Dear Sangha and Friends of the Ripa Ladrang Foundation,
The purpose of the Ripa Ladrang Foundation has always been characterized by our founder, His Eminence Terton Namkha Drimed Rinpoche, with one word – ‘Virtue’. Our core mission is the preservation of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism; the support of the teachings and activities of His Eminence and the Ripa Lineage Buddhist Masters; humanitarian aid to communities in need and the preservation of Tibetan culture and arts.
His Eminence, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Rinpoche are all in good health and fully engaged in dharma activities and as many of you know, Jigme Rinpoche is currently in his second yearlong solitary retreat. This past year has seen a great many wonderful accomplishments and activities. Following is a selection that I’d like to share with you:
- Soon after the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche launched the Mero Gaon – ‘My Village’ project to adopt a village in Nepal and rebuild it. The village of Kulay in Nagarkot with some 275 inhabitants where all 55 homes were totally destroyed was selected. Slightly more than two years later, and primarily through the generosity of a few Swiss Patrons, we have completed the construction and handover of 34 homes with the construction of the remaining 21 homes well underway. Mero Gaon remains the only project of its kind in the district and we are also the only outside organization that has been able to organize this type of reconstruction. We expect all 55 homes and the community center to be complete early in the first half of 2018. To see an update on progress, please visit out Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/merogaonnepal/
- As you may remember, the Nepal Monastery was also damaged in the earthquake. With the restoration and repair of the temple paintings earlier this year, your donations made it possible to complete all needed repairs.
- Following the Gongter Transmissions which His Eminence bestowed in Pharping Nepal in the Fall of 2015, and through the support of a generous patron, a project was started to do a first printing of the His Eminence’s full cycle of mind treasures(Terma) which were collected and formalized for the event. Printing is underway for 300 copies of the 19 volumes (consisting of over 4,300 pages for each set or close to 1.3 million pages in total). This initial printing of these revealed teachings is in Tibetan.
- Inspired by this and as requested by His Eminence, The Ripa Ladrang Foundation started a program to translate these texts into English. This effort is expected to take approximately 5 years and the translation work has already begun. Donations to support this ambitious undertaking are needed and welcome. For further details on the project please visit https://www.ripaladrang.org/projects/the-tibetan-text-translation-program/
- To view images from the Gongter transmissions in Nepal, please visit: https://www.ripaladrang.org/images-from-the-gongter-ceremony/
- The Ripa Ladrang Foundation has been helping to sponsor the Ripa Monasteries in Nepal and India for almost 20 years now. During this time, the population of monks living and studying there has steadily grown to over 160 at the Nepal Monastery and 240 at the Monastery in Orissa, India. The Shedra educational program started in Orissa in 2008 has produced its first graduating class of 11, who after 9 years of formal Buddhist education have been awarded the designation of Lopon – the equivalent of a doctorate degree. The graduating class from the Shedra also inspired a peak enrollment of new monks from the Lopons’ home villages of children whose parents were inspired by the success of the program. A similar Shedra program started 2 years ago at the Nepal monastery.
- This has all been made possible through the generosity of the annual Monk sponsorship contributions from members of our community. Your continued sponsorship of the monks is essential to pay for the costs of the education, room, board and medical care of this almost exclusively underprivileged group of children and young adults. However, in the past few years, these donations have gradually decreased even as the population of monks has grown. This widening funding gap was partially filled by a generous bequest we received from the estate of Michael Reid who always had a special fondness for the education and training of future generations of practitioners and teachers. However, going forward, we are concerned about the long-term support for the education of the monks in these special spiritual training and practice environments. Any support you can provide will be deeply appreciated and is really needed. Won’t you please consider supporting the next generation of Ripa teachers and practitioners?
If you have not donated this year to the foundation or have not renewed your membership, I encourage you to do so via our website at: https://www.ripaladrang.org/product/donation-form/The staffing of the foundation is 100% volunteer – it is your annual membership dues that pay for the basic services needed to keep the organization functioning (i.e. accounting, tax preparation, merchant fees for credit card donations, teachings, etc.). This means that each Dollar, Pound, Euro, Franc, Ruble and Rupee of your donations goes directly to the charitable programs you designate.
I want to personally express my deep appreciation and thanks for another year of dedicated service to the board of directors of the foundation: Myriah McGorrill, Suma Chander, Jim Miller and Joshua Green, whose tireless efforts make our activities possible; and to all the volunteers who are pillars of support for the foundation and the activities of the Ripa Lineage. It is also my pleasure to welcome Susie Miller to the board and thank her for agreeing to help with the governance of our foundation.
On behalf of the Ripa Ladrang Foundation, I would like to thank all of you for your continued support of His Eminence, the Ripa Lineage and our many projects.
President, Ripa Ladrang Foundation