Thig Mo Monastery was established in the middle of the 11th Rab byung on the Tibetan calendar, or approximately 1657, by the mantric intitiate Lama Brag dkar. Thig Mo was one of the eighteen Sadhana retreat centers in Rebgong. The philosophy behind the Thig Mo retreat was based on the practices of mantric and sadhana. To better explain the terms…
- Mantric is the adjective of mantra, meaning a thought process from man to thought (as in an instrument of thought associated with a text or chant) and fulfillment;
- Sadhana is a means of accomplishing something, and/or the pursuit of a goal (most preferably a spiritual goal), via a tantric ritual or liturgy.
Therefore, Lama Brag dkar accomplished goals through the subtle energy process of connecting with the cosmos and imposing his will/thoughts on the cosmos. The monks at Thig Mo also practiced yoga of the Buddha sugata, which is devoted to the pursuit of supernormal knowledge of past and future lives, and the extinction of mental intoxicants, as well as meditating on the master of secrets, Bhairava (annihilation of the ego) and the tantric activities of the Gelugpa sect.
The Demise of Thig Mo
The monastery was completely destroyed in March of 1958 by the People’s Liberation Army. What are left now are a few remnants of walls, and shards of the turquoise roofing tiles that had been donated to the monastery in 1723. The grounds of the monastery and the area immediately surrounding it have been turned into a terraced herb farm. There is a pile of stones, with a large stone that has Shakyamuni carved on it along with a mani stone. The pile of stones were placed there one at a time from people coming and placing a single stone on the pile signifying that “I remember you” in reference to the monks that were killed at the monastery. There is also a vertically stacked set of large flat black rock mani stones a short distance away from the pile of remembrance stones; I do not know the purpose of these stones at this location. To really appreciate this stack of black stones, a side view is needed.