The Aro gTér Lineage

Part 6 – Glossary

’a-Shul Pema Legden: The sang-yab of Aro Lingma, and the father of Aro Yeshé. ’a-Shul Pema Legden was the monastic-yogi who was the gTér scribe and visionary artist for Khalden Lingpa the previous incarnation of Kyabjé Khordong gTérchen Tulku Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche. Ngak’chang Rinpoche commented: ’a-Shul is an unusual name. Shul means a ruined and deserted place or a narrow defile in the mountains. Placing the ’a before Shul adds a sense of utter insignificance – thus ’a-Shul Pema Legden could be translated as: Worthy Lotus from Desolation Row.

Aro Gar: The Aro Gar, was the encampment where the Mother Essence Lineage was received in Vision by Aro Yeshé from his mother Aro Lingma. These teachings were first taught at the Aro Gar by Aro Yeshé who transmitted the teaching to his two sang-yums – the sisters A-yé Khandro and A-shé Khandro.

Aro gTér: The Visionary Teaching cycle of Aro Yeshé, which was received directly from Aro Lingma (incarnation of Jomo Menmo).

Aro Yeshé: Ngak’chang Drüpchen Aro Yeshé was the son of Khyungchen Aro Lingma, the discoverer of the Aro gTér. The incarnation of ’a-Shul Pema Legden.

Bön: The shamanic systems which existed in Tibet before Buddhism. Bön—within the last five hundred years—is indistinguishable, at the theoretical level, from Vajrayana Buddhism. Both Buddhism and Bön incorporated each others practices to such a degree that there are only superficial differences between them. These differences exist at the symbolic level, and in terms of lineage.

Chatral Rinpoche: Kyabjé Chatral Rinpoche is an important Nyingma Lama who lives in Yang-lé-shöd in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal. He is one of the teachers of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche.

gÇod: The charnel ground practice in which the practitioners severs attachment to his or her corporeal form. The practice originated by Ma-gÇig Labdrön the great Tibetan yogini. See Ma-gÇig Labdrön.

Chö-nyi: Chos-nyid – Dharmata, the Space of reality.

Chö-ying: Spatial dimension or dharmadhatu. This term signifies the unobstructed play of wisdom-Mind in the limitlessness of wisdom-Space.

Dorje Phagmo: Indestructible sow or Thunderbolt sow. She is the ecstatically fierce Dakini, whose head is surmounted by the head of a sow whose screech shatters illusion.

Dorje Tröllö: Indestructible Rage – the most wrathful of the eight manifestations of Padmasambhava

Dri: Tibetan ox (Bos grunniens) with long shaggy hair and a humped back, kept in the uplands of central Asia for its milk and soft dense underfur, and as a pack animal. Found high on the Tibetan plateau. The yak is the male of the species.

Dzogchen: The Great Completion is the innermost Tantra, which transcends ritual and symbol.

Dzogchen Long-dé: One of the three series of Dzogchen – the ‘Space ’ or ‘Vast Expanse ’ series. It deals with subtle-sensation as the focus of meditative absorption, and employs a great variety of yogic postures and corresponding physical pressure-points that stimulate the rLung, prana, of spatial-winds of the vajra-body. Details of such practices are kept highly secret and can only be received through transmission from a qualified Lama.

É-yül: Land of primordial awareness

Gar: Encampment. The place where Aro Lingma settled in Southern Nepal was called the Aro Gar. See Aro Gar.

Garuda: See Khyung.

Golok: North of Kham, the wild area of Tibet is famous both for brigandry and accomplished masters. There are many nomads yogic encampments in this area.

Gomchenma: Gomchenma means ‘greatly accomplished female meditator ’.

rGyüd: Tantra, Tantrayana, Vajrayana or Secret Mantrayana. The vehicle which derives from Long-ku (Sambhogakaya) visionary transmission. The path of transformation – in distinction to the Sutric path of renunciation. See Sutra.

Ja-lu: ‘Ja ’ lus – the rainbow body. Dzogchen practitioners who have mastered the Trék-chod phase of Dzogchen in which pure and total presence is stabilised, are able to practice Tö-gal. Tö-gal is the final practice of Dzogchen, which enables the yogi or yogini to dissolve his or her physical body into the essence of the elements at the time of death. The yogi or yogini then disappears into a body of light, leaving only hair, toe & finger nails, and nasal septum behind.

Jétsunma Khandro Ten’dzin Drölkar: A great living Dzogchen yogini who lives in Yang-lé-shöd, Nepal.

