15. juli 2010
My dear students,
Today we celebrate the Buddha’s First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma, when he taught the Four Noble Truths at Sarnath.
On this auspicious day I am happy to announce plans for Dharma Houses wherever my students are able to gather together. A Dharma House should be an environment dedicated to making authentic Buddhist teachings and meditation practices easily accessible to everyone.
Many of my students have asked me for a structure that would allow them to study and practice where they are, throughout the year. After some reflection, I believe we can do this by establishing places where students can practice together and also serve others by offering Dharma teachings to whomever wants. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time.
Among our many sangha members, anyone can start a Dharma House. Each house will have at least eight founding members who will assume responsibility for its operation. It would be best if one of our close sangha, who already have a strong Dharma connection, could serve as the head of any particular House.
The Dharma House will be a center where my students can gather regularly to practice together. There sangha members can share with each other our understanding of the teachings and their impact on our daily lives, engage in meditation, and organize Dharma teachings.
A Dharma House should make authentic Buddhist teachings and simple meditation practices accessible to all. It should be an authentic, open-minded gateway to the Buddha’s path of engendering ever-increasing compassion and insight for the greater good. Here novices can meet with more experienced practitioners or teachers who can guide them in their personal Dharma practice.
My students are found all over the world now, and I do my best to travel to teach wherever I can. But as much as I would like to do more, at best I can only be in one place for a limited time. Study and practice are the most important ways to apply the Dharma in our lives, and Dharma houses will help the sangha to do this when I am not there.
Just a few days ago, Erik sent out an email to sangha members about the Dharma House, and already there has been a large, enthusiastic response from my students all over the world. I encourage each of you to look at the Guidelines for a Dharma House, and consider if this might be part of your path.
Keep in mind that, by opening a Dharma House, you and your peers will have undertaken a noble effort that will benefit both self and other, including people whom you may not have even met yet. In this way, you will be helping them to cultivate compassion and insight based on learning and practicing the Buddha’s precious teachings.
My love and blessings to you all,
Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche