Letter from the President and Communications
RIC LamasevaSaga Dawa Festival at the RICGyetrul Jigme Rinpoche’s Spring Tour: DatesSummer Retreat and Winter Retreat: DatesPema Lingpa Institute UpdateStupa Nepal MonasterySLR Schedule Letter from the President and Communications
The start of a New Year is always a good time to reflect on the past year’s achievements and the planning for the year to come. Certainly there were many achievements to celebrate! Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche had a very successful tour with the European, Russian and South American Sanghas, as well as a few engagements in the US and Canada. Most importantly, there was the successful opening and inauguration of the RIC. Many steps were needed to make this a reality, including the purchase of the property, the legal structures for the Stiftung Landguet Ried (SLR) and Ripa International Center (RIC), and the renovation in particular of the West Building and preparation of the property for its new uses. An enormous effort was made by many, most especially by Georg, and a few devoted Sangha, who literally gutted the West building and rebuilt it, repainting all the walls, redoing the floors, as well as purchasing the furniture and linens for the rooms. What was not done by professional plumbers and electricians, was done by this small but very hard working group. Quite a lot of cleaning out was required! Given the short time to the opening, it was nothing short of a miracle.
The opening was quite an achievement, with many of the Ripa masters and retinue present, as well as the presence of a number of dignitaries. There were many Sangha who came from all over the world, and the programs were quite rich: we began with a festive Lasang, then a Yeshe Tsogyal Drupcho, the first Sutrayana course, an Enriching Gesar Drupcho, two fire pujas: Enriching Gesar and Pacifying Gesar, Tsa Lung, and Nyunge. Indeed, it was an auspicious beginning! After four weeks of programs, the Center was really feeling like our own Ripa Center in the West! The SLR also succeeded in its initial programs too, which have helped to secure a portion of the finances for the RIC, but by no means all. Here we still have much work ahead of us, and the recently launched giving program announced by Ursula is a key part of the RIC’s continued success (Click here for more information
We also succeeded in establishing the RIC Teams, which have already been very busy with new projects and responsibilities in their new roles. The next major event was the recent Winter Dzogchen Retreat followed by a Guru Rinpoche Wang and Tsok with the Tibetan community. The Retreat was a very special teaching on Tregchod, or “cutting through,” and the week itself saw the birth of a new warmth in our Sangha. Since it was a relatively small group, everyone was necessarily occupied with one task or another in addition to the Retreat activities, but somehow it was all a beautiful magical dance.
We would like very much to highlight that the RIC is now welcoming you to come for upcoming programs this year – the next major event will be the Saga Dawa festival – an annual event for the greater European Buddhist and local Swiss communities going forward, as well as other teachings with Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche in the Spring, and His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche and Tamdrin Lhunpo Rinpoche in the Summer. The dates for the European Spring Tour to the Padma Lings, the Summer and Winter Retreats are included in this newsletter so that you can plan your year ahead.
RIC is a living reality now – please come and use it for Dharma activities as much as you can! You are welcome to come to the RIC outside of programs – for example self-directed practice (such as Ngondro accumulations), PL weekends, and longer stays, according to the rules. For more information please see: http://ripa-international.com/membres2/ric-infos?lang=en
or speak with Gabriela G.:
A living center needs first of all practitioners and supporters, but it also needs a set of rules and an awareness of economic necessities. We understand perfectly well that in the beginning phase the provisional state of rules and organization has been quite confusing – and work on settling these aspects. We plan for instance to make rules and overview on responsibles available in the member section of the RIC website.
This is based on the arrangement between the RIC and the SLR as discussed with the Sangha in Ripa International Summer Retreat 2012. The arrangement for managing the place and the finances is as follows: SLR is responsible for the physical location (grounds and buildings), for which the RIC pays a fee (or individuals or groups pay a fee) for various services. Likewise there are arrangements between the RIC and SLR, whereby SLR pays RIC for certain functions and service level. In other words: SLR is the “hotel”, RIC is the “event manager” renting the place. Both vehicles have no other purpose than to support Ripa activities, but in order to secure an economic basis, SLR attempts to rent the place to third parties whenever RIC has no activities going on. The payments do not quite even out, but this is how things work in general. These legal structures were necessary in order to be able to complete the purchase of the property and enable the RIC to have a home according to Swiss law and the local canton and community rules.
None of the many achievements listed, nor our very bright future would be possible without you, the Sangha. Now that Ripa has a “home” in the West – let’s be sure to share this gift with others, and help to spread the Dharma in the West! We are all contributors on many levels, and your continued engagement and efforts are most welcome.
We wish you all a very Happy New Year, a Happy Losar, and a healthy, prosperous and spiritually fulfilling year ahead. We look forward to seeing you all soon!
Heinz and Katharina
RIC Lamaseva - Update
Please note and congratulate Christian B. as a new RIC Lamaseva responsible; he is taking the place of LLuis, a big thank you to both Christian and Lluis!!
His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche during the winter retreat 2013
Saga Dawa Festival at the RIC: May 25th - 26th
Already many preparations are underway to help make the inaugural festival of Saga Dawa (25th
of May) at the RIC a great success. This event will follow the annual Nyunge retreat (18th
of May). This spiritual celebration of Buddha Shakyamuni’s Parinirvana will be inclusive of the traditions of other Buddhist countries, and will venerate the importance of the Buddha’s life and events. The festival will also be educational – since it will also be a coming together moment for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike – allowing everyone to interact and allowing time to promote the Buddhist message of peace, wisdom, and compassion.
There will be meditation courses, small teachings on the Buddha’s life, workshops, and an exhibition of Buddhist arts and artistic elements, such as Thangkas, statues, and so on. The event is meant to remember Lord Buddha and allow for a cultural exchange, serving as a melting pot with Eastern and Western cultures – including culinary festivities – such as Himalayan and local cuisine.
