This Week at Kurukulla Center                               November 1, 2010 - November 7, 2010
From the Director

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Dear Kurukulla Community,

Geshe-la Update

 Geshe Tsulga with HHDL

Geshe-la returned on Wednesday from a week-long journey to Toronto to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The trip was successful, and Geshe-la was able to have a private audience with His Holiness, many pictures of which are available here. The car ride, however, was difficult for him and he is still recovering. Those of you who were in class today or listened online know that Geshe-la's physical strength was too weak for him to be able to offer teachings this morning. Our Sunday morning classes will continue as scheduled, and Geshe-la will teach whenever his strength permits it, otherwise Geshe Tenley will teach.


As Geshe-la's conventional body continues to manifest weakness, it is a profound teaching that he is offering us. Any of you whom have spoken to Geshe-la recently know that his mind is as vivid and clear as it always has been, even as his body weakens and demonstrates impermanence. The most important thing we can do, for this life and for all of our future lives, is study Dharma, practice Dharma. Geshe-la is reminding us that our bodies, too, will turn against us, often without warning, and the only thing that will be of benefit is our practice. As we see his depleted physical strength but continued treasure of mental strength, it should be an urgent call for all of us to practice, to work on taming our minds and opening our hearts, today and every day.


We encourage you to continue your many practices for the positive causes and conditions for Geshe-la's continued health and long life, including the Commitments you offered to him, those practices specifically mentioned specifically recommended by Geshe-la and by Geshe-la's teacher (recitations of Vajrapani mantras, White Tara mantras, the Chanting the Name of Manjushri (Manjushri-nama-samgiti) and the King of Prayers), as well as any other practices you would like to dedicate. This week's tallies include:


Vajrapani mantras: 361 malas

White Tara mantras: 308 malas

Manjushrinamasamgiti: 11 recitations

King of Prayers: 13 recitations

Sanghata Sutra: 1 recitation

Eight Mahayana Precepts: 9 days taken

Vajrapani sadhanas: 2

White Tara sadhanas: 1

How wonderful! You are welcome to join Tsultrim Davis for recitations of the Manjushri-nama-samgiti and the King of Prayers, either online or at the Center, on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm. Both prayers are available on the Kurukulla Center Resource Page.


Green Tara Initiation Cancelled


Since Geshe-la's strength is weakened right now, and, for the time being, unpredictable, it is with regret that we are going to have to cancel the Green Tara Initiation that was requested of him. As his strength permits we will reschedule.


Professor Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche's visit


On Friday, quite auspiciously the holiday Lhabab Duchen, Kurukulla Center was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to host Professor Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche, the Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile. He was in the area visiting students, and the local Tibetan community invited him for lunch at KKC.


Samdhong Rinpoche at KKC

He had a great reception, gave a short talk, met with Geshe-la, and after enjoying a great lunch offered a brief consecration for our Kalachakra Stupa for Peace. You can find more pictures of his visit here.  Rejoice!



Kurukulla South


This upcoming Tuesday, November 2, will be the last in this series of classes at Kurukulla South, Improving Your Mind from Within, taught by Tsültrim Davis. Kurukulla South will be taking a short break but returning soon, we will announce the new series of classes as they are finalized.


We are still, however, looking for other potential venues, to provide maximum benefit and accessibility for current KKC members as well as potential new members. We received some feedback last week which we are still mulling over. It looks like the Brockton/Raynham area is the best, geographically speaking, but we need to find an accommodating space! Please email us with any suggestions or ideas.


Kalachakra Stupa and Tara pond complete!


We have been showing you pictures of the "completed" stupa for a while now, but just this week were Kalachakra and Tara installed onto their respective thrones, and the stupa and pond are actually complete! Rejoice! The stupa is and will continue to be an incredible benefit not just for Kurukulla Center members and Medford town residents, but for all sentient beings.


Tara Pond and Kalachakra Stupa


I have also mentioned through the last few weeks that the terms of their visas disallow us to offer a salary to either of our incredible artists, Jampel and Sonam, who have been instrumental in making these projects a reality for us. They are now working on a beautiful new sign to greet everyone in the front of the Center!


KKC Sign

Jampel and Sonam


If you would like to make an offering to them, feel free to do so, clearly marking it "Artists."


Kurukulla Center Membership and Support


As you know, our 2010 year-end 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. 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.



New Kurukulla Center Director!

 Debra Thornburg, Director

It is with great delight that I announce that Debra Thornburg has been named the new Director of Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies! Debra is a long time Center member and has been the Spiritual Program Coordinator for a number of years. I am confident that she will be an excellent Director and help move Kurukulla, and all of the great work we do here, forward in countless ways.


She will transition into taking over all of the Director's responsibilities over the next few weeks. During the transition she and the Center will be able to use all of the support and help you can offer, thanks.

Please join me welcoming, congratulating and thanking Debra!

Thank you again for your wonderful support of the Center and, especially, sincere thanks to all of you who have helped me so much in my job as director in myriad ways over the past couple of years.

Much love,

Dr. Nicholas Ribush, Director

  Nick Ribush
  (Former) Director

Calendar of Events
Reminder - Next Sunday is Daylight Savings Time! Don't forget to turn back your clocks!

Monday, November 1


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

5:30 pm to 6:30 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.

Guru Puja (Lama Chopa)
7:00 pm to 8:45 pmLama Chopa
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.

There is no Introduction to Buddhism with Ven. Ani Yeshe this week, it will return November 8.



Tuesday, November 2

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
Tonight is the final class in a series exploring the three principal aspects of the path--renunciation, bodhichitta and the wisdom realizing emptiness--as taught through Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Virtue and Reality. All are welcome.


After this series of classes concludes, Kurukulla South will resume after a few weeks' break. Please see the Director's notes above for more information regarding Kurukulla South.


Wednesday, November 3

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

5:30 pm to 6:30 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.

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, November 4


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

5:30 pm to 6:30 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.

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

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Tonight is the final class of Presenting the Path with resident nun Tsunma-la. 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 and Nov 4. 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, November 5

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!


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

5:30 pm to 6:30 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.

Tara PujaGreen Tara

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm 

Tara is a female Buddha and represents the enlightened activity of the Buddhas. Once a month, we pay homage to her by doing practices for this specially loved Buddha. Practices to Tara are said to remove obstacles to both our spiritual and worldly success. Since most of the recitation is done in English, the Tara puja is easily accessible to those unfamiliar with this type of chanting ceremony practice.

It is customary when attending a puja to bring offerings such as flowers, unscented tea lights, fruit or cookies, or to make monetary offerings to the ordained sangha or to Kurukulla Center itself. Although we encourage you to do so, it is not required.



Sunday, November 7

Practicing the Buddha Dharma with Venerable Geshe Tenley
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

The range of Buddhist teachings is vast yet it is possible to distill them into a manageable and serviceable set of instructions that guide and support you on your spiritual journey. Today Geshe Tenley speaks about how living life in harmony with the advice of the Buddha can lead to peace and fulfillment. Feel free to listen live online.

     Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies

     68 Magoun Avenue
     Medford, MA 02155

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes!