Free-of-cost eye camps at the three major areas of Lower Mustang were held for the week of 21st - 26th May 2013. The eye surgeons were from the United States and the Himalaya Eye Hospital, Pokhara. Ven Lama Tashi la and a dozen of our college students assisted the eye camps. In total, 700 patients' eyes were screened. Out of which the cataract surgery was done for 15 patients and the glasses and medicines were distributed for hundreds of patients. I am very proud to tell you that once again the eye camps concluded with a great success. It was the 3rd time Pema Ts'al successfully organized and publicized the eye camps. The 1st one was held at Pema Ts'al in 2010 and the 2nd in Upper Mustang in 2011. Dooley Foundation - Intermed International, New York was the sponsor on all three occasions. It was kindly supported by HEH, Pokhara and Mission Himalaya, Kathmandu on all three occasions as well.
Tashi Delek and Welcome to
Pema Ts'al Sakya Monastic Institute!
News Updates- 30/5/2013
Tashi Delek Everyone!
I hope this updates find all our dear readers in the best of health and spirit. Everyone at the monastery is fine and working hard as usual.
A boy named Kunga Sherap, studying in grade II had the ear surgery at one side two weeks ago. His ear drum was broken but now healed very well.
In the recent time, the monastery had the annual grand Mahavairochana Sand Mandala Rituals for one week. This ritual is done for deceased to rest his/her soul in peace and have good rebirth.
Free-of-cost eye camps at the three major areas of Lower Mustang were also held from 21st to 26th May 2013. The eye surgeons were from the United States and the Himalaya Eye Hospital, Pokhara. Ven Lama Tashi la and a dozen of our college students assisted the eye camps. In total, 700 patients' eyes were screened. Out of which the cataract surgery was done for 15 patients and the glasses and medicines were distributed for hundreds of patients. I am very proud to tell you that once again the eye camps concluded with a great success. It was the 3rd time Pema Ts'al successfully organized and publicized the eye camps. The 1st one was held at Pema Ts'al in 2010 and the 2nd in Upper Mustang in 2011. Dooley Foundation - Intermed International, New York was the sponsor on all three occasions. It was kindly supported by the HEH, Pokhara and Mission Himalaya, Kathmandu on all three occasions as well.
The monastery has now the volunteers from Canada, Spain, US and England. They are teaching English, Science and Social Studies. They also take care of our students' health and hygiene. Elizabeth Fudge is still with us and leaving from the monastery tomorrow to head for Canada.
Our college students are on one month summer vacation these days. The vacation will end on 21st June.
Updated By: Lobsang Tsering (Exe. Secretary)
News Updates- 1/5/2013 Today on 1st May 2013, all our school and college students were given deworming medicines. It was kindly initiated by our sponsors cum volunteer teachers nurse Elizabeth Fudge, Canada and Dr. Martjin, Holland. They have also done it on many occasions in the past. They do it after every six months. Thanks Elizabeth and Martjin for their initiative and also taking immense care for our students nutritional project. News Updates- 21/4/2013 Tashi Delek and many happy greetings to everyone!
Pema Ts'al is happy to give you some updates of its recent activities.
The students and staff members are all very fine and working hard on making Pema Ts'al more better place for education and discipline etc. I hope you all continue to stay healthy and happy.
The school students had the Final Exam for the academic year 2012/13 from April 1-7. The annual school result announcement and prize distribution ceremony was held on 10th April. We had the guests mostly from the Tibetan refugee settlements. The guest of honour was the principal of SOS Hermann Gmeiner Higher Secondary School. All the students were paid off for working hard in their studies. They were upgraded in the new academic year 2013/14, which was started on 15th April. Kunga Zoepa from grade V received "The Best School Student of the Year" award. He received a trophy and certificate. The school teachers were also given gifts for their hard work and encouraging them to do more in the future.
I am happy to tell you that our school students from grade III to V went for two days trek to Dampus before the start of the new academic year. Ven Khenpo Kunga Dhondup la and all our school teachers accompanied them. They had a good refreshing time.
It is also my great pleasure to inform you that His Eminence Dhungse Abhaya Rinpoche and his father Zaya Rinpoche are at the monastery now. They reached the monastery safely on 21st April. We gave them traditional Tibetan welcome all the way from Pokhara Airport to the monastery. The mandala offering ceremony was held soon after rinpoche's arrival. They are staying for three months.
The monastery has the volunteers coming one after another and for now, we have five. They are from US, Canada, Germany, England and Australia. They help us teaching English and Science and taking care of students' health and hygiene. They are also involved in cleaning the monastery building and gardening works.
In May, a dozen of our college students are assisting the Lower Mustang Eye Expedition. It will be held at three major places like Tukche, Kagbeni and Marpha from 21st to 26th May. We have expected 1000 patients, out of which cataract surgery for 30 patients. Dooley Intermed Foundation, NY is funding everything.
May all living beings live peacefully!
Pilgrimage cum Educational Tour Our college students returned safely in good health from Pilgrimage cum Educational Tour to India on 28th Feb. They were in India for ten days. They visited almost all holy sites of Buddhism such has Bodhgaya(enlightenment), Varanasi(first sermon) and Kushinagar(mahaparinirvana). While in Varanasi, they were received very well by two of our former students who are now studying at Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies. The pilgrims also met His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Orgyen Thrinely Dorjee at Varanasi and received his warm blessings. His Holiness is the head of the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Ghen Tashi Wangyal la and three of our volunteer teachers escorted the pilgrims throughout their tour. It was definitely a very blessful tour. I and my colleagues also hope that the students had good exposure and learnt many new things from the tour.
Annual Grand Vajrakilaya Lama Dance Puja Tibetan New Year 2140 starts on 11th February 2013. The Annual Grand Vajrakilaya Lama Dance Puja is held every year before the start of the New Year. This puja purifies the negativities of the old year and brings a fresh New Year. The puja will be held for 7 days starting from 3rd Feb and ending on 9th Feb. The Lama Dance(masked dance), which we call Cham in Tibetan, will be performed on the final day. The devotees come for the blessings especially on the final day. All are heartily invited for this auspicious occasion.
Sapan Death Anniversary Commemoration On 27th December 2012, Pema Ts'al commemorated the Death Anniversary of Sakya Pandita. Sakya Pandita is one of the five great masters of Sakyapa tradition in Tibetan Buddhism. The monks said the prayers and the rituals was performed for the whole day. The monks and nuns from other monasteries were also invited to make the day more memorable. The afternoon programme was the result announcement of the Pema Ts'al School. The position holders were all given prizes from Ven Khenpo Kunga Dhondup la(monastery abbot) and Ven Khenpo Kunsang la(college abbot). The evening program was for delivering speeches, debating and reading the compositions. The college students have done their best to make the evening programme a successful one.
Calm Abiding Meditation Retreat with Lama Choedak Rinpoche Calm Abiding Meditation is the fundamental Buddhist meditation practice through which Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya. Calm and peace is so important in one's life if only one knows how to live in peace. Meditation and mindfulness in everyday life is becoming the medicine for the mind. Meditation can enable one to reframe one's whole life and empower oneself to live more meaningfully and consciously than ever before. Pema Ts'al is pround to offer this introductory retreat as you will learn authentic Buddhist meditation made relevant and taught by one of the leading figure on this topic.
Lama Choedak Rinpoche is one of the prominent Tibetan Buddhist teachers living in Australia. He completed a traditional three and half year solitary meditation retreat under the guidance of Kyabje Choegye Trichen Rinpoche in Lumbini in 1980 as part of his twelve years monastic training. He has taught and lived in the west for 27 years. He is the founder and director of 21 centres in Australia and New Zealand. As a graduate of Australian National University, he is an author, poet, translator and international speaker. Rinpoche is a sought after meditation master. He has trained more than 150 senior students to facilitate this form of meditation in Australia and New Zealand. He teaches Calm Abiding Meditation everywhere around the world. He has recently completed a teaching tour of USA and Canada. All are welcome as this can be the best gift you can receive in your precious life.
Program: Date: 3rd to 4th December 2012 Time: 9:00 to 5:00pm Venue: Pema Ts'al Sakya Monastic Institute, Pokhara, Nepal
21st Great Sakya Prayer Gathering For World Peace All our students attended the 21st Great Sakya Prayer Gathering for Word Peace at Lumbini from 22nd November to 1st December 2012. Ven Khenpo Kunga Dhondup la attended it as well. It was jointly organized by Sakya, Ngorpa, Tsarpa and Dzongpa sects of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness the Sakya Trizin Rinpoche presided over the prayer. The students stayed in good health this time as we had a volunteer and registered nurse Elizabeth Fudge from Canada and some other volunteers; Antonio, Monica, Anna and Benedikt, taking care of students' health and hygiene.
His Holiness Sakya Trizin Rinpoche Birthday On 9th September 2012, Pema Ts'al celebrated the 69th birthday of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin Rinpoche. His Holiness is the supreme head of the Sakyapa tradition in Tibetan Buddhism. Three Long-life Dieties Ritual for his His Holiness' long-life was performed in the morning and a program with guests from outside was held from 9am to 1pm. Kyabje Dupsing Rinpoche was the guest of honour. The 1st Term Exam result of Pema Ts'al School was announced and the prizes were given from the chief guest. Tibetan and Nepali cultrual dances and songs were also performed to make the day more beautiful. The birthday cake and lunch was served for all guests as well.
Yarne(Summer Retreat) In Tibetan "Yar" means summer and "Ne" means staying at one place. Together they mean staying at one place during summer by engaging in the meritorious activities. It is called "Summer Retreat" in English.
Yarne originated in the time of the Buddha Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism. Unlike today, the monks went from place to place to get today's food. The Buddha thought that the monks might kill a number of insects by their travels especially during the monsoon season, when the grass grows high and is the habitat of uncountable insects. He urged the monks to remain at their monasteries and promised to supply them with food during this season.
When the villagers came to know the necessity of food for the monks, they came to offer varieties of food for them. It is believed that a person can earn more virtues by making offering in this retreat.
The duration of the retreat differs from place to place. Some monasteries hold it for three months whereas some for 45 days. Pema Ts'al Sakya Monastic Institute is holding it for the very first time this year. It is being held for 45 days starting from 3rd July 2012.
Attending the retreat are: His Eminence Khondhung Abhaya Rinpoche, the grandson of Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang; the Venerable Khenpo Kunga Dhondup, the co-founder and principal of Pema Ts'al; and all college and junior school students. There are in total 51 participants. Out of which 21 are bikshus(level higher than Getsul and Genying in monks) and 30 are Getsuls. It is written in the Sutra that there should be minimum 8 bikshus for conducting the summer retreat. Ven Khenpo Kunga la acts as this year's Yarney Khenpo.
A 16 Arhats Sand Mandala has already been created for the retreat and can be seen today by worshippers. The monks say prayers three times a day in the main shrine for the welfare and well-being of all sentient beings and have a procession inside the monastery compound daily in the evening after finishing day's prayers. They strictly follow the vows which they promise on the first day of the retreat. The monks take only half day meals until 12noon and can have liquids in the afternoon and evening. They remain within the monastery premises. Outsiders are not allowed to visit the monastery without prior notice during the retreat time.
The retreat ends on 17th August 2012. There will be a procession to the nearby Jangchub Choeling Monastery for prayers in the morning and then a mandala offering prayer on the final day at Pema Ts'al.
Annual Grand Vairochana Buddha Ritual - 2012 This year's annual grand Vairochana Buddha Ritual was held from 29th May 2012 to 4th June 2012. The ritual was atttended by His Eminence Khondung Abhaya Rinpoche, Ven Lama Kunsang Gyatso la(tutor of Abhaya Rinpoche), Ven Khenpo Kunga Dhondup la and all junior and senior students of the monastery. Ven Jampa Dhakpa acted as this year's Dorjee Lopon(ritual leader). The ritual aims to have good lives for all deceased as well as for livings. Yarne at Pema Ts'al Sakya Monastic Institute
Report of the Dharma Chakra Diwas and the 29th Pokhara Valley Buddha Puja On July 3rd, 2012, Pema Ts'al Sakya Monastic Institute hosted the Dharma Chakra Diwas, a ceremony to honor the Buddha's First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. On that same day, the Buddhist followers of Pokhara also celebrated the 29th Pokhara Valley Buddha Puja. Although eleven Tibetan and Nepali Buddhist monasteries and Nepali communities were involved in organizing the festivities, it was Pema Ts'al's turn to host the event. The celebration was conducted in accordance with Nepali tradition, but both Nepalese and Tibetans joined together in harmony to honor this special day.
The day's program began with a gathering of all the devotees at 5:30 AM at Shang Gadhen Choekhloring Monastery, located within the Paljoring Tibetan Refugee Settlement in Pokhara. When the Peace procession began at 6 AM, there were 100 devotees in attendance, but the number gradually grew to 700, and would have grown even more if it were not for a sudden downpour that interrupted the morning assembly.
The devotees traveled to Dharma Shila Buddha Vihar, Dharma Sangh Buddha Vihar, Sangngag Dhecheling Monastery, and finally to Pema Ts'al, where they arrived around 9 AM. The religious function commenced shortly thereafter. After all of the important guests took their seats, the sangha members from different monasteries prayed for half an hour. Next, Venerable Khenpo Kunga Dhondup la, the co-founder and principal of Pema Ts'al, gave a speech. In this speech, he emphasized the importance of the day, and offered some spiritual advice to the devotees. His speech was followed by a sermon delivered by a guest speaker, Bikshu Nigrodh of Bishaw Shani Vihar in Kathmandu. Bikshu Nigrodh also pointed out the significance of the event, and he, too, offered spiritual guidance to the devotees.
The function was held in the main shrine of the new temple, and was also shown via projector to the 500 devoteees seated in the Phurdrub Hall. As the function drew to a close, Ven. Khenpo Kunga la handed over the Symbolic Wheel of the Dharma and minute book to the abbot of Karma Siddha Parampara Dharma Chakra Dhipashya Vihar, who will organize the program next year. In a final concluding speech, Venerable Tenzin Phuntsok la thanked all those who had attended the function. A new magazine entitled "Dharma Chakshu" was distributed to everyone in attendance, lunch was served, and the program ended joyfully.
The event was publicized through flyers, FM radio stations, local newspapers, and car microphones.
His Eminence Khondung Abhaya Rinpoche at Pema Ts'al Under the inivation of Pema Ts'al, HE Khondung Abhaya Rinpoche reached Pema Ts'al safely on 28th May 2012. The sangha and lay members of Pema Ts'al gave him warm welcome with some traditional welcoming ceremony. The prayer was held and mandala offering was made to rinpoche on his arrival day. Rinpoche is staying for three months, in which time, he will attend the annual grand Vairochana Buddha Ritual and Yarney(summer retreat).
Grand Temple Inaugural Ceremony
Welcome Ceremony His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin, Dhungseys of the Phuntsok and Dolma Phodrang, His Eminence Ngor Thartse Khen Rinpoche, His Eminence Garshab Rinchen Paljor Rinpoche, Gyalyum Chenmo and their entourage reached Pokhara Airport around 10 o'clock on 5th March 2012. Venerable Khenpos, tulkus, monks, heads of the Tibetan Refugee Settlements, Local Tibetan Assembly Members, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Members, Women's Association Members, school children and representatives of Tibetan and Nepali governmental and non-governmental organizations eagerly waited for hours before His Holiness' arrival. They greeted His Holiness and entourage, with colourful khatas in their hands. The school children of SOS Higher Secondary School performed the Tashi Sholpa dance, making the welcoming ceremony even more beautiful and festive. Dozens of cars and hundreds of motor-cyclists escorted His Holiness all the way to Pema Ts'al, through the major Buddhist-populated areas of Pokhara. His Holiness was greeted with different cultural welcoming traditions at each of these places. The "welcome gates" through which His Holiness and entourage passed, were ornamented with beautiful phrases of welcome and auspicious symbols, constructed by several different Buddhist communities along the way. The sangha members of both Pema Ts'al Monastery and Lo-Manthang Choedhe Monastery gave a very warm welcome to H. H. by playing traditional ritual instruments: the white conch, the gyaling and the dhungchen, as well as holding khatas and many other auspicious religious symbols in their hands. His Holiness was led to the blessing room of the new temple, where the principal of the monastery, Ven. Lama Kunga Dhondup la made a Mandala Offering to His Holiness, on behalf of all the members of Pema Ts'al. His Holiness was greeted again, by each and every member of Pema Ts'al and by the heads of several governmental and non-governmental organizations. His Holiness rested later in the same day of His arrival, and on the following day.
