HHK visit to Europe 2016

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Living and Dying in Peace

A lifetime is like a flash of lightening in the sky.

Monday 31st October 2016 celebrated the launch of a new website for Bodhicharya.   'Living and Dying in Peace'  has come about through the  inspiration, tenacity and determination of Margaret Richardson.
To consider old age and death is the second contemplation of 'The Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind to Dharma'  and according to the teachings of Buddha, provides the impetus for living our life in a fulfilling and inclusive way.   Awareness of impermanence and death can stimulate an alertness to our everyday experience and interactions with others, as we recognise the preciousness of our own life.  Despite our best hopes, life is finite: we'll be gone soon enough, so how we face the final departure depends not only on how we live our life, but also requires practical measures and thinking not only of ourselves, but also of our families, friends, material belongings: what we will be leaving behind (which put another way, means everything we can't take with us).
Here we are offered a fresh perspective to all these things, and also asked that we pay attention to how we can meet death as Buddhists,  how we can prepare ourselves in  mind, body and spirit.
The information shared on the Living and Dying in Peace website overflows with advice on all these matters, practical and spiritual: on one page Rinpoche answers common and uncommon questions about death and dying and he talks about the tendency we have in the west especially, to imagine we are immortal - doing our best to avoid the topic.  We are given an opportunity to venture tentatively into the likelihood  of our own mortality and start to figure out how we might attend to it.  There are suggestions for ritual and prayer; helpful notes for relatives; advice for nurses and doctors who may not be familiar with the Buddhist approach to death; and on making a will or setting up power of attorney. There are suggestions for books to read and links to support services.   Most of the spiritual content originates from teachings on the topic by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, there's a talk from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and  contributions from Tsering Paldron from Bodhicharya Portugal, who also designed the website.

For a number of years until her recent retirement Margaret has been instrumental in developing the work of Rigul Trust, a charity originally set up by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche with Margaret Ford  in the mid 1990s.   Rigul Monastery is Rinpoche's seat in Tibet. As Abbot of Rigul, Rinpoche takes responsibility -in absentia- for its upkeep,  through the Rigul Trust, that raises funds to  feed, educate and also care for the medical needs of the monastery residents. It also helps the shedra, medical clinic, the monks, nuns, adults and children and their associate families.

See also  an inspired article on the hospice work of Kerry Egan recommended by New York Chaplain Justin Von Bujdoss of the Goshir Dharma Centre in Brooklyn.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Irish Visit 2016

Sitting in a cell at the Hermitage of St Finbarr, at Gougane Barra.
Ringu Tulku spent four days in Dublin at Kagyu Samye Dzong this year, continuing his teachings on The 'Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones' by Patrul Rinpoche, with a commentary by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and he focused this year on five stanzas on View, Meditation, and Action relating to the emotions, with instructions on seeing the kleshas or mind poisons as empty of themselves, to be self liberated using the six syllable mantra, OM MANI PEME HUNG.  
A question was asked about meaning of the Dharani or Mantra that Do-Drupchen Rinpoche of Sikkim has suggested followers of His Holiness Karmapa recite for his good health, long life, and increasing activity. Here's  an edited transcript of Rinpoches answer:

"This a mantra or  dharani  is known as the Interdependent Dharani – it is called a stanza in Sanskrit.  OM YE DHARMA HETU PRABHAVA …..There’s a history to this:  Quite a short time after his enlightenment, when the Buddha became Buddha, he didn’t give any teachings for 7 weeks, he just relaxed, had a holiday in the forest. Then, he walked to Varanasi – another city, and there in the park called Rishipattana   known now as the Deerpark, Sarnath- he gave his first teachings to his first five students – and slowly they became arhats.  Then, a few years after that, there were two very bright people called Shariputra and Maudgalyayana who had a very good teacher – although he was not enlightened, he was very good.  This teacher realised he was dying and he said “Now I am dying I give all my students to you, because you are my best students, Shariputra and Maudgalyayana.  But they thought they were not good enough to teach, they didn’t want to guide these people, they wanted to find a teacher for themselves and went to search. They went in two directions, and agreed to meet later at a certain place. Shariputra went one way and met a monk, and when he looked at him, he knew by the way he looked, this was highly realised monk: by the way he walked, dressed – every movement showed he was very special and Shariputra was extremely impressed.  
So he asked, “Who are you?”  
“Just a monk”.
            “Who is you teacher?”
“My teacher is  Buddha”.
            “What does he teach?”

