Archive for February 2021

Latest news about 2020 and 2021

Even though we didn’t have too much to report in 2020 due to the Corona pandemic, where most of us were rather focusing on practice, we still had some nice events that we would like to share with you. The new year is also off to a very promising start, but let’s start at the beginning.

Marfond entrance

Last September, Gendün Rinchen Rinpoche, the Tulku of Gendün Rinpoche, the founding father of this centre, spontaneously paid us an exceptional visit. Not only the time was exceptional – Rinpoche came at 11 pm and stayed until 2 am – also his great engagement was remarkable and so he left us with many good impressions. Especially worth mentioning is that Rinpoche strongly urged us to pay more attention and affection to our spring, which is located at the entrance of our centre and is a special place in his eyes. And so, immediately after his visit, we started to remove all the mud with a digger and landscaped the surrounding terrain more beautifully. This year, we further wish to look together with him at how we can make this place more welcoming and enjoyable to spend time in.

Afterwards, from October until the end of 2020, the community has been practising an Amitabha retreat, namely the lamas, the practitioners in the drubkang as well as the residents. During this time, we also participated online in the Kagyu Mönlam with HH 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, which was also a wonderful occasion to be connected to the whole Mandala.

Amitabha Shrine
picture taken on October, 31 – Parinirvana of Gendün Rinpoche

Then as we do every year here in Marfond, both in the Drubkang and outside, we spent the ten days before the Tibetan New Year (Losar) on 12th February 2021 with the Mahakala and Sang Pujas. It is always an intense but also gratifying time for the community with the long rituals, as well as all the Torma and Tsok preparations.

Sang Puja
Sang Puja and new prayer flags

And during this very time, just before Losar, we had the great pleasure of having Gendün Rinchen Rinpoche visit us again. Even though his stay was short – and late again 🙂 – he delighted us with his beautiful plans for Marfond this year 2021.

Rinpoche:
„So, actually what I thought was now, in this time, and also for the future, what would be very helpful for the place will be to build a small reliquary Stupa with relics of Gendun Rinpoche.”

Reliquary Stupa of Gendün Rinpoche in Kündröl Ling

Rinpoche envisions, if the current situation will allow it, to meet on two occasions of about one to two weeks for “a Stupa filling retreat” where we will alternate between common formal practice and filling the Stupa with all the necessary substances.

Of course, we were very delighted to hear about this and we will keep you posted about its development.

As Gendün Rinchen spent much time in Marfond throughout his childhood he remembered this time by saying that he always appreciated the family atmosphere of the place. He said that this was something quite rare to be found whether in a dharma centre or in society and that this was something very precious for him when he was growing up.

At the end he left some precious and pithy advice which we would like to share with you, as it is something to be taken to heart, especially during these times.

He said

…” not to lose oneself in samsara. Because, if one thinks one can transform it or change it or participate in making it different, then actually one will never manage. So it is like a really good wish and motivation to help, to change and to support others to somehow make a difference as a Buddhist, as a human being, as a practitioner, but if the direction is to change samsara then it will have no effect and one will just lose time, energy and capacity, and also motivation in the end.”

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Amitabha retreat month

During November 2019 a group of residents and retreat guests came together to practice the Amitabha Sadhana, guided by Lama Chris and Drubla Michi. We had consecutive two week retreat periods, with many participants taking part during the whole month. 

During annual courses over the last few years we had received the necessary explanations, so this year we could focus on deepening our practice. We combined the benefits of private retreat and group retreat by meditating on our own for most of the day and gathering every afternoon to perform the group ritual and to clarify our questions. Between these formal sessions we trained further in making tormas, using the musical instruments and so on.

At the start of the month Lamas Walli and Chris reminded us in their introductory lecturs that there is actually a lot of experience to be made between formal practice sessions. By staying mindful we don’t get cut off from our practice in the breaks, especially if we stay mindful of our speech. We can try to speak meaningfully instead of being so demanding of the attention of others. That way we prolong our meditation and at the same time “install a new program” that will benefit us in our daily lives when we get home.

Practicing like this we created a steady retreat atmosphere that was at the same time intense and easy-going. All participants found these retreats a valuable opportunity for practice which we hope to be able to enjoy again in the future. 

While the retreat went on the hillsides around Marfond slowly turned golden and we were blessed with many rainy days – perfect for staying on our meditation seats! Everything came together in the spirit of Lama Walli’s advice: “This kind of practice can be quite elaborate, but it’s not difficult or complicated. Stick with the simplicity. Just get back into it again… and again… and again.”


