A great Buddhist master once said that wherever there is happiness there has been the practice of virtue and wherever there is suffering there has been the practice of non-virtue. For this reason, as a support for our Buddhist practice and our efforts to help others, participants in the Iron Knot Ranch mandala are engaged in many activities that create virtue through the offering of effort, skills and resources. When these activities are undertaken and dedicated to the temporary and ultimate welfare of all beings, immeasurable merit is created. This stream of positive intention and energy will not dissipate until all beings are freed from suffering and find ultimate happiness.
"In the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, we accumulate merit in order to create positive short-term circumstances such as health, wealth, and longevity, and, more deeply, to reveal our wisdom nature. Of all the methods for accumulating merit through generosity, offering butterlamps is one of the best, second only to the practice of tsog, or feast offering."
"What is the meaning of butterlamp offerings? We do not offer the lamps because enlightened beings need them to see. Rather, the offering of light is a means of dispelling the darkness of our own ignorance, giving rise to clarity and wisdom. We offer them with the wish that their light will illuminate the lower realms and the bardo, assuaging the torment of beings who suffer in darkness. We also aspire that all beings may develop greater mental clarity in order to discover the causes of long-lasting happiness in virtuous actions of body, speech, and mind. Finally, we offer so that the inner light of great knowing may arise in all beings' minds and remove the darkness of ignorance and intellectual obscurations." — Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
Butterlamps are offered every day at Iron Knot Ranch, and on special feast (tsog) days many sangha members sponsor this offering for friends or relatives who are suffering or facing difficulties. If you would like to sponsor such an activity please contact us.
Offerings during special feast days (tsog)
The offering of tsog, which includes many varieties of food, flowers, and incense, is considered on of the most powerful means for accumulating merit and wisdom dedicated to the temporary and ultimate welfare of all beings.
Contributions of any amount towards the offering of tsog is a means to participate in our ceremonial offerings, whether you live near to, or far from, Iron Knot Ranch. In so doing, you become a part of the mandala of practice dedicated to the benefit of all beings. You may send with your offering your written dedications for individuals, living or deceased, to be read aloud when the tsog is offered.
Supporting our teachers and teachings
All the teachings, group practices and ceremonies available at Iron Knot Ranch are offered freely by the lama or lamas conducting them. Fees for events go toward the cost of food, facilities, and our remote communications. Traditionally, offerings are made to the lama(s) at the end of a teaching or event. Contributions toward the costs of travel and interpreters for visiting lamas, or for virtual teachings offered by Lama Shenpen, can be made here by designating the intention of your offering.
Become a sponsor
If you would like to sponsor any of our activity, fill out the form below and one of our staff members will get back to you.