And when Shariputra  heard the first two lines of the stanza he completely understood something – he saw everything as it was, all doubts disappeared, and his mind completely cleared of all confusion.
When the stanza was finished, Shariputra had attained what  is known as stream entering stage – he fully understood the truth.  This stanza was actually about The Four Noble truths in a certain way, the four lines had the strength to completely transform him. He said, “I must see your teacher”.  He went to see the Buddha, and knew. He returned to meet his friend, and his friend saw him coming from afar and could tell by his appearance he had found what they were looking for. They both went back to Buddha and received some teachings together, and then returned to the other 500 students, and said, “We are going to be students of the Buddha. You don’t need to come if you don’t want to, but we will go”.
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Tashi Bhutia, Karma Rinchen
[behind Rinpoche] and Irish students at Gougane Barra Lake,
Co Cork. Rinpoche will visit Rinchen's sangha on the
Caribbean Islands in October this year.
But the 500 students said, “Yes, we will follow you”, and so they became the first major sangha of the Buddha.  Both Shariputra and Maudgalyayana became Buddhas themselves, and the others became Arhats. Following that, these stanzas became the main mantra of Buddha’s teachings. The root text.  They are recited by everyone, Theravadin, Mahayana and Vajrayana students, everybody, because it had that kind of effect, it is a complete teaching of the Buddha, so it has deep meaning, but is also a blessing. So therefore, if you want to say a strong mantra for protection, to get rid of obstacles, clear the mind of confusion, say this mantra. You want to bless something, say this. It is for any occasion.
So this was changed from instruction to mantra with the addition of OM at the beginning, and SWAHA at the end.

The context of the recitations for His Holiness Karmapa is this: This year the Karmapa’s sister requested the advice of Do Drupchen Rinpoche, who is 90 years old and lives in Sikkim. Everyone asks him predictions, so many people come that he gets sick and has to stop seeing people and take a break. So His Holiness’ sister asked Do Drupchen Rinpoche what should we, the followers of Karmapa do for his wellbeing. So he said, “Recite this mantra and his life will be long and without obstacles, his activities will be good, he will benefit  a great many beings: so just recite this mantra”.   She announced this and everybody started to make commitments to say this mantra,  people in Tibet have committed a million, million recitations, individuals in other places have done the same thing also. So we put this up on our different websites and people have made commitments. There’s two things to say – one is that, to recite this mantra is accepted by all Buddhists, they feel it is very meaningful; and another thing, when you are doing something that is for others, from a Buddhist point of view, if I do some practise, say some mantras like this one, with the intention to make my own life better–– the result is not so much, but if I do it for others, then the benefit is much greater. Then, if I do something for someone who will themselves benefit many others, the benefit is much, much greater again. So, His Holiness Karmapa has been predicted to be the one who can perform the activities of all the Buddhas, so we will get huge merit and benefit from these recitations.  That is how it is".

Rinpoche also taught for a weekend on Dealing with the Emotions, Riding the Stormy Waves, to a group of more than one hundred people, in a marquee at the beautiful Dzogchen Beara Buddhist Centre,  a favourite place overlooking the dramatic coastline of the Beara peninsula,  West Cork.  Dzogchen Beara is under the spiritual directorship of Sogyal Rinpoche. 

More information on the Dharani of Interdependent Origination can be found on the Karmapa Foundation Website link prayers.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Rinpoche Accompanies Karmapa's European visit 2016

Pierfranco Alloa with Ringu Tulku Rinpoche in Paris.
Updating His Holiness Karmapa on KFE work.        
photo: Francois Henrard/KFE
Since the 21st May 2016 Ringu Tulku has for three weeks accompanied His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, on visits to Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland, and to Paris, France, on the Karmapa's 3rd visit to Europe. As with previous visits, the schedule was tightly packed with public teachings on each of the three weekends,   interspersed with visits to various dharma centres and sightseeing locations in the days between. He was invited to  tour  a Tibetan medicine laboratory, Padma Company Wetzikon, just outside Zurich and to the headquarters of Rokpa in Zurich. Rokpa is the charity founded in 1980 by Akong Rinpoche with Lea Wyler, originally to feed and care for local communities  struggling to survive in poverty stricken  Kathmandu, Nepal, but the work was later extended to Tibet and Africa, as well as on a smaller scale to local European countries.  

At all places he visited this time His Holiness Karmapa took pains to ensure that everyone belonging to the extensive Tibetan communities in Switzerland and France were given special attention and it was clear that he was very happy to connect with them, as well as  old and new western dharma students and friends.  Despite describing  himself as a little under the weather after such a rigorous fortnight preceding the final weekend in Paris, His Holiness' teachings shone in their simplicity and profundity, and can all be accessed as webcasts and written reports here.
Also in Paris a number of Karmapa Foundation Europe members were able to enjoy a brief audience with His Holiness when the General Secretary Pierfranco Alloa appraised him of recent KFE activities. The Karmapa was asked if he has any current projects that KFE can be involved with, and he re-emphasised  that the full ordination of nuns  is currently his priority, and that he sincerely hopes it will happen early in 2017.  His Holiness also heard that 34,000,000 mantra recitations have been pledged by students from around the globe,  as an offering for his long life and continuing activities.
The Karmapa's last words to the Paris audience were that he prays and hopes to see everyone again in the future.

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche now continues his own travel schedule in the UK, to arrive in Ireland on Monday 20th June, when he will be at Dublin Kagyu Samye Dzong for four nights, and will continue to teach on the final chapters of The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones by Patrul Rinpoche, with commentary by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.  He then travels to Dzogchen Beara for the weekend 24th -26th June. The topic there is Dealing with the Emotions, by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche - in his own words!
KSD Dublin: info@buddhism.ie  Tel: 01 453 7427
Dzogchenbeara: info@dzogchenbeara.org  Tel: 027 73032

Monday, 16 May 2016


Illustration: the Prince Siddartha is tempted by the Maras, prior to his enlightenment. Sakya Temple Painting Bodhgaya.

May 21st in the Buddhist calendar is Wesak, which carries three auspicious events in one, celebrating the birth of the Buddha in Lumbini, His enlightenment at the age of 35 in Bodhgaya, after years of austerity and practise; and also marking His death at the age of 84, in Kushinagar, Northern India surrounded by many disciples. 

Ringu Tulku has shared a message below noting the importance of this day for all Buddhists: 


We are also really happy to announce that following the visit to Europe of His Holiness 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, (starting this week in Switzerland and ending on June 6th In Paris, tickets are still available, please see link and previous posts),  Ringu Tulku Rinpoche will be teaching in Dublin KSD and Dzogchen Beara, West Cork.  
In Dublin, he has been invited to continue his teachings of previous years on the  'Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones' by Dza Patrul Rinpoche, a mendicant whose preferred shelter was a cave, preferred nickname was 'Old Dog', who was a master of dzogchen and one of the greatest known teachers in 19th century Tibet.  The talks  will take place each evening 20th - 23rd June inclusive, from 7.30 - 9 pm.  Interviews with Rinpoche can be arranged through Alison at  info@buddhism.ie Please see the website for more information.
Rinpoche will also be teaching at Dzogchen Beara in West Cork, on the weekend of 24th - 26th June, and will be teaching from his recent publication 'Dealing with Emotions'.

For anyone still thinking about coming to hear Jetsun Khandro this weekend at DzB there are still a few places available.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

The First Visit to Ireland by Her Eminence Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche

In just over three weeks time, from 20th - 22nd May 2016, Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche will be teaching at Dzogchen Beara Retreat Centre, Garranes, west Cork, at the invitation of Rigpa and Bodhicharya Ireland.   Khandro Rinpoche will be teaching on Transforming Negative Emotions: The Five Slogans of Machig [Machik] Labdrön, who was a female master living during the 11th and 12th centuries, and founded the practice of the Chöd of Mahamudra.
Machig Labdrön at Dubdi Gompa, Yuksom, Sikkim

Machig Labdrön was also considered to be an emanation of Prajnaparamita, the embodiment of the buddhas. A contemporary of Milarepa, she was a mother, practitioner and founding master of Chöd or 'cutting through', a practice that goes to the heart of ego clinging and attachment;  she was considered by many to be a dakini manifest.
Khandro Rinpoche is herself a brilliant teacher, transmitting no-nonsense dharma with warmth and clarity, her approach is direct and to the point. 

For the past two decades, Khandro Rinpoche has been teaching in Europe, North America and Asia. Rinpoche is actively involved with the Mindroling Monastery in India and in 1993, Rinpoche established the Samten Tse Retreat Centre in Mussoorie, India, as a branch of Mindrolng Monastery, a place of study and retreat for both nuns and Western lay practitioners. The North American seat of Mindroling International Lotus Garden Retreat Centre was established by Rinpoche in 2003 in the USA.
We hope that this will be the first of many visits to Ireland.
for further information see www.dzogchenbeara.org/jetsun-khandro-rinpoche

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

His Holiness Orgyen Trinley Dorje, 17th Karmapa, to visit Europe in May/June 2016.

The Karmapa Foundation Europe (KFE) is happy to announce that His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, has generously accepted to visit Europe for a third time in 2016.

The visit to Europe has been confirmed and all necessary clearances have been given by the relevant authorities. His Holiness will teach Dharma in new European countries and places: Geneva, Zürich and Paris.

On behalf of all European students and friends, the KFE gives its warmest welcome to His Holiness and has no doubt that the visit will be as memorable as the previous ones so far. It invites everybody and in particular all those people from Europe and outside who have not yet had the opportunity to see His Holiness to try and attend these teachings given in May and June 2016.

Please click here to see the complete list of public events, locations and links to the websites and the information about the ticket sales. Or use the links below to go directly to the organiser's websites:

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Dates for the diary : Two important visits to Ireland in late spring. Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche & Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

We are so very happy to announce that Her Eminence Jestün Khandro Rinpoche will visit to give her first teachings in Ireland during May this year, at the joint invitations of Bodhicharya Ireland and Rigpa. The venue will be Dzogchen Beara, Allihies, West Cork;  the date, 8pm Friday 20th - 1pm Sunday 22nd May, the topic is yet to be announced.
Khandro Rinpoche was born in Derah Dun, northern India, and educated within both the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions; she also studied from an early age under the tutelage of english speaking nuns at a catholic convent, on the instruction of her three root guides: her father, Mindroling Trichen, HH the 16th Karmapa, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. These masters had the foresight to see the value of western education for her as a teacher travelling beyond India.  It is thus our great good fortune that she is fully at ease in our western environment and delivers all her teachings in fluent English.  

'Her Eminence Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche was born as the eldest daughter of Kyabje Mindrolling Trichen Gyurme Künzang Wangyal, the 11th throne holder of the renowned Mindrolling lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
Throughout its history, some of the greatest masters of their time have been born within the Mindrolling lineage including the unique lineage of female masters known as the Jetsünma line, a remarkable Mindrolling tradition.
Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche was recognized by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa as the reincarnation of the great Dakini of Tshurphu, Khandro Orgyen Tsomo, a respected and revered female master who spent most of her life in retreat.
For the past two decades, Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche has been teaching in Europe, North America, and Asia. Rinpoche is actively involved with the Mindrolling Monastery in India and in 1993, Rinpoche established the Samten Tse Retreat Centre in Mussoorie, India, as a branch of Mindrolling Monastery, a place of study and retreat for both nuns and Western lay practitioners. The North American Seat of Mindrolling International, Mindrolling Lotus Garden Retreat Centre was established by Rinpoche in 2003 in the USA'.  

We are also delighted to share that Ringu Tulku Rinpoche will be visiting us in Dublin again from 20th - 23rd June 2016 (inclusive).  The four nights of teaching will take place at Kagyu Samye Dzong, 156 Inchicore Road, Dublin, and details will be published here soon.    Due to his overly busy schedule - one result of a constantly widening interest across the world, Rinpoche will not able to provide the customary weekend teachings at the Hilton Hotel organised by Bodhicharya, but will be teaching in Dzogchen Beara from 24th - 26th June.