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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: 2 August 1993] ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- SAKYA LOSAL CHOE DZONG THE CLEAR MIND QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER No 9 August - October 1991 Reflections on Drukchen's Visit Thank you everybody who brought nice selection of delicious meals to welcome His Holiness Drukchen and His entourage when they visited our centre in May. We received His blessings as we approached him by offering Khatak (traditional Tibetan greeting scrafs). After Ken Gardiner gave a short welcome speech on behalf of the centre, His Holiness expressed his happiness of being able to come to the centre and hoped to come for a longer a time when he visits next time. He said, "Although I have not seen much, the feeling in this centre is very good". I was very impressed with His Holiness Drukchen's calmness, openness and non-traditional formalities in greeting lay disciples. Having felt His well-wishing energy from my first meeting, I was also fortunate to be able to attend the Mahamudra Guru Yoga Visualization held at Wat Buddha Dhamma; also my first retreat there. Some 70 people attended the retreat. After the retreat, above all experiences, His message clearly rang in my mind on the importance of cultivation, cultivation and more cultivation in order to awaken Bodhicitta. In the process of cultivating, we might be able to develop patience rather than impatience, faith instead of doubt and suspicion and wisdom instead of confusion so that all adverse conditions in our daily lives can no longer weaken our motivation and joyful effort in the practice of the precious Dharma. This is the message clearly ringing in my mind upto this day. Let us strive hard while we have this precious opportunity so that we do not go empty handed when we eventually pass away from this world. Let us become resolute in our practices to achieve the ultimate result, the Enlightenment. John Chen Canberra is not always included in tours by visiting Buddhist teachers, but thanks to Lama Choedak's prior contact with His Holiness, and his prowess as a translator, we were lucky to have a stimulating talk on compassion given by His Holiness at the Shakyamuni Buddhist Centre on the night of Thursday, 2nd May. There followed a weekend retreat at Wat Buddha Dhamma near Dharug National Park, a venue made available through the kindness of Ven. Khantipalo. In these ideal surroundings of quiet sessions around an analysis of the Mahamudra Guru Yoga Visualisation, guiding us through the difficult topics of non-objectification and non-duality with a wonderful combination of human warmth and penetrating insight. It was a wonderful experience; in the two days one could actually feel oneself growing. I found the following lines formed themselves in my head as I lay trying to get to sleep on a moderately cold bunk: After the lecture on non-objectification, after the chants with bell and drum, remember the empty meditation hall at midnight -- the Milky Way tangled behind black trees. Ken Gardiner Helping to Subsidize the Centre's Rent The committee has been trying to find someone to take Chris's place who has gone overseas for seven months but so far we have not found one. If anyone out there knows someone who is sympathetic to the Buddhist way of life and might be interested in living at the centre, please contact Tim Brennan at the centre on 2925622. A special meeting was held on 26 May to inform members that with effect from 4 June, members and friends of the centre have to consider about ways of helping the centre either by subsidizing part of the centre's rent or finding someone to share accomodation at the centre. It was suggested and agreed by those at the meeting that members and friends of the centre make a monthly contribution to subsidize half of the rent until someone is found so that the activities of the centre can be maintained. It was also suggested that those who could make any contribution are requested to inform the treasurer and make their contribution to the centre's account by the end of each month. The committee appreciates the generosity of all the people who were at the meeting and request those people who were not at the meeting to make their contributions as soon as possible. You can ask your bank to pay directly each month to Sakya Losal Choe Dzong Savings Account No: 2903 0090 7892 Commonwealth Bank A. N. U. However little our contribution might be, if we all give whatever we can, we will be able to help the centre to continue its activities. The centre exists to help us all and it is essential for our practice to support and create the right seeds for the growth of ther Dharma. With everyone's support the centre can maintain its weekly programmes and invite many prominent Buddhist teachers to Canberra to enhance the Dharma energy so that it can flourish even if we were to pass away in a few years time. Helping the centre cannot be compared with other things we might do in our lives as what we do for the centre is likely to be carried out by some other people. This is how the Dharma has been preserved and shared in the past. The happiness, light, peace and joy that the Dharma teachings brings to our hearts come from the results of unselfish deeds of our ancestors who have dedicated their whole lives for the Dharma. What we do for our own purposes often fail to provide any sense of satisfaction, and even if they did they do not necessarily add to the benefit of others. If we were able to do something for the benefit of the centre even if we had to face some personal difficulties, we will be able to acknowledge the devotion and patience of our predecessors and will gain vigour