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Greetings from the Holy Hill
As our season comes to an end, we celebrate all that has happened in 2015. We tried to keep it short, but as usual it is difficult with so many merit making Dharma activities happening up here.
Tushita Meditation Centre hosted from February to November 2015:
- 17 Introduction to Buddhism Courses (mostly 10 days) – attended by 1370 students!
- 5 Intermediate/Advanced Courses (7 to 13 days) – attended by 149 students
- 6 Group Retreats (9 to 95 days) – attended by 95 students
- 1 Pre-Ordination Course (18 days) – attended by 7 students
- 5 Short Courses with Special Guest Teachers (2 to 4 days, non-residential)
All total there were 34 courses & group retreats held in 2015. Our residential courses alone were attended by a total of 1621 students and hundreds more attending our non-residential courses and special events. AMAZING!
ALL YEAR AROUND we offered drop-in activities such as daily morning meditations, twice weekly video showings, regular pujas, and the occasional sutra reading.
The daily morning meditations alone received over 12,000 attendances!!!
WOW WOW WOW!!!
Wait, hold on, there is more! Many SPECIAL EVENTS were held during second half of 2015.
July 13 – Jhado Rinpoche conveyed a Vajrasattva Initiation
We at Tushita were greatly honoured when Jhado Rinpoche accepted our request to give the Vajrasattva Initiation (Highest Yoga Tantra Jenang) as a start to our annual three-month Vajrasattva group retreat.
In the breaktime, Rinpoche very kindly gave more advice on the correct painting of the Wheel of Life. Previously, Rinpoche oversaw its creation during the last year. Special emphasis was given to the meaning of the verses describing the path to enlightenment. Rinpoche generously accepted our request to give more detailed teachings on this topic, which happened later on in October (see below).
Rinpoche requested we make a postcard of the Wheel of Life and its meaning.
July 20 – Chokor Duechen celebrations with Geshema Kelsang Wangmo & Khen Rinpoche Geshe Chonyi
On the auspicious day of Chokor Duechen, Tushita was especially busy.
In the morning there was a beautiful Long Life Puja for His Holiness the Dalai Lama at His Temple. Meanwhile up on the Holy Hill, we were not only hosting an introductory course and our Vajrasattva retreat, but also offering a special program in the afternoon to celebrate the anniversary of the First Teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha on the Four Noble Truths.
The highlight of this program was a Dharma talk from our dear friend Geshema Kelsang Wangmo given to a large audience: our 83 students in the introductory course and more than 40 visitors. Luckily, the pouring rain during the monsoon season didn’t stop our students from coming up the hill and enjoying our Dharma activities!
But that wasn’t all! To our great surprise Khen Rinpoche Geshe Chonyi, the abbot of Kopan Monastery, came also up the hill with some visitors for a look around and to enjoy some tea.
Khen Rinpoche then graciously accepted our request to give an inspirational talk to our Vajrasattva retreatants. His kind and humble words gave the retreatants extra motivation to make their retreat as beneficial as possible.
July 27 – 30 – Geshe Lhakdor taught “The Heart Sutra”
In the middle of monsoon, we were delighted to welcome Geshe Lhakdor la to Tushita again. This time he offered a four-day course on the Heart Sutra. Geshela’s very practical, clear and humorous teaching style was immensely inspiring to our new and old students alike. We hope that Geshe la will be able to make some time in his busy schedule to come back very soon!
September 12 – 18 – Tushita Team on Pilgrimage to Lahaul
During the monsoon months of 2013 Lama Zopa Rinpoche, together with Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche and Khadro la, went for a private retreat to Lahaul. This special area is also called Garsha, The Heart Land of the Dakinis. Back then Rinpoche very kindly invited the Tushita team to visit, and we had some amazing days with our gurus and visited many blessed places (see Tushita news 2013: http://tushita.info/news/volunteers-on-pilgrimage-with-lzr/)
Following that Lama Zopa Rinpoche repeatedly advised us to go on pilgrimage to Lahaul again. Of course we were more than happy to fulfill Rinpoche’s wish. There was not much hardship involved in fulfilling this advice!!
So early in the year, we scheduled some time off in our busy schedule and fought hard to keep it free. A week in between residential courses was all we had, but we were determined to make the most of it.
On our pilgrimage we visited the following places:
- Kora around Drilbu Ri, the Heruka mountain
- Chenrezig Statue at White Chenrezig Lake (Omay Tso) near Triloknath (Phakpa)
- Vajrayogini Temple in Udaipur (Markula)
- Tara Temple & Palden Lhamo Waterfall near Sissu
- Padmasambava caves & statue in Rewalsar (Tso Pema)
To write about these places in detail would take many pages. So here are just a few pictures to inspire you to visit these places yourself, as Lama Zopa Rinpoche has encouraged all of us to do!!
Many thanks to Kiko, our Assistant Director, who organized and guided this tour with much joy, fearlessness and patience!! Per Rinpoche’s request, we eagerly await his guidebook to this area.
September 29 – Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche gave a Dharma teaching for the first time in English!
We were honored that Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche made time to come up to Tushita during his short stay in Dharamsala. Rinpoche gave a Dharma talk to a gompa full to bursting with 99 students from our introductory course as well as many enthusiastic visitors.
For the first time, Rinpoche talked only in English without the help of a translator! This way Rinpoche kept all the students, especially the introductory course teacher Rachel Ryer, on their toes asking them for words and phrases in English. Rinpoche won over everybody’s heart with his direct and practical ways.
We hope and pray that Rinpoche will have a long and healthy life and continue to give countless inspiring Dharma teachings in English to us Westerners!!
Afterward Rinpoche met with our Vajrasattva retreatants, who were very close to finishing their three-month retreat. Rinpoche gave a very inspirational teaching on how to apply the Dharma in everyday life.
October 3 & 4 – Gen Gyatso taught “The Eight Verses of Mind Training”
Since His Holiness cancelled His public teachings in the beginning of October, we were overjoyed that Gen Gyatso la accepted our urgent requests and made time in his busy schedule to give teachings for the many visitors that were expected. Despite the very short notice, Gen la had almost 100 students attending his two-day course on this important mind training text! As usual he inspired all his eager listeners with his humble and heartwarming presence.
Special thanks also to Claire, who interpreted Gen la’s teachings so expertly.
In his break time, Gen Gyatso la devoted much time to giving a teaching to the Vajrasattva retreatants and to answering their questions.
October 8 – Jhado Rinpoche gave a talk to our Vajrasattva Retreatants
While conferring the Vajrasattva Initiation in July (see above) Jhado Rinpoche mentioned that he wanted to come back later during the Vajrasattva group retreat to give an additional talk to the retreatants. Because of Rinpoche’s extremely busy schedule it was difficult to find a suitable date, but Rinpoche kept insisting on his wish to come up to meet the retreatants – so very kind!
Finally, a date was found. The day after the retreat was finished, the reatreatants received very practical advice about how to apply the Dharma in everyday life in a very intimate teaching session with Rinpoche. How fortunate!
We rejoice in all their practice and merits! We also celebrate their good fortune to not only receive the Vajrasattva Initiation from Jhado Rinpoche, but also to get advice from Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche Geshe Choenyi, Geshe Lhakdor and Gen Gyatso during their retreat.
And another highlight of course was to have a private audience with His Holiness the Karmapa!!
October 14 – Jhado Rinpoche taught “The 12 Links of Dependent Arising”
True to Rinpoche’s promise in July, Rinpoche returned to Tushita to give a teaching on the Wheel of Life and the verses that show the path. Rinpoche’s deep and vast knowledge was mind blowing!
Rinpoche advised us again to make a postcard depicting the Wheel of Life and Rinpoche’s advice. With so much precious commentary given, the card is getting bigger and bigger and will hopefully be available soon!
