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[This document can be acquired from a sub-directory coombspapers via anonymous FTP and/or COOMBSQUEST gopher on the node COOMBS.ANU.EDU.AU] The document's ftp filename and the full directory path are given in the coombspapers top level INDEX file] [This version: 30 July 1993] ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Originally this text was a Mac MsWord 3 file using "ANUIndian" font to handle diacritical marks). SAKYA LOSAL CHOE DZONG CLEAR MIND QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER No 6 November 1990 - January 1991 NEWS NEWS NEWS 1. The centre thanks Susie Servante for cooking delicious meals for all the courses we have held and those people and organizations who have donated books for our library. Thanks to those who have kindly responded to our appeal to join our membership and subscription. Due to the inflation of printing and postage, the centre will be unable to send newsletter to those who have not paid the subcription unless it is sent as soon as possible before the next issue. This is the last reminder. 2. The centre coincidentally received a statue of Mahsiddha Virpa from India, which we ordered early this year as Lama Choedak finished his thesis on the origin of Lamdre Tradition in India. The life of Virpa is the central theme of Lama'ss thesis since Virpa is the transmitter of Lamdre lineage. We will soon arrange to have the statue consecrated so that it can be placed on the centre's altar. A copy of Lama's thesis will soon be available in the centre's library. 3. Lama Choedak and his wife, Mirabelle announces the birth of their lovely son Sherab Gyatsho. He was born on the 29th of August, 1990. To welcome Sherab, all members are cordially invited to an informal lunch to be held at their residence on Saturday, 10 November at 1.00 pm. Please confirm before 7th November if you can come. Phone 2952151. 4. The members and friends of the Sakya Losal Choe Dzong will have a year end shared social dinner to be held on Sat. 1, Dec. 7.00 pm. at the centre. As we have come to know each other through our common interest in Buddhism, it is a good idea to get together. Please bring a plate. As there will also be a short general meeting at the end of the evening, all members are requested to attend. An Introductory Course on Buddhist Meditation At the request of some friends of our members, Lama Choedak will be conducting an Introductory course on Buddhist meditation on Saturday, 24 November, 1990. This is the fourth time that this course has been offered by popular demands. It is suitable for both beginners and old students as it gives an opportunity to find peace and happiness within ourselves by developing the discipline of calmness and awareness. The course will be interspersed with short sessions of guided meditation, instructions and discussions. It begins at 10. 00 am and finishes at 5.00 pm. It costs $50 and $40 for members and concession. A vegetarian lunch and refreshments will be provided. While another year is coming to an end, try to develop some worthwhile spiritual discipline by learning how to meditate properly with a teacher. There is no religious obligation attached in attending this course. Bookings are prefered. Phone 2951038 or 2952151. Second White Tr Annual Retreat The second annual White Tr retreat is now confirmed to be held at Birrigai Recreation Camp where the first retreat was held. This retreat is primarily for those students who received White Tr initiation from Her Eminence Jetsun Kushola in October 1989, but Ven. Gyalsay Tulku Rinpoche may be able to come to give the initiation and lead the retreat if there are new students who wish to take part in this retreat. Please contact Lama Choedak if any of your friends wish to do the retreat and receive the initiation. This practice is benefecial and powerful to revitalize one's spiritual energy and it removes all the obstacles you may otherwise face on the path. This retreat will be held together with a Buddhist retreat organized by A.C.T. Buddhist society in two separate groups. There may be some joined sessions in the evenings with the other group if convenient, but there is enough space for two groups to be independent of the other group. Meals will be served together. The retreat starts at 7.00 pm on Fri. 14, Dec. and finishes on 5.00 pm Monday. The Eight Mahyna precepts will be observed on Saturday and Sunday which includes noble silence until lunch time and fasting after mid day. The cost will be no more than $15-20 per day including meals depending on the number of participants. So please place your bookings as early as possible by filling the form. Understanding the significance of a Buddhist Shrine It is our human nature to keep precious things in a safe place when we have them. We can tell ourselves what are the most important objects we own by examining where and how we keep them. For a practising Buddhist, an image or a drawing of the Buddha and other Buddhist symbols are important objects which enhance his faith and remembrance of the teachings. The time and effort required to keep the shrine clean and replenished with flowers and other offerings is considered a skilful activity to focus one's mind in the spiritual practices. It will be more than interesting if we can realize the reason why we arrange and keep our things around the house reflect our state of minds. It appears that things can and have meanings as much as our minds can project upon them. We are not going to tell our children that their toys are not real and have no significance. Your 15 year old Holden may seem unreal when you see your friend's new sports car. When you walk into a Buddhist shrine, you can tell that your heart-felt devotion or lack of it, is expressed through your body language. Just as all objects have some kind of power or influence to our minds, the serene Buddha image and nicely arranged flowers and aromatic incense cause our minds to reflect within ourselves in the deep meditative concentration. The positive impact of seeing a Buddha image on our minds cannot be underestimated. The Buddha images are purposely consecrated and blessed to radiate the spiritual power and blessings so that whoever happen to see them experiences the positive feeling through the medium of the statue. As long as our minds are dependent upon sensory objects, it is important to have appropriate objects conducive to our minds. A Buddhist would find it inspiring and motivating to see a Buddha image, which helps him to remember the qualities of a Buddha and his teachings. He or she shows devotion by bowing down, offer flowers and light a candle or two before taking a seat to meditate. Bowing down purifies pride and cultivates humility. One cannot meditate properly if one cannot let go off such negativities. The shrine enables us to remind ourselves to surrender all the negativities in order to feel peace, serenity, tranquility, freedom and light. Keeping the shrine clean represents the sanctification of our spiritual self and acknowledges the purity of an enlightened being. In Tibetan Buddhist shrines, many water bowls are arranged on the altar to cultivate its manyfold qualities, fluidity, continuity, universality and purity in our practice and faith. Flowers, candles, fruits and incense are brought as offerings to the Buddha and they give us an opportunity to practise generosity and test our understanding of the Law of Karma. When you come to attend a session, rearrange the offerings on the altar, clean the water bowls and fill them with fresh water [start from left to right], remove withered flowers and old fruits and light a candle before you take a seat. You will be surprized with the difference it makes to your meditation. While you are doing these, you can pray your wishful thoughts in the following manner: Water: May I and others cultivate pure and continuous faith in our spiritual practices! Flower: May my heart blossom with the gift of love and compassion so that I can share it to others and grace them with happiness! Incense: May all the negative vibrations accumulated due to my selfishness, ignorance, greed and hatred be purified by the aroma of the practice of morality! Light: May the light of understanding, faith, awareness and wisdom illuminate the darkness of confusion, mistrust and all defilements! Perfume: May the aroma of unshakable faith and confidence have the ability to please anybody who come in contact with me! Fruit: May I be able to satisfy the needs of sentient beings by sustaining the mind with the abundant food of meditation and wisdom! Now, you can practice this when you go to the centre next time or visit a temple, or you can perhaps rearrange the Buddha image in your house to enrich the spiritual vibration around your house. SPIRITUAL CALENDAR NOVEMBER - JANUARY 1991 Fri. 2, Nov. Full-Moon Precept Day and Green Tr Pja, 5-30 am. Fri. 9, Nov. Sixteen Arhat Pja to celebrate Anniversary of Buddha's Descent from heaven, 7.00 pm. Mon. 12, Nov. Vajrayogin Tshog Day. Sun. 18, Nov. White Tr Practice Group, 7.00 pm. Sat. 24, Nov. An Introductory Course on Buddhist Meditation, 10 am to 5.00 pm. Tue. 27, Nov. Vajrayogin Tshog Day. Sat. 1, Dec. YEAR END SOCIAL DINNER, 7.00 pm. Please Bring a plate to share. Sun. 2, Dec. Full-Moon Precept Day and Green Tr Pja, 5-30 am. Tue. 11, Dec. Vajrayogin Tshog Day and also Tsongkhapa's Anniversary. Fri. 14 to Mon. 17 Dec. White Tra Second Annual Retreat at Birrigai Recreation Camp. Sun. 23, Dec. White Tr Practice Group, 7.00 pm. Thu. 27, Dec. Vajrayogin Tshog Day. Sun. 30, Dec. Lamdre Guru Pja to celebrate the Anniversary of Sakya Paita Kunga Gyaltshan, 10. 00 am. Please Bring a plate of food, candles and incense for the ceremony. Mon. 31, Dec. Full-Moon (New Year Eve) Precept Day and Green Tr Pja, 5-30 am. Thu. 10, Jan. Vajrayogin Tshog Day. Sun. 20, Jan. White Tr practice Group, 7.00 pm. Fri. 25, Jan. Vajrayogin Tshog Day. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- APPLICATION AND REGISTRATION FORM Treasurer, Sakya Losal Choe-Dzong, Center For Tibetan Buddhist Studies, P.O. Box 3430, Manuka,A.C.T. 2603 Australia Name...................................................... Addres........................................................ Ph.....................[h] ............................[w] I enclose my membership fee $ 50.00 I wish to subscribe the Clear Mind Newsletter $ 15.00 Register me for the workshop on "Introductory Course on Buddhist Meditation" $ 50, Conc. $40. Register me for the Second Annual White Tr Retreat $60 (Approximately]. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- SAKYA LOSAL CHOE DZONG CENTRE FOR TIBETAN BUDDHIST STUDIES, P.O. BOX 3430, MANUKA, A.C.T. 2603 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- end of file

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