Wednesday, 19 August 2009

His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche makes his first visit to Lerab Ling this week

This week Garchen Rinpoche visited Lerab Ling where there are currently more than 1,600 students attending the 2-week All Mandala Retreat, the annual retreat for the worldwide Rigpa sangha.

Garchen Rinpoche teaching in the Lerab Ling temple

Garchen Rinpoche arrived in the middle of a heatwave to a traditional welcome from Sogyal Rinpoche and all the retreatants.

This was Garchen Rinpoche's first visit to Lerab Ling, although he taught the Rigpa sangha in Berlin in 1997, and in 2008 when he visited the Berlin Centre.

Garchen Rinpoche (centre) arriving at the Lerab Ling Temple, with Sogyal Rinpoche (right)

Circumambulating the temple

His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, who is known for his vast realization and great kindness, spent 20 years in a Chinese prison from the age of 22, after completing a two and a half year retreat. He was imprisoned during the political turmoil of China's Cultural Revolution.

While in the labour camp, he received meditation instructions from his root lama, the Nyingma master Khenpo Munsel and, remarkably, despite enduring great hardship and having to practise in secret, Garchen Rinpoche attained realization.

Since his release from prison in 1979, Garchen Rinpoche has made a great effort to rebuild the Drikung Kagyü monasteries and reestablish the Buddhist teachings in eastern Tibet. He has also built two schools for local children. Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of the Garchen Buddhist Institute in Arizona, USA.

During his visit to Lerab Ling, His Eminence conducted a rabné (consecration) of the Lerab Ling temple and the 7-metre Buddha statue that is the centrepiece of the temple.

On 15 August, a Dakini day, (a special day of practice observed on the 25th day of each month in the Tibetan calendar) Garchen Rinpoche gave a White Tara empowerment to the whole assembly. The ceremony was also video-streamed live to the Rigpa sangha who gathered in centres around the world.

Garchen Rinpoche, who is the holder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, also taught on the Dzogchen text, Tsik Sum Ne Dek, over 5 days.

The All Mandala Retreat continues until 23 August.

(Photos courtesy of Jurek Schreiner, Bart de Natris and Heinz Nowotny)

1 comment:

Marlou said...

Very much thanks for sharing all these news what happens in Lerab ling, with good information and photoos, so quickly.marou