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Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund News
In July 2013 Lama Zopa Rinpoche engaged in retreat with Khadro-la and Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche in the valley of Lahual, India, which is known by meditators as Garsha Khandroling, “Land of the Dakinis.”
The retreat took place in one of the holy places in Garsha, Phakpa (or Triloknath), a small village with an ancient temple that houses a self-emanating statue of Chenrezig said to be the actual deity itself.
During the retreat Rinpoche sponsored one year of butter for the giant silver butter lamp which is in front of this extremely precious statue of Chenrezig. The cost of a year of butter for the light offering is US$430 a year. In fact, Rinpoche has committed to offer light to this statue for as long as the statue exists.
Rinpoche made the prayer when offering the butter light: ”I am offering this on behalf of all the six-realm sentient beings, all the animals, birds, fish, cockroaches, ants, every bat, every tiny insect that jumps up when you walk in the grass, every single crab, every spider, every butterfly and all the numberless animals and numberless beings in each of the six realms (hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals human beings, sura, asuras and intermediate state beings).” So this offering became an offering from all of these beings as well.
If you would like to contribute to Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s extensive offerings to holy objects around the world, you may donate any amount to the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund.
We are not aware of the limitless skies of benefits we achieve from the practice of offering, what we can achieve and enjoy from life to life. Even while you are in samsara, you enjoy good rebirths, wealth, and every happiness. Even just the samsaric perfections are amazing, without adding all those incredible realizations that allow us to offer deep benefit to sentient beings, liberating them from oceans of samsaric suffering and its cause, delusion and karma.
Light Offering Prayer
Composed by Lama Atisha
May the light of the lamp be equal to the great three thousand
worlds and their environments,
May the wick of the lamp be equal to the king of mountains –
May the butter be equal to the infinite ocean.
May there be billions of trillions of lamps in the presence of each
and every buddha.
May the light illuminate the darkness of ignorance of all sentient beings
From the peak of samsara down to the most torturous hell,
Whereby they can see directly and clearly all the ten directions’ Buddhas
and bodhisattvas and their pure lands.
OM VAJRA ALOKE AH HUM E MA HO
I offer these beautifully exalted clear and luminous lights
To the thousand buddhas of the fortunate eon,
To all the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the infinite pure lands
and of the ten directions,
To all the gurus, meditation deities, dakas, dakinis, dharma protectors,
and the assembly of deities of all mandalas.
From “Extensive Offering Practice,” by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
Available through the FPMT Foundation Store.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered US$3,321 to a small Tibetan settlement in the hills of Kulli Manali, India, for repairs to their gompa’s roof. This Tibetan settlement is where Zong Rinpoche’s mother lived previously.
This is the second offering from the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund to this settlement, Rinpoche also offered US$5,000 towards statues for the gompa and advised for a prayer wheel to be built (both pictured).
Please rejoice in this offering!
If you would like to contribute to the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund, any amount is welcome.
Since 2009 the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund has sponsored a small nunnery, Bigu Nunnery, located in a remote area of Nepal, to undertake annual 100 million mani retreats. In 2012 the fund started to sponsor two 100 million mani retreats. US$5,956 (600,000 Nepali rupees) was just granted for the sponsorship of the second retreat.
In addition to sponsoring the actual retreat and offering food to all the nuns in retreat, the fund also sponsors one Geshe Lobsang Gyaltsen to stay at the nunnery and give ongoing lam-rim teachings to the nuns.
Recently, eight new nuns joined the nunnery. During the retreat the nuns make strong prayers for Lama Zopa Rinpoche; FPMT centers, projects and services; all FPMT students, staff and volunteers; and also for all who contribute to the sponsorship of the 100 million mani retreats.
If you would like to contribute to the sponsorship of these retreats, which not only benefit the nuns of Bigu Nunnery but also the entire FPMT organization, you may donate any amount:
Lama Zopa Rinpoche was very pleased to offer, through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund, $US100,000 toward the various projects Sera Lachi is undertaking. Sera Lachi is made up of Sera Je and SeraMey Monasteries and this donation benefits both monasteries and the 6,000 monks studying at between them.
After receiving this offering, the administration of Sera Lachi responded: “We are praying that you and every single member of your organization will have a happy, prosperous, joyful and sound health in the years ahead. We also pray that the teachings of His Eminence Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche will reach every sentient being and help them to find happiness in their living.”
Sera Lachi is involved in many much-needed projects, including:
- Taking care of the palaces of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Panchen Rinpoche as well as the main temple, murals, etc.
- Under advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sera Lachi is building a new compound near Old Palace (where His Holiness the Dalai Lama had stayed while his permanent residence was being built) for holding Dharma awareness programs for lay people along with a Library.
- Due to deterioration of electrical supplies there are frequent and long power outages at the monasteries. Additionally, the existing transformers (electrical conduits) are old and in very poor condition, thus posing great danger to human lives during monsoon and power fluctuations. Because of this, Sera Lachi has plans to replace the old transformers that frequently break and cannot serve the growing needs of the Sera community.
- The tarred roads of Sera compound are damaged and new ones need to be laid. In addition, interlock bricks are needed in the foregrounds of Main Temple which holds public programs and is also where monks study. Sera Lachi plans to attend to these needs.
- Sera Lachi is building a new shop, canteen and guesthouse for generating future sources of income for the monasteries. This involves 113 solar lamps to cover the major streets which will enable the monks and visitors to move around in the night during the frequent power outages.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche was extremely happy to make this offering– Sera Lachi has been in existence for the last 600 years and is one of the most important learning universities of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. This offering directly supports the current and future monks who will be working so diligently to study the Dharma and preserve the Mahayana tradition.
Please rejoice in this offering. You are welcome to help support the projects Lama Zopa Rinpoche deems beneficial by making a donation of any amount to the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund:
Lama Zopa Rinpoche met Panchen Otrul Rinpoche during his recent visit to Mongolia and was very inspired by the many charitable projects Panchen Otrul Rinpoche has initiated. These projects benefit hundreds of people now suffering as a result of the ever increasing poverty resulting in the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2001 Panchen Otrul Rinpoche formed Asral NGO to help both individuals and communities. Please rejoice that the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund was able to offer US$10,000 toward this array of beneficial activities.
Asral NGO has provided many benefits to the Gachuurt community of Mongolia, particularly to women, poor children and bedridden elderly including efforts in the broad areas of: training, children, medication, aid:
- Many households in Mongolia are now headed by women, who are typically the poorest members of society. Asral NGO is committed to supporting these women and their families to achieve sustainable livelihoods, working closely with community leaders, to provide access to education, skills training and family support.
- Asral NGO address the specific needs of children, and their social workers work closely with local governors and community organizations to help make education, healthcare, nutrition and family support available to young children. The Hot Meal and Sponsorship Programs provide children with meals, equipment, clothes and school supplies.
- Poor living conditions, malnutrition, lack of warm clothes and pollution are all major causes of respiratory, heart and kidney disease. Asral NGO works with the local medical center, providing supplies, medical care, vitamins, clean and safe water supplies and public training in disease prevention programs.
- It is estimated that one third of the population of this area live below the poverty line. Over the last two decades, up to thirty thousand people moved each year to the city, resulting in the vast shanty district surrounding Ulaanbaatar. Asral NGO supports people in need with homes, stoves, fuel, food and emergency aid, particularly in the harsh and difficult winters.
- In addition to the organized charitable activity, Panchen Otrul Rinpoche also visits prisons, orphanages, schools and individuals in need.
You can learn more about Panchen Otrul Rinpoche and his Asral NGO project in Mongolia.
The Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund recently offered US$14,463 for the roof repair of Tenzin Ösel Hita’s teacher, Geshe Gendun Chompel. Ösel requested that Lama Zopa Rinpoche help in this way because the roof was very old and extremely hot in the Summer, making it very difficult for anyone to remain inside.
Ösel is still taking teachings from Geshe Gendun Chompel, and said this about those teachings in 2013, “It is so wonderful to hear the Dharma in such simple and clear terms, while clearing so many doubts I’ve had during a long time of my life. Understanding the teachings without having to clarify with anybody but myself. I’m so grateful for the understanding and help I have received. Thank you for the time to find myself, thank you for the patience and dedication, dearest Gen-la. You are like my Father and Mother, and will always be in my heart.”
One of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Vast Visions for FPMT is for some FPMT centers to display huge thangkas and host festival days.
In 2011 Lama Zopa Rinpoche through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund commissioned a 55 ft x 40 ft high stitched appliquéd thangka of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) to be displayed at Lawudo Retreat Center, Nepal. The total cost of the thangka was US$75,000 and was fully sponsored by an incredibly kind benefactor.
In the middle of the thangka is the Padmasambhava merit field. The right side has eight aspects of Padmasambhava and the left side displays Padmasambhava’s pure land.
In 2012 Rinpoche went to see the progress of the thangka which was quite incredible.
It is hoped that in 2013 His Holiness the Dalai Lama will bless the thangka before it goes to Lawudo where it will be displayed on special occasions, with incredible offerings.
The following advice was given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche regarding specifics for this Vast Vision:
I would like for there to be many thousands of offerings in front of the thangkas as well as offering banners. People could sit facing the thangka, or sit like they would in a puja. Extensive offerings can be set up and practices such as offering bath, prostrations, extensive offering practice etc. Students can recite the Seven Limb Prayer and offer a puja.
During the festival day in the beginning the centers could give some introduction to Buddhism, then also to lead a deity puja (according to what thangka is being displayed). Then people can offer music, dances, etc., to the thangka (and also for everyone to enjoy). In this way many people make a connection to the deity and connect to Dharma. Also many people who would not normally come to the centers will come: people with children, the elderly, neighbors.
The idea is for many people to offer music to the Buddha, offer dancing, offer singing, etc. The main thing is making the offering to Buddha. By offering to Buddha then it is something so meaningful, instead of just entertainment.
The centers can have a large umbrella above the thangka (yellow or orange color cloth). Also can have a procession up to the place where the thangka is displayed.
The center could advertise the festival day widely and invite people outside the center.
My wish is that the big centers in FPMT to have these large thangkas. This is a way to leave imprints for all these people who see them], for enlightenment.
Then also to have tea, food, a little bit like a party. Can be a buffet, but to offer delicious food. Then people always remember that and for sure they will come next time. They will ask, “When will it happen again?”
The festival days can be within the first day or Losar or the 15th day of Losar (Day of Miracles). On that day the merit is multiplied, so therefore every offering and practice you do, any virtue you do, increases one hundred million times. So if the festival is done on one of those days.
Other ideas: people can do three circumambulations around the thangka, centers could organize to have a horse carriage so that children can go around the thangka in a horse carriage. Then the horse also collects merit. Any animal that comes on that day makes their life meaningful. Children can go around on the horse carriage and all the people that can’t walk, they can still go around too.
This tradition comes from Tibet, where they would display a very, very large thangka on a mountainside, or on the wall once a year.
Since 2009 the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund has sponsored a small nunnery, Bigu Nunnery, located in a remote area of Nepal, to undertake annual 100 million mani retreats. In 2012 the fund started to sponsor two 100 million mani retreats.
In addition to sponsoring the actual retreat and offering food to all the nuns in retreat, the fund also sponsors one geshe to stay at the nunnery and give ongoing lam-rim teachings to the nuns.
We just received this message from the geshe: “Then nuns are just completing their 200 million mani retreat. They always do strong dedications for Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the FPMT organization and the retreat sponsors. They really feel that Rinpoche’s kindness is incomparable. This year there are eight new young nuns who have joined the nunnery.
Please rejoice in this incredible practice for world peace and that we have this opportunity to support this nunnery in this way.
If you would like to help sponsor these 100 million mani retreats, you may donate any amount to the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund:
The Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund is extremely honored to sponsor another 10 people to do 108 Nyung-Nä retreats at Institut Vajra Yogini, France. The 108 Nyung-Nä retreats starts in November 2013 and lasts until June 2014. In 2012 the fund also sponsored 10 people to complete 108 Nyung-Nä retreats.
Please enjoy this amazing account from Ven. Lhundrup Chodron, former director of the International Mahayana Institute, regarding her experience of completing the 108 Nyung-Näs.
108 Nyung-Nä Retreat
by Ven. Lhundub Chodron
At the outset of the seven month-108 Nyung-Nä retreat at Institute Vajra Yogini (IVY) I felt certain that it would be a transformative experience, one that would alter my mind in some definitive way. But as the days, weeks and months passed it became clear that there probably wouldn’t be any major shift in my heart/mind, no big breakthrough in my gnarly habits. What I did know was that every day I was planting many positive seeds in my mind that were being watered by the unfathomable skill and kindness of Lama Chenrezig.
We had the most perfect conditions for the retreat. All the staff at IVY were incredibly supportive, always encouraging and rejoicing for us. Many staff said that often they would wake up at 5 a.m and think: “They are in there doing Nyung-Näs. I rejoice!” Then roll over and go back to sleep. We really felt that the Institute was happy we were there and honored to take care of and support us. “C’est mon plaisir (it’s my pleasure)” is something we heard over and over again.
There was a core group who did the entire retreat, specifically Vens Charles and Namdrol, both of whom have done many, many Nyung-Näs. Other people came and went, staying for a session, a Nyung-Nä, a month or more. As the retreat leader, Ven. Charles created an environment that was spacious, loving and inclusive for all who wished to join the practice. Over the course of seven months dozens of people engaged in Nyung-Näs with us.
A friend of mine had an opportunity to receive advice from Khadro-la (Rangjung Neljorma Khadro Namsel Drolma) about a retreat she was planning. Khadro-la said “If you don’t harm the self-grasping mind retreat is worthless and you might come out worse than when you went in.” The Nyung-Nä is a very beautiful and powerful practice for harming self-cherishing and the underlying self-grasping mind.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche indicated that it is very, very beneficial for Ven. Charles to lead another 108 Nyung-Nä retreat at IVY beginning in November. I highly recommend this retreat to anyone interested in expanding their capacity to live solely for the benefit of others.
Director of IVY, François Lecointre, reports:
“If we add up everybody, almost 100 different participants in total have participated in one or more Nyung-Näs and almost 850 individual Nyung-Näs have been accumulated during these seven months.”
Institut Vajra Yogini is hosting another round of 108 Nyung-Näs November 15, 2013 – June 19, 2014. Once again Lama Zopa Rinpoche wishes to sponsor 10 students to do the 108 Nyung-Näs. This sponsorship is the continued expression of one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Vast Visions for FPMT which he explained in 2007. For more information please contact Institut Vajra Yogini.
In April 2013 the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund was very happy to offer $100,000 towards the building of the new classrooms at Sera Je Monastery. The classrooms will also primarily be used to teach subjects such as science and other fields of knowledge within the monastic curriculum. This is a direct request from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and is a long term objective of Sera Je Monastery to be in line with the vision and recommendations of His Holiness The Dalai Lama in integrating this kind of study into the monastic education.
In July 2013, during His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to Sera Je Monastery, His Holiness was able to visit the new classrooms. The photo above is a student monk describing a science experiment. Science classes are now part of the curriculum at the Tibetan monastic universities in India.
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