Projects

Projects 2018-11-17T11:49:34+00:00

Completed Projects

The Pointing Out the Great Way Foundation is inspired by Daniel Brown’s (Ph.D) vision to fulfill the Essence Traditions taking root in the West with integrity and transparency. The intentions of the Pointing Out the Great way Foundation, as an all-volunteer organization are:

  1. to translate and bring to the West the precious lineage teachings of the Bon and Buddhist Indo-Tibetan meditation practices in a meditation form readily understandable by Westerners, while maintaining the heart of these teachings in their original form; and
  2. to support efforts to preserve and revitalize these precious teachings in their indigenous settings.

What we have brought from the East to the West

The Practices

The Foundation supports Dr. Brown in his efforts to develop teachings and translation relationships with the Nying Ma Lama Rahob Tullku, an emanation of the great master Padmasambhava; with His Holiness Menri Trizin the spiritual head of the indigenous Bon; along with Geshe Sonam Gurung and other Bon lamas. As follows, Dr. Brown has translated of a full set of lineage teachings from both the Bon and Buddhist Great rDzogs Chen [Great Completion] Meditation traditions into English. The following teachings are now available to the West:

  • Cultivate practice from the very beginning to a taste of awakening
  • Stabilize awakening so it is always here
  • Develop awakening into full Buddhahood

Information on these teachings and retreats can be found at: www.pointingoutway.org.

Sacred Text Translations

Under the guidance of His Holiness, Dr. Brown received the transmissions and permission to translate and teach the Bon A Khrid Great Completion lineage meditation practices. Dr. Brown and Geshe Sonam Gurung have translated the main A Khrid root text and commentary from Tibetan into a form that Westerners can practice.

Dr. Brown also learned the Bon Zhang Zhung Oral Transmission Great Completion lineage meditations practices of Tapihritsa’s Six Lamps and Twenty One Nails, which he and Geshe Sonam have translated. Recently, His Holiness has asked Dr. Brown with Geshe Sonam, to translate the 11 books of the Self-Arising Threefold Embodiment of Enlightenment by Shar rdza ‘Bkra Shis rGyal mTshan. This collection contains the most advanced meditations commonly practiced by the cave and hermitage yogis that complete the path to enlightenment. Our funding has made these advanced meditations that have never before been shown to or translated in the West possible.

The gift of these teachings to the West, in the form of the practices and translations, is a precious treasure that inspires our gratitude (and motivates us) to give back to the larger Bon community and work to restore and preserve these teachings in their indigenous setting.

What we have given from the West to the East

Rahob Monastery, Tibet and the United States

To sustain these teachings in their indigenous context, the Foundation funded the rebuilding of the philosophy school that had burned down at Rahob Monastery in Eastern Tibet. Rahob Tulku now has a working monastery, philosophy school, and meditation retreat center. The Foundation also funded rebuilding a stupa at the site of Rahob Development Center in upstate New York so that students could approximately honor the life and teachings of Rahob Tulku.

Menri Monastery, India 

The Foundation helped rebuild the infrastructure for the Bon nuns and Menri Monastery in Donlaji, India. We added a filter for the well to provide safe and drinkable water, we donated a generator to provide on-going electricity, we constructed a safe, built-in heating system for the dormitories, and we donated a car so that the dharma teacher could drive daily from the monastery to teach the nuns. Since addressing the infrastructural needs the nuns have initiated the same 14-year Geshe training that the male monks receive at Menri Monastery.We are currently searching for an in-residence senior female advanced Bon yogi to guide the nun’s meditations.

Mustang Region, Nepal

Background

The Mustang region of Nepal plays an important role in the history of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. The Kali Gandaki River runs from China through Upper, Central, and Lower Mustang. This river valley was once a very fertile farming area for barley, potatoes, vegetables, and the famous Pangling apples. Historically, this river valley has served as the main pathway and corridor for the transmission of Bon and Buddhist teachings between India, Tibet, and China. When Shantirakshita, then Padmasambhava, and his 25 disciples, walked from India to Central Tibet to bring Indian Mahayana Buddhism to Tibet at the invitation of the Tibetan king, they walked along the Kala Gandaki River valley. In the eleventh century, the famous Indian Mahayana Buddhist master, Atisha used this same route to bring Buddhist teachings to Tibet. Many cave and hermitage sites still survive in the Kali Gandaki river valley from the days when Padmasambhava and his disciples practiced there. Upper Mustang is also an area steeped in the culture of the cave and hermitage yogis. Most of the important advances and new discoveries in meditation over the years came from this once viable hermitage and cave yogi culture.

The Bon, the indigenous and oldest religion of Tibet, has strong roots in Mustang. Prior to the 8th century nearly all the practitioners, both cave and hermitage yogis and monastics alike, were originally Bon. As Indian Mahayana Buddhism found its way to Tibet, Bon and Nyingma Buddhist practitioners practiced side-by-side collaboratively in the same sacred area. In the 13th and 14th centuries, both groups of practitioners flourished.

The sacred transmissions of Bon and Buddhist rDogs Chen [Great Completion] Meditations have been transmitted from heart-to-heart from one generation to the next in an unbroken lineage as far back as 6,000 to2,500 years ago, depending on the lineage. With the invasion of old Tibet by the communist Chinese in 1959, the continuity of these heretofore uninterrupted lineage transmissions was seriously disrupted. This is why the indigenous Tibetan areas of the Dolpo and Mustang regions of Nepal, and the country of Bhutan, are so important—these areas are the only places where there remains the possibility of an unbroken transmission of these sacred Great Completion Bon and Buddhist lineage transmissions. However, in Mustang, for the last two generations since 1954, the indigenous Tibetan people of Nepal no longer learn to speak their indigenous Tibetan language. None of the Tibetans of this generation can read their own sacred texts in the Tibetan language, nor can they do their familiar prayers and rituals in Tibetan. Recently, when we traveled to Upper Mustang, Nepal, we found only one old Tibetan man who read Tibetan sacred texts. Therefore, we are faced with the very real possibility that all of these precious transmission teachings will die out in the next 10 to 20 years.

Board Members

Our foundation is comprised of members from all walks of life who have committed themselves to sharing the gifts of the East with the West, and making sure these sacred traditions and texts do not vanish from their places of origin.  Please click below to learn more about our board members.

Meet Our Board

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