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Mandala eZine

B BLISSFUL LISSFUL RAY RAYSS OF OF THE THE MAN MANDALA DALA IN IN THE THE SERV SERVIC ICEE OF OF OTHERS OTHERS

e-VOL. 4 ISSUE 3 AUGUST 2011

The Official Publication of The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition

Living in the Path FPMT'S EXPERIENTIAL Are you a Friend of FPMT? If not, click here: www.fpmt.org/ friends

LAM-RIM PROGRAM


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Mandala eZine

CONTENTS LAMA YESHE’S WISDOM 6 The Origin of Our Problems By Lama Yeshe ADVICE FROM A VIRTUOUS FRIEND 9 By the Kindness of One’s Parents By Lama Zopa Rinpoche COVER FEATURE 10 Living in the Path FPMT’s Experiential Lam-rim Program COMMUNITY FORUM 19 Discussion Topic 20 Photo Bulletin Board MEDIA PAGES 22 Featured Media COVER Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe, Chenrezig Institute, Australia, 1975. Photo by Nick Ribush, restoration by David Zinn. Archival portrait available through Heart of the Moon Media (www.heartofthemoon.com)

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e-Vol 4 ISSUE 3 AUGUST 2011. The Mandala eZine is published as an online quarterly for Friends of FPMT by FPMT Inc., 1632 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214-4702. August 2011 MANDALA EZINE 3


HEART ADVICE: THE BODHISATTVA ATTITUDE by lama zopa rinpoche edited by sarah thresher FREE

This book comprises several motivations taught by Lama Zopa Rinpoche called “bodhicitta motivations for life,” intended for us to use first thing every morning to generate the mind of bodhicitta and dedicate our life to numberless sentient beings. The Bodhisattva Attitude is taken from the sutra teachings of the Buddha and is based on verses by the great bodhisattva Shantideva in his Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life.

New DVDs! Our new DVDs contain video of the teachings found in our books Freedom Through Understanding and Life, Death and After Death. Special for one month only, both sets for $25.

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LIFE, DEATH AND AFTER DEATH DVD lama yeshe 2 DISC SET, OVER 7 ½ HOURS PLAYING TIME $15

Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive contains recordings and transcripts of Lama Thubten Yeshe’s and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings dating back to the early 1970s—and we’re still growing! Our website offers thousands of pages of teachings by some of the greatest lamas of our time. Hundreds of audio recordings, our photo gallery and our ever-popular books are also freely accessible at lamayeshe.com. Please see our website or contact us for more information

L A MA YE SH E W ISD OM A R C H IV E PO BOX 636 , LINCOLN , MA 01773

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By becoming a Friend of FPMT you can stay connected to all that FPMT has to offer including Mandala Publications, the FPMT Online Learning Center and various complimentary resources offered at the free level. We're confident we've designed a level that is perfect for your budget, studies and practice.

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FOUNDATION FOR THE PRESER VATION OF THE MAHAYANA TRADITION

Become A Friend of FPMT! www.fpmt.org/friends

ABOUT MANDALA Mandala is the official publication of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international charitable organization founded more than thirty years ago by two Tibetan Buddhist masters: Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. FPMT is now a vibrant international community with a network of over 150 affiliate centers, projects, services and study groups in more than thirty countries.

Editorial Policy Recurring topics include: Buddhist philosophy; Education; Ordination and the Sangha; Buddhism and Modern Life; Youth Issues; FPMT Activities Worldwide; Lama Yeshe and his teachings; Lama Zopa Rinpoche and his teachings; His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his teachings, among many other topics. Writers, photographers and artists, both amateur and professional, are encouraged to submit material for consideration. Mandala currently does not pay for publishable content; we credit all photos and other work as requested. Mandala, in addition to the Mandala eZine, is published quarterly and is available via the Friends of FPMT program. Additionally, both publications are supplemented by online stories published exclusively at: www.mandalamagazine.org

