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.