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March 20, 2008

Plan for year 2008

Now that all the visitors have left LDC, it’s back to our routine schedule. Just like 2007, we are doing the Basic Foundation Course and Mind Training teaching like medication on Lam Rim and we also have teachings held at some Chinese and Buddhist Temples. But it will be great that we organise by semesters and in between each semester there is a 2 weeks break, during which I will be visiting Penang to Choki Gyaltsen Centre to teach followed by some appointments and consultations, visiting member’s houses, sick people...etc.

Time flies without us realizing it as I enter my second year in LDC and I can tell everyone is very happy and doing their best with many changes in people in particularly in their dharma practice. It’s extremely encouraging to see more people coming to the centre and there are many signs that dharma studies is getting into their mind

With the advice of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Dari Rinpoche, it’s necessary for Jangsem Ling to do a very special incense puja composed by guru Padmasambhava as with all the sanghas and some members. We then visited Jangsem Ling together with all the sanghas and some members from LDC and we had a wonderful puja performed with over 60 members participating from Triang town. I also understand that over 1000 visited Jangsem Ling during the Chinese New Year period.

Ven Sonam is working single handily and very hard on the overall administration of Jangsem Ling. The gompa was really magnificent with so many lights and offerings around the altar. The energy there is also very good. The whole centre including the surrounding is so clean, well kept and spacious and I am sure it’s all due to the 20 to 30 local devoted volunteers who are ever ready to assist in anything. These local who visited Jangsem Ling treats this place like their second home, they clean the kitchen, make water bowl offerings, handle the office administration, reception, landscaping, guide and public relation as well. I was shocked and I think it is something that everyone of us should know. All Ven Sonam need to do is say the word and everything is done automatically. It’s a great team. People there love the pujas and blessings. Many of them strongly requested me to visit them, so whenever I get the opportunity I will do so.

I think it’s somehow inspiring from every aspect all our members and students want to please our guru. Kasih Hospice volunteers are doing great and I also got a chance to visit some of Kasih’s patients whom are mostly dying from cancer. It’s heart touching and at the same time, they have put so much effort to attending classes to learn dharma and are applying Buddha dharma way to liberate sick and dying people. And this is very rejoicing. I am sure everything that’s happening in Malaysia in the different centres will definitely please our guru, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Khen Rinpoche and whoever that has affection for us.

This year (2008) from 22nd to 24th August, LDC is organizing a short pilgrimage to Borobudur, Indonesia where Lama Atisha met his guru Lama Tserlingpa and received teaching on bodhicitta. The response is overwhelming and I have requested those going to memorise Refuge and Bodhicitta prayers and dedication prayers and certain mantras like Mari Tsemam Mantra “ Om Mari Tsemam Soha”. These practices will be done during our extensive circumambulation of stupa, medication, extensive light offerings, extensive incense offerings and extensive guru puja/tsog offering. Since it’s a very powerful holy place which can bring so much blessing to our mind and to cultivate bodhicitta, we are going to concentrate on bodhicitta prayers and practices. And since the sun rise view from the stupa is beautiful, I suggested we do the practice Mari Tsemam. Mari Tsenam is the protection goddess who resides in the centre of the sun and this goddess has a very powerful protection against enemies, robbery, kidnapping, car accident, when travelling, animal harm such as snake, tiger or mosquito (dengue), falling of cliff, poison, black magic, charm, curse, harm from human and invisible being, and natural disaster like flood, earthquake, fire and wind. We are going to do meditation at sunrise and on Mari Tsenam. We are also going to do the practise of Vajra and fire protection and visit holy places. It s only a 3 days visit but it’s going to be very meaningful and meritorious.

We also have plans to go Bodhgaya from 8th to 16th November 2008. This time we thought to start the pilgrimage retreats in front of Bodhgaya Stupa to pledge and start the accumulation of 110,000 long prostration, 220,000 Refuge and Bodhicitta prayer and 110,000 (7 heaps) Mandala Offering. We will do the retreat there and then complete the balance of the commitment that you pledged everyday or within one month, years or life time.

Other preliminary practices we are planning for the coming years will be Vajrasattva, tsa-tsa making, Lama Tsongkapa Guru Yoga, Samayavajra, Vajra Dakha Fire Puja, water bowl offering , etc. Hopefully within these few years, we can complete the preliminary practices and those who have karma to do the three years long retreat.

LDC year end Kopan trip is from 13-23 Dec, 2008. The annual pilgrimage to Nepal teachings will include the annual long life pujas of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and visit to important holy sites. Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche has also agreed to give Vajrasattva Initiation (commitment of retreat of 28 mantras daily for life), Tara Initiation (possibly 21 Tara) and Chenrezig Initiation.

This is my tentative plan for year 2008. I also have plans to visit Australia and America in the near future.