and strength to emulate their good examples. The continuation of the Dharma activities depend entirely on people and their dedication to it. The dedication amounts to our thoughts for the centre and what we do for it. All of our wishes to help the centre and doing what we can when our help is needed is a great source of fulfillment and inspiration. The centre represents the collective drops of water which helps to blossom flowers of hearts of many people including ourselves. This is a reminder for a timely drop. Special General Meeting on Constitution The constitutional sub-committee will submit the draft constitution of the Society at the next Special General Meeting to be held on Sunday, 18 August. The meeting will begin at 11.00 am after the regular session. All members and friends are requested to attend this important meeting where your advice, suggestions, criticism and ideas will be sought to endorse and finalize the contents of the constitution. This will be followed by a shared lunch. Copies of the draft constitution are available at the Centre for fully paid members who wish to read it. Notice The editor welcomes any contributions you may have for the newsletter. All contributions must be your own thoughts, experiences and views which may add to the illumination of the readers' mind. It must not exceed 300 words limit. Contributions to the next issue must be sent in by 30th September 1991. Workshop on Three Yanas With Lama Samten We are happy to announce the forthcoming visit of Lama Samten, who many of you may remember from his previous visits. He has been the resident teacher at the New Zealand Karma Kagyu Tibetan monastery for many years and has made numerous visits to Australia. As a Buddhist teacher, Tibetan sculptor and an artist, he is building some of the first Tibetan Buddhist monuments in this part of the world. Lama arrives in Canberra on Wednesday 10 July and will preside over the Chenrezig practice that night. The high light of Lama Samten's visit in Caberra will be a full day workshop on Sunday, 14th July, on the Three Yanas. Yana means a carriage or vehicle. In Buddhism, there are three main vehicles or schools known as Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. If you need a spiritual carriage or a path, or if your carriage(s) need servicing, then this is a perfect opportunity. This workshop will discuss the basic principles of the three Yanas and their different approachs to View, Meditation and Action. Lama will explain the practicle aspects of the three Yanas rather than their doctrinal differences. There are many of us who know very little about the Dharmic significance and relevance of the three Yanas and become attached to one or the other vehicles. Those who store away their vehicles amidst cultural trapping and clinging cannot appreciate other vehicles. It is not the vehicles that are inherently lesser or higher but it is the difference in the intelligence and motivation of those who practise them. Did the Buddha teach all the three Yanas ? Why did the Buddha teach three Yanas instead of one? Can anyone practise all three of them, if so how ? These sorts of questions are very common for an individual who makes a genuine attempt to fully understand Buddhism. The cost of this workshop is $50 and $ 40 for members. Refreshment and lunch will be provided. An Important Workshop on How to Help the Dying and the Deceased With Lama Choedak If someone you love moves far away, you sent letters and gifts in order to show your love and concern. We also appreciate when our friends or family in the distant send us letters or gifts. When people we love pass away, we wanted to know where do they go, sleep, eat and how they look like. We wish to do something for them only if we know exactly what we could do. Even though they are not physically with us, it is hard to believe that they have vanished altogether. Whatever is our belief, a death of a family member or a friend can strike us with a feeling that the deceased person is somewhere out there, wondering how much we love them and probably afraid that we might have forgotten them. What do people do to help the deceased ? In the West relatives take flowers to the grave yard and try to wish the deceased a peaceful journey. It is remarkable to notice how people act in their own way of expressing their affection and love for the deceased regardless of their religious belief or non-belief. This dispells our doubts as to how do what we do can help the deceased. We will not be concerned with the results of what we do but will be confident that what we do is right thing to do. In Tibetan Buddhism, there are many ways to help the deceased. Death is not considered as the end of a person but a mere parting between the body and the consciousness. It is in fact the termination of the soul's tenancy with the body. It is the eviction of the soul. Since the lease has expired, they will have to find another body. The person ceases to live in the same body but he still lives on in a different form. If someone is really dead, who do you take the flower to ? Why don't you give the flower to someone you just met in the street ? No one dies, they just change the way they use to live. It is based on this belief that you can help the deceased because they are not dead. In fact they can come and visit you whenever they like without prior arrangements. Even if we believe that the deceased might have already found a rebirth, our love could still be expressed. In Buddhism, heaven and hell are not somewhere out there eternally, they are just as impermanent as this life, perhaps not so short. Even after the funeral ceremony which is traditionally considered as the final arrangement of parting between the physical and spiritual