KPL News Archives 2009
December 5, Completion of Bardor Tulku Rinpoche's Retreat
Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja
On December 5, we celebrated the completion of Bardor Tulku Rinpoche’s month-long solitary retreat.
The day started with a Guru Rinpoche tsok puja led by Rinpoche (visit our Photo Gallery). We chanted the daily version of the practice that this time included four liturgies composed by Bardor Tulku Rinpoche: Praise to Guru Rinpoche, Praises to the Eight Names of Guru Rinpoche, Praises to the 27 Disciples of Guru Rinpoche, and a tsok liturgy for the daily practice.
Rinpoche explained that he composed those liturgies because he felt that Guru Rinpoche, his deeds, and his disciples' activities were getting forgotten. He reminded us of the kindness of Guru Rinpoce is the propagation of the Buddhist teachings in their tantric form. Bardor Tulku Rinpoche also encouraged us to use the liturgies he composed as a means to make aspirations, supplicate the sources of refuge, and purify obscurations. Bardor Rinpoche mentioned that his liturgies have been composed especially to be used in the West. He noted that while all people are afflicted by a combination of kleshas (mental afflictions such as anger, jealousy, pride, attachment, and ignorance), Westerners are most prone to pride and arrogance that result from their high level of education and affluence. Rinpoche felt that we could use liturgies centered around Guru Rinpoche to confess and purify those afflictions.
The text of the practice, including the new liturgies, had been printed for the occasion of the completion of Rinpoche's retreat and the practitioners gathered for the puja were invited to keep a copy of the text should they feel inspired to do the practice at home.
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche offers
a Black Garuda empowerment
In the afternoon, Rinpoche offered a Black Garuda empowerment connected with the quality aspect of the deity Yamantaka. Rinpoche explained that this form of Garuda is associated with dispelling poverty and a certain class of diseases to which cancer belongs. Rinpoche felt that given the global economical crisis and the frequency of cancer cases, this empowerment would be beneficial at this time. Visit our Photo Gallery.
Our deep gratitude goes to Rinpoche for his continuous efforts to bring benefit to all of us. May we find it in our hearts to practice well and become suitable vessels for the teachings he generously offers to us.
As usual during events at Kunzang Palchen Ling that attract many participants, the small shrine room was not enough to hold the crowd. Both the morning puja and afternoon empowerment were broadcasted into the downstairs living room where the overflow crowd found comfortable seating.
October 8-11, Bardor Rinpoche at Namgyal Monastery in Itahaca, NY
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche at Namgyal Monastery
From October 8 to 11, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche visited Ithaca, NY. He taught at the Ithaca College on October 8 on Meditative Awareness in Living and Dying. The talk attracted about 150 students curious about Buddhist perspective on life and death. With his usual skill, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche addressed many questions from the audience.
On Friday, October 9, Rinpoche gave a public talk at Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca on Loving-Kindness and Compassion as a Path to Liberation. The questions raised at the end of the evening clearly indicated the need we have to learn to live good lives where we can be of benefit to other in a constructive way.
Over the weekend Rinpoche taught to a smaller group of Buddhist practitioners on the Seven-Line Prayer to Guru Rinpoche. From session to session the atmosphere grew warmer and warmer as a subtle bonds began to form among the students and between the students and Rinpoche. Namgyal Monastery is a wonderful place for the study of Dharma; we experienced kindness and hospitality from the resident monastics, lay volunteers, and students. If you happen to travel in that direction, make sure to visit the place!
September 20, United Nations International Day of Peace
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche at
the UN International Day of Peace
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche took part in an Interfaith Peace Dialogue held at the Saint Gregory's Church in Woodstock celebrating the United Nations International Day of Peace (September 21). It was three years ago that His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke in Woodstock celebrating the same event.
September 13, Welcome Home Rinpoche!
After two months in Tibet, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche has returned to the United States. While in Tibet, Rinpoche spent time at the Raktrul nunnery and Raktrul monastery and he visited almost a dozen other monasteries. He also participated in the First Annual Barom Kagyu Monlam.
August/September, Barom Kagyu Monlam at Kyodrak Monastery
Barom Kagyu Monlam at Kyodrak Monastery
The first Barom Kagyu Monlam took place at Kyodrak Monastery in Kham, East Tibet. The monastery is over 600 years old, founded by Langre Dagpa Gyaltsen in 1361. A new shrine had been built specifically for the Monlam (click here for phographs), and although unfinished (only half of it has been painted) it was used for this year’s festival. More than fifteen rinpoches were present and roughly thirty to thirty-five abbots. Approximately 1,500 monks and nuns were in attendance.
The Monlam lasted a total of eight days, from August 27 to September 3: five days of rigorous Monlam practices and the final three days of Amitabha practice. During the period of Monlam practices, each practice day lasted from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m, with a lunch break from noon to 2 p.m. The morning session included the Tashi Prayer (Verses of Auspiciousness), Neten Chakcho (Veneration of the Elders or the 16 Arhats), Manjushri and Avalokiteshvara prayers, and various different lineage prayers. The afternoon session included more prayers to different buddhas and bodhisattvas, and a guru yoga of Barom Tarma Wangchuk that was followed by tsok. Finally, five aspiration prayers (monlams) were performed followed by recitations of prayers to Milarepa, Marpa, and other great lineage holders chanted one time by all practitioners.
August 30, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche at Kyodrak Monastery
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche at Kyodrak Monastery
The first annual Barom Kagyu Monlam is taking place at Kyodrak Monastery. The prayer festival has gathered fifteen rinpoches, over 30 khenpos, and about 1,500 monks and nuns. Bardor Tulku Rinpoche attended the first three days of the Monlam. While at Kyodrak Monastery, Rinpoche and his family visited holy places, including a meditation cave and relic sites.
August 14, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche in Tibet
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche is on the way to his home town, Domdero, where he will perform an opening ceremony for two community shrine halls that have been built through the efforts of Kunzang Palchen Ling and its generous donors. On his way, Rinpoche has stopped in Sholda where he has been asked to bless houses and offer empowerments. Rinpoche has already visited a few monasteries in the area; his next pilgrimage stop will be Surmang monastery. At the end of the month, Rinpoche will attend the first annual Barom Kagyu Monlam at Kyodrak Monastery.
July 30, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche at Raktrul Nunnery
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche at Raktrul Nunnery
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche and his party are still at the Raktrul nunnery in Cherku and will be there for about a week more. Rinpoche presided over the opening ceremony for the nunnery that had been built thanks to our generous donors as one of the projects that Kunzang Palchen Ling carries out in Tibet.
Currently, the monks and nuns are diligently doing Vajrayogini practice at the nunnery. Rinpoche's days are very full, filled with meeting people, giving blessing, etc. Many people have come from all over the land to take part in the prayers and join in this festive occasion. After the practice concludes at the nunnery, Rinpoche will travel to his home town of Domredo.
July 17, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche Arrives in China
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche and his party have arrived safely in China and are currently in the city of Xining. They will stay there for a few days and then make a 12-hour drive to Cherku, where the Raktrul Nunnery is located.
July 15, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche Departs for Tibet
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche leaves for Tibet
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche and his family departed for a two-month trip to Tibet where Rinpoche will visit his monastery (Raktrul) and make pilgrimages to several Barom and Drikung Kagyu monasteries.
At Raktrul, Rinpoche will preside over opening ceremonies for the nunnery and two community shrine halls that have been KPL's most recent projects in Tibet. Rinpoche will also oversee the installation of the solar/medical project currently under way through the Raktrul Foundation.
June 28, A Benefit for KPL in New York City
Benefit for KPL in New York City
On June 28, we held a benefit for Kunzang Palchen Ling in New York City at All Souls Church, a Unitarian congregation on Lexington Avenue. The Milarepa Children’s Theater and Chorus performed four songs of realization: Mahamudra, Tara, Aspiration for the World, and Dedication of Merit. Neil Smith, former General Manager of the New York Rangers offered warm and inspiring words of introduction.
Then Bardor Tulku Rinpoche talked about loving-kindness and compassion as a path to liberation. His talk carried the positive message that we are all buddhas, temporarily separated from our perfect state of awakening by our obscurations, and that the best method to remove those obstacles is the practice of loving-kindness and compassion. During the break, many participants offered katas to Bardor Tulku Rinpoche and enjoyed the opportunity to spend a little time in his direct presence.
The program included a showing of Treasure of Wisdom, a movie that describes the lineage of Terchen Barway Dorje and the construction project at Kunzang Palchen Ling. At the conclusion, the audience offered a number of questions.
We thank all our guests who came to join us for this special evening. We thank those volunteers whose efforts made this event possible. And we look forward to seeing everyone at the next benefit for Kunzang Palchen Ling.
June 24, Installation of the Gendra on Top of the KPL New Building
Installation of gendra at KPL
On Wednesday, June 24, the gendra was installed on top of the new building at Kunzang Palchen Ling. Although it had been rainy, during the gendra installation event the sky was clear blue with white fleecy clouds, and the gendra was shining gold in the sunshine. The day began with a fire puja led by Bardor Tulku Rinpoche. Then Rinpoche himself, accompanied by other lamas, climbed to the top of the roof when the gendra was being placed. The gathering of local sangha members held their breaths and recited Guru Rinpoche mantra. A crane lifted the gendra in place and the participants shared a feeling of great joy. After the installation of the gendra, treasure vases were placed in alcoves in designated spots in the unfinished walls in the building. Ceremonial rice and tea were served, along with other cookies, fruit and juice. It was a very happy occasion.
June 5, Preparing the Gendra for Installation
Gendra, the spike that adorns a traditional Tibetan temple's roof, has been prepared for installation at Kunzang Palchen Ling. It has been consecrated by Bardor Tulku Rinpoche and mounted on the base that will rest on top of the new building. Bardor Tulku Rinpoche will pick an auspicious day when the installation ceremony will be held.
May 28, Open House for the Town of Red Hook
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche talking to
town supervisor, Sue Crane
On May 28, 2009, we held an open day for the town of Red Hook in the new building at Kunzang Palchen Ling. We invited town officials and members of the Red Hook community to visit our new facility under construction. Our guests were offered Tibetan tea and rice followed by a tour of the new building led by KPL Vice-Chairman/Treasurer, Lama Jim Dowiat. Lama Jim gave a summary of the construction project and emphasized that the new facility will serve the entire community, not only Buddhist practitioners. According to Bardor Tulku Rinpoche’s wishes, Kunzang Palchen Ling will be a place where people can practice and study their spiritual paths regardless of denomination. We are eagerly looking forward to the time when this vision becomes a reality.
April 25, KPL's 6th Anniversary Celebration
Guru Rinpoche tsok puja
On April 25, we celebrated the sixth anniversary of Kunzang Palchen Ling. Students from parts of the country as distance as Florida, North Carolina, Minnesota, and New Mexico came to be a part of this joyful event.
The day was sunny and warm, just a couple days after the last cold and snow flurries. The festivities started with the morning Guru Rinpoche tsok puja from Barway Dorje terma. The shrine room was decorated with lovely flower arrangements that had been made by a sangha member. The crowd did not fit into the shrine room and some students occupied the staircase while others stayed in the downstairs living room.
Potluck lunch followed. A group of volunteers made momos and cooked delicious dishes (including a mock meat stir-fry), and guests offered a variety of dishes and desserts. The lunch table and the anniversary cake looked fabulous!
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche offering
In the afternoon, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche offered, for the first time in the West, the empowerment of Atsara. Atsara is an emanation of the Raven-Headed One, who himself is an emanation of the Four-Armed Mahakala. Atsara is an activity protector specifically connected with the lineage of Terchen Barway Dorje. Once again, the crowd did not fit into the shrine room, and so the ceremony was broadcasted into the downstairs living room. In the course of the empowerment, Bardor Rinpoche went down to bestow the empowerment on those who watched the ceremony on a TV screen. At the conclusion of the empowerment, Rinpoche offered an image of Astara with a short liturgy to all who attended.
The new building at KPL
The day ended with a tour of the new building. As experienced by those who spent the morning puja and the empowerment in the staircase and the living room of the current center, a new facility is needed so programs and ceremonies can be held in a space that will accommodate all the gathered students. More funds are needed to bring this project to fruition. The projected cost of completing the first floor of the building, where the main shrine room will be located, is $1 million. The town of Red Hook, which has been extremely generous and helpful to us, has agreed to issue a certificate of occupancy once the first floor has been finished, thereby allowing us to begin operating the center in the new building while the construction work in the remainder of the building continues. The projected cost of completing the entire building is $2 million. The currently lower labor and material cost can help us finish the building without further increase of the cost.
Therefore, donations are needed now in order to generate sufficient funds for undertaking progressive steps of the construction, such as installation of the sprinkler system, installation of the radiant heating system on the first and second floor, installation of the alarm system, etc. If you are able to make a donation or know others who might be in a position to do so, please help us. The times are difficult with the global economy in a depression. However it is through generosity that we secure our welfare for the future, and here is an opportunity to make a long-term “investment.” Please consider becoming a part of it. To make a donation, click here.
April 15, Consecration of Statues Completed
In early April, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche completed the consecration of the statues of Guru Rinpoche, his eight emanations, and his twenty-five principal disciples. The statues will be placed in the Guru Rinpoche shrine as soon as the new building is finished.
More statues will be consecrated as the time passes, especially the eight-feet Shakyamuni Buddha, the eight bodhisattvas, and the sixteen arhats. You are invited to contribute jewelry for the consecration of those statues with your personalized aspiration. For information, please email email@example.com.
April 5, Preparing Statues for Consecration
The beginning of April has been devoted to preparing for and consecrating the statues of Guru Rinpoche, his eight emanations, and his twenty-five principal disciples. Each day of work starts out by lighting incense to purify the work place. The preparation involves cleaning the inside of the statues, removing the glue from the outside of the statues, preparing and often customizing copper plates that will serve as the bottom, and matching different size plates with corresponding statues.
March 31, About the Consecration of Statues
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche preparing statues
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche spent the last few days of March preparing for the consecration of the statues of Guru Rinpoche and his eight emanations (each 2.5 feet high), and the twenty-five principal disciples of Guru Rinpoche (each 1.5 feet high). These statues will adorn the Guru Rinpoche shrine room in the new building currently under construction.
The preparation involved preparing sheets of mantras and collecting materials that will be placed in the statues: jewelry, medicinal substances, relics, and small statues. Bardor Tulku Rinpoche appreciates offerings of jewelry that students have been making.
Many objects that Rinpoche will be using have been given to him or his family by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa (for example a small statue of Guru Tsepo made of medicinal substances or a protection cord). Among the relics that will be used for the consecration are: butter from Karma Pakshi’s cup and a piece of his skull, piece of a dharma robe from Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, or a piece of a meditation belt from Jetsun Milarepa. All relics are being carefully recorded by Lama Tratop who wraps them carefully in paper and makes a list of them for the archives.
The statues themselves also have to prepared: copper plates that will serve as bottoms must be flatted, statue bodies must be glued onto their base and any holes must be sealed. The whole process is quite labor intensive and time consuming.
March, Construction Progress at KPL
Construction progress at KPL
The construction project of the new building for our center is moving forward.
The insulation has been installed; the plumbing is in place; and the electric wiring is almost complete. Now, the construction crew is preparing for the installation of the radiant heating system for the main shrine room. More funds are needed. Please consider helping us in this undertaking.
To keep in mind the blessing of the lineage and the kindness of our teacher in bringing to us the precious teachings of the Buddha, and to cultivate gratitude for Buddhist masters for creating places like Kunzang Palchen Ling in the United States, one of the sangha members working on the building project, decorated the building with images of teachers, buddhas, and bodhisattvas.
March, Consecration of Statues for the Guru Rinpoche Shrine
During the month of March, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche is completing the consecration of the large statue of Guru Rinpoche and the statues of the twenty-five principal disciples of Guru Rinpoche. These statues will adorn the shrine dedicated to Guru Rinpoche in the new building of our center.
Consecration involves filling the statues with sheets of printed mantra and precious materials such as jewelry. Anyone wishing to contribute jewelry for this consecration, please mail your pieces to:
Kunzang Palchen Ling
Attn: Consecration of Statues
37 Pinewood Lane
Red Hook, New York 12571
If you wish for the jewelry to be used specifically for the consecration of the statues of Guru Rinpoche and the twenty-five disciples, please indicate it inside your package. Otherwise, your jewelry may be used for consecration of other statues for the shrines in the new building. Rinpoche will continue consecrating statues during the upcoming months.
March 7, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche at the Rubin Museum
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche and Eva Selhub, MD, discussed physical benefits of deliberately evoking "the love response" - a series of biochemical reactions in the body that lower blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and adrenaline level.
Dr. Eva Selhub is the author of the book The Love Response. She is a senior staff physician at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
February, The New Building Project at KPL
Construction progress at KPL
Since 2003, our center has been attracting many Buddhist students and practitioners. Within the first couple of years, it became clear that a new facility was needed to accommodate the growing sangha, particularly in the light of anticipated visits from His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa.
In response to those needs, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche designed a new building. Architectural plans were developed based on his design, building permits were acquired in 2005, and in the spring of 2006 the ground breaking ceremony was conducted. Over the next two years, the building was raised and the work on the interior began.
As of the beginning of 2009 more funds are needed to bring the project to its completion.
“This new center will be a “bridge monastery” by way of creating a very strong support connection to Raktrul Monastery in eastern Tibet. This important bridge will assist in preserving the teachings and practices of the previous Bardor Rinpoche’s treasure collection. At the same time, Raktrul Monastery will serve to bring the rich tradition of Tibetan Buddhism to Western people here at Kunzang Palchen Ling Buddhist Center.” —Bardor Tulku Rinpoche
Your Can Help
When completed, the center will have a large central shrine room, where services and teachings will be offered, as well as a smaller shrine room devoted to Guru Padmasambhava. The new building will offer two libraries: one containing all Buddhist scriptures in Tibetan, the other hosting a collection of Buddhist books in English. The libraries will also be used as the shrine rooms to practice the terma Guru Rinpoche and the Kagyu Mahamudra preliminary practices (ngondro). In the new facility there will also be rooms for lamas, accommodations for short retreats, as well as dining facilities, and office space.
The new facility will allow for a comprehensive program of teachings to be introduced, and many teachers from all Tibetan Buddhist traditions will visit the center to bring to YOU the wisdom of the Buddha that leads to freedom from suffering. This cannot happen without YOUR help. This cannot happen without a collective effort of ALL of us. Let's not wait any longer and let's bring about the conditions for the new building to be finished.