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September 2008

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Rinpoche and Ven. Roger Kunsang assessing the property at Buddha Amitabha Pure Land, Washington, USA. August 2008.
Photo by Ven. Holly Ansett
Rinpoche's 2008 Schedule
To find more information as it becomes available, and for details of how to contact the center and book for these events, please go to Rinpoche’s Schedule.

    Sept – 8 - 22 Rinpoche will give a couple of public teachings for Shedrup Ling and Golden Light Sutra Centers, Mongolia
           23 - 27 Do Ngak Sung Juk Centre, Japan
           23 - Public Talk
           25 - 26 - Teaching
           27 - Medicine Buddha Initiation

    Dec – 3 - 19 Teaching at November Course, Kopan Monastery, Nepal
         27 Public talk hosted by Himalayan Buddhist Meditation Center

    May 5 – June 6   1,000-Arm Chenrezig initiation and 100 Million Mani retreat, Institut Vajra Yogini, France

Some gifts Rinpoche bought while travelling, June 2008. Visit the LZR Photo Gallery for more new pics.
Photo by Ven. Holly Ansett
NEW Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The Importance of Meditation
Rinpoche commented about the importance of meditation and gave advice to Ven. Birgit Lobsang Drime of the Basic Program at Istituto Lama Tsong Khapa in Italy. (First published in Mandala magazine, Aug-Sept 2008 issue).


“Of course we have to analyze what proper meditation is, what correct meditation is. [Correct meditation is]
that which becomes the Dharma - that which becomes a cause for happiness in future lives, a cause for liberation from samsara and a cause for enlightenment. That is the whole process; that is what meditation must accomplish: happiness of future lives, liberation and enlightenment. If it is a cause for that, then it is Dharma, then you can call it correct meditation.”

Also see Rinpoche’s other encouraging and inspiring advice to Basic Program students about the Benefits of retreat on lam-rim

More advice from Rinpoche

Enjoy brief glimpses of Rinpoche on our streaming videos page

Advice from Khenrinpoche Lama Lhundrup
Very precious and responsible FPMT center directors and members; Dear Dharma brothers and sisters,

When problems arise in the centers, between members, or between director and members, then it is very, very important from the very start to always have peaceful, good, compassionate communication with each other and consider each other.

The director and staff in the center need to take care of everybody, any person at all, who comes to the center - be they casual visitors, old students, new students, staff, volunteers and most of all the teachers and geshes. Showing respect to all of them increases harmony in the center and in this way brings great benefit for everybody and makes the center flourish.

Practicing guru devotion strongly brings many benefits and realization. So continuously practicing guru devotion is beneficial for one's own mind and for all those around us.  If sometimes what the guru tells us or asks from us is difficult, then all the teachers and members have to meet together, and discuss honestly and openly how to follow the guru's suggestions. Avoid harsh speech to each other, and to the guru.

Thank you very much.

With many countless Tashi Delek,

Lama Lhundrup

International Office News
Education Programs
The current Masters Program will be taking up Rinpoche’s advice to host a final comprehensive exam at the conclusion of their six years of study. Thanks to Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa Masters Program staff!

We will soon be adding Spanish, French, and Czech translations to the Basic Program updates page on the website.

NEW! Much exciting news is on the horizon stemming
Lama Zopa Rinpoche inaugurating the new home for Kadampa Center, USA. July, 2008
from Rinpoche’s recent commitment to teach Atisha’s Lamp of the Path over the course of the next three years at Kadampa Center, USA. More information will be coming out on this soon.

Rejoicing for the Merit Box
There are a number of exciting announcements concerning the Merit Box. First of all there was a total of $89,000 raised during the 2007 collection period. $55,000 has been distributed to a variety of centers and projects. Land of Medicine Buddha, Shine Land, Chenrezig Institute, Maitripa Institute, and Langri Tangpa have all received grants. There are more grants to be distributed in the near future.

We are accepting new grant applications for the upcoming year from any center, project, service or study group that has a worthy project. Please contact Chuck Latimer, Merit Box Coordinator, for an application or other information.

Finally, we are excited to announce the newly designed Merit Box that will be available in the near future. The practice booklet has been translated into 10 languages and there are 4 different languages on the Merit Box itself, French, Spanish, Chinese and English. We have worked very hard at making this practice accessible for as many people as possible. There will be a notice sent out to all the centers when the new boxes are available.

