This Week at Kurukulla Center                            March 7, 2011 - March 13, 2011
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Dear Kurukulla Community,


Thank you for your interest in the activities of Kurukulla Center.

Yesterday we welcomed the Tibetan New Year (Losar) with daylong festivities. Before dawn, a stalwart group gathered for a lovely Guru Puja at 5 am. In place was a beautiful altar lovingly and meticulously crafted and arranged by the house residents. Then, throughout the day, a steady succession of local Tibetan families came to make offerings and share the traditional sweet rice prepared by Geshe Tenley. In the evening, we enjoyed a delicious potluck including Chef Vikrant's special baked pasta, which we followed with a showing of the film Mystic Tibet. We especially enjoyed welcoming some new visitors to our evening celebration. All this was preceded by the hard work of cleaning and polishing the center done by house residents and some of the Wednesday night students. Many thanks to everyone for making the day such a success!


Losar 2138


Geshe continued his wonderful discussion of Pabongka Rinpoche's Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand this morning, here is a brief excerpt for those who couldn't make it. (Keep an eye on our YouTube page, we are trying to add more content for you!)


Sakya Trizin in Boston during May
His Holiness Sakya Trizin
We are delighted to let you know that His Holiness Sakya Trizin, the head of the Sakya lineage of Buddhism, will give a series of empowerments in the Boston area from May 26-29. The venue is the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Boxborough, I-495 Exit 28.

May 26 - Guru Padmasambhava, 6 pm
May 27 - Chakrasamvara Preliminary, 6 pm
May 28 - Chakrasamvara Main Event, 2 pm
May 29 - Long Life Empowerment, 10 am
May 29 - Changchog/Rite for Purifying the Karma of the deceased, 2 pm

The Sakya Center in Boston has kindly offered Kurukulla Center students an opportunity to purchase tickets directly from them and avoid the Ticketmaster fees.  The ticket cost is $175. Tickets are only available for the entire 4-day series, that is, partial tickets not available. Tickets are not refundable.

To purchase a ticket, please email me at and send a check for $175 for each set of tickets. Make the check payable to: Sakya Center and mail to: Kurukulla Center, 68 Magoun Ave, Medford, MA 02155. The deadline to purchase advance tickets is March 15.

More information about the event is available at the Sakya Center's website.

Bookclub Returns this Spring

Resident nun Tsunma-la (Sue Macy) leads a new book discussion series - Women in Buddhism - beginning in April.  Each month (April, May & June) we will discuss a different book.  All of these books tell the story of how remarkable women responded to both the opportunities and limitations for women in Buddhism. Everyone is welcome - both women and men! It is suggested, but not required, that you read as much as you can. 

April 9 - Cave in the Snow: Tenzin Palmo's Quest for Enlightenment by Vickie Mackenzie
May 14 - Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist & Buddhist by Jan Wills
June 11 - Sorrow Mountain: The Journey of a Tibetan Warrior Nun by Ani Pachen & Adelaide Donnelley
Cave in the Snow
Our first book, Cave in the Snow, details an English nun's twelve-year retreat in the remote Himalayan mountains.  Her story is spell-binding and an inspiration! Unfortunately we do not carry this title in our bookstore. It, along with Sorrow Mountain, can be ordered from Amazon Books and other retailers (and qualify for free shipping if you spend more than $25 on your purchase!) Dreaming Me is available in our bookstore at a 20% discount.  


Donate to Festival of Lights & Merit
Light Offerings
The most significant events in Buddha Shakyamuni's life are marked by four very auspicious festivals each year. During these four Buddhist festivals, many thousands of lights and prayer flags as well as pujas are offered each night around the Bodhi Tree gardens in Bodhgaya, India by our spiritual director Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the FPMT.  Individuals can also join in the sponsorship of these lights as well as prayer flags and pujas during these holidays:

Fifteen days of Miracles from March 5 - 19
Birth, Enlightenment and Paranirvana from June 14 - 16
First Teaching from August 2 - 4
Descent from Tushita God Realm from November 16 - 18

More information is available on the Root Institute website, or you can email


Dalai Lama Attends Peace Summit in Newark, NJ

The Dalai Lama will participate in a conference on using strategies of peace and cooperation to deal with the many difficulties facing our contemporary world. The Newark Peace Education Summit: The Power of NonViolence meets from May 13 - 15 in Newark, New Jersey. Panel discussions and workshops with the Dalai Lama and other notable leaders are planned during the summit. Registration and more information is at  


Attending the Kalachakra Event in July?