Friends of FPMT is a donor program composed of Friends working together to support FPMT’s global activities. To learn about Friends of FPMT levels and benefits, contact us or visit: www.fpmt.org/friends Mandala is published in January, April, July and October. Mandala eZine is published in February, May, August and December. Managing Editor and Publisher Laura Miller laura@fpmt.org Editor Carina Rumrill carina@fpmt.org Assistant Editor, Advertising & Sales Michael Jolliffe michael@fpmt.org Art Director Cowgirls Design cowgirl@newmex.com Friends of FPMT Program Heather Drollinger friends@fpmt.org FPMT, Inc. 1632 SE 11th Ave. Portland, OR 97214-4702

Tel: 1 503 808 1588 Fax: 1 503 232 0557 Toll free USA only 1 866 241 9886 FPMT Board of Directors Spiritual Director Lama Zopa Rinpoche Board Members Khenrinpoche Geshe Lhundrup Ven. Roger Kunsang Ven. Pemba Sherpa Karuna Cayton Andrew Haynes Peter Kedge Tim McNeill Tara Melwani Alison Murdoch Paula de Wijs-Koolkin www.mandalamagazine.org www.fpmt.org

August 2011 MANDALA EZINE 5


Lama Yeshe’s WISDOM

The Origin Of Our Problems

By Lama Yeshe

Lama Yeshe’s lecture style was unforgettable: lively, dynamic and dramatic. He sought to communicate with his students heart-to-heart and was unafraid to explain Buddhist concepts in innovative ways if that meant more of his new students could integrate the transformative power of Buddha’s teachings into their lives. When the Chocolate Runs Out, a new book from Wisdom Publications, captures this style. We’ve excerpted here a small morsel of Lama Yeshe’s chocolate wisdom. Have you really looked closely at the idea of “my problem”?

old trip. You go, you change, you go, you change … on and on like that. In this life alone you’ve followed attachment on so many trips and it’s WHEN YOU’RE IN A SITUATION where you’re never led to lasting happiness. psychologically bothered, instead of obsessing over how you feel, focus instead on how the IT’S MUCH MORE IMPORTANT to eradicate the root of all problems than to spend all our time bothered mind arises. trying to deal with superficial, emotional ones. Dealing with apparent individual problems Our problems are our own creation. doesn’t stop our continual experience of problems; IF SOMEBODY BEATS YOU UP physically, you’d get it merely substitutes a new problem for the one really upset and definitely want to do something we believe we’ve just solved. New problems replace the old ones, but about it, right away. But consider this: the worrying mind of “my problems, my problems, they’re still problems, because the basic problem my problems” beats you up day after day, week remains. The basic problem is like an ocean; the after week, month after month, year after year – ones we try to solve are just the waves. even lifetime after lifetime – and you just sit idly Sublimating one problem into another by, hoping for it to pass on its own. solves nothing; it’s merely change. Why not take action? WHEN WE EXPERIENCE PROBLEMS, either TURNING TO FACE YOUR PROBLEMS is much internal or external, our narrow, unskillful more worthwhile than ignoring them or trying mind only makes them worse. When someto run away from them. You’ve tried those other one with an itchy skin condition scratches it, things before; it’s not a new journey, it’s the same she feels some temporary relief and thinks her 6 MANDALA EZINE August 2011


