This Week at Kurukulla Center March 28, 2011 - April 3, 2011
From the Director
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| Dear Kurukulla Community,
Thank you for your interest in the activities of Kurukulla Center.
How to extract the most benefit from Buddhism formed the theme of Geshe Tenley's talk this morning. Echoing the words of our text Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, Geshe-la cautioned against trying to practice Buddhism without the guidance of an experienced spiritual teacher. Although an abundance of Buddhist texts exist, reading their words and trying to implement their advice on your own can lead to a mind firmly set in ways that might be misguided. Without a trusted teacher to point out what is correct and what is not, it is said there will be few spiritual realizations. Due to the important role of the spiritual teacher, it is also important to check that the teacher embodies the qualities we are trying to develop. For this reason, we are advised not to rush into a student teacher relationship without some investigation of the teacher. A more detailed explanation of this crucial topic is available in the brand new FPMT booklet by Ven. Rene Feusi, which is also available on our Resources Page.
Geshe Tsulga Memorial Stupas
This week Rinpoche sent additional advice, including to protect against radiation, which can be found on Lama Zopa's Advice Page.
Pre-register for Ven Antonio's Retreat
More information, including an explanation about Vipassana meditation by Ven. Antonio as well as his retreat guidelines, are available at www.kurukulla.org/VAS2011.
Also, Ven. Antonio will be visiting Milarepa Center, our sister center in Vermont, the weekend before he comes to Kurukulla Center. Please visit their website for more information.
Kalachakra Six Session Guru Yoga
Geshe Ngawang Tenley's Trip to India, Ven. Robina Courtin
at Kurukulla Center
As we we mentioned last week, Geshe-la will be traveling to India in mid-November and will be there for approx. eight weeks. The very beginning of his visit will coincide with the one year anniversary of Geshe Tsulga-la's death, and there will be one or two days of pujas and other ceremonies at Sera Je monastery in recognition of this. Any Kurukulla Center members who are interested in joining Geshe-la are more than welcomed to. Geshe-la has also said that if any Kurukulla students want to plan or organize a small pilgrimage trip after the anniversary, he would be happy to go along with you. If this is something you are seriously interested in and would like to start planning please let us know, so we can direct other interested parties your way. He will be in India roughly November 15 - January 15 (the one year anniversary is November 21).
For six of the weeks that he is away we are excited to be hosting Ven. Robina Courtin as our visiting teacher. She will be leading regular classes while Geshe-la is away, and we are joyful to be able to bring her back to Kurukulla Center.
Volunteer Work at your Center
After class today, as many of you may have heard, our Spiritual Program Coordinator, Tsultrim, shared that, following Lama Zopa Rinpoche's recommendation, he will be ordained as a monk and, most likely, moving to Sera Je monastery to engage in more intensive study. Choden Rinpoche has agreed to offer him ordination vows at Sera Je monastery this upcoming October, and he expects to leave Kurukulla Center in early September. What wonderful news, we rejoice!
What this does mean, though, is that, especially until we find a full-time replacement, we are going to be asking for a little bit more in terms of volunteer projects and work our members might be interested in engaging. At Kurukulla Center we never charge for any of the Dharma teachings that we offer, and we are only able to do this because of your support, not just fiscally but in your time and energy. By volunteering at the Center, not only are you serving the wishes of our spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche, but also directly working to share the Dharma with countless sentient beings, which is an incredible opportunity.
Tsultrim is responsible for a number of small tasks around the Center, and as we add them up we see that we will need some engaged member support to cover them as he leaves. We will be able to share more information with you about what you can do in the weeks to come, but please start thinking about what you might be able to offer. In the immediate future we are looking for support on our Work Day on April 16, mentioned above, as well as during Ven. Antonio's visit in May and Ven. Robina's visit in December & January. Feel free to email Tsultrim if you are interested in helping out, and as I said, he will have more information and specifics regarding how you can help soon.
Thank you again for your wonderful support.
Calendar of Events
Monday March 28
Introduction to Buddhism with Ani Yeshe
7:00 pm - 8:30 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 29
Morning Meditation with Ven. Tsunma-la (Sue Macy)
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.
Lama Chopa (Guru Puja)
7:00 pm - 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.
Note: There is no Yoga & Meditation with Wendy Cook and no Kurkulla South with Tsultrim Davis this week. Both will return next week.
Wednesday March 30
37 Practices of a Bodhisattva with Geshe Ngawang Tenley
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 31
Discovering Buddhism: All About Karma with Ven. Tsunma-la (Sue Macy)
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
This module, All About Karma, aims to introduce you to the Buddhist concept of karma, the law of cause and effect, and what it means to take personal responsibility. Using examples from everyday life we will analyze how actions determine their results and cause us to experience either happiness or suffering. We will explore purification practices and establish a daily meditation on karma.The course meets four consecutive Thursday evenings: March 17, 24 & 31 and April 7. It is recommended you attend all four sessions but it is not required. 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.
Friday April 1
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 April 2
Sunday April 3
Prostration to the 35 Confession Buddhas with a senior student
9:00 am - 9:30 am
This powerful purification practice contains the elements of "the four opponent powers" and includes prostration, recitation and visualization. This practice is highly recommended by our teachers. For development along the path it's very important to "weed our garden" or purify the negative seeds on our mindstream. This session is a great opportunity to learn through doing.
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.
Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies
68 Magoun Avenue
Medford, MA 02155
|May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes!