FPMT News Around the World

mbSickness and poor health are experiences shared by all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age or any other markers of identity that can separate one from another.

When it comes to advice for combating sickness and poor health, Lama Zopa Rinpoche always recommends Medicine Buddha practice, and advises using “sickness for the path.

FPMT Education has compiled some resources for students around the world who either suffer from physical or mental obstacles to their health or want to help others facing these challenges.

More Medicine Buddha resources can be found on the FPMT Foundation Store

facebooktwittergoogle_plus
Lama Zopa Rinpoche being greeted, Kushinagar, India, December 13, 2013. Photo by Andy Melnic.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche being greeted, Kushinagar, India, December 13, 2013. Photo by Andy Melnic.

FPMT has more than 20 centers and study groups in four Spanish-speaking countries and Mandala features several articles translated into español, available for free online. 

Student and coordinator of Thubten Kunkyab Study Group in Mexico Alejandro M. García recently translated “La Gran Estupa de la Compasión Universal” and “Progreso Gigantesco Para Los Proyectos Maitreya,” which appeared in English in the April-June 2014 issue. Spanish-speaking students can now read about the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Australia, slated to be the largest stupa in the Western world and the venue of the CPMT 2014 meeting in September, and about the progress of the Maitreya Projects, among the largest FPMT holy objects currently being planned and built in India.

In addition to what Mandala offers, FPMT education and practice materials, including advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche, are available in Spanish through the FPMT Foundation Store, FPMT Hispana, and Ediciones Mahayana. You can find links to Spanish-language books by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, published by Ediciones Dharma, on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. In addition, Spanish translations of many sutras can be found on FPMT.org via the search function.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read on Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus
Bodhgaya2580Golden Light

Lama Zopa Rinpoche reciting the Sutra of Golden Light at Mahabodhi Stupa,  Bodhgaya, India, March 2014, Photo by Andy Melnic.

Chokhor Duchen, one of the four great holy days of the Tibetan calendar, is just around the corner. Also known as the Festival of Turning the Wheel of Dharma, Chokhor Duchen commemorates the anniversary upon which Shakyamuni Buddha first began teaching the Dharma. For seven weeks after his enlightenment, the Buddha did not teach. After this period, Indra and Brahma offered a dharmachakra and a conch shell and requested Shakyamuni to teach. Accepting, Buddha Shakyamuni turned the Wheel of Dharma for the first time at Sarnath by teaching on the Four Noble Truths.

 

Chokhor Duchen takes place this year on Thursday, July 31. As a Buddha Multiplying Day, karmic results of actions on this day are multiplied one hundred million times. This amazing result is sourced by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to the vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logic.

You can find Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s recommended practices for this special day here (on Rinpoche’s Advice page, under Buddha Multiplying Days), and a calendar of all the holy days here.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with FPMT Sangha at the Light of the Path Retreat, NC, USA, May 2014.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with FPMT Sangha at the Light of the Path Retreat, NC, USA, May 2014.

Chokhor Duchen also commemorates FPMT’s TWELFTH INTERNATIONAL SANGHA DAY

Here is how you can celebrate monastics on Sangha Day, July 31, 2014:

  • Show respect for and appreciation of Sangha
  • Generate deeper awareness of the Sangha jewel
  • Donate to the Lama Yeshe Sangha Fund

Please keep in mind: According to Ven. Choden Rinpoche, one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachers, observation of auspicious days should be according to the date in India, not the date in one’s home country. Therefore, when Lama Zopa Rinpoche is not in India, Rinpoche celebrates Buddha Days and other auspicious dates according to the time in India.

Special thanks to the Liberation Prison Project for preparing the Tibetan Calendar.

If you choose to recite the Sutra of Golden Light on this special day, you might like to report your recitations using the facility on the FPMT website – which you can find on the Sutra of Golden Light reporting page. You can also find many other sutra texts available for free download on the FPMT Education Services’ Sutras page.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plus
Lama Zopa Rinpoche with the card "Compassion is of the Utmost Need," created by FPMT Education Services, Land of Medicine Buddha, California, September 2013. Photo by Chris Majors.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with the card “Compassion Is of the Utmost Need,” created by FPMT Education Services, Land of Medicine Buddha, California, September 2013. Photo by Chris Majors.

To help FPMT students around the world access the resources they need, FPMT Education Services have been working to restructure the pages, links and downloads on the FPMT Education Services sections of fpmt.org. You can find links to prayers and practices, sutras and mantras, advice, teachings and much more under the “Education” tab on fpmt.org.

FPMT Education Services has been called “the heart” of the FPMT organization because it creates high quality study programs suitable for all levels in accordance with the wishes and guidance of FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche. These programs are available in FPMT centers, as homestudy materials, or via the FPMT Online Learning Center. Education Services also publishes various practice materials in hard copy and digital formats, and works with a global network of educators, trainers, translators and publishers to develop valuable training programs and translations.

