BuddhaHouse Newsletter Nov 1996

A Report of Recent Events by Director Lyndy Abram

A Time of Inspiration and Blessings

For the 60-odd Adelaide people and the 4,000 others who attended the Kalachakra in Sydney, there is no need to say what an incredible blessing we received. It was an event of such beauty, the stage setting being beyond words, organised with such precision right down to the smallest detail, the teachings superb and the feeling of harmony amongst those present never to be forgotten.

To be part of the organisation (FPMT) which hosted such a brilliant event, is something we should rejoice in, even if not able to attend. The karma created by this event will no doubt benefit Australia and the whole planet!

The Kalachakra was followed by a wonderful week with Lama Zopa Rinpoche, visiting Adelaide for the first time in four years.

It was like a whirlwind preparing for his arrival. The house sparkled, with beautiful flowers everywhere, thanks to Lynden, Kathy, Izzy, Sue and Marion, a garden clean-up by Drew and Nicola, plus the wonderful beds of marigolds Jampa Khadro grew especially for the occasion. A huge thank you to all those who helped at the events, in particular to Jim Anderson, who worked tirelessly throughout, co-ordinating the visit extremely well. Also to Lynden for shopping, preparing, cooking and presenting food for our guests and to Jampa Khadro and Elaine, who assisted.

The teachings Lama Zopa gave were very special, with in depth explanations and meditations on emptiness, talks on developing compassion, healing, giving empowerments in the middle of the night and extra initia

ions - unscheduled but requested by attendees. Hundreds crammed into the events throughout the week, experiencing many emotions in their determination to receive his unique teachings and to be in his presence. I feel we have been extremely blessed to have had such a full program and extended time with our Spiritual Head, who gives selflessly every minute of his life to the continued existence and spreading of the Buddha’s teachings throughout the world. What an inspiration!

Geshela's long life puja.

Geshela with friends at the Kalachakra.

In mid September a long life puja was held for Geshela which was a wonderful tribute, and soon afterwards at the Kalachakra he had a happy time with the other Tibetans - a nice holiday before leaving Australia. His accomodation in Sydney was at Bondi Beach with a great view of the ocean. Students took turns in taking him out for meals, some students who stayed at the motel looked after his personal needs and Izzy Bourne, devoted student of Geshela transported him to the Kalachakra in the early hours of each morning for the preliminary practices. Thank you Izzy for your incredible care of his well-being both here and while at the Kalachakra, also to Pamela and Richard for assisting in many ways, and the many students who helped look after him in Sydney. His farewell on the 10th of October was a sad occasion, but his cheerful goodbyes, taking snapshots of us while leaving, left all feeling he is looking forward to reuniting with the monks at Sera Je Monastery, carrying many gifts for them and his relatives, whom he missed so much.

Khensur Rinpoche arrived recently, after being delayed due to illness. A large group of students waited in the dawn for his plane to arrive. There was great anticipation and then he appeared with that wonderful smile and everyone rushed forward to receive his blessing and greet him.

A formal greeting was held at Buddha House the following evening, with traditional offerings. As Lama Zopa said to me recently, Adelaide has been extremely blessed with the teachers we have had, and now with Rinpoche back (for 5-6 months at this stage), our incredible karma really is beyond understanding. Thank you for creating the cause, see you at the centre for our new, extended program over the next 6 months.

Lyndy Abram, Director.

ps. You may have heared talk of Buddha House moving. We are in the beginning stages of planning to obtain a bigger home, however at the AGM on November 24th, the community will be able to discuss the idea together, and until that time no decisions will be made.

Ven. Khensur Losang Thubten Rinpoche, resident spiritual teacher of Buddha House from 1988 to 1994, has returned to Adelaide for an extended visit.

Rinpoche was officially welcomed back to Buddha House with great joy by about 50 of his students on Friday, 18 October. He was accompanied from India by Adelaide’s own Jampa Kaldan (David Weiss).

Rinpoche’s visit originally was planned around His Holiness’ recent tour of Australia. A few weeks before his scheduled departure, however, Rinpoche manifested illness, which resulted in a 10-day hospitalisation in Kushalnagar and Mysore.

Generously, Rinpoche had intended to delay his visit by only a week, but senior students at Sera Je Monastic University petitioned him to delay his travel until he was fully recovered.

