This Week at Kurukulla Center                                   October 11, 2010 - October 17, 2010
From the Director

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Dear Kurukulla Community,

Thank you for your continued support of Kurukulla Center, we could not offer as much as we do without you!

Geshe-la Update


As you know, Geshe Tsulga-la went, along with the rest of the Kurukulla Sangha, to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Toronto. Their journey went well, and they were able to have a private audience with His Holiness, rejoice! They will be returning to Kurukulla on Wednesday.


HHDL and Geshe-la

HHDL & KKC Sangha


Our Commitment Cards were warmly received last week, although Geshe-la has not had the opportunity to sign all of them yet. In the meantime, in our week's tally of practices dedicated to the continued good health and long life of our precious teacher, we thought it would be nice to include all of the many practices that students committed to do, so the whole community can rejoice in the vast sky of merit we have accumulated and dedicated to Geshe-la. Remember, these are practices done in addition to everyone's regular daily practices. Some commitments are omitted from the list, as they aren't easily quantifiable. With that said, this week's tallies are:


White Tara Mantra - 58 malas

Vajrapani Mantra - 118 malas

Manjushri Mantra - 7 malas

Chenrezig Mantra - 108 malas

Amitayus Mantra - 70 malas

Green Tara Mantra - 7 malas

Vajrasattva Mantra - 9 malas

Heart Sutra - 21 recitations

Praise to 21 Taras - 7 recitations

King of Prayers - 22 recitations

Bodhicharyavatara Chapter 10 - 7 recitations

Confession to 35 Buddhas - 7 recitations

Manjushri-namasamgiti - 14 recitations

Madhyamikavatara - 7 pages studied

Lam-rim Chen-mo - 175 pages studied

Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand - 190 pages studied

Bodhicharyavatara Chapter 9 commentary - 25 pages studied

The Foundation of Buddhist Thought - 35 pages studied

Words of My Perfect Teacher - 70 pages studied

Tsongkhapa's An Ocean of Reasoning - 50 pages studied

Other Dharma texts - 125 pages studied

Eight Mahayana Precepts - 9 days taken


What a wonderful offering, rejoice! Please continue all of your practices for the continued manifestation of the positive causes and conditions for Geshe-la's good health and long life. Most importantly, as Geshe-la has requested, please continue to open your minds and live the Dharma in every moment of your lives.


Prayers for Geshe Tsulga-la

 Geshe Tsulga-la

Geshe-la has requested his students at Sera Je to recite the King of Prayers as well as Chanting the Names of Manjushri (Manjushri-namasamgiti) in order for them to earn more merit, since the more merit a teacher's students have, the more positive and conducive are the causes and conditions for that teacher's continued good health and long life. If Geshe-la thinks his students at Sera could stand to earn some more merit, we figure we can do the same! Both of those prayers are available on the Kurukulla Center Resource page, and a commentary and lung (oral transmission) of the Manjushri-namasamgiti by Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found here.


We highly encourage you to recite these prayers, and dedicate the merit to Geshe-la, whenever you can.

Tsültrim Davis will be leading recitations on this Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm. You can join him at the Center, or listen online and recite along at home.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche honored in Mongolia

Last week our Spiritual Director Lama Zopa Rinpoche received the Polar Star from the Mongolian President. It's the highest civilian award and rarely given to foreigners. Rinpoche is only the second Tibetan lama to receive it--the first was Bakula Rinpoche--and it was given in recognition of His activities of reviving Buddhism in Mongolia. You can read more about it on the Mandala website.

LZR in Mongolia


Kurukulla Center Membership and Support


As you know, our 2010 membership appeal is currently under way. We really, really need you to participate in this. The Center is a beacon of wisdom and compassion and is a wonderful cause to help. Next Friday is a special merit-multiplying day (see below) and would be a great time to make your annual donation to the Center. We need to raise $20,000 by the end of the year, so please make sure your membership is up to date, increase its level of you can, and make a special tax-deductible donation according to your means. Thank you so, so much.


I know we're always asking for money but obviously that's the only way they Center can function and do the beneficial work that we do. However, one of our major benefactors has a house for sale in Europe and when it sells will make a substantial offering to the Center. It has been on the market for about a year and Lama Zopa Rinpoche has recommended reciting the Padmasambhava Wish-fulfilling Prayer, available on the KKC Resource page, daily until the house sells. If you can do it daily with the dedication that the house sells for the benefit of Kurukulla Center and all sentient beings, that would be great, thank you. Even if you do it just once or occasionally, that would be great too. Let's really put out the energy to make this happen. If you would like to hear a lung (oral transmission) of and commentary on this prayer by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, you can download it here.


Kurukulla South - Looking for a new home!


Last week saw the successful fourth installment of Kurukulla South, our venture to offer Dharma to Center members, old and new, who live south of Boston and in Northern Rhode Island. This current series of classes, exploring the three foundations of the path as taught in Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Virtue and Reality, being taught by co-SPC Tsültrim, will run through November 2.