If you would like to connect with others who are attending the Kalachakra Initiation and teachings with the Dalai Lama in Washington, DC beginning July 6, try out our new Kalachakra Message Board. This is a chance to share information on accommodations, carpooling and any other relevant news. Please note that we are not able to organize any of these arrangements, we just wanted to make a space available for people in the area to talk to each other.

Thank you again for your wonderful support.


Much love,

Debra Thornburg

  Debra Thornburg
Calendar of Events

Monday March 7   


Introduction to Buddhism with Ani YesheAni Yeshe-la

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Introduction to Buddhism, taught by Ani Yeshe, is an on-going series. Each class will introduce a new topic as a way to provide newcomers a broad overview of Buddhism. The course is designed for those who are new or newly acquainted with the Center, to come and hear basic Buddhist teachings, ideas and concepts. Bring all your questions. It is fine to attend any class without having attended prior classes. All welcome!



Tuesday March 8   

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

6:30 am - 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. If you cannot make it into the Center, you are also welcome to participate from your home by listening on-line to the live broadcast.


Kurukulla South: Path of Freedom, Path of Bliss with Tsultrim DavisTsultrim Davis, SPC

7:00 pm - 8:45 pm

This nine part series is an overview of the entire Buddhist path to enlightenment. It will meet February 15 & 22, March 1, 8 & 22, and April 5, 12, 19 & 26. We will begin at the beginning of the path-us, right where we are, now-and explore all the way to the end-complete enlightenment, perfect, unending bliss. This class is appropriate for people with any level of experience with Buddhist meditation or philosophy, or none. Attendance at all nine classes is encouraged but not required. Drop-ins are always welcome! Kurukulla South classes are taught at 90 First Street, Bridgewater MA 02324. Please check the Kurukulla South webpage for directions.


Yoga & Meditation with Wendy CookWendy-la

7:00 pm - 8:45 pm

This mixed-level yoga class begins with setting intention and breathing techniques, followed by a therapeutic joint freeing series, standing and balancing postures, and other postures such as back and belly strengtheners and hip openers. The last twenty minutes are spent in guided meditation, using techniques such as breath awareness, visualization, and contemplating themes to enhance our inner good qualities.

No prior yoga or meditation experience necessary. Please wear comfortable, fitted, modest clothing. You may bring a sticky mat if you have one but it is not required. All welcome.



Wednesday March 9   


37 Practices of a Bodhisattva with Geshe Ngawang TenleyGeshe Tenley-la

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Geshe-la continues his explanation of The Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva by Togme Sangpo (1245-1369.) Come and learn what a bodhisattva does. All are welcome. A copy of the text will be distributed in class and contemporary commentaries are available for purchase in our bookstore. If you cannot make it into the Center, you are also welcome to participate from your home by listening on-line to the live broadcast.



Thursday March 10  



Friday March 11  


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

6:30 am - 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. 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. If you cannot make it into the Center, you are also welcome to participate from your home by listening on-line to the live broadcast.



Saturday March 12 



Sunday March 13

*Daylight Savings Time begins today! Turn your clocks ahead one hour!*  

Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand
Day 3 with Geshe Ngawang Tenley
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Pabongka Rinpoche's Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand is the seminal lam-rim text of the 20th century. It is a transcription of a 24 day lam rim teaching given in 1921. Offered as a "practical teaching," it is less scholarly than Je Tsongkhapa's Jang chub lam rim chen mo or The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment and as such it 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. If you cannot make it into the Center, you are also welcome to participate from your home by listening on-line to the live broadcast.

Tara PujaGreen Tara
4:00 pm - 5:30 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.

We always recommend bringing offerings of some sort, food, unscented tea lights, flowers, etc, as a way of earning merit. By making donations at, or sponsoring, a specific puja, you are strengthening and empowering the merit you receive in relationship to that puja, in this case the merit we receive by celebrating our gurus and the immeasurable benefit they have offered all sentient beings through their teachings. Generosity is the first of the six perfected qualities of a bodhisattva, planting the seeds to ensure that we will have all the material things necessary in future lives to continue our study of Dharma and working for the benefit of all beings, and this puja is a wonderful opportunity to practice generosity. This does not necessarily mean making more offerings, but rather making offerings that are of high value to you, that you find delightful and want to offer your gurus and all buddhas, quantity and quality being factors but not defining marks for an offering. Offerings are not an obligation but an opportunity, so we encourage you to make the most of it.

All are welcome

     Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies

     68 Magoun Avenue
     Medford, MA 02155

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes!