This Week at Kurukulla Center                                September 27, 2010 - October 03, 2010
From the Director

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Dear Kurukulla Community,

Thank you for your interest in and support of the Center.

I hope you are well. I just returned from Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Light of the Path retreat in North Carolina. Very happy to see some Kurukulla members there, such as Wendy Kan and Mer and Maddy Stafford for the whole thing and Debra Thornburg, Meida Cheng, Suzanne Roberts and Wendy Cook (part of the time). Sorry...hope I didn't forget anybody! Anyway, it was great and you can watch the whole thing on the FPMT Media Center. Try to get there next year!

Geshe-la Update
Geshe Tsulga 2010.09.26

We had the amazing good fortune of receiving teachings from Geshe Tsulga-la this morning on the tenth and final chapter of Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattvas' Way of Life, after the completion of which he will have offered us commentary on the entire text.The tenth chapter is an elaborate dedication of merit, and in his commentary today Geshe-la not only offered wisdom regarding the cultivation of bodhicitta and the dedication of merit, but also what it means to be a true practitioner.He reminded us the importance of checking up with ourselves whether or not we are genuine Mahayana practitioners. Just listening to teachings does not make us practitioners; in order to be genuine practitioners we need to generate renunciation for samsara, cultivate bodhicitta and work toward realizing a correct view of Emptiness--we need to practice Dharma.

Although manifesting physical frailty, Geshe-la continues to exude compassion, clarity and joyful perseverance.We have been recommended a number of different practices to help support Geshe-la's continued health and long life, the weekly tallies of which can be found below.While we request and encourage everyone to continue these practices, Geshe-la has expressed that what he believes that his students can do that will be of most benefit to support the causes and conditions for his continued good health and long life is to "Read more Dharma, study more Dharma, practice more Dharma. Open your minds. This is what is of the most benefit." 

With this in mind, I encourage everyone to rejoice in our good fortune to continue receiving teachings from Geshe-la, to come regularly or listen online if you cannot attend, and to really re-commit yourself to opening your hearts and minds through sincere effort and practice.

This week's tallies are:
Varjapani mantras - 116 malas
White Tara mantras - 65 malas
Sanghata Sutra recitations - 2


Tara Pond Update

Work on the stupa has largely been completed and work on the Tara Pond proceeds apace. You can see the latest photos and follow progress here. Please rejoice at what we've been able to accomplish with these amazing holy objects. Thank you so much.

Tara Pond progress


Kurukulla Membership

As you know, we have about $8,000 of regular monthly expenses we have to cover and we rely totally on your memberships and other donations to meet them and keep the Center going. As usual, the summer has been a bit dry with respect to Center finances and we have exhausted much of our reserve, so please make sure your membership is up to date and if you are not a member, please do consider joining up, as this is the best way to ensure a regular flow of income into the Center's coffers.

To help guarantee that we are able to track incoming donations and make the most effective and beneficial use of member generosity, the Membership levels have slightly changed, and we have added a new membership level for couples and families. The membership section of our website is currently out of date, something we will have remedied later this week, but if you have any questions, please email us.
Sustaining Member
$1,500 per year (can be spread out throughout the year, $125 per month)
Member receives a subscription to the FPMT magazine Mandala, as well as a 20% discount on any items purchased in the Kurukulla Center Bookstore.

Family Member
$900 per year (can be spread out throughout the year, $75 per month)
Member receives a (single) subscription to the FPMT magazine Mandala, as well as a 5% discount on any items purchased in the Kurukulla Center Bookstore.

Regular Member
$600 per year (can be spread out throughout the year, $50 per month)
Member receives a subscription to all forms of Mandala publications, as well as a 5% discount on any items purchased in the Kurukulla Center Bookstore.

Student Member
$420 per year (can be spread out throughout the year, $35 per month)
Member receives a subscription to all forms of Mandala publications, as well as a 5% discount on any items purchased in the Kurukulla Center Bookstore.

Friend of Kurukulla

$125 per year (only available as a single-donation per year)


Kurukulla South

Please note that the first of our Tuesday classes hosted south of Boston will be held this week, September 28. 
Tsultrim Davis
Our co-Spiritual Program Coordinator, Tsultrim Davis, will begin teaching Improve Your Life From Within, a series of introductory and beginner classes, on Tuesday nights at Dancing Crow Yoga Studio in Hingham, MA.   

You can download a flier with more information for these classes here.  Spread the word! We are hoping for auspicious turnout as we launch this new venture for Kurukulla Center. Please post and circulate the flier anywhere you think it might be of benefit, and as always, feel free to email us with any questions. 


Monthly Book Club

The next book club with Tsunma-la will meet on October 2, and the book will be Blue Poppy and the Mustard Seed. Please visit our calendar for more information. 


Thank you so much for your kind support of Kurukulla Center, which exists solely for the benefit of all sentient beings and the preservation of the holy Dharma.

Much love,

Dr. Nicholas Ribush, Director

  Nick Ribush

Calendar of Events

Monday, September 27

Introduction to Buddhism
with Ven. Ani YesheAni Yeshe-la

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Introduction to Buddhism is an on-going series. Each class introduces a new topic as a way of providing newcomers a broad overview of Buddhism. The course is designed for those who are new or newly acquainted with the Center to hear basic Buddhist teachings, ideas and concepts, especially those emphasized by our resident lama (teacher), Geshe Tsulga. Bring all your questions. It is fine to attend any class without having attended prior classes. All welcome!


Tuesday, September 28

Morning Meditation with Tsunma-la (Sue Macy)Ani Tsunma-la

6:30 am to 7:00 am

Start your day on the right foot by calming your mind, setting your day's purpose to be a meaningful one and remembering to just breathe! Resident nun Tsunma-la leads basic meditations that help stabilize the mind by learning to focus on the breath. By using these simple techniques, you can bring a sense of tranquility to your day. If you plan to join Tsunma-la in the meditation hall (gompa) at Kurukulla Center please arrive a few minutes early. We will start promptly at 6:30 am. Feel free to listen live online.


Yoga & Meditation with Wendy CookWendy-la

7:00 pm to 8:45 pm

These classes include therapeutic movements, standing postures, back strengthening postures and hip openers. The last twenty minutes are spent in guided meditation, including breath awareness, visualization, and analytical techniques to enhance our inner good qualities. Suitable for both experienced and new students, you are welcome to attend on a drop-in basis. Please arrive a few minutes early and wear comfortable, fitted and modest clothing.

Improve Your Life From Within, an Introduction to Buddhism with Tsultrim DavisTsultrim Davis

[Kurukulla South at Dancing Crow Yoga Studio, 98 Derby Street Suite 440, Hingham MA]

7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

What is Buddhism and why practice it? Why is Buddhism one of the fastest growing religions in America and why are so many Americans turning to it to find true happiness and real meaning in their lives?

The answers to these and many other questions will be explored at a new series of evening classes designed both for complete newcomers to Buddhism and for those familiar with the basics of the tradition.  All are welcome.


Wednesday, September 29

Thirty-seven Practices of Bodhisattvas with Venerable Geshe TenleyGeshe Tenley-la

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Geshe-la continues an explanation of the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas by Togme Sangpo (1245-1369). Come and discover what it means to model your actions after those of a bodhisattva. All are welcome. A copy of the text will be distributed in class and a commentary by His Holiness the Dalai Lama is available on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive website. Other contemporary commentaries are available for purchase in our bookstore. Feel free to listen live online.



Thursday, September 30

Discovering Buddhism: Presenting the Path with Tsunma-la (Sue Macy)

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Resident nun Tsunma-la continues teaching the Discovering Buddhism program with the third module: "Presenting the Path." Think of this series as understanding how to GoogleMap your mind--how to figure out the directions to get from where you are now to your eventual destination, complete enlightenment. This overview of the Buddhist path will give you a summary of the most fundamental ideas in Buddhism.


The course meets on six Thursday evenings: Sept 9, 16 & 30 and Oct 7, 14 & 21. It is highly recommended you attend all six sessions but it is not required. Feel free to listen live online.

Presenting the Path is the third of fourteen modules in our Discovering Buddhism program. This is multi-session series that meets Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. It is not necessary to have attended the earlier modules in order to attend the later ones. If you would like to receive the handouts, homework and materials for this course, please click the link at the bottom of this email, "Update Profile/Email Address," and be sure that "Discovering Buddhism" is selected, or email us and we will manually add you to the list.

Discovering Buddhism (DB) is an advanced beginner's program designed by our parent organization, the FPMT, to explore the core Buddhist teachings in a cohesive and comprehensive way. Designed for beginner's who have had some background and anyone interested in a systematic program. There are readings, meditations and homework assignments. This is a highly practical program that is grounded in authentic Buddhist tradition. And it can be assured that Tsunmala will make it fun! More information about the 'Discovering Buddhism' program is available here, or you can email with any specific questions.


Friday, October 1


Morning Meditation with Tsunma-la (Sue Macy)

6:30 am to 7:00 am

Resident nun Tsunma-la continues the Morning Meditation series on Fridays with a variation on the stabilizing meditations that have been offered earlier. The focus is now using our analytical mind to investigate core Buddhist concepts as a way to deepen our understanding of them. Today we explore our impermanence as it manifests in our breath and our body. If you plan to join Tsunma-la in the meditation hall (gompa) at Kurukulla Center, please arrive a few minutes early. We will start promptly at 6:30 am. You are also welcome to participate from your home by listening on-line to the live broadcast. The class continues each Tuesday and Friday through the summer - 6:30 to 7:00 am - at your home or ours!


Saturday, October 2


Book Club with Tsunma-la (Sue Macy) and author Katie Willis Morton
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Optional brown bag lunch from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm  

Each month Tsunma-la offers an informal discussion of Buddhist-themed books that have practical significance for one's daily life. The book for October is The Blue Poppy and the Mustard Seed. Written by center member Kathleen Willis Morton, the book chronicles the loss of her first born child and her courageous struggle to regain her footing while both challenged and consoled by her Buddhist beliefs. Beautifully written, Katie's book is mesmerizing.

This month's group will follow a slightly different format than the previous sessions. After a brief meditation, Tsunma-la will give a short summary of the Buddhist view of death for those that are not Buddhists. Then Katie will lead the discussion. We are very happy that Katie will attend the session and hope you can join us. Blue Poppy... is available for purchase at our center for a discounted price. It is not necessary to have read the book beforehand.

More information about the book is available at
Wisdom Publications, the publisher of the book, and Amazon, where it is also available. You can purchase the book in our bookstore for a discounted price. You are welcome to join us for lunch at 12:30 pm before the session begins.



Sunday, October 3

Confession & Prostrations to the Thirty-five Buddhas with a senior student
9:00 am to 9:45 am

This powerful purification practice contains the elements of "the four opponent powers" and includes prostration, recitation and visualization. This practice is highly recommended by our teachers. For development along the path it's very important to "weed our garden" or purify the negative seeds on our mindstream. This session is a great opportunity to learn by doing.

Dedication - Chapter 10 from Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life with Venerable Geshe Tsulga Geshe Tsulga-la
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, written by master Shantideva, concludes with Chapter 10 and its inspired verses of dedication. His Holiness the Dalai Lama frequently recites verses from this chapter in his own dedications so many of the words and sentiments may be familiar.

Over the last number of years Geshe-la has offered commentary on every chapter except for the tenth, so this will be an opportunity for students to have received teachings on the entire text from Geshe-la. He has asked that we come to class prepared, having already read the chapter. If you do not have a copy you can download a PDF of it here. You can also purchase a copy of A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life from our bookstore.
Feel free to listen live online.

Guru Puja (Lama Chopa)Lama Chopa

4:00 pm to 5:45 pm

The word puja means "to please" and has the connotation to please through offerings and practice. The Guru Puja lays the whole path to enlightenment on our mindstream, connects us more strongly to our teachers, allows us to accumulate skies of merit and purifies eons of negative karma. We perform this practice on the 10th and 25th of the lunar Tibetan calendar, a time that is special for making the "tsok" offering, a particular ritual inserted into the Guru Puja. We chant the first 2/3rds of this puja in Tibetan and the last 1/3 we recite in English.

To create merit, positive connection, it is traditional to bring offerings for the altar, which then becomes the basis for the visualized offerings made during the puja; cookies, fruit, flowers, tea lights (unscented), or saffron are suggested.


All are welcome.


     Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies

     68 Magoun Avenue
     Medford, MA 02155

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes!