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June 2010

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Lama Zopa Rinpoche attends the third of a three-day long life puja offered by Khadro-la at Kopan, May 2010.
 
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!

2010

June 11 – 14 Great Chenrezig initiation and commentary on nyung nä at The Mines, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Organized by Lapis Lazuli Malaysia.

June 17 – 19 Yamantaka initiation at The Mines, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Organized by Losang Dragpa Centre.

June 26 – July 4 Hong Kong Tour, Mahayana Buddhist Association (Cham-Tse-Ling)

September 2 – 5 Milarepa initiation and retreat at Milarepa Center, Vermont, USA

September 12 – 25 Light of the Pathregistration now open!

 
New Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Dealing with Criticism

Bad reputation is very powerful to use for your practice, and it should be used that way. As a Kadampa geshe once said, "If someone criticizes you, this destroys your mistakes; it blows away immediately one’s own mistakes. If you are praised, it causes pride/the ego to inflate and causes great pride." …

Big smiles all round as Rinpoche invites Osel to future FPMT Board meetings

Transforming bad conditions into happiness by looking at them as positive, favorable conditions is the way to make problems, bad conditions, beneficial, by using them as the path to enlightenment. How? Meditating on loving kindness and bodhichitta destroys the ego. We use them as a weapon to destroy the self-cherishing thought, which brings all obstacles. So, meditate on bodhichitta and wisdom.

In your case, use all the criticism and bad reputation, whether it is a result of your mistake or not, to destroy your ego and self-cherishing thought, which blocks one from achieving enlightenment. As long as self-cherishing abides in one’s heart, it stops one achieving enlightenment and benefiting all sentient beings. You can think of the kindness of the other person that helps you to destroy your ego. Usually, you are always supporting your ego, even developing it. Now, this person (the enemy) is helping to destroy your self-cherishing thought, so what is regarded as your enemy is really your most kind friend!

What we do is use undesirable situations, loss, etc., as experiences to be of most benefit to all sentient beings. This is not just making one’s own life emotionally happy, for some temporary peace.

There are other thought transformation teachings – so many ways you can make your life experience most beneficial for yourself and others. The essence is – if you are happy, make it beneficial for sentient beings; if you are suffering, use it as the cause to bring happiness to others. This way, whatever kind of life experience you have, use it on the path. There is no interruption to Dharma practice, and one’s life is most beneficial.

Go Tsampa said, "Others’ mistakes are one’s own mistakes. Clarify the appearance of the mistake into the deity." This means, however one is treated is the result of one’s own negative karma. Even if others create a bad reputation for you, and there is no apparent cause from your side to experience the result, still, you have to have created the cause. You can see what this yogi is saying. The second part of this technique is looking at that person as the guru, even visualizing that person in the form of a deity. This stops anger and negative emotional thoughts arising and the suffering results of those.

Karog Geshe said, "Experiencing this small suffering now finishes past negative karma, and there will be happiness in future lives. Because it finishes past negative karma, be happy for the suffering."

Excerpted from “Criticism” in Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Online Advice Book freely distributed by Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

 
International Office News
New Center Services Director – Welcome Back, Claire!

We are delighted to inform you that Claire Isitt has been appointed Center Services Director (again!) with effect from June 7, 2010.

Many of you would be familiar with Claire who had held this position for nine years before a brief attempt to retire from service. (Her extensive experience in the FPMT can be gleaned from her note below).

The only difference between then and now is that Claire will be working from the UK rather than Portland, USA. However, with all the means
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Ven. Roger and Claire Isitt at CPMT 2009
of modern communications, we are confident that there will be no adverse impact on how we interface with one another.

We can also assure you that there will be no loss of continuity for any outstanding questions and issues as one of the many wonderful advantages of having Claire back is that she knows the FPMT community like the back of her hand!

Claire had this to say on her background of service within the FPMT:

“I began offering service in the FPMT back in 1989 as a volunteer at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London, UK.

A Kopan November course followed, which led to the three-month Vajrasattva retreat at Tushita Meditation Centre in Dharamsala and some volunteer help there afterwards. Then a second Kopan November course, which led to offering service as the spiritual program coordinator at Tushita, Dharamsala. This was a very special opportunity, which lasted for about three years. 

I then was extremely fortunate to be asked to take on the role of director of the first Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo Translator Program (LRZTP) in Dharamsala, which also enabled me to learn some Tibetan. After three years as LRZTP director, I handed over to Merry Colony, and returned to the UK.

I continued to offer service, this time as manager of Jamyang Buddhist Centre under Alison Murdoch’s directorship. Two years later, I was asked to join the International Office team as center services director, a challenge and honour which I was terrified and thrilled to accept. I worked as center services director for nine years, resigning in December 2008.

I was then happily able to coordinate and facilitate the wonderful CPMT meeting hosted by Institut Vajra Yogini in May 2009.

That was followed by a break from FPMT service, during which I experienced working in local government in England. 

I am now so happy to be returning to the FPMT family, fresh and even more appreciative of the FPMT organization’s amazing and unique scope, heart, commitment and general brilliance.”

To contact Claire, please write to claire@fpmt.org.


Goodbye, Doris!

From Doris Low, who will be leaving her position as director of Center Services to return to her native Singapore:

“My heartfelt thanks for the opportunity of working with you – it’s so amazing what the FPMT family accomplishes every second of the day under the loving guidance of Rinpoche!

I’ve had an incredible time at International Office, Rinpoche’s private office, where a great team of dedicated and capable people provide the backroom support for the organization and the accomplishment of Lama Yeshe’s and Rinpoche’s vision of a more compassionate and happy world. (NO, this isn’t a publicity plug!)

Thank you, everyone – all the best and see you around!”


Latest News from the Sera Je Food Fund

By Ven. Holly Ansett

The Sera Je Food Fund is one of FPMT’s most important projects and in May 2010, FPMT was able to send US$125,963.16 to Sera Je Monastery. This contribution covers six months’ worth of meals (we are now offering three meals per day) for all 2,600 monks currently studying at Sera Je.

The extensive dedications made by the monks of Sera Je Monastery for the Fund’s sponsors mean that, for as long as the monastery exists, you will receive the merit of making offerings to the monks.

The Sera Je Abbott has arranged for prayers to be done by all the monks of Sera Je during the month of Saka Dawa (when merit is multiplied up to 100 million times), and those prayers are dedicated to all the kind sponsors and supporters of the Sera Je Food Fund. We were happy to receive this letter of thanks from the abbot of Sera Je, Khen Rinpoche Acharya Geshe Lobsang Palden.

This is the nineteenth year that FPMT has been offering food to the monks at Sera Je Monastery. To date the Sera Je Food Fund has provided over 10,000,000 meals. That’s 2,500,000 meals per year, 7,800 meals every day. Please rejoice in this incredible effort!


Merit Box 2009 Disbursement Update

Congratulations to all our 2009 Merit Box grant recipients! Awards were announced on May 27 and we were thrilled to be able to grant funds to 15 different projects out of 18 proposals. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our Merit Box coordinators and practitioners all over the world.

Do you have a Merit Box? Please consider getting one and then staying tuned in for the International Merit Box 2010 launch in July. Specific information about the 2009 disbursements will soon be freely available.


Education Services
Programs:

Basic Program: COMING VERY SOON! The long-awaited BP Homestudy package, Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds Part Two, Chapter VI-X, will be released soon. This is a comprehensive package with guided meditations for practice and retreat. It includes extensive and accessible teachings on both the “Patience” and the “Wisdom” chapters, with a well-edited transcript, generously contributed by ABC (Amitabha Buddhist Center), Singapore!

On May 2, 27 students from ABC sat for the BP final exam – all but one passed! A very grateful thanks to Geshe Chonyi for teaching all nine subjects of the core curriculum. Thanks also go to interpreter and teaching assistant Ven. Gyurme. Over a six-year period, the BP was offered to classes of up to a hundred students, with many succeeding to complete the entire program, and many looking forward to deepening their understanding during the next round of BP, starting mid-2011 at ABC!

Living in the Path: Four video clips from LP Module 1, “Motivation for Life” have been edited, making a big difference to the listening experience, particularly when listening with headphones. Check out the edited video clips: By Now I Would be a Fish (2:45); The Very Beginning of Dharma (9:23); Life is Like a Bubble (17:18); and Tonglen (13:28).

Thanks to Ven. Dechen for her patience with this tedious editing work (20 minutes of editing are needed per minute of video)!

Materials:

NEW! Discovering Buddhism DVDs are now available with subtitles in EnglishFrançais, Deutsch, and Español. Also, newly added to this series is the 10-minute FPMT Documentary. We encourage all centers to have this fabulous resource in your libraries and shops. To support this, we are now offering free shipping to any center who orders 30 copies or more! Please write to diana@fpmt.org with your order.

NEW! Initial Practices of Vajrayogini is now in stock! This new edition incorporates all the revisions and comments of a diligent team of Vajrayogini practitioners who have overseen this laborious work. Thanks especially to Sze Gee Toh, Ven. Sangye Khadro, Elaine Jackson, Valerie Thomas and Ani Fran.

Translation:

Heart Advice for Death and Dying is now published in French as Conseils du coeur pour la mort et la fin de vie, thanks to Les Editions Vajra Yogini!

Trainings:

A five-day Foundation Training will be hosted October 30 – November 4 in Cozumel, Mexico. If the training alone isn’t enough to entice you, we hope that spending time on Mexico’s beautiful coast will! Stay tuned for more information.


For Center Directors, SPCs and Teachers
FPMT Display Pack

International Office recently put up the Display Pack – printed in double size and mounted on the wall leading to our workspace – and it looks FABULOUS! Rinpoche was particularly pleased to see the “Compassion Quote” – his advice on the need to integrate that attitude in our daily life – given such prominence.  

The Display Pack is for all centers, study groups, projects and services to use.

The Display Pack greets visitors as they ascend the staircase to International Office’s workspace

Work a Day for Rinpoche 2010 Update

By Sherri Rita

Work a Day for Rinpoche launched its 2010 campaign in May and celebrated Saka Dawa with a flood of kindness from all parts of the world, from people inspired to dedicate a day or more of their wages to actualize the vast visions of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. With just 100 more donors willing to donate $100 a month for the next six months, we can meet our
goal of $100K for 2010. Our heartfelt thanks to all of our "workers" around the world who have sacrificed in these challenging times, and our gratitude for your kindness and service in all its forms, you truly make a difference. Watch the continued progress of this campaign by joining the Work a Day for Rinpoche Facebook page.
 
Snippets
Osel Makes a Special Appearance

Osel Hita wowed everyone by turning up at Vajrapani Institute on Big Love Day for the consecration of Lama Yeshe’s new stupa and commemoration of Lama’s life. It was a special occasion which drew many of the FPMT’s early students.

Following that, Osel attended all three days of the FPMT Board’s meetings in Portland, Oregon where he mainly
Osel and the members of the FPMT Board pose in front of IOF’s newly installed Red Tara statue
re-acquainted himself with the organization. Rinpoche and the other Board members were thrilled that he turned up, and invited him back with great enthusiasm. On his part, Osel said he would - if the timing fits.

In an interview with Mandala, Osel talked about his reconnecting with the FPMT:

“I turned 25 not so long ago, so it is time to return the help that was given me. It is time I returned the kindness. I feel it is time to get involved in the organization more. I want to learn more about everything because I haven’t been keeping up over the last few years. That could take some time...

People are starting to accept me for who I am, so it made it easier.”
Osel says quick hello on Big Love Day

Carina Rumrill’s full interview with Osel is in the July – September 2010 print issue of Mandala, which goes out on June 9. A report on Big Love Day will appear online as part of Mandala’s online exclusives.


Land of Medicine Buddha’s New Media Foray

To raise its public profile and reach out to the wider community, Land of Medicine Buddha (LMB) helped to sponsor the broadcast of The Buddha by the acclaimed director, David Grubin, on KQED Public Television in April 2010.

In the agreement, KQED created a TV spot for LMB which was played as part of the opening and closing credits of the broadcast on KQED TV9 and KQED Life, both of which reach a significant audience in North California, that includes schoolchildren and philanthropists. LMB also got exposure on KQED Radio publicity for the film.

Denice Macy, LMB’s Director commented that the TV exposure enabled a much wider audience to have a glimpse of LMB’s activities and its gompa and holy objects in technicolor. The association with a prestigious body like a Public Broadcasting network would help to enhance LMB’s community standing as well.
She added, “We are nurturing a long term relationship with the Public Broadcasting in the area. For their pledge drive, we offered 20 gift certificates for an overnight stay at LMB. This will give us more radio promotion as a result.”

The immediate impact of the TV broadcast was captured by the heavy web traffic. Denice reported that as the telecast drew near, the number of visitors to LMB’s site grew and on the actual and subsequent days, the increase was up to 80% above the average.

It is not often that FPMT centers engage the public media as a paying client – and LMB’s unusual investment benefitted by bringing the life story and message of the Buddha to a wider audience.  

 
Opportunities to Offer Service in FPMT

Land of Medicine Buddha is seeking a Facility Manager to take care of recruiting and supervising staff for the daily operations of the retreat facility, which include kitchen duties, housekeeping, and grounds/maintenance.

The full-time position offers room and meals, a monthly stipend and other benefits.  For more information and to apply, email director@medicinebuddha.org  Please visit our website at www.landofmedicinebuddha.org.

Vajrapani Institute is hiring a new Assistant Director. This is an amazing opportunity for an experienced manager to offer service to a Dharma center! The Assistant Director oversees the center's operations, including a staff of eight employees.

For more information or to apply, please contact current Assistant Director, Anil Moni, at anil@vajrapani.org.

FPMT Mongolia has a unique opportunity for a suitable person to offer service as the Chief Operating Officer.

Please check out the many exciting opportunities to offer service in FPMT centers around the world!

 
Impermanence at Work

Atisha Centre, Australia
New spiritual program coordinator – Liam Chambers
With grateful thanks to outgoing spiritual program coordinator – Gen Blades

Gyalwa Gyatso Buddhist Center, USA
New director – Gay Bachman
With grateful thanks to outgoing director – Linda Hoeber

Lama Yeshe Ling Tibetan Buddhist Study Group, Canada
New director – Deborah Seigel
With grateful thanks to outgoing director  – Dekyi Lee

 

With love,
FPMT International Office