Jétsunma Khandro Yeshé Réma: The incarnation of Jomo Menmo whose later came to be known as Aro Lingma. Her pure vision revelations are called the Aro gTér. Jétsunma Khandro Yeshé Réma was the daughter of Gomchenma ’ö-Zér Pema and the niece of Jomo Chhi’mèd Pema (who was an emanation of Yeshé Tsogyel).

Jomo Chhi’mèd Pema: Emanation of Yeshé Tsogyel was the aunt and adoptive mother of Gomchenma Pema ’ö-Zér. See Gomchenma Pema ö-Zér

Jomo Menmo: The incarnation of Ma-gÇig Labdrön, and emanation of Yeshé Tsogyel who was the consort of Guru Chöwang. The previous incarnation of Aro Lingma, mother of Aro Yeshé. See Aro Yeshé, Yeshé Tsogyel and Ma-gÇig Labdrön.

Kagyüd: One of the four Schools of Tibetan Buddhism. One of the three Sarma, or New Translation Schools, that is closest in practice to the Nyingma School.

Karmic vision: The way, or style, in which we see things. The karmic vision of every type of being is distinct. Every being’s Karmic vision is comprised according to the particular style in which they maintain the illusion of duality.

Khalden Lingpa: The incarnation of Nuden Dorje Dro’phang Lingpa whose incarnation line goes back to Kyé-chung Lotsa, one of the twenty-five siddhas of Chhimphu – the twenty-five disciples of Padmasambhava. He was the twin incarnation, with Düd’jom Lingpa of the line that came from Nuden Dorje, Shariputra, Hungkara, Gagasiddhi, and Kyé-chung Lotsa. Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche – Jig’drél Yeshé dorje was the incarnation of Düd’jom Lingpa, and Kyabjé Khordong gTérchen Tulku Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche is the incarnation of Khalden Lingpa.

Khandro: Literally ‘sky-goer ’. Either the outer quality of a women or the inner quality of a man. A wisdom-display manifestation.

Khandropa: A man who has recognised his ‘inner Khandro’ and manifests this realisation in terms of his external activity in the world.

Khandro Déchen Tsédrüp Rolpai ’i Yeshé: The sang-yum of Ngak’chang Chögyam Rinpoche

Khandro Rinpoche: A female incarnate Lama of the Kagyüd School, currently teaching in Europe and the USA.

sKu-mNyé: Literally – ‘subtle-dimension massage ’. sKu-mNyé in the Aro gTér system, is associated with the Dzogchen Long-dé teachings (see Dzogchen Long-dé). The Aro gTér sKu-mNyé comprises of exercises that stimulate the rTsa rLung system (see rLung and rTsa rLung). These exercises are divided into six animals that relate with the elements. There are one hundred and eleven exercises – twenty-one for each animal elemental animal: lion / earth; vulture / water; tiger / fire; eagle / air; and garuda / space. These are one hundred and five exercises – the remaining six exercises belonging to the dragon. The Dragon exercises are ‘couple exercises ’ which represent the unified sphere of all the elements.

Khyung: The Space-eagle. An Awareness-being (meditational deity) who embodies the unborn nature of the Dzogchen teachings. The Khyung is born from its egg full grown, symbolising the self-existent maturity of the enlightened state, which is the natural unfabricated condition of all beings.

Lama: Teacher, especially of Tantra. The word Lama pertains not only to the external teacher, but to the inner teacher or enlightened nature. The Lama, therefore, is one who reflects the beginningless enlightened nature of their students.

La-yak-pang-drong: The western part of Lho-drak, where Jomo Menmo met Guru Chöwang.

Ling-jé Répa: A gTértön of the Nyingma School who gained profound spiritual experience from his meeting with Jomo Menmo. See gTér and Jomo Menmo.

rLung: Spatial-wind or prana in Sanskrit.

Ma-gÇig Labdrön: ‘Unique Mother Torch of Practice ’, the incarnation of Yeshé Tsogyel who originated the practice of gÇod. See gÇod.

Ngakma Nor’dzin Rang-jung Pamo: A female disciple of Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen who has taken ordination into the Vajra commitment of the gö kar chang-lo’i dé.

Ngak’phang Sangha: The gö kar chang-lo’i dé, white sangha, or non-monastic sangha. Ngak’phang means ‘Mantra-holding ’ and applies to those who have taken Tantric ordination rather the Sutric ordination of monks and nuns.

