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FPMT International Office News
May 2011

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Although fatigued, Lama Zopa Rinpoche maintained his characteristic playfulness while recovering in the hospital, May 2011.
Photo by Ven. Holly Ansett.
 
Lama Zopa Rinpoche's News:
Latest on Rinpoche's Health

From Ven. Roger Kunsang:

Khadro-la arrived on May 25 and spent most of the day with Rinpoche doing pujas, prayers and so on – as well as a lot of laughing (most therapeutic).

Rinpoche wanted to send his heartfelt thanks to all the students, centers, projects and services for all their practices and prayers.

Rinpoche also said to please also dedicate any of your prayers and practices for the long life of His
Even while in the hospital and without the use of his right hand, Lama Zopa Rinpoche kept up on his correspondence by learning to write with the left, May 2011.
Photo by Ven. Holly Ansett.
Holiness the Dalai Lama and all holy beings, who live their life benefiting others, and to all those who live in morality – not harming others – also specifically to dedicate to all beings who have high blood pressure, diabetes and paralysis.

Ven. Roger Kunsang is keeping us all updated on Rinpoche's recovery from the stroke through Rinpoche's Health – Updates and Practices. It is possible to subscribe to the RSS feed in order to ensure you find out the latest news the minute it's posted.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Own Update

"So I guess you know I didn't take care well, [didn't do] daily exercise, didn't get to do daily walking and so forth, [I was] very weak. So then I think my self-cherishing thought went up, then paralysis happened. The doctors all think it's getting better, [I am] past danger, they all think I will get better soon.

"[I] try to think a little bit [that I am] receiving the suffering, experiencing the suffering of all sentient beings, especially from whomever suffers [from high]
By propping his clasped hand on the table in front of him, Lama Zopa Rinpoche is able to keep his hands in the mudra of prostration while he offers his food, May 2011.
Photo by Ven. Holy Ansett.
blood pressure, diabetes and paralysis. Also I pray to try to do this. It is an incredible opportunity, when I do that it purifies many, many, many wow, can you imagine? many eons of negative karma, wow, wow, so it is the quickest path to enlightenment.

"In the hospital I try to practice. I dedicate past, present, future merits to any people who come into my room or this hospital, or into the hospital before this. That any person who from now on comes into this room, any sick people who come, may they immediately recover from their sickness. Then any person who sits in my bed [in the hospital] from now on, may they immediately recover from their sickness, or if they die, may they never ever be born in the lower realms, may they get reborn in Buddha's pure land. I try to pray like this a few times a day. So wonderful, positive, to bring benefit here, so I try to do what I can.

"Then I realized today, usually I try to do 10,000 OM MANI PADME HUM [mantras per day], I increased this year to 20,000 OM MANI PADME HUM [mantras per day], and I turn the prayer wheel. I try to do three times the very, very, very long mantra, then the middle one, then OM MANI PADME HUM. [Rinpoche lists some of the benefits from reciting these mantras.] When I recite, I turn the prayer wheel, so this hand turns the prayer wheel and this hand [moves the] mala. So today and over the last few days I didn't get this done, so today I tried, but I can't use this hand, I can't turn the prayer wheel. I recite 20,000 mantras and then from time to time I turn the prayer wheel, but I can't do both, not possible. So incredible, with your hands free you can recite and turn a prayer wheel and count mantra, wow, wow, wow, what merits, the cause of enlightenment, with bodhichitta, incredible, unbelievable, unbelievable, with both hands free. So I realized how precious it is if you can use both hands, so precious.

"Then normally I do prostration to my altar, so before I always prostrate with two hands to my Gurus, Buddha, [but now] I can't use both hands, so I realized how fortunate it is if one can prostrate with both hands. With two hands it is so easy to create the cause of enlightenment, so easy to get the highest success in life. I told people you are so fortunate you can do that, I can't do that, so I realize how precious the body is, how you can [use it to be] so precious, so easy to create the cause of enlightenment.

"Thank you very much for the Medicine Buddha pujas, for everybody's prayers and practice.

"I am just experiencing my short comings of self-cherishing mind. According to one view, I lost and it won, that is according to one view. Then according to another view this [sickness] is the best thing to achieve enlightenment, the quickest way to achieve enlightenment.

"Thank you very much. Here I am the most fortunate person."

Colophon: Taken from some dictation given by Rinpoche to Ven. Holly Ansett while in the hospital in Australia, May 2011. Lightly edited by Claire Isitt.

Nalanda Monastery's Contribution
Soon after Rinpoche manifested having a stroke, he requested all the monks at Nalanda Monastery to recite the long Namgyälma mantra and make thousands of offerings. It was quite hard for Rinpoche to make any requests as it was quite difficult for Rinpoche to speak, so it was particularly precious – and Nalanda treated it in that way:

Rinpoche said: "… if each monk can do 1,000 times the long Namgyälma mantra. Nalanda can offer 1,000 of each offering (water, flowers, incense, light, perfume, food). To recite this mantra 1,000 times is very powerful; if you can clean well the body, wear clean dress, take Eight Mahayana Precepts, then do the practice, recite that mantra.

"Doing this practice you receive a long life free from sickness. It purifies all obscurations, liberation from hell and so forth, all the lower realms; if an animal hears this mantra, then it is its last rebirth as an animal. This mantra stops rebirth in the lower realms, and after death one gets reborn in Amitabha pure land; it will be the last rebirth in the womb. You will get reborn in the heart of a lotus. Doing this practice is very good for the monks themselves, for liberation from the lower realms."

Nalanda responded: 

"As soon as we got Rinpoche's message we began setting up the gompa with a thousand of each type of offering, which was wonderful to do even if it left little space for people to sit down. It was great fun and most of the Sangha helped in setting things up. I've uploaded a photo album to Picasa for Rinpoche to see, since attaching photos would be far too big.

"From that moment on, we continued with three community sessions a day, and monks were continuing with the recitation in their rooms. A week later we needed the gompa space for sojong, so we took down the very big tables of offerings.

"As May is our study term break, most of the monks began to take a holiday as they'd made flight bookings, etc., but some of the monks here are still continuing with the three sessions a day at Nalanda.

"Those monks who are away for the break have been instructed to continue with the recitation until further instructions come to stop or if the 1,000 long mantras are completed. They've also been sent a copy of the Namgyälma text to continue the practice from a distance.

"So far, some of the monks have completed the 1,000 long Namgyälma mantras, and a few more are close to finishing (by the end of the week). I'm in the process of collecting actual numbers, but as it is continuing daily, it will be changing quickly.

"We plan to reset some large tables of offerings once the monks have returned to Nalanda (by the first week of June), and we will continue with the three sessions a day until Rinpoche's instructions are fulfilled."

Rinpoche commented a number of times that possibly (possibly) they are the only Westerners who have done 1,000 long Namgyälma mantras, and said he is extremely pleased. 
Life on the Road with Lama Zopa Rinpoche: I Want to Fly

In addition to the official updates available through Rinpoche's Health – Updates and Practices, Ven. Roger Kunsang has found time to send the occasional blog about how things are going. The below is excerpted from Ven. Roger Kunsang's blog Life on the Road with Lama Zopa Rinpoche (posted on May 25, 2011):

"Yesterday in the gym the physical therapist asked Rinpoche what he would like to achieve from these physiotherapy sessions over the next four weeks. Rinpoche said, 'To fly!' The physical therapist thought Rinpoche meant to be able to go on a plane. Rinpoche said, 'No … I want to fly!' The physical therapist was a little taken back (this was only the second time meeting Rinpoche – remember we are in country town and this is her first contact with a Tibetan lama)."

New Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Anger Operation

Another taste of Rinpoche's teachings given during the Bendigo retreat before Rinpoche manifested the appearance of a stroke:

"Even with or without medicine you can recover from sicknesses which are caused by karma and delusions, but you cannot recover forever. It is impossible to experience a recovery from sickness forever not only in this life but in all future lives. This is not possible because medicine does not remove the cause, which is karma and delusions; medicine can heal but only temporarily because it does not purify karma and delusions; that is why it cannot cure you forever.

"You can't do an operation to take out anger from a person's heart-mind. You can't do an operation in a hospital. 'Oh, I have too much anger,' so you call the doctor and take an ambulance and go to the hospital and ask the top doctor, 'I have too much anger, please operate, take it out. But maybe leave some anger, don't take it out completely, maybe leave some anger in case somebody abuses me, in case somebody cheats me. I need to use anger, so please leave a little anger.'

"I'm joking. 'Oh, if you take out all my anger then I will have no support,' you feel as if you have no support. This would be similar with attachment.

"Anyway you cannot operate on ignorance, anger, attachment; you cannot operate with scissors or weapons or with knives, you can't take them out. You can only operate on the gross physical things, such as cutting out cancer and other cells. In the hospital one cannot operate on the mind with those tools, take out the delusions, take out the self-cherishing thought so that you make the person totally pure – without self-cherishing thought – so that then the person has only bodhichitta.

"If that were the case then that operation would be the most expensive operation. If you could go to the hospital and take out the self-cherishing thought [leaving] only bodhichitta, that would be the most expensive operation; it would cost a billion, zillion dollars. I'm joking. It is not like that."

Colophon: Teaching given during the retreat in Bendigo, Australia, on April 3, 2011. Transcribed live from Rinpoche's teaching by Ven. Joan Nicell, edited by Alan Carter and Claire Isitt.

Go to Rinpoche's Advice page and to the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive for lots more advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Rinpoche's Tentative Schedule
The following schedule is dependent upon Rinpoche's recovery and health needs. It is therefore a tentative schedule. Please keep reading updates sent via the FPMT and CPMT e-groups or on Rinpoche's Health – Updates and Practices. Also, keep checking Rinpoche's Schedule.

2011

May 27 – June 5 at Potowa Center, Indonesia: CANCELED
June 17 – 26 Teaching, long life initiation and trek through the Khumbu hosted by Lawudo Retreat Centre, Nepal: CANCELED

TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED
July 17 Teaching on Kalachakra Six Session Guru Yoga organized by Guhyasamaja Center, Virginia, USA

September 1 – 5 Joy of Compassion retreat at Tubten Kunga Center, Florida, USA
4 Chenrezig jenang

September 8 Teaching at Kadampa Center, North Carolina, USA

September 10 – 25 Light of the Path retreat, including a long life initiation, North Carolina, USA

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

2012

August – 100 million mani retreat in Mongolia, details to be announced

 
International Office News:
Long Life Offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama
On June 16, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits Chenrezig Institute in Australia, FPMT will take the opportunity to make an offering to His Holiness, dedicated for His Holiness' long life and the fulfillment of all his wishes.

You can make your contribution online. The deadline for us to receive your donation if you would like your name to be included in the list of donors is June 7.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche's vision and capacity for serving others is limitless, reaching far and wide to offer service, guidance and education wherever there is need. If you are inspired by Rinpoche's compassionate contributions to the world, please join us on Saka Dawa, June 15, as we Work a Day for Rinpoche. Stay posted for the official launch of the 2011 Work a Day for Rinpoche campaign – a movement to support Rinpoche and his work year-round. In the meantime, join your fellow "co-workers" and follow the campaign's developments on Facebook.

Translate Service on the FPMT.org
We are happy to note that many of you are enjoying the new translate service on the FPMT website! If you haven't tried it yet, simply click on the "Translate" drop-down menu on the right-hand side of any page of the FPMT website in order to select the language in which you would prefer to read.

Education Services
Online Learning Center News:
FREE! Living in the Path Module 1, Motivation for Life, now available in Spanish! ¡GRATIS! ¡Vivir el camino Módulo 01, La motivación para vivir, ahora está disponible en español!

FREE! The 2011 teachings on Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga from Amitabha Buddhist Centre, Singapore, have now been added to the OLC under the "Special Commentaries" section. The first three days are available in video format and the last two days are currently available only in streaming audio format. An unchecked transcript of all five days is also provided.

REMINDER! All online materials are available for free by becoming a Friend of FPMT at the Dharma Supporter level or higher. Alternatively, all online modules are available via The Foundation Store.

Program News:
Basic Program Study Manual for Chapter 4 of Ornament for Clear Realization is available as a PDF. This manual is a study guide for the fourth chapter of Abhisamayalamkara by Maitreya, composed to support the study of this FPMT Basic Program subject. It was compiled by Emily Hsu and Kok Wai Cheong, and revised by Sally Ong and Ven. Sangye Khadro. The same study guide is available in Spanish and French.

French and Spanish Basic Program materials on the web have been updated.

Practice Materials News:
Sanghata Sutra now available in e-book format.

Meditations on Guru Devotion, Parts I, II and III, led by Ven. Sarah Thresher, are now available for download.

Mandala Publications

The latest Mandala eZine is released! This edition's cover story, "The Foundation Store: Sending Dharma to Every Corner of the World," shines a light on one of FPMT's online jewels. Through The Foundation Store you can find FPMT prayer books, beautifully crafted statues, baseball caps embroidered with holy mantras plus so much more! Get the story behind the online store and learn how it supports the vision of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Also featured in the latest eZine: an audio excerpt from the CD Praises to Chenrezig performed by the nuns of Khachoe Ghakyil Nunnery in Nepal and a video segment of Lama Zopa
Mandala eZine May 2011
Rinpoche leading a meditation on the Diamond Cutter Sutra from the FPMT Online Learning Center's Living in the Path.
Friends of FPMT
Become a Friend of FPMT and stay connected to all that FPMT has to offer including the FPMT Online Learning CenterMandala Publications and many complimentary resources offered at the free FPMT Membership level

The Foundation Store
Read the latest Foundation Store newsletter for new product arrivals and monthly specials.

NB: Lama Zopa Rinpoche's extensive commentary on guru devotion, The Heart of the Path, is back in stock!

For Center, Project and Service Directors, SPCs, Teachers and Board Members
 (This advice is specifically for those offering service in the roles listed above.)
Ninth International Sangha Day
Every year for the last nine years, FPMT has celebrated the Sangha, our community of ordained students, on the auspicious day marking the First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. This year that falls on August 3, 2011.

As well as encouraging centers, projects and services to celebrate our precious Sangha, this is also the day on which we recommend you make your annual donation to the Lama Yeshe Sangha Fund.

More information coming via the CPMT e-group soon!

 
FPMT World:
Rejoice!
We Welcome Two New Study Groups!
Land of Joy – a probationary project working to establish a retreat facility together with a residential community and more in the UK.

Land of Joy
c/o The Market House
Market Square
South Petherton
Somerset, TA13 5BT
UK
Tel: +44 (7949) 595691
www.fpmtukretreat.co.uk
andy.wistreich@btinternet.com
Coordinator: Andy Wistreich

Tara Home, a hospice project of Land of Medicine Buddha since 1998, has taken the steps to become an independent probationary FPMT project – congratulations!

Tara Home
5800 Prescott Road
Soquel, CA 95073
USA
Tel: +1 (831) 477-7750
www.tarahome.org
nicole@tarahome.org
Coordinator: Nicole MacArgel

FPMT Centers in the News
We all know how helpful it can be to have a good feature in local newspapers or magazines. Four FPMT centers have benefited from this recently:

Amitabha Buddhist Centre, Singapore – Director Tan Hup Cheng wrote: "Our local paper, the Singapore Straits Times, ran a short article about our Vesak Day celebrations and on how we reached out to young people."

Chenrezig Institute, Australia – Salt featured the Garden of Enlightenment with a lovely interview with its project manager, Garrey Foulkes, and how he worked extra hard to complete the garden in time for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit this June.

Kurukulla Center, USA – Director Debra Thornburg wrote: "Local Medford resident Lobsang Sangay was elected to serve as the new Tibetan Kalon Tripa (prime minister), and we were thrilled he chose the gompa at Kurukulla Center as the location for his interview with the BBC. The BBC cameraman took photos of our gompa and yard including the Kalachakra stupa. Resident teacher Geshe Tenley is also seen reciting prayers with Lobsang."

Land of Medicine Buddha, USA – After LMB was awarded "Best Retreat" by their local paper, director Denice Macy wrote: "Last year I asked the local newspaper that gives best of awards why they didn't have a category like 'best place to do spiritual retreat' and … lo and behold, we rock! This is excellent advertising, good for staff morale, rocks the house for our marketing ability, and will bring many new people to the property to see what we do here and receive blessings in the process."

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

New postings include:
Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London, UK is looking for a new director; Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India needs a spiritual program coordinator; the Maitreya Project Relic Tour needs a tour manager for North America; Shedrup Ling, Mongolia needs an English language teacher and Vajrapani Institute in California, USA is looking for a resident Sangha member, an IT manager and a project assistant, among other positions.

Impermanence at Work
Centro Studi Cenresig, Italy
We welcome new director – Silo Pittureri
With grateful thanks to outgoing director – Giovanni del Casale

Gyalwa Gyatso Buddhist Center, USA
We welcome new SPC – Donna Briggs
With grateful thanks to outgoing SPC – Dionne Wilson

Longku Centre, Switzerland
We welcome new SPC – Anastasia Perov

Shakyamuni Center, Taiwan
We welcome new director – Ven. Fa-Tsen
With grateful thanks to outgoing director – Monica Hung

Tara Mandala Center, Germany
We welcome the new (and first) SPC – Susanne Kletzander

Tong-nyi Nying-Je Ling, Denmark
We welcome new SPC – Karen Esswein

Yeshe Gyaltsen Center, Mexico
We welcome new SPC – Ven. Losang Nyingje
With grateful thanks to outgoing SPC – Sheila Gracey

 

With love,
FPMT International Office