HELD AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE
19 February 2019
It was a very special day at the centre, Khenpo la and sangha members commemorated Chotrul Düchen, also known as the ‘Festival of Miracles’. This auspicious day coincided with Khenpo la’s birthday and all of us wish and pray for Khenpo la’s long healthy life. Many flower offerings were made and lamp offerings were lit to mark the occasion. Khenpo la lead meditation and prayers. Lael offered a delicious Birthday cake for Khenpo la, which all enjoyed afterwards at morning tea. It is wonderful to be sharing these very special spiritual days together.
It is one of the four major Buddhist holy days and occurs on the fifteenth day of the Tibetan New Year. During the first fifteen days of the Tibetan New Year, in order to increase the merit and the devotion of future disciples, Buddha displayed a different miracle each day at Shravasti in India.
During this time, it is believed that the effects of both positive and negative actions are multiplied ten million times.
To commemorate the occasion, Tibetans make lamps, traditionally of yak butter, called butter lamps in the shapes of flowers, trees, birds, and other auspicious symbols. They also create elaborate displays for the lamps in their homes and in public spaces, sometimes erecting structures as large as a building. All the lanterns are lit in celebration on the fifteenth day of the month.
Visit by Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe
10 February 2019
Khenpo la completed a very successful visit to The Bau Sen Buddha Ru Yi Temple at Kinglake, Victoria in mid-February, 2019. Over the weekend Khenpo la gave a dharma talk on “Transforming Difficulty to Positive”, conducted a tour of the temple and led a guided meditation session “Meditation - Bringing Calm and Peace to our Life”.
This talk and temple tour was enthusiastically received by the community with many people attending, travelling from as far as Melbourne. There was extremely positive feedback from the attendees, who appreciated being able to attend such events close to home and are keen to have Khenpo la visit again next year.
This past Sunday 3rd February at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre, sangha members gathered for Medicine Buddha meditation, then cleaned the gompa, worked in the garden together, and then shared lunch of traditional barley soup and fortune dumplings that Khenpo la and Ani la had prepared. Thank you Khenpo la and Ani la for sharing this very special Losar family tradition with us all. The soup was delicious and the fortune dumplings a lot of fun.
We look forward to sharing Losar together on Tuesday 10-11am at the centre.
Wishing you all a very Happy Tibetan New Year 2146, from Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe and all at Drogmi Buddhist Institute / Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre (KTBC).
Khenpo la and friends at the centre this coming Sunday (3rd February) and Tuesday (5th February) extend an invitation to celebrate “Losar”, the Tibetan New Year 2146 (2019), the Year of the Earth Pig.
Losar itself falls on Tuesday, 5th February. Traditionally, Tibetans start the period of celebration by cleaning their houses and local monasteries / nunneries 2 days prior, that is this Sunday. On this day they gather after cleaning to enjoy a Tibetan festive soup. Then at Losar, monasteries perform pujas and families gather together.
KTBC will be holding a program to celebrate this very special time.
Sunday 3 February:
Tuesday 5 February
Please feel welcome to attend some or all of the program at this festive time.
His Eminence Kyabje Luding Khen Rinpoche arrived in Sydney Australia to commence a three-week program of Empowerments and Teachings at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre (KTBC). His Eminence was greeted at the airport by Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe, other Lamas and sangha members. A short welcome ceremony was conducted before His Eminence made the trip down to Kamalashila, Tilba. Upon arrival at KTBC, His Eminence was greeted by Alan and Annie Ray who warmly presented khatas and flowers to Him as they approached the property entrance and lead His Eminence and entourage for a traditional welcome ceremony by Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe who escorted them to the gompa. Tea and auspicious rice offerings were made to His Eminence, as it was also wonderful to have so many of the local community in attendance along with participants in the precious Vajrayogini program. Immediately upon conclusion of the ceremony a thunderstorm with torrential rain descended as His Eminence departed to His residence, a most auspicious blessing to the beginning of such a wonderful event.
The following day His Eminence commenced the program of empowerments, blessings and teachings, starting with the first group (2 days each) of the Chakrasamvara Empowerment. Twenty-five new initiates attended along with nearly the same number of previous recipients. This was followed by another two days of the second group to receive this most precious empowerment and then two days of the Vajryogini Blessing all together. On the auspicious day of the Blessing, His Eminence and Khenpo la both planted a Bodhi Tree seedling at the south-eastern corner of the gompa.
Early each morning prior to His Eminences teachings, Khenpo la would lead Green Tara Puja with all the sangha members who gathered from all over Australia, New Zealand and Canada for this most precious program.
At the conclusion of the Vajrayogini two-day Blessing, His Eminence so graciously offered the Ngondro Transmission to the group and many others attending the centre from the surrounding communities, who are now all welcome to join in the 3rd year of The Complete Path in the May and September eight day study period, of the Ngondro teachings and practices. A tremendous thunderstorm hit once more, which descended during the Vajrayogini Blessing, where the gompa was struck by lightning causing the power to go out temporarily. Very exciting indeed! The following day the Vajrayogini Nine Day teaching program commenced.
On Day five of the teachings, His Eminence very kindly lead a Tsog offering being the 10th Day of the Tibetan month. This followed by a glorious lunch for which His Eminence, Khenpo la and sangha attended, offered by our beautiful Alan Ray. A new standing Buddha arrived at KTBC during this event from Penny Moody and the Melbourne Sakya Centre as a gift. It has been sited in a new glorious silent garden creatively designed by Aylar.
There were daily Mandala Offerings for His Eminence, for all of our great gratitude towards His Eminence’s kindness and wisdom continually shared.
The two-day Hevajra Empowerment was extraordinary and truly beyond words. As well as His Eminence carrying out three last empowerments on the two last days open to all which were Chenrezig, Vajrapani and Green Tara!
It is extremely difficult to put into words the gratitude we have for this precious Master, so we do rely on the rituals of offering khatas, to whisper a most heartfelt thank you to Him and to bravely raise our eyes to His. We deeply thank Tsering-la, wonderful Tsekyab-la (Shrine master), and to Ngawang-la, whose translating was exceptional. Thank you as well to Venerable Tsultim for sponsoring Ngawang to fulfil that role.
At the conclusion of these magical and extraordinary three weeks, His Eminence commented that we all “felt like family”, was completely reciprocated by all who attended. Rinpoche-la said that, at first when he was told he was going to the Australian bush, he was not sure what to expect! But he was very happy to discover that Kamalashila was “like a pure land”, with it’s natural beauty and peacefulness.
His Eminence thanked Khenpo-la, the Drogmi Committee and to all of those who helped with the event, as all present were touched by the humility of this powerful and authentic Master. Quoting Nagarjuna, His Eminence reminded us that ‘There is nothing that doesn’t become easier with practice’ and encouraged us to take joy in our daily Dharma activities.
Our gratitude towards His Eminence is boundless and will continue into the future as we incorporate His teachings into our lives.
Deep deep gratitude to our precious teacher, Khenpo-la, without whose pure samaya, wisdom and compassion for all beings, we would never have had the opportunity to benefit from His Eminence’s profound presence.
DBI’s president Jack Heath, on behalf of all present, made a heartfelt request to His Eminence to return in the not too distant future. This was a very joyous time, as we wish His Eminence safe travels and for giving us all so much during His time in Australia…
May all who long to receive teachings from this most generous and kind Master be able to do so and may all of us who were able to attend be blessed to hear the Dharma from His Eminence again and again, may all beings benefit from our efforts.
The Vajrayogini program with His Eminence Luding Khen Rinpoche was an incredibly humbling experience on so many levels.
This time, driving away from the retreat, instead of suffering my usual withdrawals from being so close to my teachers for 3 weeks, I felt super charged, by this particularly explosive creative compassionate energy of a thunderbolt sealed Vajrayogini empowerment.
