at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre
4 June to 2 July 2019
Saga Dawa within the Tibetan Calendar falls this year on 4 June to 2 July 2019.
The most important month in the Tibetan lunar calendar is Saga Dawa, the 4th month and the 15th day of the lunar month, the full moon day is called Saga Dawa Düchen which falls on Monday 17 June 2019. Düchen means “Great Occasion” and this day is the single most holy day of the year for Tibetan Buddhists. Saga Dawa Düchen commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment, and Parinirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni marked on the same day of the Full Moon within this month.
Although, there is a specific separate day in which Buddha Shakyamuni’s birth is celebrated. This is referred to as Tampei Düchen, this year falling on Sunday 9 June.
In other Buddhist traditions this occasion is known as Vesak or is sometimes called Buddha Day and may fall within a different month, yet around the same time of the year.
Saga Dawa is known as the month of merits. Tibetan Buddhists make extra efforts to practice more generosity, virtue, and compassion in order to accumulate greater merit. Tibetans believe that during this month, the merits of one’s actions are multiplied. On the 15th day of the month the merits of one’s actions are hugely increased. Accumulating this merit is understood in many ways, it could be seen as the fruits of good karma, especially when it brings us closer enlightenment. The three grounds of meritorious actions are generosity and mental culture or meditation.
Traditionally, the holy day of Saga Dawa Düchen is observed through practice, generosity, and the performance of meritorious deeds, such as the practice of Life Release. This is commonly performed by purchasing animals that are destined to be killed (like worms, crickets, or fish), and releasing them into their natural habitats with prayers and positive aspirations. One must be mindful though that this release does not cause them more suffering. The act of giving life in this way is believed to extend the practitioner or benefactor’s lifespan and create positive circumstances. Another excellent way to make offering of life on this special day is to observe a vegetarian or vegan diet, a common tradition during this month. You can also take an extended vow or vegetarianism, creating vast merit through your noble aspiration to reduce suffering.
“Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation”. The Buddha
A special day of practice will be held for Saga Dawa Düchen at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre, 9000 Princes Highway – programme to be announced shortly.
Held at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre
In the very first gathering in the gompa for the 1st term of year three of The Complete Path (TCP), we offered the Sixteen Arhat Puja. Praying for the long life of all the great masters, may they remain teaching the Dharma and may the Dharma flourish. To dedicate all this merit to all beings for their happiness, liberation and enlightenment.
This concluding year of TCP in Australia is on the vast and foundational teachings on Ngöndro. Here are some excerpts from the eight-day study program.
How to reflect about Refuge:
Khenpo-la explained the benefits of taking Refuge.
Teachings on taking vows:
Khenpo-la gave refuge and bodhicitta transmissions to participants and explained in detail the importance of cultivating bodhicitta mind - the genuine, heartfelt and driving motivation to achieve Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings - for Mahyahana (and Vajrayana) practitioners. Put simply, without bodhicitta, Buddhahood is not achievable, and you’ve got to feel it - it can’t be dry and intellectual, it must be juicy, warm and real. The heart must be engaged. All sentient beings - including those really challenging ones - are needed to develop, refine and beautify our mind and heart by practising loving-kindness and Great compassion to generate conventional bodhicitta (both wishing and engaging) and eventually realise Absolute bodhicitta (from the first bhumi onwards). It’s tough, yes, but the samsaric mind is tougher and harder because it’s endless. Bodhicitta is needed at the beginning (to enter the path), in the middle (to stay on the path) and at the end (to share the path by benefiting others).
Motivation excerpts on taking refuge during the teachings:
We focused on the reasons, practices and benefits of performing Vajrasattva practice as part of uncommon Ngöndro practice. Khenpo-la explained the symbolism of the father and mother Vajrasattva (clarity and empty aspect) and the common and uncommon visualisations to perform. Khenpo-la recommended students to say the mantra daily (minimum of 21 times) in order to gradually cleanse our mind streams which have been accumulating all manners of habits since beginningless time. Khenpo-la also explained the meaning of the 100-syllable mantra which is extraordinarily beautiful, profound and heartfelt.
Suzi’s farewell in service to Khenpo-la:
We all gathered to celebrated Suzi Walker who has overseen looking after food for all Dharma retreats for 17 years with Khenpo-la. She has been like a Dharma mum to all of us and has worked tirelessly to make sure we get fed both nourishing food mentally and physically!
A group of us after the exam prepared and performed a live recording of a song dedicated to Suzi called “An Ode to Suzi” to celebrate the love we all share for her. It was written by Russell to the tune of the Australian folk song called “old man emu”, so much fun was had by all.
The group photo of the Complete Path students from Year 3 at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre was positioned under the glorious presence of Mount Gulaga. Thank you to Dean for his beautiful photos during the entire week, as well as some additional images from Khenpo-la, and other students.
Message from Khenpo la:
“The eight days of the Complete Path program were filled with richness and warmth. I encourage all students to share what you learnt with others and embody the knowledge and practise we did together. See you all in September. Thank you everyone.”
Held at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre
His Holiness then spoke about the significance of the namesake of the centre – Kamalashila, the renowned 8th century Buddhist master from Nalanda University, India – who journeyed to Tibet and the future seat of the Sakya order.
The teaching program commenced with an early Green Tara puja led by Khenpo-la, followed by a tremendous day of two Empowerments bestowed by His Holiness. The King Tradition Avalokiteshvara Empowerment was conducted in the morning and the Six Dome Uncommon White Tara Empowerment in the late afternoon.
His Holiness proceeded to give two teaching sessions for two days on the Uncommon White Tara. He explained the importance of the practice being an unbroken direct lineage traced back to the historical Shakyamuni Buddha in terms of authenticity. The Uncommon White Tara sadhana belongs to the Kriya class of tantra but sealed by higher tantra to perform different practices. His Holiness outlined the three parts of the sadhana practice (preliminaries, main practice and conclusion) and gave detailed guidance on the common and uncommon aspects.
At the end of the last teaching session, His Holiness bestowed the Vajrakilaya Torma Empowerment that has been in the Khon family lineage since around the 10th century, when directly received from Padmasambhava in Tibet!
In addition to the sadhana teachings and empowerments over the three days, His Holiness shared many pithy and practical teachings for new and old practitioners alike. This included reminding us that we cannot hide any action of body, speech and mind from the Law of Karma (cause and effect), that our mindfulness and vigilance need to act as our teacher.
Over 60 people attended the complete teaching program in Tilba, as all the practitioners look forward to receiving teachings from His Holiness in the future.
We wished His Holiness the safest of travels back to India, and thanked Him for turning the Wheel of Dharma for all of us at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre.
Held at Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre
Zara Kaye of Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre (a primary school teacher and senior student of Khenpo-la’s), presented a seven-week workshop/course under Khenpo-la’s guidance on meditation.
Families of the local south coast area came each week with great enthusiasm and energy to learn about meditation and the bringing of these new tools into their everyday lives. They carried out lots of different craftwork based on mantra themes, songs about loving kindness, weekly family picnics to finish the morning time together and so much more.
On the last day, the children wrote thank you’s to Khenpo-la, Zara and to the centre through their creative artwork.
BY KHENPO NGAWANG DHAMCHOE
12 and 13 April 2019
Khenpo-la gave his inaugural dharma talk in Bega NSW, far south coast recently.
He spoke on the topic of “Facing Difficulties with Optimism”. The talk was very well attended, with around 70 people, who listened intently and asked some wonderful questions.
Thank you Khenpo-la and thank you Tjenka for your superb organising of this event.
Khenpo-la gave the second in a series of Public Talks on the far south coast of NSW, at Merimbula.
This topic was “How to Give with a Warm Heart”. Around 30 people attended, listening to Khenpo-la speak on the basic human desire, which is to be happy, though this needs to be trained and nurtured. An honest kindness and generosity to others, requires honesty and truthfulness to, and about, oneself. We potentially can attain happiness and good thoughts, speech and actions as Buddha did, with persistent effort.
Reflections by Jan
Thank you Khenpo-la, thank you to Chris and to Ingrid at Yoga Humm for facilitating this event.
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!!!
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