Awakening Sacred Art

 A Photo of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Public Talk:

Friday, January 30, 2015,  7-8:30p $20.00

Weekend retreat:

Saturday, January 31, 2015, 10a-3:30p and Sunday, February 1, 2015, 10a-4:30p, $180/$150 members.

 Fundraiser benefiting Ligmincha Texas, Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 4p.

“Creativity can be seen as a state of natural flow, one that spontaneously and effortlessly gives birth to all experiences of body, energy and mind.”

Ligmicha Texas is happy to announce the return of our founder, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, to offer this retreat.

Join us for this opportunity to free yourself from creative obstacles, nurture your capacity for joyful self-expression, and make positive changes in your life.

These talks are for anyone who seeks to usher into reality – whether through creative problem solving, personal growth, or bringing creative artistry to a whole new level.

To register for this event, please contact the Jung Center  5200 Montrose Blvd  Houston, Tx 77006   713-524-8253

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is one of only a few masters of the Bon Dzogchen tradition living in the west.  An accomplished scholar in the Bon Buddhist textual traditions of philosophy, exegesis, and debate, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche completed a rigorous 11 year course of traditional studies at the  Bonpo Monastic Center (Menri Monastery) in India, where he received his Geshe degree.  In 1992 Tenzin Rinpoche founded Ligmincha Institute to preserve and introduce to the West the religious teaching and arts of the ancient Tibetan Bon Buddhist tradition

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Fundraiser benefiting Geshe Denma Gyaltsen

IMG_1835Fundraising Update

Our June fundraiser, Bön on the Bayou, was successful in raising over $13,000. These funds are being used to support the application process for Geshe Denma Gyaltsen to become the resident Lama for Ligmincha Texas.

Our next fundraiser will be held in conjunction with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s retreat at the Jung Center. This fundraiser will consist of a live and silent auction of precious sacred objects generously donated by our Bon teachers. It will be held Saturday, from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm at the Jung Center Houston. All are welcome to attend!

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Meditation leader helps conquer cancer fear

Image of Alejandro Chaoul
Alejandro Chaoul leads a mediation class at MD Anderson Cancer Center.


A group sits in a mostly empty room – some in their socks, one barefoot, a few on pillows, others on dull gray chairs – breathing. They inhale. They exhale. They chat. They savor silence.

On Tuesday mornings at M.D. Anderson, this is cancer treatment.

Sun spills through the blinds and throws precise rectangles on the floor, illuminating Alejandro Chaoul’s back as he leads the circle through meditation. On sheets of paper laid out in front of him, meditators have written down what they’re wrestling with. Anxieties, fears. Some have radiation scheduled later that week, others say they have trouble sleeping, even though it is their spouses who have cancer.

In addition to the physical effects of the disease, so much of this fight takes place in the mind.

Chaoul is a doctor, but of the Ph.D. variety, having earned his doctorate at Rice University in Tibetan religion. He started teaching free meditation classes at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as a volunteer 15 years ago, then worked part time through a research grant on Tibetan yoga for people with lymphoma before becoming full-time faculty. He never planned to work at a hospital, but his path mirrors what healing has come to mean in the health care world.

M.D. Anderson was among the first major cancer centers to look at “integrated medicine,” which marries biological treatments like radiation and chemotherapy with yoga, art and meditation. The hospital opened the Place … of wellness in 1998.

At first, it was more of a “side boutique,” driven by volunteers, said Lorenzo Cohen, who joined M.D. Anderson the year before with a background in research psychology.

Cohen studied how to track the impact of stress on the human body. He wanted to apply the same evidence-based practices of traditional medicine to the less visible parts of dealing with cancer. Patients were already exploring ways to cope with their illnesses, but few doctors were clinically studying it.

‘Meditation pills’

Eventually, M.D. Anderson opened the Integrative Medicine Center, which Cohen now directs, moving its services into the Mays Clinic, which also houses the Nellie B. Connally Breast Center and Laura Lee Blanton Gynecologic Oncology Center, among others. Rather than offering “complementary” services, Cohen said, he worked to break down the barriers between oncologists and people like Chaoul. Today, physicians can refer patients to a meditation class or a nutrition specialist on top of regular treatments.

“We’re trying to collect the evidence one way or another,” Cohen said. “Proving something ineffective is equally important to proving something effective.”

What Chaoul prescribes are “meditation pills,” deep breaths taken to dose a stressful moment. And though he teaches that “meditation is medicine of the mind,” he’s also aware of how New Age-y that can comes across.

“I found (the saying) in a really profound place – a tea bag,” he jokes.

