VISIT BY KHENPO NGAWANG DHAMCHOE 25-27 August 2023
A very special weekend welcoming Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe back to Manjushri Buddhist Centre in Milton, NSW this last weekend of August.
Khenpo wisely retreated and taught from his residence in Tilba at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre over the last three years while the world turned upside down with Covid, which meant there was much anticipation and joy to have his warm and wise presence return to our town. We joyously reflected on the nineteen years of Khenpo la visiting us in Milton, so next year we so look forward to celebrating his 20th year visiting and teaching in Milton.
Over the three days, eighty members and friends soaked in his precious teachings on understanding how as human beings we suffer, yet with strength of mind we can overcome our hardships. He reminded us that we all possess pure Buddha nature, and we should remind ourselves of this daily to remedy our feelings of depression and helplessness. From here we water our inherent seeds of loving-kindness, compassion and bodhicitta will surely flourish for us to find true peace and happiness through helping and serving others. ~Jacky H.
Heart Sutra Weekend Teachings with Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe in Sydney and via Zoom.
We were at the culmination of Khenpo la’s teachings on the Buddha’s Heart Sutra, our brains were buzzing and awake. I think Linda Mc. put it best: “Khenpo la has given us such a precise and profound roadmap to enlightenment this weekend by explaining such complexity with such elegant simplicity”.
Several of us were left scratching our heads in amazement: “Have we really been this lucky – to have gained a such a window into the precious Prajnaparamita?” Khenpo la’s warmth and humour, his care for his students and his depth of knowledge and experience meant that each of us gained valuable insights into the Buddha’s Second Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. We are so deeply grateful… May we all awaken and awaken each other!
Khenpo la was invited and travelled to the Central Coast of NSW at Mandalong to give a talk with a local meditation group. Khenpo la was generously hosted by Scott and Brenda at their home, and Ma Kali at the Barn Temple. Khenpo la’s talk was a strong encouragement to change our responses to upsets and grow up in order to reduce the harm done to all parties and just notice how much our heartiness and contentment can grow.
Comments from Ma Kali at the Barn Temple:
“His presence was exquisite and the light that exhumed from his being provoked great measures of pure joy, pure peace and incredibly palpable compassion and kindness. The feedback from many, was that the teachings were in simplicity of form and easy to digest and understand. More importantly that for many of those who received the teachings, there would be immediate employment of these orientations within daily life. Inward actions of relating all experiences to the self and learning to respond from kindness, from compassion. There was so much received from those in attendance that the grounding of the teachings is still coming through the minds of the attendees.
“There were a few different traditions visiting on the night, members of shanti mission, Sharmans, and Chinese traditions and those from Kali sangha also. The Dharma talk from Khenpo la was such that it spoke to all languages and traditions and was relatable by all in understanding principals in mastery of the mind. Deep gratitude Khenpo la.”
HELD AT NAMGYAL CHOEDHE THUBTEN DARGA LING MONASTERY IN MUSTANG, NEPAL 2 August 2023
On August 2, 2023, His Eminence Ngor Luding Khen Rinpoche started the holy Dharma teachings of “LamDre Gyued Gsum” (tri-tantra in LamDre) at Namgyal Choedhe Thubten Darga Ling monastery in Mustang, Nepal. Please enjoy a few special images of this day.
Glimpse of images from 6 August where His Eminence Ngor Luding Khen Rinpoche, His Eminence Dhungste Rinpoche, Luding Shabdrung and Semo Sonam Paldren went to Lowathang, taking a one day break from the LamDre program simply to regain the freshness and energy from nature and its beauty that allows mental peace during this busy schedule.
All images are from Pal Ewam Namgyal Monastic Secondary School+2 (Science stream) Facebook page, thank you!
HELD AT INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST ACADEMY (IBA), NEPAL 9 July – 4 August 2023
Mandala Offering to His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin Gongma Ratna Vajra Rinpoche on Chöekhor Düchen
During the precious teachings of The Complete Path by His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin at IBA, on the auspicious day of Chöekhor Düchen, a Mandala Offering was made to His Holiness on behalf of Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe and Drogmi Buddhist Institute by DBI students and friends attending the teachings. Alongside offerings to His Holiness and the ordained sangha, all students received a picture of the Five Race Buddhas.
The following prayer was composed to mark this occasion:
We pray for the longevity of our Precious Gurus, for His Holiness the Sakya Trichen, for His Holiness Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, for His Holiness Gyana Vajra Rinpoche, for His Eminence Luding Khen Rinpoche, for Her Eminence Jestun Kusho la and for the wellbeing of all their Noble Families.
We pray for the preservation of the precious Buddha Dharma and the flourishing of the Great Sakya lineage. We pray for the happiness of all mother sentient beings.
We pray for all our precious teachers – may they turn the minds of all beings towards the Dharma and lead them on the path of Ultimate Happiness.
We pray for our Vajra brothers and sisters gathered here in Kathmandu, along with all our other Dharma brothers and sisters, that we all become strong in our practice as an expression of our sincere gratitude and deep devotion to His Holiness and our other precious teachers. We pray that all obstacles are removed and that all beings progress swiftly towards Enlightenment.
We pray for our Dharma sister Genevieve Ryan who passed away recently and whose funeral is taking place on this very day, for Kye and all others in the bardo state.
May the precious Gurus enjoy excellent health and live long lives as we beseech them to continue to turn the Wheel of Dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Completion of the Four Weeks of Teachings from Khenpo la
Thank you so much Your Holiness and congratulations to all students.
Words from a Few Students
“For myself, just being in Kathmandu, this most holy place for four weeks was challenging with all of the stairs we needed to climb each day, yet at the same time so uplifting with the special teachings from His Holiness 42nd Sakya Trizin. All being well, I hope to return next year, the year after that, again and again.” ~Brenda C.
“Firstly, I need to thank Khenpo la who is always giving teachings in every situation, and also for the formal teachings of the first three years of The Complete Path in Australia. For myself, I have not had any proper schooling or a smart mind. I must have accumulated good karma in the past in order to receive these teachings, so now I need to continue studying and doing my practices the best way I can.
“Surprisingly, I found His Holiness’ teachings easy to understand at the time of His teachings, so now I have to work on fixing my monkey mind plus plug up the holes in my leaky pot, to work really hard digesting at all.
“Our days off were on Saturdays, yet His Holiness continued to give teachings, doing pujas, and giving blessings for many to people at different places around Kathmandu on those days. His Holiness gave us teachings each morning then we had re-teachings each afternoon. The first week was from Khenpo Jordan and then after that it was Lama Ngawang Tenzin, who was the interpreter for His Eminence Luding Khen Rinpoche at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre Tilba in 2019.
“As it is not appropriate to talk about the teachings that we had, I will share about some of the people I met or spent time with, starting with Bess and Pam. They kept everything at IBA running in shipshape – Bess did all of the admin, and Pam did all the housekeeping, the mind boggles!!! It was so much work, but they were always happy to help. We had our first Saturday out with Venerable Tsultrim, taking Brenda and myself to a Tibetan bookshop which was like in Aladdin’s Cave. Followed by a lovely lunch.
“I was very fortunate to sit with Linda McKeone and Jacqui Quilty, as their kindness and support was truly wonderful, true dharma sisters. We also had a lovely day out together in the quiet countryside.
“I also had the good fortune to catch up with Dorothy. We first met in 1997, and she carried with her a group photo, she was very surprised and happy to see myself and Brenda. It felt like yesterday as we chatted together. Then there was Ashley from a few doors down from us. As well as going on a group day out, we found when chatting that we both attended the same Zoom practices for each of us in a different country on different days at different times and doing the practice together (the idea of time and place seem to have disappeared)! We can now look out for each other, being such a comforting thought. Thanks to Jack we caught up with Lama Kunga who lived in Whyalla, South Australia, many years ago, looking really well and happy. In the room opposite me was Renee who was from Townsville and doesn’t have a centre or resident teacher as yet but who knows what is around the corner for her drive and commitment seemed very strong.
