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Chokhor Duchen Buddha Multiplying Day Is August 6
Chokhor Duchen, one of the four great holy days of the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, takes place this year on Saturday, August 6.

Also known as the Festival of Turning the Wheel of Dharma, Chokhor Duchen commemorates the anniversary upon which Shakyamuni Buddha first began teaching the Dharma. For seven weeks after his enlightenment, the Buddha did not teach. After this period, Indra and Brahma offered a Dharmachakra and a conch shell and requested Shakyamuni to teach. Accepting, Buddha Shakyamuni turned the Wheel of Dharma for the first time at Sarnath by teaching on the four noble truths.

Specific advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche for practices to do on Buddha Multiplying Days such as Chokhor Duchen can be found here, including new advice to recite the Sutra for Remembering the Three Jewels.

Chokhor Duchen also commemorates FPMT’s International Sangha Day!

Here is how you can celebrate monastics on Sangha Day:

Show respect for and appreciation of the SanghaGenerate deeper awareness of the Sangha JewelDonate to the Lama Yeshe Sangha Fund Please keep in mind: According to the late Ven. Choden Rinpoche, one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachers, observation of auspicious days should be according to the date in India, not the date in one’s home country. Therefore, when Lama Zopa Rinpoche is not in India, Rinpoche celebrates Buddha Days and other auspicious dates according to the time in India.

If you decide to recite the Sutra of Golden Light on this special day, you might like to report your recitations using the facility on the FPMT website, which you can find on the Sutra of Golden Light reporting page.


http://fpmt.org/edu-news/chokhor-duchen-buddha-multiplying-day-is-august-6/

Caption: Shakyamuni Buddha by Jane Seidlitz
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Tara Home's Compassionate Care for End of Life
Tara Home, located at Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel, California, is a home for terminally ill people entering their last few months of life. Around-the-clock compassionate care is provided by trained volunteers.

Tara Home relies completely on donations to cover the monthly costs of rent, insurance, telephone, supplies, and paid caregivers when volunteers are not available. Care is prioritized for those who do not have family support, so procuring donations for needed care is essential.  

Residents of Tara Home are offered spiritual care as well as material care and comfort. Two large prayer wheels are located just outside the hospice so those in the home can easily access them, and resident Sangha offer prayers daily on location. This provides the residents with the ability to easily generate merit and receive blessings for their minds, even in the final stages of life when they may be physically weak and unable to exert much energy. 

The Social Services Fund recently offered a grant to Tara Home, to assist in their compassionate ongoing work. Please rejoice in this most essential work being done to care for those who need kindness and support as they pass on from this life. 

All are welcome to donate directly to Tara Home. 

The Social Services Fund was established to help children, the elderly, sick and the very poor by offering grants for schools, hospices, health clinics, soup kitchens, elderly homes, orphanages and much more.


https://fpmt.org/charitable-activities/projects/social-services/tara-homes-compassionate-care-for-end-of-life/

Caption: Tara Home at Land of Medicine Buddha, Soquel, CA, USA.
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Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Visit To Dzongdrakha in Bhutan
Lama Zopa Rinpoche visited many sacred places connected with Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) during his June 2016 trip to the Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan. In addition to the holy sites of Guru Rinpoche’s body and speech, Rinpoche visited Dzongdrakha, the place of Guru Rinpoche’s mind. According to Lonely Planet, “Dzongdrakha is one of several local sites where Guru Rinpoche suppressed local demons …. A string of four chapels and a large chorten perch on the cliff face.”


If you’d like to include prayers to Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) in your practice, FPMT Education Services offers PDFs of three prayers:

Requesting Prayer to PadmasambhavaPrayer to Clear Obstacles on the PathIlluminating the Obstacles and Accomplishing the WishesYou can read all of our blog posts about Rinpoche’s recent trip to Bhutan on FPMT.org. 

Learn more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and Rinpoche’s vision for a better world. Sign up to receive news and updates.


