FPMT http://fpmt.org Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition Tue, 31 Mar 2015 16:42:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What Is Samsara?http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/what-is-samsara/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/what-is-samsara/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:55:48 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41723 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at Sujata, where Buddha practiced austerities life for six years, India, March 2015. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at Sujata, where Buddha practiced austerities for six years, India, March 2015. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

“Many former pandits and yogis from India, Nepal and Tibet, so many, achieved full enlightenment within some years by practicing and integrating their life with this practice, the Guru Puja (Lama Chöpa),” Lama Zopa Rinpoche said during the 25th Kopan course in 1992. “In this teaching it is mentioned, ‘Please grant me blessings to be able to hold the banner of liberation by avoiding the thought, the mind seeing samsara, which is like unbearable prison, as a beautiful, joyful, pleasant, happy park by keeping the treasure, the three higher trainings and the the arya beings’ wealth.’

“First, if it is described a little, just briefly, avoid the mind seeing samsara, which is like unbearable prison, as a pleasure park. The city is not samsara, the mountains are not samsara, the farm, fields are not samsara, cars are not samsara. So, what is samsara? Samsara is this consciousness, this mind which experiences so much suffering – this is samsara. This body which experiences so many problems – this is samsara. Now, the association of this body and mind, this which is the container of all the problems, which feels hunger, thirst, hot and cold, which experiences all these problems – this is what is called samsara, which in English means ‘circling.'”

Excerpted from the transcripts of the 25th Kopan course (http://bit.ly/25th-kopan-course) made available by the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. Lightly edited by Mandala for inclusion on FPMT.org.

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates. 

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Tenzin Ösel Hita Visits Losang Dragpa Centre in Malaysia During Losarhttp://fpmt.org/osel-news/osel-hita-visits-losang-dragpa-centre-in-malaysia-during-losar/ http://fpmt.org/osel-news/osel-hita-visits-losang-dragpa-centre-in-malaysia-during-losar/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:30:12 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41782 ... Read full article]]> Ösel Hita with Losang Dragpa Center students.

Ösel Hita with Losang Dragpa Centre students.

In February 2015, Losang Dragpa Centre, Malaysia, was pleased to welcome Tenzin Ösel Hita for Guru Puja on Losar, Tibetan New Year. Following the puja, Ösel gave an inspiring talk to the group.You can see a snippet of this talk below:

This year’s Losar marked 31 years since Lama Yeshe’s passing and Ösel’s visit was an auspicious and wonderful experience for all in attendance.

Mandala Publications will have more information on Ösel‘s talk and this visit in a forthcoming story.

The Big Love Fund supports Ösel‘s educational endeavors. You can follow news and updates about Ösel on the Ösel Hita news feed. 

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Let Go of the Firehttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/let-go-of-the-fire/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/let-go-of-the-fire/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:55:38 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41721 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at Sujata, India, March 2015. Photo by  Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at Sujata, India, March 2015. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

During March 2015, Lama Zopa Rinpoche taught at Sujata, India, the site where Buddha practiced austerities for six years before later attaining enlightenment at the site of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya. Ven. Roger Kunsang shared some brief quotes from the teaching:

“First, you don’t harm others, that’s the basis. Then as much as you can, benefit others. 

“As long as you hold onto the fire, the pain will not stop. So as long as you hold on to the ’I,’ the suffering will not stop.”

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service.

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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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Lama Zopa Rinpoche Chanting Lama Chöpa Tunes NOW AVAILABLEhttp://fpmt.org/edu-news/lama-zopa-rinpoche-chanting-lama-chopa-tunes-now-available/ http://fpmt.org/edu-news/lama-zopa-rinpoche-chanting-lama-chopa-tunes-now-available/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 21:15:00 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41749 ... Read full article]]> Lama Chöpa Merit Field.

Lama Chöpa Merit Field.

FPMT Education Services is pleased to announce the release of three new videos in which Lama Zopa Rinpoche chants the Lama Chöpa tunes in three ways: fast-paced, medium-paced, and slow-paced. These videos provide an incredibly precious resource for FPMT students as learning these tunes will help ensure that the lineage of this practice is preserved.

You can access a newly created webpage which has these three videos embedded. You may also download the video files (available in low and high resolution) onto your computer or device in order to access them while offline or in retreat.

The FPMT Foundation Store has many resources to enrich your practice of Lama Chöpa. You can also read Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s commentary on this important practice.

Through comprehensive study programs, practice materials, training seminars, and scholarships, FPMT Education nourishes the development of compassion, wisdom, kindness, and true happiness in individuals of all ages.

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We Should Use Education to Benefit Others, Not Destroy Themhttp://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/we-should-use-education-to-benefit-others-not-destroy-them/ http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/we-should-use-education-to-benefit-others-not-destroy-them/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 18:55:31 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41712 ... Read full article]]> Lama Zopa Rinpoche giving the oral transmission of the Vajra Cutter Sutra at the Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya, India, March 2015. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche giving the oral transmission of the Vajra Cutter Sutra at the Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya, India, March 2015. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has been at Root Institute in Bodhgaya, India since February 2, taking every opportunity to engage in round the clock meritorious activities and offer blessings to many people and animals. Rinpoche has also been visiting the students of Root’s Maitreya School, a free school benefiting local impoverished children, and recently commented:

“Some people have a very good education. They attend kindergarden, primary and secondary school, whilst some even attend university and get the highest qualifications, but they use it for negative things like masterminding war. We should use education to work on our inner minds as well as our academic knowledge to benefit others, not destroy them.”

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates. 

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Bringing Dharma into the Corporate World: Rasmus Hougaard Talks about the Potential Projecthttp://fpmt.org/mandala-today/bringing-dharma-into-the-corporate-world-rasmus-hougaard-talks-about-the-potential-project/ http://fpmt.org/mandala-today/bringing-dharma-into-the-corporate-world-rasmus-hougaard-talks-about-the-potential-project/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 18:55:06 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41668 ... Read full article]]> Rasmus Hougaard, Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon, US, February 2015. Photo by Marc Sakamoto.

Rasmus Hougaard, Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon, US, February 2015. Photo by Marc Sakamoto.

Rasmus Hougaard is the founder and managing director of the Potential Project, an international program based in Copenhagen, Denmark, that works with corporations and organizations to equip their leaders and employees with methods to be more more kind, clear-minded, focused and efficient. Mandala managing editor Laura Miller talked with Rasmus in February 2015, during a visit to Maitripa College in Portland, Oregon, US. 

“I think there are two things that should always be there in mindfulness: one is the ethical component and the other one is the compassionate component,” Rasmus said. “Without those two, I think you have lost the essence of mindfulness. Our presentation of mindfulness is coming from Buddhism. You can’t take away from that, and you can’t disregard all of the masters of the past that have said that mindfulness, ethics and compassion go hand-in-hand. You can’t have real mindfulness without having compassion. So it is a big part of our program, although not obviously. We don’t tell our clients, ‘We teach compassion in our ethical program,’ because they would never engage with us. We tell them instead that we are coming with a mindfulness program that will make their employees more effective, more calm, more kind, and then we introduce ideas of compassion once we’re in the door.”

Read the complete interview as part of Mandala‘s March online feature. 

In case you missed last month’s online feature, “Memorization: Beneficial Exercise for the Mind,” you can read it now. You can also still take a look at January’s online feature: “Jeffrey Hopkins’ Transmission of Honesty.”

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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A Personal Account of the Benefits of the Sera Je Food Fundhttp://fpmt.org/projects/sjff-news/a-personal-account-of-the-benefits-of-the-sera-je-food-fund/ http://fpmt.org/projects/sjff-news/a-personal-account-of-the-benefits-of-the-sera-je-food-fund/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:30:38 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41614 ... Read full article]]> Recently Ven. Roger Kunsang accompanied Lama Zopa Rinpoche when Rinpoche met with Geshe Gelong, a Sera Je Monastery monk, in southern India. Ven. Roger made notes of the conversation, in which Geshe Gelong expressed the importance of the Sera Je Food Fund from his personal experience.

There are 2,500 monks benefiting from the Sera Je Food Fund (3,300 for breakfast) and the annual cost is US$280,000.

There are 2,500 monks benefiting from the Sera Je Food Fund (3,300 for breakfast) and the annual cost is US$280,000.

Geshe Gelong was living and studying at Sera Je Monastery prior to the establishment of the Sera Je Food Fund. He easily recalls stories of the hardships faced by the Sangha members living at Sera Je Monastery before FPMT started offering three healthy vegetarian meals every day. This offering is due to the kindness of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the generous donations of his students and benefactors.

“Monks would have to pay for their own meals before the Sera Je Food Fund started because the monastery couldn’t afford to offer them free food. Many monks arrived at Sera Je having fled from Tibet so they had no, or very little money. They arrived unable to pay for food, some were not eating for up to a week at a time,” recalls Geshe Gelong. A lack of food inevitably led to malnutrition and high rates of TB (tuberculosis) in the monastic community. “I would drive so many monks who had TB, due to poor nutrition, to the local hospitals acting as translator for the many who didn’t speak Hindi. It was a very, very difficult life for many. With the monastery unable to offer free food and the monks unable to pay for it, many had to give up their education and leave, some having to disrobe and risk returning to Tibet. I would like to thank Lama Zopa Rinpoche for the care and opportunity the Sera Je Food Fund has brought to the monastery and the monks.”

There are 2,500 monks benefiting from the Sera Je Food Fund (3,300 for breakfast) and the annual cost is US$280,000.

“Previously thin and malnourished monks are now a healthy size with rates of TB now much lower,” Geshe Gelong explained. “Healthier bodies and minds mean the monks are now able to focus on their studies and practices and are much happier and healthier thanks to the three daily provided by the Sera Je Food Fund.”

Buckets of soup about to be offered to the 2,500 monks of Sera Je Monastery.

Buckets of soup about to be offered to the 2,500 monks of Sera Je Monastery.

A heartfelt thanks goes out to all of the past, present and future donors who make this offering possible. You are welcome to offer any amount to this fund. Here is how your offering will be used:

  • US$10: Provides three vegetarian meals a day to one monk for one month
  • US$120: Provides three vegetarian meals a day to one monk for one year
  • US$780: Provides three vegetarian meals a day to all 2,500 monks for one day
  • US$5,460: Provides three vegetarian meals a day to all 2,500 monks for one week
  • US$280,000: Provides three vegetarian meals a day to all the 2,500 monks for one year

DONATE

You can learn more about the Sera Je Food Fund, or see details of a typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner offered to the monks.

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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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Our March E-News out Now!http://fpmt.org/announcements/our-march-e-news-out-now/ http://fpmt.org/announcements/our-march-e-news-out-now/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 16:25:26 +0000 http://fpmt.org/?p=41595 ... Read full article]]> We hope you enjoy our March FPMT International Office E-News!

In it you’ll find:

and more!

Lama Zopa Rinpoche having tea with Root Institute director Ven. Thubten Labdron, Bodhgaya, India, February 2015.  Photo by Ven Roger Kunsang

Lama Zopa Rinpoche having tea with Root Institute director Ven. Thubten Labdron, Bodhgaya, India, February 2015. Photo by Ven Roger Kunsang

 

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