Sacred Passage Tsa-tsas


In the Buddhist tradition, a popular way to memorialize and benefit those who have passed away is to enshrine a share of the person’s ashes in a small reliquary, known as a tsa-tsa. These reliquaries are created in the form of Shakyamuni Buddha, traditional stupas, and various Buddhist deities.

We here at Sacred Passage are offering a truly unique opportunity. Over the past decade we have cultivated a deep relationship with a living Buddhist master in Eastern Tibet. Named Terton Rinpoche, this master upholds the authentic lineage of Buddhism in both practice and study. He has lived for more than 16 years in retreat in various caves, and studied with dozens of accomplished masters.

With a portion of the ashes of your loved ones, two statues will be made. The sculptor is a Lama and accomplished artist from the Mindroling tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, trained in thanka painting and the traditional arts of Tibet. According to prescribed rituals and the traditional texts, he will first consecrate the ashes to allow them to be put into a holy image, and then form the tsa-tsas. Two images will be made, one of Shakyamuni Buddha, and one of a traditional stupa. These two forms have been selected as being most beneficial by Terton Rinpoche. The Buddha image will be returned to the sponsor to be put in a place of respect in their home. The stupas will be hand carried to Kham, in Eastern Tibet, where they will be consecrated and blessed through a number of powerful Buddhist rituals. These rituals, when performed by an accomplished master like Terton Rinpoche, have the ability to liberate the consciousness of the deceased. Rinpoche will perform traditional sacred rituals to bring benefit to the dead, eventually establishing them in a Pure Realm where permanent liberation from the round of birth and death is assured.

At the conclusion of these rituals, the tsa-tsa will be placed in a sacred cave located at a power place where masters of the past practiced and attained meditative accomplishment. Here they will rest, protected from the elements.

Beyond serving as a means of memorializing those who have passed on, the creation of these tsa-tsas has significant additional benefits, encompassing not only the deceased, but sponsors, family, and friends as well. According to Rinpoche, simply the making of a single tsa-tsa is extremely meritorious for both the sponsors and the enshrined person. In spite of extremely trying circumstances brought about by the invasion of the Chinese in 1959, Tibet is still a very holy land, and any connection made with it is beneficial to all those involved.

According to teachings received directly from Terton Rinpoche, the creation of tsa-tsas and their enshrinement in places of power has the ability to purify evil deeds, clear negative karma, lessen disturbing emotions, and helping to bring about the evolution of consciousness. Obstacles are purified and merit is created for everyone involved. The ‘bone lineage’, or immediate family, of the person whose ashes are used, is particularly blessed, and that benefit extends to all future generations. Rinpoche stated that through the positive interdependence created, even one tsa-tsa can form the basis for three beings to attain full enlightenment.


By commissioning the creation of a tsa-tsa, and thereby participating in this process, one gains tremendous benefit. The merit of providing a permanent resting place in the holy land of Tibet for the remains of the deceased is incredible. In addition, funds generated by this project will go directly to Terton Rinpoche, allowing him to continue his work of educating monks and nuns, building stupas, and training and supervising practitioners on retreat. In this way, you directly participate in keeping Buddhism in Tibet alive. Please see the About Us page for more information about Rinpoche and his projects.


Welcome To Sacred Passages

Making even one tsa-tsa  in the proper way will form the basis for three beings to attain full enlightenment.

                   -Terton Rinpoche