Our Spiritual Lineage: NgalSo Ganden Nyengyu
We belong to Ganden Nyengyu; the ear-whispered lineage from Ganden, founded by the great Lama Tsongkhapa in the fourteenth century.
NgalSo is the tradition founded by Lama Gangchen Rinpoche. The name NgalSo represents all Buddha’s teachings: Ngal means suffering and the causes of suffering. So means our potential to eliminate suffering and to develop our qualities.
In the 1990s Lama Gangchen was inspired by the ancient Buddhist sanctuary Borobudur to reveal NgalSo Tantric Self-Healing: a traditional meditation practice suitable for modern people. By developing our inner peace, we work towards a Peace Culture. The Seven Limitless Meditations are the common aims of all spiritual traditions.
Lama Gangchen Rinpoche belongs to the Ganden Nyengyu Lineage – the ear-whispered lineage of Ganden – founded by the great Tibetan yogi and philosopher Lama Tsongkhapa in the fourteenth century.
‘Lineage’ refers to the unbroken line of direct transmissions of knowledge and experiences from master to disciple. The teacher guides the disciple to realise the inner experience of the path and to awaken one’s own inner guru; one’s own inner wisdom, compassion and power. The main responsibility of a master in a lineage is to adapt Buddha’s teachings to the capacity and mentality of people of that time, while still keeping its essence and meaning. That is how a lineage can keep the teachings alive.
Lama Gangchen received his knowledge and experiences directly from his root guru, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and from the famous tantric master Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche in turn received his knowledge and experiences from his master, Pabonkha Rinpoche, in an uninterrupted transmission line that goes back to Lama Tsongkhapa, Atisha, Nagarjuna, Asanga and several other masters, reaching directly back to Shakyamuni Buddha.
NgalSo Tantric Self-Healing
After years of experience in the West, dedicating his time to helping people find solutions to overcome and heal their physical and mental suffering, Lama Gangchen arrived at a synthesis of the Buddha’s ancient teachings and transmitted the NgalSo Tantric Self-Healing method: a traditional meditation practice suitable for modern people. This method contains the very essence of all ancient philosophical, medical and astrological teachings “repackaged” in an accessible way so that modern people can benefit from its positive effects. Self-Healing helps to relax and to recover from the stress and problems of daily life in the 21st century. It emphasises the importance of the connection that exists between our body and mind and offers real solutions to overcome and transform our physical and mental blockages, pain and pollution in order to restore physical and mental health.
Self-Healing helps us to diminish our mental defilements like anger, jealousy, arrogance, fear and ignorance. And it helps us to develop our qualities such as patience, humility, generosity, compassion, concentration and wisdom. It teaches us how to recognise and familiarise ourselves with the subtle energies of our body and mind, as a first step towards healing.
The Self-Healing practice uses methods to touch our mind in a positive way: breathing, colour, sounds, mantra, mudra, visualisation and so on. When we first start the Self-Healing practice we may not be aware of our inner energy channels but even if we do not understand how it works, we can still experience the positive effects on our body and mind.
The word NgalSo summarises in its meaning The Four Noble Truths; the first teaching given by Shakyamuni Buddha after reaching enlightenment. NgalSo means ‘relaxation’ and can be divided into the two syllables, Ngal and So. Ngal contains the first two noble truths: the truth of suffering and its causes. So contains the last two noble truths: the truth of the cessation of suffering and the path leading to the cessation. NgalSo Tantric Self-Healing contains the essential meaning of all the teachings of Buddha: the NgalSo path to enlightenment.
The ancient Buddhist sanctuary Borobudur in Central Java, Indonesia was built in the 8th century as a huge three-dimensional Vajrayana mandala. The Mandala is built like a pyramid and has four sides and ten levels that correspond to the ten stages on the bodhisattva or tantric path to enlightenment.
Since the first time Lama Gangchen visited Borobudur in 1989, he sees the stupa as a multi-mandala – an ‘ocean of mandalas’ – suitable for the practice of all three main traditions of Buddhism: Hinayana – or Theravada -, Mahayana and Vajrayana, including all four stages of tantra.
Borobudur Stupa Mandala is the residence of the five Dhyani Buddhas and the five Great Mothers: the archetypical meditation Buddhas who represent the five wisdoms and the five elements in their perfected state.
They are seated on the square levels of the stupa: Akshobya and Mamaki in the East, Ratnasambhava and Lochana in the South, Amitabha and Pandaravasini in the West, Amoghasiddhi and Samaya Tara in the North and Vairochana and Akashvajra in the centre.
On the round top levels in 72 perforated bell stupas we find Buddhas touching their ring fingers together. This ‘mudra of union’ represents the Yab Yum aspect: the union of male and female, method and wisdom, bliss and emptiness.
In the early 1990s Lama Gangchen was inspired by Borobudur to reveal the NgalSo Tantric Self-Healing practice; a traditional meditation practice for modern people, in which the five Dhyani Buddhas and the five Great Mothers play a central part. We can practice Self-Healing anywhere in the world. However, Lama Gangchen advices his disciples to visit Borobudur, the cradle of the NgalSo Self-Healing practice, at least once in their lifetime.
Hence, an increasing number of pilgrims joins the yearly retreat to Borobudur with Lama Gangchen Rinpoche. For two weeks, each morning at the crack of dawn, around 200 friends and disciples of Lama Gangchen Rinpoche climb the stupa while performing the mudras, mantras and meditation that compose the Self-Healing: A spiritual marathon to enlightenment!
Most people in the West have received a formal education, and so have an understanding of reading, writing, science, maths, etc. However, formal education provides few lessons for dealing with our emotions, the meaning of our lives, our relationships to others and the environment in which we live.
The latter is what Lama Gangchen refers to as ‘non-formal education’. It is the ‘inner peace education’, which reconnects us with our inner nature, helping us to live with greater peace, harmony and respect.
We can gradually increase the peace we experience in our lives and reduce our negative actions, by using our five senses in a positive way. We can look, touch, listen, speak, think; do everything with peace. It is so simple yet not a part of our education. Therefore we need Inner Peace Education systems in all areas of society – from unborn children, babies and youngsters, to adults, retired and elderly people.
Every time we act guided by violent emotions, we destroy part of our vital energy and we cause a lot of suffering to ourselves and to those around us.
When, on the other hand, we choose to follow the path of peace and act guided by positive intentions, we are able to have good results for ourselves and for our whole society. We develop a culture of peace.
The Seven Limitless Meditations
The Seven Limitless Meditations are the common aims of all spiritual traditions. The first four were composed by Buddha Shakyamuni to help develop great compassion. Lama Gangchen added the last three meditations, for the development of physical and mental health, a pure environment and a peaceful world, because these energies are urgently needed these days.
- Limitless love: may all beings have happiness and its causes.
- Limitless compassion: may all beings be free from suffering and its causes.
- Limitless joy: may all beings never be separated from the great happiness that is beyond all misery.
- Limitless equanimity: may all beings dwell in equanimity, unaffected by attraction to dear ones and aversion to others.
- Limitless health: may all beings recover from the sicknesses of mind and body pollution and enjoy relative and absolute health now and forever.
- Limitless ecological regeneration: may all beings relax in a pure and healthy outer and inner environment now and forever.
- Limitless peace: may all beings enjoy inner and world peace now and forever.