Thursday, 30 December 2010
Sunday, 19 December 2010
Many thanks to our Dharma friend Rahima for sending this information.
It was received from Samye Ling in Scotland and will surely be of interest to all who would like His Holiness Karmapa to pray for thier loved ones - especially those who have passed away.
The email which Rahima wishes to share reads as follows:
MESSAGE FROM INDIA December 17, 2010 6 PM PST
His Holiness Karmapa is doing Akshobhya Buddha Rituals each night.
Lists for living and deceased family and friends for blessing and
deliverance can be sent to email@example.com, no offering needed but
On the sixth night the lists will be burned, so you have two days to get
lists to His Holiness. This is the first time HH is allowing this without
Please share this with Buddhist communities and friends.
Monday, 13 December 2010
Please spread the word far and wide!
Tashi Samdup is a great person. He lives in Howth and is sure to be a fantastic teacher.
We are pleased to inform you that we intend to offer Tibetan language classes in Dublin early in the New Year. There will be a beginners' course, and if needed, a course for those who have more experience. The course(s) will consist of two six-week modules, with the first beginning in mid-January and finishing in March, followed by a second module, probably starting in mid to late April.
The classes will be taught by Tashi Samdup, who is a from Amdo province, in north-eastern Tibet. Before he left Tibet, Tashi Samdup was studying to be a Tibetan doctor, and while in India, edited a Tibetan language newpaper. This year, he has been teaching Tibetan language in private classes in Dublin. He has a wide knowledge of both the written and spoken language, being familiar with Lhasa and Kham dialects as well as that of Amdo.
These classes will be held on Tuesday evenings at 7.30 at Kagyu Samye Dzong in Kilmainham. The cost will be €60 per module, payable in full at the beginning of the module. A reduced rate of €35 is available for Social welfare recipients.
If you would like to enrol in these classes, or have any questions, please contact Kagyu Samye Dzong at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01-4537427.
Friday, 3 December 2010
Monday, 15 November 2010
Just a short mail to thank you all for your support and contribution to last Saturday's impromptu fundraiser for the late Tulku Pegyal Rinpoche's monastery in Kathmandu.
The day was extremely successful indeed!
With your help, as of this morning, we have raised a grand total of euro 1,515.65 !!!
Many thanks again to Amy Jennings who saw the conditions of the monastery and re-emerging sangha when she was over there last winter, and subsequently brought it to our attention.
Amy will be returning to that part of the world again next weekend and has very kindly agreed to make a detour to include Kathmandu. So she will be able to deliver our donation in person.
If you would like to follow the progress of Dzogchen Monastery, please go to www.nepaldzogchen.blogspot.com and register for updates by email.
Incidentally, this form of Dharma Bring and Buy was an extremely easy thing to organise and I strongly recommend it as a simple means of fundraising if you should need to do so in the future.
Again, many many thanks on behalf of Tulku Sangye Dorjé, the new abbot of Dzogchen Monastery, Kathmandu, for all your loving support and good wishes.
Thursday, 4 November 2010
[Founded by Tulku Pegyal Rinpoche in 1995]
1pm sharp SATURDAY 13 NOVEMBER
41 PRIORY ROAD, OPPOSITE MOUNT ARGUS CHURCH,
KIMMAGE/HAROLD’S CROSS, DUBLIN 6W
[Buses: 54a or 19a from Dame St.] Bruno Breathnach 087 686 7062.
This is an emergency appeal for urgent funds.
After Tulku Pegyal’s passing in 2001, his monastery fell into a steady decline. Without adequate care or financial support, the almost new monastery started to crumble, the practising sangha started to become ill without enough food and over time many had to disperse to other places in order to survive.
But that is all changing now. A core group of the remaining monks and nuns, under a brand new abbot [appointed by Dzogchen Rinpoche], are reaching out to you personally for urgent support. They are repairing and rebuilding and have recently admitted nine little boys from Tibet to become the seed of the future sangha.
So PLEASE bring all your unwanted dharma books, pictures, objects and buddhas, and sell them in aid of this very good cause.
It’s a simple idea really… Just price your dharma goods before you arrive with them. Sell them here and donate the money to Dzogchen Monastery, Nepal. But please remember to also come prepared to BUY things too – either for yourself or as gifts for others - from books and CDs maybe selling for €5 or €10+ all the way up to incredible Buddha statues valued at €200+ [We will also send over any donations we receive by post, or on the day]
FOR FULL INFORMATION ABOUT THE BENEFICIARY OF THIS APPEAL, AND THE BACKGROUND, PLEASE ENJOY
Monday, 1 November 2010
and here's the link!
Monday, 25 October 2010
click here For the link to a UTV programme (first broadcast 24th October 2010) about Irishman Richard Moore's visit to Daramsala at the invitation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who calls Richard his best friend.
Richard was blinded by a rubber bullet when he was 10 years old during the 'Troubles' in 1972. This is the story of his journey to India - with the soldier who fired the bullet as his companion.
Friday, 15 October 2010
Rinpoche will begin the actual teachings shortly.
The second part of the Shedra is a debate area, and everyone is encouraged to log on and join in with comments and views. The current topic is on the question of 'Acting - or not Acting' posed by Bernard Kaiser and elaborated by Tsering Paldron. There is already a lively philosophical debate running on that page.
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Monday, 6 September 2010
A seed of a loving thought
Sprinkled with kind deeds
Blooms into a hundred petals
Of wonderful happenings
Across the Four Continents.
The smile of this flower
Awakens the joy in every heart
By Ringu Tulku Rinpoche
This poem composed by Rinpoche is recited by him on a new album of song and prayer called 'O Lama' created by Gabriela Jaensch of Bodhicharya Berlin. To listen to this track, click here. The name of the album is also the title of a poem written by Ani Phuntsok of Bodhicharya France, set to a beautiful arrangement by Gabriela and friends. Sales of the album raises funds for Rigul. It is available at Dublin Samye Dzong as well as on Amazon.
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Monday, 23 August 2010
Dear Friends,Thank you so much for your help yet again with another devastating disaster - the floods in Ladakh.Ringu Tulku says:
It is great that you could help Ladakh people. Why not? We should and would do whatever to help anybody within our power. I am glad we could use Rigul Trust as a medium.
There are so many tragedies. It seems the predictions of Climate Change are coming true. They say 2 billion people will be badly affected because of the melting of the third pole which is Tibet and Himalaya.We are constantly being asked for help with poverty relief, education and welfare in some of the poorest communities in the world. Natural disasters take their toll on many already impoverished communities and exiled settlements in some of the remotest places.An idea of how we can further help with Christmas approaching and the message of love and kindness that this carries.We are looking for a way of designing and producing Christmas cards to sell with 100% of the money from the sale of these cards to go to fund Ringu Tulku's humanitarian projects through Rigul Trust.If you are able to design, produce and offer Christmas cards to Rigul Trust to sell, or know anyone who might be able to do this, please let us know, either at this email address or email@example.com.Thank you so much for your time and interest.Wishing you all the very best,Margaret Richardson and the team.Trustee of Rigul Trust
Ladakh Flood Emergency
Achi Dolma Flood Appeal - Vision Himalaya - Rigul Trust
Rigul Trust is working alongside Khenpo Rangdol and helping with Achi Dolma Ladakh Flood Appeal and Vision Himalaya.
For those of us who would prefer to donate on-line with a credit card, using any currency, from any country and without bank charges for the donor, Rigul Trust has a PayPal facility.
100% of all donations made through Rigul Trust Ladakh Floods Appeal will go to Achi Dolma Flood Appeal.
DONATING BY PAYPAL
To use the PayPal facility for Achi Dolma Ladakh Flood Appeal, through Rigul Trust, click on the following link and scroll down to donate:
Thank you so much for helping. Khenpo Rangdol is going to Ladakh in September and will distribute 100% of all the donations to those who have had their homes washed away.
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche introduces the forthcoming Online Study Group. The object of the study is Shantideva's 'Bodhicharyavatara', which he says is a core text for anyone wishing to study the Buddhist Path. See
Thursday, 12 August 2010
the Bodhicharya International website (this Irish blog remains as is).