As you can see our gompa was overflowing again with many students: 80 from our Introduction to Buddhism course with Venerable Amy Miller, 40 from our intermediate course on Healing Disturbing Emotions with Venerable Namgyel and numerous other visitors.
Our deep gratitude also goes to Geshema Kelsang Wangmo for her tireless preparations in making this event possible. She provided amazing interpretation of Rinpoche’s teaching as well as immeasurable help with Rinpoche’s complex advice.
October 30 – Khyongla Rato Rinpoche taught on “Developing the Warm Heart”
After many years of repeated requests, we were absolutely thrilled that Khyongla Rato Rinpoche, who usually resides in New York, finally arrived at Tushita for a teaching on Bodhicitta.
In the past Rinpoche gave many transmissions etc. at Tushita at the request of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and other lamas. The last time Rinpoche was at Tushita, giving a great series of transmissions, we had just completed our main gompa in the beginning of 2008. However, we hadn’t had the fortune to welcome Rinpoche for a Dharma teaching in a while…
So our gompa was again packed (sorry for the repetition!) with yet another batch of almost 120 students from an introductory course led by Jimi Neal, an intermediate course on Death and Rebirth led by Venerable Amy Miller, and many other eager visitors.
Although Rinpoche repeatedly mentioned that everybody else had more wisdom and compassion than himself, the audience was not deceived by Rinpoche’s extremely humble and humorous demeanor. They knew that definitely, right in front of them, was someone very special who personified the essence of Bodhicitta! This was an extremely joyous event and everybody left with a big smile.
Please Rinpoche come back very soon!!
November 3 – Lhabab Duechen celebrations
On the auspicious occasion of Lhanbab Duchen there was another elaborate and moving Long Life Puja for His Holiness at His Temple in McLeod Ganj.
During the afternoon we had a full program of sutra reading, light offerings and a wonderful teaching by Geshema Kelsang Wangmo on her favorite topic Dependent Arising.
REJOICE REJOICE REJOICE!!!
MANY THANKS again to our precious teachers & meditation leaders!!
And our amazing Tushita Team – including humans, our 3 doggies and of course our many entertaining monkeys!!
If you missed our program in 2015 or just want to come back for more, here is what we have planned for 2016:
- Many more of our popular Introduction to Buddhism courses
- A special study retreat with Geshe Dorji Damdul on “The Four Seals, Bodhicitta & the Wisdom of Emptiness”
- Intermediate courses on “Bodhicitta” with Geshema Kelsang Wangmo and “Insight into Emptiness” with Venerable Drolma
- Group retreats like our annual Medicine Buddha and Eight Nyung Nay retreats. We are also offering a special Lam Rim Retreat with Venerable Beaumont.
And of course expect many special events with guest teachers again, like Jetzunma Tenzin Palmo, Gen Gyatso la and many more.
We also are planning two amazing courses with Venerable Robina Courtin in September and October!
So keep a close eye on our website: www.tushita.info
We wish you a Happy New Year & are looking forward to seeing you in 2016!!
- Guided Meditation on February 20, 2017 9:30 am
- Movie Day on February 20, 2017 2:00 pm
- Losar on February 27, 2017
- Sutra of Golden Light Reading on February 27, 2017
- Introduction to Buddhism on March 2, 2017
- Guru Puja on March 7, 2017 6:30 pm
- Chotrul Duchen on March 12, 2017
- Medicine Buddha Puja on March 12, 2017
- Introduction to Buddhism on March 20, 2017
- Introduction to Buddhism on April 6, 2017
Tushita is a centre for the study and practice of Buddhism from the Tibetan Mahayana tradition. We're located in Northern India, in the forested hills above the town of McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala - the seat in exile of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Tushita aims to provide a friendly and conducive environment for people of all nationalities and backgrounds to learn about and put into practice the teachings of the Buddha. With this in mind we offer regular drop-in events and courses on introductory Buddhist philosophy and meditation, as well as intermediate level courses and group retreats for more experienced students.
February to November
Monday - Saturday
9:30 - 11:30am
a break for lunch and then...
12:30 - 4:00pm