One of the hardest parts about both cancer and the practice of Tibetan meditation, he said, is to recognize the impermanence of life. He asks patients and their caregivers to focus on the present.

Encouraged to teach

As a boy, Chaoul said existential attacks would swallow him at night, alone in the dark of his room: “I’m going to die and then what?”

He said difficult events in his life, like his parents’ divorce, propelled him to seek out the spiritual. Not that Chaoul didn’t already have spirituality in his life. He was born Jewish in Catholic Argentina and attended a Presbyterian school before moving to India in pursuit of Buddhist teachings. His first job was in advertising, but he soon turned to Eastern philosophy.

At 24, he traveled to India and stayed for almost a year, finding Indian and Tibetan meditation teachers and practicing several hours a day. When he moved back to Argentina, he helped coordinate the Dalai Lama’s trip there and accompanied him to Chile and Venezuela. Eventually, Chaoul found his way to Houston.

His teachers encouraged him to start teaching, so he began giving classes at Ligmincha Texas, a Buddhist center in Houston. There, he encountered Maria Alma Rodriguez, an M.D. Anderson lymphoma doctor who asked him to teach at the cancer center.

Chaoul said his father always wondered what he was going to do with a religious studies Ph.D. In 1998, before Chaoul starting teaching at M.D. Anderson, his father became a prostate cancer patient there.

“My father is a businessman. He has a classic view of the world,” Chaoul said. “It’s not until he became a patient that he said, ‘What you’re doing is pretty neat.’ I wish he didn’t have to go through that to think that.”

His father survived the cancer, but still does not meditate.

Where body, mind meet

At St. John’s Downtown, the Rev. Juanita Rasmus has eulogized several cancer patients. So when she learned she had a rare form of kidney cancer in 2009, her head was at once numb and spinning. Praying was hard when faced with death, she said, even for a pastor. The tumor was successfully removed, but each time checkups roll around, the anxiety returns.

“What the meditation class helped me to realize is that I’ve been holding my breath most of my life,” Rasmus said. “Working hard, trying to be a good girl, trying to please people. In many ways, the cancer gave me permission to care for myself first.”

Chaoul, 50, still practices Tibetan meditation by himself before the sun rises every day, but he also teaches nearly every day of the week, including classes for faculty and staff, medical students and the community at places like The Rothko Chapel, Jung Center, Ligmincha, Rice and the Asia Society. He has come to embrace working at the intersection of body and mind.

In class, it’s not quiet, a dull beep pulses somewhere else in the hospital, and the vents blow long, heavy blasts into the room. Distractions pull at our “monkey minds,” Chaoul tells the meditators, always swinging from thought to thought. There are so many outside things to notice – eyes flutter open when someone coughs – so focus instead on your breath, he advises; find grounding in yourself. Chaoul taps a bell, and the sound is so clear it circles the room.

For Naomi Rosborough, who has been attending Chaoul’s classes for years with her husband, a survivor of melanoma and prostate cancer, the meditation is not nirvana. But, she says, “it calms our spirits.”

Karen Chen

Karen Chen

Investigative Fellow, Houston Chronicle

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Reconnecting with Your Joyful Essence: An Introduction to the Tibetan Practice of Soul Retrieval

WebcastGermany2What better way to bring in the New Year than to make a yearlong commitment to heal your soul and revitalize your life? In this daylong “Internet retreat,” Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche will introduce his yearlong course on soul retrieval. In two 90-minute teaching sessions, Rinpoche will explain the source of these teachings, what it means to retrieve your soul, and how to identify signs of soul loss. He will guide the practice of the “Three Precious Pills” to help you reconnect with your inherently joyful nature. Two additional guided meditation sessions will be led by a senior teacher.

Jan. 10 schedule:
9:00–10:30 a.m.: Teaching with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.: Guided Practice with senior teacher Marcy Vaughn
1:15–2:45 p.m.: Teaching with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
3:30–4:30 p.m.: Guided Practice with senior teacher Marcy Vaughn

About This Series

These practices of Soul Retrieval can help you tap into the ultimate source of healing. Done daily through the entire year of this course, they have the potential to transform your life. They can help you to:

  • Avoid losing your vitality when faced with difficult life challenges.
  • Revitalize your personal life, family life and professional life.
  • Recognize powerful internal and external sources of healing.
  • Experience healing on all levels—physically, energetically, psychologically and spiritually.
  • Come home to your inherently joyful and creative nature.
  • Bring increased happiness and well-being to others.
  • Progress on the path to higher liberation.

The practices in this course draw from the ancient Tibetan Bon Buddhist teachings of Soul Retrieval. They omit traditional soul-retrieval ceremonies and rituals and focus, instead, on the most essential elements of the core teachings.

How to Participate

To take part in this free course, simply join us from your home computer or at one of Ligmincha’s participating practice groups or centers worldwide. By registering at the link above, you will receive your own, unique link for viewing the next scheduled webcast teachings on your computer, as well as email invitations to future webcasts in the series. Each webcast is free and open to all and requires no prerequisite. However, to make the most of this course and its truly life-transforming potential, students are strongly encouraged to view all 12 live webcasts and/or the recordings of those webcasts throughout the year; and to put what they learn into practice daily between sessions. Students who participate in the live webcasts will have access to additional, downloadable course materials.

For added support, monthly group webcast viewings, as well as regularly scheduled group meditation practices based these teachings, will be available in many locations worldwide. Check back closer to the date for a list of locations. If there is no group available in your area and you are interested in starting one informally, email to indicate your interest and learn more.

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The Seven Mirrors of Dzogchen



Ligmincha Texas is excited to announce that Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche will be teaching on The Mirrors of Dzogchen, an ancient and precious teaching that is being brought to life in the West. Rinpoche introduced this topic last year and will continue to teach it in the future as well. Please join us for this unique opportunity. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche is the abbot of Triten Norbutse Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. Khenpo Rinpoche was born in 1969 in Dhorpatan, He was admitted to the dialectic school, and In 1994, having successfully completed the traditional 13-year course of study, Khenpo Rinpoche was awarded his geshe degree (doctorate) with acknowledgment from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In 1996, His Holiness Menri Trizin Rinpoche and Yongdzin Rinpoche appointed Khenpo Rinpoche as ponlob (principal teacher) of Triten Norbutse Monastery. Since then Khenpo Rinpoche has taught at the Yungdrung Bön Academy of Higher Studies. In 2001, Rinpoche was appointed as khenpo (abbot) of the monastery. Since 1998 Khenpo Rinpoche has been regularly traveling around Europe and America giving teachings. Since 2005, Khenpo Rinpoche has taken the responsibility of establishing the congregation of Shenten Dargye Ling in France.


Public Talk: Friday, November 14th, 2014  7:00 pm – 8:30 pm,   $15 Suggested Donation

Retreat:  Saturday, November 15,  10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Suggested Donation: $75  General Public and $70  Ligmincha Members & Full-time Students

  RSVP at 
Payment can be made at the door by cash or check.

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Tibetan Sound Healing Mediation

October 17th & 24th, 2014 4:30p-6:30p

Tibetan sound healing meditation has been the subject of remarkable research at MD Anderson Cancer Center that may suggest that this technique has significant benefits in cognitive function. In this course, you will learn about this research as well as practices that bring together the mind and its embodied energy, supported by simple and powerful ancient Tibetan vocalized sounds that work with different energetic centers or chakras to provide a sense of embodied meditation. Incorporating these practices into your daily life can help you connect to your inner wisdom and discover the potential to achieve a relaxed yet aware state of mind and a healthier lifestyle. No prior meditation experience is necessary.

Co-Sponsors: Ligmincha Texas Institute for the Tibetan Meditative & Healing Arts, Rice University Department of Religious Studies, Asia Society Texas Center

NOTE: Participants should wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a cushion if choosing to sit on the floor.

Course Details

Fee: If registering by October 3: $98   After October 3: $108   For Rice alumni: $88   CEUs: 0.6

 To register, please visit the link below:

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An Evening of Tea and Meditation

October 16th, 2014  6p – 8p

Join Alejandro Chaoul and Chris McKann in an engaging lecture, meditation, and tea tasting. The practice of drinking tea can be deeply contemplative and a complement to a meditative practice. Along with learning and experiencing the different varieties and benefits of tea, participants will learn a simple, take-home technique for a meditation that can become an everyday practice, especially to cool down mentally and emotionally. Meditative tea drinking offers an easy opportunity to integrate a calm and aware state of mind into your daily activities. Note to students who attended previous “Evenings of Tea and Meditation”: This evening will be similar but not a repetition. Different teas and different aspects of meditation teachings will be presented.

Alejandro Chaoul, Chris McKann

Alejandro Chaoul, PhD, has been a student of Tibetan Buddhism since 1989 and has studied with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, and Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. He is an Assistant Professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Integrative Medicine Program where he teaches Tibetan meditation to cancer patients, their families and caregivers, and researches the effects of Tibetan mind-body practices with cancer patients.

Tastings are taught by Chris McKann, owner of The Path of Tea, who has participated in more than 1,000 tea tastings in the past five years.

To register, please click on the link below. 

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Sacred Objects Used in Spiritual Practice with Khenpo Tenzin Dargye

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Public Talk:  Friday, September 12, 2014, 7:00-  8:30p, $15.00 Suggested donation

  Teachings: Saturday – Sunday, September 13-14, 2014, 10:00a-5:30p

 Fees for the Teachings: $150 for the General Public and $125 for Ligmincha Texas members, Jung Center members and Full Time students

Ligmincha Texas is fortunate to offer a very special teaching by Khenpo Tenzin Dargye on the origins, use, and qualities of spiritual objects used in Bön Tibetan meditation practices.  These will include the mala, or prayer beads, bells, damaru or drum, cymbals, and a special trumpet called a kangling.  Khenpo will introduce these sacred objects at a public talk on Friday night. On Saturday and Sunday, he will teach from the original sacred Tonpa Shenrab texts Khao Sang zod and Dreme Zijid and give a detailed explanation of the sacred objects according to these texts. We welcome you and invite you to join us!

Khenpo Tenzin Dargye is a lama from the Tibetan Bön tradition. He received his Geshe degree in1996 at the Dialectic School of Menri Monastery, Dolanji, India under Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, one of the greatest living dzogchen masters of our time. After this, he worked as the organizer of the Bön Children’s Welfare Center and the dispensary for 6 years. In 2002, he was transferred to Dhorpatan in Western Nepal. Khenpo is working there to renovate Bön monasteries, help poor, homeless, and older people and support poor children to get their education. He has also established a Tibetan medicine center to provide good health services in rural areas. Khenpo is very motivated to help spread the Bön teachings by teaching to all who are interested.

Public Talk:  Friday, September 12, 2014   7:00pm – 8:30pm

Suggested Donation: $15

Retreat:  Saturday and Sunday, September 13-14, 2014   10:00am – 5:30pm


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Bön on the Bayou, Ligmincha Texas’ 20th anniversary party

Bön on the Bayou, Ligmincha Texas’ 20th anniversary party, raised almost $14,000 to assure the future success of our Sangha. The well attended June 8 event was hosted at Hyde Park Gallery and featured a musical performance by visiting teacher Geshe Yong Dong. Our guests delighted in our Dharma items, art offerings, and delicious food and teas. Enthusiastic participation in the silent and live auctions showed the generosity of our members and friends.
The leadership of Ligmincha Texas thanks everyone who contributed time and resources to this effort. Bön on the Bayou came alive because of your involvement.  In the next few months, we will be working to assist our teacher and friend Geshe Denma with his immigration status, moving to a new central location, and continuing to raise funds toward our $30,000 goal, all while offering beautiful meditation practices and education on the Bön Buddhist tradition.


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Soul Healing & Happy Life With Geshe Chaphur Rinpoche


Public Talk:

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm.  $15 Suggested Donation


Saturday, July 5, 2014 : 10 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday, July 6 , 2014: 10 am – 1:00 pm

Fees for the Teaching:

$150 General Public $125 Ligmincha Members Jung Center Members & Full-time Students Registration


Please register by emailing us at: Payment can be made by Paypal, Cash or Check Financial hardship alone should not prevent a practitioner from attending teachings. Special payment plans are available. Please call 713-444-3457.


About the Teaching:

In the 8th Century, Drenpa Namkha, was an important preserver of the Bön teachings.   Drenpa Namkha had twin sons, one of them was Tsewang Rigzin, who is considered the main long life deity of Bön. Tsewang Rigzin studied with his father from a very young age and became an enlightened great master himself. Tsewang Rigzin was the first Bön master to teach how to enhance and retrieve the life force and soul.  It was said that Tsewang Rigzin, in his deep meditation state, received the special soul healing teaching transmitted by the dakini Yum Chen Thuk Je Kundrol. The teaching itself was identified as Tse Du Jha Ri Ma which composed of the long life empowerment rituals, soul retrieval, and life force retrieval. Traditionally in Tibet, Bön Rinpoches would travel from town to town to perform the long life rituals to town’s people. The related Long Life rituals help to facilitate healing and bringing harmony during troubled times. Chaphur Rinpoche will present this ritual and empowerment with the aim of enabling the participants to achieve a long life and to heal the connection between body and soul.

Geshe Chaphur was born in Amdo Ngaba in Eastern Tibet. As a young boy he was recognized as the reincarnation of a great master: Chaphur Phuntsok Wangyal Rinpoche, by His Eminence Bon-Gya Rinpoche and other high lamas. He received his Geshe degree in 2008 from Menri Monastery, the principal monastery for the Bön tradition, and the home of HH Menri Trizin, the head of the Bön sect and Menri Lopon Rinpoche.

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