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/lama-zopa-rinpoches-visit-to-dzongdrakha-in-bhutan/

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Dzongdrakha, Paro, Bhutan, June 2016. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.
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Lama Zopa Rinpoche Offers Incense Puja at Dongkarla Lhakhang
Towards the end of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s visit to Bhutan in June, Rinpoche went to Dongkarla Lhakhang, one of the highest holy sites in Bhutan at an elevation of 11,975 feet (3,650 meters). 

The temple was built in the 15th century by Terton Tshering Dorji and houses sacred relics, “including ‘Neychhen,’ a statue of Buddha brought to Bhutan by Guru Rinpoche, which was later discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa in Bumthang,” according to the Bhutan Observer. Dongkarla Lhakhang received significant damage from the September 2011 earthquake in Bhutan, but has been slowly rebuilt.

Dongkarla overlooks some of the highest mountain passes of Bhutan, Sikkim and Tibet. Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered an incense puja during his visit. 

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service.


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/lama-zopa-rinpoche-offers-incense-puja-at-dongkarla-lhakhang/

Caption: The road up to Dongkarla Lhakhang, Bhutan, June 2016. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang. The road was completed only a few years ago.
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Animal Liberation Fund Supports Animal-Saving Work in Bhutan
Jangsa Animal Saving Trust (JAST), established in 2000 in Bhutan, is a non-profit charity founded on Buddhist principles of animal activism. JAST currently cares for hundreds of animals across ten provinces. Bulls, yaks, sheep, pigs, goats, ducks, dogs, and fish are saved from terrible conditions and death and then given proper care and nursing, and exposure to Buddhist teachers and ordained Sangha helping to create a a positive mental imprint on the animals to meet the Dharma in the future. 

Lama Zopa Rinpoche recently visited one of these rescue houses in Thimbu where 60 dogs and 11 large pigs are taken care of. Rinpoche blessed the animals with mantras and prayers and also offered US$5,000 to JAST for their ongoing work. The sanctuary was set up with small dog houses and a large grassy area for exercise and play. Please enjoy this short video of Rinpoche blessing the dogs. 

During this visit Rinpoche commented, “Saving even one animal can create good karma for all sentient beings but Jangsa has saved thousand and thousands. The work of Jangsa is even greater than that of the powerful leaders of America or Russia. So please keep it up!” 

In June, JAST responded to a report that sacks of more than 100 dogs were thrown along a highway close to Thimphu. Twenty of the dogs were dead when JAST arrived and the others were weak, injured, traumatized, and aggressive from the stress. Most of these dogs will be permanently moved to the Jangsa Animal Shelter in Serbithang, Thimphu. This service to these animals, who have been shown unbelievable cruelty, is incredible precious and kind. 

Please rejoice in the compassionate activity of Jangsa Animal Saving Trust. These animals have no one to rely on and through this organization they are given care, attention, and Dharma imprints. 

The US$5,000 grant was made possible through the Animal Liberation Fund, and all are encouraged to donate directly to JAST, to help them continue this most valuable work. 


http://fpmt.org/charitable-activities/projects/social-services/animal-liberation-fund-supports-animal-saving-work-in-bhutan/

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche blessing the animals of JAST in Thimbu.
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Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Teaching Schedule
November/December 2016Teaching during the one month Lam-rim Retreat, Kopan Monastery, Nepal (the retreat runs from 5 November – 5 December 2016)


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/schedule/lama-zopa-rinpoches-teaching-schedule-2/
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Please Enjoy the July FPMT International Office e-News
Welcome to the July FPMT International Office e-News!

This month we bring you:

An update to Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s ScheduleHow FPMT Charitable Projects support His Holiness the Dalai LamaWhat’s in the new issue of Mandala magazine!An introduction to a new FPMT study group…and more!