I was blown away by the amazing profundity of the teachings and practices we are being offered. I am so touched by the generosity of His Eminence; offering such depth and breadth in the teachings and empowerments, not to mention the immense time and care that went into preparing each of the groups.
It was very obvious just how much time and joyous effort members of the committee and community has put into bring about this auspicious event. Thank you so much.
I am also touched by and so grateful for the willingness of many senior student sharing what they can with us newbies.
However, I was humbled by my current absolute under-preparedness for the level of concentration one can develop from these practices.
The retreat was an emotional journey for me, particularly when I had two critically unwell dear pets who I could be caring for. This loaded me up with unrealistic opportunity cost expectations. Cluttering my mind with thinking like I better make this worth sacrificing. But then I remembered that renunciation is renunciation on the inside not just necessarily on the outside.
And the quote from an old teaching I heard came to mind: just like how “the wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection, and the lake has no mind to receive their image”, “it is only when we don't get caught up in the words that we can hear.”
This allowed me to accept my current capacity and appreciate that it too is impermanent, and even though I may not have complete faith in my current understanding of the method, I can have faith in the method to discover the true nature of the mind.
May we inwardly and outwardly free ourselves and others from karma and afflictions.
David T. (Sydney, NSW)
When Venerable Dolma called me in Canada with the news that His Eminence was giving teachings in Australia, I instinctively knew that I would be there. We booked immediately – now where in the world is this Tilba? Obviously, it was pre-destined when my sister realised that we had relatives living in Dalmeny… (who kindly provided us with accommodation).
Your Eminence, Khenpo la and my new Dharma sisters and brothers of Kamalashila, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. My experience was everything I had hoped for and so much more. A new Spiritual home in the land of my birth.
His Eminence makes our hearts sing with joy. Two old chooks who chatter all day, cannot find words to express our feelings to even make a sentence or two on our experiences.
Love, gratitude, encouraging, safe and supported – all of this and more.
We have come full circle with Khenpo la, he was the first monk to come to Whyalla and has been at many of our major Dharma Blessings, empowerments and teachings, and many of them organised by him. Even though we have this distance between us, we feel very close to him, as within the Dharma, there is no distance. Friends come and go, but we have now found our Dharma brothers and sisters.
Lots of love,
Brenda and Lynda (Whyalla, SA)
For twelve days I attended Buddhist teachings at Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe’s Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre, Tilba. These teachings were presented by the Sakya Master His Eminence Luding Khen Rinpoche. As these teachings are at the highest level, for the first few days I found them quite challenging. However, by the third day I was able to settle down and concentrate. Realising what I didn’t understand at the time, would go to my heart and if I keep the practice, I will comprehend these teachings in time and no doubt be of great benefit to me in the future. Thank you!
Jule (Tuncurry, NSW)
Given the apparent amount of free time between scheduled sessions during the three weeks of empowerments and teachings, you would think there would have been plenty of time to reflect and formulate a response to your experiences. However, my mind was blank, and it wasn't until I was reading through the Vajrayogini sadhana on the bus back to Sydney that a deeper appreciation of the transformational power of His Eminence's teachings began to coalesce. Of course, it was all the same message about nurturing bodhicitta and developing wisdom, but as always, on the rare occasions when I truly gain a little more understanding, I was shocked by how little I understood before and how transforming this little bit of deeper insight could be. I began to see how the sadhana was a reminder as well as a technique for training the mind. The ritual of the empowerments had been intriguing and fun, but the effects are deeper than conscious awareness. At least at a superficial level, I understand that I need to keep up the commitments to practise, so that each day and night is increasingly positive and empowering, and to recall the gratitude I owe to Khenpo, His Eminence Kyabje Luding Khen Rinpoche, his Root Guru’s and Lineage Masters.
Personally, I stepped off the plane in Brisbane and found myself in the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, surrounded by sick children crying in the night (my two-year-old grandson had had his first asthma attack, but thanks to the hospital and medicine is fine now). Like David, Siv and others, practice was put straight to the test.
Raelene (Brisbane, Qld)
Held at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre
27 December 2018 - 1 January 2019
“Situated at the foot of Mount Gulaga, perched high above the canopies of the lower forest is this amazing place, Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre. On arrival four days ago, I felt immediately at ease. Such a calming, friendly space.
“Two months ago, I didn't know this place existed. I now feel so privileged to be part of this special moment of sacred teachings. This is where I am meant to be at this time in my life. These lessons, re-enforcing my thought pattern, which has enabled me to get through recent troubled times. The setting is tranquil. Gazing out of the gompa, through the eastern glass doors, the garden offers tranquillity, extending to the surrounding bushland. All students have become one large caring family. I feel at peace.”
Thoughts by Susan who was an attendee at the Healing & Purification Retreat.
The Annual Healing & Purification Retreat concluded on 1 January 2019. Within the first few days, Khenpo la bestowed the Vajrasattva Transmission and began detailed teachings on the practice. Khenpo la taught on the reasoning behind taking the Vajrayana path. If we can help one person that is good enough. There are two ways to help others; One is to stop causing trouble/disturbance to others and Two - Go out and help others in their daily lives. These are the basic principles of a Buddhist Practitioner.
There were continual comments from attendees of how profound and detailed Khenpo la's teachings on Vajrasattva Practice have been. On the third day Khenpo la very kindly gave the Medicine Buddha Transmission and began teachings on Medicine Buddha practice. Such an opportunity! He continued to teach in detail on the Eight Medicine Buddhas.
On the last night of retreat, it was New Year’s Eve and traditionally in this retreat we have a New Year’s celebration. Ani la and Aylar cooked a wonderful meal, and we enjoyed lots of laughs and jokes. A fun night for everyone!
On New Year’s Day Khenpo la offered an elaborate ceremony on a very auspicious day conducive of hanging prayer flags that bless the gompa, the whole dharma property of KTBC, Tilba and beyond. This day was extremely auspicious due to its positive elemental combination. He mentioned specifically that it was extremely fortunate that all of us attending retreat could be a part of this ceremony. It was a most precious and beautiful way to commence the last session of retreat. Thank you Khenpo la!!!
Happy New Year everyone, we hope you have a great year in 2019, in the dharma.
H.E. KYABJE LUDING KHEN RINPOCHE's VISIT to KAMALASHILA BUDDHIST CENTRE
5-25 January 2019
To my dear Dharma friends,
I am writing to extend a sincere and welcoming invitation to you for a most wondrous event. The Drogmi Buddhist Institute is very fortunate that His Eminence Kyabgye Luding Rinpoche has accepted our invitation to visit Australia and join us at the Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Center during 5-25 January 2019 for an extended period. His Eminence Kyabgye Luding Khen Rinpoche will bestow the Chakrasamvara Empowerment and the Vajrayogini Blessing along with a comprehensive Teaching on the profound Vajrayogini sadhana practise and other Empowerments.
This is a very rare and precious opportunity. I cannot encourage you enough to attend. This complete cycle will enable Vajrayana practitioners to practise this highest Tantric method considered one of the swiftest paths to attain Buddhahood. The importance of a great Vajrayana Master such as His Eminence Kyabgye Luding Rinpoche bestowing this mystic teaching cannot be overstated. Please make every effort to welcome His Eminence Luding Khen Rinpoche to our Centre in Tilba, Australia.
His Eminence Kyabje Luding Khen Rinpoche is the 76th throne-holder of the Ngorpa lineage of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and is the holder of a very ancient lineage. His mother is Her Eminence Jetsun Chime Luding Rinpoche who embodies Vajrayogini herself and is the greatest living female Vajrayana teacher and elder sister to His Holiness Vajradhara Sakya Trichen who is his Uncle and one of his Great Teachers. His Eminence Kyabgye Sharchen Luding Khen Rinpoche has trained and studied extensively under several of the greatest living Buddha Dharma Masters including Vajradhara Luding Khenchen Rinpoche his paternal Uncle, as his father was born into the Sharchen Luding lineage. Therefore, through both parents, he is linked to ancient spiritual lineages unbroken down to the present day. Rinpoche also studied under the guidance of the Late and Most Revered Khenchen Appey Rinpoche becoming an accomplished philosophical scholar and a graduate of the Sakya College of Higher Buddhist Philosophy. (For further biographical details refer to the Teachers tab on the DBI website).
If we sincerely wish to practise Vajrayana it is imperative to receive Empowerment (Permission) and learn from a perfect Guru. Luding Khen Rinpoche is one of the finest Vajrayana Gurus I have encountered during this lifetime. I spent time with Rinpoche at Sakya College where I was greatly impressed by his down-to-earth manner and by the love and compassion he demonstrated daily towards others. In my experience, Luding Khen Rinpoche embodies all the qualities required of a perfect teacher.
The Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion state:
“A guru should be; stable in his/her actions, cultivated in his/her speech, wise, patient and honest, neither concealing his/her shortcomings nor pretending to possess qualities he lacks, an expert in the meanings of Tantra, its ritual procedures of medicine and removing obstacles and have loving compassion and a complete knowledge of the scriptures.”
I have great respect and reverence for His Eminence Luding Rinpoche, not only because he is a direct member of the distinguished Khon family and is thus a senior member of the oldest royal family in Tibet, but because His Eminence is a beautiful, down-to-earth Bodhisattva. His life has been entirely committed to complete study and practice of the vast Buddhadharma. Luding Khen Rinpoche is a most humble enlightened being and is extremely generous in sharing his immeasurable knowledge and wisdom with students. It will be an event you are sure to remember and will have the blessing of this great Being with you for your whole life and beyond.
The merit and protection offered in the bestowing of the Empowerment, Blessing and Teachings is priceless. It will bring blessings that are unimaginable for Vajrayana Dharma students and practitioners, or anyone fortunate enough to meet His Eminence Luding Rinpoche. The good karma to be invited and attend signals that you have acquired merit for the selfless sharing of the highest Dharma by a Great Bodhisattva.
I really wish this benefit for you, I earnestly recommend that students and practitioners do not miss the opportunity of receiving Empowerments from His Eminence, please do not miss this occasion. Life is impermanent, opportunities may not arise again, so it is good to recognise and act on them when they appear. Also, to be in the presence of such a great Vajrayana Master and by being near a living example of a true Bodhisattva will hasten your path to your own Buddhahood.
Your friend in the Dharma,
Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe
The guru is Buddha, the guru is Dharma,
The guru is the Sangha, too.
The guru is the creator of all happiness.
To all gurus, I prostrate…
Over many recent weekends at KTBC, there have been some incredibly productive working bees especially in preparation for the prestigious visit of His Eminence Kyabje Luding Khen Rinpoche. Road base has been laid to repair some of the road along the side of the gompa. The outside wood beams of the gompa have been re-oiled, a wonderful group of sangha helping with the mulching of the new gardens, lots of running repairs and tidying of the office, amongst a million other things.
Thank you to everyone who have come over these past hard-working weekends, giving so much time and effort, so grateful. On one of the weekends just as the group left, a great storm hit the mountain with huge amounts of rain, so good for the newly laid compost and mulch.
At the AGM Khenpo la talked about how successful the year has been from a dharmic perspective for the centre, with people attending and the improvement in those people’s lives turning to more of the positive… Please read Khenpo la’s AGM report.
Some images of the Annual Holiday end of year gathering/dinner. It truly was a delicious dinner with first class entertainment by musicians Chris and Matty! Thank you so much to everyone who came, who helped and enjoyed this very lovely night. We also celebrated Ani Nyidon la’s birthday… Happy birthday Ani la, many many many happy returns!!!