scratching has made it better. In fact, the scratching has made it worse. We’re like that; we do the same thing, every day of our lives. RIGHT NOW, even if you don’t think you have a problem, you’re not free of problems – you’re just unaware of what’s in your mind. This is a very dangerous situation to be in. I’m not trying to scare you, but you have to be aware of what’s lurking in your mind, just waiting to come out. IDEAS THEMSELVES CAUSE TROUBLE if you get caught up in the problems that ideas create. Check up and investigate how your ideas cause you trouble. PAY LESS ATTENTION to the superficial emotion and whatever experience or sense object might have precipitated it, and instead look deep into your mind to determine what’s really making that emotion arise. When you really understand the root of problems, they disappear of their own accord. toward other people for the qualities we imagine missing in ourselves. All of the problems of the The place problems exist is the mind. world, from one person’s anxiety to warfare THE ROOTS OF SUFFERING, the real roots of all between nations, can be traced to this feeling our problems, are in the mind – and that’s a of not being whole. good thing, because it means the place we can You are responsible for your own problems address our problems is also in the mind. just as you are responsible for your own liberation or enlightenment. All of the problems of the world can be traced to a feeling of not being whole. WE LEARN FROM SUFFERING, from problems, SO MANY OF OUR PROBLEMS ARISE because we by realizing where it comes from and exactly feel cut off from something we need. We do not what it is that makes us suffer. Thus, for feel whole and therefore turn expectantly those seekers investigating the nature of inner August 2011 MANDALA EZINE 7


Lama Yeshe’s WISDOM

reality, problems actually help. Learning from problems gives us more energy, greater wisdom and deeper realizations. And so, whenever any difficulty or problem arises, instead of just getting depressed, recognize the gift you are receiving. Think: “Fantastic. If this problem had not arisen I might have felt I had no problems. This problem is my teacher; all problems are my teacher. They help me recognize more clearly the nature of attachment. How wonderful! In fact, may the problems of all beings ripen upon me alone, right now, and may those beings receive all my merit, good fortune and wisdom.”

You don’t have to change anything external; the only change you have to make is within your mind. MEDITATION IS A WAY OF HELPING you become strong enough to face your problems instead of running away from them. It allows you to face them and deal with them skillfully. ◆ This excerpt comes from Wisdom Publications’ recently released When the Chocolate Runs Out, a book containing some of Lama Yeshe’s punchy, thought-provoking quotes and teachings that touch on all the fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.

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Advice from a VIRTUOUS FRIEND

By the Kindness of One’s Parents By Lama Zopa Rinpoche

During Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s April 2011 commentary on Shantideva’s seminal Bodhicaryavatara (A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life) in Bendigo, Australia, Rinpoche spent considerable time leading a detailed reflection on how it is by the kindness of parents that we are able to practice Dharma. In this excerpt from FPMT’s Online Learning Center, Rinpoche demonstrates that their patience and protection afforded us the rare chance to develop our hearts and minds through Buddhist practice. Rinpoche also humorously (but strongly) critiques the Western notion that our upbringing is the source of our suffering as opposed to our personal collection of delusions and karma. The entire collection of video plus transcripts from Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s commentary on the Bodhicaryavatara is available on FPMT’s Online Learning Center within the “Special Commentaries” section. If you haven’t already registered, you must do so to access this exclusive free content. ◆

August 2011 MANDALA EZINE 9


Living in the PATH

Living in the Path FPMT'S EXPERIENTIAL LAM-RIM PROGRAM

Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe, Chenrezig Institute, Australia, 1975. Photo by Nick Ribush, restoration by David Zinn. Archival portrait (just the photo) available through Heart of the Moon Media.

10 MANDALA EZINE August 2011

In September of 2009, Lama Zopa Rinpoche began a historic and ongoing teaching event hosted by Kadampa Center in North Carolina, USA, called Light of the Path. Not only is this annual retreat (canceled this year due to Rinpoche’s health) one of the few teaching events that Rinpoche has initiated from his own side, but these teachings serve as the basis of the groundbreaking Living in the Path program, the first FPMT education program specifically designed to preserve the teaching and practice lineage of Lama Thubten Yeshe, the founder of FPMT, and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, FPMT’s spiritual director. As such, the entire program draws almost exclusively on the teachings of these two lamas. To date, Living in the Path has packaged the first two years of the Light of the Path retreat teachings into modules, available on the FPMT Online Learning Center. It is intended that, over time, a large and dynamic online community of students engaging with Living in the Path resources will form worldwide, creating a network of support and inspiration for practice and study. FPMT centers


and study groups have already started facilitating Living in the Path modules and the wish is that more and more centers will decide to do so. The modules focus on individual topics, each broken down into video clips, readings, meditations, mindfulness exercises and questions for contemplation and discussion. While the Light of the Path teaching event is based on Lama Atisha’s text Lamp of the Path to Enlightenment, during the retreat Lama Zopa Rinpoche has focused on how to generate our motivation for life, make every moment meaningful, and

engage in the practice of guru devotion most skillfully. In addition, Rinpoche has given detailed advice on how to practice specific rituals and practices regularly relied on within the FPMT, explaining both how and why these practices should be done. Therefore, a number of modules in the Living in the Path program present these essential instructions on how to do the Lama Chöpa Jorcho, the Seven Limb Prayer, the Requesting Prayer to the Lineage Lamas, and other important practices. Here we offer a tour of this essential FPMT education experience.

An Introduction to Living in the Path from Director of FPMT Education Services Merry Colony: To actualize the profound meaning of our and again that “not everybody has the fortune

name – Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition – FPMT must provide conditions for people to gain both scriptural understanding and realizations in the mind. One without the other will not produce realized beings capable of preserving the vast Mahayana tradition in its entirety. Scriptural understanding comes from dedicating great effort and time to the study of the philosophical texts from fully qualified teachers. To create the conditions for this, FPMT’s Masters and Basic Programs already offer curricula which delve into the great texts as studied for centuries by previous scholars and monastics. Lama Zopa Rinpoche reminds us time

to have a qualified teacher with whom to really study Buddhist philosophy, about the path. … The FPMT is extremely fortunate; we have so much opportunity to learn those different texts.” Now, with the emergence of the Living in the Path program, FPMT offers a practice curriculum providing the perfect conditions for gaining realizations in the mind. Living in the Path is an immersion into an experiential lamrim commentary taught by a living lineage master, FPMT’s spiritual director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche. This is a program that allows one to go deeply into the essential points of the path and to integrate them into one’s life. August 2011 MANDALA EZINE 11


Living in the PATH

Components of Living in the Path Each Living in the Path module offers several ways to engage with the material. Here we offer an overview of these components as well as examples from various modules: VIDEO EXCERPTS THAT CAPTURE KEY POINTS FROM LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE’S TEACHINGS AT THE LIGHT OF THE PATH TEACHING EVENT Each module contains powerful, pertinent video clips to help illustrate the main topics clearly and succinctly. From Module 1: Motivation for Life The Real Mediation is Lam-rim

From Module 5: Introduction to Atisha’s Text Oral Transmission of Atisha’s Lamp on the Path to Enlightenment

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PRACTICES AND GUIDED MEDITATIONS Through practice and meditation, we can move intellectual understanding from the head to the heart, from mere knowledge to realization. Familiarization with a topic by repeated meditation on it allows our thoughts and actions to become inseparable from the teachings. From Module 6: Happiness of Dharma This Amazing Opportunity This series of reflections taught by Lama Zopa Rinpoche helps us appreciate just how

rare and precious, how amazing, is the opportunity of our perfect human life. You can spend more or less time on any of the points contained within, in any number of meditations.

MINDFULNESS EXERCISES FOR DAILY LIFE Although mindfulness meditation is fundamental in all traditions of Buddhism, Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s instructions for practicing mindfulness are specific and unique. With the purpose of incorporating the teachings into everyday life, these pithy and practical exercises will help keep the mind attuned to the topic at hand while conducting one’s daily activities. From Module 4: Guru is Buddha General Awareness to Be Cultivated “OM AH HUM. I prostrate, offer, and generate great bliss!” Mindfulness Exercise #1 Every time you eat or drink, offer it first. Do the extensive offering as in the Yoga of Offering Food at least once each day.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, April 2011. Photo by George Manos.

Mindfulness Exercise #2 As you go about your day, be mindful to offer every beautiful object you encounter such as flowers, lights, scenery, etc. to your root guru or to any buddha or deity, remembering that they are the essence of all holy beings.

A SUGGESTED SERVICE COMPONENT Lama Yeshe was adamant that his students engage in regular “karma yoga,” or service to others, as part of their Dharma studies and practice. Each Living in the Path module includes suggestions for exercises to help meet this essential requirement for spiritual growth. From Module 1: Motivation for Life Service (Karma Yoga) At least once each day, reject concern for your own time, convenience, or pleasure and give happiness to another living being in some

tangible way. For instance, help someone with a task, offer something you want to someone else first, offer someone tea or a meal, etc. Note down what you did each day and how it made you feel. Be honest! August 2011 MANDALA EZINE 13


Living in the PATH

Debate in a Tibetan Buddhist monastic context is dynamic and energetic.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND CONTEMPLATION FOR STUDENT/ FACILITATOR REVIEW Discussion and debate are central features of the lively Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The inclusion of discussion and contemplation questions sets the stage for serious inquiry into the content of each module. patience and stopping anger. From Module 3: What Buddhists Believe Which technique for practicing patience Session Three – Questions for have you found to be the most effective for you Contemplation & Discussion Name three methods or lines of reasoning in your daily life? Why? that have been presented here for practicing 14 MANDALA EZINE August 2011


AN ONLINE FORUM FOR SHARING COMMENTS WITH OTHER STUDENTS AND ASKING QUESTIONS OF AN ELDER FPMT is incredibly fortunate to have scores of qualified Western and Tibetan Buddhist teachers, or “elders,” from whom to seek advice and guidance. Additionally, students are a valuable source for each other, brining individual successes and struggles to light. The online forum allows for students and elders to exchange ideas and offer support and guidance to one another. 1. Describe your experience of using the Mantras merit in big ways. This week, somehow, my for the Morning. mind felt more cooperative and I have been able to recite the “Increasing Effect” mantra, pretty 2. What is your understanding of how mantras consistently in the mornings. This is encourwork? aging and I will keep working at it. Somehow, in reciting this mantra I have a new sense of Lama Answer from Student: Zopa Rinpoche. I don’t know how to explain it, 1. My experience of using the Mantras for but there is a tiny nugget of Rinpoche in my Morning has been difficult. mind? This, too, feels very helpful. I cannot seem to get my mind to accept this routine, yet. All kinds of excuses appear: I have Response from Elder: to go to work; I didn’t sleep well; my house is I think you have come up with a good plan to too small and I’m not sure if I can do these incorporate the mantras slowly, slowly so that prayers with other members so close by; the it suits your mind. instructions seem complicated; I’m not sure I Over time, I have found these mantras to can pronounce the mantras properly, etc. be a great relief! It’s like if it is the only thing I I wrestled with a feeling of disrespecting get done, at least my speech is blessed, virtue is Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s instructions and was feel- multiplied and beings benefit by having any ing very bad. Then, I told myself: just start with interaction with me. what you CAN do! I keep re-reading the required A hamster friend of mine died recently and reading and have watched the video clips over. I at first I was disappointed that I didn’t have like the “Blessing the Speech” mantra because it time to recite mantras over him before he was seems like it will help with my fears about mis- disposed of…. But then I remembered I had pronunciation and also with keeping Buddha in done the mantras that make my body like a my mindstream, especially as I speak through- stupa on the day that I had met him. It was so out the day. I am going to try this as a start. cool to think that just by doing those mantras Where I live, it is winter right now, so I feel and having him see me that there had been off the hook for worrying about insects outside benefit and in all likelihood, he would not be for “Blessing the Feet” mantra, but I am glad I reborn in the lower realms! have access to this mantra for when the season As my meditation practice is not always changes because I have always been wondering that powerful, especially in recent years due to how to manage the deaths of all the insects on health issues, I appreciate the power of mantra my windshield when I drive my car. more and more. I, too, feel a “little bit of Rinpoche” when 2. Different mantras seem to do different things. I do this practice. It’s sweet. Basically, however, they increase virtues and Thanks for writing, Kendall, Elder August 2011 MANDALA EZINE 15


Living in the PATH

Where Living in the Path Fits within FPMT Education Programming

The Masters Program is held at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa in Pomaia, Italy.

FPMT offers nine standard programs. Some of these programs are taught only in centers while others can be followed in homestudy or online formats. Two FPMT programs – the Masters Program and Maitripa College – are hosted only in Pomaia, Italy, and Portland, Oregon, USA, respectively. With a broad variety of curricula, program style and length, and locations to choose from it is best to investigate what you are looking for and then identify the program best suited to your particular needs and aspirations. A detailed description of all FPMT programs can be found online. Those who will be best served by the Living in the Path program are students who feel a personal connection to Lama Thubten Yeshe and/or Lama Zopa Rinpoche and who want to deepen their personal practice and understanding by relying on the heart advice and teachings of these two great masters. Living in the Path is unique amongst FPMT programs in that it relies solely on the teachings of these two teachers (teachings from Lama 16 MANDALA EZINE August 2011

Yeshe will start to be added in 2012). To date the course materials for this program are drawn exclusively from Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Light of the Path annual teaching retreat and it is hoped that this will resume in 2012. In the first two years, all of the teachings were preliminary to receiving the actual commentary of the text because, as Rinpoche explains, a teaching can only be an effective tool of transformation if it is preceded by proper preparation. If you would like to do some initial investigation of what the Tibetan Buddhist tradition has to offer, it is advised to start with Meditation 101, Buddhism in a Nutshell, or Heart Advice for Death and Dying. If you would like an intermediate-level overview, one may prefer to engage with FPMT’s Discovering Buddhism or Foundation of Buddhist Thought programs. If you would like to study the philosophical texts in depth, it is best to engage with FPMT’s Masters Program, Basic Program or Maitripa College. If you would like to actualize the very foundation of the path and learn how to make


every moment of your life the most meaningful, then Living in the Path is an excellent choice. Accessing Living in the Path requires that you register with the FPMT Online Learning Center. Once there you will find several FPMT study programs with new modules added regularly. You will also find a free module of Discovering Buddhism and Living in the Path as well as a growing list of French and Spanish options. In essence, your access to Tibetan Buddhism’s transformative teachings will be expanded exponentially as a result of the Online Learning Center. All modules can be purchased individually via the Foundation Store or if you find Living in the Path, or any of the other online programs worth exploring further (we think you will!), you may wish to become a Friend of FPMT at the Dharma Supporter level or higher. This will grant you

unlimited access to all that the Online Learning Center has to offer. Students around the globe have already reported through emails and discussion forms that they are seeing real positive change in their lives through engagement with FPMT’s Living in the Path and other online programs. Please investigate the power of these transformative programs yourself. You can engage as little, or as much, as you are able. The online format allows you complete control of the time you spend. “Externally, FPMT is doing quite well,� Lama Zopa Rinpoche recently remarked. “Now we have to put effort into gaining realizations like the lam-rim. It is very important to at least try.� ◆

                     

                

     

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August 2011 MANDALA EZINE 17


Foundation for the Preservation of the MahayanaTradition

Online Learning Center FPMT programs available online!

Buddhism in a Nutshell

Death & Dying

Meditation 101

Living in the Path

Discovering Buddhism

Basic Program

Online Learning Center programs include: • • • • •

Video teachings Audio teachings and meditations Written transcripts Readings Daily practices

• • • • •

Mindfulness exercises for daily life Karma yoga exercises Online quizzes Online discussion forum Completion certificate

Individual modules available from the FPMT Foundation Store: http://shop.fpmt.org OR become a Dharma Supporter Friend of FPMT and receive free access to all online programs and a subscription to Mandala magazine: www.fpmt.org/friends

• FREE! Discovering Buddhism module two, How to Meditate • FREE! Living in the Path module one, Motivation for Life

FPMT Media Center: High-definition streaming video of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Light of the Path teachings are available in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and German.

