Articles in categorie News

BEWARE, Latest news are on the Blog www.khordong-byangter.over-blog.org
Lhabab Dhuchen
Together for the 20th butterlamp retreat
About English Teaching April 2010
19th Butterlamp success
News about our Lamas June 2009
Situation in May'09 and futur plans May 21st, 2009
18th Butterlamp news and pictures april 4th, 2009
Nyungnae - Butterlamp retreat - Christmas Greetings 26.12.2008
Recitation successfully completed 28.10.08 Buddha Mandir
Sampa Lhundrup 111.111 recitations starting on October 14th, 2008 ( Full Moon day )
May'08 newsletter
More... Older news

BEWARE, Latest news are on the Blog

www.khordong-byangter.over-blog.org

Top

As most of you could already noticed, Since february 2010 the news about the activities of Khordong Byangter Monastery are now being published on our blog:

www.khordong-byangter.over-blog.org

The best for you is to go and get yourself registered on the blog so that you can receive all the latest news as soon as they are published.

The website will of course remain and fulfill its purpose of providing you content about the Khordong Byangter Lineage, The Chhimed Rigdzin Society, Terchen Tulku Chhimed Rigdzin Society and so on.

It is our wish to create a direct link from the website to the log. Meanwhile please take the habit to go to the blog to check the news.



Lhabab Dhuchen

Top

The celebration of Lhabab Duchen is around the corner and Khordong Byangter Monastery is getting ready. It is one of the four festival commemorating important deeds in the life of the Buddha.

This festival is celebrated to observe the descent of Lord Buddha from heaven where he went at the age of 41 to give teachings to the gods in order to repay the kindness of his mother by liberating her  from Samsara. He returned to earth from the Heaven of the thirty three with the help of the god Viswakarma who prepared for him a special triple ladder.

On Lhabab Duchen the effects of positive or negative actions are multiplied ten million times. It is part of Tibetan Buddhist tradition to engage in virtuous activities and prayers and this day.

Tulku Ugen together with the monks will start the celebration on October 29th, 2010, with the performance of the Big Rigdzin practice and then in the afternoon the texts that have been given to the monastery at the last Nyingma monlam will be open and part of them will be read continuously for the next four days. This texts comprise the Nyigma Gyubum, the Kangyur and the Tengyur.

These prayers will be dedicated to the swift return of our teacher Terton Tulku Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche and to the prosperity of the sangha, to the various gompa related to him and to his lineage.



Together for the 20th butterlamp retreat

Top

Taking into consideration the request of a few during his vist to Europe this summer, Tulku Ugen has decided to bring the dates of the butterlamp retreat back to their original period for this year. So Tulku Ugen confirms with you once again that the butterlamp retreat will be held at Khordong Byangter Gompa from December 25th 2010 to january 14th 2011.

It is recommended for those of you who plan to take part in the retreat to confirm their arrival as soon as possible in order to book the rooms for them.

In order to celebrate the 20th butterlamp retreat several things are being prepared which shall be communicated once confirmed.

The most important and the greatest wish is to see as many students of Rinpoche together here as possible to make this event a warm and powerful commemoration, a celebration of these 2 millions lamps offered for world peace and the benefit of all sentient beings in these times.




Meanwhile, the year comes to an end and with it our savings for the daily activities of the gompa. Please, any donation to support the activities for the year 2011 are most welcome and needed.



About English Teaching

April 2010

Top

This year for the first time our lamas have taken English class with a fully train English teacher from England thanks to Lindsay Young who volunteered to teach them during her stay here at the gompa.

 


The teachings could take place every morning over a period of one month till the end of March. Children were absolutely delighted from that experience. Lindsay got very good at making them talk in English with each other and surprisingly we could catch some of them practicing their English while playing together or taking shower

 

 

 


Unfortunately Lindsay had to fly back to the U.K. On her last day we had a very nice exchange of songs and the lamas got given reading books and new school bags. All here are looking forward for her return next year; meanwhile it is very much our wish to receive somebody else who is wishing to teach them English on a regular basis over a certain period of time. If such experience is of your interest please let us know, do drop us an email at thechhimedrigdzinsociety@yahoo.com

19th Butterlamp success

Top

February 19th, 2010

 

Time flies and we already missed the chance to wish you all a very happy Losar on time. Anyway the tiger is already jumping around happily and we really wish he will be good to each and every one of you.

 

This year’s appeal for the 19th butterlamp retreat got a very positive and generous feedback. Quite a few French speaking people made their way here, together with some Germans and a British, making a very harmonious and dedicated group for the retreat. All of you who supported this retreat were very much here with us, while your names were read aloud in the gompa during a tsog break. It was our way to say thank you and to inform everybody how many people were actually part of it.

 

The pujas started on January 24th with 3600 lamps on both tables of offering. Our 14 lamas together with 12 westerners were lead by Tulku Ugen  in this beautiful and deep process through our everyday ceremonies.

 

Having been requested, Tulku Ugen accepted to give the wang of Padmasambhava on the last full moon day of the Tibetan year. On that occasion we had a very joyful day together. We then left on pilgrimage to Tashiding for two days. There we could practice in the Guru Lakhang while a temporary lamp house had been prepared. On Dakini day Tulku Ugen got requested to give the lung of the Machig Labdron guru yoga. From this moment the sound of the Machig Mala song was with us till the end of the retreat.

 

On February 10th we left to Kachopelri wishful filing lake with the very clear intention to go there pray and make offerings in the name of each member of the sangha, with the very special request to see our Rinpoche back among us soon. The weather was wonderful with a very clear blue sky. We all could practice together in front of the lake. During lunch time Tulku Ugen tied the knots between many many prayer flags, making the wish that all these knots tied together could symbolize the union and harmony of our sangha. Even though there was only a few of us, we were all very aware that each and everyone represented the whole of us as a sangha in this very strong wish and request. Then the flags got hung high in the sky and we completed the lamp offering prayer, before to head back to Tashiding for our last evening.

 

On February 11th most of us went back to gompa to close the retreat with the last lamps offering. We all arrived exhausted yet so happy and aware to have participated at something very profound. Meanwhile the lamas had prepared the torma for the ritual of Vajrakilaya to be performed on the Gutor’s day. We then decorated the gompa and got ready for the losar which we celebrated on February 14th with great joy while inaugurating the new open air classrooms in presence of Amala. This got followed by much dances and songs and a very delicious late lunch. For the first time in Khordong Byangter Gompa we were more than 40 people to celebrate Losar together as some of the guardians of our monks came to join us together with more westerners. This gave to the day a great feeling of auspiciousness.

 

Sarwa Mangalam,

 

News about our Lamas

June 2009

Top

Greetings from India,

 

These few lines are written to keep you informed of the evolution of our young lamas here in India at Khordong Byangter Gompa.

On the overall we can say that they have grown up a lot, in size as well as in mental development. Their minds have been broaden up and disciplined throughout last year education program. Families could already witness the changes in January this year when we went to make lamp offering in Yuksom, the place of origin for quite a number of them.

 

Last year was fully dedicated to teach the younger ones Tibetan language and grammar, while the elder ones were deepening their understanding and learning by heart the Big Rigdzin. Since February they have all passed to the next level of learning the foundations of Buddhist philosophy.

 

Starting from the 4 disciplines all the way to the 4 nobel truths, including the 10 virtues and 10 non-virtues, the 6 paramitas, the five poisons, the five wisdoms, the 4 joys, the two obscurations, the 6 realms of existence, the 3 Kayas and so on. They are learning these precepts from excerpts of the Kunzang Lamai Zhelung ( Words of my Perfect Teacher) as well as from the 37 verses of the Bodhisattva and some others texts selected by their teacher.

 

These teachings are making a big impact on them and can be seen in their change of behavior for most of them. They are also going forward in their learning of puja texts.

Having learned by heart the Small and Big Rigdzin last year, they started this year with the Marme Monlam while the elder ones are learning the Byangter Ngondro also known as 5 nails, together with the Byangter lineage prayer and Byangter protector puja. Recently they have also started to learn how to perform the Drowa Kundrol (Chenresig) puja. The elder ones have also learned very fast and well from Norbula to make tormas for various types of pujas.

 

In parallel they receive daily teachings of English, Math and General Knowledge. English is a long process to teach them, especially for the younger ones. But even them, slowly start to speak and try to make themselves understood, while elder ones can now understand nicely but remain shy to speak it.

 

On the first week of June they all had their exams and did very well in general.

 

At last, once a week since the month of March, they now have Art classes where they specially learn drawing with great joy. It is also our wish to slowly introduce them to music. All the classes are taking place in the forest with a very precarious set up, the young lamas and their teachers are then quite eager to see the construction of the study grounds completed soon. So far pillars for two study grounds are erected and the work is going on.

  

The sad news is that 3 of them have left our Gompa. Wangchuk and Dorje Wangdi had to leave respectively for discipline reasons, while Lakpa had to go back to Sonada for health reasons, at the request of his mother. He is now studying at Kalu Rinpoche Gompa there. While Wangchuk follows his grand-father to perform pujas in their neighborhood and Dorje Wangdi clearly stated he did not want to become a monk and wishes to become a mechanician. Meanwhile the young Migma from Yuksom has joined us last April.

 

Otherwise our four lamas studying in Shimla are developing very well and are extremely happy with their life over there. Going through the process of education according the Byangter system, learning the dances and rituals and so much more.

 

It is Tulku Ugen wishes to accept 10 more lamas before the end of this year, together with another teacher to strengthen the structure of the team.

 

Thank you for your support all along the year.

 

Sarwa Mangalam,



Situation in May'09 and futur plans

May 21st, 2009

Top

Hello everyone,

 

We already are mid-May and rushing against the time to complete several tasks before the raining season truly starts around June. Since last February a lot of work has been done to beautify the place and to make it more comfortable to live. Fencing is one of the main new tasks of this year. Yes, fencing big areas of the land in order to plant more trees, fruit trees and vegetables as well as flowers in a place protected from the goats, cows and villagers. This shall bring a big change on the overall feeling of the place, while waiting to have a proper boundary wall. At the moment we could say we are half way through the work.

 

In the mean time work to drain parts of the land is being done by digging channels and putting up some pipes in order to direct the water through the land to avoid living in a swamp during the 3 months of the raining seasons and to protect the plantations from these overflowing waters coming from the surrounding rice fields.

 

The other major task of the year is to paint Rinpoche’s Stupa as well as the Gompa on the outside. It is already 7 years since the Gompa was first painted and to protect the building it really needs to be done this year. So it was for the Stupa.

