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Category: Newsroom

1st ADC - Lessons in Magical Thinking and Love

Reporting from the newsroom of the First ADC (managed by DPPL)

Lessons in magical thinking and love marked the fifth and sixth day of the Annual Drukpa Council (ADC). On the fifth day of ADC, the participants received a thorough teaching on the founding of the Drukpa Linage. A representative of His Holiness the 70th Je Khenpo from the Kingdom of Bhutan, Yangben Lobpon, delivered a teaching on the Drukpa Lineage and its holders in Bhutan, followed by Kyabje Satrul Rinpoche’s teaching on "The Drukpa Lineage and its holders in Eastern Tibet", and further followed by Kyabje Sey Rinpoche’s teaching on "The Drukpa Lineage and its holders in Ladakh, Zanskar, Lahaul, Kinnaur and other parts of the Himalayas". On the sixth day, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo took center stage and taught us the practice of Lojong.

Yangben Lobpon outlined the lineage holders in Bhutan and educated us on the history of Buddhism in Bhutan and the role of previous Gyalwang Drukpas in spreading Buddhism in the country. Kyabje Satrul Rinpoche, who undertook to compile the complete teachings of the Drukpa Lineage (which such great task is near complete), delivered an engaging teaching on the nuns, monks and yogis in Eastern Kham. He shared with us the incredible physical feats of the nuns and their ability to endure extreme practices including jumping from great heights to land in meditation position and to meditate and sleep in boxes. Subsequently, Kyabje Sey Rinpoche educated us on not only the Drukpa Lineage holders in regions such as Ladakh, Lahaul and Kinnaur, but he taught us how to approach magical thinking and how to process all the mystical stories of the Drukpa Lineage. His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa concluded the day by teaching the practice of Sengey Tsewa followed by an initiation for the practice. Sengey Tsewa is the sacred and magical practice of offering oneself to others.

Sengey Tsewa Initiation

A unique way to receive initiation by lying on the floor,
His Holiness jokingly warned that participants should not snore...

On the sixth day, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, taught “Awakening Your Mind: Lojong” and explained to us that the in Buddhism, the mind and heart are the same thing. Her teaching reminded all participants the reason that they engage in elaborate rituals and practices … love and compassion. To provide us an illustration of love, she shared a personal childhood story; she was severely burned. Out of her mother’s powerful love, she prayed that her daughter would survive and also prayed to take on the suffering of her daughter so that her daughter would not have to endure such pain. Due to her mother’s intense love, despite severe burns, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s pain and scars were divested.

Participants celebrated its rich Drukpa culture with a Cultural Dance which showcased the various tradition dances which Drukpa teachings reside.

Stagmo Dorje and his group from Ladakh offered a moving number
that touched everyone's heart.

Ladakhi devotees put on their traditional costumes,
giving the audience a glimpse of their colorful culture

Category: Newsroom

1st ADC - Breaking Ground

Reporting from the newsroom of the First ADC (managed by DPPL)

The Dragons broke ground today at 3 in the morning. The central monastic body of Bhutan kicked off ADC by concluding their Chamkrasamvara Drubpa ritual. The event was in full swing by 9am when what seemed like all the jeeps in Nepal delivered the international congregation. The participants of ADC off-roaded up the Druk Amitabha Mountain in 4 x 4 jeeps passing through several gigantic inflatable rainbows provided by the Vietnamese students. The Vietnamese delegation continued to surprise by launching a 25 meter Drukpa flag carried by 15 gargantuan balloons. Such visual celebration could only be rivaled by the helicopter hovering just meters above ADC in attempt of capturing a snap shot of this inaugural event.

The excitement continued with the inauguration of the Naro Assembly Hall and Druk White Lotus Clinic (also known as the Druk Pema Karpo Clinic). The Druk White Lotus Clinic will offer much needed care to the local community and will incorporate both traditional and modern medicine. The Naro Assembly Hall is perhaps one of the most modern buildings in the country and serves as an example of environmental architecture. Both of these edifices symbolize the Drukpa Lineage’s commitment and dedication to the local community.