Consecration Ceremony The Prayer Hall consecration ceremony was performed through Hey-Vajra Rituals for the whole day on the 7th of March, 2012. It was presided over by His Holiness the Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, and attended by Dhungseys of the Phuntsok and the Dolma Phodrang together with many heads and representatives of the Ngorpa, Tsarpa and Zongpa sub-schools of the Sakya teaching lineage, Khenpos and principals of different monasteries and colleges, a number of the main donors of the new temple, the Dr. Tom Roberts Dental Clinic, The Faanya and Robert Rose Library and the Mani Dhungkhor, as well as hundreds of monks. Jindhak Ngasol was performed in the afternoon session of the rituals, in which all who were present prayed for the good health, happiness and long-life of the new temple's main donors. Gyalyum Chenmo la and Ven. Lama Kunga la, on behalf of the Dolma Phodrang and Pema Ts'al, respectively, offered khatas and statues as tokens of love, and congratulated the donors. Many other organizations also offered khatas and congratulated them. The consecration ceremony is performed in order to securely establish the temple, statues and precious objects in a state of unity with the holy refuge beings and the sacred teachings, so that they will continue to function as a support for the devotion of the faithful, for thousands and thousands of years.
Inaugural Ceremony 1st Day His Holiness, Sakya Trizin Rinpoche was welcomed as He emerged from His room, in a traditional monastic procession, with the playing of monastic ritual instruments, at 8 a.m. on the 8th of March, 2012. Rinpoche and other distinguished guests circumambulated the new temple and untied the ribbon which was hung at the main entrance gate of the new temple. Dr. Tom Roberts and Dr. Stephen Goetz also untied the ribbons, together with His Holiness. When His Holiness entered the temple, he lit the first butter-lamp and made offerings to the shrines and statues. Rinpoches, Tulkus and Khenpos made offerings to the shrines after His Holiness took His seat on the throne. After the offerings, all sangha members chanted the Sixteen Arhat Puja. The puja was followed by a Mandala Offering to His Holiness by Ven. Lama Kunga la, on behalf of all members of Pema Ts'al.
