FPMT » FPMT News Around the World http://fpmt.org Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:56:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 LRZTP7 Introduces Tibetan Langauge Teacher Franziska Oertlehttp://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/lrztp7-introduces-tibetan-langauge-teacher-franziska-oertle/ http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/lrztp7-introduces-tibetan-langauge-teacher-franziska-oertle/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:30:28 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=45532 ... Read full article]]>
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Franziska Oertle, 2014

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Franziska Oertle, 2014

In October 2015 the seventh Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo Translator Programme (LRZTP7) will begin. LRZTP is FPMT’s only Tibetan-language interpretation program, located in Dharamsala, India. Students spend two years in Dharamsala acquiring the language skills necessary for interpretation and can spend another two years outside of Dharamsala receiving onsite training as an apprentice interpreter.

One of LRZTP7’s newest teachers is Swiss-born Franziska Oertle. After meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2006, Franziska moved to Bouddhnath, Nepal, where she lived with a Tibetan host family and studied Buddhist philosophy and Himalayan languages at Kathmandu University (Rangjung Yeshe Institute – RYI). After finishing her Bachelors degree in 2009, she worked as a Tibetan language instructor and interpreter trainer while completing her Masters degree in Tibetan grammar.

Since then, Franziska as been teaching colloquial Tibetan language on various levels and institutions in Nepal and India including: the Emory University Study Abroad semester; the RYI Intensive Summer Course; the School of International Training; and Sarah College.

Wishing to contribute to Tibetan language learners as well as the preservation of the endangered Tibetan language, Franziska is writing a colloquial Tibetan manual. Unlike other textbooks, it synthesizes traditional indigenous Tibetan grammar and contemporary language learning methods.

LRZTP7 director Yaron Bahir sat down with Franziska to talk to her about the studying and teaching of Tibetan: 

Franziska Oertle

Franziska Oertle

What is the benefit of studying the Tibetan language?

Since language is inherently linked with culture, one can probably only gain a deep and thorough understanding of Tibetan people and the Dharma if one knows the Tibetan language. One of the major personal gains is being directly able to understand Tibetan lamas and rinpoches.

On a more global level, every Tibetan language student contributes to the preservation of an endangered language. And in the case of translators, they are the bridge between languages and cultures and are indispensable for the spreading of the Dharma.

What methods of teaching do you use to teach the Tibetan language?

The Tibetan language is very peculiar and its grammar extremely vast, profound, and beautiful. Therefore, I find it very important for students to understand the Tibetan language from within by studying the two major Tibetan grammar treatises, the Sum cu pa and rTags kyi ‘jug pa. At the same time, in order for the language to become alive we need to embrace contemporary (communicational) teaching methods and a large variety of different activities, supports, and materials, such as dialogues, stories, games, audio, electronic dictionaries, flash card programs on phones and iPads, etc.

Do you have any brief advice for anyone who wants to study Tibetan?

You just have to love it! When we love what we are doing, we learn more quickly and happily. And my second heart advice: immerse and connect yourself into the Tibetan-speaking world as much as you can. Ideally, if your life-conditions permit, live for some time in a Tibetan-speaking part of the world.

Registration for LRZTP7 is now open. Please visit the website for more information: www.lrztp.org

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from nearly 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.

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Kopan Nun Earns First Position in Third Round of Geshe-ma Examshttp://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/kopan-nun-earns-first-position-in-third-round-of-geshe-ma-exams/ http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/kopan-nun-earns-first-position-in-third-round-of-geshe-ma-exams/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 18:30:38 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=45788 ... Read full article]]>
Vens. Jangchub Gyalmo and Namdrol Phuntsok, October 2012.

Vens. Jangchub Gyalmo and Namdrol Phuntsok, October 2012. Ven. Namdrol Phuntsok recently placed first for third-year nuns during the May 2015 exam round.

Tibetan Nuns Project recently announced on its website the results of the third round of geshe exams for women (sometimes referred to as “geshe-ma exams”) that took place May 1-12, 2015 at Jangchub Choeling Nunnery in southern India. Two of the 37 nuns who participated in the exams this year came from Kopan Nunnery. Ven. Namdrol Phuntsok, from Kopan, earned the first position within the third-year group (comprised of 20 women). The exams include debate and written papers.

The Geshe-ma degree, equivalent to the Geshe degree for men, is the culmination of scholastic learning for Gelug nuns. Although women have been traditionally excluded from participation in geshe studies, support from Gelug religious and political authorities, such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, allowed the geshe-ma exams to begin in 2012 under the supervision of the Geshema Examination Board, made up of representatives from the Tibetan government, the Tibetan Nuns Project, the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics and six concerned nunneries located in India and Nepal.

The geshe-ma examinations include debate, Jangchub Choeling Nunnery, Mundgod, India, May 2015. Photo via Tibetan Nuns Project (tnp.org).

The geshe-ma examinations include debate, Jangchub Choeling Nunnery, Mundgod, India, May 2015. Photo via Tibetan Nuns Project (tnp.org).

Ven. Namdrol Phuntsok, along with classmate Ven. Jangchub Gyalmo, shared in the interview “A Straight and Steady Motivation” (Mandala January-March 2013) how important it will be for the first women to get the Geshe degree:

“It is not entirely sure that we will earn our Geshe degrees. But if we get the degree, we will be in a role in which we take on some responsibilities. We will offer beneficial service like teaching or sharing the essence of the Buddhadharma and encouraging its practice here in Nepal or in other countries. Or if we stay in the nunnery, we will teach other young nuns what we know. …”

The first Geshe degrees for Tibetan nuns will be awarded after the fourth set of exams in 2016.

Nuns taking written exam for Geshe degree, Jangchub Choeling Nunnery, Mundgod, India, May 2015. Photo via Tibetan Nuns Project (tnp.org).

Nuns taking written exam for Geshe degree, Jangchub Choeling Nunnery, Mundgod, India, May 2015. Photo via Tibetan Nuns Project (tnp.org).

In April 2011, Geshe Kelsang Wangmo made history by becoming the first female geshe. 

You can support FPMT’s projects for nuns and monks through the Supporting Ordained Sangha Fund.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from nearly 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.

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Rinchen Jangsem Ling Retreat Centre Completes 8th Annual Mani Retreathttp://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/rinchen-jangsem-ling-retreat-centre-completes-8th-annual-mani-retreat/ http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/rinchen-jangsem-ling-retreat-centre-completes-8th-annual-mani-retreat/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 17:47:57 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=45723 ... Read full article]]>
Some participants of the 8th annual Saka Dawa mani retreat held by Rinchen Jansem Ling Retreat Centre, Triang, Malaysaia, June 2015. Photo courtesy of Rinchen Jansem Ling Retreat Centre.

Some participants of the 8th annual Saka Dawa mani retreat held by Rinchen Jansem Ling Retreat Centre, Triang, Malaysaia, June 2015. Photo courtesy of Rinchen Jansem Ling Retreat Centre.

Rinchen Jangsem Ling Retreat Centre (RJL) in Malaysia recently completed its 8th annual one-month mani retreat, a tradition for the center during Saka Dawa (mid-May to mid-June) encouraged by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Two hundred forty-six participants from four countries accumulated 22,592,107 mani recitations, the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM.

This retreat is designed to make it easy for people from around the world to participate and create merits in this auspicious month at home,” said Ven. Sonam, who coordinated the event. “The commitment for doing the retreat is to recite at least one mala (108 manis) every day and complete the recitation without any interruption until the last day of the retreat. Participants who have completed at least 11,000 mantras have their names sent to Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche for blessings. In addition, those who have completed one or more sets of 110,000 mani mantras can designate a name to be engraved on a plaque next to a beautiful Tara statue for each set.”

During the month, RJL invites all participants to Sunday practices at the gompa for the opportunity to generate merit together as a community. Additionally, the center organizes a nyung nä, an intensive two-day Chenrezig retreat, for students.

This year we would like to specially dedicate our mani retreat for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama who is celebrating his 80th birthday in July and to the victims of the Nepalese earthquake,” Ven. Sonam said.

Annual 100 million mani retreats are one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Vast Visions.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from nearly 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.

