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FPMT News
September 2007

Lama Zopa Rinpoche visits Wisdom Publications in Boston, USA. on July 29th 2007.

Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang
 
Rinpoche's Current Activities and Schedule
For the detailed schedule and details of how to contact the center and book for these events, please go to Rinpoche’s Schedule.

Rinpoche will be giving the lung of the Golden Light Sutra at Tibet House in New York, USA at 2pm on Sunday Sept 9th.

Rinpoche will then be giving teachings on the Three Principal Aspects of the Path and 21 Tara initiation at Guhyasamaja Center, USA on Oct 20 – 21.

He will then teach at the Kopan November course towards the end of this year.

Rinpoche will teach at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India from Dec 28 2007 - Jan 2 2008.

 
Lama Zopa Rinpoche in his room at Kopan Monastery, Nepal.

Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang
New Advice from
Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Benefits of Retreat on Lam-Rim

Rinpoche recently wrote to the Basic Program students at Istituto Lama Tsong Khapa in Italy who have just completed a three month lam-rim retreat. In this letter, Rinpoche gives us all encouragement to practice what we have studied, and explains how this confirms the Buddha's teachings and is the best offering to oneself, sentient beings and world peace. 

Excerpt:

Students who are not interested in retreat and practice should realize if they want something for their heart, if they love themselves and want to do
something to affect their heart, and fill their hearts with great satisfaction, deep joy, and meaning, then this comes from retreat and practice. ...I am extremely, extremely pleased. Even in the beginning there were some difficulties, but you all took my advice to do the retreat on lam-rim, so you experienced yourself; you got the real taste in your heart.
 
New FPMT Study Groups
Bringing the total number of FPMT centers and study groups worldwide to 151 in 33 countries!

Gendun Gyatso Study Group, Brazil
          Rua Maria Teresa Dias Da Silva, 234,
          Cidade Universitaria, Barao Geraldo, Campinas, Sp
          CEP 13083-820
          Tel: (19) 2121 1803
          fpmtcampinas@gmail.com       
          Coordinator Plinio Tsai

Tara Liberation Study Group, Finland
          Uudenmaankatu 33, Helsinki
          Tel: (358) (50) 353 2886
          taraliberation@yahoo.co.uk
          Coordinator Eeva Särelä

Closed FPMT Study Group
Sadly due to financial and organizational difficulties, Osel Study Group in Goa, India is closed.

Thanks to all who helped the group during its 6 years of benefiting beings!

 
International Office News

Liberation Prison Project’s 2008 Tibetan Calendar is now available! In its tenth year, this small wall calendar features Buddhist images, inspirational sayings from great masters, and the Tibetan lunar calendar, including all the holy days, precept days, etc., for the Year of the Earth Mouse 2135. For centers who would like to purchase the calendar wholesale, please see this link for distributors in your area.

Merit Box Project
The first batch of 5000 Merit Box kits is nearly gone and we are working on redesigning the box and booklet for the next set. Many dedicated translators have submitted the Merit Box practice in their language for addition to the booklet. The new version is a snapshot of our global FPMT family and will contain 11 languages!

The role of women in the Tibetan Buddhist Sangha features strongly in the October-November issue of Mandala, due out around September 9. So, too, do some amazing teachings.

The long anticipated statue of FPMT's founder Lama Thubten Yeshe arrived at FPMT International Office on August 1 and was greeted with katas, incense and tea. Gold leafing and construction of a throne are in the works.

Photo by Kim Hollingshead

We are still looking for some professional publisher assistance.  Editor Nancy Patton is in Australia for the duration, Associate Editor Sara Blumenthal is on maternity leave with baby Benjamin Jack born July 25, and Subscriptions/Advertising manager Sandra Peterson is holding the fort brilliantly.

What would help Mandala right now? How about each of you walking into a news agent or bookstore and asking if they stock Mandala, and if not, why not? Every positive thought, every new subscription – they all help to keep us going.

Education Materials
New - They have arrived! The Rituals Training Manual, Tulku Talk and Intermediate Practices of Vajrayogini are all now available from the Foundation Store. The Six Session Guru Yoga glossy booklet will be arriving very soon; look for it in Practice Booklets.

