Sunday, 31 December 2017

New Year Message from Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

Wishing all my friends Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 
May you feel love, kindness, purpose and inner peace.
May each day be a festival, and each moment a time to enjoy.
May we do something each day so that we can be proud of ourselves because we know that it is good for many.
Ringu Tulku.  Sherab Ling Monastery. December 2017

Friday, 29 December 2017

A review of The Main of Light, a new book by Dónal Creedon

Dónal Creedon, The Main of Light: Common Ground and Dividing Lines in the Teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti and Buddhism

2017, Dónal Creedon, 143 p.  Printed in Poland by Amazon Fulfilment, Poland Sp. z o.o, Wroclav 

This work is the fruit of Dónal Creedon’s many years of study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism, and of his long-standing engagement with the teachings of J. Krishnamurti. He has spent many years in intensive retreat, and currently leads retreats in Europe and South Africa as well as India. He was also resident Buddhist scholar at the Krishnamurti Centre in Varanasi for a number of years, and it was during this period that the present work was conceived and executed in draft. Many readers will know him personally through these retreats, and The Main of Light will focus and give added depth to their experience of his methods.

The title of the book is taken from a Shakespearean sonnet, with an additional perspective given by Seamus Heaney. The study is organised into 15 chapters, and there are helpful biographical notes referring to the main figures of Buddhism referred to or quoted, and a Glossary of Tibetan terms. Of great interest, too, are four interviews with Ringu Tulku Rinpoche.

From its handsome cover, depicting a stylised Arctic Tern, its annual migration of thousands of miles an image of the journey to be undertaken by anyone setting out on the path, to the last pages, this book is an invitation to explore in a journey of the mind, with its hardships and its glimpses of the beauty beyond, a journey that that can have no preconceptions.

Dónal’s main aim in this study is to discover what binds and what opposes the major, though controversial, 20th century figure Krishnamurti, and Buddhist masters, many from the Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions. Both identify suffering as the main characteristic of human existence, and their analysis of what causes this suffering is very similar according to Dónal: craving, impermanence, attachment and ignorance (essentially the absence of self-knowledge).

An interesting discussion emerges from this notion of the ‘self’, a key concept in Western psychology. But whereas in the Western tradition, this organising principle of the psyche is essential to psychic health, for both Buddhism and Krishnamurti, this ‘solidifying of the self’ leads to dualism (the self versus the other) or to ‘the ‘heart of confusion’ as Trungpa puts it. It is an urgent message, in which Krishnamurti and Buddhism seem to speak with one voice, at its most powerful in the last chapter: to attain realisation, it is not necessary to ‘go’ anywhere, it is rather a question of a transformation of the way I see things, notably myself. It’s then that the fear and the conflict fall away; I no longer need to defend myself from ‘the other’, produced by a dualistic split. What I perceive as my ‘self’, distinct from other selves and the universe at large, is an illusion.

Divergences are seen, however, as soon as the issue of ‘path’ is evoked. For Krishnamurti, ‘truth is a pathless land’, and he has nothing but scorn for all religions and philosophies (including Buddhism), that claim to point ‘the way’, as removing us from the reality of our own immediate experience; we have already defined our destination. Buddhism, on the other hand, in its conception of the ‘noble eightfold path’ of mainstream Buddhism, or the ‘bodhisattva path’ requiring the cultivation of effort and attention, gives a broader perspective.; that the radical and immediate transformation of the mind is a possibility is not refuted; but Dónal questions whether many individuals are capable of making this quantum leap, as one who has ‘reached the roof without the benefit of a ladder’. In any case, the concept of ‘path’ can be viewed quite superficially, whereas in the Vajrayana, result – the ‘end of the path’ – is seen to be there in the individual all the time: ground, path and fruition are the same.

The same divergence is seen in respect of the one who ‘points the way’, the teacher or the guru, equally rejected by Krishnamurti, insofar as the teacher is transmitting the known through concepts couched in language. But Dónal is aware of the superficiality of this judgement. According to the tradition, for instance, Mahamudra cannot be taught, because ‘it is absolute truth and therefore cannot be expressed in words or concepts’. He is also mindful of the many contradictions in Krishnamurti’s approach: spurning books, he spent much of his life writing and publishing; refusing the notion of the teacher as authoritarian, he willingly drew into his ambit a large number of followers for whom his authority was not to be questioned.

It is clearly impossible in such a brief account to do justice to what is a very tightly-conducted argument covering teachings of vast profundity, but those who have had the privilege of hearing Dónal’s teachings and benefiting from his meditation instructions will recognise the authentic voice of the true meditator, single-minded and self-less in its quest. This is no dry, scholarly tome, but an existential call to action. In his concluding remarks, he questions whether it is useful to compare and contrast, since ‘the more important question is what is our own view and what is the basis or ground of this life? What is my life as I actually live it? Do I walk with the breath of truth in my eyes and on my very breath? Perhaps only by going deeply into these questions […] can we find out, and that is what Krishnamurti and Buddha have urged us to do’.

Pat Little 
St-Geniès de Malgoires, 16.10.17 

Dónal Creedon leading a group  retreat
at the Tara Rokpa Centre, Groot Merico, S. Africa.
December 2017
Pat Little has studied for many years with Ringu Tulku Rinpoche and Dónal Creedon and is a regular contributor to this blog. She has written extensively on the French philosopher and mystic, Simone Weil, also on Samuel Beckett and various French writers, including Albert Camus. With a keen interest in Postcolonialism, especially as it applies to French West Africa, Pat has published work on Cheikh Hamidou Kane and other writers, and also on education under the French colonial regime in that area. She currently lives between France and Ireland, except when travelling in India.

The above review of Dónal's book was first published in Bodhicharya's e-magazine - Many Roads, in November 2017, it has been condensed by Pat Little from her much longer (unpublished) academic critique. Details if you are interested can be received by emailing us at

The Main of Light by Dónal Creedon is available through Amazon.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

A response to retreat with Donal Creedon at Teach Bhride

Five of us tumbled out of the car at Tullow; after overdue flights, we were nearly late for the start of the retreat.
As we walked towards the long grey building one of us was heard to say that his Catholic past was reaching out to oppress him. But it wasn’t like that at all, the building was light and full of flowers and friendliness.  Bedrooms were light and bathrooms plentiful, food good, and the staff were an absolute delight.  They could not do enough for us.  The retreat organisers had everything calmly and competently in hand.
As a long time sitter at the feet of Donal Creedon, I knew what to expect, teachings – and lots of sitting.  We had both in abundance, based on Ringu Tulku’s book, ‘Like Dreams and Clouds’*.   I particularly valued the guided meditations in the afternoons.  There is a quality in Donal’s retreats that comes from the fact that he is always there, quietly, unassumingly, definitely present.  He calls it ‘holding the space’, and this is exactly how it is.  We sit, and wander off to meditate in the garden (full of the most beautiful and unusual trees), and when we come back, there he always is.  It gives a quality to the retreat that I have not found in others where the teacher comes and goes.
Each evening, there was a dialogue/discussion, mostly on the theme of the retreat, which was ‘Sorrow’.  The Gerard Manley Hopkins poem Donal chose to illustrate his theme was perhaps a bit challenging, especially to non-English speakers, with its archaic language and sprung rhythm, but we touched deeply on the subject on a couple of the evenings.
It was a pleasure to be with people from so many countries all with the same purpose, and of course the always lovely Irish.      
 Hilary Hawker  
Group retreat dialogue 

*Like Dreams and Clouds, Emptiness and Interdependence; Mahamudra and Dzogchen’ Ringu Tulku Rinpoche 2011.  Bodhicharya Publications Heart Wisdom Series
Also available from Bodhicharya Ireland €10 +€4 p&p to the Eurozone.

Photos: Romain Ricard, Balthazaar de Andrade,  Hilary Hawker.                                                                                                                

Monday, 11 September 2017

URGENT Helping Barbuda Islanders in the Hurricane Torn Caribbean

Our dear friend Rinchen who runs the Caribbean Bodhicharya Sangha on Antigua has been sending updates following the passage of Hurricane Irma which totally flattened neighbouring Barbuda Island, everything is gone. Some help has come from Venezuela, planes have airlifted survivors to Antigua, which is a twin island to Barbuda, and where members of Bodhicharya are providing homes and shelter however they can. Rinchen sent us a link to a bona fide website where donations can be made to help with foodstuffs and clothing to begin with.

Rinchen mostly lives and travels by boat, and remarkably both he and the boat are safe, and the damage to Antigua was less than anticipated, he was able to meet with his meditation group on Antigua last weekend, as planned.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Summercamp teachings 2017 . White Tara as a basis for meditation practice.

A meditating owl at White Tara,  Summercamp Portugal

The Summercamp teachings  this year were  again in Portugal, the week was relaxing and  Rinpoche privileged us with a very helpful  teaching on the short White Tara sadhana by  Tenga Rinpoche. A review of  Bodhicharya  Summercamp can be found on the  Bodhicharya International website.

at the beach,  Soutelo, Vila Verde,  Portugal

Rinpoche's schedule this summer has included
accompanying His Holiness Karmapa in London,
and presiding over two separate weeks of Monlam (wishing) prayers, one in Kamalashila, Germany and a second  in Paris  at the Bois de Vincennes Pagoda.

 some of the Irish sangha with Ringu Tulku
[photos - Minna Stenroos, Francois Henrard, Mary Callaghan.]