“If you look, then you can understand how fortunate we are having the opportunity to study [Dharma], Lama Zopa Rinpoche said. “With our Dharma knowledge and practice we can give the light of Dharma to others, in their heart. I think that’s the best service to sentient beings, the best service to the world.”

Please take a look at all the education resources that are available to you and share your suggestions (education@fpmt.org) for the continued improvement of the FPMT Education pages. 

The work of FPMT Education Services is supported in part by donations to the FPMT Education Fund and Friends of FPMT.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus
Saka Dawa butterlamp offering with "Old Lama Gyupa," Tushita Meditation Centre, Dharamsala, India, June 13, 2014. Photo courtesy of Tushita Meditation Centre.

Saka Dawa butterlamp offerings with “Old Lama Gyupa,” Tushita Meditation Centre, Dharamsala, India, June 13, 2014. Photo courtesy of Tushita Meditation Centre.

Tushita Meditation Centre is a bustling FPMT center in Dharamsala – the seat-in-exile of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Tushita staff recently wrote Mandala, sharing news about their Saka Dawa events:

Saka Dawa is one of the most important festival days of the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, celebrating Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and parinirvana. This year Saka Dawa fell on June 13. To begin the day, we held a butterlamp light offering puja with our resident “Old Lama Gyupa,” Ven. Thubten Dorjee, to make prayers and dedications for our center, sponsors and all sentient beings.

Students read the Golden Light Sutra in front of Lama Yeshe's Stupa, Tushita Meditation Centre, Dharamsala, India, June 13, 2014. Photo courtesy of Tushita Meditation Centre.

Students read the Golden Light Sutra in front of Lama Yeshe’s Stupa, Tushita Meditation Centre, Dharamsala, India, June 13, 2014. Photo courtesy of Tushita Meditation Centre.

Later, many people joined us for a special program of open drop-in sessions, including “What the Buddha Taught” with FPMT-registered teacher Glen Svensson, a group reading of the Golden Light Sutra on the lawn by Lama Yeshe’s Stupa, and a movie screening of the The Life of Buddha, an excellent BBC documentary. 

While the movie was showing, Tushita staff, volunteers and monastics used the auspicious day to refresh the statue boxes on Lama Yeshe’s Stupa. The statues were offered new clothes, and we were able to finally install the Ratnasambhava statue that we had made in Nepal to replace one that was stolen a year or so ago.

The program of Saka Dawa events concluded with a Medicine Buddha puja and then light offerings with meditation at Lama Yeshe’s Stupa.

Additionally, 15 hardcore practitioners joined our final set of nyung nä retreats, which ended on the morning of June 14.

It was also our beloved dog Nying-je’s 9th birthday. Before being renamed Nying-je Chenmo (Great Compassion) by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, she was previously called Saka Dawa, after the auspicious day she turned up at Tushita in 2005. Then, she was a malnourished, stray spitfire puppy. Now, she’s a well-fed, leisurely older woman, but still a very endearing character, much loved by all.

You can see more photos from Tushita’s Saka Dawa events on Facebook.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read on Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

Nying-Je Chenmo at an introductory course led by Glen Svensson at Tushita. Nying-je Chenmo recently turned 9. Photo courtesy of Tushita Meditation Centre.

Nying-je Chenmo at an introductory course led by Glen Svensson at Tushita. Nying-je Chenmo recently turned 9. Photo courtesy of Tushita Meditation Centre.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus
Over 100 people watched two videos in celebration of Amitabha Buddhist Centre's 25th anniversary, Singapore, June 7, 2014. Photo via Facebook (Amitabha Buddhist Centre).

Over 100 people watched two videos in celebration of Amitabha Buddhist Centre’s 25th anniversary, Singapore, June 7, 2014. Photo via Facebook (Amitabha Buddhist Centre).

On June 7, 2014, Amitabha Buddhist Centre (ABC) in Singapore celebrated its 25th anniversary. The center commissioned two videos, which were screened to an audience of about 130, including Khen Rinpoche Geshe Chonyi, ABC’s resident teacher since 1999 and current abbot of Kopan Monastery. In addition to The Heart of Our Happiness, a short documentary reflecting on ABC’s growth and accomplishments over 25 years, students watched Thank You, ABC Family!  Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s hour-long special message to ABC students and supporters. 

Amitabha Buddhist Centre offers the broader FPMT community Thank You, ABC Family!  as a subtitled video so that others can benefit from Rinpoche’s warm greetings and inspiring advice:

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read on Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus
Stupa at Land of Calm Abiding, California, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Land of Calm Abiding.

Enlightenment Stupa at Land of Calm Abiding, California, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Land of Calm Abiding.

