Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Word From Geshe Tenzin Zopa

I was in Tsum from Sept 6 to 15. It had been a while since my last visit due to my packed schedule to other areas. However, it was very encouraging to see the great achievements and progress in Tsum. Anyway I was there for 2 reasons. The first is for the Tsum project. It was planned under the advice by the most respected guru Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche (Rinpoche) and Khenrinpoche after the Tsum monastery and nunnery was handed over to Rinpoche in 2003 that I was appointed to oversee the development of this project. During my visit in 2004, I planned a 5 years project which included providing food, shelter, resources for over 100 monks and nuns and that includes building rooms for over 100 sanghas in Rachen Nunnery and for over 50 sanghas in Mu Monastery. By the end of 2006, I have completed all the rooms in Rachen Nunnery plus the facilities for the sanghas communities such as kitchen, storerooms, dining room, room for teachers and classrooms, schools, solar lights, renovation for old existing buildings, setting up water supply, clinic with complete sets of western and herbal Tibetan medicine and a full set of robes for sanghas every 3 years and a complete study program. We provide good teacher for different subjects as normal academic schools. Our qualified guru who is the spiritual guide Geshe Tenzin Chogley from Sera Je Monastery University has been assigned to take care of the complete vinaya monastic activities for both nunnery and monastery. He conducts philosophy studies and the extensive studies of ritual from the 4 traditions. Since I am trying to preserve this traditional long historical nunnery and monastery with the undivided tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, I am providing the annual teachings of complete graduated path to enlightenment such as Lam Rim from Gelug tradition, Kunsang Lamai Shallung from Nyingma Tradition, Dagpo Thagken from Kagyu Tradition and Lam Drey from the Shakya tradition. This precious teaching from the different tradition is regarded as the main teachings of graduated path to enlightenment conducted on a yearly basis to sanghas and lay communities in the Tsum region by Guru Geshe and he is to complete this teaching within four years (one year one tradition). We also established the annual great fasting retreat nyungnay for many days and zillions of accumulating the compassionate Buddha’s mantra and the Guru Padmasambawa’s mantra specially dedicated for the long life of His Holiness Dalai Lama, all the holy gurus and also to world peace. This is an annual practice which has been done in the past under the guidance of the founder Drukpa Nyawang Kyenrab Rinpoche and the great Mahasiddha Geshe Lama Konchog. It was extremely fortunate all events and retreats for the first year were fully sponsored by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the second year by Khenrinpoche. I had the great honor to take charge of these meritorious events and by today all the senior sanghas are strictly preserving this authentic tradition by strictly staying in retreat, cultivating the essence teachings of the 4 traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and there are great signs of achieving realizations proven by past senior monks and nuns’ life long retreats. Very qualified senior monks and nuns there are transmitting their marvelous and rare skills of various rituals and practices on a daily basis without worrying about any material conditions such as food, shelter, including teachings…etc. There are a large number of monks and nuns who came into the monastery these last few years which was after we took over the project. Many of them were teenagers and they were provided with extensive academic study program and were also thought various skills both mundane and spiritual. The health care facility is run by a qualified doctor providing medicine and consultations at no cost. The presence of the sangha community brings great benefit for the villages through their constant guidance, prayers, consultations and social services. Their study program this year will begin in a few months time. In the Mu Monastery which is about 5 hours away from Nunnery, it has well developed rooms and schools, exactly like what was provided in the Nunnery. All these progress is indeed very encouraging. It inspires me to plan for bigger things such as to build a big gompa (temple). A gompa is very important as the numbers of sanghas are increasing so quickly and we also need to create a condition to invite great high lamas and teachers to conduct the annual teachings, initiation and blessing to that remote village. I just placed orders for all necessary things to build a very beautiful lama shrine and one stunning library and many other things.

On behalf of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Kopan Monastery, our organization and all the sanghas of the Mu Monastery and Rachen Nunnery and all the villagers whose benefiting form the project, I represent all the above to show great appreciation, prostration and countless thanks to all the benefactors and volunteers who has made this project a great success within a very short time.

For the great development of this project, it has a lot to do with the generosity of the people from all over the world especially the two fund raising events that I have held in Singapore and indirect help I received from Malaysia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong...etc. Those of you who have contributed to this project with my full responsibilities, I like to inform you that I have used every single cent in the projects indicated in your request in the very specific ways and whatever actualized even by a cent is guaranteed they are able to use these facilities for few hundred decades. To show our appreciation to all the benefactors and volunteers for their kindness and generosity, prayers and practices of the 4 mandala offering, long life prayers , Tara Puja and Medicine Buddha mantra is done everyday and through out the year for their good health and prosperity. I would like to apologize to all the benefactors and volunteers and those interested to know more about the Tsum project for the delay in posting the various pictures and updates on the website due to lack of communication. Please enjoy viewing these pictures I took recently and I hope you are also pleased with the progress.

For your information, there are still a lot of marvelous and meritorious on going plans and I will from time to time update this blog, so please visit the blog for any update.

The second reason for my visit to Tsum was to complete the filming of the documentary of “Unmistaken Return Child” which will be released around first quarter 2008.

If you like to know more about the past history of the Tsum Project, please log into