On Sunday, June 24, 2007 at the Shambhala Center in Halifax, more than 125 members of the community came to watch a slide show presented by Karma Senge Rinpoche. About 90 of us gathered at 7 pm to practice the Avalokiteshvara Sadhana with Rinpoche, which was delightful. Then a little past 8, the doors were opened and others joined us for the slides and Rinpoche’s remarks.
Not only is Karseng Rinpoche the nephew of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche who travelled throughout East Tibet to gather the Vidyadhara’s terma and other teachings. He also works closely with Surmang Kyere, the smallest of the Surmang monasteries. He is also the abbot of Weyching Gompa, a nunnery near Surmang Kyere. The Weyching nunnery website describes Weyching Gompa and its needs:
Kyere and the four monasteries of Kyrung and their respective nuns and monks requested of Karma Senge Rinpoche in 1995 to build one nunnery on the border of Tibet and Qinghai Province. This nunnery is called Weyching Retchu or Weyching Gompa. It is needed because, whereas there are many monasteries for monks in this area, there are no nunneries. This place is very sacred, located high on top of a grassland mountain. There is a lot of brush, birds and firewood. It is very quiet and conducive to meditation. Since the building was begun, 80 nuns have been practicing here. Of these, 50 have no parents and many come from far away. The nuns all need to beg from neighboring towns and nomads for support. The nuns are studying the teachings of the 11 Trungpas and a special Kagyu practice that is part of every monk’s study. Many of the nuns want to do a five to six year retreat here, but cannot without support. Please help.
Rinpoche showed slides of Kyere Monastery, Weyching, Surmang Dudtsi-til and the sacred caves where Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche discovered ati terma teachings. There were also many photographs of smiling, red-cheeked nuns, some with unusual hats! We saw slides of Rinpoche’s wife and children as well.
At the end of the evening, Karseng Rinpoche spoke about how we are all one family, and we are all coming to feel this more and more, especially during his last visit. This was truly felt in the room that evening. He outlined a large number of terma teachings he hopes to present in his future visits. He said that the fact that we are receiving all of these teachings is an indication that our samaya with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche is intact and strong. He spoke of the importance of practicing these teachings, so that they are preserved and passed on — and so that we can truly benefit from them.
Karseng Rinpoche also talked about the indivisibility of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and how Sakyong Mipham is taking on the responsibility for the welfare of all of the Surmang institutions related to Trungpa Rinpoche. Karseng Rinpoche invited us to contribute to the welfare of Surmang Kyere and the Weyching Nunnery. He also encouraged everyone to support the work of the Nalanada Translation Committee so that the teachings can be translated and available to us. The evening ended with a blessing line.
The event, which was co-sponsored by the Chronicles of CTR and the CT Legacy Project, was a great success. More than $4,600 was raised — effortlessly! Thanks to everyone for their tremendous generosity.
Carolyn Rose Gimian
for the Chronicles