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“Anye” Uses Fashion to Support Orphans of Tara Children’s Projecthttp://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/anye-uses-fashion-to-support-orphans-of-tara-childrens-project/ http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/anye-uses-fashion-to-support-orphans-of-tara-childrens-project/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 17:39:11 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=42045 ... Read full article]]>
"Compassion is the real money" bamboo t-shirt by Anye. Design by Cajvanean Alexandru | Photo by Greer Tilford Model | Model: Michaella Shannon

“Compassion is the real money” bamboo t-shirt by Anye. Design by Cajvanean Alexandru | Photo by Greer Tilford Model | Model: Michaella Shannon

Canadian FPMT student Ryan Wright recently launched Anye, a non-profit organization dedicated to having a direct positive social impact, particularly on young people. By offering “suffering-free” and fashionable graphic t-shirts and tank tops, Anye splits 100% of its profits between Tara Children’s Project, an orphanage run by FPMT center Root Institute for HIV-affected children and youth in Bodhgaya, India, and the Pundarika Humanitarian Foundation, a non-FPMT organization which provides education programs for women and girls from rural Nepal and Tibet. Although Anye’s current priority is its “heartcore” fashion line, the organization regularly does Lama Zopa Rinpoche-inspired animal liberations and has plans to start implementing meditation programs in Canadian high schools. Mandala asked Ryan a few questions about Anye’s evolution and future:

How did you come up with Anye? Is it just another fashion company?

The idea for Anye was conceived in 2011, while I was in Bodhgaya, India. I spent four months there that year in order to complete the preliminary practice of prostrations at Mahabodhi Temple. Notably, His Holiness the Dalai Lama came to Bodhgaya that year to give the Kalachakra, so it was a very inspiring time!

During those four months I was just so deeply inspired, both by the practice and by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and everything he does to benefit others! Some of that started to rub off on me I think. As the practice progressed, I really wanted nothing more than to commit my life to sustained, dedicated meditation practice and to being of service to others any way that I could. The idea for Anye just popped into my mind one day while on a break from practicing. It really began as a very simple notion: to promote altruism in the world.

Growing up, I had always appreciated “cool” and unique t-shirts. However, sadly, many t-shirt companies often fall short when it comes to production, not choosing environmentally friendly or “suffering-free” clothing to put their designs on. For this reason, our team decided that we would simply create our own distinct t-shirt line, shirts that we would be excited to walk around in and that are created in a socially and environmentally responsible way  Dharma inspired clothing, what we call “heartcore clothing.”

This also provided a unique opportunity to promote virtue, both through the designs (i.e., the messages on each shirt) and by donating profits to amazing, volunteer-run partner charities like the Tara Children’s Project.

What makes Anye’s clothes “suffering-free”?

I’ve read in several places that the textile industry is one of the largest contributors to global warming. Accordingly, all of our clothes are earth friendly (organic cotton, bamboo, etc.). As well, our clothing line is sweatshop-free and supports education programs for children in Asia.

Our clothing line was created with the sole purpose of being able to support children and youth from rural areas of India, Nepal, and Tibet, helping cover the costs of their schooling. By buying one of our garments, at the very least, you are sending a child to school for two weeks! Our customers actually get to pick the price they pay for our apparel, which determines how much we are then able to pass on to the education programs (e.g., sending a child to school for either two weeks, one month, or two months). Our model can be summed up as follows: make a donation, send a child to school, and receive any piece of Anye apparel as reward for your act of kindness and generosity.

Some of the children supported by Tara Children's Project, Bodhgaya, India, March 2014. Photo by Andy Melnic.

Some of the children supported by Tara Children’s Project, Bodhgaya, India, March 2014. Photo by Andy Melnic.

Why Tara Children’s Project?

Tara Children’s Project is connected to the FPMT; it is an orphanage for children affected by HIV. Having HIV in a place like India, where there is still a lot of stigma and discrimination, can be pretty tough. India is so populated and if you have ever been then you know that people can often get left by the wayside there, especially if they are subject to poverty, lack familial support, or have a disability or chronic illness. Being an orphan with HIV is a pretty challenging spot to be in anywhere in the world, but especially in India!

Fortunately, antiretroviral medication is free there, which is amazing, but getting an education is really the most important chance the Tara Children’s Project children have to overcome the stigma they face. And so that’s where we are trying to help. We spoke with Andy Melnic, who is the project coordinator and who let us know this is where they could use some support.

At present, there are 22 children at Tara Children’s Project that we are working to cover the education costs for through Anye. Ideally, we would like to be able to send US$550 per month to them, which would cover the tuition for all of their children.

Keeping the focus on education, we also added the Pundarika Humanitarian Foundation as a second project we support because of the pioneering education programs they provide for young girls from Nepal and Tibet, girls who wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to go to school.

Children head to school on the bus the serves Tara Children's Project and the Maitreya School. Photo courtesy of Anye.

Children head to school on the bus that serves Tara Children’s Project and the Maitreya School. Photo courtesy of Anye.

Tell us about the animal liberations.

Our goal is to be of as much benefit as possible! Animal liberation is one of my favorite practices to do in Asia and so, after returning to the West, we just formalized that practice as part of what we do here too.

Importantly, our animal liberation efforts are peaceful, meaning we purchase the animals. We follow the advice of both Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Chatrul Rinpoche during our liberations. This involves a lot of prayers, prayers for the animals and their long lives, prayers for the upliftment of all life on this planet, prayers for the environment, etc. We also work hard to never buy from the same store/seller more than once so as not to create more of a market for the buying and selling of animals and insects and we always return the animals back to the same eco-system they came from. As an example, if liberating fish or lobsters we make sure to put them back in the ocean or lake they came out of. This is really important!

"Love to love" organic tank top by Anye. Design by Giulio Rossi | Photo by Greer Tilford Model | Model: Rylan Schultz

“Love to love” organic tank top by Anye.
Design by Giulio Rossi | Photo by Greer Tilford Model | Model: Rylan Schultz

How has the launch gone so far? What are the next steps?

Everything has been great so far. Many people seem to like what we are trying to do with the clothes. Starting a new brand can be a bit slow going at first, but we have lots of great design ideas and are excited about bringing these to life in the near future. Both volunteer-run organizations are doing such amazing work and our hope is simply to inspire others to get involved and help them out any way that they are able. This is the main focus of our clothing line. My hope is that Anye can eventually become a self-sustaining operation that continues to provide financial support to the children from Tara Children’s Project and the Pundarika Humanitarian Foundation year round.

Benefiting animals in any way possible is a priority for FPMT and one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Vast Visions for the organization. Both the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund and the Animal Liberation Fund support animal liberation activities around the world. 

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from nearly 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.

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Institut Vajra Yogini Completes Fourth Annual Nyung Nä Retreathttp://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/institut-vajra-yogini-completes-fourth-annual-nyung-na-retreat/ http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/institut-vajra-yogini-completes-fourth-annual-nyung-na-retreat/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:00:47 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=45314 ... Read full article]]>
Fire puja after the 108th nyung nä session of Institut Vajra Yogini's fourth annual nyung nä retreat, Marzens, France, June 22, 2015. Photo courtesy of Institut Vajra Yogini.

Fire puja after the 108th nyung nä session of Institut Vajra Yogini’s fourth annual nyung nä retreat, Marzens, France, June 22, 2015. Photo courtesy of Institut Vajra Yogini.

Each year Lama Zopa Rinpoche, through the Practice and Retreat Fund, personally sponsors up to 10 people willing to do 100 nyung näs – an intensive and demanding two-day Chenrezig retreat – at Institut Vajra Yogini (IVY) in France. Institut Vajra Yogini started a yearly retreat to help make one of Rinpoche’s Vast Visions come true – that some practitioners might complete 1,000 nyung näs during their lifetimes. François Lecointre, center director, shares news about the completion of IVY’s fourth annual nyung nä retreat.

Six people tried to do all 108 nyung näs, but only Ven. Charles managed to do every single session. The other five people all had to miss a few for various reasons (sickness, lung, family problems, etc.), but the five of them accumulated a total of 450 nyung näs.

These five “Dharma heroes” are:

  • Norman Gröning, a young lay Dutch man who had already done 100 last year. He did 96 this year at IVY, but had done 43 alone just a few months before.
  • Toine Janssen, a long-time Dutch lay resident at Nalanda Monastery, did 102.
  • Nathalie Lecrux, a quite new but very enthusiastic French student, did 106.
  • Rowena Fish, a British woman, did 64.
  • Thomas Geldern, a German man and Rowena’s partner, did 82.
Collage of last nyung nä session, Marzens, France,  June 22, 2015. Photo courtesy of Institut Vajra Yogini.

Collage of last nyung nä session, Marzens, France, June 22, 2015. Photo courtesy of Institut Vajra Yogini.

Sixteen other people completed eight nyung näs or more: Pierre Cristiani (40), Christophe Adell (40), Patrice Castaing (15), Philippe Sudre (13), Annie Boyer (13), Antony Darreux (11), Dani Villalta (10), Franz Millier (10), Christine Motta (10), Corinne Pian (10), Marie Vaysse (10), Conor Downes (9), Laurette Laboureur (9), Didier Hosotte (9), Yann Dulac (8) and Sharon Overbey (8).

101 other people did one to seven nyung näs.

If we add up everybody, there were 123 different participants from mid-November 2014 to the end of June 2015 and 1,028 individual nyung näs have been accumulated. On average, we have had between 7 to 15 people participating in each single session.

We want to thank Rinpoche for giving us this wonderful opportunity to practice and to organize and to serve such a wonderful and beneficial retreat. May Rinpoche bless us so that we’ll be able to fulfill his wishes. We want Rinpoche to know that we particularly wish to dedicate all the merits that have been generated to his long life, good health and the immediate fulfillment of all his holy wishes.

Collage of various nyung nä sessions, Marzens, France, November 2014 - June 2015. Photo courtesy of Institut Vajra Yogini.

Collage of various nyung nä sessions, Marzens, France, November 2014 – June 2015. Photo courtesy of Institut Vajra Yogini.

A fifth round will be organized from mid-November 2015 to the end of June 2016. Please contact  Institut Vajra Yogini if you are interested in participating in any way, to simply learn more or to offer to sponsor a retreatant.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from nearly 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.

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New Online Feature: ‘How Do Holy Objects Work?’http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/new-online-feature-how-do-holy-objects-work/ http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/new-online-feature-how-do-holy-objects-work/#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2015 15:00:11 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=45859 ... Read full article]]>
Lama Zopa Rinpoche making offerings to the Mahabodhi Stupa, Bodhgaya, India, February 2015. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche making offerings to the Mahabodhi Stupa, Bodhgaya, India, February 2015. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.

Ven. Tenzin Legtsok, an American monk in his 12th-year of geshe studies at Sera Monastery in India, discusses the power of stupas and other sacred objects in Mandala‘s newest online feature: “How Do Holy Objects Work?” Ven. Legtsok begins with an explanation of a common teaching story about a fly benefiting greatly by unintentionally circumambulating a stupa.

The story, told in Liberation in the Palm of Your Handis about an old man named Shrijata who wanted to leave his home and take ordination. Venerable Shariputra refused to give Shrijata novice vows, explaining that he didn’t have the roots of virtue to be able to keep ordination. Shrijata was utterly disappointed. Shakyamuni Buddha saw the situation through his clairvoyance, appeared to Shrijata and told him that he does have the roots of virtue to take ordination, but that this virtue is so subtle that Shariputra could not see it. This virtue, the Buddha said, was created in Shrijata’s past life when as a fly – following a cartload of dung – he unknowingly circumambulated a stupa.

“… But a question remains: how does an inanimate object – no matter how sacred – affect sentient beings regardless of their motivation? This is not so easy of a question to answer. If you’re in doubt that the Buddha taught this, the idea is reiterated in the King of Concentrations Sutra, where it says that even looking upon a drawing of a stupa with a mind of anger creates the cause to see millions of buddhas in the future. Similar statements are made in other sutras – such as the Sutra of Golden Light or the Sanghata Sutra – about how hearing merely a few lines from these sutras purifies negative karma collected over eons and helps a practitioner accumulate inconceivable amounts of merit. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has explained that such effects are due to the power of prayer. ‘It’s like mantra,’ Lama Zopa Rinpoche says. ‘A mantra has power because a buddha blesses it to have power. A mantra is powerful because a buddha makes it powerful. This [ability], the power of prayer, is one of a buddha’s 10 powers.'” Read more …

In case you missed last month’s online feature, “A Many-Splendored Thing: Anne Carolyn Klein on the Transmission of Tibetan Buddhism,” you can read it now. If you like Mandala’s online features, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work as well as the education programs of FPMT.

