'Jam Tse Dhargyey Ling'
Tibetan Buddhist Centre of Love & Compassion
159 Parakiore Road, Kamo, Whangarei, New Zealand
Phone 09 435
Dear Dharma News friends July 2008
Kia Ora and warm greetings to you - especially new subscribers to Dharma News, welcome.
Thanks for all the feedback from the last edition of Dharma News. We are going to go ahead with organising a Dharma Calendar for 2009 – so any of you with wonderful photographs fitting for a Buddhist Calendar, send them along so that we can put them on the website for our members to choose from. There is also talk of a diary and possibly a card range - more on this and other interesting happenings under Centre News.
Dharma News is splitting up! (It’s not as bad as it sounds!)
In addition to Dharma News, we are establishing two new mailing lists to which you are invited to subscribe to:
The first one is a local centre bulletin – a way for the centre to communicate with our locals, a more informal notice board of events and happenings at or around the centre. This would include announcements, programme reminders, urgent changes, etc. To subscribe: Windhorse Whispers.
The second one is a newsletter specifically for our shop Himalayan Trading Post – where members will be kept informed of shop news, events, new products, online shop, special sales etc. To subscribe: Trading Post News
Enjoy the wonderful advice Geshe Sangey Thinley has given us in this edition of Dharma News on the practice of patience, and much more.
Best wishes and yours in Dharma
Editor - Dharma News (NZ)
In this edition of Dharma News (NZ) you will find:
1. Teaching by Ven. Geshe Sangey Thinley - The Perfection of Patience
2. Your Questions - Answered by Ruth Sonam
3. Buddhist Basics – Buddhism in a nutshell
4. Tibetan Recipes – Tibetan Bread
5. Jam Tse Dhargyey Ling News (JTDL) - by Kaari Schlebach
6. Dharma News (NZ) Information
Inspirational Quotes -
1. TEACHING - ' THE PERFECTION OF PATIENCE ', Taught by Ven. Geshe Sangey Thinley at Jam Tse Dhargyey Ling on Sunday 15th May 2005, translated by Tsering Samdup, transcribed by Ven. Ani Jampa Tsekyi, typed by Yvette Phillips.
Today I’m going to discuss a little bit about patience. This is one of the principal practices of Buddhism and is very useful in any community. The text is Pabongka Rinpoche’s “Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand” (Lam Rim) p.634.
It’s really important to understand what patience means. Some people think it’s just not responding, but real patience is not allowing the mind to be disturbed by unfavourable circumstances or any harm that is inflicted. Whatever happens in our life, if we protect our mind and try to keep it always calm, this is called patience.
In “Engaging in the Deeds of Bodhisattvas” it says:
“Unruly sentient beings cannot all be subdued
And they are as vast as space.
But the patient are not discouraged;
And can be conquered only by angry thoughts;
If this happens, it is
Like defeat at the hands of all”
Do you understand these lines? All negative actions of body, speech and mind are destructive, especially if we lose our temper, which will destroy our root of merit. It’s unhealthy and unhelpful both for ourselves and others. As Shantideva said:
“There’s no sin like hostility
There’s no austerity like patience”
If you can memorise and recite these lines from time to time it will be really helpful as an antidote to anger.
There are three main types of patience:
First “The patience of remaining calm in the face of your attackers” which means we should not retaliate when someone harms us. We need to train our minds so that there’s no space for disturbing emotions whatever is said and done to us. In the text it says “When others, such as your enemies, harm you, be patient and do not get angry. Be aware of the drawbacks of anger, for it is the worst of all non-virtues. It is said that each time you get angry you destroy the root virtues of one thousand aeons”. So we really need to practice and train our minds, then we will experience the power of these positive actions.
