Sunday, March 14, 2010

Coming to Europe

Our lama is planning an extended visit to Europe in June... and so are we! Although his centers in Europe have been inviting him for years, due to the complexities of his refugee status in India, the international repercussions of his 2000 escape from Chinese-controlled Tibet and the considerable obstacles from a rival claimant to the name Karmapa, until now he has never received the needed travel permissions to accept those invitations. Thus, if permission is granted this time as hoped, this will be His Holiness the Karmapa's first ever visit to his centers across Europe, and he has suggested it would be good for us also to try to join him there, as a community.

Along with sharing the greatly joyful experience of reuniting with so many of his disciples at once, receiving teaching after teaching from this great lama, we see this as an important opportunity for us to connect with the broader European community of Buddhists, curious non-Buddhists, and the disciples of His Holiness' own mandala. If you live in Europe and are interested in meeting the nuns of our community, we'd welcome the chance to do so while there. Please leave a comment below, or email us at tenzin.dapel followed by the @ sign and then gmail.com.

His Holiness is visiting 9 countries in about five weeks, and we won't be able to keep up that pace, for logistical -- and mainly funding -- reasons. Thus we will be unable to attend the events in all places, but thanks to the generosity of friends and Dharma centers in Germany, Poland, Zurich and the UK, we do expect to be able to share in the activities planned for those places. If you live in London or Paris, where His Holiness will be giving several days of teachings each, we are still looking for someone to host us in those cities and would welcome to hear from you. If you happen to be in or near any of the venues for the abundance of teachings, empowerments and other joyful activities that are scheduled throughout the month of June, we hope to see you there.

For more details about this tour, this site provides the schedule and other details.

After the virtual festival of Dharma with His Holiness the Karmapa, we will settle down in one spot for two weeks of commentary on our monastic vows. Damcho will be translating this second series of teachings by Geshe Tenphel in Italy, and the rest of us will take this very rare opportunity to hear sustained explanations of the vows of fully ordained monks in our lineage. These vinaya teachings are open only to monastics, and primarily to those who attended the first series in 2007. Monastics who missed the first series may still join, if they first listen to the recordings or read the transcripts of the first set of teachings. Those interested may contact Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa in Pomaia, Italy.

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