AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE February 2023
We are thrilled to announce there is now solid roofing outside the dining room at the Centre. There is now substantially more space for everyone to enjoy out of the weather for all occasions.
We thank Dan Bertoli for his huge effort and expertise in leading the major upgrade of the plumbing system at KTBC. Thank you to Peter Tooth and Robert Newberry who worked hard alongside Dan over the whole week. And thank you also to our generous donor who made all this possible. How fortunate.
HELD AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 2-5 February 2023
The Annual Six Dome White Tara Retreat concluded after three full days on the very auspicious occasion of the full moon and Amitabha Day. Led by Khenpo la, sangha members made light offerings and prayers to commemorate the most precious Guru Vajradhara Luding Khenchen Rinpoche. Attendees commented how fortunate we are to be able to receive the precious Dharma teachings from authentic and learned Teachers in this great Sakya tradition and never take it for granted!
Thank you Khenpo la for giving us this rare opportunity, with detailed teachings on the sadhana and then leading us in guided meditations deepening our understanding of this profound practice.
HELD AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 27 December 2022 - 1 January 2023
The Healing and Purification Retreat commenced at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre with Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe. On the first day Khenpo la gave the attendees the Vajrasattva transmission, teachings and practice.
The auspicious Medicine Buddha Day according to the Tibetan calendar fell on day three of the retreat. Khenpo la gave the Medicine Buddha Transmission to a full gompa of devotees that morning. Khenpo la said we take this transmission to practise Medicine Buddha to help those with physical and mental sickness. It was a truly moving ceremony, giving those participating the means to really help others. Khenpo la gave two days of teachings on this practice.
During the retreat we learned of the sad passing of our beloved Guru Vajradhara Luding Khenchen Rinpoche. Led by Khenpo la, sangha offered hundreds of light offerings and recited Guru Devotion Prayers. On the final day of the retreat, we took the prayer text of the Prayer to the Exalted Guru, the late Luding Khenchen Dharma King Known as ‘Rain Blessings’ written by His Holiness the Sakya Trizin and we recited this a number of times. Sangha members were offered a copy to take home to recite.
We owe everything to our precious Teachers. His Eminence is an incredible example to us of how to live one’s life, completely selflessly helping all beings always.
At the conclusion everyone remarked how the experience at this retreat was very warm and profoundly moving. We thank Khenpo la for his incredible teachings during retreat and giving us all guidance at this time.
TRIBUTE ON BEHALF OF KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 28 December 2022
Khenpo la along with members and friends of Drogmi Buddhist Institute were deeply saddened and shocked to hear the news of the temporary passing into Mahaparinirvana of His Eminence Vajradhara Luding Khenchen Rinpoche. During our end of year Healing and Purification Retreat at Kamalashila, we offered more than 100 candles and recited the Guru Devotion prayer. May Your Eminence swiftly return to help us ignorant beings and lead us to the state of Vajradhara.
His Eminence with members of the Glorious Sakya Family
On Sunday 15 January, the monks and sangha at Kyegu Buddhist Institute in Sydney led a gathering for prayers in memorial for our beloved Guru, the head of the Ngor Lineage of the Sakyapa School of Tibetan Buddhism. Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe was in attendance for this very important ceremony.
Then to commemorate our most precious Guru Vajradhara Luding Khenchen Rinpoche, Drogmi Buddhist Institute Sangha, led by Khenpo la at Kamalashila in Tilba and via Zoom link to Croydon, recited Guru Yoga practice and The Prayer to The Exalted Guru, the late Luding Khenchen Dharma King Known As “Rain of Blessing” written by His Holiness the Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga. Sangha offered many light offerings with deep devotion and great gratitude in their hearts for the boundless wisdom and compassion of our Guru.
Tributes on behalf of Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Tilba and Croydon
Lastly, Khenpo la and all members and friends of Drogmi Buddhist Institute offered prayers for our Precious Guru as His Holy physical body journeyed back to His Seat at Ngor, Monastery Manduwalla via Dehradun. May He travel effortlessly. His Eminence Luding Khen Kushon Rinpoche, His Eminence Thartse Khen Rinpoche and Lama Tempa accompanied His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche’s precious physical body.
His Eminence being brought home to the Ngor Monastery
On the 9th of January 2023, the physical emanated body of our guru in this and all lifetimes, Vajradhara Kyabchok Ngor Sharchen Luding Khenchen Jamyamng Tenpa’l Nyima, the great 75th throne holder of Ngor was received at the great Seat of Ngor Pal Ewam Chodan monastery by the lineage holders and sangha members of the Sakya Tradition. Words from: @asanga_sakya Photograph credits for the journey home: @ངོར་དཔལ་ཨེ་ཝཾ་ཆོས་ལྡན། Ngor Pa Centre Photograph credits of Vajradhara Khenchen shrine: @sakya_sangchen_gyudre
Cremation of His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche’s physical form on 16 February 2023
In the presence of precious Gurus His Holinesses the 41st, 42nd and 43rd Sakya Trizin Holinesses, Tulkus Rinpoches, Khenpos, Monastic Sangha, prestigious guests and all Tibetan communities at Manduwalla.
Prayer to the Exalted Guru, the Late Luding Khenchen Dharma King Known as ‘Rain of Blessings’
Endowed with the compassionate intent to benefit all beings, and the wisdom of understanding nature as it is. To the one with mastery over the meaning of sutra and tantric scriptures, and who is rich with orally transmitted instructions, I pray!
The light touched by the blessings of the Manjushri master, manifests in the beautiful sky of the Sakya tradition. To the great Sharpa, sun of the dharma who ripens the lotuses of fortunate disciples, I pray!
On top of the tall snow mountain of outstanding race, the moon rays of superior aspiration embrace. To the source of descent for the pure water of noble conduct, king of mountains, the most excellent guide, I pray!
Lord of all maroon clad victory banner holders. The auspicious discipline of the great vehicle beautifies you. To you who have perfected the yoga of the two stages, which are the treasures of all common and uncommon attainments, I pray!
Upholding the meaning of the well-taught Vinaya’s group of precepts. You are outstandingly skilled in conferring the stainless novice, and full ordination vows according to exact fortune. To the foe destroyer, the great Sthavira, I pray!
Through this sincere prayer, may the youthful sun, Having completely dispelled the gloomy darkness within the minds of beings, Unfurl the lotus of genuine reality, and bless us by looking after us zealous bees!
This was written voluntarily by Sakya Trichen Ngawang Kunga, with a feeling of great loss and sadness upon the sudden dissolve into dharmadhatu of our most excellent source of refuge, Vajradhara Luding Khenchen. May it become a cause for the great venerable guru of all beings to take care of us!
Translated from the Tibetan to English by Khöndung Asanga Vajra.
HELD AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 18-20 November 2022
It was a very special weekend at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre with the Shamatha-Vipassana Retreat led by Ayyas Jitindriya and Jayasara. With heartfelt appreciation and gratitude, thank you Ayyas for your teachings and guidance.
A comment from one attendee summed up the weekend: “I absolutely loved it, the teachings were amazing, I loved the whole centre and all the people”.
Thank you Ayyas and everyone who attended and contributed to this inaugural event.
held at SAKYA TSECHEN THUBTEN LING, vancouver, canada 14 November 2022
Members and friends of Drogmi Buddhist Institute joined Her Eminence Sakya Jetsun Chimey Luding Rinpoche’s centre in Vancouver to celebrate Her Eminence’s birthday:
“Sharing some photos of the little birthday celebration held at Sakya Tsechen Thubten Ling’s new centre where friends and students gathered in person and in Zoom to wish Jetsun Kushok happy birthday.
“We pray fervently that Jetsun Kushok Rinpoche will live long and healthy for many, many years to come, may she continue to be a beacon in our lives and an inspiration to all practitioners on the path, and benefit all sentient beings until full Enlightenment is achieved for all.”
Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe, all members and friends of Drogmi Buddhist Institute sincerely wished Her Eminence Sakya Jetsun Chimey Luding Rinpoche a very happy 84th birthday on 14 November, to have a long and healthy life so Your Eminence may continue to Turn the Wheel of Dharma for all mother sentient beings to be free from suffering and their causes.
HELD AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 11-13 November 2022
The universal comment of participants in this final Autumn Buddhist Philosophy Course Retreat for the year seems to be ‘Wow, we are so lucky to be doing this course!’