world, most deceased people do not realize what exactly has happened to them. From the time the consciousness leaves the body until it finds a new body, it remains in a state called "Bardo". Bardo means  state of limbo, neither in this nor in the other world. Even many days and weeks after the death, the consciousness returns to the family and friends to seek their attention, help and company. Bardo consciousness is extremely clever but very fearful and suspicious. They become very receptive to any spiritual guidance, and develops a special affinity with spiritual contact since they live in the spirit realm without a physical body. The deceased come back in the house and checks whether they have been served food or thought about and talked about in the family every now and then. This becomes a daily routine. In the beginning they do not know that they are dead, but as days and weeks pass without anyone guiding them to tell them what has happen to them, they become suspicious about their identity and become extremely worrried. If prayers and instructions to guide the deceased is performed from the day he has passed until at least 49 days, the deceased will accept death without being attached to this world, his belongings and family, and will have easy passage of the Bardo period. If he receives no spiritual help, the deceased become extremely angry and his Bardo experience becomes very frightful. Some houses are haunted by confused and attached deceased people who did not receive spiritual help and failed to find a suitable rebirth. In Tibetan Buddhism, there are many ways one can pray to help the deceased. If you do not know how to pray and dedicate, you can ask monks, Lamas or group of practitioners to do it on your behalf for your deceased friend or family member. Important thing is that it ought to be done within 49 days. Since death happens at unexpected times, it is important that you know how to do this before it happens. You can do it daily, weekly or at least periodically. In this workshop you will be given the transmission and will be taught how to pray and dedicate for the deceased. Death in a family can happen at any time, and you can help the best way you can without regret. You can perform this rite even for those who died many years ago. You will be given a bilingual text with full description and a tape of this practice. This rite enables the Bardo being to attain a quick rebirth without having to go through frightful experiences described the Tibetan Book of Dead. It is a sensitive offering that really invokes such beings and makes them aware of the true nature of their condition of being in the intermediate state. Cost: $75 and $65 for members and concession Venue: 33 Bruxner Close, Gowrie Date: Sunday, 15 September, 1991 Time: 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. Enquiries: Lama Choedak Ph. 2928150 Sponsoring a Tibetan Child Since we started sponsorship programme for Tibetan Refugee children in Nepal and India, there are number of people who are regularly sponsoring such children, but we still have some children whose photographs are still on the notice board waiting to be sponsored. We have recently received more photographs of needy children from Southern India where some of the biggest Tibetan refugee settlements are situated. The Year 1991 was declared International Year of Tibet by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 10 March. If you a wish to help Tibet and her cause, help a Tibetan child to obtain Tibetan education. Your kind thought to help a child can change his or her future with better education. Many Tibetan parents are forced to keep their children home to help them to spin wool and weave carpets since they cannot afford to send them to school. Your sponsorship money will provide food, clothing, medicine and education for these children and help to protect Tibetan culture, language and their way of life. Although the centre sends the money in lump sum once or twice a year, you can make your contribution on monthly basis to the centre's account. You can also make a lump sum donation when you can and do not have to commit to give every month or year. A Weekend Buddhist Retreat "Unfreezing the Heart: Compassion In Action" With Ven. Phra Khantipalo and Lama Choedak The Buddhist Society of ACT and the Tibetan Buddhist Society of Canberra are organizing a special weekend retreat to be jointly conducted by Ven. Phra Khantipalo and Lama Choedak at Birrigai Recreation Camp. This will be the first time that a senior western Theravada monk and a Tibetan teacher are jointly conducting a weekend residential retreat. It is very hard to meet one qualified Buddhist teacher let alone being able to find two teachers from distinct background conducting a retreat together. They will give talks, lead meditation and discussions based on their individual experiences and practices where both of them will be present. You will also hear their views on how to deal with the problem of domestic violence, drug addiction, alcoholism, sexuality, guilt, attachment, anger, resentment and any other topics which need clarification from the Buddhist point of view. The main theme of the retreat is "Unfreezing the Heart: Compassion In Action". Many people these days do some form of meditation in order to help to relax and overcome work related stress problems. Unable to cope with work and relationship difficulties, they practice meditation by isolating themselves from circumstances which they cannot deal properly. Keeping oneself away from others in the name of meditation may provide some superficial peace and tranquility, but at the same time it can be detrimental to the growth of one's heart if the motivation is incorrect. Just as warmth and moisture are two indispensable factors for the growth of plants and vegetables, we have to make sure that loving-kindness and compassion are developed if we are to adopt any form of spiritual discipline. Practice of meditation can be seen as very selfish and anti-social if the warmth of the personality is not forthcoming. Some serious and immature meditators are reluctant to work with others unless their wishes are fulfilled and fear association. They may be feeling freezing cold inside their heart if the motivation of practice is merely to escape from sharing and associating with others. He who feels fragile and afraid to be with others cannot offer anything to others. Perhaps it is necessary at some stage that meditators keep to themselves, but at some point in time they must come out to actualize giving and sharing with fellow sentient beings. Lord Buddha spent six years in deep meditation but he spent rest of his life helping the community with his creative compassion. If one has been growing by practising meditation, one must put one's realization put to the test in the tough world. How can one apply one's meditation on compassion in action ? How do we implement mindfulness at our work ? How can our faith in the Dharma be strengthened when we have doubts about our practice and our spiritual friends ? Can we love someone without attachment ? How do we reconcile with ourselves if we have done something wrong in the past ? How can we detect the quality of our motivation before performing a deed ? These sorts of questions will be answered in this retreat. Cost: $75.00 inclusive of food and lodging Venue: Birrigai Recreation Camp, Thidbinbilla Rd. Date: Fri. 7.00 pm, August 9 to Sun. 5.00 pm. Inquiries: Boonsri Benn, President, Buddhist Society of ACT (h) 2540492, (O) 2753361, 2753086 Tim Brennan, President, Tibetan Buddhist Society of Canberra (h) 2925622, (O) 2931062 Note: Please bring your own cushion, towel and sheets. Registration and sleeping arrangement will be made at 6.00 pm and a light refreshment will be served at 7.00 pm on Friday. October Long Weekend Retreat Rejuvenation of Life: A Comprehensive Buddhist Retreat With Ven. Gyalsay Tulku Rinpoche and Lama Choedak The students of Sakya Tharpa Ling of Sydney and Sakya Losal Choe Dzong centres are organizing a combined residential retreat. Gyalsay Tulku Rinpoche and Lama Choedak will jointly conduct a comprehensive Buddhist Meditation retreat at the Christian Convention Centre in Stanwell Tops. It is an ideal venue where many Buddhist retreats have been conducted. The retreat starts with an introductory session at 8.00pm on Friday night and finishes at 3.00pm Monday. If we reflect on ourselves and regress what we have been doing so far in our lives, we do not have much to show except some memories. We are still struggling as much as we had began with as if nothing had been achieved. The fleetingness of life is hard to notice when we try to catch up the pace when we subscribe to the political, social and economical infrastucture of this illusory world. The more we try to be successful in our career and relationships the less we seem to live a life of our own. It appears as we have been blown away by a storm this far without having any control over our lives and what we do with it. If we look in the mirror, we notice from our faces how wearied and aged we already are. People go away for holidays in the island but rarely find happiness and come back dissappointed. Happiness does not come from what we want; it derives from accepting what we are engaged in doing. A calm, peaceful, mindful and patience mind can only enable us to see these things clearly. Our upbringing has rarely taught us these fundamentals of life and it looks as if we have been provoked to be greedy, materialistic and selfish. The logical and rational Buddhist philosophy, meditation and way of life can help you come to realize and develop a self-discipline to overcome these negativities. Cost: $ 110 Venue: Christian Convention Centre, Stanwell Tops Date: Friday 4 - Monday 7, October, 1991 Enquiries: Jane Miknius, Co-ordinator Sakya Tharpa Ling, Sydney Ph. (02) 8183695 Lama Choedak, Sakya Losal Choe Dzong, Canberra, Ph. (06) 2928150 ............................................................................................................................................................. R E G I S T R A T I O N F O R M Send to: Treasurer, Tibetan Buddhist Society of Canberra, P.O. Box 3430, Manuka, ACT, 2603 Name:................................................. Address................................................................................... Ph....................................I enclose cheque $................as a deposit(s) for (please tick): [ ] Workshop on Three Yanas With Lama Samten [ ] Retreat on Unfreezing the Heart: Compassion in Action [ ] Workshop on How to help the Deceased with Lama Choedak [ ] Retreat on Rejuvenation Life: A Comprehensive Buddhist Retreat SAKYA LOSAL CHOE DZONG SPIRITUAL CALENDAR AUGUST- OCTOBER, 1991 The Sunday morning meditation and Wednesady night practice sessions remain same as usual. All sessions and workshops are held at 33 Bruxner Close, Gowrie unless indicated otherwise. Vajrayogini initiates who wish to do fortnightly Tshog Offerings are asked to contact Lama for details. Month White Tara Practice Full-Moon Precept Ceremony August 7.00 pm 11 Sunday 5.30 am 25 Sunday September 7.00 pm 15 Sunday 5.30 am 23 Sunday October 7.00 pm 13 Sunday 4.30 am 23 Sunday a aaa aaaa aaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaa aaaaaa aaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaa aaaaaa aaa aaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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