Good afternoon everyone, I thank you all so much for attending this AGM, which is the legal aspect of an organisation.
We’ve been here at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre (KTBC) Tilba, for just over three years, within these three years it has been quite successful – the move here and our dharma activities, yet still I have a vision, not so much about construction aspects, more for the benefit to anyone who has interest in the Buddhadharma. Quite often when people have heard about this new centre, with myself moving down south, they always seem to ask, not necessarily how do people learn about Buddhism, or how will people succeed in their meditation, or how much are people changing from difficulty to comfortable, rather they always seem to ask how many members have you got, how many buildings are finished…
So, I am not here to collect members, to increase numbers, I’m not here to build more houses, that’s not my reason. The primary reason is to have the right place for people to come ad settle their mind, to find peace and then most importantly is wisdom. So once people benefit in such a place, then naturally they just come. This is my wish, that people see this place as a benefit, this place can offer them value within their own life, and in this way more members come. My philosophy being quality is more important than quantity. The numbers are not a big issue for me. In this way, the last three years, people who have come to KTBC, have been involved, are really quite genuine, trying their best, because us as humans – none of us are perfect, we all have our own difficulties, our own issues but everyone recognises this and this being the reason they come here is to change, to progress.
I can see from little to big, changes in their lives, this is really great success within a Buddhist centre, not in terms of increased numbers, I do not call this a successful centre or the increasing building sites. I don’t call this a successful organisation. My view of successful is when people come to the centre and benefit, changing their life from negative to positive, unkind to kind, restless to restful. If these things happen then I call this a successful place. I can see this really happening, we’re running lots of different programs, such as The Complete Path twice a year, during that time people come here leaving full of joy, full of wisdom, then share whatever they learn and experience back to their own community, so this is great success.
Then some other times we run different annual retreats, then people come, some older students, some very new. Which you can see when they first come into retreat, they are a bit nervous, unsure and a bit lost. Then by the end everyone is smiling, their faces are friendlier, their heart is a bit more open.
All these aspects are the main purpose of the dharma centre here. In this way I’d like to express there has been great success at this centre over the last three years. This success doesn’t happen without the organisation, by the law. We have such a wonderful committee, as many of our committee members have been doing it for decades now, not new yet a very long time, so really they have the heart and mind to help, not to me for I always say I can survive myself, but helping the community. When you help from your heart, this is most joyful, because giving is the cause of joy. This is a place where we’re creating joy and contribute wherever we can for the community.
In this way I would like to say thank you to all the committee, for they tirelessly work hard and do their best. I also would like to say thank you to all the volunteers, because unconditionally people help in so many ways as in lawn mowing, gardening, collecting all the leaves, there are infinite jobs on this property, impossible to say everyone’s name, there are so many people contributing. I would like to say thank you to every one of them. Thank you to all the members and friends who monthly and yearly contribute financially to run this centre, thank you so much to all the generosity shared of the members and friends.
In this way from my heart, I equally say to everyone thank you so very much. That’s all…
Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe
2018 has been a year of consolidation for Drogmi Buddhist Institute. Under Khenpo la’s skilful guidance we have strengthened links with the local community as a number of Khenpo’s students relocated to the local area to be closer to their precious teacher. Students have deepened their understanding of the Buddhadharma through studying The Complete Path as Khenpo la has continued to teach around Australia and in New Zealand.
We’ve seen very generous donations to put in place a new solar system, upgrade of the road and a new storage shed. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered for the working bees, including the ongoing lawn-mowing, gardening and lantana eradication.
The solid foundation Khenpo la has established at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre has laid the groundwork for the upcoming visit by the great Sakya Master His Eminence Kyabja Luding Khen Rinpoche who will bestow the precious Vajrayogini Blessing and teachings.
And a final thank you to all the General Committee members for their contribution this past year.
We look forward to you joining us in 2019.
Public Talk and Workshop
30 November - 1 December 2018
It was a wonderful blessing for us that Khenpo la came to Canberra to teach new and old students.