Coming Soon – Glossy booklets of Practices of Namgyälma, Preliminary Practice of Dorje Khadro, and Preliminary Practice of Tsa-Tsas.

At the end of October Chenrezig Institute will offer the Basic Program (BP) Final Exam 2007. As one of our few residential BPs, the level of study at CIN is impressive. In fact, most students sitting the exam have attended more than one round of CIN's demanding study program. These BP graduates will join those at Maitreya Institute and Institute Lama Tsong Khapa in receiving the first FPMT Basic Program Completion Certificates.

And at Nalanda Monastery another outstanding Basic Program will start February 2008: five years full-time residential, in a monastic setting, in three languages (English, French and Spanish), complete with final exam and three month lam-rim retreat! 

 
Kopan November Course
We're very happy to let you know that this year's one month November Course at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, will be led by Ven Kaye Miner.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche will teach towards the end of the course.

The one month course at Kopan is an essential introduction to FPMT's unique style of practice and study of Buddhism - and highly recommended, inculding for those offering service in FPMT centers and projects.

Regarding course structure and emphasis, Ven. Kaye writes, “It's difficult for me to be precise now about topics I might emphasize but I am a great fan of Bodhicitta and the 6 perfections. Shantideva is my hero! And I just love his practical advice for subduing the delusions and cultivating the positive qualities. So I certainly want to emphasise the importance of seeing the whole path as something to integrate and practice and not just for acquiring intellectual knowledge. My motivation for doing this course is to inspire people to clearly and intelligently examine the dharma. To question and identify the benefits and use the understanding and methods gained from listening, reflecting and meditating to really help themselves and others.”

Venerable Kaye Miner was born in 1959, and raised in Australia where she first met Tibetan Buddhism. After attending the 1985 Kopan November course, she took teachings from Lama Zopa Rinpoche and worked for FPMT International Office before being ordained as a nun in 1990. She has been the spiritual program coordinator at Tara Institute in Australia and Maitreya Institute Amsterdam. Since January 1, 2003 she is also the director of Maitreya Institute Emst and is the resident teacher at Maitreya Institut, Amsterdam.  Venerable Kaye teaches in easy to understand English. 

 
Little dog being blessed with the holy relics of Shakyamuni Buddha, in Colmar, France.
Maitreya Project’s Heart Shrine Relic Tour Visits Denmark
Following the display of the holy relics at Tong-nyi Nying-je Ling, Copenhagen, Denmark, center director, Tine Norup Lauridsen said, “The last two weeks have been busy with hosting the Maitreya Project Relic Tour, and Sunday the mandala of the relics dissolved. It has been a very precious time. Wonderful to meet Andy Melnic and Ven. Siliana Bosa (Relic Custodians for the 2007 European Relic Tour), and for the centre, the city, and Denmark the relics have been a wonderful blessing. Many volunteers helped out and for sure it has strengthened
the group. Furthermore the connections between different groups, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, have also improved. At the opening ceremony Tibetans, Chinese, Vietnamese and Danes contributed.”

For more details about the Relic Tour events around the world during 2007, please email or visit the Relic Tour Calendar.

 
Animal Liberation Sanctuary T-Shirt Design Competition
This is your chance to be part of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Animal Liberation Sanctuary by entering our first T-shirt design competition to create a brand embodying the message of animals as sentient beings and the character of animals to be rescued. The winning design will be used to promote FPMT’s sanctuary at Kopan monastery in Nepal and will be featured on items such as T-shirts and bags.  The judges are looking for something eye-catching and simple with a design that works in two colors.

The first place award is a glass 'dzi' bead donated by Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lama Lhundrup, abbot of Kopan Monastery, and a runner’s up gift of a limited edition print donated by internationally renowned thangka artist, Andy Weber. Please email the Sanctuary Coordinators, Tania Duratovic & Phil Hunt, for competition conditions and submission format. The Competition closes on October 1 and the winner will be announced on World Animal Day, 6 October 2007.

