Photographs from His Holiness Karmapa's UK visit 2017

Thursday, 30 December 2010

New Year Poem from Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

New Year's Greeting for 2011:

Another year has passed like a dream.
We observed calamity after calamity.
Are we about to make our world unliveable
With our greed, short sightedness and ignorance?

Watching the Dalai Lama and a host of great beings
I find courage to look at the brighter side.
There is no use lamenting and losing heart.
We all have the fortune to choose what we do.

A little bird poured a mouthful of water on the forest fire.
“This may not put down the fire,” she said,
“But I like to be counted among those who tried to help”.
Let us do something that might help us and our fellow beings.

What an immense challenge we face!
What a great opportunity we have!
With a joyful smile and heart filled with kindness
Let us embrace the challenges of the coming New Year.

Wishing you a most wonderful new year in 2011.

Ringu Tulku

Sunday, 19 December 2010

HH Karmapa will pray for your loved ones this week...

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

Dear Friends,

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, 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

Announcing Tibetan Language Classes in Dublin!

Many Many Thanks to Mick Mc Sweeney and Kelle Link for organising these wonderful Tibetan classes.
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.

Dear Friends,

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.
The beginner’s classes which Tashi Samdup will teach will focus initially on the basics of Tibetan reading, progressing to cover grammar, simple spoken Tibetan and translation of prayers.  If there is demand for a more advanced class, the content will be tailored to take account of the students’ prior knowledge of the language.

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 or on 01-4537427.

Kind regards,

Lisa Steifl, KSD

Friday, 3 December 2010


click here to read the latest Rigul Newsletter.  There has been a lot of fundraising for the school and medical centre, which are now up and running, but money is now needed to keep things going.

Monday, 15 November 2010

great response to the appeal for the Dzogchen Monastery fundraising.

Bruno writes:

Dear Friends,

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 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

Buddhist Bring and Buy Bonanza at Bruno’s !

Here's news from Bruno: Please help if you can.

In Aid of Dzogchen Monastery, Kathmandu
[Founded by Tulku Pegyal Rinpoche in 1995]
[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]

Monday, 1 November 2010

Dalai Lama to visit Ireland in 2011

Following on from the last post, here is a link to the proposed visit of the Dalai Lama to Ireland in 2011. Thanks to John Keeling for passing on the information.

and here's the link!

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Dalai Lama's Hero

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

New Shedra and Debate on Bodhicharya International Website

The shedra teachings have begun on the Bodhicharya International website. There are two sections : the study group will follow Rinpoche's teachings on the Bodhicharya Avatara, written by the great 8th century yogi Shantideva as a guide for a bodhisattva's way of life. As an introduction Rinpoche gives very interesting details on the life of Shantideva who was known as Busuku - a lazy person who apparently only eats and sleeps.
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

Many Roads : The first issue

The new Bodhicharya e-magazine has been published online.
click on Many Roads to read it on the Bodhicharya International website. Articles and reviews are welcome from everyone, the deadline for the next issue is 30th January 2011

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

A Meditation on Ringu Tulku

Thanks to Bruno who has forwarded this link to a montage of some
lovely images of Rinpoche.

A new post from Ecobuddhism

The Ecobuddhism website, a very informative digest on Buddhism, Science and Ecology is run by John and Diane Stanley, founders of the Prajna Community in Galway. Their September video is an 'interview with the late, great Thomas Berry' on the Sacred Universe. Please click here to reach their website and watch the interview.

Monday, 23 August 2010

And more thoughts on fundraising

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
Thank you so much for your time and interest.
Wishing you all the very best,
Margaret Richardson and the team.
Trustee of Rigul Trust

Flood update from Rigul Trust

Margaret Richardson has issued the following appeal on behalf of the people of Ladakh who were very badly affected by flooding earlier in August, and now need help to gather their lives back together.

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.


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.

Rinpoche presents the new study group

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 is now accessible in 11 languages

The International website is now accessible in 11 different languages, (including Chinese). This means that Rinpoche's news and activities, as well as the shedra will be available to many many more people. Please share this information with your friends.

