Categorie archief: CENTRA

Chinese Authorities Plan Major Reduction of Monastic Population at Larung Gar


By Craig Lewis Buddhistdoor Global | The authorities in China’s southwestern Sichuan Province are reportedly planning a major reduction of the burgeoning monastic population at the famed Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in the Larung Valley near the town of Sertar, Garze Prefecture. The reported decision follows similar moves in 2001, when state authorities organized a mass eviction of residents from the institute, and late last year, when further evictions were accompanied by an order to reduce admissions to curb the rapid growth of the monastic population.

Situated in the traditional Tibetan region of Kham, Larung Gar Buddhist Academy was founded in 1980 by the highly respected teacher Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok (1933–2004), a lama of the Nyingma tradition, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. With some estimates putting the population at as many as 40,000 monks and nuns, the institute is widely considered to be the largest center of Buddhist learning in the world.

“Last year, 600 members of this center were ordered to leave, and they returned to their hometowns. About 400 members aged 60 and older were also asked to leave, and they left as well,” an anonymous source told Radio Free Asia, a private, non-profit international broadcaster created by the US government. “This year, the authorities are talking about 1,200 members who will have to leave, and it is said that China has now issued a document saying that only 5,000 monks and nuns will be allowed to remain [at Larung Gar].”

Government officials were marking houses that obstructed the passage of firefighting vehicles or the construction of roads, according to the source, who added that dwellings targeted for demolition would be torn down by force if necessary. “About 60 to 70 per cent of the houses of monks and nuns are being marked for demolition,” the source said, noting that the order to reduce the number of residents at Larung Gar did not originate at the county level, “but comes from higher authorities,” with China’s president Xi Jinping taking a personal interest in the matter. (Radio Free Asia)

In 2001, government authorities had become unsettled by the rapid population growth at the institute. Alarmed by what they termed “splittist” activities, and particularly unnerved by its growing popularity among ordinary Han Chinese—at the time, Han Chinese at the academy numbered more than 1,000—the authorities sent in thousands of security personnel and laborers, who evicted all but 1,400 of the monastery’s 9,000 inhabitants and razed 2,400 dwellings. Many of the nuns and monks turned out from Larung Gar made their way southwest to the more remote Yarchen Gar monastic community, still largely hidden from the outside world by its geographical remoteness and political restrictions put in place by the government. Because of these restrictions, most of the monks and nuns at Yarchen Gar are not officially recognized and live in fear of eviction.

The site of the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy was chosen by Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok because of its historical connection to the Vajrayana tradition. It is said that His Holiness the first Dudjom Rinpoche, Dudjom Lingpa (1835–1904), stayed here with his 13 disciples. The institute was conceived as an independent center of study that would help revitalize the Dharma and revive the study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism following the devastating impact of China’s Cultural Revolution (1966–76), during which Tibetan Buddhism was suppressed and thousands of monasteries were destroyed. While the academy initially had fewer than 100 students, the monastic population grew rapidly in the years that followed.

The institute has played a key role in revitalizing the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism since China eased restrictions on religious practice in 1980, and has become renowned for the quality of both its religious and secular education. English, Chinese, and Tibetan languages and modern computer studies are taught alongside a traditional non-sectarian Buddhist curriculum. About 500 khenpos—holders of doctoral degrees in divinity—have studied at Larung Gar Buddhist Academy.

Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok 1933 – 2004



Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was de belangrijkste Leraar van Lama Amnyi Trulchung Rinpoche. Hij stichtte in de Larung Gar vallei in Kham , Tibet de Larung Gar Buddhist Academy een enorm complex van studie en meditatie.

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Drops of Advice from My Heart

by Kyabje Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok

May the youthful sun of speech, Manjushri, in his enlightened form,

With its signs and marks, embodying the secret body, speech and mind

Of all the infinite buddhas and their bodhisattva heirs,

Turn your minds towards the path to perfect awakening!

There are countless Dharma teachings, profound and extensive,

Suited to the mental capacities and inclinations of limitless beings,

Yet, by gathering all the key points together in a way that can be practised,

I offer this pithy advice to you, my friends, who I hold as dear as my own heart.

Becoming attached to this life, you will lose your fortunate connection to the Dharma.

Indulging your desires again and again, your craving will only increase,

And you will never find satisfaction. Wealth, happiness, fame and praise—

To pursue them is like buying and selling in a dream. Let go of such concerns!

By relying on a genuine and qualified teacher,

Your spiritual qualities will develop and increase,

And all your faults and failings will be cast away,

So serve him in the three ways[1] and others’ aims will be accomplished.

