Gompaland

Pictures

Here come Pictures of our Land in West-Bengal

People

Who is living on Gompaland

Eating

How to get food on Gompaland

Sleeping

What you need for the night

Practicing

How you can do practice

Health

Healthy in India


Pictures

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First Gompa

The first Gompa was not on the place where Rinpoche lastly decided to build. It was made from bambu and cotton.
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Building site

The place were the Gompa finally was founded was sorrounded by bambu huts for people sharing butterlamp-retreat.

Digging

Local people digging holes for the pillows made of concret.
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Basement

The gompa is growing and the floor of the main-hall is made.

First-floor

The first floor was finished and second floor was made of bambu and cotton. While retreat butterlamp was burned in this kind of tent.
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Finished

The main building is finished

People

Who lives right now at gompaland and what is their job or duty?

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Passang together with his wife Chandrakala and his two year old daughter Dawa Lhamo are the longest staying at gompaland. He is a kind of handyman, caretaker for the gompaland who has an eye and hand at every work which is going on. Already as a young boy he was helping out at Rinpoche’s home.
Besides him we (Anne, Sebastian and Yeshe) still live here. Since we have finished our retreat, we tried to make ourselves somehow useful and right now our main baby –besides Yeshe- is the library for which we just prepared a catalogue and ordered two big bookshelves units. More about that we will write a bit later this letter. Then there is Kela and Choesang, two brothers from Zilnon village in Sikkim close to Tashiding. These two brothers were among the first young monks residing at our gompa and with that we reach one of the main themes of this letter
Kela Dorje Lepcha (13) and Choesang Dorje Lepcha (12) belong to a fairly well educated Sikkimese family. Their father is a lama and Tibetan teacher and as well as their mother. Both joined school till class 4 and 3 and both do speak a little bit English. They came to our gompa last year in December together with two other boys and Lama Kunzang (also from Zilnon) who was supposed to be their teacher and lama. It was planned that these four boys should be trained and educated at our gompa to become a lama. Besides them, Lama Kunzang brought his whole family consisting of three boys (one not even a year old) and his wife.
To make it short, Lama Kunzang left the gompa together with his family and two of the four boys and returned to Sikkim. Why he left is not clear because he never really talked about it. Just one day he said: “Tomorrow we will leave.” We all (Ugen, Sashi, Anne and Sebastian) tried to talk with them in order to find out what happened with them in order to find out what happened but without success. However we think it simply was too much work and a too hard climate for them, so they preferred to leave us and the gompa. He has a lot of skills but honestly, he was not able to cope with his task as a teacher and leader of monks. Now Kela and Choesang are the only two left here. Their parents wish them both still to be educated at our gompa. Unfortunately they have almost lost a year because Kunzang taught them nothing they did not knew already. After Kunzang left, Ugen and Sashi taught them for some time but they really have enough work to do as you will see later on.

Ugen is looking out for a new teacher (and also takes Choezangs and Kelas father was supposed to do so) but he is thinking he won’t find any this year. Instead he got already a few applications for little monks from Darjeeling and Mirik but had to tell their parents to wait until our gompa is ready to educate them or watch out for other possibilities.

For Kela and Choesang we try to do with them at least one small puja a day and a big one at the special days like Guru Rinpoche Day. From time to time we take them out. For example once we were for a visit at Kalu Rinpoche’s gompa in Sallugara and another time we have been to a Mela (a fair) but that is all we can do for them. The problem is to find a teacher with a sense of responsibility who is able and willing to deal with the climate and a gompa in its infancy. But who will do this as Rinpoche is barely known among the young lamas today!

In order that these two boys don’t lose much more of their precious time to learn, a solution for that problem has to be found. But also we have to say we are glad and grateful that these two remained when all others were going.

Eating

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  • You have two ways to get food. You can eat in Pasang-House or you cook by yourself.
  • When you pefer to cook by yourself, you need a cooker functioning with Petrol or Cerosin. You can get this from a local dealer ...

Sleeping

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  • From December to January you need warm sleeping back.
  • All season you need mosquito-net (you can buy in Shivmandir or Siliguri)
  • In spring and summer snakes or scorpions can enter your bed ... look!

Practicing

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Practice you can do in
  • In Gompa you have very beautyful Paintings, but you have to look for other people also like doing some Practice
  • In the hut you are more free, but remember other people may be like to sleep
  • Outside any place of the land you are free, but look for animals.

Health

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  • Bring your personal medicin with you
  • You need plaster, ... ... ...