This Week at Kurukulla Center                            January 24, 2011 - January 30, 2011
From the Director

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Dear Kurukulla Community,

Thank you for your interest in Kurukulla Center. Geshe Ngawang Tenley finished his teachings on Day 2 of Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand this morning, and we are excited to start Day 3 next week. Day 2 emphasized the greatness of the guru, of Atisha Dipamkara. We are reminded, as we move forward not only with the rest of the text but as a community of practitioners, supporting one another, that we are blessed to have such a lineage of precious teachers to inspire, ignite and inform our practice. Although the heart of our practice lay in our dependence on out gurus, the Kurukulla community serves as a strong backbone that similarly holds us up, promotes and encourages us. Thank you for being so dedicated, to yourselves and to each other, we are very grateful and lucky to have a community such as this.

Upcoming Visit of Ven. Amy Miller from February 3 - 13


Ven. Amy MillerWe are incredibly excited to once again have the good fortune to host Ven. Amy Miller, Director of our sister center Milarepa Center in Vermont, to Kurukulla Center for two weeks of teachings including a weekend practice intensive (retreat), as well as leading us in a Lama Chopa (Guru Puja). Additionally, she will be giving a teaching for children and families on Saturday, Feb. 12, in place of Tsunma-la's monthly book club, which will be on Love, Compassion and Heart - A Buddhist Interpretation of Valentine's Day, which will be accompanied by a vegan cookie baking and decorating class. Details about this and all of the classes she is teaching can be found at As always, we do not charge for Dharma and all of her teachings are completely free of charge.

In order for these events to happen successfully, though, we do need some help from you! The first thing you can do is download and share a copy of the flyer for the event. Post it and email it anywhere it might be of interest - community centers, yoga studios, performing arts spaces, co-ops, local and organic food shops, etc. We also need volunteers to help with these events - transportation, driving, setting up beforehand and so on. We invite you to do as little or as much as you have time, every bit helps. Anyone interested in helping, please contact Tsultrim at

Practices for Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup

Khen Rinpoche Lama LhundrupThe most recent news about the health of Khen Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup indicates the cancer has spread from his stomach to the liver so that surgery or chemotherapy will not help. Lama Zopa Rinpoche is urgently requesting FPMT students to recite the Diamond Cutter (Vajra Cutter) Sutra. The goal is 20,000 recitations. Following the Sunday morning class, we did a recitation as a group dedicated to the long life of Lama Lhundrup and all of our precious teachers. You are encouraged to also recite on your own. We might be scheduling more recitations through the week, and if so we will send an email to that effect.  

Please send a count of your recitations to Tsultrim at, so we can update the FPMT Head Office. A copy of the sutra is available on the FPMT website.  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.

Lama Lhundrup offered a video message to his students yesterday, January 22, which you can view by clicking the image below.

Lama Lhondrup Video Message

2010 Donation Receipts

2010 donation receipts (for tax purposes) will be mailed out at the end this month.  If you prefer to receive their receipt electronically please let us know by replying to this email.



E. Gene Smith Memorial Service

Gene SmithGene Smith, Tibetan scholar, preservationist extraordinaire and dear friend of Geshe Tsulga-la, passed away on December 16, 2010. Gene was a major force in acquiring and preserving Tibetan literature and the founder of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center which uses information technology to conserve and disseminate precious Tibetan texts.  His unlikely journey from birth to a Mormon family in Ogden, Utah to assembler of the largest collection of Tibetan books outside Tibet is described in this obituary.  A public memorial service is scheduled for February 12, 2011, 2:00 pm at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave at 112th St, New York City.


Thank you again for your wonderful support.

Much love,

Debra Thornburg

  Debra Thornburg

Calendar of Events

Monday, January 24

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 25

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 26

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, January 27

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 28

Lama Chopa (Guru Puja)Lama Chopa
7:00 pm to 9:00 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 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.


Sunday, January 30

Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand Day
3 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 as such is the text from which most modern lamas teach lam rim. Today Geshe-la gives commentary on Day 3, on the greatness of the Dharma and how to study and teach Dharma. 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!