After the morning prayer session, His Holiness untied the ribbons of the Mani Dhungkhor, The Faanya and Robert Rose Library, the Dr. Tom Roberts Dental Clinic and The Victory Stupa. Dhungsey Rinpoches, other Rinpoches and the sponsors of each feature accompanied His Holiness at each ribbon untying ceremony. After all were seated, the Tibetan and the Nepali national anthems were sung by all Pema Ts'al students, as well as the other participants. Then the official Pema Ts'al school song was sung. When the speeches began, Ven. Lama Kunga Dhondup la, the Principal of Pema Ts'al monastery read the report of Pema Ts'al's development from the time of its founding. Mr. Lobsang Tsering la, the executive secretary of Pema Ts'al then read the same historical report, in English. During the ceremony, a helicopter hovered low in the sky above Pema Ts'al, scattering flowers to bless and ornament the courtyard in front of the temple, making the whole event very special and dramatic. Ven. Acharya Guru Gyaltsen la and Mr. Stephen K. Hayes read a message from Ven. Khenpo Pema Wangdak la, on the happy occasion of this Temple Inaugural Ceremony, in Tibetan and English, respectively. Ven. Khenpo Pema la's health prevented him from attending the ceremony. Some heartfelt speeches then followed, by Dr. Tom Roberts, Dr. Stephen Goetz, Mrs. Faanya Rose and Mr. Dev Man Hirachan. They each congratulated the Pema Ts'al members for their fruitful efforts and shared happy greetings with all the participants. His Holiness also congratulated all the members of Pema Ts'al in His speech and said that He was very much pleased with the blossoming of Pema Ts'al over the short span of time since it had begun. He honoured the hard work and dedication of Ven. Lama Kunga la in the preservation and flourishing of the Buddha Dharma, for more than a decade and bestowed the title of "Khenpo" upon him. His Holiness then unveiled a magazine specially produced for these events by the Pema Ts'al students, which is titled, "Pema Ts'al". Khenpo Kunsang la announced the shedra students' academic results as well as the top student of Pema Ts'al Sakya Monastic School for the year spanning 2011 and 2012. His Holiness presented certificates, money awards and book gifts to all the highest position holders as well as to the top student. Kunga Leckdhen was named as the top student of the school. His Holiness also presented certificates to all of the major sponsors and supporters of Pema Ts'al monastery, to the construction contractors and then to all the staff members of Pema Ts'al, who have been working selflessly for the last decade. The morning program was concluded with speeches of thanks from Ven. Lama Tashi la, Lama Rigzin la and Ngawang Rinchen la, in Tibetan, Nepali and English, respectively. They thanked all those people who were directly or indirectly involved in Pema Ts'al reaching this honoured position today, and then thanked all the participants of the ceremony for attending and witnessing this joyful and significant event. A buffet lunch was offered for all, and thereafter those present participated in a khata offering ceremony to the giant Buddha Shakyamuni statue built inside the temple.
The afternoon and evening programs were truly entertaining. Tibetan and other Himalayan cultural dance and song performances were given by: Mr. Tsering Gyurme, Mr. Khentse, the students of SOS Higher Secondary School and Mt. Kailash School, cultural dances and songs by local Nepali people and Mustangi people, the Samjana Dance Centre and the Tashi Palkhil Tibetan Dance and Song Group. Mr. Tsering Gyurme was the main attraction of the show, as he is one of the most famous singers of the exile Tibetan communities. He performed some of his all-time hit songs like, Tsawe Lama (Root Guru) and Dolma Lhakhang (Tara Monastery) etc. in his beautiful voice.
A special dinner was organized in the evening, to celebrate the happy occasion of honouring Ven. Lama Kunga la with the title of "Khenpo". The dinner was requested and sponsored by Ven. Khenpo Pema Wangdak la. The Chief Guest for the dinner was His Eminence, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche. Rinpoche congratulated Ven. Lama Kunga la on receiving the Khenpo title and gave special congratulations to the Pema Ts'al members and to all participants. Ven. Ngawang Lhundup and Tenzin Phuntsok la read a brief history of Ven. Khenpo Kunga la in Tibetan and in English, respectively.
Inaugural Ceremony 2nd Day His Eminence, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche gave teachings on Karma and Satva in the morning of the 9th of March, 2012 for one and half hours. His teaching was attended by more than 2600 devotees. Then a buffet lunch was offered for all.
The afternoon program was with His Holiness, the Sakya Trizin. His Holiness bestowed long-life initiation and spiritual advice for more than 5000 devotees. All devotees received blessings from His Holiness, one by one. The devotees were given Tseril (long-life barley flour ball), Tsechang (long-life rice wine) and Tsedhud (long-life thread) as symbols of their receiving the long-life blessing.
A premiere showing of the "Vision of Mustang" documentary video was held in the evening. His Holiness and hundreds of other people watched this inspiring documentary, which features film footage taken during two weeks at eye-health camps held at seven major populated areas of Mustang in August 2011, when a medical team worked in difficult conditions to provide glasses, eye treatments and cataract operations for people of all ages.