Just as gardens are not to be found growing in midair,

All the bounties of the higher realms and liberation,

Will never be yours as long as you lack moral discipline,

So with mindfulness, awareness and caution, control your mind.

Up to now, you have wandered like madmen lacking any guidance,

Through the vast darkness of unknowing in beginningless existence.

So now, in order to find the great sanctuary of peace and happiness,

It is right that you take joy in studying the vast ocean of excellent teachings.

Yet hearing alone will not be enough to eliminate misconceptions,

And confidence in the teacher and teachings will not come easily,

So take advantage of hundreds of debates, teachings and compositions,

And rely upon the elixir of mind that is the wisdom born of reflection.

Even the most erudite of teachers with vast scriptural learning,

Can repeat words like a parrot, without taking them to heart,

But when death suddenly arrives, this will bring only pangs of regret,

So rely on the essential meaning of the teachings, my heart-friends!

All the infinite teachings of the buddhas, so vast in number,

Are imparted purely as a means to subdue our own minds.

Don’t put your faith in words alone! I urge you once again:

Let the key points of the deeper meaning seep into your hearts!

This physical existence is difficult to find, like an udumvara flower,

Yet more rewarding than the discovery of a million precious gems.

It will be incredibly difficult to find another opportunity like this later on,

So don’t let it pass you by without accomplishing the highest purpose!

Our great enemy, the lord of death, arrives like a bolt of lightning in the sky,

And nobody can predict when and where he will strike next.

So you can not afford to wait for months and years.

Now is the time for virtuous practice—right here, right now!

For all beings, actions will not go to waste, but will bear their fruit,

And when karma ripens, there is no way to change its outcome.

So now, while you are fortunate enough still to have some control,

If you insist on bringing ruin upon yourself, who will ever save you!

If merely thinking of the various sufferings of samsara,

Which are so unbearably intense, can make you shudder,

Ask yourself: What will it be like when body and mind

Are actually afflicted by these countless forms of duhkha?

Only they have the power to lead us out of this great terror,

So extremely difficult to escape. No one else could ever save us!

So we should take these three most precious jewels as our refuge,

For they are undeceiving, wise, compassionate and powerful.

All the suffering of the three worlds comes from wanting happiness for ourselves,

And all virtue and happiness is born of a mind that wishes others well.

So, following the example of the teacher of all gods and men,

You should generate the supreme and unsurpassed bodhichitta.

When the glass mirror of your own mind is completely covered over,

With the thick layer of dust that is the adventitious defilements,

It is difficult for the reflection of profound and clear samadhi to appear,

So take pains to wipe it clean using the pure cloth of the four powers.

All appearance, sound and awareness are deity, mantra and dharmata.

And the view is knowing that this is how it always has been.

Without losing this view, take aim with the arrow of your meditation,

And gain mastery over the practices of elimination and development.

If you can generate bliss, clarity and non-thought as means of support,

Through the techniques of breathing and adopting physical postures,

You will come to master the illusory body of clear light,

So penetrate to the core of enlightened mind through the perfection stage.

When the darkness of the five degenerations prevails,

It is not easily overcome with the starlight of the eight lower yanas,

So shine the brilliant light of the sun of Nyingtik with its countless rays,

All drawn along by the swift carriage of the three kinds of faith!

Whatever arises, in pure awareness, unaltered and unconfined,

Look into the mind that is settled by itself, resting naturally.

If you recognize the natural clarity, always empty and without origin,

You traverse the paths and stages all at once, and seize the stronghold of the fruition.

Resting in a state of just-as-it-isness, through the right postures and gazes,

If you experience the natural manifestation of basic space and spheres of light as pure awareness,

The darkness of samsara’s dualism will disappear in absolute space,

And, passing through the four visions, you will reach maturity in the light body of great transference.

What I have said here—this plain talk arranged in verses—is my heart’s advice.

Although it lacks the poetic turns of phrase that might delight the intellectuals,

As a spontaneous and unaltered outpouring from the depths of my mind,

It is in the preferred style of the vidyadharas of the old translation school.

Through the merit of this, may all beings without exception

Receive the supreme royal empowerment of the four kayas,

And may I never be separated, even for a moment,

From the courageous strength of youthful Manjushri!

