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