In order to receive news and join in the shedra teachings, you just
need to register as a member in the sidebar of the homepage.
and login to the website. Then you will be taken to a screen
where you can subscribe to the email news updates or not.
Simply press YES or NO then the 'update preferences' button.
You can register your name for the Shedra teachings by registering y
our email address, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thats it. you're done!
Friday, 6 August 2010
A very short synopsis of the summercamp teachings:
According to the Karmapa, of the three aspects, it is our actions, the way we do things, that are most important, because right action by its very nature must include right view, and this arises from good meditation.
Rinpoche spoke about 'namtok', the Tibetan word that describes thoughts, feelings, and emotions both positive and negative - that arise 'like the Irish weather' - you wait two minutes and it changes!
In elucidating the 'Song Of Impermanence', Rinpoche spoke of living as a process, because living means change, moment by moment, if this doesn't happen we are no longer alive and it is most important to have a deep understanding of this because with that understanding then there is room for everything to happen.
The second teaching was on 'The Story of the Yak Horn' describing the way Milarepa worked on the pride of Rechungpa, after he returned from India with the remaining 6 secret teachings that Milarepa had hitherto not gathered for himself.
Mila-re-pa means 'Mila, the one who wears the cotton' and Rechungpa was so called because he was the small one (chung-pa) who wears the cotton. They were called father and son because the student is born out of the wisdom of the teacher. According to Rinpoche, while Rechungpa was said to be the closest of the two Heart Sons, he was not destined for the role of Karmapa as he remained somewhat in the realm of worldly activities, whereas Gampopa renounced all: Rinpoche spoke about pride being a huge obstacle, because the way to full realisation is then blocked by arrogance. "Mind polluted with arrogance renders the teachings useless".
Rinpoche's commentary on the song of 'The Woman's Role in Dharma' included an explanation on the lineages of the three kayas: 'Mind to Mind', 'Signs' and 'Mouth to Ear', as well as an amusing discussion on attitudes to women as potentially enlightened beings. Milarepa had four female disciples who, when they died, dissolved completely leaving no trace, to the astonishment of observers who hadn't been aware of the enlightened qualities these possessed and this related to previous advice relating to pride - that humility is the essence of good practice; a person who has realised the 'truth' will not look for recognition.
The 'Enlightenment of Rechungpa' was a long song, and we were happy to hear that in fact he did realise his full potential, despite the occasional diversion into worldly dharma and the tendency towards arrogance. When Rechungpa presented his intial awakening insights to Milarepa he discovered that there was yet another layer to work with, as the Eight Supreme Realms were described, and we heard again that the experience itself is not accessible through words, but if we have the resources of the Three Refuges we can find it, because nothing of itself is samsaric, samsara is when the mind is stuck and the stuckness is what we work with. He explained that when we take away ignorance there is no more samsara. Karma is dynamic and fluid. When we understand the nature of mind the chain of karma is broken, when we go beyond karma, life becomes spontaneous activity which is appearance and emptiness without bondage: the bondage is the difference between the two, and is dispelled by wisdom.
Rinpoche also explained the difference between the Eastern and Western ways of teaching: He said that the Eastern teacher presents him/herself as humble, but makes the teachings certain, and the Western style is to present oneself as strong and confident, but the teaching style will include 'maybes' and 'probables' in the text. He pointed out that there are many many commentaries on the texts, and commentaries on those, so there is no room actually for the maybes and the probables. If you don't know, you don't know.
Pride was a theme throughout the teachings, like a small oily stone, water falls off it, nothing can be absorbed, you cannot learn. It was a topic he returned to a number of times, quietly reminding us over and again of his own absolute groundedness coming from place of humility, as he spoke of things that can only be known by one who is fully realised.
Before giving the Bodhisattva vow he spoke of the need for harmony, one of the three branches of Bodhicharya, because harmony brings friendship and trust, when it's lost there's no peace, so we must be extremely careful in what we say: it is not about truth and being right. He recounted Dzogchen Ponlop's comment that we in the west 'have the disease of telling the truth'. Rinpoche described the metaphore of the moon's reflection in the water, many bowls can reflect the moon at the same time, without changing the quality of the moon or the power of it's light. The Bodhisattva vow is for all our lifetimes, once the commitment is made; and Bodhicitta is the most important practice.
To finish the week, poems were read by Ani Puntsok, ( I Won't Follow The Wind), and Jean Piara Pemberton who read a poem written on Holy Island, bringing together thoughts on meditation, Milarepa and the great Irish yogi St Molaise, who meditated in a cave on that island 400 years before Milarepa was born. She has just had her poems published by Strasbourg University, a beautiful volume to commemorate her 80th birthday this year, to honour the many years she has been professor of linguistics in that place. We hope to make the book available for those who'd like to read more of Jean's poems.
Finally a big thanks to all those who, each year, quietly and thoughtfully make Rinpoche's teachings accessible after the event, on CD and DVD - Ger, Christopher, Thierry, and to Lama Tsultrim and his team at Lusse who provide a comfortable environment and welcoming atmosphere so condusive to study and practice for the international Sangha.
This year is the 900th year of the Karmapas, and the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa will begin a year of celebrations at the beginning of December, before the 28th Monlam begins.
NB. The 'Pointing Out The Dharmakaya' teachings are restricted to those who attended the course, unless you have special permission from Ringu Tulku.
photos: Thierry Duparquet, Albert Harris, Annie Dibble
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Rinpoche has indicated that he hopes the Bodhicharya International Website will become a forum for his students and centres to interact and share news, views and activities. The online Shedra will give the opportunity to study with him online. Please visit the Bodhicharya International Website for updates.
We will soon launch a wonderful new feature on the Bodhicharya website: the Shedra. The Bodhicharya online Shedra will have two different sections, Study and Debate.
In the Study section, we will study the Bodhicharyavatara by Shantideva. Ringu Tulku Rinpoche has kindly promised to give us explanations on this great Mahayana classic regularly on the website. To begin our study, we will need a large enough number of students who would like to join in the study group and commit to study this together under Rinpoche’s guidance. If you would like to commit yourself to this study and participate in the online study group, please contact us now at email@example.com and send your name and email.
In the Debate section, Rinpoche has asked Tsering Paldron from Portugal and Bernhard Kaiser from Germany to demonstrate debating on various interesting subjects. The debated subjects will fall under three categories of View, Meditation and Action. Everybody is invited to follow the debates and post comments and questions.
Stay tuned for more information – coming soon - on this website. We recommend that you subscribe to the newsfeed to receive email updates about the launching of the Shedra and other Bodhicharya news. The subscribe button is on the left column of the homepage www.bodhicharya.org.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Photo : The monks in Dublin on their first visit to the West, 1986
has been moved to a different venue and will now happen next week, Monday to Wednesday, 11am-8pm & Thursday 11am - 4pm from 26th-29th July and take place in no. 11 North Great Georges St. Dublin 1.Led by Lama Nyendak Tulku, the Mandala of Chenrizig will be created in coloured sand. Chenrezig symbolises the universal world of compassion. The Mandala will be created starting on Monday 26th July and on display in 11 North Great Georges Street until 4pm on Thurday 29th, when the monks will release the sand as part of the Buddhist ritual, symbolising that nothing in this world is permanent.
Rigul Trust Newsletter no. 5 Summer 2010
100% of all donations received will go to fund activities in the field 100% of expenses met by volunteers The objectives written into the Charity Commission Governing Document are: "The relief of poverty and financial hardship, the advancement of education, the advancement of religion, the relief of sickness, the preservation and protection of good health, in particular but not exclusively in Rigul, Kham, Tibet as the trustees may decide"
Thank you so much for all the support that you are giving for Ringu Tulku's projects through Rigul Trust. The diversity of support includes donations, helping with advice, websites, blogs, translations, fund raising, graphic design, accountancy, hand crafted goods, DVD/CDs and photographic copies of art work for sale and so many other ways. So many people are contributing from so many countries - UK: Eire: New Mexico: USA: Finland: Germany: Holland: France: Spain: Portugal: Belgium: Australia: India and Nepal.
For a full update on what is happening for survivors of the Earthquake in Yushu, Tibet, China see the Rigul Trust Website :
www.rigultrust.org where you can also donate if you would like to help.
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
This might be of great interest to all dharma students who know Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and who have access to the internet...
Rigpa at Lerab Ling is offering FREE video-streaming of Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche's public talk on July 18 - this means that anyone with internet can watch LIVE for free by clicking on this website http://videostreaming.rigpa.org/
if you think it helpful, you might like to announce this soon via the various email databases and blogs/sites
For more on Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche click here.
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
We also have news that His Holiness 17th Karmapa is expected to teach in Switzerland during September at the invitation of the Nyingmapa Rigdzin Community.
Sunday, 13 June 2010
Information on a new addition for the
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Sunday, 23 May 2010
His Holiness Karmapa will address a teaching to the Kagyu sanghas and his students in Europe on Thursday, May 27th 2010 via a Live Webcast.
(www.livingthedharma.eu) will host the Live Webcast of His Holiness. That means this is the site on which you can follow the teaching of The Karmapa.
The teaching will take place starting from 11:30PM India Time (6:00 PM GMT , 7:00 PM BST, 8:00 PM CEDT, and 9:00 PM EEDT). His Holiness will be teaching in Tibetan and live English translation will be provided by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche.
There will be the possibility to download the teaching from this site at the end of the webcast.
May Karmapas activities appear in all its splendour!
Kindly inform all. This can be accessed by anyone but better to register.
Sunday, 16 May 2010
This weekend Rigpa Dublin welcomed Bodhicharya Ireland Sangha members into their shrine room in Wicklow St. Dublin to watch the live webcast of Ringu Tulku's teachings on the 'Two Truths' that was streamed direct (with a few interruptions on Sunday) from teachings at Lerab Ling in the Dordogne, France.
Friday, 14 May 2010
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
This year once more, Bodhicharya and Kagyu Samye Dzong Dublin had the great pleasure and privilege of hosting Ringu Tulku’s visit to Ireland. Because of the scheduled visit to Europe of His Holiness the Karmapa, the organisation of which had fallen to Ringu Tulku, there were to be none of the usual teaching visits to other parts of Ireland. The Bodhicharya group, conscious of their responsibilities, cast the publicity net as wide as possible in an effort to attract as many people as possible to the Dublin teachings.
The visit, however, came under the shadow of several negative circumstances: firstly came the news that the Karmapa, having been refused the necessary visa from the Indian Government, was unable to leave India; then we learned of the terrible earthquake to hit Yushu, Qinghai province on the China-Tibet border, causing great destruction and loss of life; and finally, the eruption of the Icelandic volcano provoked air travel chaos which prevented a number of people from abroad from attending the teachings, and disrupted the departure of Rinpoche and Lama Shenga.
However, Rinpoche accepted these unpropitious events, both natural and man-made, with his usual equanimity, remaining the serene and radiantly humorous figure we know and love, giving teachings that were full of wisdom and insight.
For both the evening teachings at Kagyu Samye Dzong and the weekend teachings at the Writers’ Museum, he took as his core text Gampopa’s Great Teachings to the Assembly, in a translation on which he is currently working, and which has never before been presented in the West. At Kagyu Samye Dzong, he gave a commentary on ‘The Four Dharmas of Gampopa’, emphasising the transforming power of dharma practice, which extends beyond what we normally think of as ‘practice’. We have to understand that, so long as we have a samsaric state of mind, the experience of peace and fulfilment is not possible. It is therefore a question of transforming the mind, so that, whatever the circumstances, we retain our equanimity. This is only possible when we learn to see things as they really are, beyond the duality of ‘myself’ and ‘other’, cutting through the illusion of independent existence and the permanence of phenomena. The objects of my perception are, in fact, no different from the mind that perceives, what arises is not different from me. The whole practice of dharma is therefore how to experience ourselves, and is necessary only because of our habitual tendencies. There is, in fact, nothing to practise, and no one who practises. To understand this, Rinpoche emphasised, is the only freedom, the great liberation.
The weekend teachings continued the theme of ‘the nature of the mind’, with a commentary of the chapter bearing that title, and a further one, ‘Stabilising the recognition of the Nature of the Mind’. Rinpoche emphasised again the concept of interdependence, pointing out that it was the same thing as emptiness, which term, however, causes problems, especially for Westerners. Everything perishable is in a constant state of flux, dissolving and changing every moment, although our habitual tendency is to solidify phenomena to make them graspable. Mind, however, has no beginning, and therefore no end; it has no characteristics and is indestructible, beyond description and indeed beyond words. In its outer aspect, it is composed of perceived objects, which are no different from mind itself, whereas in its inner aspect it is perception itself. The two are, however, ultimately indivisible. Rinpoche was at pains to emphasise that the understanding of the nature of mind, far from remaining an abstraction, was the source of great compassion: it arises when we realise how much suffering we cause to ourselves and others when we fail to understand the nature of things.
The subject of compassion was also central to Rinpoche’s presentation of ‘The Qualities of a Genuine Teacher’. Deviating slightly from orthodox thinking on the role of the teacher, he suggested that it might not be altogether a bad thing to see the teacher as a samsaric being (while, of course, retaining the view of his or her Buddha nature), since the most important part of the relationship between teacher and student is the teaching. Drawing on his own personal experience, he declared that compassion is the essential quality of the teacher, and the one, therefore, that the student should seek to emulate.
With these and other precious insights, Ringu Tulku’s visit came to an end. Throughout, he made himself available in every possible way, graciously accepting our hospitality and participating in many informal discussions, as well as conducting numerous interviews. We thank both him and Lama Shenga for their inspiring presence and wish them safe journey in their dedicated work for the spread of the Dharma.
May all beings be happy.
photos: Paul O'Connor, Annie Dibble
Thursday, 22 April 2010
Vacancy for a secretary working in a Buddhist Community
Phone reception, Income from shop & bookings for courses, regular presence in the Centre
Must have taken refuge & live according to five precepts. No payment, but food and lodging provided. Good communications skills necessary.
Please apply in writing to: Kagyu Samye Dzong Dublin, 56 Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, c/o Ani Tsondru.
Start date: Mid-May, or later by arrangement
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa has written the following letter asking for help and prayers in the aftermath of the recent earthquake at Xinghai in Tibet.
"The large earthquake in Yushu County, Xinghai Province, has caused great loss of life and injured many people. To date the death toll has risen above 1000 and the number of those severely injured has also risen above 1000. In total, more than 10,000 people have been injured.
When I heard this tragic news, I was very saddened at the loss, and began immediately to offer prayers for those who have been affected by this incident, both those who have lost their lives and the survivors. May those who have died be freed from the bardo state of terror and suffering of such an unexpected death, and be reborn in the pure lands or a higher realm. May the survivors who have undergone the suffering of loss of relatives and friends and the trauma of losing their homes be comforted and find relief. May they receive the emergency help they need as soon as possible, and be able to rebuild their lives. I will pray ceaselessly for this.
I request the monasteries of the different schools and devotees, near and far, to offer the following prayers: the Guru Rinpoche Prayers Barchey Lamsel, Sampa Lhundrub and Sampa Nyurdrub; the Wangdu Soldeb composed by Mipham Rinpoche; recitation of the mantras of Chenresig and Heyagriva; recitation of the saddhanas of the Medicine Buddha, Amitabha Buddha and Akshobhya Buddha; night-long recitation of The Twenty-One Praises of Tara.
In addition, I would ask everyone to contribute, directly or indirectly, to the relief work. I have instructed the Karmapa Foundation in America to donate $200,000 for immediate aid for the victims of this disaster and to help with the task of rebuilding. I have called on all Buddhists and compassionate people to pray sincerely for the victims of this earthquake, and to do their best, according to each one’s capacity, to become involved or sponsor different kinds of relief activity so that it will be effective.
Death and impermanence is an integral part of life. When this kind of disaster strikes, may the power of the natural goodness within all of us provide physical and mental comfort and the courage to start anew".
When you are happy, dedicate that happiness to all beings,
so that happiness may pervade the sky.
When you suffer, you are bearing the suffering of all beings.
May the ocean of suffering become dry completely.
17th Gyalwang Karmapa,
Ogyen Trinley Dorje,
17th April, 2010
Monday, 19 April 2010
Let us do as much as we can to help these people.
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
Dear Dharma Friends,
I am sad to announce that the proposed visit of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorji was not approved by the Government of India.
The visit was scheduled to take place from 27th May to 2nd July in nine countries of Europe. The Kagyu Office, the Administration of The Gyalwang Karmapa, was informed of the decision by the Tibetan Government in Exile on 3rd April 2010. The process has begun to find out why this visit was not possible and what positive conditions are needed to make the visit possible in near future.
I know a huge number of followers and friends in Europe were eagerly waiting for the visit of Gyalwang Karmapa and I know that all of you are sad and disappointed. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the organizers, volunteers and donors for working so hard to prepare for the visit in last many months. Your cooperation and support were beyond any expectations.
I hope and pray together with you that the visit will happen in very near future and that all of us would be able to receive his teachings in Europe.
Karmapa’s Visit to Europe
Thursday, 25 March 2010
see www.douglashydegallery.com for more information. Entrance is free
Kahlen will talk on the exhibition on Friday 26th March at 1.30pm.
Monday, 15 March 2010
Greetings from the Rigpa Shedra in Nepal!
I wanted to let you know that over losar a whole line of Lung ta flags were hung at the Boudhnath Stupa in Kathmandu for Ringu Tulku Rinpoches long life. This was on behalf of the Irish sangha.
Saturday, 13 March 2010
DUBLIN INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST FILM FESTIVAL 2010 will be the first such event in Ireland. It is still in the planning stages but is scheduled to take place over a single weekend in September 2010. There will be a small festival membership fee, but all screenings will be free of charge.
The festival is part of a new grass-roots movement of independent film festivals that encourages similar events to start up around the world, no matter how remote the location or how small the event.
For more information on the Dublin IBFF, or to volunteer, or to get inspired to organise your own local festival, please enjoy...
Monday, 1 March 2010
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Saturday, 20 February 2010
Thursday, 18 February 2010
THE SOWA RIGPA GARDEN
BODHICHARYA RETREAT CENTRE
from Pat Little.
Last autumn I spent three extraordinary weeks at Ringu Tulku’s Bodhicharya Retreat Centre. I went in hope rather than expectation: Rinpoche had graciously accepted my request to do retreat, but had not been particularly encouraging about my other aim, namely to help in the setting up of the Sowa Rigpa garden. Rahima was already doing the necessary research, he assured me, and as for the actual gardening, there were local women employed to do that. As it happened, I arrived at the same time as both Rinpoche and Rahima (back from sorting out her visa in Nepal, after an absence of several weeks).
As we entered the garden down the steep steps that lead from the wood towards the Retreat Centre, it was immediately obvious that there would be much to do: a magnificent blue-flowered weed had spring up everywhere, and taken over the old rice terraces where Rahima, an assortment of gardeners and an ox-plough had made a tentative approach in creating the garden for medicinal plants that was Rinpoche’s dream. The vegetable beds which were part of the project had been colonised in the same way; in short, nature had triumphed, order had blossomed into anarchy.
This was an inauspicious start; I had already learned that none of the medicine plants carefully sourced by Rahima had survived: the ruta seed from Ladakh that had germinated so promisingly had grown well for about six weeks, but had then been struck by a hailstorm, after which some ‘worm’ (= maggot?) had attacked it. Rahima had transplanted some 100 plants, but these had subsequently died. The tikta had simply disappeared during Rahima’s absence: she suspected they were ‘weeded out’. The manu seed from Himachal had not been a success either: the wild seed had not germinated, the cultivated Ayurvedic variety only erratically, and then the monsoon had proved too much for the young plants.
We therefore had to set to and establish a serious plan for taking the garden in hand, restoring what had been done, developing new areas and planning for the future. We were exceptionally fortunate in that Rinpoche came to stay, along with his mother and uncle, just at that time, rather than just coming for the teachings he gave to the retreatants. He made himself available to us in remarkably generous fashion, often coming out into the garden when he saw us, to encourage us and calm our anxieties. When we talked of setbacks, he calmly brushed the notion aside, giving us the impression that what had happened was all part of the overall plan. In short, the inspiration of his energy kept us from total discouragement.The first thing was to rescue what was possible from the vegetable beds, separating out beans, peas, radishes etc. from their carpet of weeds, and harvesting what was harvestable. Then new beds had to be cleared – this of course had already been done with the ox-plough at a much earlier stage. Nyima, the young man hired as chief gardener, but during Rahima’s absence rather lacking in direction, set to work with us, and soon beds of young cabbages were springing up.
It was obvious, however, that the impoverished soil was badly in need of improvement, so we had recourse to two solutions: we started various compost-heaps for the medium and long term, and then placed an order with Pema for a large quantity of cow-dung for immediate use. This, of course, had to be transported in baskets down the stony track from the road on the backs of local porters, making it an expensive commodity.
Rinpoche, however, has an idea for bypassing this particular difficulty:
we should get a cow (or two). It/they would give milk for the retreatants and visitors, any surplus could be sold to generate modest funds for the Centre, and there would be manure a-plenty. Appropriate time and effort went into discussing how to source such a cow, the best type to get, who would look after it, etc. etc.
No problem seemed insuperable. It was envisaged that Rinpoche’s mother, Ama-la, might be recruited as consultant in the matter: a country-woman born and bred, she had owned and managed large herds of yaks in her younger days, as well as cattle, and a couple of cows would therefore hold no terrors for her. She was already an asset in the garden: on one occasion, seeing us busy at the weeding, she came out to join us, seized a cutter and started to give an energetic demonstration of the right way to cut weeds. And then, with the heavy right-angled fork, she showed us how to dig up the roots, accompanying the demonstration with a commentary in voluble Tibetan! Such energy, such spirit!
Given the previous experience, it was clear that certain plants would do better with some protection. This could be in two stages: the immediate construction of a simple shelter out of bamboo poles and fine plastic netting, and then, more long-term, the erection of a proper poly-tunnel. As I left, the bamboo poles were arriving on site, and we had identified the area where the shelter was to be erected.
The question of overall planning was obviously very important. Spaff, one of the three-year retreatants, who had therefore seen through three seasonal cycles, had done a useful job in identifying hot spots and cold patches, dry and boggy areas, and with this prior knowledge Rahima and I were able to walk the whole site and establish some sort of basic plan for the future garden, including new paths to create leech-free circuits for the retreatants and others, and areas for ornamental plants and aromatics, as well as for fruit and medicinal trees and bushes. The question of a cow-shed was also addressed.
Just before my departure, Pema arrived with a surprise package of 22 young orange trees and guavas. This concentrated the mind as to where to put them, but we located a hot spot where we thought they would be happy, and at the first opportunity Nyima was set to work to prepare the siteThe pattern of retreat practice and gardening which evolved quickly in the first few days proved ideal for me. And the blessings of my stay were multiplied by the arrival of the new Buddha
statue for the shrine-room. The 7-foot statue had been cast in Nepal, had made the journey from Kathmandu by road in three pieces, and had then been transported by around a dozen porters on a sort of bamboo stretcher down the path from the road. It then had to be gilded, and we watched fascinated as the Nepali craftsmen began
to apply the gold leaf with a tooth-brush, heating it first with mercury, which gave it a silver appearance, before treating the whole surface with a blow-lamp, thus dissolving the mercury and leaving the burnished gold.
The finished statue is magnificent in its flowing lines and serenity, and now awaits the completion of the carpenter’s work of creating a plinth for it in the shrine-room. The presence of this splendid artefact was for me a source of energy in the parallel development of the garden. Each day that saw the realisation of another stage of the statue saw also a new stage in the planning and execution of the Sowa Rigpa project. Under the influence of the spirit of the Buddha, we became acutely aware of the garden as a spiritual entity that would speak to us if only we would listen.
My stay was all too short. But seeds have been sown, both literally and figuratively, and others will come to nurture them, strong in the belief that the principles of Sowa Rigpa are the way forward for the planet, and that, because everything is interconnected, small seeds that are sown in Sikkim can become forests whose positive potential can only be guessed at.
Pat Little, 09.1.10