Please take the time to rejoice in all this wonderful merit.

Rinpoche has lunch with very old (not in age) and devoted student, Jon Landaw.
Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang
An FPMT Translation and Editorial Committee has been named and we are very pleased to be going forward with Ven. Fedor Stracke, Ven. Namdak, Ven. Joan Nicell, Conni Kraus, and Jon Landaw as our experts in the field of translation and editing. The extremely important task of this committee first and foremost will be to establish a glossary of terms for all FPMT curriculum translations. More information coming.

Mandala’s first quarterly issue – October-December 2008 – goes to press this week with a cover feature on “The First Turning of the Wheel”. We asked practitioners: “When and how did the wheel of the Dharma first turn for you?” Their stories of connection are inspiring, funny, moving, and they resonate with the intensity that many of us feel in our first exploration of the Dharma. Geshe Tashi Tsering of Chenrezig Institute and scholar Jim Blumenthal round out the feature with skillful summaries of the four noble truths, as well as the philosophy and historical context of all three turnings of the wheel. This issue additionally offers a robust Youth feature which presents many ways in which FPMT is preparing the next generation to enter the world with love and kindness alive in their hearts. You’ll also find a thorough presentation of emptiness by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in his “Letter from Rinpoche”.

Thanks to your support, Mandala is excited to announce that we will be debuting our new e-zine (electronic magazine) for Foundation Members in late November 2008, which will be followed in early December by our January-March 2009 print issue. Stay tuned for more details!

Foundation Membership
Mandala is a benefit of the Foundation Membership program. If you would like to receive Mandala for yourself or your center, or are a regular subscriber and have not renewed under our new membership program, please visit or contact our membership coordinator, Sandra Peterson, at 503.808/1588 x126,

Lama Chopa Survey - Thank you SO much to the 127 respondents to our Lama Chopa survey. The conclusion from the information gathered is that we will keep all of Rinpoche’s advice (additions) within the text AND we will make great effort to reformat the text in a way that it is easier to follow.

International Sangha Day Survey - Many thanks to all who responded to our survey about FPMT’s International Sangha Day!  More information based on your responses will come soon.

For Center Directors, SPCs and Teachers

Help with Thanking Your Key Volunteers
In response to a request from FPMT Australia, we have created a beautiful certificate, signed by Rinpoche, which FPMT center, projects and services can use to acknowledge and honor precious volunteers.

The certificate has space for you to write the volunteer’s name, and the center/project/service name so that it can be personalized to your special volunteer.

The certificate can be downloaded for free from the Members Area!  It comes in two formats -
  1. print ready with bleed lines etc, which can go to a printer to be professionally printed.
  2. a version without the bleed lines so it can be directly printed on your own printer.

We hope that this is a helpful addition to the Volunteer Kit!  (That and more Volunteer Support information is available under Center Management in the Members Area).

A one day Inner Job Description (IJD) will kick off the North America Regional Meeting in Portland November 24 – 26 led by Amy Cayton.

Offer of Software Training
Just a reminder of a fantastic opportunity for your center/project to get training in publishing and media design technology from Harald Weichart.  Harald is Austrian, and can train in English and German.

Harald is available from October 2008 to approx. March 2009.  He is offering his time for free, and needs travel, food and accommodation costs covered.

In order to facilitate requests for training, Harald has created a brief survey, which includes more information about the time needed for each training – if your center didn’t see the details sent by Claire on the CPMT egroup, please email me and I will send it on to you.

Using the Monthly FPMT E-News
We understand that some of you may not have time to read this newssheet in detail each month – though we hope you do read it!  We hope you will agree that it is crucial that (if you don’t have time) that someone at the center takes responsibility to read it through each time and to give you key updates, as the News includes important new advice from Rinpoche and new program/materials information.

Also we are thrilled that many centers forward the FPMT News to their subscribers, and to see that many centers and projects take relevant chunks from the FPMT News to use in their own e-news and newssheets/magazines – fantastic!

Advice Update for Teachers
We hope you saw, and found useful, the compiled key advice given by Rinpoche in the last 6 months. If any FPMT teachers missed it, please write to Claire.

FPMT Snippets

Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo
Translator Program

Ven. Lhundup Chodron, director, writes:
"I am delighted to announce that LRZTP has a new home in Dharamsala, close to the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. We are located in what was formerly part of the Rato Chuwar Labrang, at the end of a pathway just down from Delek Hospital.  It is a lovely two story building with wide verandas, wrought iron railings, a courtyard and rooftop with a view.

Eighteen fortunate students will begin their two year classroom studies November 3, 2008. The class will have representatives from 12 nationalities, with several students already sponsored by the FPMT centers noted below.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche blessing an insect - Rinpoche was visiting a temple, but made time to stop and bless the insect on the path. July 2008
Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang
Nationality # students FPMT Sponsoring Center









Nalanda Monastery









1 student sponsored by Nalanda Monastery






ILTK & Muni Gyana Center, Italy



Rinchen Zangpo Study Group &



Khamlungpa Center, Mexico










I trust that the current class of students will follow in the footsteps of past lotsawas and LRZTP graduates and be of great benefit in spreading the Buddhadharma."

Update on the Amdo Eye Center
Please rejoice!! The Amdo Eye Center building is nearly finished! The whitewashing of the whole building is complete and the inside of the building is being completed. Recently the boiler, switchboard, radiator, and water supply facilities were installed. The construction is on schedule and within budget.

In August 2008, FPMT sent an installation payment of US$90,000 to the Amdo Eye Clinic.  This is the third progress payment. We still need $210,000 to complete and equip the building.

IMI's contribution to World Peace
The International Sangha Prayers for World Peace, the International Mahayana Institute (IMI) community's offering to celebrate FPMT International Sangha Day, had over 500 participants in the prayers. A total of 1,674 recitations of the Sutra of Golden Light were offered (and confirmed) for world peace. Rejoice in this wonderful offering to our teachers, to our leaders and to our fellow sentient beings.

Chenrezig Institute, Australia, threw a retirement puja/going away party for retiring director Anni Mountjoy. As Anni said, “So loving and generous in their farewell! So that’s it then... (I don’t think so!!)”

Comments from Retiring
Center Directors

David Andrews, who retired as director of Tara Institute, Australia after almost 7 years of service, said the thing he will miss most is thanking people.

Opportunities to Offer Service in FPMT
Keep checking for interesting opportunities to offer service in FPMT centers around the world.

There are currently three opportunities to join the team at FPMT International Office - we are looking for a Director of Finance, Managing Editor for Mandala Magazine, and Technology Professional/s.

Impermanence at Work – Center Details Changes
NB: center details are always most up to date in the directory on the FPMT website,

Chenrezig Institute, Australia
New director – Maureen Walshe
With grateful thanks to outgoing director – Anni Mountjoy

Choe Khor Sum Ling Study Group, India
Tel: 080-41486497

Himalayan Buddhist Meditation Center, Nepal
Center location: Temple Tiger Building, 191/6
Mailing address: G.P.O Box 5761, Keshermahal Marg,
Thamel, Kathmandu

Khamlungpa Center, Mexico
New director – Lourdes Castro
With grateful thanks to outgoing director – Ana Paula Perez

Kurukulla Center, USA (changing mid-Sept)
New director - Nick Ribush
With grateful thanks to outgoing director - Wendy Cook

Maitripa Institute is now - Maitripa College (following their successful application to offer graduate degrees in Buddhist Studies in the state of Oregon, USA) 

Milarepa Center, USA (changing mid-Sept)
New director (and still an FPMT Touring Teacher) - Ven Amy Miller
With grateful thanks to outgoing director - Dahmay Shiday

Nagarjuna C.E.T. Valencia, Spain
New director – Steve Milton
With grateful thanks to outgoing director – Alfredo Medrano

Taiwan National Office
No. 85 Sec. 1 Min Sheng East Road
Tel/Fax: (886) 2 2523 0727

Tara Institute, Australia
New director – Judy Mayne
With grateful thanks to outgoing director – Dave Andrews

Tubten Kunga Center, USA
New spiritual program coordinator – Alex Schimel

Vajrapani Institute, USA
New spiritual program coordinator – Rafael Gandhi Magana
With grateful thanks to outgoing SPC – Marianna Janicelli

Yeshe Gyaltsen Center, Mexico

Error in last News

New SPC Sophie Lacroix is at Gendun Drupa Center, SWITZERLAND (not Gendun Drubpa Study Group, Canada!).  Apologies!

With love,
FPMT International Office