News from Menri Lopon / Lama Tashi House
December 19, 2016
To my dear friends and students,
It has been a very long time since I last wrote to you. This year, I’ve been very busy with many projects and programs.
On April 21 and 22 we held a Tenshug ceremony for His Eminence Yongdzin Rinpoche at Triten Norbutse in Kathmandu Nepal. Here, we gave thanks to HE for all of the good he has done for the Bönpo world and made many heartfelt prayers for his long life and good health. I am pleased that Khyungdzong Wodsel Ling and many other people donated generously to this event.
More recently, we held another Tenshug ceremony for His Holiness Menri Trizin from October 31 to November 2, over three days. Here we also offered mandalas to His Holiness and made prayers for his long life.
Both of these Tenshug were particularly special as this was the first time all Bönpos have gathered together to make offerings to our highest lamas. This may be the largest such gathering in history.
Attendees came from all corners of the world, and many more offered simultaneous prayers from their homes. It was a great success and brought happiness to many Bönpos around the world.
After the Tenshug, HH Menri Trizin left for NY, for medical tests and care. His health is now much better, and he is getting stronger every day. Thank you everyone for all of the long life prayers and mantras you have dedicated to His Holiness. They have had a very positive impact on his condition.
I also hold the deepest gratitude for Chongtrul Rinpoche who is taking excellent care of His Holiness as he recovers.
I left Menri Monastery for Europe on November 16. First I gave a teaching on the Six Lokas in Frankfurt Germany.
After Frankfurt, I travelled to Shenten Dargye Ling in France, for the fourth annual western Bönpo Lama conference. There I met with HE Yongdzin Rinpoche, and Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung who hosted the conference as well as many other lamas who are teaching in the west. We discussed several different topics over the course of three days, such as the best methods for teaching our western students and the need for a set of prayers common to all western sanghas. We are very close to creating this common liturgy. All in all it was a very fruitful meeting, and we are much closer because of it. Yongdzin Rinpoche was very pleased with the result and gave us much valuable advice and blessings throughout the meeting. We are looking forwards to next year’s conference at Chamma Ling Canada.
On November 25 Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and I did a public talk on the channels and winds as they relate to our mind, body and health, in Paris France. The talk was very popular and was attended by many people.
On November 26, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Geshe Tenzin Yangton Rinpoche and I travelled to Berlin, where we gave a one day teaching on the three heart mantras. This was held on November 27.
For the next three days we had some much needed rest and relaxation. We had wonderful time in Berlin.
On December 1, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and I went to Warsaw Poland. There I gave a talk on December 2 titled, “How our Mind Creates Peace in Our Life”. Some 170 people attended, and many of the attendees had to stand as the lecture hall was so full.
From December 3 through December 4, I gave teachings on the 3 Heart Mantras and a long life empowerment.
My teaching tour ended on December 5 in Krakow where I gave a morning talk at Jagiellonian University on my upcoming Encyclopedia of Bön and Dzogchen, and an evening talk at Ligmincha Krakow on how to practice and meditate.
My entire trip was organized by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and Ligmincha International. Although this trip was relatively short, I was very happy, as I was able to make very worthwhile use of my time.
It has been three years since I last visited Europe. I met many old friends who have become my family over the years. Next, I hope to come to the USA. I miss you all.
Now I am back at Menri Monastery and life has returned to its normal pace. I am busily working on my Encyclopedia. I have finished the bulk of it but am now checking and rechecking it for errors. It is a very
long process, but I hope to be finished soon.
Many Many Tashi Delek to you all.
Menri Ponlob Rinpoche
UPDATE ON LAMA TASHI’S HOUSE:
We are continuing to raise money for a house in Kathmandu for Lama Tashi, Menri Lopon’s cousin. We have been given a very generous matching grant for the first $10,000 we raise this year. We have raised about half of this so far. The first floor is completed, and Lama Tashi is already living in the house. But we need to finish the building, and the matching grant is only for money raised before December 31.
For those of you who have never met Lama Tashi, here is a biography of him, written by Geshe Tenzin Yangton:
Yangton Lama Tashi Gyaltsen was born into the esteemed Yungdrung Bön Yangton lineage in 1954 in Tsarka, Dolpo in Northwest Nepal. After completing the traditional 3 year retreat, he attained the knowledge and experience of a tantric practitioner. As a young man, he was the first resident of the remote village of Tsarka to go to Menri Monastery in India at the behest of H.E Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche. He received his monk’s vows from both H.H 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpa’i Nyima Rinpoche and Tsundue Rinpoche. And after many years of study, he received the auspicious Geshe degree in the year 1986. He also gained much profound knowledge of the Dzogchen teachings from Yongzin Sangye Tenzin Rinpoche, Yongzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche and Tsundue Rinpoche. In later years, he was instrumental in bringing some of his relatives, such as his cousin H.E Menri Ponlob Trinley Nyima Rinpoche, to Menri Monastery. Currently, he is the Head Lama of Yanggon Thongdrol Phuntsog Ling Monastery in Tsarka, Dolpo.
After receiving his Geshe degree, he returned to his native village of Tsarka. There, he began to share his knowledge with the male and female tantric practitioners, as well as leading the ritual gatherings and giving blessings and empowerments to the community. Additionally, it was his responsibility to become the lama to train and support those undergoing the traditional three year retreat. He realized the need for a gompa in the village and began construction of the Yanggon Thondrol Phuntsok Ling Monastery in 1988. He also relocated the temple which housed all of the sacred texts, Tardzong Phuntsok Ling Monastery, from the opposite side of the river so that it could be more accessible and nearby the newly constructed gompa. He also built a khor khang (a prayer-wheel room), a kitchen, a residence for practitioners, and a store room. He thus reestablished a perfect environment for the practitioners of the three year retreat and practitioners in general. His efforts in this respect are unequaled.
At this time, due to the strong influence of Lama Tashi, more than 50 villagers have traveled to India or Nepal in order to join the schools there or to take vows and study as monks or nuns. In the local village, he supports the villagers’ needs through offering rituals, blessings, spiritual guidance, mediating disputes and sharing his immense knowledge and experience. He also continues to take responsibility for the practitioners in the three year retreat.
Yangton Lama Tashi naturally embodies the profound qualities of a great practitioner. He perfectly maintains his practice and his vows. By traveling throughout the world, he has been able to share this wisdom with Western students.
As the year draws to a close, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to build a home for this amazing Bon master. A gift of any amount is very helpful and generates great merit. If each person on this list gave just $25, we could meet our matching-gift goal!
Please consider making a tax deductible donation through Khyungdzong Wodsel Ling by following the link below:
If you would prefer to donate by check, please make the check payable to KHYUNGDZONG WODSEL LING and mail to:
c/o Dika Ryan
1977 N. New Hampshire Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027