FPMT » FPMT News Around the World http://fpmt.org Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition Wed, 01 Apr 2015 21:54:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Family Camp 2014 at Milarepa Centerhttp://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/family-camp-2014-at-milarepa-center/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/family-camp-2014-at-milarepa-center/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 17:00:36 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41103 ... Read full article]]> Geshe Tenley and Ven. Sarah Thresher with 2014 Milarepa Center Family Camp participants, Barnet, Vermont, US, August 2014. Photo by Felicity Keeley.

Geshe Tenley and Ven. Sarah Thresher with 2014 Milarepa Center Family Camp participants, Barnet, Vermont, US, August 2014. Photo by Felicity Keeley.

Kasia Beznoska, a long-time student and a mother, wanted FPMT students everywhere to know about the benefits of Buddhist-inspired family camps such as that of Milarepa Center in Barnet, Vermont, United States:

The weekend of July 31- August 3, 2014, was spent in the most fulfilling, joyful way at Milarepa Center in Barnet, Vermont, as families came together for Milarepa Center Family Camp. This year the camp theme was “Chenrezig & Compassion In Action.” Geshe Ngawang Tenley, resident teacher at Kurukulla Center in Medford, Massachusetts, came to camp again this year to lead discussions for parents and grandparents. Geshe-la was so wonderful with all of the children – playing soccer, painting and telling them stories about when he was younger in Tibet.

Families are able to enjoy quality time in a safe and loving space, Milarepa Center, Barnet, Vermont, US, August 2014. Photo by Felicity Keeley.

Families are able to enjoy quality time in a safe and loving space, Milarepa Center, Barnet, Vermont, US, August 2014. Photo by Felicity Keeley.

Each morning the children practiced yoga, helped fill water bowls, and came together in the gompa to make offerings and were guided in a short meditation by canp organizers Chessy Kelley and myself. The campers also participated in learning about archery and swordplay from local teacher Jack Stewart, who spoke about how moving slowly and focusing gave one greater control over one’s mind and body. Skip Cady taught circus acts and juggling, which everyone enjoyed greatly! Face painting, slip and slide, and tag were other favorites during camp this year. On the second evening of camp, Geshe-la and Ven. Sarah Thresher led all the families in an animal liberation, freeing hundreds of worms from the local store down the road that would otherwise have been used as fishing bait. The worms were circumambulated around Milarepa Center’s stupa many times while everyone chanted Chenrezig’s mantra – OM MANI PADME HUM – and then released into the ground.

Campers, parents, grandparents and staff at Milarepa Center all created an amazing Peace Pole to add to the garden at Milarepa Center this year as well. From the colors used to paint, to the words and pictures drawn, everything was made from a space of love and kindness. The children were told that this pole they helped to decorate would remain at Milarepa Center for all the visitors to see when they come and that their loving energy would be felt by all. They also painted rocks, and Geshe-la added Chenrezig mantras to the rocks and placed them around the pole. This was a really beautiful project for everyone to make together.

Art and creativity are regular features at Milarepa Center family camps, Barnet, Vermont, August 2014. Photo by Felicity Keeley.

Art and creativity are regular features at Milarepa Center family camps, Barnet, Vermont, US, August 2014. Photo by Felicity Keeley.

Every year at camp on the last night there is a fire puja and talent show. This year campers sang songs, performed self-directed skits and enjoyed having some yummy camp fire treats. Everyone was greeted by the lovely Felicity Keeley, director of Milarepa Center, in her very fashionable costume, while she hosted the talent show that evening.

It was amazing to witness all the campers in a very free, loving environment, where they played together and worked though small conflict in considerate and patient ways. We had families travel from Florida, California, North Carolina, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont! Wow! Some families slept inside the center while others enjoyed camping outside in the nearby field.

Two new camp friends, Milarepa Center, Barnet, Vermont, US, August 2014. Photo by Felicity Keeley.