 
Connecting Our Dharma Practice with Our Life in the World

Mind and Motivation

One of the core aspects of Buddhist practice is understanding our own mind. Why do we think, feel and act the way we do? How easy is it to really fully understand the complexity of emotions and reasons that motivate our adventures through everyday life? The recent Stern Report to the UK government pointed out that the costs to the UK treasury of the disasters likely to arise from climate change were predicted to be far greater than the costs of averting the problem in the first place. The human cost is predicted to be even greater than any monetary loss. So why are we, as a species, still collectively engaged in everyday activities that are authoritatively predicted to cause enormous harm to ourselves and all other beings? It is, at best, illogical.

For practising Buddhists, the question takes on larger dimensions. Are we aware of the processes in our own minds as we engage in these actions? Are we aware of acting 'illogically'? If these actions are known to cause harm to ourselves and to others, then to engage in them is to break our commitments to practise compassion wherever possible. At the same time, we have a sense of ourselves as compassionate people who have no wish to harm others. So where is the blank spot on our mental map?

The responsibility falls on us as Western practitioners to explore our own minds and culture and come up with our own solutions in the context of Buddhist compassion.

Best wishes,
Elaine xx
Shenphen Thubten Choeling Center for Socially and Ecologically Engaged Buddhism

 
FPMT Snippets
In July 2007, Rinpoche said He would like an animal blessing to happen if possible when He visits centers. 

“Many people don’t come to centers to attend teachings, but have pets and would go to an event for the animals. The animal blessing can be in public places and children can come and people who are interested, who don’t come to the center much. There needs to be one table that is piled high with holy objects, specifically stupas with the 4 Dharmakaya relic mantras, mantras can be chanted, water blessed and then
Animal blessing organized during Rinpoche's visit to Kurukulla Center, Boston, USA.  July 28th.
sprinkled over the animals. There needs to be good advertising, if one is able to advertise more then more people come. The pets and the people get so much benefit from these events. This is a new thing that I would like to start - as much as possible for there to be animal blessing events when I visit the centers."

 
Opportunities to Offer Service in FPMT
Keep checking http://www.fpmt.org/resources/jobs.php for interesting opportunities to offer service in FPMT centers around the world.

New opportunities include Spiritual Program Coordinator at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India and Director of the Community Center run by FPMT Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar!

 
Impermanence at Work – Center Details Changes
NB: center details are always most up to date in the directory on the FPMT website, http://www.fpmt.org/centers/

Australia National Office
Tel: (61) (2) 9749 4507
Coordinator Helen Patrin
With grateful thanks to outgoing coordinator, Sandy Smith

Buddha House, Australia
Director Tony Migalka
With grateful thanks to outgoing co-director, Gabe Edwards

Centro Terra di Unificazione Ewam, Italy
Director Francesco Carpini
With grateful thanks to outgoing director, Valentina Dolara

Centro Studi Cenresig, Italy
Director Giovanni Del Casale
With grateful thanks to outgoing director, Emanuela Stecchezzini

Chengawa Study Group, Australia
32 Atkinson Street
Cook, Canberra, ACT

Do Ngak Sung Juk Centre, Japan
Sento Biru, 10th Floor
2-21-28-1000, Shimomeguro
Meguro-ku, Tokyo 161-0033

Enlightenment Project for Purification and Merit, Australia
info@enlightenmentprojct.com

FPMT Taiwan
Chairperson/National Coordinator - Shen Mei-Chen
With grateful thanks to outgoing coordinator, Huang Chun-Roo

Ganden Tendar Ling Study Group, Russia
Tel: (7) (95) 930-18-11
Coordinator Andrey Lomonosov
With grateful thanks to outgoing coordinator, Sasha Nariniani

Gompawa Study Group, USA
www.gompawa.com
gompawa@att.net

Himalayan Buddhist Meditation Centre, Nepal
SPC - Antonio Pascual

Jangsem Ling Retreat Centre, Malaysia
jangsemling@yahoo.com

Lawudo Retreat Centre, Nepal
lawudogompa@runbox.com
Director Frank Brock
With grateful thanks to outgoing director, Ven. Tsenla

Rinchen Zangpo Study Group, Mexico
Col. Ampliación Los Ángeles
Torreón, Coah, CP 27140
Tel: (871) 712 6873

Thubten Shedrup Ling, Australia
Director Ven. Lhundrup
With grateful thanks to outgoing director, Ven. David Marks

 

With love,
FPMT International Office

 



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