A Land of Calm Abiding is a 485-acre (196-hectare) wilderness ranch in Big Sur, California and is dedicated to supporting long-term solitary retreats. Director Ven. Lhundup Chonyi (Patricia DeVoe) recently reported to Mandala some of the progress the center has made since June 2013.

In less than a year, our Enlightenment Stupa was completed with the motivation that it would become “a wish-fulfilling jewel.” On June 1, 2013, with 25 people present, the stupa was consecrated and dedicated to the long life of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Built within park-like surroundings, it is located near the entrance gate welcoming and blessing everyone who comes.

Nine months later, all eight of us who now live on the land, came together outside of the front of the main house and participated in a naga puja along with a consecration for the wonderful and completed water feature. With its bubbling sounds of water cascading down the eight steps and entering into the pool at the bottom, it creates such a pleasant and relaxing presence.

Rejoicing continues as the staff here, who were committed to setting aside two months for being in retreat mode, completed this challenge March 26, 2014. Each of us experienced this time in different ways and all three of us are unanimous that it changed our lives and perspective, affecting our minds and bodies, as well as enhancing our prayers and practices. By actually stopping and gradually moving into retreat mode regardless of what “needed to be done,” we emerged with a greater sense of meaning and confidence that we can actually serve residents on the land in a more healthy and spiritual manner.

All five retreat cabins are now occupied with meditators committed to accomplishing long retreats. Needless to say, there is a calmness that pervades throughout the land.

Land of Calm Abiding, California, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Land of Calm Abiding.

Water feature at Land of Calm Abiding, California, April 2014. Photo courtesy of Land of Calm Abiding.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read on Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus
His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the Chenrezig empowerment, Livorno, Italy, June 15, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the Chenrezig empowerment, Livorno, Italy, June 15, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrapped up his visit to Italy with two days of well attended public events on June 14-15 at Modigliani Forum in Livorno.

On the morning of June 14, His Holiness spoke on how on a basic level all human beings are the same. “His Holiness then remembered the great contributions from the learned scholars of Nalanda University in India such as Shantarakshita, Kamalashila and Dharmakirti,” DalaiLama.com reported. ”He said that Nalanda was not just a monastery but a great learning center. He expressed happiness that Tibetans have kept the Nalanda tradition alive having translated all major Nalanda teachings and commentaries into Tibetan. Buddhists from all around the world including China, Sri Lanka and Burma have shown recognition of this work and now many Buddhists are discussing and studying Buddhist philosophy.” 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama during afternoon teaching with Fabrizio Palliotti interpreting, Livorno, Italy, June 15, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the afternoon teaching with Fabrizio Palliotti interpreting, Livorno, Italy, June 15, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

In the afternoon, His Holiness spoke to a gathering of more than 200 Tibetans and then taught in the larger main venue on Nagarjuna’s “Letter to a Friend” and Tsongkhapa’s “Praise of Dependent Origination.” 

_NEP3652-001

Children asking questions at end of His Holiness’ talk, Livorno, Italy, June 15, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

On June 15, His Holiness offered a Chenrezig empowerment during the morning session. In the afternoon, he gave a talk on “Compassionate Ethics,” attended by more than 6,000 people. The talk was followed by an hour-long question and answer period.

“Lama Zopa Rinpoche concluded the program with thanks to His Holiness for blessing Lama Tzong Khapa Institute with his presence and he also thanked all concerned for making His Holiness’s visit a success. The Director of Lama Tzong Khapa Institute Mr. Fillipo [Scianna] thanked His Holiness for the teachings, the Avalokitesvara Empowerment and his public talk on compassionate ethics. His Holiness then offered scarves to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Mr. Fillipo and all the interpreters,” reported DalaiLama.com.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama offering a khata to Filippo Scianna, director of Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Livorno, Italy, June 15. Photo by Olivier Adam.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama offering a khata to Filippo Scianna, director of Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Livorno, Italy, June 15. Photo by Olivier Adam.

In total, His Holiness spent a week in Italy, participating in events organized by Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa (ILTK), the FPMT center located in Tuscany region of Italy. During the visit, His Holiness spent several days at ILTK in the village of Pomaia, where he gave a talk and blessed a restored Chenrezig statue. Filmmakers have documented the visit in many beautiful short videos available on the Dalai Lama Italy YouTube channel

VIDEO: Day 5 of His Holiness’ Visit to Italy

“I had a very memorable visit here in Italy. It is now time to say goodbye, not just to Italy, but to this heat,” His Holiness said, as reported by DalaiLama.com. “We are separating for the time being but in spirit we are together. We will remain friends until our death. Everyone please realize that the ultimate source of our happiness is within oneself, and does not depend on outside sources. So please pay more attention to inner moral values. Please keep this in mind.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama descending from throne, Livorno, Italy, June 15, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama descending from throne, Livorno, Italy, June 15, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

His Holiness traveled next to Leh, Ladakh, in mountainous northern India. His Holiness will be conferring the Kalacharkra initiation in July in Ladakh.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche also was present for the events with His Holiness and remains in Italy through the end of the month. Rinpoche is attending the FPMT European Regional Meeting, which is taking place June 17-18 at ILTK, and will also give teachings there on June 28-29.

For more detailed news on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s activities, visit His Holiness’ website at DalaiLama.com. You can also read Mandala’s coverage of His Holiness. Visit Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa online at www.iltk.org/en.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read on Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plus
Kylie Plunkett begins the ordination ceremony with Choden Rinpoche overseeing, Vajrayana Institute, Ashfield, NSW, Australia, March 2014. Photo courtesy of Vajrayana Institute.

Kylie Plunkett begins the ordination ceremony with Choden Rinpoche overseeing, Vajrayana Institute, Ashfield, NSW, Australia, March 2014. Photo courtesy of Vajrayana Institute.

“Sydney’s Vajrayana Institute (VI) hosted Choden Rinpoche for one week in March, along with his wonderful translator, Voula Zarpani,” shared Kathy Graham, Vajrayana Institute’s communications manager. ”During this blessed time, students received a number of teachings and initiations from the great master including a general teaching on the Eight Verses of Mind Training, a commentary on ‘taking the three bodies into the path,’ and a conferral of the action tantra form of Vajrasattva.

“Choden Rinpoche also very kindly presided over an ordination ceremony for new monks and nuns, among them Liberation Prison Project’s Ven. Gyalten Drolkar (formerly, Kylie Plunkett), and offered the eight Mahayana precepts on what was an auspicious Buddha Day, when the merit of taking precepts and other virtues multiplies 100 million times. Plus, a number of lucky students got to accompany Rinpoche on a visit to Sydney Wildlife Zoo.

“The center also hosted the Maitreya Loving Kindness Tour, a collection of sacred relics of the Buddha and other Buddhist masters touring Australia, and exhibited at VI on the weekend of March 28. The event was a huge success. More than 200 visitors attended the opening ceremony alone, which featured chanting by monks, prayers, a presentation by the tour team about the relics, and a talk on ‘The Power of Loving Kindness’ by Jonathon Fisher of the Wake Up Project. All told, around 1,000 people viewed the relics with many receiving personal blessings – along with their beloved pets.

“Then to top off what’s been an amazing few months at VI, Khadro-la (Rangjung Neljorma Khadro Namsel Drolma) was our special guest last weekend, April 11-13. Visitors filled the gompa on Friday night to hear her public talk ’How to Develop Wisdom and Compassion’ and attend her weekend teachings ‘What Can Buddhism Bring to Your Daily Life – Whether You’re Buddhist or Not.’ We feel very fortunate here at Vajrayana Institute!”

Khadro-la teaches to a packed gompa at Vajrayana Institute, Ashfield, NSW, Australia, April 2014. Photo via  Vajrayana Institute's Facebook.

Khadro-la teaches to a packed gompa at Vajrayana Institute, Ashfield, NSW, Australia, April 2014. Photo via Vajrayana Institute’s Facebook.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read on Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus
His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Pomaia, Italy, June 13, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Pomaia, Italy, June 13, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a teaching on Saka Dawa, Friday, June 13, at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa (ILTK) in Italy. He also blessed a newly restored 16-foot (5-meter) tall Chenrezig statute. The statue had been part of the set for the movie Kundun and was beautifully restored by community members at ILTK.

You can watch a short documentary of day four of the events at ILTK, including the blessing of the Chenrezig statue. Dalai Lama Italia has produced several beautiful videos of His Holiness’ visit. 

His Holiness taught on the importance of developing love and compassion as well as on the value of philosophical study and of educating children. Education is a central aspect of ILTK’s program. FPMT’s seven-year Masters Program has been offered twice at the center. The intensive residential study program will be offered again at ILTK beginning in 2015.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Father Laurence Freeman, Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Pomaia, Italy, June 13, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Father Laurence Freeman, Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Pomaia, Italy, June 13, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

During the talk, His Holiness had his friend Father Laurence Freeman, a British Benedictine monk, join him on stage. At the press conference on June 12, “His Holiness stressed the need for religious harmony. He mentioned that he always maintains contact with the practitioners of other faiths and traditions, who carry the same practice of love, compassion, tolerance and forgiveness,” DalaiLama.com reported.

Audience members at His Holiness the Dalai Lama's talk at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Italy, June 13, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

Audience members at His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s talk at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Italy, June 13, 2014. Photo by Olivier Adam.

His Holiness will continue his visit to Italy in Livorno, where he teaches on “The Wisdom of Compassion” June 14-15. 

For more detailed news on His Holiness’ activities, visit His Holiness’ website at DalaiLama.com.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read on Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plus