Nyingma: The Ancient School of Tibetan Buddhism – the ‘early spread ’ of Buddhism in Tibet which grew under the enlightened inspiration of the second Buddha – Padmasambhava and Yeshé Tsogyel.

Pema Tsokyi: The name given to Jomo Menmo by her parents.

Padmasambhava: The second Buddha who brought the Tantric teachings to Tibet.

Pamo: A woman who has recognised her ‘inner Pawo ’ and manifests this realisation in terms of her external activity in the world.

Pawo: Literally ‘warrior ’ or ‘hero ’. Either the outer quality of a man or the inner quality of a woman. A method-display manifestation.

Rang-rig Togden: The yogi who became the sang-yab of Gomchenma Pema ’ö-Zér. He was a great gÇodpa and practitioner of the subjugation practices of Chana Dorje (Vajrapani), Tamdrin (Hayagriva) and Khyung (Garuda) a practice he had received from A’dzom Drukpa. He was an emanation of Thangtong Gyalpo and received various pure vision revelations directly from Thangtong Gyalpo – the principle of these being the innermost cycle of Ling Gésar.

Réma: Cotton wearer. The female of Répa, as in Milarépa. A Réma, or Répa, is one who is accomplished in the practice to gTu-mo – the practice of Spatial-heat, on of the Naro-chö-drug (six yogas of Naropa). These practitioners wear white cotton and often live naked above the snow-line.

Rinpoche: Literally ‘precious one ’. Rinpoche is used as a respectful form of address to ones teacher. It is a mistaken assumption that the term Rinpoche indicates an incarnate Lama; although all incarnate Lamas are called Rinpoche by their students.

Sang-ngak-chö-dzong: The spiritual association in Britain dedicated to the preservation of the Aro gTér and the gö kar chang-lo’i dé. It was founded by Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen and named by Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche.

Sang-yab: Secret Father – spiritual-husband or consort

Sang-yum: Secret Mother – spiritual-wife or consort

Sonam Sangpo Rinpoche: also know as Gyaltsen Rinpoche. The Nyingma Lama who was the abbot of the Vajrayana Retreat Centre in Yang-lé-shöd, Nepal. He is the friend of Ngak’chang Chögyam Rinpoche, Jétsunma Khandro Ten’dzin Drölkar, and Lama Tharchin Rinpoche of Pema Ösel Ling in Santa Cruz.

Sutra: The teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha: Sravakabuddhayana; Pratyekabuddhayana; and Boddhisattvabuddhayana. Known in the New Translation Schools as the Hinayana and Mahayana.

Tak-lha-ri: Mountain of the Sky Tiger. The place from which Jomo Menmo and her two female disciples entered the Sky-dimension.

Tantra: Continuum, continuity or thread, see rGyüd.

Tashi Chhi’dren: One of the spiritual consorts of Padmasambhava.

Tharchin Rinpoche: Nyingma Lama and current Holder of the Repkong Ngakpa Lineage. Friend of Ngak’chang Chögyam Rinpoche, Jétsunma Khandro Ten’dzin Drölkar, and Lama Sonam Sangpo Rinpoche. Tharchin Rinpoche is a married Lama who is an ordained member of the gö kar chang-lo’i dé.

gTér: gTér is the shortened form of the word gTérma, which refers to a cycle of teaching and practices that have been discovered in visionary form.

gTértön: A discoverer of gTérma.

Thinley Norbu: Dungsé Thinley Norbu Rinpoche is the elder son of Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche – Jig’drél;l Yeshé Dorje – one of the most important Lamas of the Nyingma Tradition during the 20th Century.

Trül ’khor: Literally ‘apparitional circle ’ or ‘magical-wheel ’. Called yantra yoga in Sanskrit, it is a system which resembles hathayoga combined with pranayama and linked by movement. The trül’khor of the Aro gTér is allied to the practice of Dzogchen Sem-dé (see Dzogchen). In these practices, one moves between different physical postures in a rhythmic manner linking the movement with the breath. This system is designed to purify the rLung (see rLung).

Togden: Possessor of accomplishment. A yogi or yogini with matted hair.

rTsa rLung: Yogic exercises involving breath and visualisation. The Tsa-lung system is the Vajra-body of Spatial-nerves and the Spatial-winds that move within them.

Yak: Tibetan ox (gYag – Bos grunniens) with long shaggy hair and a humped back, kept in the uplands of central Asia for its milk and soft dense underfur, and as a pack animal. Found high on the Tibetan plateau. The dri is the female of the species.

Yeshé Tsogyel: The female Tantric Buddha, and sang-yum of Padmasambhava.