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Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Celebrated Saka Dawa with Festival of Light [VIDEO]http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/great-stupa-of-universal-compassion-celebrated-saka-dawa-with-festival-of-light-video/ http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/great-stupa-of-universal-compassion-celebrated-saka-dawa-with-festival-of-light-video/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 17:45:18 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=45578 ... Read full article]]>
Fireworks during the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion's Festival of Lights, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, May 30, 2015. Photo by Pic Nhung Tran via JadeBuddhaPeace on Twitter.

Fireworks during the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion’s Festival of Lights, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, May 30, 2015. Photo by Pic Nhung Tran via JadeBuddhaPeace on Twitter.

On May 30, 2015, the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Australia, celebrated its Wesak Festival of Light during what in Tibetan is known as Saka Dawa, the holiday celebrating the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and parinirvana. The celebration included the interfaith sharing of peace flags made by Bendigo schoolchildren, lively cultural dances and drumming performances, fireworks, and the unvailing of Tummo, the inner-fire breathing dragon, installed on the stupa to protect it and its visitors. Liz Martin caught the festivities on film.

Watch Wesak Festival of Light at the Great Stupa from Liz Martin on Vimeo.

The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, directed by long-time student Ian Green, will be the largest stupa in the Western world once completed.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from nearly 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.

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Even More FPMT Centers Celebrate His Holiness’ 80th Birthdayhttp://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/even-more-fpmt-centers-celebrate-his-holiness-80th-birthday/ http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/even-more-fpmt-centers-celebrate-his-holiness-80th-birthday/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 18:30:44 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=45602 ... Read full article]]>
Dorje Chang Institute celebrating His Holiness' 80th birthday, New Zealand, July 2015. Photo courtesy of DCI.

Dorje Chang Institute celebrating His Holiness’ 80th birthday, New Zealand, July 2015. Photo by Raul Cornejo Reyes.

Last week, we shared stories of how FPMT centers, projects and services were celebrating His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. Since then, we’ve received a few more updates, which means more rejoicing for us all!

Lunch at Dorje Chang, New Zealand, July 2015

Community lunch after offerings and prayers for His Holiness at Dorje Chang Institute, New Zealand, July 2015. Photo by Raul Cornejo Reyes.

“The Dorje Chang Institute community joined by members of the Auckland Tibetan community and Chinese-Tibetan Friendship Association celebrated His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday with long life prayers, light offerings, Tibetan song, a Tibetan tune on violin, a shared community dinner and homemade cake,” wrote Ven. Gyalten Wangmo, the spritual program coordinator (SPC) at Dorje Chang, which is in Auckland, New Zealand. “Auspiciously, one of the members of the Chinese-Tibetan Friendship Association offered a scrolled poem inspired by His Holiness that he composed at Wu Tai Shan (Five Peak Manjushri Mountain) in China.”

Offerings for His Holiness' birthday at Longku Center, Bern, Switzerland, July 2015

Offerings for His Holiness’ birthday at Longku Center, Bern, Switzerland, July 2015

Doing animal liberation for worms at Longku Center, Bern Switzerland, July 2015

Doing animal liberation for worms at Longku Center, Bern, Switzerland, July 2015

Longku Center in Bern, Switzerland, wrote, “We had a very nice afternoon and evening at Longku on Monday, July 6, with animal liberation, sadhana and long long life prayer, light offerings and birthday cake. The days before Monday, the Maitreya Loving Kindness Tour happened to be in Bern, so Ven. Rita and Ven. Drime took the worms with them and they were able to get the blessings from the relics!”
Ven. Tenzin Chogkyi at Gendun Drubpa Buddhist Centre, B.C., Canada, July 2015

