Dear Sangha and Friends of Ripa Ladrang Foundation,
It is clear that the Iron Mouse Year is presenting us with new challenges and by listening to many of our members, it is quite evident that this situation has affected all of us in many ways. Everyone has needed to adapt to new realities and many have expressed that they have found this to be a quieter time for reflection and practice.
As you may have seen in previous announcements, His Eminence has advised his students to add certain practices during this time. Information on this can be found at: Advice on the Current Pandemic & Oral Transmission for Recommended Practices from H.E. Namkha Drimed Rinpoche and there is a daily practice that you can join online from the Ripa International Center (United Through Practice): www.facebook.com/ripa108 Dail
His Eminence, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Rinpoche are in good health and after busy schedules fully engaged in dharma activities, are now respecting the lockdowns at their respective locations. All of the Ripa Monasteries are also in lockdown mode while continuing their daily educational routines and practices for this time.
Due to this pandemic, planned teaching activities for the remainder of the year are uncertain at this time; however, the past 18 months have seen many wonderful accomplishments and activities. Following is a selection that I’d like to share with you:
- In the past year, His Eminence has traveled to bestow teachings and empowerments in Switzerland, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Russia and for the first time, in Kazakhstan.
- The grand inauguration of a magnificent Padmasambhava statue on a lotus in the center of a large lake is next to the Ripa Monastery in Orissa, India. This celebration occurred in 2019 during Losar. The event was attended by over 10,000 people and was presided over by His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rinpoche, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche, Dungsey Lhuntrul Rinpoche, and The Chief Minister of Orissa state. The ceremonies went very smoothly and the Monastery served lunch to the gathered crowds.
- Projects to bring pure drinking water to the refugee camps in Orissa, India were first initiated by Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche in the late 80’s, this program was taken up by the foundation in the late 90’s and expanded under Rinpoche’s guidance. Over the past 20 years, the Pure Water Project has brought clean drinking water to more than 12,000 people in India and Nepal. The Pure Water Project has recently completed its final implementation with a water filtration system at the Ripa monastery in Orissa, India. This unique project supplies filtered water to the monastery complex and provides the facilities for the monastery to sell water to the surrounding villages for substantially less than the water available for sale commercially. This provides a revenue stream to support the maintenance of the purification plant, making it self-sustaining.
- As requested by His Eminence, The Ripa Ladrang Foundation started a program to translate his Gongter texts into English. This effort is expected to take approximately five 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: “Revealed Treasures” – Gong Ter Text Translation Project. To view images from the Gongter transmissions in Nepal, please visit: Gongter Ceremony
- The Ripa Ladrang Foundation has been sponsoring the Ripa Monasteries in Nepal and India for over 20 years now. During this time, the number of monastic residents living and studying in these monasteries has steadily grown to over 160 in Nepal and 250 in India. The traditional Shedraeducational program started in Orissa in 2008 and its graduates, who after 9 years of formal Buddhist education are awarded the designation of Lopon – the equivalent of a doctorate degree. A similar Shedra program started 4 years ago at the Nepal monastery.
- All of this has 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 for this 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. These funds will finish this year, so going forward, we are concerned about the long-term support for the education of monks in these special spiritual trainingand practice environments. Any support you can provide is deeply appreciated. Won’t you please consider supporting the next generation of Ripa teachers and monastic practitioners? Please visit: Monk Sponsorship Project
The purpose of the Ripa Ladrang Foundation has always been characterized by 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 groups and communities in need and the preservation of Tibetan culture and arts.
As the Iron Mouse Year 2147 gets underway, I ask you to please make a donation to the foundation projects and become a member or renew your membership via our website. The work of the foundation is accomplished solely by volunteers – it is annual membership that pays 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 to all of the volunteers who are pillars of support for the foundation and the activities of the Ripa Lineage. 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 and wish you good health and best wishes in these challenging times.
President, Ripa Ladrang Foundation