“When we come to understand the damage wrought by anger we will always want to persevere with the meditation on patience. You cannot know who is a Bodhisattva. If you get angry with someone who is a Bodhisattva and your bodhicitta is weaker than his, you destroy the virtue of one hundred aeons. If you yourself are not a Bodhisattva, and the person you are angry with is, you destroy the virtue of one thousand aeons. This is mentioned in “Engaging in the Middle Way” and “Engaging in the Deeds of Bodhisattvas”. Thus the drawbacks are heavy indeed.
You must cultivate patience, but do this before you get angry – once you are angry it is too late. You must be patient and think about the drawbacks of anger. If you do not, you will make everyone, including yourself, unhappy. Aside from the effect it has on others, anger can even drive you to suicide and so on. Anger results in your having many enemies”.
So if we train patience in our daily life, then we can gain control over our disturbing emotion and remain calm in any situation. But if we haven’t heard the teachings and trained our mind in this way it will be difficult to apply such remedies and antidotes. Strong emotions like anger can lead us to heinous actions and we will make many enemies.
The text continues “You might feel that all this may be true, but how can I be patient when there are so many objects of anger. “Engaging in the Deeds of Bodhisattvas” says:
How could you find enough leather
To cover the ground?
Having leather on the soles of your sandals
Is the same as covering the whole earth”
This is an example of a thorny area of earth, which we cannot cover completely to protect our feet from the sharp thorns. But if we wear good boots the thorns will be no problem and we can walk anywhere; which is the same as covering the whole area with leather. In the same way, we should arm ourselves with patience to protect our minds from obstacles and adverse circumstances.
The text continues “Check whether or not you could ever completely subdue your enemies. You will find that you would never run out of enemies or subdue them all before the time when there were no sentient beings left. But if you subdue your anger you will not make a single enemy and it will be the same as subduing all your enemies. Once you thoroughly understand how the types of patience are classified by their nature, plus the drawbacks of anger and so forth, will you ever again let your whole body be possessed by anger?”
We know from experience that if we allow our minds to be dominated by anger we don’t feel comfortable and it is like a fire burning inside. So it’s very important not to give any space to anger.
“Once a lama tried to separate his disciple and a thief in a fight. He did not succeed and the disciple was hitting the man. The lama put his finger on the man’s nose and said ‘Patience! Patience!’ Immediately the disciple recalled his lost patience. What use is it to pretend to be patient if your anger has already done its work”
Likewise, if we hear about patience many times and think about its qualities, we should be able to recall and apply it in our everyday lives. If we train our minds thoroughly and become familiar with spiritual practice, whatever happens in our lives we will be able to accept. We will understand that when causes and conditions come together the results will happen. Without this kind of training many things will shock and upset us.
Shantideva has told us that if there is a solution to a problem there’s no need to worry and if there’s no solution there’s no point in getting stressed, we just have to accept it!
Secondly is the patience of accepting suffering. “Not only should you be unattached to happiness, but you should also regard suffering as a form of adornment and use it as a medicine. As in the preceding section on the mind training practices, whenever you are beset by suffering – while enduring ascetic practices for the sake of Dharma, when sick, when beset by unasked for enemies, or even when suffering in a nightmare – turn them all into things that will help your Dharma practise; think how they will use up evil karma; increase your love and compassion; think about the faults of samsara; and so on – be patient. When you experience suffering, think “This replaces the suffering that I would otherwise have experienced in the lower realms”. This ought to make you happy. Suppose a man who was to be executed had his hands amputated instead. He would rightly feel happy about it afterwards. Also, one can put up with the suffering of being bled or having a moxibustion in order to pacify the sufferings of an illness, so when you undergo difficulties for the sake of Dharma, think “Good. This replaces much suffering in the lower realms”. At such a time, recall the qualities of suffering.
“Engaging in the Deeds of Bodhisattvas” tells us:
“The good quality of suffering is that
It removes arrogance through sorrow.
One develops compassion
For the beings in samsara,
Avoids sin and rejoices in virtue.”
The third type of patience is the patience to gain assurance in the Dharma. “You should be patient during the teachings – no matter how long they may go on for, and so forth. Listen single pointedly; think over the meaning. Be careful about your behaviour while attending group debating sessions: endure the hunger and thirst. Let your mind be single-pointed when you memorize or recite texts.
The first of these three forms of patience is to be exercised when you are provoked by your adversaries. The other two are to be practiced all the time.”
So now we’ll do about five minutes meditation. Please think about this subject matter. If you usually meditate you may do what you usually do, but try and put time into thinking about patience and training yourself in this practice. If you meditate regularly it’s important to study texts on how to do it and learn about the correct posture. This says that one should sit with a straight upper body. When one’s upper body is straight the energy channels will be straight and the energy can flow easily. As a consequence, one’s mind will be clear and better able to concentrate and focus on the meditational object. If you don’t meditate regularly it’s not so important.
2. YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY RUTH SONAM in consultation with Ven. Geshe Sonam Rinchen
everyone, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY, send in any questions
you may have, and this will be forwarded on to Ruth Sonam and Geshe Sonam
Rinchen for a response. If sent in time, both your question and answer will be
included in the next edition of Dharma News. Send your questions to:
email@example.com and place ’Question’ in
the Subject line.
Qualities such as non-violence, development of
love and compassion, lack of dogma, tolerance of differences, etc, are
considered a Buddhist way of life. Here are the basic elements of Buddhist
The founder of Buddhism was Buddha, originally known as Prince Siddhartha. In the 6th Century BC, Prince Siddhartha was born in India, to a royal family with all the luxuries of life at his disposal. However, by the age of 29, he encountered the harsh realities of life and left his luxurious home to find the real meaning of life. After following a path of first, rigorous austerity and then meditation, He finally attained Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Gaya, India. After attaining enlightenment, at the request of his followers, Buddha taught others the path and thus, laid the foundation of Buddhism.
The Four Noble Truths
The very first teaching the Buddha gave after his Enlightenment, was on the Four Noble Truths. These summarise the essence of Buddhism. These are The Four Noble Truths. They consist of
Editor’s note: to fully understand the meaning of these truths, it’s best to read up further on them. Best is to receive teachings from a qualified teacher.
The Five Precepts
The Five Precepts of Buddhism, in general, consist of five abstentions, including…
Buddhist belief of reincarnation means that the consciousness of a person remains even after ones body is no more. Ones consciousness continues into ones future life.
The natural law of ‘cause and effect.’ The concept of Karma means that what we do in our present life will have a bearing on our future life.
Compassion and Loving Kindness
Compassion means identifying with the suffering of others and wishing that the suffering would come to an end. Loving-kindness means showing care, consideration and concern towards others. These feeling should be extended to each and every human being, without exception.
Meditation is considered as one of the necessary practices that assists us in achieving inner peace, and ultimately lead us to enlightenment. In Buddhism, the technique of meditation holds a lot of importance, for both a beginner as well as others.
The two major schools of Buddhism are Theravada or Hinayana and Mahayana.
4. TIBETAN RECIPES - Tibetan Bread
Tibetans make so many kinds of bread, and different areas make unique styles. This is how to make Central Tibetan style bread, called Balep Korkun. Round and quite thin, it is very easy to make. You just need flour and water.
This recipe makes bread for two people.
Two cups of flour (Any kind of flour is okay, like wheat, all-purpose, or self-rising. If you use all-purpose flour, you will need a bit of baking powder.)
One tablespoon of baking powder
One cup of water
For the most simple version of this bread, you mix the flour and a little water very well by hand and keep adding water until you can make a smooth ball of dough. Then knead the dough very well until the dough is flexible. When you have finished kneading the dough, separate it into four pieces and roll them into ball shapes. Then leave the dough balls in a container with a lid on for fifteen to twenty minutes. After that, place one of the ball shapes on a flat surface and roll it out with a rolling pin, making a flat, round shape about 1/2" to 3/4" high. Repeat with all your dough.
One can cook this Tibetan bread in a large non-stick pan with some no-stick spray. You can use a little oil or butter if you want. First you should heat up your frying pan until it gets hot. Turn down the heat to medium, put the bread in the pan and cover it with a lid. Cook fifteen minutes on medium heat. You should turn over the bread every four or five minutes, so both sides of the bread get cooked well.
If you like, you can add a bit of butter, or applesauce to the flour before you begin adding the water, for special flavor.
5. JAM TSE DHARGYEY LING NEWS (JTDL) by Kaari Schlebach
We have been doing some maintenance work at the centre over the last few weeks - the centre is finally leak free, and warm! A heat pump was installed a few weeks ago, and it’s amazing the difference it has made! All in time for mid winter chills. Thanks so much Malcolm for making this work possible!
Our translator…Tenzin Thupwang is still experiencing obstacles to his attainment of a work visa, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we hope to welcome him in the next few months.
Meanwhile, the centre is absolutely delighted to welcome and introduce Matthew Whitson to our community as translator. Matt is a kiwi, and has been studying the dharma for many years, including under the late Ven. Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey in Dunedin. More recently, Matt has been translating for Ven. Geshe Tashi Tsering at Chenrezig institute in Australia, and will translate for Geshe-la until Tenzin is able to make it to New Zealand.
You, your family and friends are warmly invited
To the centre this Sunday, the 6th July from 10am,
To celebrate both His Holiness the Dalai Lamas birthday, and
To meet Matt and celebrate the start of our 2008 teaching programme.
At 10am we will do some prayers dedicated to His Holiness the Dalai Lamas long life.
This will be followed by a talk by Geshe-la and a shared lunch.
Please bring a dish to share,
and do join us for this auspicious day. J
2008 Teaching programme at JTDL finally begins.
As of Thursday 10th July, Geshe-las teaching programme at the centre will begin.
On Thursday the 10th, there will be a Tara Puja in the morning at 10am, and the first teaching at 7.30pm in the evening.
Geshe-la will teach on Mondays and Thursdays @ 7.30pm on the Bodhisattvas way of life; and on
Sundays @ 10am – General Advice from a Spiritual friend, followed by open discussion and morning tea.
Free childcare is available on Sundays at the Retreat House for children of all ages. Please book in advance by calling or emailing Kaari – 027 235 5943, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geshe-las classes are suitable and recommended for everyone interested in receiving teachings from a qualified and compassion teacher, in this ancient tradition. Teachings are offered free of charge. Donations/koha/offerings towards costs are appreciated. There is an offering bowl the meditation room for this purpose.
Launching a new programme at the centre.
Sangha, Spiritual Co-ordinator and Directors are working together to develop a
new programme of courses and teachings to be held at the centre on a trial basis
for the next few months. The intention is to launch this programme at the
Himalayan Banquet on the 19th July, the courses will begin at the end
of July. If you have any ideas, thoughts or feedback about what kind of course
you would be interested in attending, what time of day, what your needs are,
etc, this is a good time to send us your input, so that we can include this in
our discussions and provide courses that of are interest and benefit to the
Monk Meal Sponsorship programme
to all of those who have committed to being part of the Monks Meal Sponsorship
programme. We are ¾ of the way to having our Sanghas meals fully sponsored. If
anyone else is still interested in being part of this programme and sponsoring
the monk’s meals at the centre, please
check the website for details, or give Ani Tsekyi a call at the centre. 09 435 4444
Dharma Calendar 2008 and more…
We have decided
to proceed with this idea – and also considering developing a diary and a series
of Dharma Cards and Bookmarks. We wondered if amongst our Dharma News readers,
if there is anyone interested in managing these projects?
Photographs? Yes, please.
If you have
photographs you would like to be considered for inclusion of the Dharma Calendar
please email these to us. Should your image be selected, it will be
displayed alongside 19 other images on our website and will be voted on by
Dharma News members. Owners of the 12 images to be included in the calendar
will receive 5 copies of the calendar each, and will be appropriately credited.
Retreat House Accommodation available.
We have one
room available to rent to the right person in the Retreat House.
Anyone interested, please call Ani Tsekyi on 09 435 4444 for details.
Himalayan Banquet and Centre Celebration on 19th July in Forum North.
Since the last
edition of Dharma News, we have well and truly decided to go ahead with the
Himalayan Banquet! In addition to this, we have organised a
full day of events in Forum North on the 19th July – a showcase of the
centre, which includes Ven. Geshe Jamyang Sherab painting an auspicious symbol
in sand, and lots of activities for children (of all ages!) A programme of
events will take place in the Bounty room – meditations, a public talk on the
development of compassion by Ven. Geshe Sangey Thinley and even a panel
discussion! Tenzin’s singing workshop is $10 per person (including children)
and comes highly recommended. (bookings necessary.)
We have spent the last two weekends painting massive Himalayan scenery, and a massive 6metre by 6metre Stupa – all on fabric. The idea is to transform the Main Exhibition Hall in Forum North….Himalayan scenes, prayer flags, etc etc.
You can take a look at some of the work we have been doing on the website.
How you can help :)
1. Please help promote the event. We need to sell 300 tickets to cover our costs and raise a few $’s! Please encourage your friends, work mates and anyone else you know to come. The banquet is going to be fantastic – and so are the events during the day. There flyers in the shop if need, or you can direct people to the website.
Help needed on Friday 18th and Saturday the 19th,
with all sorts of things! In the kitchen, cooking; setting up, setting tables,
hanging flags etc etc. On the night – serving, washing dishes? If you have
time, we need you!!!!
There is a volunteers list on the website, take a look and let us know if you can help out at all.
3. Make a donation of an item for the auction, the raffle and spot prizes. Artwork, antiques, collectibles, services, vouchers, books, diamonds, etc. All funds raised through the Auction etc, will go specifically into a fund towards the building of our new (and much needed,) Meditation hall (Gompa). Items can be dropped off at Himalayan Trading Post, or the centre. We are happy to help with transport if need be – please contact Ani Tsekyi if you need something picked up. 09 435 4444. If you have any sympathetic friends, family etc, - they may be happy to donate an item too?
MEETING @ the centre this Sunday @ 1pm (or straight after lunch), for those who are
interested in helping out with some of the organizational requirements. All
Retreat – a request from Bill Andrew:
We are currently in the process of organising a one week-long retreat for all of us to be together in September.
Generally at a retreat we would request that Geshe-la to teach twice a day and then there would be discussion and led meditation, like an expanded version of the weekend retreats that we always do.
It is thought that we could go to a proper retreat facility so that we are able to leave behind the distractions of everyday life and focus on our Buddhist practice.
Retreats have been a very important part of Buddhism since the
time of the Buddha when all the Sangha did retreat in the rainy season. This is
a tradition still followed in many Buddhist places now. As time is running short
to organise a retreat it would be best if we could all meet and discuss it on
the weekend of the 26-27th July. If you have any questions or if people are
interested could they please contact me Bill Andrew on
b.Andrew@xtra.co.nz or Ani Tsekyi on Ph 435 4444. We will organise a time
to meet and discuss when and how the retreat will function together.
Last but not
least - we have a need for beds, a tables/desk, a bedside table, Cooking pots, a
toaster, and serving bowls if anyone has any of these that they would like to
donate, please contact Ani Tsekyi 09 435 4444.
That’s all for today J
Thanks and kind regards
Kaari Schlebach and Paul Currie
6. DHARMA NEWS (NZ) INFORMATION
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7. INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES
Happiness is not something ready made.
It comes from your own actions.
- His Holiness, the Dalai Lama
In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.
- His Holiness, the Dalai Lama
Whether one believes in a religion or not,
and whether one believes in rebirth or not,
there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion.
- His Holiness, the Dalai Lama
OM MANI PADME HUNG
- The Six Syllable mantra for universal love, compassion & wisdom