He is now looking extremely well, and we are all grateful to his students at Sera for protecting his precious health. It is a great blessing to have him with us again.

I would like to thank the following students whose support made this visit possible: Richard Bradshaw, Lesley & John Palmer, Robyn Marr, Lolo Houbein, David Rantz, Sandra Duff, Christina Claire, Dr Peter Bauer, Kimball Cuddihy, Sylvia Barber, Lyndy and Will Abram, Barbara Harkness, Stephan Richter, Aini Bowering, Jane Vabolis, Helen McCarthy, Peter & Kathleen Munn, Margaret Munday, Gerald Smith, Franziska Charteris-de Looze (Queensland), Tim & Stephanie Hanson, Doc Wight, Bronwyn Mart, Linda Kinnaird, Tom Mowbray, Margaret Fawser, Jim Anderson, Lynden Jillings and Joe Beresford.

We are also extremely indebted to Mr Tan Hup Cheng of Singapore, who graciously donated an airfare for an attendant to accompany our precious teacher.

May all beings benefit from this rich opportunity.

—Pamela Lyon

The Healing Heart

- An Extract From a Talk by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

he following is an extract from a talk by Lama Zopa Rinpoche on 9/10/96, transcribed & lightly edited by Elaine Moore.

our health has a lot to do with your thinking, the attitude of daily life - what kind of attitude one has. More positive you have then you are stronger, you have strength, you have encouragement, you don't get the fear, worry, even the death - even able to overcome the fear of death. So I think that the meditation, using the life problems, especially the meditation using the sicknesses what one has, cancer, or AIDS, to develop compassion towards all other living beings - use the sickness to develop loving kindness, compassion towards all other living beings. I think this is the most important meditation, quickest way to purify the cause of disease - which is in the mind, the negative thoughts in the mind. The quickest way to purify, most powerful, so therefore quickest way of healing the result of sicknesses.

Is not only sicknesses - I think we should use any problem of life problems to develop compassion and loving kindness and bodhicitta, the altruistic mind cherishing all other living beings which is the source of all the happiness, peace for oneself and which is all the source of peace and happiness for numberless other living beings. So then this is the best psychology and this is the deepest meditation - that which has the deepest benefit.

Now here I want to emphasize something, you see now, there are many different ways of healing sicknesses, you see, say through exercise, through medicine - theres many different ways. My emphasis here is - trying to heal your disease with your meditation, with your positive mind, I think, this is so crucial, this is VERY important, this is so important. Even though there are many other different treatments that can cure the disease. Why meditation so important? - even though there are other techniques that can heal your disease still the meditation very important. Which means transforming mind to positive, healthy, happy, peaceful, satisfied, free mind, you know, warm heart. Transforming the warm heart to other sentient beings, you see, is very satisfying, fulfilling - altruistic mind.

Why healing by meditation of compassion and loving kindness so important? - especially meditation of bodhicitta, cherishing other living beings, especially this one - the good heart. Now without this, even your AIDS gone, cancer gone, but still your mind has no peace, no satisfaction, no fulfillment - you see theres no warm heart. Not only in order to take care of oneself for one's own benefit but especially for the benefit of all other living beings.

So you see now, without this meditation - healing with the meditation of compassion, loving kindness, bodhicitta - even the body is o.k., no AIDS, no cancer, but you see the mind is still full of ego and anger, dissatisfied mind, desire and so forth. So that means that again one's mind is uncontrolled and life is uncontrolled, so one again do the same thing, the unrighteous action, again creating the cause of disease again. And troubling to oneself and giving problem to other sentient beings, this goes on instead of giving much peace and happiness to oneself and others. Therefore, even the AIDS and cancer recovered and gone the mind continues to create a problem - so again unhealthy, again doing the same thing. So therefore again one has to have treatment, medicine and all these things again and again.

So as we do not take care of the mind, do not watch the mind, do not take care of the mind, do not develop good heart - the medicine has no end. The treatment has no end, operation has no end. One after another, another operation, another operation, another operation. So taking medicine really it makes no end, you see - no end this life, no end future lifes. So as long as we don't change our mind theres no end for the problems, no end for going to hospital, operation, x-rays and all this, taking treatment, going to see many, many people, no end for acupuncture, no end for - anyway all those things. So therefore even though there are other treatments to cure, I think that it is extremely essential healing with the meditation, especially with the good heart - you transform your own mind into loving kindness, compassion, bodhicitta - then to heal. Because this not only help the present sicknesses - very deep, purify the cause of all this which is in the mind.

So by purifying the cause which is in the mind - we purify the inner cause of the disease. Then this way less and less we experience sicknesses the more we purify the cause. The more we purify the cause the more we stop - by transforming the mind into good heart then we change our actions and we do not create the cause of disease again. So this way theres an end for the suffering - so there's limit for sickness, limit for all the problems. There's an end for all the money expenses - many thousands, billions of dollars for health. The healing meditation - transforming ones own mind into compassion, loving kindness, bodhicitta - not only for sicknesses, it takes care of the whole life. Because you don't harm other's life you have long life , you have health.

You stop doing harm to others and benefit others. Also because of that you make charity to others with this good heart. Your body, speech and mind you make useful for other sentient beings to help to obtain happiness for others.

Taking Care of the Roots

"Mainly, what I wish to express, is that I think it is wonderful that in dependence on the work of Lama Yeshe there has been established this Dharma Centre, and that there are individuals who have contributed to its steady growth. I hope that you will make as an integral part of your individual practice, not only your studies etc, but also to contribute to Buddha House.

If the students and the workers cooperate with one another and mutually try to benefit one another as much as possible, then I have great hopes for the future of the dharma. It is like we are developing the roots of a tree - in dependence on the roots, the tree will grow strongly, and I think the same will hold true for Buddha House. There will be an influx of dharma students who will be greatly benefitted by what is going on now."

Khensur Rinpoche 1991

Learn to Meditate - Mondays 6.00 pm

Meditation is the basis for the training of the mind and of all Buddhist practice. These popular teachings show some of the basics of sitting and calming the mind. Led by an experienced student. All welcome. Free.

Meditation & Chanting - Sundays 7.30pm

Chanting mantras is a simple, yet very effective method for calming and uplifting the mind. Guided by an experienced student. All welcome. Free.

Guided Meditations:

Sundays 9.00 am - Guided meditations with mindfulness of the breath, followed by an analytical meditation on a Graduated Path topic. Led by experienced students. All welcome. Free.

Wednesdays 10.00am - Guided meditations led by experienced students.All welcome. Free.

Yoga with Meditation - Thursdays 10.00am,

Taught by Genevieve Rutt, Hatha Yoga incorporates both physical movement and meditation as a means to health and balance. Genevieve is a member of the Australian Institute of Yoga teachers and has been practicing yoga for over 25 years. Suitable for all. Fee per session: $8; $6 conc.

Graduated Path Discussion Group

Sundays, 10.15am, facilitated by experienced students - Compiled in the 14th century by the great Tibetan Buddhist master Je Tsongkhapa, the 'Graduated Path' is the essence of all the teachings of the Buddha. By studying and putting into practice the Graduated Path, all the teachings of sutra and tantra are easily understood.

The topic for each weeks discussion will be the topic of the guided meditation at 9.00am.

All welcome, however it is recommended that new participants have some familiarity with basic Buddhist concepts (as in Introduction to Buddhism). By donation

The Heart and Mind of Awakening

Wednesdays, 7.30pm, by Jampa Gendun - Jampa teaches the way to develop the three principal aspects of the Buddhist Path of Awakening - the Will to Awaken, the Awakened Heart and the Awakened Mind. Through teachings, meditations and discussions the student is led through a series of topics such as valuing our life, its loss through death, karma, the human condition, love and compassion and the ultimate nature of reality. Suitable for beginning as well as older students of Buddhism. Facility Fee: $8 (waged); $6 (concession); $4 (members).

Mahamudra

Tuesdays, 7.30pm, by Khensur Rinpoche - The teachings on the "Great Seal", or Mahamudra, are essentially practical advice on how to gain a living experience of emptiness, with great emphasis placed upon the receptivity of the mind. Without this experience of the ultimate nature of reality there is no way to go beyond ignorance-governed existence and thus, no way to go beyond suffering. All welcome, however it is recommended that new participants have some familiarity with basic Buddhist concepts (as in Introduction to Buddhism). Facility Fee: $10 (waged); $6 (concession); $4 (members).