From your FPMT International Office


http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/announcements/please-enjoy-the-july-fpmt-international-office-e-news/

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche on the way to airport, Taiwan, June 2016. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.
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How to Convert a Samsaric Picnic into a Beneficial Picnic
Recently in July, Ogmin Jangchub Sishu Tsogpa, the association of former Kopan Monastery Sherpa monks and nuns living in New York, US, hosted a picnic for Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Bear Mountain State Park, which is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) up the Hudson River from New York City. Last year when Rinpoche was in New York, he also had a picnic with the Sherpa people there. New York City reportedly has the largest settlement of Sherpa people outside of Nepal and India, numbering 2,500. Rinpoche has a strong connection with the Sherpas as he shares that ethnic background, coming from the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal. Ven. Roger Kunsang, FPMT CEO and assistant to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, was at the picnic and shared this report with Mandala:

On our arrival at the park, we went to the top of the mountain and there was an incredible view of the lake and forests below. Then the Sherpas offered tea. Out of nowhere came a group of Korean nuns and monks. They seemed to know of Rinpoche and wanted to make offerings and prostrations. Then Rinpoche went down to the lake to have lunch. After lunch, we rented a boat and zig-zagged back and forth across the lake, blessing it and all the creatures in it. We sprinkled blessed water that had thousands of mantras recited on it. And also blessed the lake with a Padmasambhava relic and by holding the blessed power cylinder above the water (it has so many powerful mantras inside).

After blessing the lake, Rinpoche continued with an oral transmission from last year – three more pages of the Vajra Cutter Sutra. Rinpoche didn’t finish but he said he will continue next year. Prior to the lung, which took about five or six minutes, the motivation, which was on the lam-rim, took about two hours. It included teachings on how to educate children, since the Sherpa children are Buddhist, so their life can become highly meaningful and worthwhile, and explaining, among other things, about offerings.

Rinpoche said that one is not just placing offerings on an altar but actually offering, thinking of the Buddha and offering correctly to the Buddha. “This makes life so worthwhile. Incredible, the benefits of offering – beyond our concept! You get numberless great merit from just seeing the image of the Buddha, which I have explained many times. Unbelievable infinite merit! So actually offering to the Buddha, make offerings to the Buddha is far greater merit. Can you imagine! I gave the example many times, hard to imagine the infinite great merit.”

Then the Sherpas offered a dance and sang a song of offering long life to Rinpoche, which they did very nicely.

Then they all came up for blessings from Rinpoche. Rinpoche said as you take blessings from the powerful mantras, etc., think that you have purified all the negative karmas created since beginingless time. All received blessing strings, Namgyälma mantras, which has so many benefits, and bodhi seeds from the bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, which Rinpoche said to eat straight away.  

More information, photos and updates about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found on Rinpoche’s webpage on FPMT.org. If you’d like to receive news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and FPMT via email, sign up to FPMT News.


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news/how-to-convert-a-samsaric-picnic-into-a-beneficial-picnic/

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche on Bear Mountain, New York, US, July 2016. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.
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Ven. Thubten Kunsang (Henri Lopez) Passes Away
We are sad to share the news that the French monk Ven. Thubten Kunsang (Henri Lopez) passed away on Sunday, July 24, at 11: 46 a.m. in India due to cancer. Ven. Kunsang traveled with Lama Zopa Rinpoche for many years, recording Rinpoche’s talks and spontaneous teachings for the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive and taking thousands of photos that have been shared on FPMT.org and in Mandala magazine. He was a familiar and friendly face within the international FPMT community, known for his incredible warmth, generosity and kindness. He will be missed by many, many people around the world.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche sent the following message to ordained Sangha after Ven. Kunsang had passed away.

Dear Sangha,

We believed there was real Kunsang and now that real Kunsang is not there, but that’s the reality, and like that all the phenomena, yourself, action and object, all phenomena, samsara and nirvana are like that.

Please right now when you get this, please to do the short Medicine Buddha sadhana and Padmasambhava prayer Sampa Lhundrupma.

Dedicated to Ven. Kunsang (Henri Lopez) who has just passed away in India at 11:46 a.m. 

Dedicate that he may be immediately born in a pure land where he can achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible or to receive at least a perfect human rebirth, meet the Mahayana teachings, meet a perfectly qualified Mahayana Guru, who reveals the path to enlightenment and by pleasing the holy mind of the virtuous friend, then by himself to achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible.

With much love and prayers,

Lama Zopa

Jean Yves took care of Ven. Kunsang in the last few months of his life and sent a photo of Ven. Kunsang, his brother Emile and Jean Yves to Rinpoche’s attendant Ven. Sherab, asking him to Photoshop Rinpoche into the picture. Ven. Sherab did and sent the photo to them with the message: “Rinpoche looking after Kunsang , JY and brother Emile from behind and above!”

Many puja were arranged for Ven. Kunsang. In addition, Nalanda Monastery is making 400 long-life tsa-tsas and Peter Iseli will make a White Tara thangka.

Links to text recommended by Rinpoche, Medicine Buddha Sadhana:
http://fpmt.org/wp-content/uploads/education/prayers/medicine_buddha_sadhana_c5.pdf

“Sampa Lhundrupma”:
http://www.tibetanbuddhistaltar.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SAMPA-LHUNDRUP-5x8k.pdf

There will be an obituary for Ven. Kunsang in the next issue of Mandala magazine.

For more on practices recommended by Lama Zopa Rinpoche at time of death and other resources to support yourself and loved ones at time of death, please visit fpmt.org/death/.


http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/ven-thubten-kunsang-henri-lopez-passes-away/

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche offering Ven. Thubten Kunsang a khata blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Ven. Kunsang, Sera Monastery, India, January 2016. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.
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Announcing the Newly Revised FPMT Retreat Prayer Book
The FPMT Retreat Prayer Book was originally compiled in 2008 in preparation for the first Light of the Path Retreat and has become a critical resource for those attending longer teaching events and retreats with Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Many students have also found it to be very useful when attending other teaching events, going on pilgrimage, and for their own personal daily practices and retreats. The collection is made up of prayers and practices drawn from various FPMT materials.

In preparation for the Light of the Path Retreat 2016, the FPMT Education Services and Translation Service teams have spent the last few months carefully updating the prayer book based on Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s advice and FPMT’s most current materials. As a result, the order of the prayers contained in particular practices has changed, revisions to the Tibetan and Sanskrit phonetics have been incorporated, and updates to some translations have been included. Also, the colophons have been expanded significantly to provide clear indication of which texts were used and any related details.



Lama Zopa Rinpoche advised many changes for this edition, which reflect Rinpoche’s continuous efforts to ensure that we do these practices as perfectly as possible. In addition, Rinpoche, who has always placed great emphasis on the importance of accurate translations, has advised us to change some familiar, but not entirely accurate, terms.

Rinpoche has also recently been stressing the importance of preserving the correct pronunciation of mantras, as reflected in Tibetan transliterations of Sanskrit. For this reason, in the sections of “Blessing the Speech” and “Daily Mantras,” we have temporarily implemented a simple system using double vowels to convey long vowel sounds. Cha, chha, and ja have been changed to tsa, tsha, and dza to better correspond with Rinpoche’s pronunciation of these letters. With Rinpoche’s instructions in mind, FPMT Translation Services will, in the coming months, review whether to use the standard international system for writing Sanskrit, which entails the use of diacritics, or to develop some variation of this international system.

The changes in this edition also reflect the on-going work of FPMT Translation Services to not only develop a standard FPMT glossary of translation terms, but to begin the work of standardizing the translations of common prayers. This work is essential as the prayers and practices that make up this book, as well as many other FPMT practice materials, are a conglomerate of translations completed over multiple decades by a host of translators. In addition, FPMT Translation Services is beginning the work of checking the translations of these prayers and practices for accuracy against the original Tibetan. This will be ongoing and extensive work that is expected to take many years.

All the changes and corrections made to this edition that did not come directly from the advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche are the result of extensive discussions. The FPMT Education Services and Translation Services teams accept full responsibility for any mistakes made and welcome your suggestions and feedback. We ask for your patience and understanding that the work of translating Buddhism into English, as well as into many other languages, is still in its initial phase and is going to be an ongoing process, perhaps for centuries to come.

If you have purchased the Retreat Prayer Book in the past from the Foundation Store, you will soon receive this new version as a PDF via email.

We are only making the PDF version of the book available, confident that this will afford students and facilitators greater ease in accessing this text. Also, working in digital formats allows us to more easily make updates indicated by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and hastens the distribution of updated editions to students.

If you would like more information on the changes made, or need more information about printing the PDF for your needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us at education@fpmt.org.

To learn more about the Light of the Path Retreat 2016: kadampa-center.org/light-path-retreat-2016

To purchase the new FPMT Retreat Prayer Book as a downloadable PDF: shop.fpmt.org/FPMT-Retreat-Prayer-Book-PDF-_p_1371.html



http://fpmt.org/edu-news/announcing-the-newly-revised-fpmt-retreat-prayer-book/

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at the Light of the Path Retreat, May 2014, Black Mountain, North Carolina, US. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang.
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Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Teaching Schedule
July 201631 July – White Tara Long Life initiation, hosted by Kunkyab Thadu Ling at The Woodland, 60 Woodland Rd, Maplewood, NJ 07040, USA


http://fpmt.org/lama-zopa-rinpoche-news-and-advice/schedule/lama-zopa-rinpoches-teaching-schedule-3/
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FPMT International Office Meets Source of Foundation Store Thangkas
On June 2, the staff of FPMT International Office in Portland, Oregon, US, had tea with Pradip Rajbhandari, the Nepali co-owner, with Birendra Shahi and founder Surendra Bahadur Shahi, of the workshop responsible for creation of all of the hand-painted thangkas found in the Foundation Store. During the tea, store manager Diana Ospina asked Pradip to talk a little bit about the history of his business and the effects the April 2015 earthquake had on his workers. 

According to Pradip, there were few Tibetan-style thangka makers in Nepal in the 1950s. It wasn’t until Tibetan refugees came in the mid-1960s and established Tibetan Buddhism that thangka painting became popular as the Theravada practitioners already in Nepal preferred Newari art. Eventually, Lama Zopa Rinpoche visited the workshop, which was founded in 1973, and began to recommend it to Kopan Monastery and its visitors, citing that the images were accurate and beneficial. 

Over the years the workshop has done well, however, the April 2015 earthquake created difficulties. “I was in the shop when it hit,” Pradip shared. “There was nowhere really to go because it is a very narrow building – it lasted about 56 seconds. There was not a lot of damage to the shop, but if you went to the village side, the houses were razed. The brocade providers were not affected, but the 300 painters and apprentices come from the hard-hit areas, making thangkas difficult to produce.

“Domestic politics and unofficial blockades made common goods scarce for a time. And still today there might be no electricity for 14 hours a day.”

Pradip also talked about how thangkas in Nepal are sold today. “Ninety-five percent of thangkas in Tibet come from Nepal,” he said. “Our clients come from the United States and Europe, but the majority come from China – Beijing, Chengdu and Lhasa – and many buy them for practice. Individuals and the government are now beginning to restore temples that were destroyed after the Cultural Revolution. In general, business has really grown with the influx of Chinese customers.”

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has given extensive commentary on the benefits of having and making offerings to holy objects such as thangkas. Thangkas created in Pradip’s workshop are available through the Foundation Store.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from nearly 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read on Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.


http://fpmt.org/fpmt-community-news/news-around-the-world/fpmt-international-office-meets-source-of-foundation-store-thangkas/

Caption: Pradip Rajbhandari (center in blue) and family visited FPMT International Office and Maitripa College’s Jokhang, Portland, Oregon, US, June 2016.
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The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition
Introduction
The FPMT is an organization devoted to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service. We provide  integrated education through which people’s minds and hearts can be transformed into their highest potential for the benefit of others, inspired by an attitude of universal responsibility. We are committed to creating harmonious  environments and helping all beings develop their full potential of infinite  wisdom and compassion.

Our organization is based on the Buddhist tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa of Tibet as  taught to us by our founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe and our spiritual director,  Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche.