Supporting our Lamas
One of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s vast visions for the FPMT organization is to sponsor 1,000 Nung-Nä retreats. Upon hearing about Rinpoche’s vision, Institut Vajra Yogini quickly picked up the project of hosting these retreats and has now started a third set of 108 Nyung-Näs, from mid-November 2013 to mid-June 2014.
More than 125 students from 12 different countries took part in one or more Nyung-Näs, accumulating an amazing total of about 1,000 individual Nyung Näs! Four people offered a consecutive year of their lives engaging in these retreats.
The Nyung-Nä retreat is an intensive practice that carries great blessings and is highly praised by Lama Zopa Rinpoche as a supreme method for transforming the mind. The practice includes taking the 24-hour Mahayana precepts every day, with the addition of complete fasting and silence every second day. One does four – 2 ½ hour sessions of well-structured practice that includes meditation, prostrations and mantra recitation each day. It is a powerfully effective experiential practice that can be done by anyone with respect and faith for the practice.
16 people did more than eight Nyung-Näs, four of them managing to do more than 100 Nyung-Näs. This is something amazing in which to rejoice!
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund, sponsored some of these retreatants, as he had done for the two previous sets. The next set of 108 Nyung-Näs is scheduled from the November 18, 2014 to the 20th of June 2015. Lama Zopa Rinpoche is again offering sponsorship for up to 10 people able to commit for 100 Nyung-Näs.
These Nyung-Näs will be led in French but people can follow simultaneously in English or any other language.
Everybody is welcome to join for one or more Nyung Näs, you can contact Institute Vajra Yogini to enter any number of these retreats (1-100) when they begin the next set.
Contributing to the sponsorship of these Nung-Näs or completing one or more yourself is directly contributing to Rinpoche’s wishes.
Nyung-Näs are a most powerful, most beneficial and quickest way for you to develop bodhicitta, to collect extensive merit to quickly achieve enlightenment, to become Chenrezig, to liberate sentient beings from the oceans of samsara suffering and bring to enlightenment….This is an extremely powerful practice, it in an incredible way to develop bodhichitta.
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 committed to offer light to this statue for as long as the statue remains. The light is offered through a giant eighteen-gallon silver butter lamp which is in front of the statue.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund, has just paid 27,000 Rs for this offering to continue through 2015. A Kopan monk carried the money offering on the way to attending the Kalachakra Initiation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Ladakh and offered the money to the caretaker to ensure the light continues for another year. This will be an annual offering ensuring that the light never diminishes.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche explained the importance of Phakpa and this Chenrezig statue to Ven. Sarah Thresher and others. She recalls:
“Legend tells of a shepherd who came to the valley from Tibet. (Rinpoche says the shepherd was a holy being and Khandrola thinks he may have been an emanation of Tara). The shepherd would take the village goats up to a small lake in the mountains to graze but when the goats came back down to the village they had no milk. The village people began to suspect that the shepherd was taking the milk for himself, but this was not true, and the shepherd decided that the next time he went up the hill he would hide and watch to see what happened. What he saw was that Chenrezig would emerge from the lake and drink the goats’ milk.
“The shepherd approached Chenrezig and explained that he was being accused of taking the goats’ milk. He requested Chenrezig to please come down with him and tell the local people it was not true. Chenrezig agreed and told the shepherd to carry him on his back down to the village. Chenrezig said to the shepherd, “You may hear a noise as we are leaving but whatever happens don’t look back!” Sure enough, as they descended, the shepherd heard a loud sound but, ignoring Chenrezig’s advice, he looked behind and saw seven white men following. When these seven beings saw the shepherd they turned back and transformed into seven nagas or snakes that eventually merged into the hillside. (Rinpoche says that if the shepherd had not turned back these could have been more deities and there would have been more holy objects to liberate sentient beings but due to our karma that didn’t happen.)
“As the shepherd continued walking, Chenrezig became heavier and heavier, and by the time they reached the village, where there was a lot of conflict and fighting, Chenrezig became too heavy to carry. The shepherd then dropped Chenrezig who transformed into pure white marble. For this reason, it is said the statue is actually Chenrezig who has taken the form of a statue for us sentient beings. The shepherd also absorbed to a stone and both images, along with a black stone representation of Four-armed Mahakala with a naturally arising OM MANI PADME HUNG inscription at the back are housed in the small temple.
“Several miracles have been reported in connection with the Phakpa over the years, including the statue speaking and dripping with nectar. These days, a kind and gentle old Gelukpa monk takes care of the temple and pilgrims. He was appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and has been there for sixteen years. Rinpoche hopes that in the future more monks will settle and a small monastery will develop, the monks engaging in study and practice—particularly lam-rim—as well as performing pujas for the local people and pilgrims.
“Tibetans and Buddhists from the Himalayan regions come to Triloknath to pray and also to do Nyung-ne, Chenrezig fasting retreat. Rinpoche encouraged us to practice and dedicate as much as possible at the temple, explaining that all the prayers made to the Phakpa and shepherd’s image will be fulfilled. He also advised us to trek up to Omay Tso, the Milk Lake from which Chenrezig emerged. It is a steep and challenging 3-5 hour walk up the mountains and the water in the lake is white. This water descends down in a powerful stream and becomes the water supply for the village. Outside the temple taps also gush with white water. We all drank this and it was fresh, tasty and pure. It is said that even taking a few steps towards the Omay Tso is powerful.”
Written by Ven. Sarah Thresher with input from Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the help of Tushita staff and referring to “Garsha, Heart Land of Dakinis” published by Garsha Young Drukpa Association, Keylong, 2011.
You are welcome to contribute to this ongoing offering of light to this most precious Chenrezig statue:
Ngari Khangtsen, the khangtsen of Khensur Rinpoche Jampa Thegchok in south India, has been making progress on their Temple Project, a project to build a much-needed new prayer hall that can seat 150 monks comfortably.
Earlier this year, Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered, through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund, US$100,000 to this project which has an estimated budget of over US$500,000.
Tashi Delek to all the friends of Ngari Khangtsen at Sera Je Monastery, South India.
Today, we have some new and exciting news for everyone.
The Ngari Khangtsen “Temple Project” is underway!
We finally received building approval from the local government and have broken ground. We are preparing the grounds and getting ready to start pouring the foundation at our new temple at Sera Je, South India.
We would like to say a special thank you to Lama Zopa Rinpoche and all the members of the FPMT organization. Because of the amazing kindness and generosity in donating US$100,000, we have been able to start the building of our new temple.
The Monks of Ngari Khangtsen
Please rejoice in this progress!
In 2006, for the first time in the history of the Nalanda Tradition, Nyingma, Kagyü, Sakya and Gelug traditions have formed an umbrella organization called Nepal Buddhist Federation (NBF).
Among many other projects, NBF is organizing a regular broadcast of Dharma teachings on television and radio in Nepal.
Each of the four traditions offered toward this project, the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund was delighted to make an offering to these efforts. Kopan Monastery has been very involved with the various projects of the NBF with many senior monks serving as members.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche is committed to supporting the projects of the Nepal Buddhist Federation. Earlier this year, US$6,187 was also offered to the Rime Chirim Tendo Chenmo Monlam, a prayer festival for Saka Dawa dedicated to the healthy and long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the heads of the four Tibetan Buddhist schools, all other great masters, as well as for world peace.
In November 2012, on the very auspicious occasion of the 610th Anniversary of Lama Tsongkhapa’s composition of his masterpiece Lam-rim Chen-mo (The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment) and the 600th Anniversary of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching of this text at Gaden Monastery for the first time, His Holiness the Dalai Lama began offering teachings and transmissions on eighteen classic Lam-rim commentaries at the request of His Eminence Ling Rinpoche. His Holiness continued the incredibly rare teachings and transmissions this past year as well. The teaching event took place December 25, 2013 – January 3, 2014 at Sera Je Monastery.
During the teachings, Lama Zopa Rinpoche requested prayers from all of the Sangha attending (over 40,000), dedicated to the Maitreya Project and to the entire FPMT organization.
