The Chöd and more​.​.​.

by Lama Trijam - In Memoriam

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These free downloads are out-takes from Lama Trijam's recording sessions and presented here as an offering. Here is the story behind the recordings. There is an attempted possible translation of Lama's talking in the full Interview track info if you click the individual track links.

One day towards the end of the recording sessions with Lama Trijam for The Mahakala and The Nundro Pujas, with the tape still running and with me not really knowing what he was doing, Lama spontaneously started chanting The Chöd - and he did this for almost 10 minutes.

I’m not sure if this is the full Chöd or a short-form but at that time, circa 1988, there was not much I could do in terms of producing and selling such a short recording. After chanting The Chöd, Lama also did a whole lot of random talking in broken Tibet-lish as well as chanting what seemed to be random Puja excerpts

I did master the audio onto 1/4” tape and 7 years later that 1/4” was digitised to DAT masters before finally being transferred to my Mac around 2000. Since then it has remain backed up on various hard drives and disks and I guess I sort of forgot about it over the last decade and a half.

Last year I thought about the recording and dug it out and had a listen. I knew the first part was the Chöd but was it complete and what was all the other stuff after it? So I contacted John Trigger who negotiated the original recording sessions and he also did multiple ‘takes’ (layered recording tracks) of him chanting as ‘the students’ on the original recordings, including The Chöd.

John confirmed it was The Chöd and then went on to explain what Lama might have been doing. We can’t be sure but this is our best guess. Basically, Lama was doing a big advertisement for Tibetan Buddhism to show what other recordings we could do and then went into an ‘Interview’. For the last year since John explained it to me I thought it was an interview with Lama - but it turns out that Lama was actually interviewing me - as a potential student of the Dharma!

John explained that - at the time of the recordings Lama was impressed with my efforts and devotion to helping with the whole production - all for free - and wanted me to take up the practices!

There were some amazing moments over the months of recording The Mahakala and the Nundro Pujas. One special moment was during the layering of the instruments on The Mahakala. Lama had a cassette recording of a Xingdun - the big long horns with the deep notes that you see in the temples - and Lama was guiding me as to exactly when and how to fade it in (we pre-mixed it directly onto the main 8-track!) and at the end Lama said it was very good and that I had a great touch with how I fitted-in each of the parts and then he added - “…many lifetimes… many lifetimes”.

So we think the ‘interview’ on this recording is actually Lama being impressed and trying to recruit me as a student.

In the ‘Interview’ Lama goes through a selection of excerpts from other Pujas and gives brief talks about how these would be presented in the temple with all the other Lama’s and Rinpoche’s. These stories were all completely spontaneous and unexpected and it’s really hard to understand exactly what he is saying but just hearing the vibration of Lama talking and laughing is a blessing.

It is important to note that for listening purposes in the Interview, I have edited a 3 second gap between him talking and chanting, but on the original recording there is almost no gap between the chanting and talking. He literally slips in and out of each mode without hesitation as though these profound and various Puja excerpts are all part of his conversation - they all are part of him.

I have also put a slight reverb on all the chanting parts and mixed the talking at a higher volume without reverb so as to make his words as clear as possible. The reverb on the chanting gives it a more authentic temple-feel experience and brings them more to life. For those of you who just want to hear the Interview chanting excerpts on their own I have also edited the chanting excerpts together as one track with a slight gap between them and no talking.

I’m presenting this EP of ‘The Chöd and more’ as an offering for free download or donation. You may also want to buy and download the main albums from those sessions - The Mahakala Puja and The Nundro Puja which are both available on iTunes.

You can find all the links on Lama’s original website listed on the right side of this Bandcamp page - there is a new Facebook Page that you can find on his website - where you can stay in touch and share your experiences plus links to iTunes.

Lama died in 2003 from a stroke after complications with Diabetes and Alzheimer’s and he is still missed by many. I would like to thank Johnny from Taiwan who contacted me recently looking for information about Lama and reminded me that there may be other students out there who would appreciate this Chöd recording, especially with such an intimate interview.

From Wikpedia
Chöd (Tibetan: གཅོད, Wylie: gcod lit. 'to sever'), is a spiritual practice found primarily in the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism (where it is classed as Anuttarayoga Tantra). Also known as "Cutting Through the Ego,", the practices are based on the Prajñāpāramitā or "Perfection of Wisdom" sutras, which expound the "emptiness" concept of Buddhist philosophy.

According to Mahayana Buddhists, emptiness is the ultimate wisdom of understanding that all things lack inherent existence. Chöd combines prajñāpāramitā philosophy with specific meditation methods and tantric ritual. The chod practitioner seeks to tap the power of fear through activities such as rituals set in graveyards, and visualisation of offering their bodies in a tantric feast in order to put their understanding of emptiness to the ultimate test.


released February 20, 2016

Lama Trijam - main voice and talking
John Trigger - layered chanting as 'students'
Japetus - recording and production.



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Lama Trijam - In Memoriam Artarmon, Australia

Lama Trijam is a Tibetan Lama who came to Australia in 1984 after studying in Tibet since age six. Unfortunately, he died in 2003 after suffering a stroke several years earlier but his work lives on through these two CDs. He carried the full transmission of Tibetan Buddhism as it was before the Chinese invasion. Lama Trijam was working toward establishing meditation centres and a monastery. ... more

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