June 22, 2005

Dear People,


Thrangu Rinpoche wanted to provide instruction, advice and a place for Western students to do retreat. As a result the Vajra Vidya Retreat Center was built and now two of Rinpoche's senior lamas will be providing practice instruction and support for retreatants. Lama Wangdu and Khenpo Jigme will arrive in Crestone on July 5th, 2005. His lamas will also be traveling to other centers and study groups so that all of Rinpoche's students will benefit from their knowledge and experience.


Lama Wangdu (pictured on the left) was born in 1971 in Nepal in the area called Manang which is famous for the caves where Milarepa stayed in meditation. This area is known to the local people as Nyeshang and are very devoted Buddhists. The 10th Karmapa, Choying Dorje, established Kagyu monasteries and stupas in this area. The Kagyu lineage is the most prominent among the four main lineages of Tibetan Buddhism in Manang. Lama Wangdu attended Tibetan school in the district of Darjeeling in India. He had a strong desire to become a monk from an early age and so when he was 16 years old he entered Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery in Boudha, Nepal.

In 1989 he joined Thrangu Rinpoche’s shedra (monastic college for higher Buddhist study) at Namo Buddha, Nepal and graduated in his studies in 1994. During that time he took full monk's ordination (Gelong) from Thrangu Rinpoche.

Upon completing his five year shedra studies, he spent one year as the shedra manager. In 1995 Lama Wangdu was the Omze (chant master) and was also in charge of the monk welfare program at Thrangu Tashi Choling. After that he was manager of Shree Mangal Dvip School, Thrangu Rinpoche’s school for primary children in Boudha during 1996.

Lama Wangdu entered the traditional three-year retreat at the retreat center at Namo Buddha in 1997 and completed his retreat in 2000. After this, he was given the title “Lama” which means “teacher.”

Since 2001, he has been Retreat Master at the retreat center at Namo Buddha and also Director of Thrangu Dharma Kara Publications. In the spring 2005 he taught western students, giving both translated Dharma talks and helping in teaching an intensive program in Tibetan language for Westerners.


Khenpo Jigme (pictured on the right) was born in the Kingdom of Bhutan in the town of Barshong in 1968. In 1980 he became the first Bhutanese monk of Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery in Kanglung, Bhutan. At that time he began his monastery education in learning Tibetan studying scriptures and learning Buddhist rituals. In 1983 he came to Thrangu Tashi Choling, the main monastery of Thrangu Rinpoche which is located in Boudhanath, Nepal. At that time he received full ordination (gelong) from Thrangu Rinpoche. During his time at the monastery he mastered ritual practices and Tibetan grammar. He entered Namo Buddha Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies at Namo Buddha, Nepal in 1989 and completed the five-year program. In 1994 he entered and completed the traditional three year retreat at the retreat center at Namo Buddha. During this retreat, all the rituals and meditations of the lineage are learned enabling the person who completes it to become a teacher (Lama).

Because Khenpo Jigme was skilled in both Buddhist philosophy, ritual and meditation, Thrangu Rinpoche appointed him as a main teacher for the Namo Buddha Institute and of the Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath, India and gave him the title of “Khenpo.”

Since then, he has been one of the main teachers of Thrangu Rinpoche's two monastic colleges. He has also taught Buddhist Dharma in Malaysia. In the spring 2005 he taught Western students, by giving both translated Dharma talks and helping to teach an intensive program in Tibetan language for Westerners.

These distinguished lamas come to Thrangu Rinpoche's main retreat center in North America and we hope that you will all come to Crestone and receive the long awaited opportunity to make firm your dharma practice instructions. Information on the lamas will be posted on the website www.VajraVidyaRetreatCenter.org very soon.

Having just completed a retreat program with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche the Vajra Vidya Retreat Center has moved further in the direction of establishing the long and historical roots of the practice lineage.

GIFT OF PRACTICE TO RINPOCHE (from Gene Kudirka in Nepal)

Thrangu Rinpoche’s students have a special opportunity to give an offering of practice to Rinpoche. Rinpoche is experiencing his Lo-Kak, or difficult year and is choosing this time for retreat, rest and is refraining from travel. This is the time for our sangha to support him and offer him our time and efforts through the activity of practice, specifically the practice of White Tara. White Tara is practiced for good health and long life. Rinpoche’s monks are pledging the accumulation of as many as 100,000, recitations to be done in his name during this year.

The mantra to be used for counting is: “OM TARE TUTTARE TURE MAMA AYU PUNYE JNANA PUKTRIM KURU SOHA”
The White Tara sadhana to be used is the Jamgon Kongtrol version that can be purchased at the Namse Bangdzo Bookstore at KTD in New York.
Email: namsebangdzo@namsebandzo.com or order through their website.


There are ways that his lay community and devoted students and disciples can also participate in this offering and accumulation of merit. Check out the following and see which activity suits your interests and resources;

A two-week White Tara retreat is to be held in Rinpoche’s Namo Buddha monastery in Nepal. The dates for the retreat are October 2 –October 15, 2005. There will be a practice commitment. Rinpoche’s international centers can hold their own retreat the weekend of October 8, 2005. We may be separated but we can all practice during this time gathering together our collective wisdom and merit.

Centers can also plan practice retreats in their centers throughout the year. Individuals not associated with centers can hold their own retreat any time throughout the year or daily recite mantras for Rinpoche. Rinpoche’s Asian lamas are participating and will also be holding retreats during August and September at Namo Buddha. Rinpoche’s centers in Taiwan, Malaysia and Hong Kong will be contributing their gifts of practice from their own countries and holding retreats in their centers.

We can all take part together with one mind and one heart. If all individuals and centers can send me their accumulated mantra totals, I will present it to Rinpoche on Losar 2006. This list would include the disciple’s name and total number of mantras. What a wonderful gift to give to our Rinpoche who has given so much to us during these years. In this instance, having the empowerment is not requisite to reciting the mantra or doing the practice.

Any questions about the retreats or how you can participate can be sent to:
Gene Kudirka. gene@mail.com.np.
If this email doesn’t work, use: genekudirka@yahoo.com.

WHITE TARA RETREAT: NAMO BUDDHA(from Gene Kudirka in Nepal)

To help support Rinpoche during his lokak year by contributing the gift of practice, a two-week retreat is planned for the first two weeks of October. This retreat will be held in the mountain monastery of Thrangu Rinpoche, two hours from Katmandu. It’s a beautiful site and during this time of the year the air is clear and the beautiful white caps of the Himalayas can be seen in the distance. Rinpoche’s lamas will be there to lead the retreatants and to guide them in their practice. During this time the participants will be doing the White Tara practice for Rinpoche’s long life.

The program will be as follows:

Oct 2/3rd: Two nights in Katmandu at the Hotel Ngudrup, Thrangu Rinpoche’s hotel in Boudnath. The Monday will include a sightseeing trip of Katmandu city.

Oct 4 – 14th: Ten nights at the Guesthouse in Namo Buddha. The practice retreat will be held during this time.

Oct 14-15: Two nights In Katmandu at the Hotel Ngudrup

Program cost: $295.00 the cost includes.

- 14 nights shared accommodation, western-style, with hot water showers.

- all meals, vegetarian

- Airport pick up and drop off

- White Tara practice material

- Transportation to Namo Buddha and return

- One day sightseeing in Katmandu

- Visit to Thrangu Rinpoche's, Bhakhatpur Retreat Center and nearby Milarepa cave

Spaces are limited for this retreat at this wonderful location. So if interested, please register early.

Gene Kudirka. gene@mail.com.np / genekudirka@yahoo.com

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