The Online learning Centre is an absolutely, wonderful incredible resource. Truly, what a gift! Thank you. – Mary, Canada, August 2010

http://onlinelearning.fpmt.org


Community FORUM

Discussion Topic WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL RETREAT GOALS FOR THIS LIFETIME? Please send your responses to michael@fpmt.org or post them on Facebook! Responses will be printed in the December issue of Mandala eZine. Drawing by Emma Bramma-Smith

RESPONSE TO LAST ISSUE’S DISCUSSION TOPIC (What are you personally doing to prepare for death or to help others at the time of death?) Tara Allan Stewart, North Carolina, USA: I had the honor of caring for my mother through an in-home hospice program. We had a wonderful time! My dad was with us. One time Mom fell, and I’m disabled and could not lift her. As she was not hurt, I just sat down on the floor with her until we got her back up. It was just as she had once done for me when I was in a body cast and played on the floor. I held her, sang to her, and when the end came, I took her through a meditation about flying like an eagle up and out and free. As she eased me into this life, I eased her into death and into the peace and rest for which her body and spirit longed. I learned that death is a gentle friend. My mother died, and a great being was reborn. My whole life is blessed by my mother’s life and death. How lucky I am! Jeff Coleman, Oregon City, Oregon, USA: I added a clear, structured body practice (vinyasa yoga) to my sitting practice to remind myself that I am alive right now with a body

that is active, capable, and willing to experience clarity, health, and change. This has actually brought more stillness and discipline to my sitting practice. The two systems complement each other and remind me that change is very, very real and physical. ◆ Resources Available for Helping Others at the Time of Death Liberation Box, Tools for a Fortunate Rebirth contains powerful methods for ensuring a fortunate rebirth for those who have died or are in the process of dying. The box has everything you need to assist others at the time of death. Heart Practices for Death and Dying includes the most important practices and prayers for the time of death. Heart Advice for Death and Dying includes an explanation of the five powers at the time of death and other essential advice. This book also includes a MP3 CD audio course led by Ven. Sangye Khadro on death and dying. Wholesome Fear: Transforming Your Anxiety About Impermanence and Death. (Available through Wisdom Publications.)

August 2011 MANDALA EZINE 19


Community FORUM

Photo Bulletin Board end us a photo of you or a group with an issue of Mandala and we’ll post it on our bulletin board in the next eZine. This is an excellent opportunity for us to visualize the amazing international community of teachers, students and friends that make up the FPMT family. To see more of the FPMT community reading their Mandalas, visit our Facebook page. Send your photos to michael@fpmt.org or post them on Facebook!

S

Some of the students from Centro Shiwa Lha in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Standing: Roberto Rodrigues, Ivan Pedrosa Jr., Jorge Casella, Vitor Imata, Vera Prates, Neyl Soares. Sitting: Gilberto Cavalcanti, Tamaia Edeltraud, Natasha Santos, Sheyla Costa, JosĂŠ Moraes.

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Students from Maitripa College’s classical Tibetan language summer intensive class in Portland, Oregon, USA

Hugo Alcalde, Maialen Alcaire, Marilena Molinaro, Alicia Alcaire, Ainara Alcaire and Martin Viera, students from Thubten Kunkyab Study Group in Montevideo, Uruguay

August 2011 MANDALA EZINE 21


Media PAGES

Featured Media FEATURED AUDIO: “We’re All Delusional, It’s Just a Question of Degree” By Ven. Robina Courtin