The Stupa just got completed yesterday after three weeks work, then the Gompa shall follow. Of course this incurs big expenditures.

 

Painting wise, we finally could get an artist to complete the Gompa paintings inside. Jampel is from Bhutan and was part of Khumbu’s apprentice while the paintings were made here in 2002. Khumbu being too busy in Bhutan for the past 2 years we invited Jampel to come. He has just arrived and has a lot of work. He is requested to paint the four guardian kings and the wheel of life on the ground floor. The green and white Tara at the entrance of the Chenresig lakhang on the first floor and to paint Dorje Drollo mandala inside Rinpoche’s Stupa together with the lineage gurus. That shall give him 3 months of work minimum.

 

Meanwhile the kitchens of the Guest House got completed. A set of 3 kitchens and a dining room is now available for the guests who wish to stay here for some time. The Guest House is now surrounded with a nice and comfortable veranda, flowers and trees are being planted all around, so we could say that the Guest House is finally completed.

 

We also have another two projects pending:

 

First of all, Tulku Ugen wishes to give shelter to our novices while they are receiving teachings in the wood during the hot period of March to November. Which means building 3 study grounds with roof as it is done in Shantiniketan. The three locations have already been defined and marked in the wood next to Rinpoche’s Stupa. This project will give proper seats and tables for our young lamas to study well. So far they are seating on the floor with small mat only and have to dismantle their black board, teachers’chair and tables at each break, which is tedious and not convenient for them.

  

The other project is to build a cremation ground on the land. Tulku Ugen has asked Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche and Dodrupchen Rinpoche’s view and opinion for such project; both were very surprised with the idea and were very much in favor of it, encouraging Tulku Ugen to get it done.

In the surrounding area there is no proper cremation ground for the Buddhist community all around Siliguri, yet a lot of Buddhist families live there especially during the winter period, there are also many Bhutanese people who come here to undergo treatments for their cancer. We believe this cremation ground would be for the benefit of all and will make our Gompa take a step further within the local community while being asked to perform the rituals for the deceased.

 

Programs:

 

Tulku Ugen Chencho Lama:

 

At the moment Tulku Ugen is trying to organize his summer tour in Europe according to the several invitations he has received. Details will be sent to you once confirmed. 

Otherwise regarding Khordong Byangter Gompa and its program, some changes will occur this year and some new event shall be organized.

 

19th Butterlamp retreat:

 

First of all the time of our annual Butterlamp retreat shall be moved forward in order to start on January 24th  afternoon and end on February 11th, 2010 one day before the Gutor ceremony which is performed in all Gompas at that time in order to dispel all obstacles for the year to come and which will prepare us for the celebration of Losar, the Tibetan New Year on February 14th, 2010.

Then a 6 days tour to Sikkim together with Tulku Ugen shall be proposed to the participants to go and perform pujahs together at Tashiding and most specially at Kachopelri Lake this year from February 16th to February 21st, 2010.

This change will allow us to link the Butterlamp retreat together with the Tibetan New Year celebration and will allow the western participants to celebrate Christmas and New Year at home with their family and friends.

 

2nd Nyungnae:

 

After last year first experience and people’s wish to have it renewed, a nyungnae of 4 “Cha” meaning 8 days shall take place at our Gompa in the month of November. As last year all participants are most welcome to take part in this very simple and profound practice of Thugje Chenpo.

 

1st Kangyur and Tengyur Recitation:

 

It has been Tulku Ugen’s wish to organize the recitation of the Kangyur an Tengyur here at Khordong Byangter Gompa since the inauguration in 2002. But there always were other priorities to attend first. After last year success of 100.000 Sampa Lhundrub recitations and thanks to our capacity of receiving lamas with proper accommodation and general structure we now feel confident to organize such event.

This recitation is being done on yearly basis in all main Gompas, it requires several weeks for quite a good number of lamas to successfully complete the reading of Lord Buddha’s teachings and their commentaries. The recitation shall be ended with the taking out of the texts all around the land as it was done every year at the time of our beloved Rinpoche, H.H Chhimed Rigdzin Lama.

Dates must be confirmed, but it shall take place between October and November 2009. It also depends if enough donations are being received to make it happen.

 

Whoever wants to take part into our projects and events here are most welcome. Those of you who will have the chance to meet Tulku Ugen in Europe could get more details about it directly from him; otherwise we will keep you posted through further emails.

 

Sarwa Mangalam,



18th Butterlamp news and pictures

april 4th, 2009

Top

After a long silence we come back to you to confirm with joy that 111.111 Butterlamps were successfully offered at our Khordong Byangter Gompa, this year once again thanks to your unconditional support.

The retreat went on in a steady way while we had the pleasure to have the visit of several dharma brothers and sisters during the process. Before to go to Yuksom we had the chance to view videos of  Rinpoche. One was on the butterlamp retreat in Sarnath and some of our participants could see themselves there which gave us the occasion of a good laugh. It was really great for all of us and especially for our monks who could see Rinpoche practicing the Big Rigdzin with his disciples. It brought meaning and confidence to them and much joy and some nostalgy to some of us...Eh Lama Khyenno!!!


The offering of lamps in Yuksom was of course the pic of our time. We reached there quite late in the evening and had to start everything in order to get ready for the first offerings in the morning. The people of Yuksom who were receiving us at Norbugang Chorten did not expect that we will stay up till late for the first 1000 lamps to be ready and for the small “mani lakhang” to be set with electricity and other necessities required. From the first day while the pujahs were going on local people helped us to keep up the pace of cleaning and filling the lamps.


On the second day we had the chance to be received by H.H Yangthang Rinpoche for a personal audience during which he kindly granted us a Tsewang “long life”. We could introduce him our endeavour and motivation, we could ask him questions and pieces of advises in a very open manner. Rinpoche gave recommendations to our young lamas as for us he advised to keep our Rinpoche close to our heart, to continue the practices we have received and to be patient and faithfull.

Rinpoche also expressed his wish to come and visit our Gompa on his next trip down to the plain. Yangthang Rinpoche knew well our Rinpoche and has close ties with Khordong Gompa in Kham.


On the last day, to honour the request of the people of Yuksom, Tulku Ugen accepted to give a public Tsewang just after the Big Rigdzin Pujah during which we had offered a huge tsok. The mani Lakhang got fully packed and people were contented.


During the afternoon we had the time to visit the holy lake and the various Lakhangs and Gompas of Yuksom. During this tour we had the chance to meet with Gomchen lama who was taking the sun in front of a shop.


In the evening the people of Yuksom had prepare for us a joyful program of traditional dances and songs which we all enjoyed. Our coming to Yuksom was particularly important due to the fact that our Lopon Choewang and 9 of our young lamas come from Yuksom and its surroundings. It was very good to meet with the families and their life.

It was then time to go back to offer the last 3000 lamps and close the ceremony while our lamas stayed up for two weeks holidays.


We celebrated the end and the success of this 18th Butterlamp retreat with a very nice super tasty and happy dinner invited by Tulku Ugen and Shashi in their home.



Nyungnae - Butterlamp retreat - Christmas Greetings

26.12.2008

Top

All of us here wish you had a very joyful Christmas, on 25th we celebrated Rinpoche’s birthday with Amala and his family in a simple and very warm way.

The 18th Butter lamp retreat has started with a few participants but we expect a few more by the end of the month to celebrate New Year. The hard work has started and the sound of the Big Rigdzin fills the air everyday while we are already planning for the trip to Yuksom from January 9th to January 12th. This year we started the retreat with our minds at ease, as thanks to few of you the cost of the Dalda has been fully covered, while the fees of the participants will cover the rest of our expenses.

 

The first Nyungnae held in our Gompa ended on December 21st after three “ Cha” were completed, meaning three period of two days during which commitments are taken. A total of 40 people took part in this event which kept the Gompa busy and alive. Thanks to Nadia Maati and her friends and teachers from Manjushri Institute in Darjeeling a transliteration of the Nyungnae text could be prepared on time, allowing the westerners to participate and follow the pujahs. It has been a great experience for everybody. Buddhist people from the surrounding and parents of some of our lamas were very happy to join and discover Khordong Byangter Gompa as a place where they could come to do practice and feel at home, while for the westerners it was a brand new experience and all were impressed by the depth and strength of such practice. The fasting and silent days were definitely the most powerful ones, and many of us would have enjoyed seeing the process last another 2 or 4 more “ Cha”, despite the intensity of the practice. We were all sleeping inside the Gompa, which was creating quite a special atmosphere over the days. Our Nyungnae Lama was Lopon Tobden from Kachoperi in Sikkim, to conduct Nyungnae is his specialty and he really did a great job together with the help of the Dorje Lopon of Kachoperi. Our Lopon Choewang and small lamas together with the help of Om the English teacher, the cooks and Sashi were looking after us in a very dedicated way allowing the participants to concentrate on the practice.

 

All of us at Khordong Byangter Gompa take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy New Year 2009 and we deeply wish that this 18th Butterlamp offering will help keep our world in Peace and Harmony despite the growing sounds of war between India and Pakistan and the global economic downturn growing up.

 

Sarva Mangalam



Recitation successfully completed

28.10.08 Buddha Mandir

Top
Today India celebrates the festival of lights known as Diwali and we are very happy to inform you that the recitation of Sampa Lhundrub prayers has been successfully completed. A total of 121.000 recitations have been reached by 49 lamas from here and various Gompas of West Sikkim over a period of 13 days. Many of them were connected with our Lopon Choewang as his childhood classmates. 9 of them had completed their 3 years retreat and several of them had finished their education in a Shedra.
This recitation started on the full moon day with the Big Rigdzin and the beautiful surprise to see two buses filled with 20 European people coming to visit the Gompa and pay their respect to our Rinpoche on their way to the airport. Over the days, it was with great joy that we received several Rinpoche’s students who came here to join into the recitation. It gave much strength and meaning to this Endeavour and it created a link between those lamas who never heard about him and the aim of this recitation. It allowed those lamas to hear stories about C.R Lama and made them wish to know more about him. So at the request of some of them we could watch all together the video of Rinpoche in Wales, which had much impact on them and made all Tashiding lamas very happy to see and hear Rinpoche once again
Meanwhile on a daily basis, we could say that it was a hard job. Starting at 6 in the morning and going on till 6 in the evening with short breaks in between. Many of the lamas lost their voices after few days of full speed recitation and were treated with Ayurvedic medicine by Om our English teacher who looked into the coordination of the work outside the lakhang and supplied them with regular cups of tea, juices and hot water, helped by the younger ones here. Norbu Gyaltsen was our main Umze, supported by one lama from Kechopari. 
At lunch break many lamas enjoyed swimming in the pound as the weather was still very hot, with clear blue skies and the hills in the background. During these two weeks the gompa was very alive and was fulfilling her role, giving each and everyone involved a feeling of joy. All this has been made possible thanks to the endless efforts of Tulku Ugen and Shashi with the help of our staff.
On the last day the ceremony was closed with the small Rigdzin and the offering of a big tsog. Amalha with the help of Shashi, Nise and Rinpoche’s students offered khatak and thanks to each involved. At last Rinpoche’s photo was offered and we all enjoyed a very good lunch.
During this time the Guesthouse was once again under construction in order to add a veranda all around it and some kitchens for the comfort of our guests.