“There were so many more people I could mention but it would take up the whole newsletter… The entire month went by so quickly as I feel so blessed to have been able to go. On a last note, I would highly recommend staying at IBA – fingers and toes crossed I will stay there next year. Love and blessings to all.” ~ Lynda W.
“This July I was lucky enough to be among the 31 Australians who travelled to the International Buddhist Academy in Kathmandu for the fourth year of The Complete Path Course. We made up the third largest national contingent behind the Chinese No.2 and the Spanish No.1. So much sangha from so many different countries, even some hardy souls who had no sangha in their home country but travelled overseas on their own as the foundation of their practice.
“For most of us who studied the first three years in Australia it was an amazing experience. It was made all the more exciting because we had to wait out the Covid years before the fourth year of the course was finally re-scheduled, in Nepal.
“Thanks to Bess and Pam, the Aussie co-ordinators of the TCP course, the administration and organisation of the course was seamless. Six days a week for four weeks we enjoyed morning teachings and afternoon re-teachings. There were plenty of extra-curricular activities. Saturday bus trips to stupas, caves, and monasteries. Some Aussies organised Soor practices and Pujas in temples and stupas, having an Aussie audience with His Holiness, and a farewell dinner and even a meeting with the Australian High Commissioner to Nepal.
“It was a privilege to visit Nepal and the Kathmandu Valley in particular. It is such a spiritual place with so many important Buddhist sites, stupas and temples. I didn’t think I would ever stand in the cave that Padmasambhava lived and meditated in. We had the opportunity to circumambulate around the glorious Boudhanath Stupa every day. “We were in Tibetan area of Kathmandu with monasteries seemingly every 50 meters. Kathmandu is a bustling city of around 5 million people (no one knows for sure), a cultural and spiritual melting pot. The cheerfulness and compassion of the local inhabitants faced with the crumbling and inadequate infrastructure was a daily inspiration. The street dogs are carefully looked after by the locals. The lucky dogs sleep all day and bark all night. The locals feed the crows and the pigeons. Potted plants bloom in ever available corner and thousands of prayer flags gently flutter atop all of the houses and buildings. Together with the humidity and monsoonal rain it was a study retreat I’ll never forget.” ~Anthony G.
“In 2017 Khenpo la introduced us to The Complete Path teachings, expertly guiding us for three years, forming an amazing group of Dharma friends that I treasure. Some of us this year, 2023, were able to travel to Nepal to the International Buddhist Academy in Boudhanath, Kathmandu to continue year four of The Complete Path teachings from His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin. The teachings were six days a week for four weeks. I didn’t understand much of the teachings.
“I did notice a lot of Dharma practitioners, with their kindness and their attention to others. The many years practising and the great efforts they made through the Dharma. The many amazing results of practice and effort in the Dharma, like the ancient Boudhanath stupa and the modern IBA. Both drawing in practitioners and allowing them even now at this moment to follow and practise the teachings of the Buddha. I did realise even though my practice and understanding now is very weak and confused, that with the right motivation it can build to help others on the Dharma path, and potentially much more. So, I put my leave form in at work for next year. I’ll put away savings each week. I’ll quietly try to practise and study. So then I can understand a little more thanks to my Dharma friends.” ~Dino
From Friday 14 to Sunday 16 July the White Conch Group, in collaboration with the Rigpa Brisbane Centre, hosted Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe in Brisbane.
Rigpa Brisbane and White Conch first made a connection on the occasion of the His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin’s visit to Brisbane in 2003 which was organised by Rigpa Brisbane in collaboration with Khenpo la. Since that time Khenpo la has visited us for weekend teachings many times, covering topics such as the “Seven Points of Training the Mind”, “Triple Vision”, “Parting from the Four Attachments”, Nagarjuna’s “Letter to a Friend”, selected chapters from Aryadeva’s “400 Stanzas”, and “The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva”.
This time Khenpo la taught on “The Sutra Recollecting the Qualities of the Three Jewels”, which is an important text for helping us accumulate merit and arouse the faith required for taking refuge and giving rise to bodhicitta.
Khenpo la’s skilful presentation of the qualities of the Three Jewels worked like a mirror in which we were able to clearly see ourselves in our present, unenlightened state, along with our potential for attaining enlightenment. We felt very fortunate to receive these teachings from a teacher as rare and excellent as Khenpo la, who is not only extraordinarily learned, but also embodies the essence of the teachings in the style of a true and dedicated practitioner.
It was a joyful occasion of sharing good dharma in good company, with around 30 people attending Khenpo la’s teaching at the Rigpa Brisbane centre. Upon his arrival on Friday, Khenpo la generously consecrated a number of statues for our dharma centre and for individual students. This was our first teaching event with Khenpo la since the lockdowns and uncertainty caused by the Covid pandemic. We are very grateful to Khenpo la for visiting us this year. We pray that he will live long and in good health, and that he will return to our centre again and again in years to come. ~ Jan van der Breggen
CELEBRATED AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 9 July 2023
Sangha gathered at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre to celebrate His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 88th birthday. Khenpo la led in chanting His Holiness’ Long Life Prayer to remain in this world, enjoy good health, and continue to turn the Wheel of Dharma. Penny then led all in a wonderful rendition of Happy Birthday for His Holiness, and Tjenka made a delicious birthday cake which was offered then to His Holiness, as we then made khata offerings. We all imagined receiving a shower of blessings from His Holiness. A very beautiful morning with sangha in a joyful celebration for His Holiness.
A big thank you from the Ananda Buddhist Centre, Rockhampton, Queensland, to Khenpo la and to Ann, his program coordinator of Drogmi Buddhist Institute.
The members of the Ananda Centre were looking forward to the visit by Khenpo la, for with the lockdowns during Covid we have not had the opportunity in having him attend Rockhampton and provide his experienced teachings for some three years.
Notwithstanding a very long journey over two days to travel to Rockhampton, Khenpo la provided a public talk to the Rockhampton public about “How to live a meaningful life”. This was well received by all who attended. The teachings emphasised that life is experienced through the mind, and happiness in our life can be achieved through working on having a happy mind.
This was a very good introduction to the teachings that proceeded over the weekend of teachings on “The Seven Points of Training the Mind”. This was well attended with 15 participants from around the Central Queensland area including people travelling from Mackay. There were a number of experienced students who attended as well as new students who have never learnt anything previously about Buddhist teachings. Because of Khenpo la’s experience over many years of teaching he was able to provide a teaching that was thought-provoking and helpful to all the participants. All students commented on how much they had learnt and how good the teachings were.
The strength of the Buddhist teachings was reflected in the quiet humility of Khenpo’s very sincere, warm, and friendly demeanour with all the students. All attending left the weekend happy and with new enthusiasm to be more positive in their day to day lives. ~ Allan G.
AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 20 May – 18 June 2023
The name Saga Dawa is of a particular star for which only appears within the fourth month of the lunar calendar. The Saga Dawa month is an incredibly special month, for the Buddha performed Six Noble Activities: the first being that the Buddha was conceived; secondly the Buddha was born; thirdly the Buddha took ordination; fourth the Buddha completely defeated His own maras; fifth He attained full enlightenment; and lastly, He passed into Mahaparinirvana – all within this specific month. Therefore, this is a very special month in the Buddhist calendar.
At Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre 108 candles were lit daily for sponsors and designated loved ones who may be in need of prayers for countless reasons, those who may be ill and who have passed away. Please enjoy a selection of images taken throughout this most auspicious month. Photos by Khenpo la, Karma la, Venerable Tsultim, Ann and anyone not mentioned – thank you!!!
HELD AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 9-12 June 2023
The 4th Annual Shri Vajrapani Bhutadamara Retreat held at Kamalashila was a wonderful success. Khenpo la gave us teachings on the sadhana and guided practice sessions to deepen our understanding. We all felt so blessed, we cannot express our gratitude enough, thank you Khenpo la. On the conclusion day of the retreat, we also bid farewell to our dear Karma la who has now departed the centre returning to his home in New York. We all enjoyed a delicious lunch and a farewell cake (made by Penny) to thank him for all he continually did for the Centre and has done for so many of us. From delicious cooking for retreats, grounds maintenance, painting and so much more. He never stopped working for the centre. We miss you Karma la and look forward to your speedy return.
HELD AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 2-4 June 2023
Celebrating Sangyé & Nyangdé Düchen (Saga Dawa Düchen)
The 1st retreat this year of the Autumn Buddhist Philosophy Course was a great success, during Saga Dawa month and completing the 1st Semester of the 2nd year, led by Khenpo la.
The full moon day of this most auspicious month of Saga Dawa (Sangyé & Nyangdé Düchen), fell on the final day of this retreat, for which Khenpo la offered a teaching on patience. The retreatants all gathered each day of the retreat to light 108 candles on behalf of sponsors, offering for the benefit of all sentient beings to be free of suffering.
On this last day and most auspicious day of the Buddhist calendar, the retreat was followed by a two-hour Puja – The Sixteen Arhat Puja, led by Khenpo la, as retreatants and members from the local community all joined in together. All attendees offered a further 108 light offerings; khata offerings were then made to all the ordained sangha; then traditional auspicious rice and tea was partaken by all; followed by a delicious community lunch. It truly was a beautiful day of celebrations at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre.
HELD AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 18-21 May 2023
The Annual Ngondro Retreat led by Khenpo la began Thursday on the anniversary of two of the Great Sakya masters, Gaton Ngawang Lekpa Rinpoche, for whom Ngondro was his main practice, and Khenchen Jamyang Thupten Lungtok Gyaltsen, the 72nd Throne Holder of the Ngor Lineage. Hearing from Khenpo la about their dedication to practice is a great inspiration for us. Day three dawned with the beginning of the most holy month in the Tibetan calendar, Saga Dawa. The sangha attending made 100 candlelight offerings on behalf of sponsors and for the benefit all beings. Khenpo la gave a short talk on Saga Dawa. It is a very special month as it is a time that has a strong connection to human emotions. The results of positive deeds during this month are multiplied millions of times, as also for negative emotions, therefore it is very good time to be mindful of our thoughts, our speech, and our actions. It is a time Khenpo la said that practitioners take extra responsibility. It is the month that Lord Buddha accomplished eight of The Twelve Noble Deeds. We all feel very fortunate to be at the Centre at this time in particular, receiving such incredibly clear and profound teachings from Khenpo la at this time. The teachings from Khenpo la were so profound.
We had a fantastic weekend of teachings with Khenpo la recently. He taught on the classic text “Parting from the Four Attachments” by Sachen Kunga Nyingpo. The teachings were superb, and it was so wonderful to have him here again to share the dharma. These are classic teachings that give really clear instructions on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. We were encouraged to become an alchemist and transform everything into the path of Dharma. Starting by cultivating a heart of loving kindness and compassion and working to eradicate all the mental afflictions that give rise to our myriad forms of suffering. Khenpo la really highlighted and explained in detail the primary root cause of our suffering, ignorance, and self-grasping. He went through each of the four attachments and explained brilliantly the purpose and meaning of each one, inspiring and motivating everyone to keep on practising and not to give up.