Dear friends and fellow students.
This past year has been unfolding a tremendous richness of teachings by our dear Rinpoches. At Rangjung Yeshe Gomde in Denmark we have been blessed with five remarkable masters who came and shared from their treasury of wisdom.
In spring in April came Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche of Mindrolling and gave peerless advice on “The Awakened Heart”. She taught on our innate qualities of kindness and wisdom. Earlier she sent these lines, “We all want to be happy and to avoid suffering, but we do not seem to know how to obtain this. Maybe because we do not know, who we really are? Why are we not just kind, compassionate and wise all the time?” For two days Khandro Rinpoche gave instructions in her flawless English to many new and old students.
Then came our yearly Cloudless Summercamp, a tradition which began in 1994 when our precious teacher Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, founder of Gomde, came to Denmark to help us establish the Buddha’s teachings on enlightenment and compassion in our hearts.
This year Rinpoche gave wonderful instructions in two segments, the last of which was a unique guidance manual in the nature of mind according to Shakya Shri, a recent Dzogchen and Mahamudra master who is renowned as Lord of Siddhas. In addition he gave empowerment and reading transmission for Arya Tara and presided over the yearly Ocean of Amrita ceremony. During this time Rinpoche again gave the pointing-out instruction to the nature of mind, as well as refuge ceremony for new Buddhists.
A month later our dear master Chokling Rinpoche of Tsikey arrived to bestow the Vajrasattva empowerment and give detailed instructions for four days. At the end he gave a short teaching on how to approach seeing the nature of mind, and the need to go through ngondro and yidam practice. Many people mentioned that they felt his special blessings and that their hearts opened up in a way they had never felt before.
In September we had the fortune to receive Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, one of the foremost experts on Vajrayana, especially Mahayoga Tantra. He performed the tantric ritual for transforming our land to Sacred World, the nature of hindrances and how to overcome them, as well as how to recognize true signs of progress on the path.
Finally after two years, we saw the return of Drubwang Tsoknyi Rinpoche who held a week-long meditation retreat, Open Mind Open Heart. During this time he outlined a path which ties therapy, inner yoga, and Dzogchen together in a seamless fashion – with profound humor and insight. Everyone received the the pointing-out instruction, at least one hundred times.
Phakchok Rinpoche visited Copenhagen and Århus and gave talk on A Key to a Meaningful Life, the Sutra on the Wisdom of Passing, and on Phowa.
Gomde also held a Tara retreat on The Triple Excellence by Lama Tenzin Sangpo. This is part of an extensive program on the Path to realize Arya Tara, which is backed up by online teaching and practice at www.dharmasun.org.
From our own ranks Antonia Sumbundu held retreats at both upper and lower Gomde on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.
As Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche has asked me, I shared some insights from my teachers, especially Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. During three Padmasambhava Retreats I began to share the Lamrim Yeshe Nyingpo, as well as a retreat on learning to die peacefully. During the summer seminars I gave evening talks, blending stories of past masters with their teachings.
All these retreats and teachings at Gomde unfolded through a combination of our gurus’ kindness and the volunteers who arranged for them. I therefore thank all of you who helped during 2012 from the bottom of my heart. I pray that we will have a fortune equal to this in the coming years.
Remember why we came to these teachings. Please don’t let the Buddha’s wisdom be just technical theories for an insider-group, but share your heart connection to kindness and insight with the other people you care for so that they too may feel inspired to be kind and to enjoy the journey to enlightenment.
Warm wishes and happy New Year,
Erik Pema Kunsang