Today also marked the Drukpa Lineage’s entrance into the technology frontier. Interpreters translated the ancient Drukpa teachings and His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa’s teaching on “Live to Love: Integrating Spiritual Life with Daily Practice” simultaneously while participants listened attentively with their miniature FM scanners which look like tiny space-age pods. Thanks to the relentless hard work of Trent Williamson of Australia (his friends know him as “Kunga”), the simultaneous translation was a hit. When asked about the success of this new system, Kunga simply said “Awesome”.

As a practical means to encourage the teachings of “Live to Love: Integrating Spiritual Life with Daily Practice”, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa presented everyone with a copy of The Dragon Yogis, a compilation of stories of teachings of the Drukpa Lineage which will remind everyone of the importance of integrating these teachings into their own lives long after ADC is over.

The day ended as colorfully as it started. The first day of the ADC concluded with a vibrant cultural performance showcasing a rainbow of different cultural dances from Bhutan, Hong Kong and the local Tibetan community, song singing by famous Ladakh group, Dorje Stakmo, Tashi and Wangchuk, and the renowned Ladakhi singer, Phuntsok Ladakhi. The Drukpa Hong Kong Sangha offered the beautifully choreographed Dance of Peacocks and the Bhutanese volunteers staged a starring performance with a song of devotion. Here is the English translation of the lyrics:

The play manifested by Avalokitesvara
Pervades the entire three realms.
We are fortunate to see his physical manifestation
In the form of the Glorious Lord Drukpa today.

At the holy site of Amitabha Mountain
In Nepal, the land blessed by all the Victorious Ones,
Has arisen the sun of gracious times and
Auspicious dependent-origination has filled the sky.

Thank you very much Gyalwang Drukpa,
May you live as long as the sun and the moon!

We, the fortunate men and women, gathered here
Are filled with the joy of devotion and respect.
We had the good fortune to earn merit for this and the next life,
Making birth as human beings purposeful.

May the Teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni in general,
And the Drukpa tradition in particular, spread and flourishes!
May the holders of the Dharma live long and
May their activities and power grow!

The Glorious Drukpa is the great benefactor
Glorious Lord Drukpa is amazing
May you live a hundred aeons!
May your activities spread around the World!

Thank you very much Gyalwang Drukpa,
May you live as long as the sun and the moon!

Inauguration of Naro Assembly Hall

Free distribution of The Dragon Yogis

Group photo of the precious Dragon Yogis

Performance by Bhutanese

Peacock Dance by Drukpa Hong Kong Sangha

Phuntsok Ladakhi singing a wonderful song of devotion, "Namo Namo"

Category: Newsroom

1st ADC - Fearless Joy

Reporting from the newsroom of the First ADC (managed by DPPL)

Today, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa enthroned an 11 year-old boy from Boston, Massachusetts, the reincarnation of Gyalwa Lorepa. Gyalwa Lorepa, one of the most celebrated yogis of the thirteenth century, has not been recognized since his passing in 1250. Many wonder why Gyalwa Lorepa waited 700 years to return. Lobsang Thargay, the personal assistant of His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa speculates that “Gyalwa Lorepa was waiting for the First Annual Drukpa Council.”

After the enthronement, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa delivered a moving teaching on “Happiness without Fear”. The head of the Drukpa Lineage wore several hats today including the hat of a translator. His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa delivered the teaching first in Ladakhi and then in English. He taught the participants of ADC as well as the Live Webcast viewers that when one is authentically happy, even if the world falls apart, one would not be influenced by fear. And then, He conveyed to the audience that the meaning of being a “good practitioner” simply means being a “good human being”.

This evening Dra Kushok Jampel Rinpoche gave an erudite teaching on the lineage of Drukpa . Dra Kushok Jampel Rinpoche walked the audience through the Drukpa family tree and highlighting all the great masters and yogis which have blessed and continue to bless this lineage. The day concluded with Sengey Tsewa Chod practice. His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa will initiate the ADC participants for this practice tomorrow.

More photos in Photo Gallery

Category: Newsroom

1st ADC - The Eve of the First Annual Drukpa Council

Reporting from the newsroom of the First ADC (managed by DPPL)

On the eve of this historic event, Drukpa volunteers work with high octane enthusiasm. The audio-visual team toils to build a multi-lingual simultaneous translation system which organizations like the United Nations, WTO and G20 utilize. The media team prepares to host members of the international press. And construction workers make their final push to finish the Naro Assembly Hall. Due to problems with one of the generators, volunteers worked without the luxury of electricity.

Dedication and motivation transcends obstacles. Everyone is willing to pitch in no matter what the task. Jigme Kunzang Senge, a volunteer from the Canary Islands, Spain, sums up “even though we are not experts, we put our heart fully into our work.” This sentiment resonates with all the volunteers at ADC.

New participants are also arriving. Significantly, Druk Amitabha Mountain is honored to host the Bhutanese delegates who arrived today. Pemba Tsering, the General Secretary, received the delegates, and His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa hosted them for lunch. All were pleased with the reception, and there is a palpable sense of excitement.

The decorations at the Naro Assembly Hall

Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche and Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche.
We would like to thank Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche for being the advisor for the First ADC.

His Holiness receiving the delegates from Bhutan

His Holiness with Lyonpo Dago from Bhutan

Category: Newsroom

1st ADC - Blessings and Benedictions

Reporting from the newsroom of the First ADC (managed by DPPL)

The participants of the First ADC received boundless blessings today. The day commenced with the enthronement of Ninth Kyabgon Drukpa Yongdzin Rinpoche. Previously the disciple of the Fourth Drukpa Pema Karpo and the guru of the Fifth Dalai Lama, Kyabgon Drukpa Yongdzin Rinpoche was enthroned as a 14 year old boy this morning. The six-hour Long-Life Initiation, led by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, followed the enthronement and served as the prelude to the viewing of the scared relics.

Kyabgon Drukpa Yongdzin Rinpoche offering mandala to His Holiness

Kyabgon Drukpa Yongdzin Rinpoche in the Pandit hat

The relic showing boasts three holy objects: (1) the heart of Kunkhyen Pema Karpo with an image of the self-arising Chakrasamvara in union, (2) the tooth of Marpa with the self-arisen image of Thro-wo Me-tsek, a deity that protects from diseases caused by defilements, (3) a finger nail of Marpa's consort, Dagmema, which has a self-arising conch appearing clearly on it; and (3) a sculpture made by Milarepa’s sister and blessed by Milarepa and it is believed that this sculpture looks exactly like Milarepa himself. It is the belief of the Drukpa Lineage that holy relics contain the power to liberate upon sight and at the very least provide great benedictions, merit and encouragement for one’s spiritual endeavors. The viewing was further supplemented by a blessing from each of His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, Kyabje Drukpa Choegon Rinpoche, Kyabje Ga Rinpoche, Kyabje Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche, Kyabje Kunga Rinpoche and Kyabhje Sey Rinpoche. In addition to the auspicious nature of this event, the event gave the participants a glimpse of the rich treasures (both in terms of relics and masters) that the Drukpa Lineage holds.

The night concluded with performances from the Royal Academy of Performing Arts of the Kingdom of Bhutan which included a traditional Manjushri dance.

More than 10,000 people crowded around the main temple, queueing up to enter the temple,
in order to view the precious relics of the enlightened ones

Crowd control became a great challenge. Many had to return the next day to view the relics.
We apologize that due to the preciousness of these relics, no photos were permitted to be taken.

Category: Newsroom

1st ADC - Welcome Dragon Masters

Reporting from the newsroom of the First ADC (managed by DPPL)

Today, the Annual Drukpa Council (“ADC”) committee welcomed over 40 Rinpoches, Tulkus and Khenpos to Druk Amitabha Mountain, home of 300 Drukpa nuns. Despite the strikes in Kathmandu which prevented cars from reaching Druk Amitabha Mountain, hundreds of monks, nuns and lay people lined up with khatas to welcome these precious masters. The ADC committee introduced the visiting masters to the premises where the nuns run and maintain a coffee shop, gift shop, guesthouse, temple, stupa and educational halls.

The Drukpa Logo, made of artificial flowers

While the workers, volunteers, nuns and monks put finishing touches on the Naro Assembly Hall and throughout Druk Amitabha Mountain, the great masters of the Drukpa Lineage met to discuss the past and continuing contributions of the Drukpa Lineage and encourage each other on their humanitarian and spiritual endeavors. In particular, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, the author and subject of Cave in the Snow, emphasized the contribution of women of the Drukpa Lineage and their hard work organizing ADC. Meanwhile, the senior monastic body of Bhutan performed a rare ritual, Chakrasamvara Drubpa. This ritual showcases an ancient Drukpa tradition whereby the prayer clears obstacles and pays homage to the main Drukpa tutelary deity. The Chakrasamvara Drubpa provided the ideal soundtrack for such an extraordinary meeting.

The excitement fills the atmosphere. Hundreds of participants hiked, motorbiked and scaled the side of Druk Amitabha Mountain to reach the destination in hopes of greeting the precious masters, receiving blessings from the Chakrasamvara Drubpa and to get a peak of all the preparations. The diversity of gender, nationality and background of the participants is not only strikingly colorful but is also a testament of the universal appeal of the Annual Drukpa Council.


Welcoming committee waiting for the arrival of masters

Kyabje Drukpa Choegon Rinpoche Ngawang Tenzin Chokyi Gyatso arriving, behind his is Kyabje Sey Rinpoche

...followed by Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche and Azong Rinpoche, and others

Yangben Lobpon and Kyabje Ga Rinpoche greeting each other

Tsaptul Rinpoche

Lama Sonam leading Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche, the First ADC Chairperson and Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche, the advisor,
to the Star Guest House to meet all the masters

Visiting the Naro Assembly Hall

Visiting the library

Kyabje Drukpa Choegon Rinpoche Ngawang Tenzin Chokyi Gyatso meeting Kyabje Drukpa Yongdzin Rinpoche

His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa walking to the VIP Dining Hall

The First ADC meeting begins

The advisor, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche, giving an introduction of himself

Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche, explaining the purpose of the First ADC


Category: Newsroom

1st ADC - Dragons in Full Flight

Reporting from the newsroom of the First ADC (managed by DPPL)

Four Drukpa masters spread their wings and took center stage today. Kyabje Drukpa Choegon Rinpoche Ngawang Tenzin Chokyi Gyatso, an important and truly accomplished Drukpa scholar, confirmed our belief in Dragons in his teaching “The Importance of Correct Motivation”. True to his scholastic background and his charming personality, Kyabje Drukpa Choegon Rinpoche delivered a teaching on the roots of the Drukpa Lineage, where teachings were taught based on genuinely altruistic motivation, which seemed more like a captivating story than a Dharma discourse.

Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche Jigme Pema Nyinjadh, temporarily set aside his role as chairman of ADC to present a teaching on “Transforming Anger into Loving-Kindness”. He outlined the different types of austere practices that many practitioners endure and suggested that if one is able to endure such severity, then why not just let anger pass? Despite Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche’s soft-spoken nature, his teachings are hard hitting.

During an international press conference this afternoon with His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, Kyabje Drukpa Choegon Rinpoche and Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche, His Holiness unveiled the book The Dragon Yogis. The Dragon Yogis consists of a compilation of abridged biographies and teachings from the Drukpa Lineage masters of the past and of the present time. Each participant t of ADC will receive a copy of the book. It is the hope of His Holiness and Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche that The Dragon Yogis will serve as a practical tool to remind the participants of the teachings given at ADC and to aid them in integrating those teachings into daily life.

Kyabje Sakten Rinpoche of the Kingdom of Bhutan continued the lesson on the Drukpa Lineage which Kyabje Drukpa Choegon Rinpoche began by teaching “Emergence of Lower, Middle and Upper Drukpa Schools”. His erudite delivery of the lesson exemplifies his learned background.

The day concluded with a practice of Sengey Tsewa with the nuns of Druk Amitabha Mountain. The nuns and the participants of ADC synchronized over 1,000 damarus (handheld ritual drums) and dorje bells. The ritual was poetically accompanied by a lightning storm and thunder, coincidentally, the sound of a dragon.

Category: Newsroom

1st ADC - Preparation

Reporting from the newsroom of the First ADC (managed by DPPL)

In less than 72 hours, the First ADC will be officially taking place on Druk Amitabha Mountain, Kathamndu, Nepal. The activities will start on the morning of 8th April, finishing on the evening of 15th April. Based on the registration, we estimate a total participants of around 10,000 people coming from the Himalayas and from all over the world. The theme of this historic event is "Live to Love: Integrating Spirituality with Daily Life", stressing the importance of using daily life as a means to practice spirituality. This event will hopefully give a glimpse to the world of a skill that will help develop inner strength, especially in this present time of turmoil and uncertainties. The First ADC also aims to gather teachers and followers of the Dragon Lineage on this special occasion, so that the followers and practitioners of the lineage will have a clearer understanding of the lineage, it's masters and their teachings.

A few Royal family members and dignitaries from the kingdom of Bhutan have started to arrive. Important masters of the lineage, guests and students from different parts of the worlds are also arriving in groups. The entire Druk Amitabha Mountain is bustling with joy and excitement, with a big rush to finish the final decorations as well as all the preparations. Beautiful decorative objects and special lights are being placed in different corners of Druk Amitabha Mountain. The nuns, monks and volunteers from all parts of the world, are extremely busy, but with a lot of smiles and happiness. Everyone is just immersed in the joy of being able to participate in and contribute to such a historical gathering. The feelings are beyond expression.

The auspicious Chakrasamvara Drubpa started this morning at about 3am. There were approximately 1,000 monks and nuns, making sincere prayers at the main temple building. The Drubpa will finish on 8th April, after which the First ADC will officially open. The prayers are being dedicated to all the participants of the First ADC.

His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and the previous Yangben Lobpon from Bhutan,
presiding over the Chakrasamvara Drubpa

At the time of writing, the Naro Assembly Hall, which it is now known as, is still under final completion. There are more than 300 local construction workers working round-the-clock, and over 100 monks helping out with the decoration of the Assembly Hall. It is a very touching moment to see a few thousand people on Druk Amitabha Mountain, with a one-pointed focus, i.e. to ensure the success of the First ADC.

The few kitchens are forever busy preparing food and snacks for those on the mountain, and the nuns have only been getting less than two hours of sleep a day. There are also volunteers coming from all over the world, actively involved in group discussions, preparations and executions of their own dutieis. Some of them have been working on setting up modern technology, under very challenging circumstances, so that the entire First ADC, can be broadcasted live in the homes of those who are unable to make it here in person.

Khenpo Shedrub Tenzin, Deputy Chairperson of the First ADC, and Pemba Tsering, General Secretary,
busy preparing the Meeting Agenda for 6th April 2009

News team having group meeting

Souvenir team having group meeting

Whether you are here with us, or you are back home thinking of us, we wish to dedicate all the merit to all of you who join us in action and in thoughts. Thank you very much for all of your support.

Besides the Live Webcast, the newsroom will be sending out daily news updates from Druk Amitabha Mountain, every night at the end of the day's activities. Look for more photos under Photo Gallery.