Inaugural Ceremony 3rd / Final Day The Vajrakilaya Lama Dance was performed on the 10th of March, 2012 for the whole day. Venerable Khenpo Kunga Tenzin la, the abbot of Lo-Manthang Choedhe Monastery, Mustang briefed all who were present, on the history of the flourishing of the Vajrakilaya Lama Dance at Lo-Manthang. This lama dance and its rituals are performed for the well-being of all sentient beings and for the dispelling of any negative elements. There are two types of activities during the development/creation phase of meditation. The peaceful steps of the dance, in the first part of this dance activity, (Toele) reflects the first phase of meditation, while the subjugation of negative elements during meditation are depicted in the vigorous second activity (Mele). The monks of Lo-Manthang Choedhe Monastery performed the Toele part whereas the Pema Ts'al monks performed the Mele. The gardens of Pema Ts'al on all sides were packed with devotees, eager to see this special performance of sacred dance. A lunch, as well as tea and snacks were offered to all devotees present.
Dental Camp As a part of the Inaugural Ceremony, a dental camp was held for two days, on the 11th and 12th of March, 2012, especially for Mustangis who were in the Pokhara area, before their seasonal return to their homes in Mustang. Dr. Tom Roberts, as always, from the USA and Dr. Sergio Segui Ward were the two dentists working in the camp. They performed various dental treatments for their patients, like extractions, fillings and cleaning etc., treating 100 patients in two days!
Phowa and Mani Transmission His Holiness, the Sakya Trizin bestowed the Phowa and Mani Lung for hundreds of devotees, inside the new Temple on the 13th of March, 2012, as part of the Inaugural Ceremony. This transmission was organized especially for the old-aged people of the Lodrik Old Aged Home and the Tashi Palkhil Old Aged Home.
Departure Finally, after the successful grand inaugural ceremony of the new temple, His Holiness the Sakya Trizin and His entourage and other distinguished guests departed from Pokhara on 15th of March, 2012 for Kathmandu. They were escorted by a police vehicle, cars and dozens of motor-cycles. Different Buddhist groups greeted them on the way with colourful scarves and flowers in their hands and incense powder offering. The plane took off at 10:30.
Thank You We must thank all those people who were directly or indirectly involved in making the inaugural ceremony such a grand success. We want to convey special thanks to His Holiness, the Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, Dhungseys of the Phuntsok and the Dolma Phodrang, His Eminence Ngor Thartse Khen Rinpoche, H.E. Garshab Rinchen Paljor Rinpoche, H.E. Shabdrung Rinpoche, the Dhagmos of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin and His Eminence Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, the Rinpoches, Khenpos, tulkus and representatives of different monasteries and shedras, the Prince of Mustang, Dr. Tom Roberts, Dr. Stephen Goetz, Mrs. Jeanny Goetz, Mrs. Faanya Rose, Mrs. Tenzin Yangkyi, Mr. Scott Hamilton and Mr. Buchung la. We believe that the ceremony would have not taken place in the wonderful way that it has, without their kind support, knowledge, co-operation, valuable advice and suggestions.
Mustang Eye Camp - 2011 In August 2011, Pema Ts'al organized Eye Camps at seven major populated areas of Mustang for two weeks. The eye camps were kindly funded by Dooley Intermed Foundation, USA and supported by Mission Himalaya, Kathmandu and The Himalayan Eye Hospital, Pokhara. 1660 patients were eyes were checked and the cataract surgeries were done for 78 patients. Some patients were even brough to Pokhara for further check-ups and medical treatments. The power and sun glasses were distributed for nearly 1000 patients.
Dental Clinic Dr. Thomas G. Roberts(Doctor of Dental Surgery) and his US friends come to Pema Ts'al almost every year for free dental clinic to the refugees of Tibetan Settlements in Pokhara and local Nepali. Dr. Thomas is also one of the main sponsors of the new temple under construction and the sponsor of the Pema Ts'al building from the beginning.
