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Ven. Sarah Thresher shared this report from Tushita Meditation Centre in Dharamsala, India:
On June 14, FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche invited Rangjung Neljorma Khadro Namsel Drolma [Khadro-la] to attend the picnic at the end of a dual course at Tushita. There were over 100 people present.
Rinpoche made a special point of thanking the cooks and kitchen staff who produce delicious meals three times a day without using onions or garlic. Tushita has put special effort into making the food served on the courses excellent. Rinpoche commented that sometimes when the course subjects are difficult for the new students having good food helps them to digest it all more easily!
Tushita runs year-round a 10-day introductory courses (which is very reasonably priced) and people travel from around the world to attend and take advantage of this special environment. For years the courses have been overbooked. Last course they turned away 40 people!
Rinpoche also thanked Tushita’s spiritual program coordinator, teachers and meditation leaders. Khadro-la was requested to give a talk and Geshe Kelsang Wangmo from the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics translated.
Then Rinpoche gave a three-hour teaching on guru devotion for the new people with quotes and transmission of “Calling the Guru from Afar.” For this 10-day introductory course, Rinpoche taught seven days running and gave the oral transmission of the Vajra Cutter Sutra as well as a new morning meditation practice that he put together and translated to help make people’s lives meaningful.
On June 18, Rinpoche had lunch with Tushita staff on the roof of the gompa. Rinpoche said it was the first time this had ever happened. The idea was for people to express their ideas about the center and how things could be improved. As a very popular and successful center, Tushita offers 40 courses a year, stretching both the infrastructure and the staff and volunteers. Rinpoche was keen to find out what Tushita needed.
Rinpoche advised during the five-hour lunch that the staff come together every morning and meditate, first using the morning motivation Rinpoche had put together and then gradually going through the lam-rim, dividing it into topics that span over 12 months. Rinpoche said this would be a great inspiration for other centers.
Rinpoche also again praised the cooks and gave a teaching on what to think when you are chopping, washing, cooking, making momos or shabale [savory pastry].
That night, Rinpoche came for Lama Chöpa Jorchö, which started at 8:30 and which Rinpoche led. The puja finished around 12:30. Rinpoche played the cymbals through the puja but explained it was still difficult to play the damaru [hand drum].
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About Mandala Publications
Mandala Publications is the official publication of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international charitable organization founded by two Tibetan Buddhist masters, Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. FPMT is a vibrant international community, with a network of 160 affiliate centers, projects and services, and members in more than 30 countries.
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