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Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Crestone, Colorado, USA, June 2008.
Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang
July 29 – 2 Aug Teachings at Kadampa Center, North Carolina, USA
Sept 16 – 28 Teachings at Do Ngak Sung Juk Centre, Japan
Dec Teaching at November Course, Kopan Monastery, Nepal
May 5 – June 6 NOTE CHANGE OF RETREAT TO 1,000-Arm Chenrezig retreat, Institut Vajra Yogini, France
Firstly, you should think that sentient beings are wish-fulfilling jewels. Secondly, you should be the wish-fulfilling jewel to other sentient beings in daily life. This is very important. Even if you are not working or you are in a cave, not seeing anybody, not even an insect, you should meditate on bodhicitta. You should think how precious sentient beings are. And think, “I must do the same.” This is an excellent way to live life, especially living a busy life with others. By living life with this attitude, it is the happiest life and most meaningful life. There will be nothing to be scared of in the future. Life is like sunshine in the future.”See more advice for Center Directors at the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.
Enjoy brief glimpses of Rinpoche on our streaming videos page
Ian Green (Chairman of the organizing committee for the teaching, and also director of the Great Stupa of Compassion in Australia) and Kathy tell us, “The long life offering during the recent wonderful teachings with His Holiness went very well. All the offerings were very beautiful and although the actual ritual was very quick (in accordance with His Holiness’ wishes), people seemed to have a good experience and were quite moved.
The night before the initiation, we had decorated the stage and the throne and altars with many, many garlands of white and yellow flowers – it looked gorgeous.”
Look out for photos in the next issue of Mandala!
LRZTP director Ven. Lhundup Chodron writes: “The Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo Translator Program (LRZTP) is FPMT’s program for training non-Tibetans of all nationalities to become Tibetan interpreters and to ensure that the teachings can be delivered directly into the native language of the country. The LRZTP is a four year program, 2 years spent learning Tibetan (colloquial, some honorific, Dharma terms and the written language) in Dharamsala, India, followed by 2 years studying and working as an interpreter to a resident geshe in an FPMT center. The LRZTP is widely recognized as an effective program for fast, intensive training in the Tibetan language, and specifically for training as an interpreter for the Dharma.
The previous four LRZTP programs have successfully trained 22 graduates, 14 of whom are currently providing the essential service of bringing Tibetan geshes’ teachings to their students in FPMT centers worldwide. The deadline for applications to study in LRZTP is July 31, 2008.
Suitable candidates who are sponsored by FPMT centers will receive priority placement in the program. Therefore it’s important that these students submit their applications as soon as possible. The application form, teacher biographies and other relevant program information can be found at LRZTP.”
International Office News
Updated Advice about the Shugden IssueThe Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama have given a very clear, updated overview of the Shugden issue, which they have asked be circulated to all FPMT centers to use as the main advice and response to questions about Shugden.
The FPMT website has more background on this issue, together with the updated advice from His Holiness’ Office.
Rinpoche cooking his specialty dessert (baked papaya and cream) for Choden Rinpoche when he visited Rinopche’s house in Aptos, California. Rinpoche has given a name and details for making this snack: Loving Kindness - Cut a papaya in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and bake face down on a pan. When baked, scoop out papaya and mix with butter and honey. Serve hot.
Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang
From the side of the Sangha, International Sangha Day is a time to reflect on the kindness of those who have made the teachings available. It is also a time to remember the kindness of the community in helping to create conducive conditions to maintain ordination vows.
Also, we would like to encourage FPMT centers and students to support the IMI Sangha by making a contribution to the Lama Yeshe Sangha Fund on International Sangha Day. The Lama Yeshe Sangha Fund was established to help support the monks and nuns of the IMI community to engage in study, retreat and service. By contributing to the fund you will be enabling more monks and nuns of our organization to receive support and thereby benefit others.
By reciting the Sutra during this period, you are joining with FPMT IMI Sangha members, who are reciting the Sutra during this period as August 5th also marks FPMT International Sangha Day.
The Pledge to Avoid Killing
On May 21st, Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup invited FPMT students to participate in the Pledge to Avoid Killing during the month of Saka Dawa. As the merit of virtuous activities during this month is multiplied by a million, it was an excellent opportunity to accumulate merit, purifying karma, and benefit many sentient beings.
Of the 195 respondents, 58 (nearly 30%) pledged to be vegetarian for the rest of their lives, 15 pledged for one year and another 77 chose to be vegetarian for the whole month of Saka Dawa. Fourteen participants pledged to keep precepts for the month, another 8 will keep precepts on all Buddha and precept days for the rest of their lives and 25 people have pledged to be vegetarian on all Buddha days for one year.
The participants dedicated all the merit they accumulated to the long lives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lama Osel Rinpoche, and all their own gurus, to increase the teachings of the Buddha in general and especially the Mahayana teachings, to remove all the problems in countries experiencing war, famine, and violence of any kind, to increase peace in the world, and to remove all obstacles to the return of His Holiness to Tibet.
Ven. Holly Ansett writes of the 1200 mile drive from California to Crestone, Colorado, USA (where Rinpoche was giving teachings): “Rinpoche would often start chanting and doing mudras. Rinpoche explained afterwards that he was consecrating the mountains, so they become holy objects. All the buddhas and bodhisattvas absorb into the mountain and then it becomes a holy object so that anyone who sees the mountain, drives around the mountain, any person who climbs on the mountain receives blessing and by even driving around one creates so much merit.” This mountain somewhere in Utah is now a holy object.
Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang
Compassion and Electricity
Now many of us understand that using electricity, and any form of energy that comes from fossil fuels, is contributing to climate change. Climate change has already brought suffering and death to millions of living beings including many humans. And this is going to increase, so compassionate living needs to include a reduction in our use of energy as much as possible.
The first step is to switch off at the socket all appliances, phone chargers, standbys, etc., which all consume power while on standby. (Someone estimated that if everyone in UK did this, we could close 2 coal-fired power stations! If anyone has similar calculations for other countries, please let me know!) Next, put on a woolly jumper in winter and turn down the heating. Buy beautiful thick warm Tibetan sweaters, and help support Tibetan refugees economically. At the same time, the reduction in energy use/reduction in Co2 emissions is protecting corals, and poor people in New Orleans and Bangladesh who have already suffered from the results of climate change. Insulate the house as much as possible, and switch to an electricity supplier which guarantees to provide you with renewable electricity.
To explore these and other ideas, join www.buddhistecologylink.org
Lots of love, Elaine – Shen Phen Thubten Choeling, Study Group for Socially and Ecologically Engaged Buddhism
Opportunities include volunteering at Root Institute, India and both Nalanda Monastery in France and Land of Medicine Buddha, USA are looking for an experienced cook.
Ganden Buddhist Meditation Centre, Latvia
Lama Yeshe Ling Center, Canada
New spiritual program coordinator – Heather Moore
With grateful thanks to outgoing SPC – Dave Gould
Lawudo Retreat Center, Nepal
New director – Sangye Sherpa
With grateful thanks to outgoing director – Frank Brock
Longku Zopa Gyu, Switzerland
Nepal National Office, Nepal
PO Box 295
Tel: (977) (1) 442 4091
Coordinator Frances Howland
Shantideva Meditation Group, USA
P.O. Box 250342
New York, NY 10025
+1 (917) 595-8930
Tara Mandala Study Group, Germany
FPMT International Office
Portland, OR 97214-4702 USA
Tel (503) 808-1588 | Fax (503) 232-0557