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closing butter lamps6thADC

ADC concludes by lighting 100,000 candles

Religion: On the hill top of Druk Amitabha in Kathmandu, Nepal sits a giant nunnery spread across more than 50 acres of land.

The Druk Gawa Khilwa nunnery that overlooks the Kathmandu valley is decorated with flags, scarf and banners bearing dragon images, symbolising the Drukpa Kagyu school of Buddhism founded by Tsangpa Garey (1161-1211) in Tibet.

His school came to be known as druk and the followers drukpa after he encountered nine roaring dragons that flew at Nam Phu where he had gone to build a monastery.

The dragon images at the nunnery resemble the nine dragons.

Its in this nunnery where drukpa masters, trulkus and rinpoches from all over the Himalayan belt meet annually to work in the interest of up holding the dragon lineage passed down from maters.

On the evening of January 1, the nunnery glowed with candlelight. The nunnery was surrounded by more than 100,000 candles lit as offering to dedicate the merit of a weeklong Annual Drukpa Council (ADC) programme for the wellbeing of all sentient beings.

Led by His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche thousands of devotees offered marmemoenlam (Butter lamp prayer) for peace and harmony in the world.

Chairman of ADC, His Eminence Gyalwa Dokhampa said the offering of butter lamp in Buddhism is believed to liberate sentient beings from samsara and clears their way to enlightenment.

The butter lamp offering indicates offering of wealth, devotion and faith to the three jewels – Buddha, dharma and sanga with purity.

The council’s main objective is to pass down Buddhist teachings through an unbroken chain of lineage. In Buddhism, teachings are crucial for the continuity and survival of practice and realisation of the nature of mind.

A dialectical debate among khenpos of Tango Buddhist Institute in Bhutan and other Buddhist institutes in India and Nepal was also organised. The dialectical debate enables to understand the essence of spiritual learning and practices.

Lungtenzampa middle secondary students, who performed culture activities, lifted a Jamyang statue as second prize while the first price went to Druk Pema Karpo School in Ladakh. The third prize was awarded to a school in Nepal.

The Bhutanese devotees including members of Tashiyangtse Baza Guru dungdrup committee yesterday offered madala offering to His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa and contributed Nu 1M as seed money for the ADC.

They also offered traditional wooden dinner set made in Tashiyangtse as an auspicious token to symbolise good relationship between the teacher and his followers.

By Tenzin Namgyel, Kathmandu

Category: Print Media

Forbidden no more

By Aarti Dhar. Read online version of the article on The Hindu - Catalytic changes are taking place in Leh -- nuns take to learning martial arts while the hills are getting green.

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hhGD 6thADC

Meditation is like perfecting a dance

At its simplest, meditation is about developing a positive attitude

Religion: The perception of going into the mountains in search of a calm environment for meditation among non-practitioners and beginners is what makes understanding the practice complex.

It is believed that meditation is the final stage of all Buddhist teachings and before preparing to go into meditation, one needs to have an ability to listen and contemplate the teachings received from the masters.

However, Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche said meditation in a simple way is a process of understanding our own mind by trying to familarise with its natural state of mind, which is pure.

While teaching the ‘art of meditation’ at the ongoing 6th Annual Drukpa Council in Kathmandu, Nepal, Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche said, “mediation is like perfecting a dance.”

As dancers need to dance to the tune, so is meditation a process of understanding the nature of mind that is not afflicted by attachment, anger and ignorance, which in Buddhism are the root causes of samsara.

The rinpoche said meditation is familiarising with a good attitude to get rid of desire, anger, ignorance, pride and jealousy among others.

Meditation, he said, need not necessarily mean going out in the mountains but is about constantly developing positive attitude and putting into practice in daily life.

“When people are unable to have a positive attitude then going to the mountains to prevent distractions is not meditation,” His Holiness said. “Jealousy being the basis of all negative emotions can be only removed by good attitude such as appreciating others.”

The rinpoche said meditation became complicated when scholars and thinkers later interpreted and put it into texts. “During Buddha’s time, the explanation for meditation was just understanding positive attitude.”

According to the rinpoche , there are two ways of familiarising with positive attitude. Good reasoning through written text of the masters and reminding oneself of positive attitude would prevent one from developing negative emotion.

Like jealousy is the basis of three-root causes of samsara, so is joyfulness the basis of four immeasurable thoughts- love, compassion, joy and equanimity that will lead one to Buddhahood. “One can’t have joy unless jealousy is removed,” rinpoche said.

Jealousy basically is the state of unhappiness. Citing an example, rinpoche said when he shook hands with foreigners, he felt inadequate for being short.

“I realised later that being tall had no real benefits, and I was not handicapped by being short; it was a feeling of jealousy,” rinpoche said.

By Tenzin Namgyel, Kathmandu

Category: Print Media

Pay more attention to Buddhists, Rinpoche tells Centre

Pay more attention to Buddhists, Rinpoche tells Centre

The Hindu - Buddhist spiritual leader Kyabje Thuksey Rinpoche has said the government should give more attention to Buddhism as its followers are along the international borders and are crucial for national security. Read online version of the article on The Hindu

Read more: Pay more attention to Buddhists, Rinpoche tells Centre

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bhutanese kuensel1

Vegetables have more health benefits than meat

Diet: That meat is an integral part of the Bhutanese diet is indicated from the amount the country imports annually.

According to the Royal Monetary Authority’s annual report, published early this year, import of meat increased from Nu 642M in 2011 to Nu 1B in 2012.

This means, Bhutanese on an average consume around 70 kilograms of meat a year. To reduce dependence on imports, the agriculture ministry plans to establish farms and abattoirs in the country.

While Bhutanese feel that consuming imported meat is a less sin than slaughtering animals, eating meat is like slaughtering the animal according to His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche.

“If there are no consumers there would not be butchers,” said His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche during an oral transmission of Awalokiteshvara, the compassionate Buddha to more than 1,000, Buddhist devotees who are attending the 6th Annual Drukpa Council in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Recollecting the Bhutanese culture of not killing, His Holiness said people should continue with the culture for both spiritual and health benefits.

“Some 30 to 40 years ago, Bhutanese would only eat the meat of animals that died from falling off the cliffs,” His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa said.

The prevalence of more meat shops in towns, His Holiness, said is an indication of the society consuming more meat. “Keeping in mind the essence of compassion in Buddhism one should not eat meat,” he said. “The more we consume meat, the more diseases we get.”

When people consume meat, it’s believed that the five elements are gradually disturbed and could result in disharmony.

A veteran vegetarian Dr Julia Jus who spoke on the benefits of being vegetarian at the ADC said 26 percent of meat eaters manifest high blood pressure, compared to two percent of vegetarians.

According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, 1961, heart disease would be reduced by 97 percent if people switched to a vegetarian diet.

She said adopting a vegetarian diet also helps the planet. A vegetarian diet according to her consumes 1/10 -1/20 the energy and natural resources of a flesh food diet creating more food to feed the hungry.

Evidence gathered and shared in a 20 year research by T. Colin Campbell in The China Study concluded that whole foods, plant based diet is best for the heart, cancer and cancer prevention, diabetes, kidney disease, mental health and more.

“Diseases can only thrive in a body that is in an acidic state and lacks both oxygen and enzymes,” Dr Julia said. “A vegetarian diet that consists of mostly fruits and vegetables ensures that the body remains alkaline.”

By  Tenzin Namgyel, Kathmandu

Category: Print Media

The Masks
of Hemis

The Masks of Hemis

New Delhi, The Economic Times, New Delhi, Saturday FeatureDownload PDF version - Nestled high up in the mountains southwest of Leh is the Hemis monastery, a 17th century gompa that has acquired preeminence as the largest monastery in Ladakh and the seat of the Drukpa lineage of Buddhism.

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6thADC Bhutanese Kuensel

More than a thousand Bhutanese attend the 6th ADC in Nepal

Religion: More than a thousand Bhutanese devotees have gathered in Kathmandu, Nepal to attend the 6th Annual Drukpa Council (ADC) that begins today at the Druk Gawa Khilwa nunnery.

Among them is Ugyen Zangmo, 72, from Bumdelling village in Trashiyangtse. She wears her orange hat constantly so that the person who escorted her for the ADC can easily spot her among devotees from other Himalayan countries. Like her, there are more than 800 devotees from the dzongkhag, most of them farmers who also don the yellow hat.

Ugyen Zangmo said her devotion motivated her to visit Nepal, which she believes is home to a stupa (Boudhanath) similar to Chorten Kora in Tashiyangtse. During their stay, the group will also visit more than a dozen religious sites including Draphu maratika and Lumbini, where the Buddha was born.

Coordinator of the devotees from Trashiyangtse, Ten Dorji said the group would organise a cleaning camping at Swayambhunath (Phagpai Zhingkuen) on January 2, when the ADC concludes.

The group will also circumambulate the Boudhanath by singing folk songs of Trashiyangtse, which they said is to replicate the one they do during Namgang Kora in Chorten Kora on the 30th day of the first month of Bhutanese calendar.

Yesterday, the devotees received oral transmission and explanation on the recitation forAvalokiteshvara mantra from His Holiness Gyalwang Drupka Rinpoche.

Among them are 15 Bhutanese volunteers working for ADC, a dozen students from Lungtenzampa MSS, who came to perform culture programmes and 30 students from Sherubtse College. The devotees from Bhutan are accommodated at the nunnery and its premises and provided free food and transport within Kathmandu.

Represented by Khenpo Tandin Situ, close to 100 monks from the Zhung dratshang including His Eminence, Gyaltshen Trulku will also attend the ADC.

ADC is a forum to share, exchange and revive old teachings of Drukpa Kagyu linage by the masters of Himalayan countries of Bhutan, Nepal, India and Tibet in China.

By Tenzin Namgyel, Kathmandu

Category: Print Media

Kung fu nuns teach cosmic energy to CERN scientists

By Robert Evans. Read online version of the article on Reuters - A dozen kung fu nuns from an Asian Buddhist order displayed their martial arts prowess to bemused scientists at CERN this week as their spiritual leader explained how their energy was like that of the cosmos.

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First batch of 'Rancho school' passes out

By Aarti Dhar. Read online version of the article on The Hindu - With mostly first-generation learners as pupils, the first batch of students at the now-famous ‘Rancho School’ in Ladakh passes out.

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4th ADC will culminate in plantation of 100,000 trees

Source: Kuensel Newspaper, BhutanThe council ends on November 2 with offering of 100,000 butter lamps Participants continue to pour in at Hemis monastery in Ladakh, India to attend the fourth Annual Drukpa Council (ADC) that began yesterday.


Read more: 4th ADC will culminate in plantation of 100,000 trees