would like to help on your registration form.

A large number of people are expected to attend His Holiness’ teachings in Walden. As space in Tsechen Kunchab Ling’s shrine room is limited, seating in the shrine room will be prioritized for monks and nuns, gold and silver patrons, publication sponsors, and temple members. Depending on the number of attendees, people who are not monks, nuns, patrons, sponsors, or temple members may have to sit in the event room below the shrine hall, where they will be able to receive the empowerments and teachings via large-screen video monitor.

  • Bring your vajra and bell.
  • Bring your own masks.
  • Please do not bring audio or video recording equipment as no individual audio or video recording will be allowed. Students wishing to have a copy of the teachings will be able to purchase a professionally recorded copy of the teachings for a reasonable price at the end of the teaching cycle.
  • No pets are allowed on the temple property.
In order to receive the teachings, disciples will be flying from many different countries and U.S. states to sit for hours in close quarters in the Tsechen Kunchab Ling shrine room, and spend a significant part of the time chanting together. These are ideal conditions for the transmission of communicable diseases.
With the strong aspiration to protect the health of our precious teachers, as well as the health of students who may be senior in age, or in fragile health, masks are strongly recommended.
The temple will take the following precautions to reduce the likelihood of the transmission of COVID and other communicable diseases:
  • Recommendation that everyone wears a mask indoors at all times.
  • Ventilation fans turned to the maximum in the shrine hall.
  • Windows opened at all times in the shrine hall. As this may make the room too hot or cold, students who are temperature sensitive should bring extra layers of clothing to warm themselves and/or a handheld personal fan to cool themselves.
  • Drinks and snacks served as part of traditional tea offerings will be distributed in sealed containers so that those who wish to do so can consume them later outside the building in an outdoor or private place.

Because young children find it difficult to sit quietly for several hours to listen to teachings, children 10 years and under will be seated in a child-friendly space with a carpet, books, and toys in the event room immediately below the shrine hall.  While in the children’s room, one parent must accompany their child/children at all times to ensure their behavior and safety. No temple supervision is provided.

As the children’s room may be noisy, parents may wish to bring an FM radio with headphones and plenty of batteries.

Please make your own arrangements. There are many restaurants nearby.

Please arrange your own housing. A list of local options is available on our website . A forum for students looking to share housing and transportation is available–please see below for more information. We regret that there are no accommodations available at the temple, and camping on the temple grounds is not allowed during the teachings and empowerments.

If you would like to coordinate housing arrangements with other students, this forum is available to use.  To use the forum:

  1. Click on the Google groups button:
  2. Sign into your Google (i.e. Gmail) account, or create one if you don’t already have one
  3. Click on the discussion category “Accommodation: Looking for roommate(s)”
  4. Create a new topic with your request or respond to one of the existing ones to find a roommate

For information on how to  get to the temple from airports, click here.

Please arrange your own transportation. A car may be necessary for travel in the temple area as there is no local public transportation. Please keep in mind that there is limited parking lot space on site, so ride sharing is highly encouraged. If you would like to coordinate rides with other students, the Google Group linked to below is available as a resource.

  1. Click on the Google groups button:
  2. Sign into your Google (i.e. Gmail) account, or create one if you don’t already have one
  3. Click on the discussion category “Transportation: Looking for car ride”
  4. Create a new topic with your request or respond to one of the existing ones to find a roommate

Some parking is available onsite. An overflow parking lot is also available nearby. At the request of the local police and our neighbors, please do not park on the streets.

His Holiness the Sakya Trichen has explained that the Vajrakilaya major empowerment that he will bestow on June 29 and June 30 is a required prerequisite for receiving the remainder of the teaching program. Even if a student has received a two-day Hevajra or Chakrasamvara empowerment in the past, this does not satisfy the prerequisite.

Having received empowerment, the commitment is to recite the mantra. Recitation of the sadhana is optional.

The teachings will be presented in English. No translation will be provided.

The White Tara Six Rays of Light Initiation at Tsechen Kunchab Ling on Friday, June 28 is sponsored and hosted by the Vikramasila Foundation and Palden Sakya Centers. Registration is required. To register, please email

Registration Form