Updates and Thanks

I got home after a week’s trip to Chengdu. We just finished unpacking our things. It’s auspicious to see that we brought home many ten or sacred objects related to Guru Rinpoche. They are a huge thangka of Guru Rinpoche with Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal and Dakini Mandarava painted by an Amdo artist from Yontan’s hometown in Aba, smaller thangkas of Guru by Kham artists, a gold image of Guru, a model for clay image of Guru, a picture of Guru with a short prayer and a cloth depicting Guru siddhi mantra. We also brought many prayer flags and victory banners for the Stupa ceremony.

Talking about the ceremony, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Khun Prachum, Khun Areerat, Miao, Nuch and particularly Khun Jick who helped with the invitation cards and contacted concerned parties for ceremonial tents and accommodating tents for retreatans. Khun Jick has made contribution to Rinpoche’s plane ticket for 25,000 baht and offered to help share the cost of renting the tents with Khun Koh. Each tent costs 12,000 baht. We might need 2 tents.

Thanks are also due to Dr. Bundit and his friends who are willing to come and cook for us on the ceremony day and throughout the Guru Rinpoche retreat. I’m sure we all will be very healthy. Talking about Dr. Bundit, I was happy to see the tiny Buddha image which he gave me specially placed on an altar in Lhasray Rinpoche’s prayer room. It’s placed next to Hungchen Rinpoche’s Tara terma. Rinpoche said he treasured this special gift from Thailand.

Our Tara retreat center is only a year old. We need a lot of help to develop it so that it can accommodate practitioners and do great work for sentient beings. And now we carry a big responsibility of building a great stupa for world peace. We would appreciate any support anyone would like to contribute towards our Stupa project, particularly the upcoming organization of the foundation stone laying ceremony and Rinpoche’s Dharma teaching in Thailand.

While I was in Chengdu, Khun Chanchai from Riwoche Dharma Center came to see Ajarn Soraj. He gave the Foundation 600 small images of Guru Rinpoche. We are grateful to his kindness.

Before I left Chengdu, I went to see Rinpoche again. He told us that an important lama Yungdrung Gawa from the Hor lineage just passed away in Lhasa. There’s a story about him on TV last night. His family asked Rinpoche to attend the funeral in Lhasa and travel to his hometown in Nagchu to attend the cremation. Rinpoche said although he wished to be there because Yungdrung Gawa had done so much for the Dharma and his father was Hungchen Rinpoche’s student, he felt that it’s extremely important for him to travel to Thailand and work for the Tara Great Stupa. He said in general the foundation stone laying ceremony in Tibet took one and a half day to complete and required several monks to perform the ritual with the lama. But he didn’t want us to spend so much money on monks’ traveling expenses this time. He said after the construction began and we were about to fill in the inside of the Stupa we would need to invite several monks who would come and pray for 2 or 3 months before Rinpoche’s arrival. When the time comes, the Foundation will hold a big ceremony and will extend our invitation to the general public again.

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