IBA goes to Lumbini February 4, 2010Posted by sazeve in Blogroll, IBA news, Personal Perspectives, Sakya.
In November IBA staff and students took a well deserved break from their hard studying and decamped to Lumbini to attend the annual Sakya monlam. This year there were additional celebrations for the Golden Jubilee anniversary of the enthronement of HH Sakya Trizin.
The event staged a great gathering of the Sakya lineage, with high Lamas from all the clans, about 5000 monastics and many lay practitioners, both Asians and westerners from 22 different countries. One of our SOL students, Kunsang Dorjee says ‘I was very happy during this monlam because this was the first time I saw both of HH Sakya Trizin together.’
The programme included a grand Long Life offering ceremony, a series of public talks in the Mahadevi temple garden focussing on the topics of Environmental Protection and Climate Change and World Peace and a Jubilee Gala of speeches, music and dancing in the pavillion.
In the midst of thousands of monks and nuns, IBA monks assembled in the grounds of Tashi Rabten Ling Monastery, with offerings to present to HH Sakya Trizin during his Tenzhug Ceremony. IBA formed group number 119 in the mornings offerings proceedings!
Liz Knight, resident English teacher for SOL has used both these speeches given by HH Sakya Trizin as inspirational topics in the the English class. Liz recounts: ‘The monks were incredibly impressed by HH approach to the topics in a profoundly spiritual way and it also dawned on them how relevant and pertinent these concerns currently are. Because of the potency of the event: the teacher, place, time, teaching and sangha; the monks were highly motivated in subsequent oral and written presentations back in the IBA classroom.’
Carlos, our volunteer Spanish teacher, recalls: ‘ HH speech on caring for the environment highlighted the connection between one’s inner emotions and the outer environment. Whatever you feel, if you help those around you to feel better, the environment around us will improve. If you take care of your mind, naturally your care will extend to those around you and the environment – the trees, the animals, nature and so on – will automatically be taken care of. Our IBA Director, Khenpo Ngawang Jorden-la delivered an inspring speech about the importance of environmental protection.
HH also spoke of the union of all clans within the Sakya lineage –Sakya, Ngor, Tsarpa and Dzongpa- which has developed following the initial difficulties during the beginning of the time in exile coming out of Tibet. He praised the relations between the lineages and the success of the ongoing projects involving schools, hospitals and expansion of the dharma and encouraged those involved to continue engaging in these activities for the benefit of beings.’
This is Tom (pictured above), who is our fine gap year volunteer teacher for B group (intermediate level) English language student monks. This was his first monlam experience and provided him with a full-on immersion in Buddhist culture. Cosy night times were spent camping in the IBA monastic tent in a field with about 4000 other monks.
Jamyang Paljor (pictured left with Tom) remembers: ‘It was an adventure, I have been going to the monlam for 16 or 17 years although this was my first time to go to with westerners: I chaperoned Tom and accompanied him to his first audience with His Holiness Sakya Trizin.’