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October 2010

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Rinpoche teaching during the 2010 Light of the Path retreat in North Carolina, USA.
Photo by Sarah Brooks.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche's News:
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.


    September 30 – October 23 Mongolia

    1 – 3 Teaching at Golden Light Sutra Center and Erdenet; 5 – 6 Golden Light Sutra transmission at Idgaa Choizin, Ulaanbaatar; 14 – 15 Most Secret Hayagriva initation; 19 – 21 Yamantaka initiation (both at Idgaa Choizin)

    November 13 – December 13 Teaching for part of the one-month course at Kopan Monastery, Nepal


    February Amitabha Buddhist Centre, Singapore

    5 – 6 Medicine Buddha initiation
    8 – 12 Teaching on Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga (continuation)

    April 2 – 30 Heruka, Yamantaka, Guhyasamaja and Rinjung Gyatsa initiations and teaching on Bodhicaryavatara in retreat hosted by Atisha Centre, The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion and Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery, Bendigo, Australia.

    May 27 – June 6 Commentary on Lama Chöpa (continuation) at Potowa Center, Indonesia

New Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Bodhichitta Mindfulness

During the 2009 Light of the Path retreat, and again at the Hayagriva retreat earlier this year, Rinpoche stressed the correct bodhisattva attitude, and gave these wonderful instructions on how to practice bodhichitta every moment of every day (excerpted from the full set of instructions which you can find in Taking the Essence All Day and Night, a new practice booklet from FPMT Education Services on how to make all one's daily actions most meaningful):

When you wake up think:
May all sentient beings achieve the dharmakaya, the holy body of the Buddha!

When you get up from bed, think:
May all sentient beings rise up from the great oceans of samsaric sufferings.
Rinpoche making preta offerings during the 2010 Light of the Path retreat.
Photo by Sarah Brooks.

When you get dressed, think:
May all sentient beings wear the dress of shyness and shame.1

If you are practicing tantra, offer all the clothing as divine dress to yourself as the deity inseparable from the Guru. By thinking you are offering to the “Guru” you create the highest merit.

When you put on a belt, think:
May sentient beings' minds be bound by the three higher trainings.

When you release the belt, think:
May sentient beings be freed from the bondage of karma and delusions.

When you lie down, think:
May sentient beings achieve the dharmakaya.
Or: May I bring all sentient beings to the sorrowless state.

When you sit down, think:
I am bringing sentient beings to the heart of enlightenment.

When you stand up, think:
May all sentient beings rise up from the oceans of samsaric sufferings.

When you open any door, think:
I am opening the door of transcendental wisdom gone beyond the world, beyond samsara, for all sentient beings. May this happen!

When you close the door, think:
I am closing the door of samsara for sentient beings. May this happen! 

When you go out, think:
I am bringing sentient beings out of the prison of samsara. May they be free from the prison of samsara, bound by karma and delusion. May this happen!

When you are walking:
Milarepa advised to think that all holy objects are on your right side and as you walk you are circumambulating them.                        

Do the same thing when you are driving a car, riding a bicycle, traveling on a bus, train, etc.           

You can also remember the pure land where you wish to be reborn and think:
I am bringing all sentient beings to Buddha's pure land!
Or: I am bringing all sentient beings to enlightenment!
1. “Shyness” refers to oneself and means being concerned to protect the vows because oneself wishes not to suffer and wants to achieve realizations. “Shame” refers to others and means concern to protect the vows one has taken since one has promised to do so in the presence of holy beings and out of consideration for others.

You may also be interested in the book Making Life Meaningful, published by Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, the chapter “How to Make Each Moment of Our Lives Meaningful” includes sections like “Taking care of your child with Bodhicitta,” “Eating with Bodhicitta,” and “Shopping with Bodhicitta.”

Life on the Road with Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Excerpted from Ven. Roger Kunsang's blog Life on the Road with Lama Zopa Rinpoche (posted on September 14, 2010). Ven. Roger's very entertaining blog enables us all to keep up with Rinpoche's activities.

“… we had a late lunch at Whole Foods. Rinpoche thought it was the greatest display of ready-to-eat wholesome food he had ever seen in one place! He took many photos of the food displayed, from close up and far back. Rinpoche often takes time to compose shots and uses strange angles. You can imagine the attention he was getting from the local shoppers. A Tibetan lama taking photos in an American supermarket … and of the food no less! Then we sat down to eat in the supermarket. A number of shoppers came up, asking questions.

One woman said to Rinpoche, “I have eight children. What advice can you give me?” In essence Rinpoche said, “Ordinary education is important, but more important is the education for a good heart.” She seemed to understand and continued her shopping.

International Office News:
Light of the Path Retreat Webcast – Feedback
We really encouraged you to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to watch Rinpoche teach live (or recorded) during the Light of the Path (LOP) retreat recently – the feedback made us rejoice that this was possible. Here are two excerpts:

“Thank you so much for making Rinpoche's teaching available in LIVE webcast. How wonderful it would be if all activities of Rinpoche are made available in LIVE webcast!!! hahaha …. I want to let you all know that by making Rinpoche's teaching available in live webcast, it eliminates the complaints that people feel disconnected from Rinpoche. Although we are physically thousand miles away from each other, by watching the live webcast, it naturally links up the mental connection … and I immediately feel the guru's blessing is right here with me while sitting comfortably on my own chair, in my own room, and having breakfast by myself alone with my own guru!”

“Such an extraordinary opportunity … it is really so, so special…. Endless heartfelt thanks to all LOP team that have made it possible for us, so far away … to be so close.”

Education Services:
Online Learning Center (OLC): Rinpoche's annual Light of the Path retreat began September 12, beginning another year of live and recorded broadcasts of the teachings for FPMT students everywhere. The numbers show that providing the teaching online is a great success: from September 12 – 20, the OLC had 7,664 visitors, an average of 955 visits per day from 3,785 individual visitors. Sixty-eight people have been able to follow the retreat watching the live broadcast of the event, while many others are watching the recordings on the Media Center. Over 120 students have registered for the free Living in the Path 2010 Retreat Materials module where you can find the root text as well as downloadable audio and video. Over 400 people have registered for the free Living in the Path module, “Motivation for Life.”

Basic Program: O.Sel.Ling in Spain recently hosted a one-month lam-rim retreat with Ven. Dondrub. According to Isabel Arocena, Spanish Education Coordinator, the retreat was "totally beautiful." Of note was a group of 18 who follow the BP in Barcelona. OSL hopes to continue offering this retreat annually to enable BP students to fulfill their 3-month lam-rim retreat requirement.

NOW AT THE PRINTER! Intermediate Practices of Vajra Yogini, Volume 3. Redesigned to be more user-friendly. Look for this in the Foundation Store in mid-October. You may also be interested in Lama Yeshe's commentary on the Vajra Yogini tantra, available through the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

International Merit Box
FPMT International Office is happy to present the International Merit Box Project, which includes a practice booklet featuring eleven languages. The original Merit Box Project began in 2001, and every year thousands of dollars are collected from FPMT students, centers, projects and services worldwide, and disbursed through grants to eligible projects and initiatives.

International Merit Box Project donations are collected beginning on Lama Tsongkhapa Day each year (November 30 in 2010), and continuously until March 31 of the following year.

If you already have a Merit Box, we hope you will continue or commence your practice for 2010; if you coordinate your local Merit Box program, we hope you will share this information with your program participants. If you do not yet have your own Merit Box, you may obtain one for free at the Foundation Store, and if you wish to start a local program, contact

Mandala Publications
Mandala's October-December 2010 issue is the seventh and final issue of a series dedicated to telling the story of FPMT. This addition to the series focuses on the future of FPMT. With an extensive introduction to Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Vast Vision for FPMT, candid interviews with young Kopan tulkus and other FPMT notables, this issue gives you an inspiring look at what we can achieve together. The issue also featured several exclusive online articles available on the Mandala website.
Update on Nagarjuna Statue

In 2009, Ven. Roger Kunsang received advice that it would be beneficial to build a 14-foot [4-meter] high statue of Nagarjuna in Bodhgaya, India. This statue was to be dedicated for the long, healthy and stable life of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and for the immediate removal of any obstacles to the accomplishment of Rinpoche's holy wishes.

We are very happy to report that the statue is about a third done! It is being made from the highest-quality white marble from a stone so big that it is being carved down by the river in Bodhgaya. It will soon be moved to the Maitreya Project land in Bodhgaya, which is where the statue will be situated.
The Nagarjuna statue is being carved from highest-quality white marble.

The total cost for the statue is US$38,000 and most of the money has been raised from generous centers and students. The remaining funds were offered during Rinpoche's long life puja at Kopan Monastery, Nepal in December 2009.

Friends of FPMT
Becoming a Friend of FPMT means that you can stay connected to all that FPMT has to offer: from free resources, to Mandala Publications, to the FPMT Online Learning Center, to keeping informed about FPMT news, activity and opportunities worldwide. Please consider becoming a Friend of FPMT today. Together we can make a difference.
The Foundation Store
Check the latest Foundation Store newsletter for new product arrivals and monthly specials!

For Center, Project and Service Directors, SPCs, Teachers and Board Members
(This advice is specifically for those offering service in the roles listed above. If you have any questions about anything mentioned below, please feel free to contact Center Services directly.)

How Tong-nyi Nying-je Ling Strengthens Its FPMT Connection
From Rasmus Hougaard, director:
“How to strengthen the relationship between the center and Rinpoche and FPMT
  • First of all, it is challenging because not many of our guests have ever met Rinpoche and do not know much about FPMT, if anything at all. So we take up the challenge [to establish and strengthen the relationship].
From left to right: Martin, Jette, Line and Randi, TNL Board members, reading the FPMT Handbook in preparation for a monthly volunteer meeting.
  • At the beginning of board meetings and volunteer meetings, we read a quote from either Rinpoche or Lama Yeshe and contemplate the message in relation to our center and activities.
  • We try to keep our guests informed on international activities in the bigger FPMT family.
  • Our dear Stephan Pende (resident teacher) is fantastic in talking about Rinpoche in the most appreciative and inspiring way every time he teaches.”
Chagna Pemo Study Group Trials Skype Teaching
From Mirjana Ogrin, Study Group Coordinator:
“We had our first online Skype teaching one week ago. FPMT-registered teacher Andy Wistreich offered to give a teaching on the four noble truths combined with discussion, meditation and a question and answer session. Participants were very happy, inspired – many questions got answered and many more were left for the next teachings.

In case any study group would need any advice on this, I am happy to let them know how we did it and help them to set it up.”

FPMT World:
Rinpoche at Wisdom Publications
Rinpoche recently visited Wisdom Publications, Boston, USA for lunch. Rinpoche is pictured with Wisdom staff. Rinpoche is holding a photo of David Kittelstrom, Wisdom's senior editor who has offered service at Wisdom for 16 years and was unable to be at the lunch in person.
From Ven. Sarah Thresher:
“At Milarepa Center (during the recent Milarepa retreat) Rinpoche mentioned he wanted to teach on a certain text that had been translated into English but we could find it nowhere. During the teaching Rinpoche mentioned this several times, so Dr. Nick of LYWA googled the text on his iPhone, then Tim McNeill of Wisdom Publications brought it up on the screen of his iPad and handed it to Rinpoche, who then taught the text from the iPad!

Is this the future of iDharma?”

Rejoice – Nalanda Monastery Recites Golden Light Sutra 130 Times
In order to repay the kindness of the IMI, and the sponsors of the IMI and Nalanda, the 27 Nalanda monks (and one of the nuns) recited the Golden Light Sutra for four days (August 31 – September 3). The goal was to recite the sutra at least 108 times, but with the help of the lay students, they completed about 130 recitations, which they dedicated to the IMI, the sponsors and the long life of our teachers, especially His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Nalanda's abbot, Geshe Jamphel.

Opportunities to Offer Service in FPMT
Please check out the many exciting opportunities to offer service in FPMT centers, projects and services around the world!

Two rare and wonderfully beneficial opportunities in the USA: Buddha Amitabha Pure Land in Washington State needs a director to develop this retreat facility; and FPMT International Office in Portland has a vacancy for a Chief Operating Officer.

Mahamudra Centre in New Zealand is looking for a vegetarian cook and a groundsperson.

There are many other beneficial work-study opportunities at centers in Australia, France, New Zealand, Spain, UK and USA.

Impermanence at Work

Closed Study Groups:
Machig Labdron, USA
Shenphen Thubten Choling, UK
Togme Sangpo, USA

International Mahayana Institute (IMI)
New director – Ven. Carol Corradi
With grateful thanks to outgoing director – Ven. Lhundup Chodron

Lama Yeshe House Study Group, USA

Lama Yeshe Ling, Canada
99 Bronte Road
P.O. Box 314, Oakville, ON L6L 3B7

Nagarjuna C.E.T. Granada, Spain
New director – Ven. Gloria Mallol
With grateful thanks to outgoing director – Carmen Ruiz

Tekchen Chö Ling, Spain


With love,
FPMT International Office