This Week at Kurukulla Center                            January 17, 2011 - January 23, 2011
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Dear Kurukulla Community,

Thank you all for your continued support of Kurukulla Center, and your commitment to studying and sharing Dharma!


For those who were not able to join us last week, a number of us made a short journey up to Maine last weekend to spread Geshe Tsulga-la's holy ashes. You can read about the day and find links to some photo galleries at


Geshe Ngawang TenleyIn class today, Geshe-la spoke not only about the importance of making effort. Part of the reason we study the biographies and stories of our sacred teachers like Atisha is not so we can be simply entertained, but so we can learn from their example. We can see the incredible amount of effort they put in to studying and sharing Dharma, and that increases our faith and devotion, and inspired us to put in more effort of our own.  The results we receive are commensurate with our effort we exert. We rejoice in the great efforts Kurukulla Center members make toward living Dharma every moment, and we hope to continue to be a beacon for Dharma and compassion in the world. Join us in renewing your effort and dedication to the Dharma, to the communities that make Dharma accessible to others, and to all sentient beings!


Stupas for Geshe Tsulga

Monks and artisans in India are currently building two small, silver stupas which will house Geshe Tsulga-la's relics. The larger of the two will be about 4 feet tall and will stay at Sera Je monastery. The smaller of the two will be between 1.5 - 2 feet tall, and will eventually come to reside in the gompa at Kurukulla Center. We are excited to offer the opportunity to all Center members and students of Geshe Tsulga-la to help sponsor these stupas, as the total price of construction will be just over $7,000.00, in addition to the cost to ship the smaller one to the USA. Kurukulla Center will be sponsoring both stupas, and it is an amazing opportunity to be able to contribute to these memorial stupas, whatever size offering you can make. Please mark any offerings as "Geshe Tsulga Stupas," whether it is in the memo field of the check, written on the outside of the envelope if you're offering cash, or if making an offering online with PayPal, after inputting your donation amount you will see a link to "Add special instructions to the seller," and you can indicate it there.  



Venerable Amy Miller returns to Kurukulla Center February 2011

Ven. Amy MillerIt is with great enthusiasm that we are able to invite Venerable Amy Miller to return for a new series of courses in early February. She will be teaching courses and leading a mini-retreat/practice intensive which are appropriate for all levels of practitioner. There are a lot more details, as well as a flyer available for download, available at  Please spread the words about these amazing opportunities, and print and email the flyer around to anyone who might be interested. As always, all of our Dharma teachings are entirely free of charge.


We will need a number of volunteers for Ven. Amy's visit, everything from setting up before teachings to helping with food shopping, as well as a number of other tasks. Anyone who is interested in offering service can email Tsultrim at for more information. This is a great opportunity to earn merit, we encourage you to help as you can.


Monk Sponsorship for House 2A in Sera

We are delighted to announce that the monk and nun sponsorship for monks and nuns affiliated with House 2A at Sera Je monastery will continue, albeit in a slightly different way. As of 2011 donations will not go through Kurukulla Center, as a new non-profit organization has been started just for this purpose, and it is under the leadership of Ven. Tsunma-la. Please visit for more information.


Prayer for Sale of Property

As we have mentioned before, there is a student who is willing to make a substantial donation to Kurukulla Center if she can sell a piece of property she owns in Europe. Lama Zopa had advised that we recite the short Padmasambhava Wish Fulfilling Prayer every day and dedicate the merit toward the sale of the property, which will be an incredible boon for the spreading of Dharma and for Kurukulla Center.


Snow Emergency Parking

In general, if there is a declared snow emergency we will probably not be holding class. However, in the case there is class, please be aware that during a snow emergency parking is only allowed on the even side of Magoun Avenue (the same side as the Center) and parking is not allowed at all on Washington Street, the street behind the Center. We will do our best to keep the driveway as clean as possible and advise you fill the driveway first. Thanks!


Practices for Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup
Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup

Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup is the current abbot of Kopan Monastery in Nepal, the "wellspring of the FPMT," and the former abbot of Sera Je Monastery in India. He has been having health problems, and a week ago Lama Zopa Rinpoche advised him to be treated in a hospital. In the meantime, for those who wished to do prayers for Khen Rinpoche's health to improve, Lama Zopa Rinpoche said that the practices on the part of students which would be of most benefit are:

1. Read Long Life Sutra

2. Read Guru Rinpoche's Prayer Eliminating Obstacles

3. Engage in tong len practice


Thank you again for your wonderful support.

Much love,

Debra Thornburg

  Debra Thornburg

Calendar of Events

Monday, January 17

Meditation 101 with Tsultrim DavisTsultrim Davis, SPC
7:00 pm to 8:45 pm
Meditation 101 is an introductory course on basic Buddhist meditation techniques for complete beginners. It teaches basic Buddhist meditations that can be used by anyone to create more peace and happiness in daily life.

Meditation 101 is presented in four sessions and will meet on January 3, 10, 17 & 24. It covers various basic Buddhist meditation techniques, as well as explores the benefits of meditation in everyday life. All are welcome!


Tuesday, January 18

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 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.


Wednesday, January 19

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

7:00 pm to 8:00 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.

Medicine Buddha Puja (Full Moon)
8:00 pm to 9:15 pmMedicine Buddha
Puja is a Sanskrit word that means pleasing by making offerings. Making offering prayers to the Medicine Buddhas is the same as offering to numberless buddhas and brings inconceivable merit like the limitless sky. The special mantra of the Medicine Buddha quickly actualizes prayers that the Medicine Buddhas made in the past: to bring happiness to all beings by showing them the causes of enlightenment, pacifying their problems, fulfilling their positive wishes and, especially, helping those afflicted by illness. The Medicine Buddha practice is extremely powerful and beneficial for the sick and dying, helps those who have already passed away, allows those practicing healing methods to benefit others more profoundly and helps bring success in general.

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.

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. All are welcome.


Thursday, January 20

Discovering Buddhism: Death and Rebirth with Tsunma-la (Sue Macy)

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Explore the process of death and rebirth and its impact on how we live our lives. Be guided in skillful reflection on the meaning of death and what to expect at the death-time. In this way, fulfill your purpose in life, resolve conflicts, and develop the skills to help both yourself and others at the time of death. Eventually, through Buddhist practice, one can overcome death altogether.

The course meets five Thursday evenings: January 13, 20 & 27 and February 17 & 24. It is recommended you attend all five sessions but it is not required.

Discovering Buddhism (DB) is an advanced beginner's program designed by the FPMT to explore the core Buddhist teachings in a cohesive and comprehensive way. It is designed for beginners who have had some background and anyone interested in a systematic program. There are readings, meditations and homework assignments. And it can be assured that Tsunma-la will also make it fun!

If you are unable to join us at our center, you can listen online to the live broadcast.

 Friday, January 21

Morning Meditation
with Tsunma-la (Sue Macy)
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 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. 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 online.


Sunday, January 23


Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand Day 2 with Geshe Tenley

10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Pabongka Rinpoche's Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand is the seminal lam-rim or stages on the path to enlightenment text of the 20th century. It is a transcription of a 24 day lam rim teaching given in 1921 and lays out the steps one follows to reach liberation and enlightenment. Offered as a "practical teaching," it is less scholarly than Je Tsongkhapa's Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment popularly known as The Lam Rim Chen Mo and so is the text from which most modern lamas teach lam rim. Today Geshe-la gives commentary on Day 2. 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!