Once this series of classes ends, we are looking for an alternative space to continue KKS, hopefully somewhere a little more easily accessible than Hingham. We need your help in finding a place! We are looking for anywhere we can use or rent once a week, from a living room to a community center, and everything in-between. If you have any ideas, suggestions or recommendations please email us and let us know.


Similar to all of our classes, we offer the Dharma for free and neither charge nor have a suggested donation for any of these classes. That said, we could use your support as we continue this project, as we do have some fees, such as space rental, etc. If you're as excited as we are about this new venture, and sharing the Dharma to a wider audience, we encourage you to donate to this project, being sure to mark any donation with "Kurukulla South" in the memo field or on the envelope. Thanks!  


Eight Mahayana Precepts & Sanghata Sutra recitation


Next week, Friday October 29, is the Tibetan Buddhist holiday Lhabab Duchen, the anniversary of Shakyamuni Buddha's descent from the Heaven of the Thirty-Three where he was teaching Dharma to his mother, a day when all positive and negative actions are multiplied 10 million times.


For this reason, Geshe Tsulga is planning on offering the Eight Mahayana One-Day Precepts at 6:00 am, creating the opportunity for us to earn inconceivable merit for the benefit of all sentient beings. You can read more about the Eight Mahayana One-Day Precepts on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, and find additional commentary and the ceremony text here.


Similarly, it is a Sanghata Sutra recitation day, and there will be a sutra recitation at 2:30 pm led by Center member Michele Schmalvogl. Copies will be available at the Center, and you can download a copy of the sutra from the FPMT website if you want to recite on your own.


Green Tara Initiation

 Green Tara

We are very fortunate that Geshe-la would like to offer a Green Tara Initiation before he leaves for India for the winter. It will be on Sunday November 7, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. The commitment that Geshe-la will expect of all attending the Green Tara Initiation is to recite the ten syllable mantra (OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SVAHA) 100x daily (one mala). If one is already reciting the mantra 100x or more daily, then that's enough; no need to add this on top of that. One can attend the initiation only if one is committed to reciting the mantra. If one cannot commit to doing this, then one cannot attend the initiation, even as a blessing.


According to Lama Zopa, "There are so many inner obstacles to the development of your mind, and these inner obstacles create many outer obstacles. Therefore, for the success of your practice, you must rely upon a special buddha such as Tara. All the actions of the buddhas have manifested in this female form, Tara the Liberator." We encourage you to reflect on your practice and if you are able to keep Geshe-la's commitment please attend the Initiation, it is a wonderful opportunity.



The Continued Beautification of KKC


Now that our artists have completed their work on the Kalachakra stupa and Tara pond they have set to work re-doing the sign that greets everyone in the front of the Center.


KKC Sign


We are incredibly blessed to have such talented artists, Sonam and Jampel, making it possible for our years of aspirations and work for the Kalachakra stupa to be realized and surpassed, I cannot speak enough to the benefit they are bringing the Center. The terms of their visas allow us to cover their airfare and provide them room and board, but we are not legally allowed to pay them salaries. As you have seen, they have worked long hours with barely a day off for six months...much harder than most of us (well, OK, me) work. They both have families back in Nepal that they have to support, so now would be a great time to make them a cash offering directly or by sending a check to the Center marked "artists." Thank you... as we all can see, they have done a fantastic job.


Day-long Yoga & Meditation Retreat

with Wendy Cook & Elizabeth Brown


We are very excited to be able to offer our space for two day-long yoga & meditation retreats, on October 30 and November 13. These retreats are being organized and taught by former KKC Director Wendy Cook and Elizabeth Brown, another local yoga instructor. Not only are these retreats a great opportunity to re-align your body and mind, but proceeds will go to the Center, so we especially encourage you to attend! You can find out more information as well as download a flyer from our Calendar page


Halloween candy


It's that time of year again! Kurukulla Center is known for giving out some of the best candy in the neighborhood, so let's keep our reputation going! In addition, Geshe-la blesses all of the candy before we give it out, so we get to plant positive seeds in the hearts and minds of everyone who we share the candy with. Ven. Tsunma-la, who hands out the candy every year, requests the slimiest, gooiest, most Halloween-iest, delicious candy you can find! The kind of candy that gives dentists nightmares! The dogs accompanying the costumed kiddies deserve treats too, so feel free to bring in healthy dog biscuits as well.There is a box for offering Halloween candy near the gompa, donate what you can!


Looking to get rid of your car?


If anyone has an old car they are looking to get rid of, or sell for cheap, we've got just the opportunity for you! Co-Spiritual Program Coordinator Tsültrim Davis has a car that is on its last legs. Seeing as how he lives in Medford but we have him driving down south to Hingham to teach once a week and as far north as Chelmsford to fulfill other Kurukulla commitments, never mind the many errands he runs for the artists and sangha, it would be in our best interest if he could continue to do so!


He is planning on studying at Sera Je monastery next year, and currently working to save money to pay off his student loans from studying at Harvard Divinity School (which will follow him to India), so his fiscal resources are a bit constrained. If you have a car you are willing to sell for cheap--it doesn't need to be new or pretty, just roadworthy and safe--or are able to help in anyway, please email us and let us know. Thanks!



Thank you again for your wonderful support.

Much love,

Dr. Nicholas Ribush, Director

  Nick Ribush

Calendar of Events

Monday, October 25

There is no Introduction to Buddhism with Ven. Ani Yeshe (Helen Lee) this week or next. It resumes Monday, November 8.


Prayers for Health and Long Life of Geshe Tsulga with Tsültrim Davis

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Join us for recitations of Chanting the Names of Manjushri and King of Prayers, dedicated to the continued health and long life of our precious teacher. Feel free to join us online.


Copies of the prayers and more information are available at our Calendar page.

Tuesday, October 26

There is no Morning Meditation with Tsunma-la (Sue Macy) this week. It resumes Tuesday, November 2.

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

In this new series of evening classes, we will be exploring the three foundations of the path, as taught in Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Virtue and Reality.

These classes are designed both for complete newcomers to Buddhism and for those familiar with the basics of the tradition.  All are welcome.


Wednesday, October 27

There is no 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas with Venerable Geshe Tenley this week. It resumes Wednesday, November 3.


Prayers for Health and Long Life of Geshe Tsulga with Tsültrim Davis

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Join us for recitations of Chanting the Names of Manjushri and King of Prayers, dedicated to the continued health and long life of our precious teacher. Feel free to join us online.


Copies of the prayers and more information are available at our Calendar page.


Thursday, October 28

There is no Presenting the Path with Tsunma-la (Sue Macy) this week. The next and final class will be Thursday, November 4.

Prayers for Health and Long Life of Geshe Tsulga with Tsültrim Davis

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Join us for recitations of Chanting the Names of Manjushri and King of Prayers, dedicated to the continued health and long life of our precious teacher. Feel free to join us online.


Copies of the prayers and more information are available at our Calendar page.

Friday, October 29

Buddhist Holiday: Descent from the Heaven of the Thirty Three (Lhabab Duchen)


There is no Morning Meditation with Tsunma-la (Sue Macy) today. It resumes Tuesday, November 2.

Eight Mahayana One-Day Precepts with Venerable Geshe TsulgaGeshe Tsulga-la

6:00 am to 7:00 am

Geshe Tsulga offers the Eight Mahayana One-day Precept ceremony this morning. With an altruistic motivation, one takes eight vows (no killing, stealing, sexual activity, lying, intoxicants, eating after noon, not wearing adornments, and not sleeping on a high bed with proud motivation) before dawn and promises to keep them for twenty-four hours. Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the Spiritual Director of our mother organization the FPMT, encourages us to take precepts on these special Buddhist holidays such as today, since the karmic effects of both positive and negative actions are increased many times.

If you want to know more about this practice and the ceremony, see the links in the Director's Notes above.  There is no requested donation, but offerings for the altar without egg, meat, onion, garlic or mustard are appropriate.


Sanghata Sutra Recitation

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Join us for a group recitation of the Sanghata Sutra this afternoon. The sutra records a discourse given by Buddha Shakyamuni on Vulture's Peak in Rajagriha. Recitation of Mahayana sutras such as this one are one of the practices recommended for purification. You can learn more about the Sanghata Sutra here


Prayers for Health and Long Life of Geshe Tsulga with Tsültrim Davis

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Join us for recitations of Chanting the Names of Manjushri and King of Prayers, dedicated to the continued health and long life of our precious teacher. Feel free to join us online.


Copies of the prayers and more information are available on our Calendar page.


Saturday, October 30


Cultivating Inner & Outer Kindness: Day-Long Yoga & Meditation Retreat

with Wendy Cook & Elizabeth Brown

10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Immerse yourself in the practices of yoga asana, pranayama and meditation with Wendy Cook and Elizabeth Brown.


Come deepen your practices in the sacred and blessed space at Kurukulla. Each day-long retreat includes two 90-minute mixed level asana classes, two 30 minute meditation sessions, a deliciously nourishing vegetarian lunch, and a walking meditation. You are invited to one or both days, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned practitioner. We will focus on embodying kindness and cultivating love for ourselves and others.


$75 each Saturday; $135 for both
$60 each Saturday; $110 for both low income & students
Proceeds benefit Kurukulla Center

Also offered on Saturday, November 13


Pre-registration required:
Send your check to Kurukulla Center with "Yoga Workshop" in the memo line or sign-up online here.


For more information contact: Feel free to spread the word and distribute our flyer, which you can find here.



Sunday October 31

Death, the Intermediate State (Bardo) & Taking Rebirth

from Liberation in the Palm of One's Hand with Venerable Geshe Tsulga

10:00 am to 12:00 pm


When the mind separates from the body, death occurs. The details of this process is described in the contemporary classic Liberation in the Palm of One's Hand by Pabongka Rinpoche. This morning resident teacher Geshe Tsulga presents the view of death according to the Buddhist perspective.

     Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies

     68 Magoun Avenue
     Medford, MA 02155

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes!