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FPMT Home Page
February 2009

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Rinpoche speaking at ABC's 20th Anniversary Dinner.
Photo by Yew Kim Guan
Rinpoche's Schedule
To find more information as it becomes available, and for details of how to contact the center and register for these events, please go to Rinpoche’s Schedule. We have recently updated this webpage to be even easier for you to use!

    February – Potowa Center, Jakarta, Indonesia
      6 – 9 Solitary Hero Yamantaka initiation
      13 – 15; 20 – 22 Lama Chöpa commentary
      25 – Public talk, “How to Be Happy”
      26 – Public talk at the University

    April 18 – 19 Great Medicine Buddha initiation, Kalachakra Centre, Paris, France
    April 26 – May 2 CPMT Meeting, Institut Vajra Yogini, France

    May 5 – June 6 1000-Arm Chenrezig Great Initiation and 100 million Mani Retreat with Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Institut Vajra Yogini, France

    September (exact date not set) Teachings on Light of the Path, Kadampa Center, Raleigh, USA

NEW Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Antidotes to Recession
“Of course the world economy is going down … but even if the world economy is going up, there are many people in the world going down. That happens – that is the explanation of karma, the description of karma. And even when the world economy is going down, there are individual people going up, due to their karma … If you have lots of merit, you don’t suffer – that’s what I am saying.

I know nothing about economies, but how you spend money, you have to decide what is meaningful. What is meaningful, you spend; what is meaningless, you cut down. In this way, other sentient beings get a lot of benefit, you get a lot of benefit. [By making offerings to the Triple Gem], you collect unbelievable benefit, happiness in this life and future lives, up to liberation and enlightenment.

When the economy goes down, that means we should practice more good heart in our daily lives towards sentient beings, develop more compassion, practice more patience. We don’t know who’s a buddha or bodhisattva, but if you get angry with a buddha or bodhisattva, then one thousand of eons of merit that you have created in the past gets destroyed in one second. And even if you dedicated for the enlightenment of all sentient beings, if you don’t seal it with emptiness, the merit can be weakened even when it is not destroyed.

We need to collect a lot of merit in our day to day life, to practice kindness everyday towards sentient beings, all the time as much as possible, from the heart – so this is Dharma. Each act of kindness becomes the cause for success not just in this life but hundreds of thousands of lifetimes. From one act of kindness all your wishes for happiness get fulfilled. Why? Because you fulfill the wishes of human beings, animals, other sentient beings. That is very, very important. Then you don’t experience economic recession.

Everyday, practice with joyfulness. Whatever good thing you see or hear of others, whatever good thing happens, always rejoice: ‘How wonderful!’ – like a mother rejoicing [in the praise] for her child whom she cherishes more than her life. If you do like this, then psychologically, your mind is kept in happiness all the time – no depression, unhappiness … And you collect the most extensive cause of success and happiness when you rejoice. In one second you collect limitless skies of merit – the easiest way to collect good luck, merit, and fulfill your wishes for happiness, and you too fulfill the wish of all sentient beings for happiness.

Then third, patience. You may collect a lot of merit, but without patience, all gets destroyed.

Then next is when someone harms you, you practice forgiveness, instead of harboring it in your heart. And so you bring peace from one to world peace. Then if you made some mistake, said some bad words, became angry, or whatever, immediately apologize. Then again there’s no grudge holding in you or others and you bring world peace.

Then another one, contentment – especially so that one does not get addicted to alcohol, drugs, that kind of thing, and live in non-virtue.

Another one is courage – develop courage in practicing Dharma: any good action that brings so much peace and happiness to you, the world and others.

These are what you can do as antidotes to recession. Do something other than worry. It makes you crazy, it doesn’t help.”   

From an address at ABC’s 20th Anniversary Dinner, January 28, 2009, Singapore (transcribed and lightly edited by Doris Low)

More advice from Rinpoche

Enjoy brief glimpses of Rinpoche on our streaming videos page, including Rinpoche and the young Tenzin Phuntsok Rinpoche at a ribbon cutting ceremony!

Praise of FPMT
More Accolades for the Handbook
From Helen Patrin, National Coordinator of FPMT Australia Ltd.:

 “I would like to commend you and all the others for all of the effort and hard work that has been dedicated to revamping the Handbook. It must have been a mammoth job, and from the little that I have managed to read, it is so informative, easy to read and digest.

I am writing this now, as it will take me a long time before I can get through it all, but what I have read is great!”

For more inspiration, please enjoy other statements of appreciation!

International Office News
Education Programs
Note to all Spanish speaking centers: a great deal of Discovering Buddhism materials in Spanish are now available on the DB updates page in the Members Area. Please also always remember to send us your DB retreat dates so we can add them to the retreats page accessed by DB at Home students.

Note: Exact dates for the Light of the Path retreat are still changing! Retreat will be in September, and a CPMT message will circulate when exact dates are chosen. Keep an eye on Light of the Path’s information page for updates.

A CPMT message will be going out any moment regarding the Death Box that Rinpoche is advising all centers have prepared and ready for when the need arises. The Death Box should contain the essential advice on death (now available in Heart Practices for Death and Dying), mantras, a stupa, a blessing string, Kalachakra sand, and the Liberation Card for a Dying Person (now also available Chinese, French, and Spanish). Rinpoche has said it is good if every center has such a box, so when someone is dying you just grab the box and go to the hospital!

Beautify the Center Directory
As the Center Directory page on the FPMT website becomes more embellished, please remember to send your images of your center to us and beautify your address listing! For an example, see Gendun Drubpa in Canada.

For Center and Project Directors, SPCs and Teachers
CPMT 2009
April 26 - May 2, 2009
Institut Vajra Yogini, France
FPMT's Vast Mandala: Who We Are and What We Do
All those offering service in the FPMT mandala as center/project director, resident and touring teachers, spiritual program coordinator, board member, study group and regional and national coordinators are invited and strongly encouraged to attend – more information available in the FPMT Members Area!

Join Us by Becoming a Foundation Member

FPMT Snippets
Hundreds Swarm to Meet
Rinpoche in Singapore
First there was the reception at the airport. Despite its being a working day, at least 200 students and friends gathered at Changi Airport to greet Lama Zopa Rinpoche.  It took three hours and some nifty crowd control before Rinpoche could leave to rest.

 A week later, on the first day of Chinese New Year, more than 500 people turned up at the Amitabha Buddhist Center to offer their greetings to Rinpoche. The crowd spilled over three floors of the building, and one could gain entrance into the Gompa only if another person left the sizeable room – as someone said, like what happens at a Louis Vuitton sale!

Geshe Chonyi, resident geshe at ABC, offering a mandala to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Singapore, 2009
Photo by Yew Kim Guan
At ABC's 20th Anniversary Dinner, Rinpoche and students raise their good luck with the traditional new year salad toss-up.
Photo by Yew Kim Guan

Where Rinpoche was the guest of honor, the ABC 20th Anniversary Dinner attracted a turnout of 560 people. Rinpoche gave a one and a half hour talk on the incredible benefits gained by making offerings to the Three Jewels, and incisive advice on how to create the cause for success amid the current economic gloom.

Thanking the ABC students and supporters “from the bottom of [his] heart on behalf of Lama Yeshe, and all the buddhas and bodhisattvas,” he commended them for their generous offerings to the Triple Gem, and for creating opportunities for Dharma study and practice, the result of which is happiness and enlightenment.
Geshe Tashi Tsering leaves
Chenrezig Institute
After 18 years as the resident geshe of Chenrezig Institute, Gehe Tashi Tsering left to take up the position of Lama Umdze of Gyume Tantric College.

While sad to see him go, students and friends rejoiced in the knowledge that the appointment was of great honor and importance.

Rinpoche, upon hearing the news, expressed his deep gratitude to Geshe-la for the work he had done for the FPMT and Chenrezig Institute, and was heard to have said that he felt grateful to Geshe-la from “the depths of his heart to the tips of his toes”!

Gehe Tashi Tsering, resident geshe at Chenrezig Institute, who will take up the position of Lama Umdze of Gyume Tantric College.
Mantra Board
Many may remember from a previous International Office newsletter the story of Rinpoche blessing the beings in the sea by pulling a board inscribed with mantras behind a boat. Immediately after seeing the article students in Brazil wrote asking the details of the mantras and the board. They have since created such a mantra board and done a similar blessing in the waters around Brazil. They are now offering to accept orders from anyone else would like such a board. The cost is $400 plus shipping (which ranges from $45-300 depending on destination and speed of delivery). Please contact the Director of Centro Shiwa Lha, Neyl Soares, to place an order.
A valuable public service announcement from LKPY, encouraging everyone to dedicate themselves to kindness.
Launch of “Be Kind Day, 313”
LKPY (Loving Kindness Peaceful Youth) launched a new initiative to encourage the practice of kindness by creating a Be Kind Day, 31st March (313). Check out their creative ideas for cultivating kindness before time runs out!
Opportunities to Offer Service in FPMT
Keep checking for interesting opportunities to offer service in FPMT centers around the world.

Opportunities include Marketing Coordinator for LKPY (consult their homepage for details), construction volunteers for Atisha Centre, Australia, and volunteer positions at the FPMT International Office, USA.

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

Bengungyal Center, Mexico
New spiritual program coordinator – Diana Romero
With grateful thanks to outgoing coordinator – Sergio Grimaldo

Guhyasamaja Center, USA
New spiritual program coordinator – Rebecca Freeman
With grateful thanks to outgoing coordinator – Dina Li

Liberation Prison Project, USA
New acting director – Harvey Horrocks
With grateful thanks to outgoing director – Ven. Robina Courtin

With love,
FPMT International Office