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(For the confirmed schedule and details of how to book for these events, please contact the center directly or go to http://fpmt.org/teachers/zopa/schedule.php)
Rinpoche comes to Taos, New Mexico, USA for the FPMT Board meeting at the end of September. Following this, Rinpoche has accepted Ksitigarbha Study Group’s request to give Medicine Buddha initiation in Taos on October 4th, and Vajrasattva initiation at Thubten Norbu Ling in Santa Fe on October 5th.
Rinpoche is teaching on the 8 Verses of Thought Transformation at Tse Chen Ling in San Francisco, USA on November 15 and 16th.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama requested Rinpoche to help make the Dharma available to people in Bangalore, India – so Rinpoche has accepted to teach a weekend course in Bangalore on November 29 – 30.
Rinpoche will teach at the annual Kopan November course, and will then continue his teachings based on the Kadampa lamas at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India between Dec 26 – 31. Rinpoche will also give Gyalwa Gyatso initation during that time. Then Rinpoche goes to Delhi to attend the Dharma Celebration talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, hosted by Tushita Delhi on January 3rd 2004.
Rinpoche then goes to Potowa Centre in Jakarta Indonesia, and will give Medicine Buddha and Vajrasattva initiations there.
Next stop is Cham Tse Ling, Hongkong – the program is not announced yet for the period Jan 12 – Feb 1st. Similarly for Shakyamuni Center, Taiwan, where Rinpoche will be briefly from Feb 4 – 8th.
Rinpoche will then visit Naropa Centre, Tahiti for teachings on the 7 Point Mind Training, and to give Mitrugpa, Milarepa, Tara and Medicine Buddha initiations between March 10 – 17th.
Then Rinpoche will teach at Dorje Chang Institute in New Zealand between March 19 – April 4th, on the Foundations of all Good Qualities, and will give Amitabha and Great Medicine Buddha initiations.
Next is the Mahamudra retreat hosted by Buddha House, Australia between April 9 – May 4th. According to Rinpoche’s plans for this retreat, Ven Roger Kunsang says that the centers in Australia should promote this retreat really well because it will be such an excellent opportunity for those who want to really understand meditation practice.
Rinpoche will be in Mongolia for the EEC4, June 6 – July 4th.
Rinpoche will lead another long retreat – on Ganden Lha Gyema at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa in Italy between Sept 3 – 30th.
A long retreat in Taiwan is planned for November.
Lama Osel is in Spain he has been attending classes in order to further his Western education. Lama Osel spent some time sharing an apartment with his Western tutor, Venerable Jampa. At the moment Lama Osel is on vacation (school holidays) and hopes to continue his Western education for the next several months. Lama Osel seems quite interested to understand his own culture and see what teenagers are doing. Lama Osel said that he wants to continue his Western education for some time and then will definitely be returning to Sera Je Monastery.
(from Ven Roger Kunsang)
Rinpoche is strongly advising that older students and Sangha become very familiar with how to help people at the time of death and also to be familiar so they know themselves what to do at the time of their own death. Rinpoche strongly emphasizes that this should be done now because you don’t know when someone close to you will die and you don’t know when you yourself will die, so it does not make any sense not to understand this area now.
As you know FPMT Education Office has put out very detailed material on what to do at the time of death, using Rinpoche’s advice – ‘Advice and Practices for Death and Dying for the Benefit of Self and Others’. It is a beautiful and excellent presentation. It is something that Sangha as well as older lay students should become familiar with, and it could be the basis of an excellent course to present at centers.
This could be an excellent weekend program or evening program that every one of our centers could host. Essentially it just means having an older and qualified student present that package so that people can understand how to use it for themselves as well as for other people who they may need to help at the time of death. So this seems a very excellent short course for all Dharma students, therefore it becomes a great need for centers to have this as part of their program.
Please could center directors think about this, and if you have any good ideas about programming this course, let Merry know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
‘Advice and Practices for Death and Dying for the Benefit of Self and Others’ is available from The Foundation Store
Lama Yeshe often used to say that it’s not up to mind, it’s up to karma. He quite often used to say that, or He would say just accept the situation when things are not happening. If something can be remedied, then you decide whether to get the benefit from acting on it. That means that if you can manage, you can try, if there is an opportunity then you can act on it. There is no point just to be unhappy in this life. If there is something which cannot be remedied at all then what is the point of disliking it, there is no benefit in that, so you are better to accept it.
If you have many activities, many responsibilities, and if you think of this as a burden then stress comes. Even if you are doing the job, if you look at all this as burden your mind is not happy. Lung and stress come and your mind becomes so unhappy. So with all your activities, responsibilities, rather than taking all of this as a burden, if you look at this as an opportunity to be useful, to see that you are useful for other sentient beings, look at all these activities and responsibilities as a positive opportunity and think ‘I am so fortunate to benefit others’, then that’s one technique to stop squeezing the mind and developing lung (which also can bring high blood pressure and badly affect your health). So instead thinking of the benefit you are able to offer through all your work generates joy and happiness in your heart.
It is very essential to always remember to keep a mind of bodhicitta. That should be the main refuge in life. And to remember that what you are doing is according to the wishes and advice of the Guru. Always think how sentient beings are most kind and precious, and are suffering. The whole purpose of this life is to serve others and to ensure that they have happiness in all future lives. To give one’s own life to sentient beings who are most kind and precious, who are numberless. Developing your inner qualities, your realizations of the path which means you are able to offer deeper and better success, more extensive qualities to others; to liberate others from suffering and cause them to achieve not only temporary but ultimate happiness.
His Holiness says: ‘As long as the sky exists and suffering beings exist, I will abide and I will eliminate the sufferings of sentient beings as much as possible.’
In everyday life practice mindfulness as much as possible. Think that everyone is the wish-fulfilling jewel for all your happiness, so you yourself will be a wish-fulfilling jewel for all sentient beings.
Colophon: Advice given during a talk at Land of Medicine Buddha, April 6th 2003.
Transcribed by Ven.Munsel and Ven.Angie; lightly edited by Claire Isitt.
It´s hard to see Rimpoche
So I improve my practices
It´s so hard…
Then, I made it harder too
So now you say …it´s not the time to see Him yet
and just leave me to improve it more…
I think that I´ll be under the risk to became illuminated! !
That´s my lovely and precious Guru Blessings …!’
March 21st, 2003
Statements of Appreciation
No words can really completely capture the joyous feelings in my heart when I think of how Rinpoche and FPMT has benefited so many thousands of people these past twenty, thirty years. …Thank you everyone and most of all thank you to Rinpoche for opening my eyes and my mind to the true meaning and purpose of my life.
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