Ven. Tenzin Chogkyi at Gendun Drubpa Buddhist Centre, B.C., Canada, July 2015

“At Gendun Drubpa Buddhist Centre, Williams Lake, B.C., Canada, our resident teacher Ven. Tenzin Chogkyi gave an inspiring talk and led a discussion on compassion. Afterward, we celebrated His Holiness’ 80th birthday with cake!” wrote Dianne Noort, SPC at Gendun Drubpa.
“One of our remote members, who could not attend, sent this message: ‘Through meditation, reflection and daily social interactions, my commitment to understand and not judge the lives of others and to recognize their pain and suffering has undoubtedly made me a more kind and compassionate person. As one’s awareness deepens, so does one’s capacity to act, speak and think more compassionately. To celebrate His Holiness’ birthday, I will be strengthening my commitment to compassion through ritual, contemplation and deliberate acts of giving and kindness.”
Aryatara Institut, Munich, Germany, July 2015

Aryatara Institut, Munich, Germany, July 2015

“The Aryatara Institut in Munich celebrated the birthday of His Holiness by creating tsa-tsas followed by an animal liberation,” shared Robert Schwabe, SPC at Aryatara Institut. “Starting at 6 p.m. more than 17 people came to create tsa-tsas of Shakyamuni Buddha, Green Tara, Padmasambhava and Buddha Maitreya. The participation was higher than we expected. We even ran out of tsa-tsa molds, so people had to wait a little until the molds had dried and could be used again.

“At 7:30, we paused the tsa-tsa creation with performing an animal liberation from the FPMT prayer book. Some people brought their own dogs from home. The Aryatara Institut bought 240 house crickets from the pet shop that were meant as food for reptiles. We recited prayers and mantras for the benefit of these animals while some people circumambulated a stupa. One participant later said that she felt happy and a strong connection to the crickets she was holding during the circumambulation. The house crickets were later freed by the participants in a nearby park.

“After the liberation, people stayed to continue creating more tsa-tsas and also to paint them in gold.

“It was a very joyful event. People were very happy to have come and reported looking forward to the next opportunity to create tsa-tsas and liberate animals.”

Aryatara Institut, Munich, Germany, July 2015

Aryatara Institut, Munich, Germany, July 201

FPMT.org shares news of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like our news updates, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

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Lama Yeshe on the Significance of His Holiness the Dalai Lamahttp://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/lama-yeshe-on-the-significance-of-his-holiness-the-dalai-lama/ http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/lama-yeshe-on-the-significance-of-his-holiness-the-dalai-lama/#comments Sat, 11 Jul 2015 18:30:05 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=45582 ... Read full article]]>
His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Lama Yeshe during His Holiness' visit to O.Sel.Ling Centro de Retiros, Spain, 1982. Photo courtesy of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Lama Yeshe during His Holiness’ visit to O.Sel.Ling Centro de Retiros, Spain, 1982. Photo courtesy of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

From “FPMT’s First Request to His Holiness,” Mandala October-December 2011:

“In 1979, FPMT made its first official request to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to give teachings in centers of the newly forming organization. FPMT repeated the invitation in 1980 and again in 1981. Upon the last request, His Holiness accepted. When Lama Yeshe heard the good news, he commented that his ‘job had been successful.’ His Holiness visiting Lama Yeshe’s centers guaranteed their future growth and the success of Lama’s work to establish Buddha’s teachings in the West.

“During the tour, which occurred in September and October 1982, His Holiness visited three European FPMT centers – Nagarjuna Institute in Spain, Institut Vajra Yogini in France and Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa in Italy. It was by all accounts a tremendous, auspicious success. Since this first invitation, many FPMT centers worldwide have been blessed to host His Holiness for public talks and empowerments.”

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at Chenrezig Institute, Eudlo, Queensland, Australia, June 2011. Photo by Bonnie Jenkins.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at Chenrezig Institute, Eudlo, Queensland, Australia, June 2011. Photo by Bonnie Jenkins.

After His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s first visit Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa in 1982, Lama Yeshe had this to say about the visit’s significance:

“For His Holiness to come to the Western world is the insurance that Buddhism has been established culturally in the various countries and centers, that Buddhism is not some kind of trip. It is insurance that Buddhism is something cultural, something truly and sincerely involved in serious work, and is becoming part of the future for the Western world. I really feel that His Holiness coming to Europe is like Guru Shakyamuni coming to this earth to make firm the Dharma, the wisdom light that is the path to liberation for all European people. …

“I think His Holiness is the light to purify all kinds of negativities that are vibrating – objectifying Buddhism and, within Buddhist circles, holding on to sectarianism. I think His Holiness is the completely equanimous representative of not only the Tibetan tradition, but of the entire world’s religions: he is the universal representative.

“Therefore, especially at this critical time, I think His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s coming is very important for all people, not only for religious people, but even non-religious people, to make the world community harmonious. His Holiness’ message, from my understanding when listening to his lectures, is universal love, universal compassion, and for each of us to take universal responsibility to bring universal people to happiness. Somehow everybody understands that message.

“I think the Dalai Lama’s coming is an incredible, incredible blessing. I and the Western people really feel something very unusual now that His Holiness has come. There is some kind of incredible harmony and good understanding between everyone in our global community. I think this understanding brings better peace, liberation and harmony to the world. I think it is very important because His Holiness teaches the best way for harmonious development, individually and universally.”

Lama Yeshe’s complete comments are available on Bringing Dharma to the West, a DVD from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive featuring Lama Yeshe’s 1982 interviews with Geoff Jukes and Brian Beresford about Buddhism coming to the West, the development of FPMT centers and related topics.

FPMT.org shares news of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like our news updates, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

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FPMT Offers Service to His Holiness the Dalai Lamahttp://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/fpmt-offers-service-to-his-holiness-the-dalai-lama/ http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/fpmt-offers-service-to-his-holiness-the-dalai-lama/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 18:58:14 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=45556 ... Read full article]]>
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Italy, June 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, Italy, June 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

“[I would like] for FPMT to offer service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as much as possible and to be able to fulfill His Holiness’ wishes. This is the highest priority for the organization,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche said, outlining his Vast Vision for FPMT. Throughout the past several decades, FPMT centers, projects, services and students have been involved in organizing and sponsoring His Holiness’ public talks and tours, supporting His Holiness’ projects, helping the Gelug monasteries in India and creating interfaith dialogues around the world, among other activities.

“FPMT’s Relationship to His Holiness the Dalai Lama” in Mandala October-December 2011 illustrates further the special relationship between His Holiness and the broader FPMT organization:

[Lama Zopa] Rinpoche is someone who follows my guidance sincerely, very expansively and with one hundred percent trust. He possesses unwavering faith and pure samaya; not only has he pure samaya and faith but whatever I instruct, Zopa Rinpoche has the capability to accomplish it. So whatever dedications Lama Zopa Rinpoche makes, I also pray to accomplish this and you should do the same thing. – HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA, DECEMBER 2006

Whenever possible, FPMT adopts His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice. And when appropriate, FPMT acts to help support Tibet’s struggle for autonomy as advised by His Holiness.

As explained by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, FPMT’s relationship with His Holiness is definitive: “The most important thing, the heart thing for FPMT, however many billions of projects we have, the most important thing is to do what pleases most His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”

This respect and gratitude for His Holiness held by FPMT also extends to all Tibetans. “It is important to repay the kindness of the Tibetan people, who have preserved the complete Buddhadharma, not only Vajrayana but the whole path; they have preserved all the teachings for a long time,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche commented in 2008. “Due to this we non-Tibetans are able to receive the complete teachings, enjoy and make our lives meaningful.”

Every year, FPMT offers a long life puja for His Holiness and supports His Holiness’ efforts.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama during a visit to FPMT International Office, May 2013. Photo by Leah Nash.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama during a visit to FPMT International Office, May 2013. Photo by Leah Nash.

Over the years, His Holiness has visited many FPMT centers, including Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa last year, FPMT International Office and Maitripa College in 2013, Kurukulla Center in the United States in 2012 and Chenrezig Institute in Australia in 2011. 

Through the merit that is being created by all the service being offered to His Holiness and all the celebrations for His Holiness’ 80th birthday that have taken place at FPMT centers, projects and services around the world, may the relationship between FPMT and His Holiness continue to flourish.

You can read more stories about His Holiness’ activities and visits to FPMT centers on FPMT.org and Mandala.

FPMT.org shares news of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like our news updates, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

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