The Autumn Buddhist Philosophy Course is quite unique in so far as it offers a 3-year comprehensive training in the three Buddhist Paths of Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana.
This 2nd retreat of our first year has been the culmination of our study of the Hinayana or the Foundation Vehicle, comprising the first set of teachings that the Buddha gave.
Khenpo la likened the Three Paths to a great tree: the Hinayana is the roots without whose discipline and ethical conduct, our progress would be unstable. The Mahayana is like the trunk of the tree and the Vajrayana, its fruit.
Today was particularly special as it was the Anniversary of Atisha Dipamkara, who caused the Dharma to flourish and spread in Tibet during the 11th century. On this very auspicious day, several students of the course chose to take Refuge with Khenpo la, which was both beautiful and inspiring.
“Now you have Buddhist citizenship!”, chuckled Khenpo la.
May all of us citizens always work in harmony with each other to do as we have promised – to follow honestly in the footsteps of the Buddha, to work with our mind, to free ourselves and others from suffering.
We have also been blessed by very clear teachings from a Theravadan teacher, Venerable Mahinda whose words are so brilliantly precise. In the retreat, Ayya Jitindriya offered further teachings from the Theravadan perspective.
We examined intellectually ‘The Twelve Links of Dependent Origination’, being a wonderfully inspiring opportunity to connect what we had learned with experiential practice. Khenpo la began with advice on how to motivate ourselves to practise Shamatha and Vipassana, followed by a walking meditation guided by the mentors.
On one of the loveliest of warm days, many of us took Khenpo la’s advice to start our outdoor meditation with a large object of meditation, such as our local mountain, Mt Gulaga, then progress to a single tree, then to a leaf or a blade of grass in order to gradually develop our mind’s capacity to stay with a single object.
Ayya Jitindriya also taught on ‘The Four Foundations of Mindfulness’ and guided us through meditations on the breath, body and the four elements. As one student expressed, “Well, that was kind of mind-blowing!”
Our heartfelt thanks to our Theravadan teachers of the Autumn Buddhist Philosophy Course, whose clear minds and clear teachings have deeply inspired us. As Khenpo la said, “It is good to hear the teachings of the Buddha again and again from different angles. This deepens your understanding of the Dharma.”
Khenpo la expressed on our first day of the Autumn Buddhist Philosophy Course Retreat that we are all like family, no one of us is higher or lower than the other, we are all learning together and helping each other. His words ring true as we took the opportunity today to look back on our year in the ABPC and reflect with each other on what we have gained from the course:
“Our greatest defilements are our greatest tools” ~ Peter A.
“Our group appreciated and connected with each other around the ‘why’ of practice and the importance of motivation and preparation.” ~ Bel, Nathan, and Sally
“We CAN change!” ~ Andy
“We have appreciated the encouragement to investigate ourselves. The requirement to summarise the video teachings really helped us pay attention and it was useful to have to carve out a space in our everyday lives to really attend to them. Watching the teachings, then summarising, presenting our own and listening to the other summaries in the mentor group, we found to be a gentle approach, as each time we revisited the material, we understood a little more…” ~ Tara
“I appreciated learning about the foundations of Buddhism and meeting the teachers who were representatives of that system. I have reflected a lot on the Buddha’s words of his awakening: ‘Suffering should be fully perceived, and it has been fully perceived. The cause of suffering should be eradicated, and it has been eradicated. The cessation of suffering should be realised, and it has been realised. The path [to free oneself from suffering] should be developed, and it has been developed.’” ~ Chiaki
“When the mind can concentrate and is stabilised through Shamatha, the wisdom part naturally arises. (Vipassana)” ~ Doug
“The cause of suffering is self-grasping. The cause of happiness is the practice of virtue.” ~ Zara
Now at the end of retreat, we must offer our heartfelt gratitude to Khenpo la and Dr Carole Kayrooz, who developed the Autumn Buddhist Philosophy Course. Without their vision, experience, and hard work, we would not have been able to access these precious teachings so deeplt. Our palms are pressed together at our hearts too for our wonderful mentors whose warmth, diligence and rigour supported us to progress our understandings of the Dharma.
Khenpo la’s final words for us today were, “Always be a new Dharma practitioner”.
Indeed, we look forward already to being a new Dharma practitioner again next year!