A Report of Activities – 2005-2006

Over the last two years, in keeping with its aims and objectives, the Dharma Rain Centre has been engaged in organizing various programmes and activities, including public lectures, discussion groups, meditation retreats, book distribution and interacting with other groups and NGO’s with similar aims and objectives.

This report carries the highlights of some of these activities.

Discussion Forum

During this period one of the steady features has been the ongoing study and discussion forum conducted every fortnight on a variety of diverse topics, such as “The Power of Compassion”, “What Meditation Really Is”, “Training the Mind”, “Faith, Fundamentalism and History”, “Who was the Buddha?”, “The Four Noble Truths”, “The Eightfold Noble Path” and a variety of other topics. All meetings begin with a meditation session. This may be anapanasati (Mindfulness of Breathing). Or metta-bhavana (Loving-kindness Meditation). Or sometimes a chanting session and the seven-fold puja.

Public Talks


Geshe Ven. Lhakdor-la


“Combining head and Heart: Wisdom and Compassion in Tibetan Buddhism”

27 September, 2005 at the Rama Watumull Auditorium, K.C. College, Mumbai 400020

The Venerable Dr. Lhakdor-la, Director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala till recently was the official translator of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, and also the author and translator of various books and publications.

In 1995 Lhakdor-la received his Geshe Degree (Doctor of Divinity) from Drepung Loseling Monastic University in South India. Earlier he had finished his master’s degree in Prajnaparamita of Buddhist Philosophy (Wisdom Perfection) in 1982 with distinctions both in writing and dialectical discussion from the well-known Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala, after seven years of very rigorous and specialized study. In the year 2000 he was appointed a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, Montreal, Quebec, Canada and from 2002 an Honorary Professor of University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Download the full audio recording of the talk

Dagpo Rinpoche


“Is Buddhism Still Relevant in the 21st Century?”

January 21, 2006, M. C. Ghia Hall, Rampart Row, Mumbai.

Dagpo Rinpoche was born in the region of Kongpo, 1932 in south-eastern Tibet. At the age of two, he was recognized by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of Dagpo Lama Rinpoche Jamphel Lhundrup. The others reincarnation lineage of Rinpoche are Guru Serlingpa Dharmakirti, and Marpa the translator.

Under the guidance of Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche, the Tutor of HH Dalai Lama, also from Gomang Khenzur Ngawang Nyima Rinpoche, he grew up in an environment of strict monastic rules. Having studied eleven years at Dagpo Shedrup Ling, Dagpo Rinpoche left for the great monastic university of Drepung near Lhasa where he entered one of its four colleges, Gomang Dratsang.

Rinpoche remained at Gomang Dratsang until the communist invasion in 1959 when he followed his master into exile in India. Less than one year after his arrival, he was invited to France to assist French Tibetologist in their research, He taught Tibetan language and Buddhism at the school of oriental studies (INALCO) connected to the Sorbone in Paris for almost thirty years.

In 1978 he founded his main Dharma centre which in 1995 was accorded Buddhist congregation status by the French government. Since 1978 Rinpoche has taught extensively in France, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, and slightly more recent in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He travels regularly to India to maintain contact with his masters and his monasteries.

Ven. Sumati


“The Three Great Vehicles”

10th June 2006, Conference Room, 2nd Floor. Times of India Building

Dharma Rain Centre, under the auspices of the Times Foundation.

Venerable Sumati is a trustee of the Root Institute in Bodh Gaya and of the Maitreya Project. Educated in England, Ven Sumati was drawn very early to Buddhism and has spent the past twenty-three years or so working closely with Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who is the spiritual director of the Root Institute.

The Root Institute for Wisdom Culture was established at the wish of Lama Thubten Yeshe, a highly qualified and respected teacher of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Acknowledging India’s role as the source of the Buddhist teachings, her kindness to the Tibetan people and continued support of Buddhadharma, Lama Yeshe wanted Root Institute to preserve and spread the rich variety of India’s ancient wisdom culture in its religious, philosophical, educational and cultural manifestations. Today, Root Institute is under the spiritual directorship of Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, the heart disciple of Lama Yeshe. Root Institute conducts regular courses/workshops on Buddhist teachings and has a well stocked library and retreat facilities. Managed by volunteers, it also runs socially engaged projects in the villages of Bihar.

Dharmacharya Shantum Seth

shantum

“Meditation in Everyday Life”

2nd September 2006, Times of India Building, Conference Room.

A Public Talk with Times Foundation

Dharmacharya Shantum Seth is an ordained teacher in the Zen (Dhyana) tradition of the Vietnamese Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. He teaches in India and abroad and has been leading pilgrimages ‘In the Footsteps of the Buddha’ since 1988. Shantum, after working in the footwear industry, was involved in activist politics. For the past 20 years he has been working in the development sector and is presently an advisor to the United Nations Development Programme on volunteer promotion and on livelihood and tourism programmes. He is also actively involved in Ahimsa Trust which is working on Peace and Development issues. He has contributed to a number of books including ‘Walking with the Buddha’, ‘I have arrived, I am home’, and ‘Volunteers against conflict’. He has also been consulted on films including the ‘Life of the Buddha’ made by BBC/Discovery. He lives with his wife and two daughters in New Delhi, India.

Meditation Retreats

September 23 to September 25, 2005. Jambudvipa Retreat Centre at Kondhanpur near Pune, conducted by Ven. Lhakdor-la (see above).

January 22, to January 23, 2006. Bahujan Hitay Buddha Vihara, Chunabhatii, Bombay. The retreat was led by Dagpo Rinpoche, who was in Bombay at our request for a public talk.

September 3, 2006 – A Day of Mindfulness. Dharmacharya Shantum Seth conducted a day of meditation and teachings, at a beautiful little garden called Shantivan, off Nepean Sea Rd.

Library

The Dharma Rain Centre has a collection of nearly 500 books, mostly donated by members and well-wishers, and includes books from all traditions of Indian culture and spirituality. We have started cataloging these books and those who are interested are encouraged to borrow the books on a regular basis. There is no fee charged for this.

The above represents just a brief snapshot of the activities of the Dharma Rain Education Society. Our vision is to have a full-fledged library, documentation and resource centre in the city of Mumbai.

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