Monday, December 2, 2013

Bunbury and return to Rishikesh

Somehow the time in Bunbury went very quickly so my blogging lapsed!  Ven Namgyal (spelt differently) gave me a lot of his time and was very kind towards me, as were Julie and Glynis and the other volunteers who sometimes prepared food.  The group has bought a house in the CBD area which is being converted by Venerable and will be marvellous once completed.  The return flight was uneventful.  I stopped overnight in Bangkok airport at a really nice hotel (Novotel) and I can definitely recommend that hotel as a place to relax for a few hours.
Back in Rishikesh, it is getting cold at night, around 9C and will get colder.  The days are warm.  I got straight into the garden, planting and replanting and grass is arriving today.  Soon HH is teaching in Delhi, which I am very fortunate to be able to attend and after that the Vajrasattva retreat will commence.
Have a wonderful Christmas and new year and I am sure you will all remember to cherish others, care about others, be kind towards others and not be so concerned about yourself and what you are receiving!
By the way, I am reading Rinpoche's Bodhicitta booklet - it is beautifully edited by Ven Sarah Thresher - and is a marvellous way to start the day.  The book will be published soon I understand.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

2014 teaching schedule

I have just posted the updated teaching schedule on this blog.


The teachings in Adelaide were well received and many old and new students turned up.  We also had some participants for the Reiki Two workshop, which was also enjoyable.  Now I am in Bunbury until the last week of November and will start teaching on the 4th November, about the meditation practice of Medicine Buddha.  Thursdays are Disturbing Emotions!  7pm.  All welcome.  See you soon.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sad news

I am very sad to inform you that Geshe Sonam Rinchen of the LTWA in Dharamsala passed away.  Please include Geshe-la in your prayers.  He was a great practitioner, and will be sorely missed by all his devoted students. 

Arrived in Perth and stayed with Michael for a few days - we had a lot of laughs, then flew to Adelaide and on to Brisbane, where I have stayed with Dan for three days.  He has bought three cottages next to Chenresig Institute and I have been touring the area, meeting up with old friends at Chenresig and generally enjoying myself and eating too much!  Tomorrow, Monday, I fly to Adelaide and then start teaching on Tuesday. 

I request you to please put the good heart, loving kindness, into practice as soon as possible.  The world needs it as do we. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rishikesh to Riga

It has been raining and thunderstorming pretty continuously throughout monsoon, which I find very enjoyable, as long as I am inside!  Being on a scooter in a storm is something else.....anyway, the news is that I am on my way to Riga for HH's teaching on the 8th September and then I will be leading a Medicine Buddha retreat for a weekend, then teachings on Lam Rim with LoJong.  After that a few days back in India then on to Buddha House in Adelaide for the month of October, followed by Hospice of Mother Tara in Bunbury near Perth for November. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Delhi and beyond

Rishikesh, India. 

ps regarding the Vajrasattva retreat - it is nearly full.  If you are interested please contact us soon.  WE kept the price very affordable and a big advantage of this retreat is the full involvement of Ven Tenpa and I will be there of course......

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Essential news


Denma LochoĆ« Rinpoche explained the following about taking vows. He said that if you 
ordination 11
have taken vows to refrain from committing certain actions and you abide by that, you receive benefits and merits. However, if you refrain from committing certain actions without having taken the vows, you do not accumulate the merit. For example, to be born as a human being you need the preliminary cause of pure morality. This means having taken vows in the past and living purely. Then, in the case of a perfect human rebirth, this means having practiced charity. To have the opportunity to practice tantra, and to attain enlightenment in one life (in highest yoga tantra enlightenment is possible in three short years) comes from having practiced pure morality in the past. If we don’t take vows, then we don’t receive the benefit of abstaining from these actions, day and night, even when we’re asleep.

The minute we take the vows (until death for Pratimoksha vows, and until enlightenment for bodhisattva and tantric vows), day and night we collect merit all the time by living according to those vows. It is a cause to receive a good rebirth in your next life. If it is performed with renunciation, it becomes a cause to achieve liberation from samsara. If it is performed with bodhicitta, it becomes a cause for enlightenment. Then, day and night become a cause for enlightenment and to enlighten sentient beings. In the Mahayana practice, the goal is not just to achieve enlightenment yourself, but to lead all beings to enlightenment. Your goal is clear.

If a person is locked in a house alone and there are no insects in the house, he or she cannot kill anything. The person doesn’t commit the action. But that doesn’t mean the person creates the cause of a higher rebirth. However, if this person had taken the vow not to kill, then day and night he or she would create merit and progress on the spiritual path. By living according to vows, you have the freedom to practice the vows.

Worms and insects do not steal but they are not collecting merit. It is like a person in a coma or hibernating animals. They are not making their lives meaningful. But if the person in the coma has taken Pratimoksha, bodhisattva, or tantric vows, then in every second they are making their life meaningful.

So, it is not just about abstaining from negative actions. The higher training of morality is the basis for the higher training of concentration, which is the basis for the higher training of wisdom, which is the cause to purify samsara. Without that insight you can’t generate bodhicitta, and without that you can’t practice the tantric path and achieve enlightenment in one brief lifetime in this degenerate time.

Most worldly people base their lives around eating, sleeping, and getting married. They do not live according to vows. People who live according to vows collect merit all the time, collecting the cause for happiness in hundreds of thousands of lives. But without the vows, and if they have self cherishing thoughts, then they are continuously creating negative karma.

(Our thanks to The Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive and their 'Advice for Sangha' page)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Graz then Vienna

The Medicine Buddha retreat was powerful and went well. Another planned for next year. Vienna and the subject of Peaceful living, peaceful dying. A small but interested group. Now I'm back in India. We have already had torrential rains with devastating consequences. The hotel-retreat is nearly finished. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Berne Switzerland

We had a Reiki workshop last weekend and tomorrow night, Friday, I give a teaching on Relaxing and Being Spiritual.....followed by a weekend with Tara and how to meditate to actualise Buddhahood.  
Then next Tuesday we are on the train for many hours from Switzerland to Austria, Graz to be exact, where I lead a Medicine Buddha retreat from the 8-14th May.  After that Cyprus for a public talk on Friday the 17th followed by a weekend workshop on Healing Destructive Emotions.  
Back to Vienna and Peaceful Living, Peaceful Dying and then I return to Rishikesh and the Song River Retreat which is going to have it's official opening on the 6th July, coinciding with His Holiness the Dalai Lama's birthday.
Next January 15th-April 15th, Song River Retreat will be hosting a Vajrasattva Retreat.  If you are interested to attend, please contact me.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

late news - sorry

I had a really good time in Stockholm with a fairly new study group of the fpmt.  I taught Peaceful Living, Peaceful Dying.  It is available on the web through video.  Just finished teaching in Copenhagen, various subjects, but the main workshop was on Disturbing Emotions.  Twenty five people attended on the weekend.  Very sincere people, nice group.  Now Helsinki and Discovering Buddhism.  After this will be Bern in Switzerland. 

Exciting Rishikesh news

A group of FPMT Dharma students has asked if we can host a three month Vajrasattva retreat from 15th January-15th April 2014 in Rishikesh, India.  We are sure many people would be interested, but we will only take the first 16 applications.  If you are interested, please contact us through the site. 

During the retreat I would give teaching once a week and answer questions.  Also private interviews would be possible. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

I have already visited Spain, Moscow, Sweden and now I'm in Riga and we started Chenresig Retreat last night.  So last night it started snowing and now the city is covered in beautiful, white snow.  Very auspicious! 
In Rishikesh the building continues and the actual structure will be finished in another two weeks, then internal plastering and painting and the windows, doors, plumbing and electrical still need to be finished.  I think totally finished by September. 
Take care and much love to all at Easter.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rishikesh in a downpour

Hi All,
It has been raining for three days and so the builders took a day off yesterday and huddled over a fire.  Back to work today and here are a couple of photos to update you on the progress, which is working on the third floor, the gompa and a few other rooms. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Choeding Rinpoche, Pokhara

I am very sorry to inform you that Rinpoche passed away at 5pm on Sunday the 6th January 2013.  Prayers for Rinpoche's quick return would be appreciated.  We will have to build a stupa for Rinpoche, to ensure His return and it is important to fulfil Rinpoche's final wishes, the main one being to build a school for the young children and give them a good education.  Thank you very very much.   Venerable Namgyel.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Rishikesh and the roof!

The last roof went on at the end of December, we had 35 people working all day and more dust and dirt!  After the roof was on, an Australian group from Buddha House came to visit, before they left on a train from Haridwar to Bodh Gaya.  It was wonderful to see them.  Next visitor was Kiko from Tushita and we spent a really nice time catching up on all the news from Tushita and Kiko's travels with his parents around India.  Tomorrow I leave for Kathmandu for a week and then return to Rishikesh for a month until I travel to Moscow.  Oh, by the way, I attended H.H.'s teachings in Delhi along with 800 Russians.  The ethnic costumes some of the participants wore were very beautiful.  That's it.  Happy new year everybody.  Ven Namgyel.