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.
Words of appreciation from students attending the January Program with His Eminence
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)