Through his infinite knowledge and generosity, Khenpo's public talk on “The Benefits of Meditation” covered the entire Lam Dre!
Then the Saturday workshop on “Parting From the Four Attachments” was full of tender and practical guidance to help us in our quest to tame and transform these minds of ours.
I never cease to marvel that Khenpo speaks in ways so relevant to my life. Likening the ego to Santa Claus (as children we all believe in Santa, but he doesn't exist) was a very helpful and relevant pith instruction.
Just being in Khenpo's presence is a teaching. It makes me want to try and turn away from samsara: not just say this. To be a tiny bit more like him.
After the teachings we visited the Old Parliament House Rose Gardens and a "stupa" at the Australian National Gallery called "Skyspace" by the American artist James Turrell. More about reality and illusion this time in sculpture.
It seems that a Canberra visit by Khenpo la may become an annual event. That would be truly wonderful!
Thank you, Ann, for bringing Khenpo up to Canberra in your car. None of these teachings could happen without a team effort.
Held at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre
16-18 November 2018
The 3rd Family Retreat was held so beautifully by Khenpo la and the spectacular environment was a wonderful experience for young and old.
This year saw an expanse in the ages with our youngest just 18 months old right up to grandmothers who came in support of their families.
We all merged from far and wide with old friends re-united and new friends welcomed.
Khenpo la shared his wisdom with us all, skilfully guiding us according to our needs with a younger children’s session followed by the teens session, then the late afternoon saw a parent session which was eagerly attended with many take home gems for us all.
The children enjoyed an inspiring art and craft session in the Pizza Hut and of course one of our favourites a trip to the beach with Khenpo la, an evening bonfire with marshmallows and a singalong was our last activity before we all retired to bed.
Sunday was a day to remember with chanting and meditation in the gompa with Khenpo la and the parents vs kids soccer match on the saddle (score undisclosed).
It is hard to imagine our family life without this special weekend, Khenpo’s presence is a gift to us all with an atmosphere really beyond words.
Thank you to Aylar, Martin and Tjenka for nourishing us all wholeheartedly and to Ann for her amazing work and ease to be around.
So much gratitude to our teacher Khenpo la, the love you share with the children will be with them forever and as for us parents and grandparents thank you so much for being our guide to become better carers and whole human beings.
Visit by Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe
9-11 November 2018
Our beloved Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe was again warmly welcomed by the Warragul sangha for his annual teachings here. As some readers may know, Penny Moody, who has been the director of Melbourne Sakya for many years, decided to up-sticks and move to be close to Kamalashila Retreat Centre. With a small and determined group of members here, Khenpo la’s arrival was doubly celebrated with our new director, Clem Jarvis, driving to Tullamarine airport for the first time in decades (yes, true!), to bring Khenpo la safely to us.
The teachings were held in the nearby Yarragon hall, a small town close to Warragul, on the Twenty-One Emanations of Tara. Some of us were quite familiar with both Green Tara and White Tara practice, and others were quite newly introduced. Khenpo la’s teachings were invaluable to all, as always, and he gave us details on each of her Twenty-One emanations, as well as giving some history on the origins of Green Tara practice and commentary in answer to our questions. Khenpo la also gave the lineage transmission to recite the Praises to the 21 Taras, and copies of the prayers for us to practice for ourselves.
On Saturday evening after the day’s teaching, several of us dined with Khenpo la at a local Thai restaurant, amid much laughter and happiness. We so much enjoy his company as well as being exceedingly thankful for such precious opportunities to be close to a truly great teacher. After conclusion of the teachings on Sunday morning, Clem drove to Tullamarine for the second time in three decades, with Khenpo la safely at his side.
We would like to thank Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe again for his time in coming all this way for a small group of passionate students and will sow the seeds for another visit in 2019. You may see some of us at Kamalashila in the meantime, and all the best for Penny Moody in her new life there.
Yours in the Dharma, Geraldine