Pandara Letter 03/09/10

3 September 2010: Reflections on what we have done in August

After we organized a conference on pilgrimage and journey of the mind on 17 July 2010, the Foundation was engaged in several more conferences and activities.

On 14-15 August 2010 around 100 people came to Khadiravana Center (Kundrol Ling) and joined the celebration of the new Mantra Stupa which was blessed by Kunga Sangbo Rinpoche.

In the afternoon Rinpoche gave a talk on how to be happy and at night we did “kora” (circumambulation) around Vasutara Sala, where we house sacred images and thangkas of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

The next day Rinpoche performed a blessing ceremony for the new Tara and Buddha images and discussed dharma points with the participants.

Before we left Khadiravana, we planted young jasmin as a token of love and gratitude to mothers on Mother’s Day and made the “Drolme Dobum” or Pile of Tara Mantra Stones.

Then on 17 August Rinpoche met 14 people who wanted to participate in the Bodhisattva vow-bestowing ceremony. He gave them a lot of encouragement and explained the meaning of being a Bodhisattva.

On 19 August Rinpoche visited Bodhisathan Mongkolthan, a dharma center in Rajawong area near China Town. He was well received by Ajarn Puangpen and her disciples of more than 200 people. They released fishes with Rinpoche and attended his talk on the essence of dharma teaching. He stressed on 3 points: compassion, bodhicitta and impermanence. The audience made merit with Rinpoche in reviving his hometown affected by earthquake, and with the foundation in building the Tara Great Stupa. Although the time was short, it was a memorable night with precise but profound teaching.

The weekend of 21-22 August turned into busy time for us, as we organized a conference on graceful and mindful dying (Official title – Towards a Beautiful End: Preparing for Death Mindfully) and an event on Bodhisattva consisting of a talk on six paramitas and Manjushri empowerment at Chulalongkorn University.

The conference with speakers from various disciplines covering topics on euthanasia to bardo in Tibetan Buddhism was attended by nearly 300 people.

On 23 August Rinpoche talked on “the Four Immeasurables” at Bodhigaya Hall, Sogo Building.

The highlight of Rinpoche’s visit this time for us was the Bodhisattva vow-bestowing ceremony on 24 August at the Foundation House. We arranged a beautiful altar with offerings from the vow takers. Rinpoche made a torma representing Buddhas of five families. Half of the group made prostrations to 35 Buddhas, while another half recited the Sutra of Three Heaps. We confessed in our wrongdoings before taking the vows.

Without confession, the vows cannot be given, said Rinpoche. After that Rinpoche granted us blessings and we were given new Dharma names. All start with the word “Changsem,” for “Changchub Semba” Bodhisattva. The names remind us to be worthy of respect. We have to excel ourselves and live our lives for the benefit of sentient beings until we gain enlightenment.

Kunga Sangbo Rinpoche left for China on 25 August. A few days later on 28 August, we held the phapa fund raising ceremony for the Tara Great Stupa at Thongnoppakun Temple. The ceremony was presided by Ven. Phra Theppariyatmuni, the temple’s abbot and Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksa. Their kindness to the Stupa project will remain in our heart and marks a significant step in the Stupa’s history. We rejoiced in the merit making of all friends, volunteers and those who made donations and offered helps in other forms.

We will have a rest for about 10 days before we organize more activities in September for the benefit of all.

With love and compassion

Dr. Krisadawan Hongladarom (Kesang Dawa)


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