Two new camp friends, Milarepa Center, Barnet, Vermont, US, August 2014. Photo by Felicity Keeley.

One of the most magical experiences of camp is when children can see their camp friends again. Some of these children only see each other once per year, but their friendship picks up right where it left off from the last summer. As they all grow and change, there is an everlasting current of love and friendship from the year before.

One moment that filled my heart with happiness occurred while watching two of the older boy campers, Lucas and Tre, during their swordplay instruction. They were matched against each other and had rules about where to tap the other player to get them out. Lucas tapped Tre first and got Tre out. As Tre began walking to sit down on the side, he gave Lucas a thumbs up and said “good job” to him. That doesn’t always happen these days while children are competing in sports or other activities. Another older camper, Perry, who has been coming to camp for the past few years, gave some of his popcorn to a younger camper without even being asked, because his younger friend didn’t have any. There is SO MUCH hope for the future, and it is heart-warming to know that peaceful learning is being taught and practiced by families all over.

Milarepa Center hopes that you and your family will consider joining them this summer for another incredible weekend at Family Camp. Registration is open now for 2015 Milarepa Center Family Camp.

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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Happy Year of the Sheep from Animal Liberation Sanctuary!http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/happy-year-of-the-sheep-from-animal-liberation-sanctuary/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/happy-year-of-the-sheep-from-animal-liberation-sanctuary/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:10:39 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41163 ... Read full article]]> Resident sheep at Animal Liberation Sanctuary, Kopan, Nepal, January 2014. Photo courtesy of Phil Hunt.

Resident sheep at Animal Liberation Sanctuary, Kopan, Nepal, January 2014. Photo courtesy of Phil Hunt.

Co-director Phil Hunt of Enlightenment for the Dear Animals provides a brief update on the Animal Liberation Sanctuary, a refuge for animals near Kopan Monastery, FPMT’s mother monastery in Nepal.

The Animal Liberation Sanctuary (ALS), Nepal, has had its first anniversary on its new land and it seems somehow appropriate that it coincides with the year of the sheep!

After the move to the land in January 2014, the last year has been one of settling into the new facilities, finalizing unfinished building works and establishing new procedures. The sanctuary is quite different from the animals’ previous home. The floors where animals sleep are earth, rather than concrete, which is more gentle on their joints; the floor is covered in a deep bedding of straw which provides comfort as well as hygiene and insulation; the large shelter has stalls where not-so-mobile or quieter animals can sleep without the worry of being pushed about at night; there is a quarantine area including an isolation room for contagious diseases with separate outdoor grazing area; and a treatment room for operations has been built, although still lacking in much equipment, so the animals do not have to make the stressful journey into Kathmandu.

The land has no permanent road access and the foot track has been partially closed due to neighboring development. However, we have been pleased to welcome some hardy visitors who made the journey, including Amitabha Buddhist Centre student and model Nadya Hutagalung; pilgrims from Vajrayana Institute, Sydney; students from Lincoln School, Kathmandu; and two large groups of retreatants from the 2014 November course with Kopan’s Geshe Jinpa.

Sadly, this year there have been several injured young male calves left at the Kopan Nunnery gates. As males do not produce milk, they are unwanted. In Nepal they are put out on the street to fend for themselves. (In the West, this “surplus” from the dairy industry is usually sold to veal farms.) Being separated from their mothers, these unwanted babies are usually depressed, malnourished, and sometimes wounded. The latest, Kalden, was suffering from major infected wounds to his back legs from dog attacks. Fortunately, he is getting better every day under the care of ALS staff.

There are still many challenges ahead as we try to balance the needs of 50 animals on a relatively small piece of land. Three of our much loved older residents died towards the end of last year: Dawa the three-legged sheep; Jigme the goat; as well as Nyingje who had been struggling with a chronic condition for the last two years. We hope their exposure to holy objects and Dharma will bring them a quick escape from the lower realms and samsara. After all, this is the real purpose of the Animal Liberation Sanctuary.

Animal Liberation Sanctuary goats, Kopan, Nepal, January 2014. Photo courtesy of Phil Hunt.

Animal Liberation Sanctuary goats, Kopan, Nepal, January 2014. Photo courtesy of Phil Hunt.

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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News from Nagarjuna C.E.T. Granada, Spainhttp://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/news-from-nagarjuna-c-e-t-granada-spain/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/news-from-nagarjuna-c-e-t-granada-spain/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 17:48:05 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40963 ... Read full article]]> Minutes after Nagarjuna C.E.T. Granada students moved into their new center, everyone did a short meditation on Shakyamuni Buddha, Granada, Spain, February 2015. Photo courtesy of Nagarjuna C.E.T. Granada.

Minutes after Nagarjuna C.E.T. Granada students moved into their new center, everyone did a short meditation on Shakyamuni Buddha, Granada, Spain, February 2015. Photo courtesy of Nagarjuna C.E.T. Granada.

Spiritual program coordinator Antonio Jabaloy Sánchez shared some brief news about Nagarjuna C.E.T. Granada in Spain:

Here in Nagarjuna C. E. T. Granada, we are having a busy time. We have rented a commercial office in the historic center of Granada, something like a commercial loft, and now we have worked on remodeling projects: masonry and the painting. Most of the work has been done by a little group of enthusiastic volunteers. Moving day was on February 16. We did a lot of work and we finished with tea and a small meditation on Shakyamuni Buddha.

We have just celebrated Losar and the anniversary of the death of Lama Yeshe. All the work was done without stopping our regular courses and meditation classes.

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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The Golden Light Sutra and the Wasp Nesthttp://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/the-golden-light-sutra-and-the-wasp-nest/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/the-golden-light-sutra-and-the-wasp-nest/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 17:30:56 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40705 ... Read full article]]> "Wasp Feeding on Honeydew" by  Sid Mosdell. Creative Commons Attribution via Flickr.

“Wasp Feeding on Honeydew” by Sid Mosdell. Creative Commons Attribution via Flickr.

“Today while clearing a part of the yard, I stumbled upon a wasp nest and suddenly was enveloped by a swarm of angry wasps!” said student Martine Darrou from Dunedin, New Zealand. “Trying to remain calm, I suddenly recalled our precious Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s advice about the Golden Light Sutra during the Bendigo teachings and, almost instantly, the cone of the wasps opened and I could move out of it.

“I quickly went insight to get my text and going back to wasp still buzzing, I read out loud chapter 19 ‘On the Praise of All the Tathagatas.’ Again, the wasps quieted down and they peacefully went back to their nest. It’s amazing I wasn’t stung at all!

“After, I thought how fortunate I was not to have been stung and how kind and compassionate Rinpoche is to give us such a precious tool to help us and all sentient beings and also how powerful the sutra is. Thank you so much for the hard work and dedication of all to make the sutra available.”

Martine Darrou's garden in Dunedin, New Zealand

Martine Darrou’s garden in Dunedin, New Zealand

Recitation of the Golden Light Sutra is one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Vast Visions for FPMT. FPMT Education Services has created a resource page to help you learn more about and start reciting the Golden Light Sutra.

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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2.5 Million Mantras and One Statue for Peace in Spainhttp://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/2-5-million-mantras-and-one-statue-for-peace-in-spain/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/2-5-million-mantras-and-one-statue-for-peace-in-spain/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:42:01 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40677 ... Read full article]]> Padmasambhava statue at O.Sel.Ling, Orgiva, Spain, 2015.

Padmasambhava statue at O.Sel.Ling, Orgiva, Spain, 2015.

Anne Wenaas, director of O.Sel.Ling Centro de Retiros in Spain, shared the center’s recent amazing practice accomplishments:

On Christmas 2015, we started a one-week mani retreat. Ven. Yeshe Chodron started to lead it and then Irina, a volunteer here, continued with the responsibility. We asked everyone in Spain [there are 11 centers, projects and services in the country] to join us. We finished accumulating recitations of the OM MANI PADME HUM mantra on February 15.

We all dedicated the 2,691,696 million mantras towards the long life of His Holiness, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and all our gurus. Most especially, we dedicated that all of Rinpoche’s holy projects be quickly fulfilled!

The idea is to organize the same thing next year, but allowing for more time for the accumulation and offering more information to participants. We thought to explore the idea of offering free one-week retreats at O.Sel.Ling to give the accumulation an energetic start and then continue for some months. Also, we’re thinking to make Saturday a time when everyone interested could come up to the hill to do a one-day accumulation retreat together.

On February 2, we finished filling the new 2-meter [6-foot] Padmasambhava statue with the help of Ven. Thubten from Nalanda Monastery in France. We’re so happy to join Rinpoche’s vast vision of having many, many of these statues around the world for peace on earth and for Tibet to be free! [You can learn more about this specific vast vision on the Padmasambhava Project for Peace page.] 

The statue will sit in a new gompa in our new reception area that is especially designed for tourists and visitors. We’ll make it the end of a pilgrimage-tour for all visitors and this will help keep the rest of the property more secluded for retreatants.

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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Insight Meditation Home Practice with Ven. Antonio Sattahttp://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/insight-meditation-home-practice-with-ven-antonio-satta/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/insight-meditation-home-practice-with-ven-antonio-satta/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 17:00:04 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41132 ... Read full article]]> Participant of the first Insight Meditation Home Practice, February 2015. Photo courtesy of Institut Vajra Yogini.

Participant of the first Insight Meditation Home Practice, February 2015. Photo courtesy of Institut Vajra Yogini.

Director François Lecointre shares news of an exciting new development in Institut Vajra Yogini’s programming – insight meditation retreat from the comfort of your home:

One hundred people from around the world took part in the first Insight Meditation Home Practice on February 22, 2015. Ven. Antonio Satta designed this new event and Institut Vajra Yogini coordinated this international project from France. This practice will take place the last Sunday of every month and is available for students who have participated in one of Ven. Antonio’s insight meditation retreats in the past. Students received detailed instructions a few days before the practice and were invited to follow Ven. Antonio’s one-day retreat schedule from home or wherever they are in the world. The day is comprised of seven sitting sessions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m 40 minutes each with a 20-minute break in between, plus a one-hour break for lunch. Students stayed silent and turned off mobile phones and computers for the entire length of the practice day.

Ven. Antonio Satta

Ven. Antonio Satta

Students from many European countries  Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom – participated. People also joined from Australia, Tahiti and the United States. Feedback from this first experience is very positive. Although some people admitted that the practice was demanding and that it was not easy to follow the discipline at home, most students seem to have appreciated the feeling of connection coming from meditating together as a group, even though they were far apart. They also felt very grateful to be able to receive Ven. Antonio’s precise instructions.

The second practice day is planned for March 29, 2015. All students who have previously attended an insight retreat with Ven. Antonio can still sign up. Those who missed the first practice, however, have to find a day to make up for the missed session, since the instructions change progressively from one month to the next. Please contact Institut Vajra Yogini for more information or to sign up.

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 York City Center Rejoicing in Animal Liberationhttp://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/new-york-city-center-rejoicing-in-animal-liberation/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/new-york-city-center-rejoicing-in-animal-liberation/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:33:37 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40118 ... Read full article]]> Spiritual program coordinator Arnaud Berger circumambulates a box worms as part of Shantideva Meditation Center's first event in its new animal liberation program, New York City, United States, January 2015. Photo courtesy of Shantideva Meditation Center.

Spiritual program coordinator Arnaud Berger circumambulates a box worms as part of Shantideva Meditation Center’s first event in its new animal liberation program, New York City, United States, January 2015. Photo courtesy of Shantideva Meditation Center.

“On January 23, Shantideva Meditation Center celebrated the first event in our new animal liberation program,” reported director Jennifer Kim from New York City. “We rescued approximately 2,000 red worms from the danger of terrible suffering and death as fishing bait. Despite many obstacles and a long journey, the worms arrived just in time for their ceremony. During the recitation of prayers and mantras, Shantideva students took turns circumambulating the worms around the altar, and afterwards, they received blessed water and much love from each of us. After residing for a few days at a student’s home where they listened to mantras recorded by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the dear worms were carried through a snowstorm to the compassionate representatives of a composting facility where they will live luxuriously while benefiting the environment.

“It is with great joy and gratitude that we hope to have repaid a small part of the immense generosity of so many of our kind mother sentient beings! We rejoice in following the advice given to Shantideva Meditation Center by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and we dedicate these merits to his long and stable life.

“We also offer great thanks to Desmond Hosford, our new animal liberation manager, for initiating and managing this program out of his sincere compassion for animals and devotion to Lama Zopa Rinpoche.”

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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Ganden Buddhist Meditation Centre Celebrates First Gelug Prayer Book in Latvianhttp://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/ganden-buddhist-meditation-centre-celebrates-first-gelug-prayer-book-in-latvian/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/ganden-buddhist-meditation-centre-celebrates-first-gelug-prayer-book-in-latvian/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:50:57 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39972 ... Read full article]]> Many volunteers worked together to publish the first Gelug prayer book in Latvian, Riga, Latvia, December 2014. Photo by Daina Jakobsone.

Many volunteers worked together to publish the first Gelug prayer book in Latvian, Riga, Latvia, December 2014. Photo by Daina Jakobsone.

Center director Agnese Bishofa from Ganden Buddhist Mediation Centre in Latvia sent Mandala some exciting news about their 10th anniversary and the completion of the first Gelug prayer book in Latvian:

We are happy to announce the release of the first ever compilation of prayers and practices used in the Gelug tradition in Latvian, a language of approximately 2.5 million people. This is the first publishing project done by Ganden Buddhist Meditation Centre and was done in cooperation with Happy Monks Publications.

The first stack of Latvian prayer books produced in part by Ganden Buddhist Meditation Centre, Riga, Latvia, December 2014. Photo by Sigita Pudane.

The first stack of Latvian prayer books produced in part by Ganden Buddhist Meditation Centre, Riga, Latvia, December 2014. Photo by Sigita Pudane.

The publishing project of a Latvian prayer book started with the idea and encouragement of Aryatara Institut’s resident teacher Ven. Fedor Stracke, who has been coming to teach at Ganden Centre on a regular basis since 2010.

Step by step the 70-page booklet was put together to include many essential prayers such as the Heart Sutra, Eight Verses of Thought Transformation, Three Principal  Aspects of the Path and The Source of All Good Qualities. The work was done by a group of volunteers: Aija Skrastina, Edgars Celms, Gunita Kakteniece, Helmuts Ancans, Inese Zelmane, Jana Gavare, Maija Seja, Rita Veilande, and Uldis Balodis, all who worked on translations and editing; and Ilze Isaka, who did design and layout.

The cover image by Jane Seidlitz and some drawings by Andy Weber as inside art makes this precious book even more wish-fulfilling.

Happy Monks Publications fully supported the project financially, and it was printed in Nepal and delivered to us for Lama Tsongkhapa Day (December 16, 2014), accompanied by another precious present from Ven. Fedor, a copy of the 8,000-Line Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, for Ganden’s altar.

The center was founded in 2004 and our 10th year was blessed by many auspicious events: His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s and His Eminence Choden Rinpoche’s visits; Sera Je monks staying in Riga for three weeks during their “Tour for Compassion and Harmony;” and of course, teachings from our FPMT visiting teachers – Geshe Ngawang Thugje, Geshe Thubten Sherab, Ven. Angie Muir, Ven. Lobsang Namgyel, Ven. Lobsang Tony, Andy Wistreich, Andy Weber, Stephan Wormland and Ven. Lobsang Tendar, who offered three nyung näs for the New Year.

Rejoicing in the merits created by all supporters, we offered Lama Chöpa with tsog and more than 108 candle lights for the further flourishing of Losang Dragpa’s teachings, world peace and the well-being of all sentient beings and long lives of our teachers.

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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News from Jamyang Mindrol-ling Study Grouphttp://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/news-from-jamyang-mindrol-ling-study-group/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/news-from-jamyang-mindrol-ling-study-group/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:34:32 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=39993 ... Read full article]]> The Revd. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury with Sikh representative Kulwant Singh Dhesi and Ven. Dawa. Photo courtesy of Jamyang Mindrol-ling.

The Revd. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury with Sikh representative Kulwant Singh Dhesi and Ven. Lobsang Dawa. Photo courtesy of Jamyang Mindrol-ling.

Staff from Jamyang Mindrol-ling, a study group in Coventry, United Kingdom reports:

With the current interest in mindfulness meditation growing, Jamyang Mindrol-ling has launched a new meditation group which meets twice a month in Coventry. The aim is to root the practice firmly in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition while giving anyone who is interested a chance to try out or practice this ancient technique for calming the mind and body. 

Meeting on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month, the group is led by Jamyang Mindrol-ling’s resident teacher Ven. Lobsang Dawa, who is also continuing the ongoing Discovering Buddhism course with classes on karma and refuge in 2015.

Venerable Dawa was amongst a group of Coventry Faith representatives who were invited to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Revd. Justin Welby on his recent January 2015 visit to Coventry.

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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Ven. Ann McNeil Passes Awayhttp://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/ven-ann-mcneil-passes-away/ http://fpmt.org/news-around-the-world/ven-ann-mcneil-passes-away/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:00:38 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=40800 ... Read full article]]> Ven. Ann McNeil teaching at Chenrezig Institute, Eudlo, Australia, 1975. Photo courtesy of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

Ven. Ann McNeil teaching at Chenrezig Institute, Eudlo, Queensland, Australia, 1975. Photo courtesy of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

Ven. Ann McNeil, one of Lama Yeshe’s and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s most senior Western students, passed away on Sunday, February 22, 2015, in British Columbia, Canada. Known as Anila Ann, she became a student of Lama Yeshe in 1970, when she met him in Kathmandu, Nepal. She ordained the same year, which you can read about in the post “Ann McNeil and Ordination,” on Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive’s “Big Love” blog.

Anila Ann was the first director of Chenrezig Institute (CI), the first FPMT center, founded in 1974 in Eudlo, Queensland, Australia. Chenrezig Institute shared on their Facebook page that “it is due to [Anila Ann’s] kindness, and the kindness of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, that we are here today. She lay the foundations for the flourishing, colorful Buddhist center that CI is today. We are incredibly grateful for all she did for us and the Dharma.”

Anila Ann McNeil. Photo courtesy of FPMT North America's Facebook page.

Anila Ann McNeil. Photo courtesy of FPMT North America’s Facebook page.

More recently, Anila Ann talked about her work as a Buddhist chaplain with prisoners in a 2011 interview with Mandala.I loved teaching no matter the classification of the prison,” she said. “As far as teaching goes, it was very unusual to have the same students for less than four or five years. I’ve known most for 10 years and longer.” 

Let your happiness show,” she said in the same interview. “Look people in the eye with a big smile and say ‘Hello, hi, how are you?’ Be ready to assist anybody if they want it.”

Anila Ann was a true FPMT pioneer. (The Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive has many photos of Anila Ann from the early days of FPMT.) She touched countless lives over her more than 40 years of serving her gurus, helping to spread the authentic Dharma in the West and leading the way for many students to come. She will be deeply missed. 

We will run a full obituary for Anila Ann McNeil in our next print issue. 

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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