Easier access to website news and shedra

Dear All,

We have now changed the way we send out news updates from
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.
Click on the link below:
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:
Thats it. you're done!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Summercamp teachings 2010 - The Songs of Milarepa

A very short synopsis of the summercamp teachings:
The focus for this years teachings in the beautiful setting of La Petite Pierre, was 'the Songs of Milarepa', translated into french by Lama Tsering Paldron from Portugal. La Petite Pierre, a medieval village not far from Strasbourg in France, was established at the end of the 12 century - 100 yrs after Milarepa was born.
Rinpoche began with a short introduction to Milarepa's life, and rigorous spiritual training with the great Marpa. He spoke of the two 'Heart Sons', Rechungpa and Gampopa, the latter was to become the founder of the Karmapa lineage. Rinpoche recounted a talk given by the 17th Karmapa on importance of View, Meditation and Action, in relation to the life of Milarepa, who was made to build and rebuild ( three times) a stone house for his teacher, Marpa.
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

Shedra News From Bodhicharya International

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.

Dear Friends,

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 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

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Drepung Loseling Monks return to Dublin this week.

The Monks from Drepung Loseling are due in Dublin for the Festival of World Cultures in Dun Laoghaire. They will be chanting during the festival during the weekend, but as their arrival has been delayed, the planned Sand Mandala of Chenrezig for the Park in Dunlaoghaire

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.

The Latest Rigul Trust Newsletter now available to read

We've received the latest newsletter from Margaret Richardson.

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"

Dear Friends,
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 : where you can also donate if you would like to help.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Dilgo Khentse Yangsi Rinpoche

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
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

Rinpoche Speaks About Depression

While he was in Dublin in May this year, Rinpoche spoke to Michael Frost about working with depression . here's the interview :

Rinpoche will return to Europe this month

Rinpoche is once again preparing to return to Europe and will be teaching in Portugal and at Summercamp in La Petite Pierre during July.
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

An Invitation to submit articles for new magazine 'MANY ROADS'

Information on a new addition for the
Bodhicharya International website:

"We are intending to put together a blog style e-magazine on our new Bodhicharya site at The blog will include articles; interviews; poems; reviews of books and films and music and regular features about health and food. It will be called 'Many Roads'. But, we need your help and input if we are going to make this a success and a place of real interaction between friends from all over the world.
We are therefore asking for contributions for our blog from anyone who would like to share their thoughts and inspirations and concerns, as well as anything that may be of help and interest to others. If you know of anyone whom you or we could interview that would also be great.
As a starting point, it would be good if we could receive contributions about Living the Dharma in the West. Why are you on a spiritual path at all? Has it been a bumpy or smooth path? What and who has helped you? Tell us about your journey.
Contributions are welcome from anyone, there is no need to be a Bodhicharya sangha member or even a Buddhist as we also want to hear from others on a spiritual path from different traditions and religions.
We hope to go live with our blog e-magazine at the beginning of September but we will need contributions as soon as possible. We will be happy to receive contributions on an on-going basis and hope to post the interesting pieces, I'm sure we will receive, on a regular basis. We have an editorial team who can help with editing and advice on length of articles and interviews etc.
So there is no need to be shy, please just get in touch by emailing us at if you have any questions or if you wish to submit your piece for inclusion in our blog".

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


Rinpoche's Shedra Teachings on the Two Truths given at Lerab Ling last weekend are available to download at the following sites. /

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Live Webcast Teaching with HH the 17th Karmapa on 27th May

The following news has been received from the site, 'Living the Dharma'.
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.
( 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

Teachings on the Two Truths at Lerab Ling (text by Za Patrul Rinpoche)

'The Real Nature of the Relative is the Real Nature of the Absolute'

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.

Unfortunately we missed the Friday night session, when Rinpoche introduced the short text by Patrul Rinpoche entitled 'An Instruction on the View of the Mahayana Clarifying the Two
Truths'. The text begins : 'For those who wish to attain liberation, there is both (I) the teaching on what is to be realised, and (II) the teaching on how to put this into practice'.
On Saturday Rinpoche began with the first instruction, 'Teaching On What Is To Be Realised' and discussed the three ways in which we can experience the Two Truths, (a) the stage of ordinary beings who perceive with grasping, which is termed the incorrect relative; (b) the stage of noble beings, who perceive appearance without grasping, termed the correct relative;
and (c) the stage of buddhahood where there is no ordinary appearance or non ordinary appearance - and because it is the absolute, concerns for grasping no longer apply, it is beyond grasping.
In this teaching Rinpoche continued to discuss the importance of seeing the natural condition of ones own mind, using the provisional understanding as a reference point until the ultimate understanding becomes clear - that the Two Truths are inseparable and that any type of provisional understanding is still a concept.
From the Nirvana Sutra : 'Emptiness means perceiving neither 'empty' nor 'non empty'. The natural radiance of emptiness can appear as anything at all. Since it is empty as it appears, appearance and emptiness are a unity. This can only be known by looking inwards. It is within the domain of your self-knowing awareness-wisdom'.
There are two sections in the text, with instructions on the Direct Practice for the sharpest faculties, and the Gradual Practice for those with duller faculties. The Direct Practice is a very short section and was taught very quickly, however the teaching on the Gradual Practice for dull faculties section is far more extended (!) and took longer to teach.
Rinpoche pointed out that it is the simplest teachings that we tend to overlook, because we think they are easy, but he said it is most important to begin with what is easy, because this will begin the journey towards transformation and help us to reach the more profound teachings. He encouraged us to remove ideas of emptiness from our conceptual thought, because if we don't we are grasping, so we must relax and just let the mind be with the current understanding.

At the close of the teachings on Sunday Rinpoche addressed the many people in the Lerab Ling shrineroom who have recently emerged from an intensive 39 month retreat. He spoke to them about the temptation to measure the achievements of practice, saying that the best progress is like life, it goes by unnoticed.

Many many thanks to Ringu Tulku who embodies these teachings with such grace and to Rigpa Dublin for opening this invitation to Bodhicharya Ireland to attend these amazing talks.

Advice from Machig Labdrön:
When nothing whatsoever is conceptualised
How could you possibly go astray?
Annihilate your conceptions. And rest

The text that was prepared for this study had been translated by Adam Pearcey.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Rinpoche Teaching Live Online!

This weekend at the Rigpa Dublin centre [12 Wicklow Street, Top Floor], there will be a live streaming of Ringu Tulku Rinpoche's teachings from Lerab Ling
Ringu Tulku will be teaching on "A Short text on the Two Truths by Patrul Rinpoche"

The program of events is as follows

Saturday 15th May from 9:30am to 4pm
Sunday 16th from 9am to 12 midday

The event is open to all members of the Sangha

The cost of the event is 20 euro per day (12 euro concession)

Offering - It is traditional for students to make an offering to the Lama when receiving
important teachings. As such, everyone attending is invited to also make an offering
just as those attending the event in Lerab Ling will do.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Ringu Tulku Visit to Dublin - more news

Pat Little shares her account of Rinpoche's visit to Dublin :
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

Notice from Kagyu Samye Dzong Dublin

Ani Tsondru is entering long term retreat this year. Dublin Samye Dzong are looking for someone who would like an opportunity to help run the centre on a daily basis in her absence. In return for accommodation at Kilmainham Well House, applications are invited for the position of Kagyu Samye Dzong Dublin Secretary :

Vacancy for a secretary working in a Buddhist Community

Functions Include:
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

HH Karmapa’s latest on Tibetan earthquake

Tormas for New Year Mahakala Puja at Vajra Vidya, Thrangu Rinpoche's Monastery at Sarnath, India

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

Yushu Earthquake Appeal

Yushu Tibet Earthquake Appeal
Rigul Trust's response to helping the victims of the Yushu earthquake is below. Please go to the Rigul website for more information and see how to help.

Dear Friends,
"Such news from Tibet - words fail.
We see pictures of utter devastation, people helping each other and people in prayer.

Let us do as much as we can to help these people.
Please circulate this attachment to others and help us spread the appeal far and wide.
Thank you for your support.
Best Wishes,
Margaret Richardson, David Curtis, Jude Tarrant
Trustees of Rigul Trust"
Patron: Ringu Tulku Rinpoche
Rigul Trust, 13, St. Francis Avenue, Southampton, SO18 5QL, UK.
Tel: +44 (0)23 8046 2926 email: website:
UK Charity Registration number: 1124076

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

17th Karmapa London visit postponed

April 6, 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.

Ringu Tulku,
Karmapa’s Visit to Europe

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Films on Tibet and Mongolia by Wolf Kahlen

The Douglas Hyde Gallery at Trinity College Dublin will be showing a series of rare documentary footage of 'Tibet's Tibet and Mongolia's Mongolia' by Wolf Kahlen, starting Friday 26th March. The subjects include a Tulku Enthronement at Spiti monastery, Choed-Pa, Oracles....there will be three showings each day throughout April. There are 11 films in all :
see for more information. Entrance is free
Kahlen will talk on the exhibition on Friday 26th March at 1.30pm.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Long Life Flags for Ringu Tulku

Amy writes:

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.
love Amy

Saturday, 13 March 2010

News from the Irish Buddhist Network

BUDDHIST NETWORK IRELAND was founded in 2006 with a view to connecting for the first time all the various mainstream Buddhist communities in Ireland, North and South. It is both a forum in which Irish Buddhists can dialogue and organise joint events, and a way to present information about Buddhism in Ireland to the public. BNI has a representative on the Irish Inter-Religious Council.


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

New Bodhicharya International Website Launched

Rinpoche has launched a beautiful new website designed with Irish artist and Paul O'Connor and an international team. It celebrates the activities of Ringu Tulku and his students worldwide. There are opportunities for comments and input from all the groups, (Pat Little's article on the Sikkim Meditation Centre is there) and all information from the previous Bodhicharya web page plus more from groups and centres worldwide is on

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Dublin Teachings 13th - 18th April 2010

click on the image to enlarge it
Sections of Gampopa's Great Public Teachings, - Che Dagpo Rinpoche Tsog Chö Chenpo - will be the subject of Rinpoche's teaching for this week. This is a little known text by 12 century Tibetan saint and scholar, Jé Gampopa (1079 - 1153). Gampopa was renowned physician, who renounced the world and became a monk after he was unable to save his wife and two children who died in an epidemic that ravaged their homeland. After years of spiritual practice Gampopa was deeply moved on hearing the name of the great yogi, Milarepa, and sought him as his teacher. Milarepa subjected Gampopa to various tests before accepting him as a student, but subsequently gave him his complete teachings.
This text is one of these and was put into writing around the time of the second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi. These are both General and Specific Teachings, and have not yet been translated and published outside the Tibetan. It is only the second time that they have been taught in the west, the first was also by Ringu Tulku in Barcelona, between 2004 - 2006. According to Rinpoche they are the very basis of the Karma Kagyu teachings and represent the classic Kagyu teaching tradition.

Thanka painting of Jé Gampopa. by R D Salga.

If you plan to attend the whole week of teachings for both evenings and weekend talks, please book through Kagyu Samye Dzong, Dublin . If you plan to attend the weekend only at the Writers Musem, you may book through Bodhicharya Ireland, c/o 24, North Terrace, Dublin 8 and make your cheque payable to Sowa Rigpa Europe. The proceeds from the weekend will go directly towards helping Rinpoche with his educational and charitable work In India and Tibet. Numbers are limited for the teachings, so please book early to ensure a place .

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Please recite Vajra Kilaya Mantras for Ringu Tulku

Margaret Ford has passed on a message from Rinpoche :
Ringu Tulku has asked if his students and friends can recite as many Vajrakilaya mantras for him as possible :

some versions read
Benza = Tibetan, Vajra = Sanskrit

There's a download of the mantra available here :
(thanks, Ian)
Vajra Kilaya is a very powerful practice for removing obstacles. It is said to have been found by Guru Rinpoche in a cave in Nepal, and hidden as a terma by the Lady Yeshe Tsogyal.
Please make this part of your daily practice for Rinpoche who is currently in Nepal attending the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, widely regarded as one of the greatest Dzogchen Masters of our time and one of Ringu Tulku's main teachers. Click here for more.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Gardening and Gilding the Buddha in 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