There will be an official celebration part, where a statue of Lord Buddha will be brought on a palanquin, along with texts. A prayer common to all traditions will be used. Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche will be present to speak about the importance of the event with local dignitaries, including European Buddhist unions. The event will welcome all – and is meant to be the largest public gathering of the year.
A two day event, one day will be the main day – and the other will be a continuation of the workshops and festivities. It will be possible to book some rooms, for those attending the event. Volunteers are of course also needed! Please see
if you are interested to volunteer.
Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche, H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, Tamdrin Lhunpo Rinpoche, Summer Retreat 2012
Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche’s Spring Tour Dates
SPRING TOUR - April / May / June 2013 - Gyetrul Jigme RINPOCHE
Summer Retreat and Winter Retreat: Dates
(Tsa Lung will run parallel with the Sutrayana Course)
Winter Retreat 2013/14 – Preliminary Information
Topic: Dzogchen Cycle N°2, Year 2, Lead by H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche
Date: Saturday December 28-2013, registration 16h00
Saturday January 04-2014, end 10 am after Farewell Talk by Rinpoche
Pema Lingpa Institute Update: Applications being accepted for the first year!
Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche is pleased to announce that the Pema Lingpa institute will be commencing its inaugural year this year! The Pema Lingpa Institute is dedicated to Tibetan language studies, with an emphasis on textual translation. The deadline to apply for the institute is 31 May 2013. Classes begin on 9 September 2013 and will run through 25 April 2014. It is possible to attend either at full price or to request a Work-Study scholarship. For the application form and general rules of the Institute please see for more:http://ripa-international.com/en/program/special
Stupa Nepal Monastery
A great event took place in Pharping on October 29-30, 2012 - A Stupa in H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche’s monastery was blessed.
Maria A. telling: An idea of constructing a Stupa was born in Summer 2010. I had an audience with Kyabje and he had mentioned he was dreaming of building a Stupa in his monastery. I was dreaming to construct a Stupa in Moscow and in Moscow’s Region, but the situation with location and building permission did not work out. When I heard Kyabje wanted to construct a Stupa, I responded immediately. It was a wonderful opportunity and I sent the money needed for the construction in a few days time. However the construction of the Stupa started only in 2011 because Lama Tashi - an experienced Stupa-constructor – who was supposed to play the role of an architect, was in retreat.
The construction was completed in Spring 2012, and the Stupa was then painted. (The monks have told me that the local citizens admire its beauty a lot.) Kyabje identified the date of the consecration during his visit to Russia in August.
The consecration lasted for two days. H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, Tamdrin Lhunpu Rinpoche, experienced lamas and about 25 monks (photo below) took part in it.
Semo Sonam and her son came as the honored guests (photo below).
The ceremony was very beautiful and it lasted for two days. Surely, pictures cannot completely reproduce the atmosphere, but they do partly. The ceremony included text reading, mantra accumulation, prostrations, going round the Stupa, different offerings to the Stupa and so on.
By the way, we should thank Masha K. for the photo report. She was in Pharping during these days “by accident” and we had met a day before the ceremony “by accident” in one of the local restaurants. She had also had a camera “by accident” and she agreed to be a photo-reporter during this event.
H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche Drimed Rinpoche told me during the ceremony (Semo Sonam was translating to me so I do not quote literally): “The good motivation and a connection with Stupa construction are needed for a Stupa to be created. I have noticed your good motivation during our first meeting. And when we’ve been speaking about a future Stupa in Pharping in 2012 I saw you had a connection with Stupas. I’m very happy that this Stupa was constructed, that it will influence all the world and help living beings.”
-- Maria A.
SLR Schedule 2013
Here the Schedule of Landguet PL CH and RIC :
2. / 3. Feb. Vajradance seminar (SLR) / Communication Teamwork (RIC)
3. Feb. Sunday Puja, Picnic Buffet, working for Landguet (RIC)
25. Feb. Yeshe Tsogyal Puja with little Tsok (PL CH)
9. / 10 Feb. Integrale Politik retreat
9. / 17. Feb. personal Retreat 1 Sangha Member (RIC)
11. Feb. Losar (RIC)
14. - 17. Feb. Meditation Schweiz (SLR)
18. Feb. - 3 March personal Retreat 1 Sangha Member (RIC)
18. Feb. Medicine Buddha Puja (PL CH)
20. Feb. Padmasamhava Puja with Tsok (PL CH)
23. / 24. Feb. Lamaseva Teamwork (RIC)
25. Feb. King Gesar Puja (PL CH)
2. / 3. March Vajradance seminar (SLR)
3. March. Sunday Puja (Medicine Buddha), Picnic Buffet, working for Landguet (RIC)
7. 3. Yeshe Tsogyal Puja (PL CH)
9.3. 10.3. Meditation Schweiz
17. 3. General Assembly Dzog Chen Community
19.3. Medicine Buddha Puja (PL CH)
20.3. Padmasambhava Puja with Tsok (PL CH)
23.3. General Assembly Society Swiss Buthan (SLR)
27.3. King Gesar Puja (PLCH)
28.3. - 31.3 Meditation Schweiz (SLR)
5.4. - 9.4 ATTM Academy for traditional tibetan medicine (SLR)
5.4. Yeshe Tsogyal Puja (PL CH)
7.4. Sunday Puja (Medicine Buddha) / Picnic Buffet / working for Landguet (RIC)
12- 14. 4. Rinpoches Visit to Dalai Lama in Fribourg (RIC) / Helpers Nuns and Monks accommodated in SLR