In China, at the solitary place of Wu Tai Shan (The Five-Peaked Mountain), on the peak where the supreme deity, the youthful Manjushri, turned the wheel of the profound and vast Dharma for tens of thousands of bodhisattvas, the one with unparalleled power of speech and intelligence (Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok) set down in twenty-three minutes whatever came to mind. May it be virtuous!

| Translated by Adam Pearcey, Rigpa Translations, 2005. Thanks to Lama Chökyi Nyima for his kind assistance and to Matthew Pistono for his encouragement.

Waterbowl Offerings in 9 days during Losar



Ngon Dro, 100.000 Waterbowl Offerings in 9 days, with Ven. Tenzin Chodron

Friday February 28, 6.00 pm until Sunday March 9, 6.00 pm

Ngon Dro is an extraordinary preliminary practice in Tibetan Buddhism. These practices are designed to accumulate merit and purify negativities in order to quickly generate realizations on the path. The ordinary preliminaries are contemplations on the difficulty of obtaining a perfect human rebirth, impermanence and death, the law of karma and the Dharma practice from the outset is a gradual process of mental development.
Without the experiences of the initial stages, it is impossible to reach the final goal, enlightenment. To build the ‘house’ of the Dharma, you need the foundation of preparing the mind by means of the preliminaries. Intellectual understanding is not enough but must be followed by intensive practice if true realization is to be gained.

Waterbowl oferings are one of the nine ngon dro’s in the Gelugpa tradition.
Generally it takes an individual around four months to complete the waterbowl
offerings. However, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, in his kindness, has permittedus to do these offerings in an unique group retreat. This way we can accumulate all water bowls offered by the participants so we can accomplish the 100.000 waterbowls all together in 9 days.

Losar 2014 will be on March 2. Because this retreat will take place in the first week of the new Tibetan year, the merit we collect as a group will be multiplied by

Benefits of making waterbowl offerings.
The altar is designed to inspire the mind and move the heart! The practice of making offerings helps us to practice generosity.
By offering to the Buddha’s we create a huge amount of positive merit, this nourishes our practice and study and helps us to attain liberation from
suffering and reach enlightenment as quickly as possible. It is beneficial not only in terms of the dharma, but also in our daily life. It is a remedy for miserliness.

The course includes meals, accommodation, bed linen and towel.
To help cover our costs: € 380, –

Nederlandse tekt

Unieke GROEPSRETRAITE 100.000 water offerandes

28 FEBRUARI – 9 MAART 2014

NGON DRO ol.v. Ani Tenzin Chodron

Drie invalshoeken om te participeren:

* Als deelnemer, waarbij in acht dagen, drie sessies per dag, de aantallen geofferde waterbakjes van de hele groep bij elkaar opgeteld mogen worden (Lama Zopa Rinpoche) en we aldus tezamen het aantal van 100.000 proberen te halen, wat dan een volledig gekwalificeerde Ngon Dro wordt.

We sluiten als groep op de laatste retraitedag af met een Dorje Khadro vuur offerande, waarin zwart sesamzaad wordt geofferd om alle omissies tijdens de retraite te zuiveren.

* Als ondersteuner, hiervoor kun je je per dag/sessie inschrijven. Je zorgt dat de waterkannen gevuld & klaargezet worden voor de deelnemers, de emmers waarin de waterbakjes worden geleegd afgevoerd worden, eventueel help je bij het legen van de waterbakjes aan het eind van de sessie en je helpt allerlei andere logistieke zaken oplossen. Tijdens de sessie kun je meedoen met de voorbereidende en afsluitende gebeden (in het engels) en het offeren van elke ronde/tafel waterbakjes. Iedere dag zijn er drie helpers nodig.

Deze ondersteuning geldt niet als een officiële Ngon Dro, maar je verzamelt wel heel veel positieve energie en je doet goede

indrukken op om in een volgende retraite zelf als deelnemer te fungeren

* Als sponsor van algemene offergaven, saffraan, waterbakjes, waterkannen, emmers, tafelzeil, grondzeil en wat er allemaal wel niet komt kijken bij zo’n intensieve groepsretraite. Zo gauw de namen van de deelnemers bekend zijn, kan het zijn dat je bijvoorbeeld een sangha lid helpt sponsoren om aan deze retraite mee te doen of een andere minder draagkrachtige deelnemer.

Je kunt specifieke toewijdingen opgeven voor het einde van de retraite.

Plaats: Maitreya Instituut Loenen. Kosten: € 380,-
Groepsgrootte: 15­20 deelnemers, internationaal/uit verschillende centra.
Mochten we onverhoopt het aantal water offerandes niet halen in deze week en heb je daartoe wel het advies van je leraar, dan kun je deze Ngon Dro thuis verder afmaken.