On behalf of all FPMT centers, projects, services, students, benefactors and volunteers Lama Zopa Rinpoche was able to make offerings totaling USD$27,805.49 to the Sangha.
In Tibetan Buddhism, disciples are considered the extensions of their teachers, the “pores of the guru.” Generosity in relation to the disciple is considered incredibly meritorious. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has explained:
Making offerings to the Sangha is a way of collecting unbelievable merit because all the sangha are the pores of the Guru. They are all disciples of the same Guru – His Holiness the Dalai Lama. By offering to pores of the Guru one collects more merit than offering to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, as well as numberless statues, stupas. If you offer with the recognition that they are the Guru’s pores then that is an unbelievable way to collect merit. When you offer to many Sanghas who have the same Guru then you are making offerings to that many pores of the Guru. So this is the easiest way to collect skies of merit by offering. By offering even just one candy, flowers or even one grain of rice to a statue of Buddha or even a visualized Buddha you collect skies of merit but here it is much more powerful than offering to the 3 jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) as well as all the statues, stupas and scriptures existing in all directions, so no question if offering to really the same Guru’s disciple. These benefits should be understood so that when you make offerings to the Guru’s pores you think correctly. This is the best business.
In 2006, for the first time in the history of the Nalanda Tradition, Nyingma, Kagyü, Sakya and Gelug traditions have formed an umbrella organization called Nepal Buddhist Federation (NBF). Since then, NBF has been engaging in many activities, including organizing the Rime Chirim Tendo Chenmo Monlam, a prayer festival for Saka Dawa dedicated to the healthy and long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the heads of the four Tibetan Buddhist schools, all other great masters, as well as for world peace.
The festival, now in its sixth year and taking place at Tharlam Sasang Namgyal Ling Monastery, Bouddhanath, Nepal, is a great historic achievement and a sign of growing harmony within the four schools of the Tibetan Buddhism. Four hundred Sangha members were invited from each of the four schools. In addition to the pujas and prayers offered, breakfast, lunch and dinner was also offered to each Sangha member as well as a small offering.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, through the Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund, was happy to offer US$6,187 toward this year’s festival.
You are welcome to donate any amount to support this project which directly supports the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa.
- Tagged: lama tsongkhapa teachers fund
One of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Vast Visions for the FPMT organization is to build 1,000 statues of Maitreya, the future Buddha, around the world including the two substantial Maitreya Projects in Bodhgaya and Kushinagar, India.
About these statues, Lama Zopa Rinpoche commented:
“The minimum size of the 1,000 statues should be 6 feet. Within the 1,000 statues, this includes the statue being built in Kushinagar and the statue being built in Bodhgaya. My aim is that the large statue in Kushinagar will last a minimum of 1,000 years. That means that for every day for at least 1,000 years, infinite sentient beings will receive unbelievable benefit, the causes for enlightenment. Another special thing about contributing to Maitreya, whether it be money or time or energy, is that it makes a connection with Maitreya, and the result is that one becomes a direct disciple of Maitreya Buddha when Maitreya returns to manifest enlightenment as Shakyamuni Buddha did.”
Maitreya Statues Completed/In Progress
- Maitreya Buddha Kushinagar Project
- Maitreya Project Bodhgaya
- 100 life sized statues from Maitreya Project, Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered 26 statues to FPMT centers
- Two 24-foot statues from Maitreya Project, one is now at Land of Medicine Buddha in California, the other is on Maitreya Project land in Bodhgaya
- 2 story statue built in a Monastery in Tibet
- 1 story statue built in a Nunnery in Tibet
Maitreya Buddha is the embodiment of each buddha’s loving kindness, and the symbol of all the bodhisattvas’ loving kindness for all sentient beings.
You can donate directly to the Maitreya Buddha Kushinagar Project being built in India.
The Holy Objects Fund contributes to the building of other Maitreya statues around the world.
Holy Objects Fund is a project of FPMT, Inc. and is administered by FPMT International Office located in Portland, Oregon, United States. All donations made to this fund are tax-deductible within the United States in accordance with IRS Code article 501(c)(3) to the extent allowed by law.
For more information please contact: Charitable Projects Coordinator
Ngari Khangtsen, the khangtsen of Khensur Rinpoche Jampa Thegchok in south India, has recently begun their new Temple Project.
In their own words, “We have outgrown the old 1983 prayer/ assembly hall made to house a maximum of 50 persons. In the new quarters, there is room for a brand new spacious prayer hall. Today, we have over 150 monks ranging from the very young to the very old. And we have definitely outgrown the old prayer hall. On hot summer days, the hall just does not accommodate enough oxygen for the number of praying and reciting participants!”
The Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund recently offered support to this important project. Lama Zopa Rinpoche was inspired to support this project and help it achieve fruition.
US$100,000 was offered to this project which has an estimated budget of over US$500,000.
Nagri Khangtsen also has a school in Ladakh and The Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodchitta Fund is also sponsoring, for the second year, the entire cost of a year’s food offering for the children studying at Ngari Institute of Buddhist Dialectics.
Please rejoice in the building of this new temple for the monks of Ngari Khangtsen.
Amitabha Buddha Centre (ABC), Singapore, has undertaken several projects which are in alignment with Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s vast visions for the FPMT organization.
Recently, they commissioned a 50 feet high x 30 feet wide large thangka depicting Amitabha Buddha in Sukavati pure land accompanied by the eight great bodhisattvas. Sewn entirely by hand by Tibetan artists in south India, it took over one year to complete the detailed applique work. Rinpoche requested ABC to arrange this thangka so the center could hold regular festival days where many offerings and practices could be done in front of the thangka as an incredible way to create merit and for people to connect with Amitabha Buddha.
Other centers are also contributing to Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s vast vision for FPMT centers to display large thangkas and host festival days where these thangkas can be enjoyed. Please rejoice in the incredible large thangkas currently being utilized in FPMT centers around the world!
Please enjoy this video of ABC hoisting up their large thankga for the 2014 Vesak Celebration.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche recently offered a series of teachings at Maitripa College in Portland, OR. These teachings were streamed live and are now available to watch at any time.
Rinpoche was very inspired by the work being done at Maitripa College, which has a strong focus on community service in addition to an impressive academic program. To help Maitripa continue this valuable work, Rinpoche offered, through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund, US$10,000 to the college.
Please rejoice in this offering and in the incredible work being done by Yangsi Rinpoche and his team at Maitripa College.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche recently raised US$20,000 for the Tashi Chime Gatsal Nunnery, Nepal, for the building of ten rooms for the nuns’ accommodation.
The offering was made from a number of extremely kind benefactors in Singapore.
Providing quality housing for Sangha is a priority for Rinpoche, he also recently offered $US50,000 toward the building of rooms for monks at a monastery in East Asia.
In addition, very year since 2009, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has sponsored the nuns of Tashi Chime Gatsal Nunnery to complete one and now two 100 million mani retreats (100 million recitations of the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM). In addition to the 100 Million Mani Retreats, Rinpoche is offering all the cost of food to all the nuns for this period as well as the cost of a very qualified geshe to stay during the retreat in order to give lam-rim teachings. One of these retreats is offered through the kindness of a benefactor, and the other through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund.
In addition to this, Kopan Monastery has offered robes to all of the nuns of Tashi Chime Gatsal Nunnery.
Please rejoice in this continued support to the nuns of Tashi Chime Gatsal Nunnery.
You are welcome to offer any amount to the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund
In this touching video, Lama Zopa Rinpoche meets the children of the Ngari Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Ladakh, India. Rinpoche is listening to the children reciting many prayers that they have memorized. Lama Zopa Rinpoche, through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund, is sponsoring all the food for the children this year. This is the second year that Rinpoche has offered this.
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It is important to understand that true practice is something we do from moment to moment, from day to day. We do whatever we can, with whatever wisdom we have, and dedicate it all to the benefit of others. We just live our life simply, to the best of our ability.