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Visite de Sa Sainteté le 17ème Gyalwa Karmapa, Trinlé Thayé Dorjé

Le 23 septembre 2019, notre période d’activités, d’enseignements et de pratiques de l’année se termina en apothéose, car ce jour là Dhagpo Dedrol Ling reçut la visite de Sa Sainteté le 17ème Gyalwa Karmapa, Trinlé Thayé Dorjé.

Plus d’une centaine de membres de la famille élargie de Marfond se réunirent, dont Guendune Rinchen Rinpoché, de nombreux Khenpos et Lamas de Dhagpo et nos lamas et drouplas résidents, attendant avec joie l’arrivée du Gyalwa Karmapa. Lorsque arriva ce grand moment, nous fûmes tous immédiatement emportés par le flot de son activité incessante.

Le Karmapa bénit d’abord chacun d’entre nous puis nous nous sommes rassemblés dans le temple. Lamas Walli et Chris questionnèrent Sa Sainteté sur la guidance des activités du centre. Gyalwa Karmapa souligna l’importance de l’éducation, incluant l’étude de textes classiques comme l’Entrée en la Connaissance de Ju Mipham et Gyü Lama de Maitreya.

Se référant au “goût” transmis par la génération des méditants réalisés comme le précédent Guendune Rinpoché, il dit :

“Nous avons eu un avant-goût de cela, mais nous avons besoin d’apprendre comment ce délicieux repas est préparé. Quand nous le mangeons, bien sûr, c’est merveilleux, parce qu’il a été préparé et assemblé par des experts, de vrais chefs. Mais, bientôt, nous réalisons que nous devons apprendre par nous-mêmes à faire ce repas. C’est l’étape à laquelle nous nous trouvons dans la plupart des régions du monde.”

Puis Sa Sainteté a béni les nouvelles statues de l’autel, représentant Shamar Rinpoché et Guendune Rinpoché. En parlant du riz utilisé pour la consécration il expliqua :

“Ces grains représentent la richesse, et aussi les graines. Lorsque les grains sont jetés, cela symbolise qu’une multitude de graines sont plantées. Et à ce moment-là, celui qui jette est sensé penser, ou sensé méditer, que dans chaque grain et chaque atome il y a d’innombrables, innombrables mandalas de terres pures. Ce qui est tout à fait le cas, en fait !

Par exemple, quand on meurt, on essaie de penser à la terre pure. Sa magnificence, sa taille et ses détails sont décrits par exemple dans la prière de Samantabhadra : sur un seul grain se trouve l’ univers entier. C’est comme ça que ça se passe. Donc lorsqu’ on meurt, nous n’allons pas vraiment quelque part, physiquement, comme nous le pensons. Parce que “aller quelque part” est bien sûr complètement créé avec des mots et nous n’irons réellement nulle part.”

Après, Sa Sainteté entra dans le Droubkhang, où il s’entretint avec les pratiquants et leur donna d’importantes transmissions pour la suite de leur retraite.

Ensuite, nous avons tous suivi Sa Sainteté du haut en bas de la vallée, lorsqu’il bénissait les nouvelles maisons de retraite. Le sourire chaleureux et l’intérêt bienveillant du Karmapa pour nos activités se mêlaient au soleil d’automne et à la joie confiante de la sangha réunie, créant ainsi une atmosphère magique de bon augure et une harmonie parfaite.

Enfin, bien que la visite ait semblé durer toute une éternité joyeuse, vint le moment pour Sa Sainteté de quitter Marfond. Il accepta un morceau de baguette avec du fromage pour un déjeuner tardif sur la route et posa avec nous tous pour des photos de groupe (que vous pouvez trouver, avec de nombreuses autres photos de cette journée, sur Karmapa-News.org).

Alors que nous disions au revoir à Gyalwa Karmapa et que Dhagpo Dedrol Ling fermait à nouveau ses portes pour les mois de retraite annuels, nous nous sentions tous profondément bénis, profondément reconnaissants et ravivé dans notre intention de prendre part à la vaste activité de Sa Sainteté pour le bien de tous. Par les pratiques traditionnelles d’étude, de réflexion et de méditation, et toujours, pour reprendre ses propres mots : en faisant de notre mieux avec un cœur chaleureux.


Le 23 septembre 2019

Tous, nous vous attendions.
Comme une flotte de voiliers au port
tremblante,
prête pour le vent.

Mais lorsque vous êtes arrivé, c'était si naturel.
Bien sûr, vous êtes là.
Bien sûr, vous nous bénissez
avec votre dignité et votre aisance.

Entre les vastes cieux du Périgord
et les profondes racines des collines
le soleil se lève,
la pluie tombe,
et le maître et ses disciples se rencontrent.

C'est votre gentillesse, Lama.
Cest votre raffinement.
Où d'autre, pourrions nous être
parmi nos comédies et tragédies ?

Puissions nous ne jamais être séparé de votre présence
comme si vous ne nous aviez jamais quittés.

[texte et poème de Frank / traduction par Katia]

Gyalwa Karmapa In Marfond

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Visit of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Trinle Thaye Dorje

On September 23, 2019, we rounded off this year’s phase of activity, teachings and practice with a fantastic highlight, as Dhagpo Dedrol Ling received a visit from His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Trinle Thaye Dorje.

Over a hundred members of the extended famille Marfonnaise gathered, including Gendün Rinchen Rinpoche, many Khenpos and Dhagpo Lamas and our resident Lamas and Druplas, all waiting joyfully for Gyalwa Karmapa’s arrival. When the big moment came we were immediately swept up in the flow of his ceaseless activity.

After he blessed each one of us, we packed into our temple hall, where Lamas Walli and Chris asked His Holiness for guidance on the center’s activities. Gyalwa Karmapa emphasized the importance of education, including the study of classic texts such as Ju Mipham’s Gateway to Knowledge and Maitreya’s Gyü Lama.

Referring to the “taste” we got from the generation of realized meditators like the previous Gendün Rinpoche, he said:

“We got a taste of it, but: we need to learn how that delicious meal is being made. When we eat it, of course it’s wonderful, because it’s been catered and put together by experts, like real chefs. But, soon we really realize that we need to learn how to make this meal ourselves. That is the stage we are in in most parts of the world.”

Next, His Holiness blessed the new statues on our shrine, representing Shamar Rinpoche and Gendün Rinpoche. He said about the rice used in the consecration:

“These grains basically symbolize wealth, and also seeds. When the grains are thrown, the symbolism is that a multitude of seeds are being planted. And in that moment, the one who throws is supposed to think, or supposed to meditate, that in every single grain and every atom there are countless, countless mandalas of pure lands. Which is very much the case, actually!

For example, when we die, we’re trying to think of the pure land. Its impressiveness, size and details, are described for example in the Samantabhadra Prayer: on one single grain there is a whole universe. It’s like that. So when we die, we’re not really going somewhere, physically, the way we think. Because “going somewhere” is of course completely made up with words and we’re not really going anywhere.”

After this, His Holiness entered the Drubkhang, where he spoke with the practitioners and gave them important reading transmissions for their continuing retreat.

Next, we all followed His Holiness up and down the valley, as he went to bless the new retreat houses. The Karmapa’s warm smile and caring interest in our activities mingled seamlessly with the autumn sunshine and the confident joy of the assembled sangha, thus creating a magical atmosphere of auspiciousness and perfect harmony.

Finally, although the visit seemed to last a joyous lifetime, the time came for His Holiness to depart Marfond. He accepted a baguette au fromage for a late lunch on the road and posed with all of us for group photographs (which you can find, with many other pictures documenting the day, on Karmapa-News.org).

As we waved Gyalwa Karmapa goodbye and Dhagpo Dedrol Ling began closing down again for its yearly months of retreat, we all felt deeply blessed, profoundly grateful, and renewed in our intent to take part in His Holiness’ vast activity for the benefit of all beings. By the traditional practices of study, contemplation and meditation, and always, to borrow his own words: by doing our best with a warm heart.


September 23, 2019

all of us were waiting for you
like a fleet of sails in harbor
trembling
ready for the wind

but when you came it was so natural
       of course you’re here
       of course you bless us
       with your dignity and ease

between the wide skies of the Périgord
and the deep roots of the hills
the sun rises
the rain falls
and the Guru and his children meet

this is your kindness Lama
this is your elegance
where else could any of us be
among our comedies and tragedies?

may we never leave your presence
like you never have left us

[text and poem by Frank]

Gyalwa Karmapa In Marfond

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Jigme Rinpoche and Gendün Rinchen Rinpoche in Marfond

August 28th was an auspicious day for us as Jigme Rinpoche and Gendün Rinchen Rinpoche visited the centre together. This was a special event as both played a pivotal role in founding Dhagpo Dedröl Ling. The place was given to Gendün Rinchen’s previous incarnation, who gave the centre its name and purpose. After that it was Jigme Rinpoche who signed the founding documents and who had oversight over our development since the very beginning. Upon arrival, Jigme Rinpoche led a rabne ritual to consecrate the two new statues which we had recently received. Afterwards he gave an impromptu teaching containing invaluable advice for practitioners. Then Rinpoche blessed the new retreat house and visited the Drubkhang together with Gendün Rinchen Rinpoche. This wonderful afternoon was concluded with refreshments in our courtyard where we had the precious opportunity for long exchanges with both Rinpoches. The pictures below capture the joyous atmosphere nicely.

2019 Jigme And Gendün Rinchen Rinpoche

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Transmission of the 8th Karmapa Practice by Drupön Nyigyam Rinpoche

Drupön Nyigyam, who is the retreat master in the Shaminub monastery of Shamar Rinpoche in Nepal, came to Dedröl Ling between 19th-22nd of August and gave the explanation and reading transmission for the 8th Karmapa Guru Yoga (tün.shi la.mai nal.djor). Rinpoche spent a lot of time with us during these days even aside the regular teaching and practice sessions.

Drupön Nyigyam is the retreat master of Shamar Rinpoche’s Sharminub Monastery in Nepal. August 19 to 22 he visted Dedröl Ling and gave us the explanation and reading transmission for the Guru Yoga of the 8th Karmapa (tün.shi la.mai nal.djor). Rinpoche spent a lot of time with us during these days even outside of the regular sessions of teaching and practice.

Despite the tight schedule he took the time to pay a visit to our Drubkhang to give instructions there as well.

We were very touched by his generous effort, which he performed with great simplicity.

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Statues of Gendün Rinpoche and Künzig Shamar Rinpoche

Statues de Gendün Rinpoché et Künzig Shamar RinpochéSince a long time we had the wish to have a statue of Gendün Rinpoche in our meditation hall. Now, after 1½ years of joined effort, this project has come to fruition.

At the same time we also received the statue of the late 14th Künzig Shamar Rinpoche. Both statues were made in cooperation by French artists, sculptor Bénedicte and painter Max, who was one of the first disciples of the late Gendün Rinpoche.

Both statues turned out wonderful and we deeply appreciate their addition to the blessed atmosphere of our shrine. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to this project.

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Events from October ´18 to March ´19

Like in 2017 we dedicated the whole month of November to an Amitabha retreat. We started with a two-week long Drubchö and continued with two further weeks of individual Amitabha practice. The precious time we spent together was appreciated by all and we hope to be able to repeat this program in the future.

This was followed by the annual resident retreat during which we received transmissions from Lama Walli until we started with the ten days of Mahakala and Sang Pujas for Lunar New Year.

To our greatest joy we received a visit of Gendün Rinchen Rinpoche at the beginning of January. He visited the people in the Drubkhang after which he joined us for an Amitabha Tsok Puja in our big temple. We concluded our evening together sharing a dinner in a joyful and warm atmosphere. We are very happy to see that Rinpoche is taking such great interest in the activities and development of the center.


Amitabha Tsok with Gendün Rinchen Rinpoche

In the month of August, we were overjoyed to welcome Gendün Rinchen Rinpoche in Dedröl Ling.

Rinpoche is the incarnation of Gendün Rinpoche, the founder of our centre. He was born in France in 1999 and is currently pursuing his studies in England.

Together with Rinpoche and Lamas from the Dhagpo Mandalas of Kundreul Ling and Kagyü Ling we performed an Amitabha Tsok Puja to which many people from around gathered to enjoy this precious moment. Afterwards we concluded the evening with prayers at the Stupa and sharing the Tsok together in our courtyard until the break of the night.

A few days later Rinpoche came once again to visit and consecrate the different living places of the residents and then invited everyone to join for tea and cake (gôuter). Afterwards he took time to give advice in private interviews for anyone who had asked for it.

We all felt very touched by his presence and his wishes and prayers and we are looking very much forward to seeing him soon again.

 

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14th Shamarpa Guru Yoga explanations by Jigme Rinpoche

Shortly after the visit of Nendo Rinpoche we were honoured by the coming of Lama Jigme Rinpoche to Marfond. He kindly accepted our invitation to give the transmission of the 14th Kunzig Shamarpa Guru Yoga. Since Rinpoche was the brother of the late Shamar Rinpoche and is still supporting and maintaining his activities, we could not have wished for a better teacher to connect us to the enlightened activity of the Shamarpa lineage.

We also used this auspicious event to welcome the residents of Dhagpo Kagyü Ling who participated in the teachings and reading transmission as well as in the practice.

Afterwards we enjoyed a “gôuter” (afternoon snack) with Rinpoche and everybody else in a joyful atmosphere.

Soon after Rinpoche and our guests had left we saw a marvellous double rainbow arching over the centre. Please enjoy the photos below.

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