Hello! My name is Tsering Phuntsok and I am from Kopan monastery. I am very fortunate that Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup allowed me to join such a wonderful monastery when I applied in 1997. Since then I have studied English and Tibetan languages as well as Buddhist philosophy. I also worked for the monastery in the reception for 3 years.
Kopan offers many courses for people who are interested in Buddhism and we have many kind and highly qualified teachers and amongst them is Venerable Namgyel. He is very nice, kind and very down to earth. Our precious Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundup gave me permission to travel with Ven. Namgyel and told me to assist him when he is travelling. I think I am very fortunate to get such a precious opportunity to travel with him and to benefit others.
My first experience of long distance travel was flying to Moscow. I flew from Delhi on 2nd of September and Ven. Namgyel flew from Madrid to Moscow on the same day. Andrea, Galina and Sergye were waiting for us in the Moscow airport and that was my first time meeting with them. The first big surprise came when. as we were driving back to the city, Andrea said at 5.30pm, would you mind if a TV crew comes at 7.30pm to interview Venerable for the public TV channel in Moscow. This was a big opportunity for Buddhism to be shown on main stream TV with millions of viewers. I was surprised when Venerable agreed to do the interview (as I thought he must be exhausted, it taking two days for him to get to Moscow, as his plane broke down - another story!), but then Andrea had said it would only take 15 to 20 minutes. It ended up being about an hour and a half, and later the interviewer phoned to say that it had had such a big effect on her personally that the channel had decided to do a series of programmes with the assistance of the FPMT centre in Moscow.
To be continued.....