30. januar 2011

Gomde's history 3 - the year of foundation

1994 – Rangjung Yeshe Gomdé Denmark, the year of foundation

Mette Harboe

So many of us through the years found our way from the great stupa in Boudhanath, Nepal up to the great white monastery, with excitement we passed the vigorous lions at the entrance and entered the premises of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling. Connecting with the lineage masters residing there, life opened to us in a new way. It even happened so to several Danish people and thus in1994 something very special took place.

During a time when Erik Pema Kunsang was staying in Denmark he called Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche in Nepal and during the conversation asked Rinpoche whether he would exclude any possibility of ever coming to Denmark. As Rinpoche answered with a no, you may guess what the next question was. By the end of the conversation, Rinpoche had accepted the invitation to come and teach in Denmark and preparations could begin.

At this point, the house of Kirsten Doctor in Risskov functioned as a meeting place for Buddhist in Aarhus and several students of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche lived there.

As Rinpoche had the vision to teach at one of the Danish islands, the search started for a suitable place, finally found at Samsø.

In the middle of the village Onsbjerg close to the harbour where the boat landed, a long yellow house at the corner at first glance did not look like much. However, inside the “gildesal” was perfect as a Lhakhang, there were plenty of rooms and a lovely garden and the owners were open to all our wishes.

Then, on 4 July, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche arrived in Denmark. 108 students from 13 different countries had registered to join the first “Cloudless Summer Seminar” and were already beginning to arrive.

There were three wonderful days to go still, Rinpoche received students in the Doctors’ house, gave interviews to newspapers and finally a public talk in the music hall to a crowd of 350 people on the sixth. Erik translated into Danish and it felt like a new era had started.

And cloudless it was; joyous. The Sun of Dharma was shining and we had the hottest summer in Denmark for 50 years. Rinpoche gave oral instructions and comments on Gampopa’s “Precious Garland” along with the Barchey Künsel empowerment. It was like a huge harmonious family reuniting in paradise to share the most precious possible.

At the conclusion of the 10 days, Rinpoche urged us to set the instructions into practice and as a support for this made aspirations for a common place of practice in Europe.

On the 18th and 19th Rinpoche and a group of students visited several optional places and though none of them were to be the future Gomdé, the process had started that still continues today.