This past weekend, for the first retreat in our new center, Yeru Minneapolis joyfully hosted Geshe Nyima Kunchap from Dolpo in Nepal. He led a ritual and gave teaching on Soul Retrieval practice. As part of Soul Retrieval, Long Life Tsewang Rikdzin meditation was taught and practiced, and tsok offering was made.
The ritual culminated in the soul retrieval ritual. As part of this, three tests are performed to determine the efficacy of the ritual:
1. An effigy of deer holding objects that represented our souls (Lha), our lifespan, and our life-force, was spun counterclockwise in an “ocean of souls.” The final direction of the effigy determined a positive or negative result. After an unsuccessful first attempt, we had a successful second attempt at the ritual when the deer effigy stopped spinning while looking toward the students.
2. After this, a black and white pebble were fished from the water three times. Because black was drawn each time, it was not a favorable outcome.
3. For the final action, white and black die were rolled. On the first attempt, the white had a higher number, which meant a positive result.
Overall, Geshe-la says this was an alright outcome for the ritual. 2 of the 3 results were positive, and sometimes all 3 being positive isn’t good either. Still, because it wasn’t completely ideal, he prescribed an additional 1000 Long Life mantras to be said by each participant in the coming week.
This was a very interesting and powerful ritual to be a part of. Thank you Geshe Nyima Kunchap for this wonderful ritual and teaching.