Rinpoche at Vincennes Pagoda Monlam

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Changes to Rinpoche's Travel Schedule

View this email in your browser

Dear Friends,

As many of you have noticed, Rinpoche's planned travel schedule from 22nd August to 22nd September has been cancelled. This is so Rinpoche can attend Mahamudra Teachings in India. Thank you for your understanding.
You can see Rinpoche’s complete Travel Schedule here:
Travel Schedule
Photo: Karma Changchub.
Copyright © 2017 Bodhicharya

Friday, 28 April 2017

Fantastic news, Karmapa UK visit moves to new larger London venue to accommodate more people

Due to very high demand for tickets, and many disappointed people, the organisers of the visit of His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa  to the UK in May have found a larger venue at the Battersea Evolution, South London, which means there are to be more seats available. The tickets you have bought for the Hilton will be valid, and a fresh quota of tickets will go on sale on the evening of Tuesday 2nd May via  to accommodate those of you who were disappointed.
please read a message from the event organisers here .

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Ringu Tulku Visit to Dublin cancelled

 Sadly we must confirm that Rinpoche will not be with us in May. His Holiness 17th Karmapa is to visit the UK in  May which  coincides with Ringu Tulku's planned visit to Dublin, and he will be accompanying his Holiness for this, his first UK visit.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Visit of Ringu Tulku Rinpoche to Ireland, May 2017

Ringu Tulku has given dates for this years visit to Dublin Kagyu Samye Dzong  23rd-25th May, and to Dzogchen Beara in West Cork 26th -28th May.  The teachings have yet to be announced, and sadly the Bodhicharya Public Teaching Event normally held at the Hilton Hotel will not take place due to Rinpoche's extended travel schedule in response to more invitations and a growing interest in his teachings.  Rinpoche's visit to Ireland also coincides in part with His Holiness Karmapa's visit to the UK, which takes place that same week, with public events on 20th-21st May and 27th May. Please see previous post for details. 

His Holiness Karmapa visits the UK in May 2017 EVENT now SOLD OUT

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa will be giving teachings for the first time in the UK at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane,  London W1K 1BE on the weekend of 20th - 21st May. The tickets for that weekend will go on sale 9 am on Saturday 22nd April online at: karmapavisituk   where all information on the visit is available.

The Long Life (Amitayus) Empowerment at the Lakeside International Hotel, Camberley Surrey on Saturday the 27th  May,  has immediately sold out.

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche  has had to cancel some of his own teaching dates around that time, but indicated that he will be keeping his Dublin Teaching schedule, for three evenings from 23rd- 25th May at Dublin Kagyu Samye Dzong, Kilmainham Well House. If there is any change it will be posted here. 

Monday, 27 February 2017


Today, Monday 27th February 2017, is the first day of the new year on the Tibetan calendar and 

Ringu Tulku again offers us some guidance, words of encouragement and a 'Glorious Tashi 

Delek' to kick start the year of the Female Fire Bird.  Thank you Rinpoche from your Irish students 

and friends who also wish you and your family a Glorious Tashi Delek - bhliain nua sasta

Friday, 10 February 2017

Annual Bodhicharya Summercamp in Porto with Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

Some of the Irish Bodhicharya Sangha with Rinpoche in 2015.
The registration has now opened for this year's summercamp in Portugal, led by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche.  31st July - 6th August 2017

The week long retreat is in a beautiful Christian monastery at Vila Verde, Nr Braga, north of Porto. Rinpoche has not yet named this years teaching text,  however, sunshine, organic food, great company and the wonderful presence of Ringu Tulku is not in question.
All the information you need is  on the Bodhicharya Portugal Website


This year's residential retreat with Donal will take place at Teach Bhride in Co Carlow.  The six day retreat starts after lunch. Monday 4th September - Sunday 10th September 2017.


‘No matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.’

GM Hopkins

‘The world today is full of uncertainty, hopelessness, fear and sorrow. Sorrow is
both an outward and inner experience and its source lies in the depths of the
human heart.
In our retreat we will contemplate, meditate and inquire into this and other
fundamental questions and ask if its possible to live our lives from a source beyond
the spring’s of sorrow.’

Date: 4pm Monday 4th September – Sunday 10th September, (after Lunch)
Cost, including instruction, vegetarian meals and accommodation :

Standard single room (shared bathroom) 445 euro per person
Twin/double room (shared bathroom) 410 euro per person

Payment Guidelines - 
• Places will be reserved strictly in order of receipt of email registering interest. Once you hear you have a place, this must be                  followed  by a deposit of 75 euro by bank transfer (see details below).

• You can pay the full amount now, otherwise the balance should be paid by bank transfer by
   the 3oth June 2017 . If transferring sterling, Western Union give best exchange rates.

• Retreat deposit is refundable until 30th June 2017. After that date, unless someone can take your place, money will only be                        refunded if retreat is cancelled by Bodhicharya Ireland,

• A stand-by list will be kept by us when the retreat is full (in case of cancellations). 

• Please confirm your place with us before any transfer of money. Please make sure your own name is on the bank transfer.

• Queries please phone Eimear 00353 (0) 87 2914011 or Eddie 00353 (0) 87 753 0453

Teach Bhride Retreat and
Education Centre , Tullow,
Co Carlow

Bank transfers/deposits to Bodhicharya Ireland, AIB, Main Street, Arklow, Co Wicklow
IBAN IE31AIBK93302337705188      BIC AIBKIE2

About Dónal

Dónal Creedon studied and practised with Buddhist masters of the Kagyu practice lineage in Europe as well as in India and Nepal. This involved many years of intense retreat. He also spent a number of years at the Krishnamurti Centre in Varanasi as resident Buddhist scholar. Thus the radical inquiry of Krishnamurti informs his approach. He is currently involved in leading retreats in a number of countries.                         

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The Simple Things

Tajik children review tattered class notes before school.   photo Michael Yamashita

   "We human beings all live on the love of others, and even during our short life when we believe we are  independent, we are not; we are still dependent, we need the love of others, we need appreciation from others, we need help and support from others. If we don’t support each other and help each other, we cannot get anything done. We can’t be successful or happy; we cannot do anything or progress. It’s like the saying: “When the trees support each other, then we have houses and cities, when human beings support each other we have society, we have civilisation.” If there is no support, there is no society or civilisation, so the whole of human civilisation, human society, survives on supporting and helping each other.

    "This is very important to understand. When we understand this, that we are not independent, that we are totally dependent,  completely dependent, that we live by the love of others and the support of others, we grow and develop because of that dependence. Not only at the time of dying but also the bit in between. When we understand this, then when we are able to, we have to help others and when we help others, they will help us in return. So when I help somebody, when I help society, when I do something good, something that’s useful and beneficial, I’m doing it for myself, and I’m doing it for society, for my own people, it’s “WE”.

    "There is this saying in Sanskrit in India: “For the sake of the world one must sacrifice one’s country, for the sake of one’s country one must sacrifice one’s village, for the sake of one’s village one must sacrifice one’s family for the sake of one’s family one must sacrifice oneself.” The world is the most important thing, because the world includes every one of us, our country, our village, our community, our family, myself.
    "If the world is going bad, then how can my country be good, my village, my family be good? So, therefore, the world is most important. But then the country is more important than my village
and family and myself, because we are all included in the country. So, if the country is in a very bad situation, a negative situation, getting into wars and famines, then it will affect my village and family, and myself. Then, my village is important because that is where my family and I live. Then, next in importance is my family because I am part of that too.

  "But, I think that way of looking at this can become a little reversed in a very materialistic egoistic way, in a kind of ultra-modern way of looking sometimes. For my sake, I sacrifice my family, for the sake of my family, I sacrifice my village, for the sake of my village, I sacrifice my country, for the sake of my country, I sacrifice my world. For me, I sacrifice the whole world! Sometimes it’s like that nowadays, but that’s totally idiotic because it’s not possible. I cannot have something really good if everyone is in a bad shape. So, the most important understanding is to think about how dependent I am, how interdependent we all are. When I know that I am interdependent with others, if I do something for others, it’s not just others who are benefitting but I am also receiving benefit. It’s not like a business (transaction). When I do something that I know and understand is something beneficial then I feel more useful, more important, more meaningful. But if I think only of what ways to help myself and nobody else, where will it get me? Maybe we have to think that. What should I do if I just want to help myself and nobody else? How can I do it? Should I just close my door and sit in a room? Cook myself very nice food and sleep all day. That may be nice for a few days but then what would happen?"

from a teaching by Ringu Rulku Rinpoche, given in Helsinki, Finland, 2012
transcribed by Margaret Ford
courtesy of Minna Stenroos.

Thank you

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Rinpoche will be in Ireland for one week in May 2017

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche has confirmed his dates for Dublin and Dzogchen Beara in May this year.
Rinpoche will be teaching at Samye Dzong, Kilmainham Well House, Dublin from 22nd-25th May, and Dzogchen Beara in Cork from 26th - 28th May 2017.
Please watch this space for more updates.