Sunday, March 29, 2009

Final Meditation

This is to formally announce that the 11th Throneholder of the Palyul Lineage of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche entered the stage of Thugdam, the final stage of meditation, as of 8:20 PM on Friday, March 27, 2009, at the Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe, South India.

Earlier, at noon, His Holiness received offerings from many of the highest Nyingma Tulkus, Khenpos, and Lamas who had assembled to pay homage to him. Rinpoche left Columbia Asia Hospital at 3:30 PM with the help of the Bhutanese Government who provided an Indian police escort. He reached Palyul Namdroling at 6:40 PM and remained on his bed at the residence. Tulkus, Khenpos and Lamas did aspiration prayers together with His Holiness until 8:20 PM. At that time Rinpoche looked around and then closed his eyes and went into meditation.

Prayers continued for 5 minutes and then everyone remained in silence for the next two hours. His Holiness' meditation continues today, and is expected to continue for the next several days. When His Holiness releases his body from meditation, there will be an official acknowledgement of the final passing, allowing everyone to pay their respects according to tradition.

Kyabjé Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche was born in 1932 in the Powo region of Kham, Eastern Tibet. His Holiness settled in South India where he built, with his own hands and with the help of a few monks, Namdroling Monastery . The monastery has grown into one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist Dharma centers in the world, housing over 6000 monks and nuns in the complex.

His Holiness also built temples and established dharma Centers around the world - in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, United Kingdom, Greece, Canada and the United States - among others. His Holiness frequently traveled to teach and give empowerments at all of them. Worldwide, His Holiness is universally revered for his loving kindness and compassion, pure upholding of the Vinaya and ceaseless dedication to the welfare of all beings. Wherever he went, has brought and nourished the Buddha-Dharma everywhere he has been.

He will live forever in our hearts.

Lama Lobsang Chophel, Secretary

28 March, 2009

Palyul Ling International

As the head of our lineage, my teacher's teacher, and my ordaining lama, every single blessing in my life is due to His Holiness' great compassion. Every time I choose kindness over anger, every positive habit I cultivate and every negative habit I uproot-- it all stems from what he has taught.

The river of his ceaseless compassion has flowed into countless hearts and minds. There are no words sorrowful enough to express the loss I feel. And none joyful enough to express the gratitude.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pure Light in Dark Times

There are so many people in this world who use their lives to harm others. They seem to take up all the oxygen in the room sometimes, as their stories spread via the news and internet gossip.

So today, feeling like the ethers are clogged with stories of villains and criminals, I'm going to dedicate some space to the purest light there is, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche.

I first fell in love with His Holiness through the eyes of my teacher, Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo. Her teachings are pure love—always based in compassion, always logical, useful and immediately relevant to my life. She speaks directly to my heart, even using phrases and stories that have particular meaning for me. The true sign of her purity is that, when asked how she learned what she knows, what the source of her blessing is, she never takes personal credit. Instead she points to her own teacher—His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, a living Buddha.

His Holiness has lived every moment of his life with pure compassion. It’s incomprehensible to those of us who have not attained such a state, to understand how every one of his words, actions and impulses has arisen out of the wish to benefit others. He has flooded our world with the sea of his compassion, building monasteries, nunneries, temples, stupas, schools, a hospital, an old age home and retreat centers. Thousands of monks, nuns and laypeople all over the world are the direct recipients of his compassionate activity, including me.

The first time I saw His Holiness Penor Rinpoche two of his attendants were at his sides, bracing him as he walked. He was in excruciating pain, having been in need of double knee replacements for several years. He walked slowly into the temple at his Palyul Retreat Center in upstate New York. I could only imagine the pain he was in, yet there was not the slightest indication of it on his face. His eyes were serene, like a great lake under calm skies.

I had developed early symptoms of Wegener’s a few months before going to the retreat. I could barely sit still, unable to find a tolerable position. My mind was restless as well. But His Holiness sat like a mountain, and each day the relentlessness with which he taught helped me stabilize my mind a bit more.

Later that week, he conducted ordination ceremonies for several of us. I became a nun, connecting to an unbroken, pure lineage of Palyul monks and nuns. It is said that the merit of taking ordination is so great that it purifies an inconceivable amount of negative karma. Without his blessing that week, it’s doubtful I ever would have survived once the Wegener’s hit full force a few months later.

Countless times when I’ve felt overwhelmed by life’s circumstances or discouraged as a practitioner, I have only to think of His Holiness to feel comforted and renewed. No matter how dark the world gets, the great beacon of his love cannot be extinguished.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fifty Years of Sorrow

Today marks fifty years since His Holiness the Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet and went into exile in India.

May all beings be free from all suffering, and may they know only peace.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Green Not Always

I'm working on a little project that's taking some time-- changing the look of this Oh-so-green blog! I have never liked it, but being brand new to blogging I've been unable to do anything about it, short of switching to a (*yawn*) plain white template. (Which would then have to be renamed "Sweet Not Ever.")

But now I'm gathering some power, harnessing the wind, rewriting code, figurin' stuff out.

It will be here soon. Be patient. Meanwhile, though it bears an unfortunate resemblance to bread mold, make friends with The Green.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Moose and Squirrel Diet

Okay, so I just discovered, where you can watch tv shows and movies online for free. Hundreds to choose from—classics, popular, everything. And which show do I go straight to—my heart literally racing in joyful anticipation, in complete disbelief that I have found such a treasure?

Rocky and Bullwinkle—the original tv show I cut my wit-tle teeth on in the 1960’s. (Those who know me well are probably laughing, having just connected a few mental dots about my odd sense of humor and insistence that all jokes are better when told with a foreign accent. )

I watched only one episode, saving the rest as if they were a little tin of homemade baklava. Life is hard enough—I do not want to arrive at the day when I’ve seen the last episode on the list. So I must make a rationing plan, have self-discipline and refuse to click “play” before each anointed “Watch-me-pull-a-rabbit-outta-my-hat” Day. Yes, that’s it! A rationing plan. I must not eat my cookies before dinner.

Oh no. I just remembered Dudley Do Right and Fractured Fairy Tales. Mr. Peabody. Boris and Natasia. Mr. Know-It-All. Bullwinkle’s Corner….

Someone out there, please. Unplug me. I cannot do it mooself.