May our root Guru Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche receive the call sent from here and come back to us swiftly to turn the wheel of dharma once again.May all his wishes be fulfilled.May his Yangsi be granted with a long life and his enlightened activities be cleared of obstacles.


Sarwa Mangalam.

Sampa Lhundrup 111.111 recitations

starting on October 14th, 2008 ( Full Moon day )

Top

Greetings to all,

 

As many of you already know, during his stay in Drophan Ling this summer, His Holiness Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche recommended the recitation of 111.111 times Sampa Lhundrub to be performed to help in the process of finding the Tulku of our beloved Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche. At the same occasion Rinpoche invited the sangha to do the same.

 
  • Regarding the first advice, the Chhimed Rigdzin Society has already received some donations to start the recitations and arrangements are being made to start on October 14th, 2008 (full Moon Day). Ten of our lamas here will be able to take part in the recitation and are very interested to do so. Making some tests with them we found out that it would take seven hours to recite 150 times the Sampa Lhundrubma prayer for one lama. So in order to match the target of 111.111 recitations it will be necessary to invite another 30 lamas at Khordong Byangter Gompa for 17 to 21 days. In this way the full recitation can be done at our Rinpoche’s Gompa, which will be an honor as well as a way to fulfill our duty as it will be performed for the benefit of our Rinpoche and his sangha.

It will require organizing the transportation, accommodation, food and offerings to the extra 30 lamas, as well as the purchase of tsog, Sampa Lhundrub prayer flags and so on.

 

Due to our winter program which includes two more events this year, we need to start the recitations mid-October, which is very soon and giving you a very short notice. Regarding H.H Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche invitation to the sangha to recite 111.111 Sampa Lhundrub as well. We know some of you have already organized something, so that each and everyone can contribute by reciting the prayers from home and counting the accumulation. This collective accumulation of Sampa Lhundrub recitation as a sangha is very important and we wish that the recitation being made from Khordong Byangter Gompa will motivate all of you to join as much as you can in the recitation from wherever you are. Please accumulate as many prayers as you can everyday as your daily practice until the target of 111.111 is reached. Regarding the details on the coordination of counting the accumulation in each country, we would appreciate from those involved to share with us how they got organized and who centralizes the collective accumulation for each country, so that we know and can help you spread the information widely as it concerns all of Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche’s students and whoever felt connected to him.

 

May both recommendations from H.H Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche be fulfilled and may this collective effort help accomplishing all the wishes of Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche, and finding his reincarnation with a long life and successful enlightened activities.

 

Yours in the Dharma,

 

Tulku Ugen



May'08 newsletter

Top

As usual on daily basis, much has happen here in the past 3 months. Two more lamas have joined Dorje Wangdi and Jigmed bringing the numbers at 14 lamas studying here while another 4 are in Shimla where they have accustomed very fast.

 

End of March a special place for the nagas has been built and inaugurated near the pond and lopon Choewang together with the young lamas will now perform the naga pujah regularly on the required dates.


Straight after the inauguration Tulku Ugen flew to Singapore and drove to Melaka in Malaysia to lead a retreat there for 7 days during which he was requested to bestow the initiations of Padmasambhava, Dorje Drolo and Urgyen Menla together with various lungs. It was held in a very family like atmosphere thanks to the generosity and care of Mr. Soo, Richard and Eric Yap, Chua and Mrs. Alicia Tan. New connections were made there during the public programs while the practices were introduced to a smaller and dedicated number of people along the week.


Meanwhile in Gompa, two new cows were purchased and two big vegetable gardens were planted with cucumbers, green beans, pumpkins, carrots and so on. We just start to eat from them but it is not easy as it requires a lot of care and attention. Otherwise 2 rooms of the guest house are being used at the moment by two Tibetan families who have a member suffering from cancer and undergoing 4 to 5 weeks treatment at the hospital next door. Despite the heat they are very happy to have found such a haven in these difficult times.

 

More work needs to be done to beautify the surrounding of the Guest House and to make it more comfortable to live for a long stay. Such as basin for the bathrooms, a common kitchen for those who need to cook, fencing and planting trees and bushes. A presentation of the facilities and regulations of the Guest House is now available on the website.

 

Before the end of this month we will also start to make a proper tin roof for the dining hall as the storms have once again totally destroyed our bamboo roof and we shall build a semi-permanent structure for the kitchen.

 

Soon comes Saga Dawa, which we will celebrate here as well as the anniversary of our Rinpoche's paranirvana. End of June Tulku Ugen will fly to Europe where he has been invited in France to bestow the Vajrakilaya initiation in Paris as well as the Dorje Drolo initiation in Lyon. He will then go to Darnkov to receive H.H Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche and attend the wangs there. He has also been invited in Lublin and Bremen during the month of August. For the details of his program, please check the website.

 

We wish all of you will have the opportunity to meet in Darnkov this summer at the feet of H.H Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche in this very precious time of such a great event for the center, our sangha and the propagation of the Byangter lineage teachings in Europe.

 

Personal note from Tulku Ugen :

 

<< It is important for all of us, as being the practitioners of Byangter order of Tibetan Buddhism to be able to attend this great event, in order to make the wish of our Rinpoche to see Drophanling Gompa known as an established Byangter Gompa in Europe, and help to spread the Byangter lineage teachings there. Some of our western dharma friends were fortunate enough to come to Khordong Gompa in Siliguri to receive during two months long the complete transmission of Byangter order of Rigdzin Godem in the year 2006 by H.H.Taklung Tsetrul Rinpochi. I wish and pray that more and more people would have the opportunity to get these blessings of him this summer in Darnkov.>>

 

Sarwa Mangalam



Newsletter

March 2008

Top

Time has passed very fast since our last communication in late december'07, may this letter update you of our various activities and success since then.

 

This 17th Butterlamp retreat has then been successful. Despite the few number of participants from Europe, we were quite a few as for the first time we could say this retreat was being done together with our gompa's own lamas. A total of 16 of them took part actively in the process and for most of them it was a discovery including the teacher Loponla.

 

So, together with the supervision of the sangha members we managed to make it happen. Days after days a true feeling a being into retreat could be felt as everybody respected their involvement not to get disturb with outer activities, spending all their time on Gompaland focusing on their practice and the offering, cleaning and filling of the lamps.

 


Then came the time to go on pilgrimage to Tashiding together with Amala, 7 lamas and 5 sangha members, plus the cook and all our belonging including the lamps and the Dalda. It was quite an expedition to reach Tashiding and then to carry up all our things. We were very nicely received there and the weather conditions were best, a clear blue sky with the warmth of the sun till the day of our departure when fog came and the weather changed. We managed to offer 10.400 lamps from Tashiding doing our pujahs in the Guru Lakhang and being involved with the lamps from early morning to late at night. On our way back we went to visit the Khandro SangPhuk where we took the time to make the small Rigdzin. We were back to Gompaland on January 13th, to complete the offerings the next day. This last day offering was particularly dedicated to Stephan Jaeger's deceased father, Walter Jaeger who had passed away in December'07.

 

Then on January 15th, an auspicious day when all over India the Ganga pujah is performed we went to release several thousands of fishes in the nearby Dam, as well as 30 pigeons and 4 white geese. It was a very enjoyable and moving experience to close our program for this year.

 

Soon after we got the school started for all the young lamas, then we got involved into the preparation of Losar and its celebration. In the mean time the 10 rooms Guest House got finally completed, freshly painted and furnished, to be inaugurated on February 4th on the arrival of Olivier and Jacqueline from France and got named " Pillow Below" in memory of our Rinpoche's habit to keep everything under his pillow. Straight after that new visitors came and the first four rooms were already booked. Further details will be given about our "Pillow Below" Guest House in terms of rates and rules and regulations, later on this month, on the website.

 

March was dedicated to overall maintenance of the Gompa in which it was found out that termites had invaded all three floors through the walls so that immediate action had to be taken. Much work was also done on the surrounding land, as well as to strengthen existing structures. The other 2 areas of focus were the confirmation of H.H Taklung Tsetrul Rinpochi invitation's to Darnkov this summer, together with the preparation of Tulku Ugen Chencho's program in Malaysia where he has been invited to go give wangs and do practice for 7 days from March 24th to April 2nd, 2008. This is a new beginning for our Rinpoche's teachings and lineage as for the first time they will be given and practiced in South-East Asia. On March 3rd, 2008 four young lamas from here together with Norbu Gyaltshen left gompa to further their studies in Shimla at Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche Monasteries, so that they learn deeper philosophy and the ways and rituals of the Byangter lineage. This will take them several years before they can come back here to hopefully pass their knowledge to the younger ones here, helping establish this Khordong Byangter Gompa in its own tradition.

 

That's it for now, hopefully we shall be able to send you some more news around June, till then we wish you all success in your endeavor and growth in your practice.

 

Sarva Mangalam.



Tulku Ugen Euro Tour 2007

Narration

Top

Here is an account of what took place and happened during Tulku Ugen's visit to europe this summer. This was prepared with the simple wish to share these information with the sangha at large.


Poland:

 

Tulku Ugen arrived in Darnkov on 5th July, three weeks after his first visit to Drophan Ling this year, during which he brought the paintings together with the Bhutanese artists. This time was to take part in the butter lamp retreat. He was happy to meet with many people he had not seen for years and felt encouraging to see more people than usual attending the retreat this year of 10th anniversary celebration. He also was impressed to see the very nice new rooms on the first floor of the gompa, bringing more comfort to the participants.


During the time of his stay few important events took place :

 

-         First of all, the Drophan Ling committe approached him and made an official request to him. Since Rinpoche is not there anymore, the committe asked Tulku Ugen to become the spiritual leader for Drophan Ling and the Polish sangha at large. Requesting him to give guidance and instruction for the development of the center and how it should function in the future. Tulku Ugen was first surprised, then pleased with such request and committed himself to do his best to support Drophan Ling in it's development and stated that despite the committe had requested him to be the spiritual leader he would do so in accordance with Gudrun who is Europe's main regent and main authority.


-         The other event took place on July 15th, when in the morning Tulku Ugen assisted by Rabten and accompanied by Tulku Choekyi Gyaltsen performed the Sa-Chod pujah or Bumi pujah to take permission from the protectors of the ground to build Rinpoche's Jangchub chorten there. In the ground was placed a precious Vase containing the gifts of jewelary offered by the disciples who attended the event, the rest of the space was filled with more than 50 tsa tsa which were made in India in 2004 during the construction of Rinpoche's stupa there. Tulku Ugen gave some basic ideas how the building and filling of the chorten should be done, so that the organization should start from now on to collect the materials to fill up the stupas as well as the funds to purchase them and to make the many thousands tsa tsa required. It was discussed that the Jangchub chorten should reach around 10 to 11meters of heights depending on financial capacity and building permits. Poles with prayer flags were erected to identify and protect the construction site.

 


-         Then on the afternoon Tulku Ugen performed the Rabne of the new paintings in the gompa, ceremony which was followed by the practice of marme monlam.

 
 

-         At last on July 18th, full moon day of the Chokor Duchen, Tulku Ugen gave Padmasambhava wang, during which 8 children of the polish sangha together with Tulku Choekyi Gyaltsen and two adults requested to take refuge. Tulku Ugen felt extremely happy to give refuge to members of a fresh generation of buddhist. At the end of the wang Tulku Ugen requested Tulku Choekyi Gyaltsen to bless the audience with the "dadar" long life arrow, marking the first public blessing given by Tulku Choekyi Gyaltsen in Drophan Ling. On that occasion Tulku Ugen announced to the sangha his wish to raise the number of lamas in Siliguri gompa up to 15 resident lamas till year ends, inviting volunteer to sponsor them.

 

Frankfurt :

 

As it was arranged Tulku Ugen left on July 19th, to Frankfurt where he was invited by Heike Gregory and other sangha members to attend a three days retreat in Staufenbach at Pema DharmaTare Ling center, from July 20th till July 22nd. The first day was dedicated to Padmasambhava practices, then on July 21st Tulku Ugen gave Padmasambhava wang together with several lungs upon request. Then on Sunday 22nd, the Medicine Buddha initiation was given. On that day Tulku Ugen shared with the people gathered there, how much this practice was important for Rinpoche, "how much he believed you can benefit people with the power of prayers through this pratice, encouraging his disciple to do this practice regularly as it helps your mind to think about helping others. That thought itself is already a medicine, while dedicating the merits of such practice helps you feel you are helping others in general, as well as the person you particularly offer the prayers for".

 

Then it was time for Tulku Ugen and his wife Shashi to visit relatives in Vienna and take some time to go to Northern Italy and Slovenia.


Poland :

 

Tulku Ugen came back to Darnkov on August 9th, for only one night in order to pay a friendly visit to Gudrun before to head for Grabnik to meet with His Holiness Tenga Rinpoche.

 

When Tulku Ugen came in Darnkov with the painters in June, he made the wish to meet with His Holiness Tenga Rinpoche on his next visit to Poland.  Then Lama Rinchen from Tenga Rinpoche center in Grabnik sent him an invitation to attend the Phowa retreat as well as the Guru Dragpo initiation held in August.

 

 

On his arrival to Grabnik, Tulku Ugen received a heartily welcome from Lama Rinchen and Tenga Rinpoche sangha. Upon arrival he was offered to stay several days. It was a long awaited wish of Tulku Ugen to meet in person and pay his respect to His Holiness Tenga Rinpoche, respecting him as an extremely high scholar and most revered lama. On that occasion he could have lunch together with him in private allowing him to discuss on various aspects.

Tulku Ugen was very happy to see the disciples of our Rinpoche mixing in such a friendly and respectful way with the Grabnik sangha. Tulku Ugen was very impressed by the quality of the organization and the care given to each participants by Lama Rinchen, his wife and the team around them.


 

During Guru Dragpo initiation Tulku Ugen together with Tulku Choekyi Gyaltsen were requested to bless the crowd with some of the wang rituals. On his departure, Tulku Ugen invited Tenga Rinpoche and Lama Rinchen to visit Siliguri gompa on their next trip to India, and made a gift to both of them of a photo CD prepared by Drophan Ling to present an overview of the new paintings of the gompa. In return he was invited to visit Rinpoche at his gompa in Kathmandu and was offered a green Tara statue. From Grabnik, Tulku Ugen went to warsaw, where on 26 August a group of around 15 sangha members gathered at Tulku Choekyi Gyaltsen house to do Big Rigdzin together, after which Tulku Ugen left to Vienna to return to India.

 

Sarwa Mangalam

  

Lives release

October 10th, 2007

Top

Greetings to all,

 

Next week start the very important Bengali festival of Durga Pujah and every Hindu is getting ready to celebrate it.

 

Here the work has already started and the casting of the 5 rooms' roof should be done around October 17th, 2007. Then progressively the work on the Guest House should start, depending on our financial capacity.

 

Otherwise the main reason for this newsletter is to talk about "lives release".

Since the year 2004 and in a very humble way, we tried to save the lives of the fish leaving in Gompaland's pond which dried completely during the summer. It always was a very joyful event, to see all of us here in the mud catching the fish and go with bicycles to release them in the dam nearby.

 

Now, the pond does not dry up anymore so the fish can remain there happily. Nevertheless many fish are being sold on the Siliguri market everyday.

In order to continue this effort started in 2004 and to extend it to other fish whose lives are about to be shortened, Tulku Ugen wishes to make one "lives release" on the occasion of the Butterlamp retreat. You are all welcome to participate to this effort. Any small amount can save a life as some small fish cost 2 to 5 rupees piece.

 

Saving the lives of sentient being is a very meritorious act as explained in numerous teachings, in this regard we invite you to go to the following website : www.lotsawahouse.org on which you will find a text written by Chadral Rinpoche under the category "by Master".

 

Those of you who want to contribute, please contact us at thechhimedrigdzinsociety@yahoo.com

 

Sarwa Mangalam



17th Butter lamps retreat / Tashiding pilgrimage

From December 24th, 2007 to January 14th, 2008

Top

As announced in the May'07 newsletter we are getting ready for the 17th Butter lamps retreat to be held this winter at our Khordong Byangter Gompa.

 

Tulku Ugen Chencho wishes to revive the intensity of this very powerful practice handed over to us by our beloved Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche as his legacy and core teachings together with the Vidhyadara Guru practice. To do so, the wish is to link the offering of lights from our gompa, with a group pilgrimage to Tashiding to offer the same and practice together from this Holly and fully blessed place. In the same spirit as when Rinpoche started those offerings in Sarnath, finishing the retreat by a pilgrimage to Bodhgaya with all the sangha around him.

 

The wish is also to request the participants to attend the retreat with a deep interest and attention into the process, with the will to come to India to make a retreat of intense practice and dedication to the offering and cleaning of lamps. Without getting oneself distracted with various mundane activities such as, shopping, tourist visits, internet and so on.

 


The program :

 

The retreat will start as usual on December 24th, 2007 at 2pm with the ligthing of 3000 lamps, followed with the Small Rigdzin and Marme Monlam pujahs. Then from December 25th, 2007 till January 7th, 2008 we shall offer and clean 7000 lamps a day at our Khordong Byangter Gompa ; celebrating as usual Christmas together with Rinpoche's birthday on December, 25th and of course the western New Year on December, 31st.

We will leave for Tashiding on January 8th, early morning by jeep to reach there in the afternoon. Food and Accommodation in Tashiding will have been pre-arranged in advanced by the organizers and Tashiding Gompa will receive us as a group of pilgrims. Those arrangements will have to be respected by each individual during the time of the pilgrimage. Facilities will be provided for us to offer our 2000 lamps daily and one of the gompa will be made available for us to perform our pujahs together. Going to Tashiding as a group and being received there as a group, no individual arrangement in terms of food, accommodation and practice will be accepted. 

During our time there, the focus of each and everyone is expected to be on our offering and cleaning of lamps as a dedicated practice group, together with the help of some Tashiding Lamas and some of our own Lamas.

 

On January,13th  we shall return to Khordong Byangter Gompa. On the way back it is planned to stop at Legship to pay respect and perform Small Rigdzin with long mantras recitation at the Guru Rinpoche cave there. We shall also have some time to enjoy the "hot spring" next to the cave to refresh our bodies and mind after those few days in Tashiding with very basic sanitary facilities. After this 2 hours break we shall proceed on our way back.

 

On January 14th, we shall close the retreat in the best way with our minds full of beautiful and good memories, having made stronger the bound which ties us all and connect us all to Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche and his lineage of practices.


Tashiding pilgrimage :

Each participant is required to pay 3.000 rupees, including transportation back and forth, food on the way, rental of a truck, donation to Tashiding Gompa and those who will help us there.

Bring with you :

 

  • Your passport with minimum 6 months validity.
  • 3 Identity Photos.
  • Sikkim Permit will be taken care of by the organizers at the beginning of the retreat for those who will need. You may apply directly by yourself while applying for your Indian visa at home if you wish.
  • First Aid medical kit with travel sickness, diarrhea, fever, headache, twisted joints, cramps, cough and cold medicine.
  • Warm clothes, good shoes and sleeping bag.


Pilgrims Impressions

Sharing feelings and informations

Top

A FEW INFORMATIONS

Dear friends, 

We had the good luck to visit siliguri’s monastery from february 11th to 23rd, and we wanted to share with you feelings and informations we got there, so we send you this newsletter, as we used to do when Rinpoche was still alive. Nathalie’s last visit at the gompa was in 2000, and mine in 2001, for the last butter lamps retreat held with Rinpoche. When we entered the gompa this year, we couldn’t refrain from crying, as all these paintings and statues are so beautiful, and as Rinpoche’s presence is so obvious and easy to feel in this gompa, a real shower of blessings that made us feel immediately  ‘at home’, close to our spiritual father. We practised Big and Small Rigdzin, Marme Monlam and Sampa Lhundrup in the gompa, and Dorje Drolo in the stupa, where Rinpoche is also so close.

 We spent losar with Rinpoche’s family, the monks and western friends and we then had the great chance to receive from Tulku Ugyen a blessing, with three terma statues he received in 2005 from three great masters: the two present incarnations of Tulku Tsurlo, and Kyabje Dodrupchen Rinpoche. For me, the fact these three great beings entrusted Ugyen with these statues confirms him as main regent and spiritual director of Khordong, and strengthens my confidence and my engagement towards him, for the growth and success of all the projects linked with the continuation of this lineage. I also think that it is a concrete sign that Ugyen has the full support of Guru Rinpoche concerning the developpement of the gompa and Khordong lineage.  We really appreciated the huge work that has been done there, and we expressed to Ugyen our gratitude for his ceaseless efforts that made this possible. He is the one who from the beginning gave all his energy to the project, from the purchasing of the land to the conduct of the building and decorating work. Those who experienced the throes of building a house in the West can imagine what he must have afforded to build such a temple and stupa, in India, and I don’t even talk about the mafia’s pressures... In the following, we will write about what has been done there, and what are the projects for the next years. For those who didn’t visit the monastery for a long time, here is what already exists: 

The gompa, huge 3 floors building : 

The first floor is quite finished, including paintings on the walls and ceiling (9 mandalas on the ceiling, mains visualisations of Jang Ter: Chenrezig, Rigdzin Dondrup, Dorje Drakpo Tsal on refuge tree), Vajrakilaya, Hayagriva, Sampa Lhundrup, 25 main disciples, 84 Mahasiddhas, Rigdzin Godem, Nuden Dorje, C. R. Lama and many others, and many statues including Gourou Rinpoche, Dorje Drollo, Shantarakshita, Trisong Detsen, Amitayus, Nuden Dorje ...)The second floor includes a smaller hall dedicated to Chenrezig, with statues and paintings, the library, the office and the classroom. At the third floor, a small hall with Amitabha statue.  The stupa, on Rinpoche’s cremation place, is dedicated to Dorje Drollo. It includes a small room with Rinpoche’s statue. A small house with two rooms where Anna and Sebastian lived during their long retreat, is now reserved for Rinpoche’s family or high lamas (Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche for example has been living there). A small building with eight rooms, for the monks and some disciples. The butter lamp house, recently blessed by Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, where 3000 lamps can be burnt at a time, very comfortably. The farm, where a few people can also stay.

 


What is to be done ?

For the gompa: The first level is finished, entirely painted, with all statues. On the second floor, the wooden floor is to be done. The painting of the ceiling is finished (incredibly complex, with painted cases, as I never saw anywhere else), but the walls painting is to be done.On the third floor, all the painting is to be done. 

For the stupa: The inner painting is to be done and we left Ugyen as he was leaving for Bhutan to meet the painters and ask them a Dorje Drollo mandala for the ceiling of the stupa. The cora around the stupa  is also to be cobbled. 

For the annex: The roof of the eight rooms will be soon finished. Other rooms could be made if we find generous donators. In this way, the bamboo huts could be progressively replaced by permanent structures. Building a wall around the land becomes a real necessity. The village people’s animals cause a lot of problems and a highway is planned not far from the south part of the land. This road will probably create much noise and a wall could have a good impact in reducing it. This is a very costly project but it is necessary for the comfort and the security of the monastery. 

Monastic school : At the moment, five children from 7 to 13 are living in the monastery, and Norbu, a monk from Shugchung monastery is taking care of them and educating them. But after three years at the gompa,  Norbu wishes to go back to Tibet and Ugyen has decided to engage a lopon (teacher) and two monks to teach the children the rituals and to give them a good education (reading, writing, grammar, maths, etc.) . Dodrupchen Rinpoche and Penor Rinpoche insured Ugyen they will support this project and send a lopon (from Gangtok shedra) and two monks (from Tsetrul’s monastery). These monks will teach the children the rituals, how to make tormas, instruments... according to the Jang Ter tradition.  So Ugyen is ready to call for help and to answer positively to the families who asked him to take care of one of their children, but he needs financial support.

The monthly cost for the lopon will be 3000 Rs. For one monk it will be around 1500Rs per month. The total expenses for a child will be of about 18.000 Rs a year. I think it is important to consider that when Rinpoche’s Yangsi will be recognized, the parents will probably have to give their child to the monastery. I wonder what will be their decision if at that time, there is only one empty building and no activity around, except playing with dogs and snakes.... Who would accept to give a son in such conditions? It’s our duty to help the monastery becoming a living place, where teaching is provided to all who come. If you want to help a child, or sponsor the lopon or one monk, you can contact us or Ugyen for more details and how to organise the financial arrangements. In France, we decided to  organise events to collect money for that, and sell some items like statues or jewels for that purpose. 

Idea box : Ugyen has clearly explained us that he doesn’t wish the western people to be only financial supporters. This monastery is ours and all ideas that can help the growth of all that are welcome. We talked with Ugyen about the possibility for any sangha member to build a house or room on the gompa. The sponsor will be able to use it when he or she will come to the gompa, and Ugyen will decide how to use it during the rest of the time.  

Tulku Ugen invitation in France : To conclude this letter, we inform you that we invited Tulku Ugyen in France to give a Dorje Drollo initiation, which is an important part of the Khordong tradition that has not been given according to this lineage since a long time and that many people need. Ugyen agreed with this idea and this will probably take place next year (2008). We’ll inform you about the details as soon as possible. 

 All the best to everyone of you, 

Nathalie and Patrice



Newsletter, May'07

Mid-Year Newsletter - 2007

Top
The raining season is showing up and somehow we just finished to clear all the mess created by the Byangter wang of this winter, a long and tedious process due to our very small number here. But no regrets as it has truly been a very successful event, establishing this place as a prominent Byangter Gompa in India.

Lamas:

After two years of loyal presence here, Norbu has asked to be replaced so that he can go back to Tibet for sometime. Lopon Choewang from Takshi Shedra in Gangtok came a month ago and is now teaching our 6 young lamas, namely: Urgyen, Chime, Pasang, Wangchuck, Lhakpa and Phurba.

Our priority this year will be their education and raising their number up to 15 together with one more teacher who could teach those English, Hindi, mathematics and more...

At the moment under the care of Lopon Choewang, 3 of them know the Big Rigdzin by heart as well as the Zangchoe Monlam. The younger ones are finding it a bit difficult but they are studying hard in order to pick up as well as to improve their knowledge in Tibetan grammar.


Necessary constructions:

To do so we need to cast the roof of the 5 new concrete rooms in order to be able to accommodate the new comers.

Our new Guest House near the farm house is already open but offers very minimal comfort as there is no real ceiling, the walls need to be plastered and painted, and we also need to install proper electrification with fan.

We wish this could be done before the next butter lamp retreat.

Butter lamp retreat and Tashiding:

The 17th Butter Lamp retreat will hopefully be held once again in India this year from December 24th, 2007 to January 14th, 2008. Remembering the time when together with Rinpoche the retreat was held in Sarnath, where once the retreat was over we would then all go together to Bodhgaya for a few days to offer some more lamps in a very joyful and friendly mood. Tulku Ugen Chencho would like to offer you the chance to do the same but from Tashiding this time.


All of you have a special connection with this holy place and for those who only come to India for a limited time they find it difficult to reach there while attending the Butter Lamp retreat. So the idea would be to offer the lamps in our Gompa from December 24th, 2007 till January 7th, 2008. Travel to Tashiding on January 8th, 2008 and offer there 8.000 lamps from January 9th -  till January 12th, 2008.

The return to Siliguri will be organized on January 13th, 2008, to celebrate the closure of the retreat from Khordong Byangter Gompa on January 14th, 2008.

This would allow us to live something truly memorable as a sangha, as well as re-enforce our connection as a group of practitioners, disciples of Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche with this place and the people of Tashiding who are part of our Butter Lamp retreats from the very beginning.

This traditional Butter Lamp retreat left to us by Rinpoche is of tremendous impact and is indeed a very deep practice worth of our deepest motivation and attention. Melting dalda, cleaning lamps, putting weaks, filling up the lamps reciting mantras and reflecting on the meaning of the text is meditation. As much as this time spent together around light recalling memories of our Rinpoche, sharing knowledge and simply coming to know each other is how we receive the teachings.

This Butter lamp retreat together with the Big and Small Rigdzin is the core of what we have always practiced together with our Rinpoche. These practices are what make our specificities and identity as a sangha, as disciples of the great Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche. To honor his legacy is to honor his name. To honor his name keeps the connection alive and allows his blessing to flow.

So please, revise your approach on this Butter Lamp retreat, come many this winter to offer the lights, with the wish to really make it a retreat and ending it with a pilgrimage as an offering.


New Phone number and e.mail address:

Since the land line was regularly disturbed making it difficult for people to contact the gompa, a new system called Tata Walkie has been purchased which is kept in the office, its number is: 00.91.353.64.54.578


We now have open a new e.mail address for our direct communications with you, please contact us through it:

thechhimedrigdzinsociety@yahoo.com

or you also can write directly to Tulku Ugen Chencho at uclama@rediffmail.com or call him directly at home at 00.91.353.2581.358 or on his handphone 00.91.98320.49.416



Byangter Wang by H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche

Newsletter about the ongoing Wang - Nov'06

Top
Dear Sangha, Descending from to hills, making my way home after having studied for 6 months Tibetan in Darjeeling, I decided to spend my last ten days here at our gompa where H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche started to give the Jangter wangs.  Before leaving India here is the latest newsletter of the activities in Khordong Jangter Gompa.
His Holiness arrived well in Bagdogra airport on October 29th where he was ceremonially welcomed by Tulku Ugen and twenty monks from Tashiding. After that he came to the gompa where people from all around India, Bhutan, Nepal and various European countries had already gathered. The program started on Guru Rinpoche Day, 31st of October, when H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche consecrated the newly built butter- lamp house. Small Rigdzin was done in the butter-lamp house and on that same day Rinpoche gave the first wang: a long life empowerment.
There are 10 tulkus and 8 khenpos attending the empowerments and every day the gompa is packed with monks, nuns, yogis, yoginis and lay people. Every day during the wang there are about 400 to 500 people in the gompa. On Sundays there are more than 600 people. Remarkable also how many Bhutanese people are staying here. People who come here for the first time are deeply impressed by the beauty of the gompa, the Jangter paintings and statues as well as the size of the land.
Usually in the morning Khenpo Katayana from Namdroling, (Penor Rinpoche Gompa) or Gonjang Rinpoche from Gangtok is giving lung starting around 7am. During the lung Rinpoche is doing the preparation rites and self entry for the wang he will give in the afternoon.  The first initiations His Holiness gave were Drowa Kundrol, Rigdzin Dondrup, Rigdzin Thugdrup in their extensive, medium and short form. Followed, on Lha Bab Duchen, the 12th of October, by a very intense and extensive Dorje Phurba initiation, which lasted till nigth falls. On that day, the western sangha offered lunch to everybody and a huge tsok was offered at the end of the wang. On the 16th there was one day off, and Rinpoche went to visit Mirik. Then Rinpoche gave the whole Kabgye wang and lung which lasted for several days. On New Moon Rinpoche gave the Mahakala wang with all other protectors, followed the next day with Nyenchen Tanglha, another specific protector wang. Then it was the time for the Red yab-yum Chenrezig which was given from 22nd till 24th. On the 25th Rinpoche has kindly accepted to inaugurate the renovated Kangyur Gompa in Darjeeling, so we all enjoy a two days break. Rinpoche will return on the 26th and resume the initiations.  Although Rinpoche's schedule is so intense and exhausting for him, doing the self entry in the morning and preparation with the chopon, giving the wang in the afternoon which takes several hours, receiving people, doing his own practice, and so on, he has been so kind to give the Westerners regular extra teachings and explanations of the next wang he will give. Being in the presence of such a great master has been a touching experience for all, which will benefit so many beings and help us to develop and spread the Jangter lineage furthermore.
The stay of Rinpoche in our gompa is so important for the development of the centre in many ways. So many things have already been realized here and many visitors are praising the gompa. Even Rinpoche was impressed by the beauty of the Jangter paintings. A set of pictures from the wall paintings and statues will be offered to him. According to many it is the biggest Jangter gompa in India. More and more people start to know this gompa and understand it is here for both Westerners and Tibetans.  Since my last newsletter so many more things have been achieved here. Five additional rooms, next to the already existing three rooms for the monks are almost ready. There is a temporary roof, but when there is money the whole building will be finished. Also the butter-lamp house, which has a special ventilation to get the smoke out very quickly, has been finished. The previous 'flower-house' is being turned into a small guesthouse with ten cozy rooms, and will hopefully be completed by December 10th. This means that there will be eighteen rooms available on the land.  Extra showers and toilets have been built next to the gompa, as well as a dining hall. All these things are here for generations to come. In a way we are almost there. Trees are growing and the land is turning into a little oasis. This place is developing both materially and spiritually. And the wangs Rinpoche is giving now definitely will mature this place a lot.
Today His Holiness was the first one to write something in our visitors' book: "I appreciate the making of the new Khordong Jangter Gompa by the late Terchen Tulku Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche for universal peace. I pray for the success and prosperity of the Jangter lineage." I leave you with these words. Greetings to all. Maxim

August'06 Newsletter

August 23rd, 2006

Top

Dear Sangha,

Last weekend I spend in our Khordong Jangter Gompa near Silliguri. Getting up to date again about the latest news in our gompa and trying to share that with all of you. India might seem to be far away, and some of you will never come here, but we share the same goal. Our karmic winds have blown us together to get teachings from one of the greatest Buddhist masters, our beloved C.R. Lama.

A hidden yogi, going beyond our frozen concepts of good and bad and refusing to be pigeon holed or making any compromise with Buddhist politics.


Last weekend I had a long talk with Tulku Ugen about many things: the lineage, yangsi C.R. Lama, the future of the gompa, termas,… Since he is so busy, building up this gompa, he will never be able to tell all of you what he shared with me. So I asked his permission if I can put this on the website.

Tulku Ugen is responsible for finding the reincarnation of Rinpoche. Rinpoche told his son that we would appear three times to him in a dream and give him crystal clear instructions about his reincarnation: the country, place of birth, names of parents,… He added that it would be so clear to find him that he cannot mistake.

In 2004 Tulku Ugen visited Dodrupchen Rinpoche in Gangtok. During that time he was building the stupa and Dordrupchen Rinpoche gave him some very precious relics to put in the stupa. As Dodrupchen Rinpoche had just returned from Tibet, on his way back he had found an Earth Terma: a small statue. He gave it to Tulku Ugen and said that he had to keep it. That same summer Tulku Ugen went to Khordong Gompa in Tibet and met Tulku Longtok. Tulku Longtok is on of the two reincarnations of Tulku Tsurlo. He is about 60 years old and a very respected Rinpoche in Tibet. To his surprise again he received a terma statue and was told to keep it always with him. In 2005 Tulku Ugen went back to Tibet and was enthroned in Shugchung Gompa, the monastery where he stayed as a tulku in his previous life. At Shugchung Gompa, the other reincarnation of Tulku Tsurlo is residing: Tulku Chokyi Nyima. When Tulku Ugen visited the monastery, Tulku Chokyi Nyima was in retreat. But he came out to meet Tulku Ugen. Although they had never met before, again something amazing happened. Tulku Ugen, tired from the long travel and not able to understand their Kham dialect very well, saw how Tulku Chokyi Nyima was talking to his attendant and ordered him to do something. The attendant’s face almost became pale when he heard what his teacher ordered him to do and hesitated. But he had no choice. He left and after a while the attendant came back with a statue. It was again a terma which was offered to Tulku Ugen. This terma belonged to Terton Lerab Lingpa whose reincarnations are Sogyal Rinpoche and Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. Tulku Tsurlo was a close disciple of Lerab Lingpa and also holder of his lineage. The terma Ugen received is an amazingly beautiful timeless Buddha statue from with a golden shine. Lerab Lingpa took one of his scrolls out of this statue which is considered a very important terma.

So three realized masters offered one of their most precious objects to Tulku Ugen in a very short period of time. There are a lot of hardships to build up the Gompa in India and often Tulku Ugen and his wife Sashi (who is like his right hand) feel very isolated. The support from ‘the other side’ on the other hand seems to be huge. The activities of Rinpoche are alive and are carried on. Not only what we can perceive now is valid, but we should try to think vaster than just short term results. This is what is needed.

I am not going to mention all the hardships Tulku Ugen and Sashi went through, because it is also not in their nature to talk bad about other people. Rinpoche always wanted to build a gompa, but it was only to the very end of his life he was able to do so. His son gave up his job at the university and indulged into a hair raising plan to build a gompa. For two and a half years he looked for suitable land.

I have been in India regularly the last two years and I have seen people come and go. These are degenerate times and I have witnessed that also in our gompa in India. Why? Because people whose minds are sunk into a Buddhist carrier cannot stand the presence of the uncompromiseable C.R. Lama, Dorje Drollo. You could not hire Rinpoche or buy his initiations. When the idea was formulated by Rinpoche to build a gompa he wanted quality and no ‘Dharma business’. Having such a high aspiration is invoking even more maras during these degenerate times. ‘It was as if my father pushed me in the water, and he I had to know how to swim, although I had never done it before’, said Tulku Ugen. ‘But he would always say: if you have faith in Guru Rinpoche and in me, you will succeed.’ It is not a bad sign when there are many obstacles. It means that something is at stake. Some ignorance might be destroyed. Rinpoche also told that one day this place will be an important gompa. It needs time and the sangha needs to be aware of this.

Usually in Asia lay people have no idea about the Buddhist philosophy. They make some offerings to a monastery, receive a blessing and then go. Since Rinpoche had mainly Western disciples, he was not into the kind of lay Buddhism where you get ‘hit’ on the head by a dharmabook in return for some offerings. It is not in our Western Culture. We want to get an initiation and practice it. Get enlightened. So our Western sangha should be aware of this situation: building a gompa in India when most of the disciples are in Europe. This means that this monastery is there not just for Asians but very much for Rinpoche’s disciples from Europe. If Rinpoche would have known that there is no use for such a place in India, he would have never let his son indulge in such a project. Also the support Tulku Ugen gets from some high lamas seems to be more than obvious that this place will be important in the future.


The gompa is almost completely finished, we have an amazing stupa, there is a house for the janitors, there is accommodation for monks, a retreat house, there is electricity, showers and toilets, many trees and flowers have been planted, running water,… Soon the butterlamphouse will be finished. Currently they are constructing the roof. Plastering will be done soon. The window frames have already been place in.


What looks more like a swimming pool on the next picture, are actually the foundational structures of five extra rooms, next to the already existing rooms, who are being constructed for accommodating more people.


That means that these things will be there for generations to come. So a lot has already been accomplished of what sometimes seems to be an endless begging for money.

Many people have made a big effort to support all these projects. It feels like we are on the verge of a new phase in the gompa. Soon the Jangter wang will be given. This place has so many possibilities, and Tulku Ugen is working on that. Not only to invite Westerners once a year for Butterlamp retreat, but to have all kinds of activities going on the whole year round. A lot depends also on the involvement of Westerners and the interest they show in this place. This reciprocal process is crucial in understanding the growth of this gompa.

Often you think you cannot do anything, but going to the gompa and discuss you ideas with Tulku Ugen. What kind of things could be useful? What do you want to learn and how can the gompa in India help you in that?


Finally.

Ending with a story Tulku Ugen shared with me. Rinpoche was in Silliguri and had an audience with H.H. the Dalai Lama. The guards did not allow Rinpoche to come in because, he did not look like a Rinpoche at all: an old man with simple clothes sitting in a wheelchair. Finally they were allowed in. Sitting outside His Holiness came to Rinpoche. Rinpoche said that he wanted to stand up out of respect but that he could not because of his legs. His Holiness answered: ’It is me who should stand up, because you are my teacher.’



Greetings from India,

Maxim

 



June Newsletter

2006

Top

Dear Sangha,

Today, June 11th, we celebrated Saga Dawa at Gompaland. Together with Andrzey, the translator from Poland who is also studying Tibetan in Darjeeling, and the monks we did Big Rigdzin with Zangchod Monlam, we offered butterlamps and tshog. Again I was surprised about the progress of Chodzang (15) and Kyela (16), the two brother monks from Sikkim who have been here the longest at our gompa. Chodzang was actually leading the Big Rigdzin today, while Kyela was the Chopon (ritual master). When I first encountered them, they were still children. They are now teenagers who have really matured a lot the last two years. Studying Tibetan and Buddhism with their teacher Dawala, who is a personal friend of Tulku Cherang Nyima (Khordong). He served and studied with Tulku Lungtog (reincarnation of Tulku Tsorlo) in Kham for 8 years. Together with Norbula, who is also staying at our gompa, he studied in Serta Gompa with Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok for another 6 years. In 2002 he went to Southern India and studied with Penor Rinpoche for two years. Now he is teaching our monks here in Gompaland.


He is teaching them two times two hours every weekday: spoken Tibetan, Eupame Monlam, Zangchod Monlam, ngondro and rituals. Norbula is from Shigchung gompa and studied also with Kenpo Jigme Phuntsok for four years. Norbula is responsible for the temple and makes sure the ritual aspect of the temple is kept in honor. In 2002 he also went to Southern India to study for two years with Penor Rinpoche. He is now responsible for the temple in Gompaland

In one month time the construction of the butterlamphouse has evolved significantly. The four walls have been erected before the monsoon will start, just as planned. I hope that with my next visit to Gompaland it will be completely finished before the wang starts.

But not only Gompaland is in change, also the surrounding land has developed a lot. Those who have been to Gompaland recently will have noticed that more houses are being built around, just like anywhere else in India due to its overpopulation. When Gompaland was purchased, the size of the land seemed way too big. Anticipating the overpopulation, Gompaland is now secured for future generations to be an oasis where people will still be able to find rest in a chaotic India.


Rinpoche prophesized that after he would pass away things would not go smooth for his son Tulku Ugen and Gompaland. Those who spent a longer time in Gompaland have an idea how hard it is to run a gompa, compared to Europe. In general, to realize something in India requires at least double effort compared to the West. So many things we take for granted in the West are not like that in India. For instance, I remember the hardship Sebastian had to go through to find silicons for insulating the windows better during the monsoon. In Europe you drive to your nearby shop and you have a variety of choices. In India it is more like an adventure which takes several days in order to get it. That is how it is, and that is the only thing we have to work with.

All the students of Rinpoche are connected with this place. Rinpoche had a vision for building up this place. It is his sangha who carries this place, Rinpoche’s activities. It is said the sangha is the body of the Guru. This place contains so many possibilities, waiting to be explored. So come and check it out!

There are quiet some people from all around the world who have been very active supporting the activities of Rinpoche in India after his death. Some known, others less know, but they all are so important for keeping the lineage alive. Without them the Jangter Wang (and many other things) which will be given by H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche in some months, might even not take place. Realizing that makes us feel like a strong group through which Rinpoche is alive. All students of Rinpoche are part of this group: once you entered the mandala there is no way back…



Visit to H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche

Finalizing details for the wang.

Top

Khordong Byangter Gompa India 04.06.2006

Visit to H.H Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche in Shimla to discuss the transmission details.

 After a very long and hot journey Alexis and I finally reached H.H Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche Gompa in Shimla where Hilke was waiting for us.

 Rinpoche was himself on his way down from Ladhak and was expected to arrive the same evening, allowing us to take some rest. For the next two days we had the opportunity to meet with Rinpoche on two occasions to discuss at large the various aspects of our program.

First of all Rinpoche requested some amendments regarding the starting date of the program, wishing that it starts on the 31st October 2006 instead of the 23rd October as previously announced, leaving the ending date unchanged to the 3rd January 2007. But there again he made us understand that we have to be flexible with such fixed program, as it will all depend on the various circumstances arising during the transmission. It may go faster as well as it may take some more time.


Regarding the Gompa Zangthal transmission, Rinpoche understood our requirement to make sure that it will be given from 24th December 2006 onwards to accommodate the westerners who could only come during the Christmas period and confirm that it will be so. But he also gave the strict instruction that whoever wants to receive this empowerment has to take at the best the commitment to complete the 5 nails ngondro of Byangter. If for some reason this is not possible then Rinpoche requested that you do any
other ngondro. For the aged one and those of poor health who could not complete a ngondro Rinpoche requested that they commit to recite 1,200.000 Bendza Guru Mantras.

As per our request Rinpoche was very kind to prepare for us the detail list of Major Wangs and Lungs that shall be given over the period, some of which he keeps at his own discretion to decide whether they shall be given and when, depending on the circumstances at the time of transmission.

It was also confirmed with Rinpoche that according to their own schedule Gonchang Rinpoche and Lachung Rinpoche from Sikkim will give the lungs during the transmission.

With all this confirmed it is time now to go on spreading the news wide to allow as many people as possible to benefit from this most auspicious event.

Yours in the Dharma,

Tulku Ugen

Butterlamphouse

Foundation Ceremony - May 5th 2006

Top

Hi this is Maxim from Belgium,

On May 5th -my 29th birthday- I arrived in NJP train station, coming from Kolkata, and to my surprise I was picked up by Tulku Ugen and Sachi. Happy to meet up again since my last stay in Gompaland in November 2004. I had intended to pop in quickly in their house. But instead of going to their house, we went straight to Gompaland where I was welcomed by Alexis, Mariam, Nathalie and Thierry. Alexis, Nathalie and Mariam have been staying in Gompaland since December 2005 helping with the preparation of the Byangter Wang. It felt great to be reunited again with my vajrafriends.
I have seen the stupa grow from an idea, drawings, raising money, making tsa tsas, the different levels of construction and finally the installment of the Tree of Life (sog sying). Unfortunately I left India before it was fully ready, but now it is shining in its full glory. When the Tree of Life was put in the stupa I had just arrived at Gompaland and on May 5th it has happened again for another important event: the consecration of the ground where the butterlamphouse will be built, in order to please the local deities not to disturb the construction.
Since years we have been burning our lamps in a temporary structure or sometimes in the gompa. For safety reasons, and to make the butterlamp retreats more convenient, a small house will be constructed where lamps can be burned safely. Tulku Ugen lead the ceremony, assisted by the monks. At one point in the ceremony, Nathalie and Mariam were invited to do the symbolic first three digs in the centre where the house will be built.
Afterwards we did a small Rigdzin and Butterlamp Monlam with a tsog under the trees nearby our future Butterlamphouse.

 


Only one day later (May 6th), the place already looks very differently. Workers have started with digging the foundation. We hope the foundation will be ready before the rain season starts in a month. Hopefully, if enough sponsorship comes, the house will be completed before the transmission starts on October 23rd
The news that the full transmission of the Byangter lineage will be given at our gompa has been very positively received in Nepal as well as in Sikkim. Leaflets will be distributed over there in July and August. Tulku Ugen is waiting for H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche to return to Shimla by the end of May to go and visit him in order to discuss and confirm the last details regarding this major event.

Not only here has it been received with such a great joy, but also in Europe people have shown a lot of enthusiasm for this important transmission.


So I will end this short news flash where I started: my birthday on May 5th. It had been a day where I had almost forgotten my own birthday. When I was laying in my bed late at night some people starting bouncing on my door. I opened my door and there were Alexis, Nathalie and Mariam with my very first birthday cake in my life, singing: "Happy …"
Yours truly in Dharma,

M.



Newsletter 2006

News from Khordong Byangter Gompa

Top

From March 2005 to February 2006

Dear All,

I first want to take this opportunity to present all of you my best wishes for this New Year 2006. I am also very grateful to Anne to put all these informations together and allow me to talk with you about our activities here in India during last year 2005 and to present you what is about to happen this year.

There is much to be said, so I will start where the last newsletter ended, which was in February 2005 to inform you about the butter lamp retreat and this great event which took place here at that time, The Buddha Relic Exposition.

February, March and April 2005

The months of February, March and April were dedicated to settle organization matters with the Buddha Relic Committee, close the butter lamp retreat accounts, strengthen the structure here, find a teacher for the young lamas, clear the publication room, prepare my trip to Tibet with Anton(Tulku Chokyi Gyaltshan), thanks the main sponsors who made Rinpoche's stupa construction possible and send to Darnkow through cargo, blessed Tsa tsas of Rinpoche's Stupa to make them available to those who wish to purchase one and support the project to build a Stupa for Rinpoche, next to Drophan Lingpa gompa…

May

In May I went to Tibet and visited Khordong Gompa, Shuckchung Gompa and Banae Gompa together with Choekyi Gyaltsen, his mother and a small group of Rinpoche's disciples. My wife Shashi who long cherished to visit Tibet could join us on this trip as well. I will speak more at large about this important experience on a letter to come and which will be posted on the Indian website.

June

In June Pasang and his familly who had been with us for more than 8 years and who was the care taker here and the man in charge in our absence left our gompa. It was sad news for us, as it will not be easy to replace such reliable person. But we got introduced to Tsering, Sharda and their daugther Drolma. They have joined us at the end of June and are getting to know the place by now. Another man called Maitey is working here who comes from the same village as Tshering and Sharda. They seem happy to be here, so are we to have them helping us.

July and August

I then went to Europe in July and August. For those who are interested I shall also post some notes on the Indian website about my programme then. Back in Siliguri there was much to do and attend, such as preparing the yearly accounts, establishing some rules and regulations for the life here, beautifying the surrounding of the gompa, looking into the young lamas education, initiating new projects, getting ready for this year butter lamp retreat and managing this place on a daily basis, which takes all my time and energy.

Khenpo Choeying and Lama Norbu Gyaltsen

The main event of this year 2005 is the arrival of Khenpo Choeying in March and Lama Norbu Gyaltsen in April in our Gompa. On my previous visit to Tibet 2 years ago there had been discussions about the need of Lamas in India, so Khenpo Choeying had been approached from the Khordong Gompa in Kham to assist myself, in developing the monastic system of Khordong Gompa in Siliguri. It was asked of him by letter from Tibet either to return to Khordong Gompa in Kham from where he comes from or serve the Khordong Gompa in India.

Though Khenpo Choeying is highly regarded in Kham as a scholar by monks in Khordong Gompa, he had served the Phagdru Institute at Swayambhu, Kathmandu, Nepal, as Khenpo for about two years after his first visit to our Gompa in the year 2002. However, it is found out that he doesn't follow any of the rituals of Khordong Byangter order, as he had been trained at Khenpo Jigmed Phuntsok Rinpoche's shedra in Serta, Kham, Tibet. This is a drawback, but otherwise he is believed to be good in Philosophy, Madhyamika and other higher texts of Tibetan Buddhism.

Khenpo has agreed to stay here permanently and asked for creating a shedra here with a minimum of about 15 monks in the beginning. Discussions to do so are at a very beginning stage.

Norbu Gyaltsen comes from Shukchung gompa. He is 23 years old and is the brother of Tulku Chimmed Dorje from Shukchung gompa. Norbu has shown strong feelings about this gompa and wish to engage himself in its various activities. He dedicately teaches 4 hours a day the Tibetan language to the young ones. He also leads them in regular pujahs in the morning and in the evening everyday. With the help of Rabten he taugth them to play Gyaling and Ragdung. Thanks to the butter lamp retreat he became as well our Umze here. Norbu is a very kind and soft spoken person, he is intelligent and helpful in all aspects.

I deeply wish Khenpo and Norbula could truly establish themselves here on a long term basis ; but I also understand their wish to go back to Tibet at some time in their lives.

About Rinpoche's texts

Apart from making constructions such as butter lamp houses and of a protection wall all around the gompa land which both are dearly needed, it is felt most important at this time to take care of preservation, translation and related works with the texts Rinpoche has left behind. This work is the continuation of the care given by Sebastian and Anne to Rinpoche's books by creating the library last year. It is now time to look after Rinpoche's manuscripts.

In this regard, I had been looking for a long time for a suitable person to handle this work. In October this year thanks to Rabten's support, I was introduced to Lopon Tashi Tenzin from Taksi Shedra in Gangtok. He could come here to initiate this work, registering all the Tibetan manuscripts housed here in the gompa, as well as other printed dharma texts and key their title in the computer for reference. Then assisted by everyone here and supervised by Khenpo Choeying he has put the Big Rigdzin, Small Rigdzin and Marme monlam texts in Tibetan script and prepare them to be printed in pecha forms. I feel these texts should be printed in big numbers for sale and for the use of those who wish to follow the pujahs with us. I also believe these texts should be available to the general public, on occasion of events organized here, to see the practices of our lineage spread wide. In fact, my wish is to prepare in such way all the practices available and to print them for the same purpose.

It has also been discussed and plan together with Khenpo Choeying and Lopon Tashi Tenzin to restore all of Rinpoche's manuscripts which are in Ume script and transfer them into Uchen script, to prepare them for publication. The other ambitious plan is to decide upon unpublished texts of Rinpoche, to be published and translated into main European languages. For this purpose I wish to create a working committee which will monitor and carry this essential work.

What more

With this in mind I have requested Lopon Tashi Tenzin to join our gompa, and he shall give confirmation of his wish by end of March this year. Tashi Tenzin has the experience of being the shedra administrator in Gangtok and has shown his capacity to handle various tasks, a good control over English and is computer literate, so I also wish he could run the office here. He has spent some time with us during the butter lamp retreat and most people here found him resourceful and energetic.

This year during the retreat we accepted two new brothers of a poor Tibetan family from Sonada. The father of the children has deserted the family, leaving the mother in despair to support and feed 3 young children and the two aging parents of her husband ; forcing her to take a daily wages job. Based on the discussion with Khenpo Choeying, it was proposed to raise the number of lamas (novices and already ordained monks) to join the gompa. Therefore the need for sponsors on regular basis will be required. This is where we need to go through the accounts, to define the necessary funds on a yearly basis to look after young lamas and older ones.

If anybody wishes to provide anything to lamas, it should be for all and not for one in particular. In any case, as the one in charge of this gompa, I must be personally informed.

Newsletter about Butterlamp

About the 15th Butterlamp retreat

Top

Newsletter about the 15th Butterlamp retreat held in India, from Dec 24th 2005 till 14th January 2006 in our Gompa.

Just a very few of us were there to light the first lamps on 24th December evening, Kadri from Estonia, Alexis, Nathalie and Mariam from France, but the next day we were joined by Sabine and Andre from Munich, together with Marie-Christine from Belgium followed by Samantha her daughter, Genevieve and Jacqueline who are member of Amalha Association.

On the 25th December much have happened, first of all before we start the Pujah, Tulku Urgyen, in presence of Tulku Migmed invited Khenpo Choeying to sit on a higher throne and take charge for the development of this gompa into a proper learning Dharma center. Khenpo Choeying who originally comes from Khordong Gompa in Tibet, and who is well renowned over there said he was much honored and accepted the task to look into the education of the now 5 young lamas leaving here and to do the necessary to establish the right foundations for a shedra to be in the future.

Then the day went on and we were joined in the evening by Sujata, her husband and son as well as Lhamo and Chimed, which allowed us to celebrate Christmas and Rinpoche's birthday in a light and joyful family atmosphere. Warmed up by the beautiful belgian sense of humor and celebration.


From 26th onwards we really got into the rhythm of the retreat, assisted by several women from Dhansara village to help us clean and prepare the daily 6000 lamps on time, despite our small number. We were also supported by four boys who came from Tashiding to prepare the tormas and to attend the pujahs, but they left after four days.

Kila, Choesang and Sonam have grown up a lot and are now able to read the pechas in tibetans, as they were trained over the year by lama Norbu Gyaltsen who comes from Shugchung Gompa in Tibet, and has joined Khenpo Choeying here last year in April. Our three young lamas also have learned to play Gyaling and Ragdung, so the days started and ended at the sound of their music.


On 28th the belgian group left to continue their tour for Amalha association while new comers arrived Dagmar and Anke from Berlin followed by Imgard and Wulfhild from Munich, Heike from Frankfurt, Renate and Wenzel from Austria. On that day after the butter lamp pujah Urgyen told us about the story of how he got given 3 terma statues over the past two years. The first one was a Green Tara statue Given to him by Tulku Longtock in Tibet during his trip in 2004. The second one is a Guru Rinpoche statue and was given to him by Dodrupchen Rinpoche while requesting relics to put in the Stupa and the third statue is one of Buddha Shakyamuni and was the vessel for the termas of Lerabling. It was offered to him by Tulku Choekyi Nyima of Banae on his last visit to Tibet. Tulku Longtock and Tulku Choekyi Nyima are both incarnations of Tulku Tsorlo.

This beautifull statue of Shakyamuni Buddha was then presented to all of us.


On the New Year's Eve we had the surprise to be visited by Dorje from France. On Tsechu, 9th of January we have put prayer flags on the four sides of Rinpoche's Stupa, from top to bottom and in the morning the mother of Phurba and Lakpa came to offer tea and request that her two sons be part of the monastery. They were accepted and offered robes bringing the number of young lamas to 5. In the afternoon we did Big Dorje Drolo Pujah and offered big tsog in a ligth and joyful energy. The next day we were joined by Jean-luc from France.


On the 11th January we all sat together to discuss about the invitation of Thaklung Tsetrul Rinpoche here next November/December. The wish is to invite Rinpoche to give the full transmission of Bjangter. Tentatively the starting date has been fixed on the 20th November. If Rinpoche comes to give the full transmission, it shall take 10 weeks. Finalised schedule and programme will be known by mid-february. Bearing in mind that the final decision depends very much on our financial and organization capacity. Manpower and volunteers being a key issue to make such event a success. Support from the sangha is most required.


On the full moon day we celebrated the end of this very peaceful and pleasant retreat and the offering of 116.000 . It was a lot of work for the few of us, but thanks to your generosity, the organization supplied by Tulku Ugen and the help of the Indian ladies, this butter lamp retreat could take place.

Since then we had the pleasure to have the visit of Tomek and Alexandra from Poland and Carlos from Spain. See who February will bring us!!!Since the 27th January Norbu Gyaltsen took Kila and Choezang on a Pilgrimage tour to visit Sarnath, Nalanda, Rajgir and finally Bodhgaya to take part in the Nyingma Monlam together with Khenpo Choeying and officially represent for the first time in this gathering, Khordong Bjangter Gompa.


For more details please take direct contact with Ugen at uclama@rediffmail.com

Warmest greetings and wishes to all of you.

Sarwa mangalam



Gompalibrary

The state of affair at the library.

Top
As result of our fundraising action in June we collected many Rupees. Thereafter we send a second letter around in which we said: Guys, that is great and quit a lot but yet not enough to realize the idea we had in mind for the library.The answers were another ... Rupees and many supporting letter, so that we received at the end more Rupees as we had asked for. Also in this way again thank you very much to all of you! Meanwhile the euphoria about the many support has cooled down because we realized with two bookshelves it is not done. The carpenters should have finished their work a month ago and they still need more time, the painters work slovenly and we met diverse problems which slowly but for sure will devour all the collected money.
However the bookshelves units will be hopefully ready in December and partly filled with books for which we just prepare a simple catalogue. Also there will be a big round table with six chairs and we will try to isolate the backside of the shelf which is already there build in a timely humid wall.

Not only the cash gets slowly short but also our time staying here is running out. New tasks constantly appear so it looks like the refurbishment of the windows must wait or maybe someone else can take care of it.



Stupa - September 2004

The construction is ready up to the bumpa

Top
A big theme is the chorten (stupa) in which the relics of Kyabje Khordong Terchen Tulku Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche, our precious teacher will remain.
The construction is ready up to the bumpa, the chortens spherical main part. What is left to do is the cho khor chog sum, the chortens conical top. The steps at the square throne are already filled with tsatsas. The throne itself will remain as a visitable room with Rinpoches statue and maybe some painting inside.

 

During the next days the same Bhutanese artist which made the statues inside our gompa will start working at Rinpoches 5 feet high sculpture. He also is supposed to make a 45 feet high Dorje Drollo for the window at the bumpa. For both he needs approximately one month.


Right now there is a Lama from Chorten Gompa in Gangtok painting the Srog Shring, the heart or spine of the stupa.
The Srog Shring is made of a pine tree from Tashiding. In its lower end a dorje is carved and on its top a little golden painted stupa is shining. Small holes have been drilled into the Srog Shring and were filled with ringtsel (Yang Dru relic) of the first Buddha Od Srung and Kubal (relics) of Guru Rinpoche, Longchen Rabjam, Ku Drub and many other precious gurus and siddhas. These relics were handed over by Kyabje Dodrubchen Rinpoche to Ugen for this purpose.

 


On October 16th, 9-10 lamas from Chorten Gompa are expected to come and start with the preparation for a puja. The next day the Srog Shring wil be placed in the chorten during which a puja will be performed. Later on the bumpa will be filled with many Buddhist scriptures, statues and all kind of precious things. For that reason the Kangyur and Tengyur, the two most important scripture collections in Tibetan Buddhism, have been ordered. The Bum, a collection of nyingma tantras, and many other precious objects like statues, jewels etc. were already donated by various people.

By the way, in case anyone of you has the wish to offer something which should be put inside the chorten, he should do so very quickly, because around October 25th will be the closing date for entry. From that day they will start filling the chorten. So hurry up! (Contact us in case you still like to send something. Maybe it is not too late.) The chorten should be completed mid December. The rabne, the traditional consecration ceremony, will be performed by Ven. Choesang Rinpoche. Choesang Rinpoche is Byangter lama who lives at Gonjang Gompa in Gangtok and whose guru was a Bane tulku whose tsawe lama was Tulku Tsolo, the tsawe lama of Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche. Ven. Choesang Rinpoche agreed in general to perform the Rabne, but with reservation. But these details are too much for this letter.

 

From December 21st (Tse-Chu Guru Rinpoche day which is this month is dedicated to Dorje Drollo) till December 23rd the Rabne should take place. Ven. Choesang Rinpoche should stay at least till December 25th in order to receive the relics of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni in name of our gompa and all Buddhists around.