Venerable Khenpo Pema Wangdak la Visit 2009 Ven Khenpo Pema Wangdak la, the co-founder of Pema Ts'al Sakya Monastic Institute made his first ever visit to Pema Ts'al in Nov 2009. Ven Acharya Lama Guru Gyaltsen, the director of a Pema Ts'al branch at Mundgod also visited the institute together with him. A program was held and Khenpo la gave a very valuable speech for all members of Pema Ts'al. As a token of love, he gave a pair of good leather shoes to all students and gift money to all staff members. He runs some dharma centres in US and is the recipient of Ellis Island Medal of Honour 2009. None of the Tibetans have received this honour so far.
Eye & Medical Clinic Project 2010 In order to serve the refugees of Tibetan Settlements in Pokhara and local Nepali, a free Eye & Medical Clinic was held at Pema Ts'al for five days from 26th April to 1st May. The clinic was organized by Pema Ts'al with the kind sponsorship from Dooley Intermed Foundation, USA and support from Himalaya Eye Hospital, Pokhara and Mission Himalaya, Kathmandu. More than 600 patients were examined during the course of 5 days clinic. The power glasses were distributed for 250 patients and 31 patients were done cataract surgeries.
The Annual Grand Vairochana Sand Mandala Rituals Ceremony 2010 The annual grand Vairochana Sand Mandala Ceremony was held for one week from 21st May till 27th May. Venerable Lama Kunga la and all senior and junior students took part in it.
Ngor Thartse Khen Rinpochoe Visit 2010 His Eminence Ngor Thartse Khen Rinpoche visited the institute for one day on 23rd July. HE was given a traditional Tibetan welcome with scarves and two folded hands by all Pema Ts'al sangha and blowing of dungchens and gyalings. Venerable Lama Kunga la offered Mandala Offering to HE and HE kindly gave a very valuable speech for all Pema Ts'al sangha as requested by Ven LK-la.
His Holiness 66th Birthday Celebration 2010 Pema Ts'al had a wonderful celebration of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin's 66th birthday according to our Tibetan calendar on 9th Sept. We had dozens of dignitaries from outside mainly from the Tibetan Refugee Communities. The religious program was held early in the morning. The program with the chief guest and all other important guests was started from 9am . The program began with the introductory speech of the day from Venerable Khenpo Palden Tsultrim la, the Khenpo of the institute. The senior shedra students gave speeches on different religious topics, read their own compositions on HH and debated. One of the senior students also sang a dharma song in his beautiful voice, which was much appreciated by all audiences. The prizes were distributed for the position holders of 2nd and 3rd year annual examination of shedra students. Ven Lama Kunga la also gave an introductory speech on Pema Ts'al. The conclusion of the program became more interesting with the performances of our Tibetan authentic cultural dance show. The program was concluded with the "Thank You" speech from Mr. Lobsang Tsering, the executive secretary of the institute.
The students entertained from varieties of games in the afternoon. The games were organized for all levels of the students. They played basketball, Tug-O-War, Musical Chair, Bingo, Fishing, Ring Throwing and Balloon Bursting etc. All the winners got handsome prizes from Ven Khenpo la and Ven LK-la.
Dr. Stephan and Jeanny Goetz's Visit 2010 The couple, one of the main sponsors of the new temple under construction visited the institute from 20th to 24th Oct. They observed the temple construction and attended the annual grand Vajrakialaya Sand Mandala Rituals 2010 for some days.
The Annual Grand Vajrakilaya Sand Mandala Rituals Ceremony 2010 The annual grand Vajrakilaya Sand Mandala Rituals Ceremony was held for 11 days from 19th till 29th Nov. The ceremony was held in the new Phurdrub Lhakhang of the new temple. Ven Lama Kunga la and all senior and junior students took part in it.
Sakya Monlam 2010 Sakya Monlam (The Prayers for the World Peace) was started this year from 13th Nov. This prayer ceremony is held once every year at Lumbini for 10 days. The students from the institute take part of it every year.
Volunteers The institute has some special seats kept only for the volunteers and it has volunteers coming often throughout the year. The volunteers mainly teach English and arts for students but sometimes they also teach Science, Mathematics and Computer Science. It has now two Swiss volunteer teachers. The institute gives major priority for those volunteer teachers who are in this profession in their homelands. Please contact the institute office for the possibilities of volunteer teachers.