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Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund News
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 for 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.
June 2013: Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund was very happy to offer US$21,058 to Sera Je Dhakpo Khangtsen for the building of new rooms for the monks. Dhakpo Khangtsen remains one of the poorest Khangtsens (houses) at Sera Je Monastery. It does not have its own Gompa and the monks living there do not have adequate rooms, kitchen, toilet and bathroom facilities. This donation will go toward new rooms for the monks and will help with some much needed renovation.
It has always been a high priority of FPMT and Lama Zopa Rinpoche to support and care for our IMI (International Mahayana Institute) Sangha family. IMI is made up of the monks and nuns of FPMT.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche personally sponsors at least 7-15 IMI Sangha fully each year through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund.
In addition, on each of the four holy days (15th day of Losar, Saka Dawa, Buddha’s First teaching and Buddha’s Descent from Tushita), through the FPMT Puja Fund a small offering is made directly to each Sangha member at the IMI Sangha communities of FPMT in Italy, France, Australia and USA.
This is the second year that the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund partially sponsored a very successful 100,000 Guru Rinpoche Tsog offering puja that was held in Switzerland. US$28326.91 was offered toward this puja.
We received this message from organizers about the amazing event:
“The puja was graced by the presence of His Eminence Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and ritual masters from Namgyal Monastery, khenpos, geshes, lamas, monks from all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism, representatives of His Holiness The Dalai Lama in Switzerland, the President and Vice President of the Tibetan Community in Switzerland, the President of the Tibetan Women’s Association and over 130 Tibetans and Western Dharma practitioners.
“The puja took five days and it also provided a platform for theyounger generation of Tibetans to experience an aspect of our rich ancient culture and tradition.
“What a blessing, what an honor and what a joy it was to have all these great masters and practitioners come together with single pointed devotion and aspiration for the long life of His Holiness The Dalai Lama and for world peace.
”At this moment, we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude and thank you for your kind generosity and support toward the successful accomplishment of this grand prayer in the beginning, middle and end. Without your help this would not have been possible.
“We pray through the acquired root of virtue: may the precious doctrine of Lord Buddha flourish far and wide throughout the world. May His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Avalokiteshvara in person, your Eminence and all the other lineage holders’ lotus feet remain stable and may all of your holy wishes be spontaneously fulfilled.
“May peace prevail in the world, may the cause of Tibet be actualized through the policy of middle path that is mutually beneficial for both Tibet and China and may Tibetans living inside and out of Tibet reunite and all enjoy the new glory of perfection. May the Rigzin Dungdrub (Maha Guru Boomtsok) spread all over the world, bringing benefit to all sentient beings.”
April 2013: The Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund is offering a small amount of annual monetary support to the family of the incarnation of Dromo Geshe Rinpoche who are very much in need of basic needs and support. Rinpoche met with the family recently while in South India and offered to help. The young Dromo Rinpoche is now studying Drati Khangtsen at Sera Je Monastery.
April 2013: Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund recently donated US$30,000 for the complete renovation of a school kitchen at the Central School for Tibetans in Bylakuppe in South India.
The school was established in 1971 and caters to children of nearby Tibetan settlements. The school has 350 students and 32 teaching and non-teaching staff. Over the years theschool has constantly achieved good academics. Besides emphasizing excellence in its academic program, the school stresses equal importance on the all around development of the students. Activities such as sports, literary activities, music, dance, and more are offered.
The school also emphasizes the preservation and promotion of Tibetan culture and positive values among the students through a series of initiatives including inviting eminent speakers and participating in various functions and festivals in the settlement. In 2010 His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with the children from this and other Tibetan schools in the area.
Statements of Appreciation
I feel like FPMT is taking off like a rocket this year! I’m so happy for Rinpoche and Lama and everyone who is working, helping, studying or operating any of the centers, study groups, etc. Amazing.
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