Ven. Robina Courtin, ordained for nearly 35 years and an early student of Lama Yeshe’s, is a direct and dynamic speaker, famous for cutting through her students’ foggy thinking and challenging them to see how Buddhism is a radical system of psychology – practical and nonreligious at its core. “We’re All Delusional, It’s Just a Question of Degree” examines the nature of our most basic negative emotions – attachment, hatred and ignorance – to reveal their deceptive and destructive qualities. This excerpt comes from a course at Tong-nyi Nying-je Ling in Denmark in June 2011. You can find this and other courses in their entirety on Tong-nyi Nying-je Ling’s freely accessible audio archive. FEATURED VIDEO: “Becoming an Inner Being” By Ven. Thubten Dondrub and His Holiness the Dalai Lama

In this excerpt from FPMT’s Discovering Buddhism, Ven. Thubten Dondrub and His Holiness the Dalai Lama discuss taking refuge, a practice wherein a student trains to see the faults and imperfections of their ordinary existence and learns to rely on the Three Jewels – the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha – as qualified guides able to demonstrate a path to peerless happiness. Ven. Dondrub speaks about “becoming an inner being,” that is, recognizing that external phenomena are not the source of one’s ultimate happiness. His Holiness the Dalai Lama deepens our understanding by summarizing three different types of refuge: Mahayana refuge, refuge from samsara and refuge from rebirth in the lower realms. This and other videos can be found on FPMT’s Online Learning Center. 22 MANDALA EZINE August 2011


FEATURED PICTURE: “Bodhicitta Education Research and Retreat Center for Developing Human Potential Retreat Group, Indiana, 1975” Photo by George Propps. This photo comes courtesy of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

The Bodhicitta Education Research and Retreat Center for Developing Human Potential, with the help of Louie-Bob Wood in 1974, was the first Western center established by Lama Yeshe. Only open for two years, the

center never established a relationship with FPMT. Louie-Bob Wood had attended the fifth Kopan course in 1973 after a series of not-sosubtle cues that she should visit Nepal. August 2011 MANDALA EZINE 23


Media PAGES One night in 1968, while talking with her husband, Don, in front of their TV, which was turned off, he suddenly pointed to the set saying, “Look!” “On the blank screen, clear as a bell, was the image of a monk,” Louie-Bob remembers. “First he looked at me then he turned and looked at Don. He had the most intense eyes we had ever seen. His look seemed to tell us that he not only knew precisely what we were thinking at that particular moment, but also everything we had ever thought. We didn’t exactly go around telling everyone about this incident. “Five years later a series of coincidences led me to the fifth course at Kopan. I was full of anticipation. Two weeks or so into the course Lama Zopa Rinpoche walked into the tent,

having just shaved his head. Suddenly, I realized that his was the face I had seen on the TV. I waited two weeks before telling him about it. He listened intently then said: ‘It was for a reason.’ I gave him a little sterling silver cross I had worn for years. “At this stage I still hadn’t seen Lama Yeshe, until one evening I walked into his candle-lit room. The impact of it overwhelmed me – he just filled the room. I said: ‘I suppose each person who comes to see you believes fate has brought them here.’ ‘Yes, yes,’ he said. Then he reached into his shirt and produced my little silver cross. Suddenly, I realized what was going on, that the image of Rinpoche I had seen on the television screen had been sent by Lama Yeshe. ‘You sent him,’ I said.” ◆

THE INTERNATIONAL

MERIT BOX PROJECT W E A L L H A V E A W O R D F O R G E N E R O S I T Y:

慷慨 g en erø site t vrij ge vi gh ei d suu rem ee lsu s ka ga nd ah ang -lo ob h ào phó ng 寛大な g é nér osité g ene ro sità G roß züg ig ke it щедрость g en e r os i da de ke m u r ah an g e n er o s i t e t ga v m i l d h e t G e n er o z i t a t e a Practice generosity with your own International Merit Box kit, now available in eleven languages. Email meritbox@fpmt.org for more information and to obtain your own Merit Box kit, or visit www.fpmt.org/meritbox If you are already an International Merit Box participant, thank you for practicing generosity today, and throughout the year, in support of FPMT projects worldwide.

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Mandala eZine August 2011