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An Interview with Lama Pasang

Lama Pasang (front centre) with (back left to right) Lama Rabjee, HE Musang Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Tulku, Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche, and Lama Tashi, together with Pathgate students in Hong Kong, Nov 2000

Lama Pasang was born in Dolpo, a village 26,000 feet above sea level, next to Tibet in western Nepal. In 1986 at age 16, he went to Mysore, India to receive ordination to become a monk at Namdroling Monastery. In 1991, he started his study at the Shedra - Ngagyur Nyingma Institute of Higher Buddhist Study. In 1998, while he was in the 8th class, he was sent by the Shedra to Dzogchen Monastery where he taught for one year. In 2000, he became a member of a small group of attendants who accompanied His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche on his travel around the world and served the position as Omsay - Chant Master. He is currently the resident Lama of the Palyul Dharma Centre in Austin, Texas. In September 2019, during his travelling around Europe, Lama Pasang gave an interview before the ordained sangha at Pathgate Institute in Newcastle, England.

Question: Do you have any recollections of the time you spent with Sifu Rinpoche and the time he spent travelling with His Holiness? (Sifu Rinpoche is a term of reverence used by student of Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche when they address him.)

HH Penor Rinpoche in Bodhgaya, India, with Lama Pasang and Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche working at attendants during Monlam Chenmo Prayer Festival

Lama Pasang: I have many memories of Sifu Rinpoche since we first met in 2000. He had very strong devotion to His Holiness and was always around His Holiness during Holiness's travels around the world. He attended the annual summer retreat in upstate New York for many years and was given the task of looking after the main temple and assisted the Choepen (Ritual Master) in the performing of daily ritual and puja. He also took responsibility of sourcing all the offerings that were needed for the retreat, which often involved spending a lot of his time and money in doing so.

During our tour in different countries, he would always stay close to Holiness to ensure Holiness was not unduly disturbed by the masses of devotees that approached Holiness. He was also known for the photographs he took of Holiness. Many of his photographs are highly valued by followers of His Holiness and can be seen at many centres including the Palyul Mother Monastery in Tibet.

Over the years, Sifu Rinpoche sponsored many projects at Namdroling Monasteries such as construction of buildings to provide classrooms and sleeping quarters for the Shedra students, equipment and medicine for the clinics, computers for the Shedra Editorial Committee, translation of Buddhist Texts and many other projects for the junior school and the Nunnery. Not only that, Sifu Rinpoche has always been a very big supporter of other centres at the time of their needs. That means he has a very strong devotion to preserve the lineage of His Holiness. He valued Namdroling Monastery as the best place of higher learning and had received many transmissions from his many Khenpo friends there with the blessing of His Holiness.

Personally, whenever Sifu Rinpoche joined Holiness on our travel, we worked together, ate together, received many teachings and empowerments together. Spending time around Holiness was always very special family moment for all of us. We were and still are one family in a single mandala. That is the reason why we still keep contact all these times.

Question: We’ve heard that His Holiness acknowledged Sifu Rinpoche as a Dorje Lopen. Could you explain a little bit about what that means, and the story of how that happened.

Lama Pasang and Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche with students at the Pathgate Centre in Athens

Lama Pasang: Sifu Rinpoche was very close to His Holiness. Whenever he was about to return to the UK, Holiness would offer him guidance and gave him many ritual items from his own collections like statues or stupa. The last time I saw it happen was in Bodhgaya when I was asked by Holiness to bring a set of Bell and Vajra from his room and gave them to Sifu Rinpoche. Then Holiness said to him, “Now, you are Kerang Dorje Lopen Jing.” This means now you are Dorje Lopen - Master of Vajrayana practice.

The biggest Dorje Lopen is Holiness himself; he is our Dorje Lopen. Dorje Lopen is like a representative of Guru Padmasambhava. You can address Dorje Lopen as His Holiness, Kyabje or Rinpoche. Dorje Lopen are titles usually given to those who displayed signs of accomplishment after having completed the three years retreat. There are also Dorje Lopen who has not entered three years retreat but displayed similar signs of accomplishment as that of Dorje Lopen who has completed three year retreat. Dorje Lopen are authorised to perform different Buddhist rituals such as giving empowerment and teaching. Sifu Rinpoche was given the title Dorje Lopen, which means he has the responsibility to give teaching and guidance to his students.

Question: Could you share some advice about our daily life as monks and nuns?

Lama Pasang: Daily life of monks and nuns should revolve around Buddhist practice. When you have received ordination vows from Holiness, and until you die, our whole lives are part of the practice in maintaining our commitments to the Refuge Vows, Bodhicitta Vows, Pratismoskha Vows, and so forth. The ordained should live, practice and rejoice together in performing dharma activities. Living as monks and nuns is one of the happiest of lives. You don’t really have many worries, less thinking, and less worldly activities. Our main responsibility is to offer benefit to all the sentient beings of the world. What we do, we dedicate to them, we help them, guide them when it is possible to do so, because different people have different belief and conditions. When someone wants to learn Buddha’s teaching, we can share with them the message of the Buddha. If nobody wants to listen to our message, we can always go to a zoo, recite mantras to the ears of the animals.

All these Sadhana that we are chanting here are totally the speech of the enlightened beings. If we understand the meanings, of course we get more benefit. Even if you don’t really understand the meaning, but you have very good, pure intention, also you get benefit. When you purify your negative words from the speech, then more positive words will come out. Your vow is with you at all times. When you go to the rest room or take a shower, you can recite Om Benza Sato mantra. This is like, “I am cleansing my negativites.”

Lama Pasang with members of the Pathgate ordained sangha

There is no single moment we cannot perform Dharma practice. Before going to bed just sit and reflect what you did that day. If you have done something good then make sure you dedicate and rejoice. If you made someone angry, some mistake, maybe somebody was not happy with you that day, just keep that person in your mind, “I am so sorry about what happened.” If there was misunderstanding between you and others, purify it with Vajrasatto or Root Lama practice and offer forgiveness to any injustice that has happened to you.

Before you go to sleep, visualise the Root Guru seated in a lotus flower in your heart. And the whole night your sleep becomes Dharma practice. Always keep your teacher in your mind.

Question: Could you share with us the meaning of Namdroling?

Lama Pasang: Namdroling means the land of liberation - the liberation from the three poisons of grasping, aversion and ignorance. The full name of our monastery is Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargye Ling. Theg, means head of the nine thegpa (vehicles) that include Theravada, Mahayana and the Vajrayana tradition of Mahayoga, Anuyoga and Atiyoga. Shed means teaching, Drub is drubta which means the practice. Dargye Ling means an institute of learning - the learning of the three baskets of the Buddhas and the Vajrayana vehicles. A place we usually referred to as Shedra.

Question: Could you share with us how we can improve our chanting?

Lama Pasang and Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche with students in Newcastle, England

Lama Pasang: To improve we need to do more practice. In the beginning read the text slowly. If you are chanting loud it is easy to memorise. You need to know the meaning of the chanting, the reason of why you are doing this. When your mind focuses on the meaning of the text, your mind is filled with the loving kindness and compassion of the enlightened beings, then there is no time for any negative thought. When loving kindness abounds, we are free from the influence of anger. If you don’t have anger in your mind, the whole day your thoughts become that of compassion and free us further from the influence of ignorance. The presence of ignorance supports the arsing of anger and desire which cause our actions to become negative.

The message of Buddha is that this universe is bigger than you and me. It does not revolve around just you and me; how all things may turn out depends on how we focus our mind. Thank you for your patience in listening.

‘The Life of Guru Rinpoche’ Filming expedition in Nepal

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche with Thubten Loday Gonpo

As one of Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche’s monks, and with a background in digital effects, I am working full time on remastering the film ‘The Life of Guru Rinpoche'. There are many dramatic sequences that we need to recreate in the film, such as the King of Zahor and his ministers attempting to burn Guru Rinpoche alive, and Guru Rinpoche transforming the fire into a huge lake filled with lotuses. There are also sequences where Guru Rinpoche flies through the air.

In order to achieve these kinds of sequences in a convincing manner, we need to build a 3D digital version of Guru Rinpoche’s head and body. This technique, called Digital Doubles, is used in most modern-day Hollywood action movies. Digital Doubles are used in a scene mostly when it is too dangerous or extreme to use stuntmen. A vital part of the process of creating a Digital Double is to take many photos at different angles around the actor’s head. With the help of computer software, we can then build a 3D version of Guru Rinpoche’s head.

When we approached Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche about how to do this, without access to the Khenpo who played Guru Rinpoche in the film, he immediately picked up his phone and called Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche who played the original role in the film. The decision was made for me to travel to Kathmandu two weeks later so that I could take these pictures of Khenpo Nyima Dondrup’s features. Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche is now 20 years older from when he played the role, so we will also need to go through some digital processes to make his face look younger again.

I arrived in Kathmandu on May 8th 2019 and was met by Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche at the airport. Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche gave me a generous offering to give to Khenpo Nyima Dondrup on my arrival at his retreat centre.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche at the Asura Cave, Pharping

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche was born in 1965, in the mountains which are the secret land of Guru Rinpoche called Beyul Yolmo Gangra. Since the age of six he has lived, trained and taken refuge with various great masters including Kunzang Yeshe Rinpoche, Gen Rigdzin Rinpoche, H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, H.H. Penor Rinpoche, and H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche. He has stayed in retreat in various holy places including the caves used by Guru Rinpoche and Milarepa. Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche went to Namdroling monastery in South India, where he was ordained by H.H. Penor Rinpoche. He completed the nine years’ study of the Nyingma Shedra there with the highest possible grades. H.H. Penor Rinpoche enthroned him as a Khenpo at Namdroling with a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy, Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche then taught at Namdroling for several years.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche kindly allowed me to stay with him at his residence. On our first evening together, we talked about locations in Nepal which are in the Guru Rinpoche film. In order to make the most of my time in Nepal we would film the real locations and caves that Guru Rinpoche practised in, then we would include them in the new edition of the film. Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche and I went through relevant parts of the original film. He was able to tell me where the actual locations were and said he would help arrange for me to visit and film there.

I showed him the progress and work we had done to date on the film. He explained that this is very important work, and serves to fulfil H.H. Penor Rinpoche’s wishes, which is very fortunate and wonderful work. He explained that if you work on the film from the heart then it is no different than doing retreat because we are servicing Guru Rinpoche’s life story.

H.H. Penor Rinpoche’s main wish was that people understand Guru Rinpoche the right way and understand Guru Rinpoche’s life story. Dharma educated people can go through the books, but for normal people, it’s not easy for them to understand. Making a film makes it much more accessible to normal people.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche was impressed with the film quality and restoration work that we have done so far, even before adding any of the new visual effects. He said he was so happy to see the quality of the video.

He gave me some background to the original film. The film originally came about at Namdroling monastery when a group graduating from the Shedra wanted to do something to repay the kindness of the Shedra. Their idea was to collect a token monetary offering and offer thangkas and statues, so they planned to perform a live play about Guru Rinpoche and collect money during the play. They talked to H.H. Penor Rinpoche and he said this is a very important project and he would offer finances in support of the staging of the drama.

Before staging the drama they collected information on Guru Rinpoche’s history from about 100 different sources and compiled it into one big book.

Initially, Khenpo Tsogye Rinpoche from Bhutan played the role of Guru Rinpoche. But later, senior members of Namdroling Administration decided that Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche should take the part, for which he memorised hundreds of pages of script. Under the supervision and instruction of H.H. Penor Rinpoche, they performed the drama at Monlam Chenmo ceremony in Bodhgaya. They built a large stage in the Kalachakra grounds and performed the drama over six nights from 7 pm to 11 pm. H.H. Penor Rinpoche watched, as well as many Rinpoches, Lamas, monks and 120,000 members of the public.

After that, many people made request to H.H. Penor Rinpoche that it be turned into a film. As a result, under the direction of H.H. Penor Rinpoche, they spent two years filming and recording sound at location around Namdroling Monastery. During this time Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche was the person who received regular direction and instruction on the content of the film directly from H.H. Penor Rinpoche.

Boudhanath Stupa

On completion of the film and on a return visit to Nepal, Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche visited Chatral Rinpoche who was very happy with the result, saying they had done a very good job, and that this medium for most people is more valuable than a Dharma book.

Throughout my time with Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche I was touched by his humility. As we discussed potential filming locations, I became aware of his local knowledge, and his understanding of which places were authentic caves used by Guru Rinpoche, and how these places fit into context in the film.

He lives in an area in Kathmandu called Boudha , a five-minute walk from the Boudhanath Stupa, which is mentioned in the film, and he suggested filming here..

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche suggested filming at Pharping. However, not all of the caves in Pharping are actually where Guru Rinpoche practised. Pharping also has one of the world’s largest statues of Guru Rinpoche, several monasteries, temples and retreat centres, including the Palyul Retreat Centre.

Yanglesho cave, Pharping

The Yanglesho cave, is the cave that Guru Rinpoche accumulated and attained realisation. In front of the cave, a Hindu temple has since been built. Khenpo Nyima Dondrup explained that Guru Rinpoche is a Buddha from birth, he does not need to practise and actualise realisation. He was doing the practice to set an example for us to follow, that this is the way you attain enlightenment. When Guru Rinpoche was practising, he removed all the obstacles through the Vajrakilaya practice and then realised the Mahamudra state.

Asura Cave entrance, Pharping

The Asura cave is related to the Twelve Tenma Sisters, they were non-human spirits who were harming sentient beings. This is the cave where they took an oath to Guru Rinpoche, and he tamed them and made them protectors. They then became the 12 female protectors of Tibet.

  

Filming at Pharping

We set off early in the morning when travelling to Pharping for filming at Asura Cave and Yanglesho Cave. Yanglesho Cave is usually locked, but Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche knows the key-holder, and gave us access. I took photographs in a way which will enable us to recreate the caves as digital 3D models. This will allow more flexibility in post-production to remove certain objects (such as people, shrines etc. that don’t need to be shown in the film).

Maratika Cave

Maratika Buddhist Temple

Guru Rinpoche practised here with Princess Mandarava. This is where they performed the accomplishment rituals of longevity for three months and actualized the Immortal Vajra Body which marks the attainment of an Immortal Life Awareness Holder.

A Hindu priest looks after the cave and they do not allow filming. Hindus believe that this is Shiva’s cave.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche lived there in 1998, and H.H. Penor Rinpoche instructed him to go on retreat there when he was finishing at the Shedra. He stayed there on retreat for about 2 months.

Even before Guru Rinpoche, this was a sacred place; there are three sacred hills: one of Avalokitesvara, Manjushri, and Vajrapani. The cave where Guru Rinpoche and Princess Mandarava practised is located in the Avalokitesvara hill. Many Buddhist masters of the Mahayana and the Vajrayana have confirmed that this is the place.

In the sacred hill of Avalokitesvara is the Long Life Cave, and Demon-subduing Cave. Through the practice of Vajrakilaya Guru Rinpoche tamed all the negative energies, and practised to remove obstacles to achieve immortal life.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche explained that Guru Rinpoche has five well known consorts: Mandarava, Shakyadevi, Kalasiddhi, Tashi Khyidren, Yeshe Tsogyal. Both Shakyadevi and Kalasiddhi were Nepalese.

Travelling to Maratika caves

The road trip to Maratika Temple Early morning above the Maratika Temple

We travelled early morning to Maratika caves, a 9-hour drive winding through valleys and mountains. Our jeep driver, a monk at Namdroling Monastery for 10 years, remembers Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche and knows the original Guru Rinpoche Film. Being aware that filming might not be allowed and realising we need all the support we can get, I turned my mind to seek support from Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche and spent much of the journey accumulating the 7-line prayer.

On arrival, a local man showed us around some of the different caves and sites. I had planned to film the landscape late afternoon but there was a big thunderstorm. The wind suddenly picked up with heavy rain, lightning struck around the area of the caves and the whole area was flooded with bright orange light, this did not feel like normal weather.

Demon-subduing cave

Early the next morning, I walked up the Manjushri mountain to film the sunrise, the whole area felt very peaceful.

After preparing to film the caves early before they become busy, plans quickly changed and instead I was taken on a trek into the surrounding hills, so we could see the three sacred hills which are mentioned in the film.

On the way back we had the opportunity to film in the cave where it is said that Guru Rinpoche subdued the demon of the Lord of death.

In the afternoon we met a man called Sonam Sherpa who is a Tibetan Doctor who runs a clinic in Kathmandu, and happened to be staying in Maratika. He had heard about the film we were working on, and enthusiastically came to help. He went completely out of his way to be of service. His grandfather Lama Ngawang Choephel Gyatso was the founder of Maratika Monastery which is directly outside the main cave and he was a monk there for over 10 years, so he is very knowledgeable about the area and he is friends with most of the local people. I went with him to the local office where he wrote a handwritten official document which would gain us permission to film in the main cave (which is where Guru Rinpoche and Princess Mandarava practised). Apparently, in the end we even had support from the local mayor. They opened the Amitayus vase rock that is usually under lock and key.

Mouth of the man cave at Maratika

There are hundreds of bats hanging from the roof of the cave, and it is said that they are not normal bats, but practitioners that are reciting a short long-life mantra, ‘Tse drum Tse drum Tse drum’. Some devotees even perceive the bat droppings as amrita.

The cave is a challenge to film because of so many people, man-made structures, the large scale and the darkness. I’ve taken hundreds of photographs in such a way that will allow us to digitally reconstruct the cave in 3D without all the people and man-made structures. We can then create a digital film set of the cave and add digital versions of Guru Rinpoche and Princess Mandarava practising.

We had been told many times that we are not allowed to use the drone for filming in this area and I had totally accepted that, but as the sun was beginning to set, Sonam and Dawa (the owner of the Hotel) seemed to be determined to find a way. Dawa spoke to the local police for their support, while Sonam took me on a motorbike up to the top of the Manjushri mountain to fly the drone high above the area as the sun set. It is amazing how we got all the support and how everything came together, the right people seemed to turn up at the right time. I started filming before 5am and didn't finish until the evening and I didn't feel tired because of the supportive energy and blessing at this location.

Inside the Maratika cave

The following day was Guru Rinpoche Day, and Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche instructed me to practise at the caves. So I did my morning practice there before beginning our travels back to Kathmandu. There was a low-sounding murmur around the cave; to me it sounded like even the mosquitos were reciting the Vajra Guru Mantra.

We stopped several times on the jeep-drive back in order to film Nepalese landscapes. On returning to Kathmandu, because it was Guru Rinpoche Day, there were many people at the Boudhanath Stupa practising. The energy and atmosphere was very uplifting. I found it very beneficial practising here and in my time staying in Kathmandu, I would break up my days by practising circumambulation at the stupa.

Ariel view of Maratika

In order to film landscapes that are typical of Nepal and of where Guru Rinpoche practised, Khenpo Nyima Dondrup kindly offered to take me to his village in Yolmo.

“To the north of the land of Nepal, on the Himalayan borders of Nepal and Tibet, is the hidden land of Yolmo, enclosure of snows, also known as Padma Tsal, ‘lotus grove sanctuary’. Concerning the prophecy of this hidden land in the Avatamsaka Sutra, it is written in the ‘Hundred thousand songs of Milarepa’ that Marpa told Mila ‘The Riwo Pelbar mountain in Mangyul and the Yolmo snow enclosure in Nepal are places prophesied in the Avatamsaka Sutra, so meditate there." It is a place visited and blessed by Guru Rinpoche’ of Odiyana and his consorts.” (excerpt from ‘Guide to the Hidden Land of the Yolmo Snow Enclosure and its History’ by Khenpo Nyima Dondrup).

This is the secret holy land of Guru Rinpoche. Guru Rinpoche wrote five articles about Yolmo and it was mentioned many times in other texts.

H.H. Penor Rinpoche went to Yolmo on two occasions. Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche recounted a story where he flew with H.H. Penor Rinpoche in a helicopter to Yolmo and visited two very remote caves where Guru Rinpoche practised:

Yolmo

"On the way up to the highest cave they dropped us off at the first cave. H.H. Penor Rinpoche then flew on to the highest Guru Rinpoche cave (which was found by Kyabjé Chatral Rinpoche), but the pilot could not land because it was all ice, so for about 6 or 7 minutes they hovered the helicopter, H.H. Penor Rinpoche did prayers and blessings from maybe 15 metres above the cave. Then they flew back down to pick us up. But for some reason, the helicopter landed half a kilometre away. The secretary and me had to walk half a kilometre, all this time His Holiness had to wait."

When Kyabjé Chatral Rinpoche heard the story about what happened, he was very happy, “You don't know why this happened. It’s not a problem with the helicopter. H.H. Penor Rinpoche had to land in these places. It’s the Dharma Protectors that made this happen.” He explained that H.H. Penor Rinpoche had to land there 2 times in front of that cave in order to bless the area.

We left Kathmandu by 3 am and travelled to Yolmo driving on mountainous dirt tracks in a 4x4 jeep. Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche instructed me to accumulate the 7-line Prayer and Vajra Guru mantra on the journey. On the way, I saw the sunrise over the distant Himalayas.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche's home village of Melamchi Ghyang at Yolmo

It is summer in Nepal and when we came to the area of Yolmo there was something very inspiring about the landscape. It has very dramatic luscious green mountains and valleys, with a giant wall of snowy mountains in the distance. We arrived in Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche‘s village at around 9 am.

We filmed the Guru Rinpoche Meditation Cave, a Dakini cave, Guru Rinpoche’s Jewel Millstone, and other rocks relating to Guru Rinpoche.

We needed to leave about 2 pm in order to get back to Kathmandu, since the roads can be dangerous to travel in the dark.

I was reflecting on the supportive conditions on this journey, the rain overnight meant the roads were not dry and dusty. But then we had very clear dry conditions on the journey and when we were filming at the village.

I was also aware that Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche has a lot of responsibilities, and therefore not much free time, yet he was giving me every support needed to assist me in filming. I worked as best I could in the endeavour to be the least trouble possible, and I realised that the reason I was getting so much support is ultimately because of his respect for Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche, and also his recognition of the importance of this film project.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche told me a story about Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche in America, a lady on the street came up to Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche and wanted to hug him. Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche declined and said he could not because he was a monk. She was upset about this so Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche, as a Ngagpa Lama and not a monk, stepped in and gave her a hug instead. Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche was complimentary about Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche’s skilfulness to harmonise the situation.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche talked about the film of Bardo (intermediate state) which H.H. Penor Rinpoche was planning on making after the Guru Rinpoche film. Because H.H. Penor Rinpoche got more and more busy travelling and teaching he never got the time. We have the text but it’s not easy to understand. Nyingma has the most extensive explanation of the Bardo. There is a very detailed explanation about the 100 deities.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche said in 1987 it was very easy to see H.H. Penor Rinpoche, with only 700 monks; then later with 3000 plus monks, to see H.H. Penor Rinpoche for even 5 minutes was very difficult.

One evening I was listening to Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche answer questions from a student. There was something very familiar about his description of the teaching and how he answered the question. Then I realised it was because it was from the same source as Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche. Both Khenpo Nyima Dondrup and Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche retain the flavour of H.H. Penor Rinpoche's teachings.

I feel extremely grateful for this time I have had in Nepal, and I recognise that the only reason this was possible is because of the kindness and support of others. Due to Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche’s support and blessing on this trip I have experienced quite extraordinary supportive conditions, like people who seem to turn up to be of service at the right time and also the supportive weather conditions. This isn’t a one-off; I have experienced very similar conducive conditions on every filming trip we have been on for the Guru Rinpoche film, whether in India, Romania, Scotland, the Lake District or elsewhere in the UK.

One day, while filming by the Boudhanath Stupa, I met a young man from India who had left everything behind and come to Nepal in order to seek out a spiritual master; and yet, in the midst of hundreds of monasteries and dharma centres in Nepal he had still not found anything suitable. My experience was that it is often not easy for foreigners coming to Nepal looking for Buddhist teachings to find something that is authentic, valuable and relevant in a modern world.

These experiences caused me to reflect upon my own circumstances, having found a teacher who has gone to great lengths to master the use of English in order to perfectly transmit the teachings in a manner that is pertinent to our conditions, and consistently demonstrating to us through practical examples how to put the teaching into practice.

On my travels I came across many people who were familiar with the original Guru Rinpoche film and were very excited and enthusiastic to find out that we were remastering the film.

What I found very helpful is that Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche confirmed and reinforced the importance of remastering the Guru Rinpoche film; by doing so we are fulfilling H.H. Penor Rinpoche’s wishes. Also, that if we are working on this film with the right mind then it has great benefit and is no different than being on retreat.

Gratitude from a student applying the Teaching

Samten Senge

Samten Senge, one of Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche’s students from Sydney, Australia, emailed in December 2018 to inform Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche of a promotion at work and of being the recipient of an award: ‘Simply the Best’, at the New South Wales Government award ceremony. He wishes to express his utmost gratitude to Rinpoche, seeing that this was a direct result of putting the teaching into practice, and the blessings of his Guru.

Samten was also interviewed by his department media unit, and his video response was played at a company event to all the executives and the Secretary that represents the Minister. The message he gave so inspired people that it was then reflected in the Secretary’s Christmas message to all the Departmental staff. Such recognition by the top leadership is rare and people from all sectors extended their congratulations & support. Samten explained that all he did was to follow the guidance and teachings and extend his support to all, as Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche has demonstrated.

Samten's 'Simply The Best' award, 2018

Samten concluded in his email: "this recognition is a testament of the teachings given by you Rinpoche. Whenever I apply your teachings, which are not separated from the teachings of the Buddha, the result is astounding. Rinpoche, I thank you for your teachings and guidance and felt incredibly blessed that you have allowed me to take refuge and accept me and my wife as your son & daughter.

Because of your teachings and guidance, I now can fulfil my promise to my parents, to uphold and honour my father’s reputation and not bring disrepute or tarnish my ancestral surname. Rinpoche I wished to dedicate the recognition and merit to all sentient beings and may my wife and I have the merit to be your son and daughter until we attain enlightenment."

Epilogue:

Samten Senge, has a long history of back pain that goes back to 1975-1979 during the period known as Killing Field in Cambodia. He was the sole survivor of his family and was forced to work in labour camp under conditions of cruelty and starvation. The malnourishment he suffered had affected his proper physical development as a youngster. In 1983 he was hit by a car shortly after arriving in Australia which caused more complication to his back. In 1996 his spine was further compressed while he was lifting a heavy load. But the serious situation started in 2007, when he went to Cambodia having heard his sister may possibly be still alive. He had to travel on long journeys on rough terrain in his search. Upon returning from the trip, his spine had became inflamed and that compressed the nerve causing severe pains and numbness to the leg, making him unable to walk. The situation then briefly improved but a relapse occurred in 2008 during a back stressing exercise after which he lost all sense of feeling to both his legs and his lower body. He knew that the only person that could help him was Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche and he called Rinpoche immediately. He was instructed to lie still and focus on Rinpoche. Samten was able to walk slowly after 2 days. His back started to get better and was in good shape until he made the same error of working with heavy load which caused his back pain to relapse in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018. The pain became so severe each time that he could not move and had to crawl around. Each time Rinpoche helped him to recover so that he could move freely and pain free.

Samten torma-making at the Pathgate Dharma Centre, England

Due to the recurrence of Samten’s back problem, his doctor in Australia had arranged a spine operation for him. He was admitted to the Liverpool Hospital on the 27 February 2019. When he was about to be administered with general anaesthetic and operated on, another specialist doctor checked his medical report and recommended not to proceed with the surgery. He said that the operation included burning some nerves to stop the pain and once it is done it cannot be undone. After a few questions and answers he said to Samten: “keep doing whatever it is you are doing because it is working.” He then consulted with the main specialist and they decided to cancel the surgery.

The nursing staff were so happy for Samten and described it as a miracle. Samten believes this miracle is a direct result of the blessing of the Guru, for which he is eternally grateful and in awe of the miraculous power of the Triple Gems; as he had requested Rinpoche to keep him in mind on the day of the surgery.

 

 

The Filming of ‘The Life of Guru Rinpoche’ in India 2018

This project began when Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche, received permission from his root guru, the late Holiness Penor Norbu Rinpoche...

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Review of Pathgate Activities 2018

The main pause in Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche’s travel schedule came in the summer, when he spent nine weeks leading the Pathgate Summer Retreat in England, with students gathering from around the world to participate.

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Review of Pathgate Activities 2017

Throughout 2017 Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje continued to support Pathgate students by teaching around the world and offering a nine week Summer Retreat.

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Latest Report on the film Life Of Guru Rinpoche - the New Edition

This project to translate the Tibetan dialogue of the film into English, Chinese and other languages has been ongoing for many years.

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Greek language Di Zi Gui – Guidance on Being A Follower of the Sage

Students in Greece will benefit from a Greek language version of Di Zi Gui – Guidance on Being A Follower of the Sage.

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Review of Pathgate Activities 2016

During the year of 2016, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje continued to support Pathgate students by maintaining a full schedule of travelling and teaching around the world.

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HH Yangthang Rinpoche Entered Pairinirvana

His Holiness Yangthang Rinpoche, the renowned Dzogchen Master of the Nyingmapa tradition, passed into Parinirvana in Hyderabad, India, on October 15, 2016.

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The Schedule of the Nirvana Ceremonies for H.H. Yangthang Rinpoche

In complying with Yangthang Rinpoche’s last instruction before his passing into Parinirvana, request for guidance on how to organise the Nirvana Ceremony was sought from H.H. Dodrupchen Rinpoche. Read on for the Schedule of the Nirvana Ceremonies for HH Yangthang Rinpoche.

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Final Teaching From HH Yangthang Rinpoche

HH Yangthang Rinpoche left a letter to his niece's daughter before he passed into parinirvana. This letter should be perceived as the last teaching from HH Yangthang Rinpoche.

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HH Kyabje Chadral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche entered Mahaparinirvana at age 102

His Holiness Kyabje Chadral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche entered Mahaparinirvana in Yanglesho in Nepal on 31st December 2015 and remained in Thukdam (deep meditation) until 5th January 2016.

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Review of Pathgate Activities 2015

Throughout 2015 Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje continued his tireless schedule of Teaching and Pathgate continued to support many Dharma activities around the world.

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Pathgate Summer Retreat 2015

The Pathgate Summer Retreat 2015 took place from 30th June to 30th August, offering students nine weeks of retreat, following in the tradition of the Rainy Season Retreat which took place for three months each year in the time of Lord Buddha...

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HH Kyabjé Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche has entered Mahaparinirvana

His Holiness Kyabjé Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche (1926–2015), the Spiritual Head of the Nyingmapa tradition, has entered Mahaparinirvana (Thukdam) the final meditative stage before entering into nirvana, on 23rd December 2015 in Bodh Gaya, India, where he was to attend the Nyingma Monlam Chenmo.

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The Making of The Life of Guru Rinpoche

As work continues in the remastering of the movie The Life of Guru Rinpoche, a new short feature ‘The Making of The Life of Guru Rinpoche’ and a new official trailer are now available for viewing in the Dharma Theatre...

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Review of Pathgate Activities 2014

2014 Saw the enthronement of His Holiness the Fourth Penor Rinpoche Drubwang Migyur Dechen Garwang Zilnon Dorje on the auspicious day of Chokhor Duchen. Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje continued travelling the world to propagate the compassionate activity of the Buddhas, including giving teaching in Japan...

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Enthronement of the Fourth Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche

On the auspicious day of Chökhor Düchen, Pema Norbu Yangsi Rinpoche - the reincarnation of His Holiness the Third Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche - was enthroned at the Palyul Mother Monastery in Tibet...

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Fund Raising for Hepatitis B Vaccination Programme complete

Many thanks to all the students and friends of Pathgate Institute who have supported the fund-raising efforts for the Hepatitis B Screening and Vaccination Programme at Namdroling Monastery in India, which is now complete...

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Pathgate Summer Retreat 2014

The Pathgate Summer Retreat 2014 began this year on the 1st July and lasted nine weeks, finishing on the 31st August. The Summer Retreat was well-attended by retreatants from around the world.

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Update: More Funds Needed for Hepatitis B Vaccination Programme in India

Thank you for all the support received to the fund appeal for Namdroling Monastery’s Hepatitis B Vaccination Programme. Nearly £7,000 has been raised, but the appeal is still vastly short of the target...

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Important Announcement of Long Life Offering for Yangsi Rinpoche

‘The administrators at Namdroling Monastery in India have made a formal request to students of the worldwide Palyul community to support a Grand Tenshug (long life offering) during this summer’s enthronement of the Yangsi (reincarnation) of our guru, His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche...

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New Edition of 'The Life of Guru Rinpoche' Film

‘The Life of Guru Rinpoche’ is a 10 hour Tibetan language film in 15 chapters produced under the direction of the late Holiness Penor Rinpoche...

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Dharma in the Land of the Rising Sun

Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje visited Japan in April 2014 to give a series of Teachings in Nagano and Tokyo...

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Fund Appeal for Hepatitis B Vaccination Programme in India

The administrators at Tsepal Tobkyed Hospital are requesting help to fund a Hepetitis B Vaccination programme for the monks and nuns of Namdroling Monastery in India...

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Review of Pathgate Activities in 2013

To read a review of the activities of Pathgate Institute and of Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje in 2013, please read on...

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Long Life Prayer of Kyabje Drubwang Penor Rinpoche (Yangsi Rinpoche)

Following the joyful news that His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’s Yangsi (reincarnated being) has been recognised, His Holiness Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche has composed a Long Life Prayer for the reincarnation of Kyabje Drubwang Penor Rinpoche...

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Official Announcement of the Recognition of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’s Reincarnation

Namdroling Monastery has announced, on 5th December 2013, that the reincarnation of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche has been reborn in Tibet...

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Pathgate Summer Retreat 2013

During the nine weeks of the 2013 Pathgate Institute Summer Retreat, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje gave teaching and instruction to the students encouraging them to become a Dharma practitioner with focus on the actual implementing of Dharma into daily life and not as a Buddhist scholar obsessed with endless deliberation of concepts and intellect...

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The Relics of HH Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche

The cremation of the Kudung (Holy Body) of His Holiness Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche took place on the 13th Day of the Fourth Month of the Tibetan Calendar (23rd May 2013) at Namdroling Monastery in South India. The ceremony was attended by tens of thousands of devotees from around the world...

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Pathgate Website launched in Romanian language

Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje has made regular visits to teach in Romania since June 2011. For the benefit of his many Romanian students and followers, a Romanian language version of the Pathgate website has just been launched online...

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His Holiness Anniversary Puja

The Pujas to commemorate the Anniversary of His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche’s Parinirvana took place this year at Namdroling Monastery in India as well as at all the Palyul Centres around the world....

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The Compassionate World of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche – In Five New Languages

‘The Compassionate World of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’, a film written and directed by Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje is now available in five additional languages...

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Cremation of HH Pema Norbu Rinpoche's Kudung

The Namdroling Monastery Management Committee has come to the decision that the cremation of the Kudung (Holy Body) of His Holiness Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche will take place on the 13th Day of the Fourth Month of the Tibetan Calendar (23rd May 2013) at Namdroling Monastery in South India...

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Review of Pathgate Activities in 2012

2012 has been an eventful year for Pathgate Institute. For a review of the diverse activities of Pathgate Insitute in the past year...

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Inter-Faith Friendship in Greece

Over the course of many months in 2012, a former Archbishop of the Old Roman Catholic Church and monk of the Camaldolese Congregation of the Order of Saint Benedict, the Ven. Mgr. Dr George Papathanasiou, has been in regular contact with the Pathgate Dharma Centre in Athens...

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Fund Appeal Success for Tsepal Topkyed Hospital

We are delighted to inform our friends and students from around the world that close to $400,000.00 US dollars were raised for the Namdroling Tsepal Topkyed Hospital in India...

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New Shrine Hall for Pathgate Dharma Centre in Sydney

On his recent visit to Australia in September, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje gave teaching at the newly completed shrine hall of the Pathgate Dharma Centre in Sydney...

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Teachings of Jamgon Miphan Rinpoche at Bodh Gaya in 2013

His Eminence Kyabje Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche has graciously accepted an invitation by Ngagyur Kama Tradition Preservation Association (NKTPA) to confer the empowerment of the entire works of Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche...

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Urgent Fund Appeal for Tsepal Topkyed Hospital

An urgent appeal for funds has been launched to save the Namdroling Tsepal Topkyed Hospital, which is in danger of being closed down by the Indian government...

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Inauguration of Water Storage Tank in India

The inauguration ceremony of a new "Water Storage Tank" sponsored through the Pathgate Partnership Programme was conducted by the Ven. Rigo Tulku Rinpoche on the 19th August at Palyul Choekhorling Monastery in Bir...

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Pathgate Summer Retreat 2012

The 2012 Pathgate Institute Summer Retreat attracted students from as far afield as North and South America, Australia, Europe and the Far East. Comprised of eight separate retreats, it was conducted over eight weeks during the months of July and August, at the Pathgate Dharma Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne, England...

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2012 Pathgate UK Easter Retreat

The 2012 Pathgate UK Easter Retreat, which was held from the 6th to the 11th of April, was well attended by students travelling from as far away as Canada, Romania, Italy, Greece, Brussels and Ireland...

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Anniversary Puja for HH Penor Norbu Rinpoche

The Anniversary Puja for HH Pema Norbu Rinpoche took place this year from 22nd - 24th March in Namdroling Monastery in India...

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Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche is the New Supreme Head of Nyingmapa

Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, the throne-holder of the Dorje Drak Monastery, and the head of the lineage of the Northern Treasures, has become the Supreme Head of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism...

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Palyul is Flourishing Down Under

Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje has been a frequent visitor to Australia to offer Dharma teaching to students who have interest in learning Buddha Dharma. His presence down under was recently joined by several teachers who belong to the same lineage of the Palyul tradition... His Holiness Penor Rinpoche passed away in India on Saturday 3rd March at 4.30am...

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The Passing of Lama Lobsang Choephel

Chakzod Lama Lobsang Choephel, the long-time attendant and the secretary to His Holiness Penor Rinpoche passed away in India on Saturday 3rd March at 4.30am...

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Update of Construction work at the Pathgate Dharma Centre in Sydney, Australia

Work continues in the construction of a spacious new extension for the Pathgate Dharma Centre in Sydney, Australia...

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Food of Dharma at Pathgate Kitchen

Preparing meals in the Pathgate Kitchen offers students the opportunity to apply Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje's instruction to cultivate mindfulness through daily activities speak less, smile more and be gentle...

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Review of Pathgate Institute in 2011

By the support of lineage blessing, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje continued to propagate Buddha Dharma and support Dharma activities around the world during the course of 2011...

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Pathgate Winter Retreat 2011

The Pathgate Winter Retreat 2011 took the form of a Retreat on Classical Medical Qigong Foundation Study...

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The Annual Ngagyur Kama Transmission at Bodhgaya 2012

HE Yangthang Rinpoche has graciously accepted the invitation by Ngagyur Kama Tradition Preservation Association (NKTPA) to confer the empowerment of Kagye Desheg Dupa (The Eight Herukas as the Gathering of all the Buddhas)...

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Dungsei Thinley Norbu Rinpoche Entered Parinirvana at Age 80

Dungsei Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, a prominent master of the Nyingma lineage entered parinirvana in the United States on the 27th December 2011…

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Pathgate Offers Christmas Cheer to the Homeless in Newcastle

Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje brings Christmas cheer to the homeless people of Newcastle upon Tyne, England..

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Archbishop Malkhaz Songulashvili Visited Pathgate Institute

The Archbishop of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia, His Excellency Malkhaz Songulashvili, visited Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje in late November on a fact finding mission to learn more about Buddhism...

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Update of Pathgate Activities in Sydney

During his last visit to Australia, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje gave a radio interview, conducted a Tse Thar Ceremony and observed the progress in constructing a new shrine room for the Sydney Pathgate Dharma Centre...

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Tara Blessing Beats Down Syndrome

In March this year, Ven Lama Dondrup Dorje received a request for guidance from an Australian student who was in her thirteenth week of pregnancy. She and her husband were alarmed by the result of the Ultra Sound Scan of her foetus...

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HH Karma Kuchen Rinpoche Gave Empowerment To Pathgate Students In Singapore

HH Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, the 12th Throne Holder of the Palyul Lineage was in Singapore in November which happened to coincide with one of Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje's regular visits to the city state....

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Family Reunion in Shanghai

Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje was at a family reunion in China recently to meet up with several family members in Shanghai. He also gave Dharma teaching and refuge to local students during his stay...

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Pathgate Offers Water Tank to Palyul Choekhorling Monastery in Bir

In response to a request to Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje from the Palyul Choekhorling Monastery in Bir, India; the Pathgate sangha in Singapore has collectively raised the funds needed to sponsor the construction of a water tank at the monastery...

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Inter-faith Talk at Allen Memorial Methodist Church

Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje was a guest at the Allen Memorial Methodist Church in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, where he spoke of the common goal shared by followers of different religions to transform everyday activity into a living action of love...

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H.E. Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche Passed into Parinirvana at Age 88

His Eminence Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche, who has served as the Head of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism since 2010, passed into Parinirvana on 2nd September 2011...

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Update on the East Africa Famine Appeal

As the drought in the Horn of Africa continues, an estimated 13 million people now face starvation. Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje continues to see the humanitarian disaster as a priority of urgent attention...

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Pathgate offers friendship and food to the Homeless

Pathgate has been offering friendship and food to the homeless in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, England...

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Students from 24 Countries attend Pathgate Summer Retreats

Students from 24 countries participated in the seven seperate retreats of is year's Pathgate Summer School in the UK...

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Retreat Commenced at the Kunzang Yoedseling in Bhutan

While the Pathgate Summer Retreat took place in the City of Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK from the beginning of July 2011, a separate retreat was also started for the Dharma friends of Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje at the Kunzang Yoedseling Retreat Home in Paro, Bhutan...

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New Pathgate Study Group in Bucharest, Romania

During Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje's first visit to Romania to give teachings, he responded to requests from the local students to set up a Pathgate Study Group in Bucharest...

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Pathgate Easter & May Day Retreats

Students travelled from around the world to attend recent retreats with Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje in the UK. The six-day Easter Retreat on Classical Chan Ding Taijiquan was followed by a three-day May Day Retreat on Dependent Origination...

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Lama Dondrup Dorje Visits the Ancient Capital of Holland

During his recent visit to the Netherlands, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje gave several teachings on Meditation, Dharma Instruction and Buddhist Medical Qigong...

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Second Anniversary of HH Penor Rinpoche’s Parinirvana

The second Anniversary Ceremony commemorating the Parinirvana of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche was held at Namdroling Monastery in India for five days from 2nd April (29th day of the 1st Tibetan Lunar Month)...

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Enthronement of Khenpos and Dorje Lopon at Namdroling Monastery

Congratulations are warmly extended to 137 Dharma brothers of Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje at Namdroling Monastery in India who have recently become the recipients of the degree of Khenpo and Vajracharya...

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Buddhist Practice Dates & Anniversaries

A new addition to the Pathgate Institute website is ‘Buddhist Practice Dates & Anniversaries’, where you can find upcoming practice dates and anniversaries in the Tibetan Buddhist calendar...

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Teaching Of Longchenpa’s Mengag Rinpoche Dzod At Bodhgaya

Following a change of programme at this year's Kama Transmission in Bodhgaya, Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche attended this year’s event to give teaching on Longchenpa's Mengag Rinpoche Dzod (Precious Treasury of Pith Instructions)...

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Pathgate Winter Retreat 2010-11

During the Pathgate Winter Retreat 2010-11 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje gave a series of vibrant demonstrations to illustrate the reason why Buddhadharma is the foundation of authentic classical internal arts practice...

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Pathgate Partnership Programme - Summary for 2010

By the Blessing of the Lineage Gurus, Pathgate Partnership Programme has been able to maintain the sponsorship of a range of Dharma projects worldwide during the course of 2010...

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Chariot Of Courage

At the Classical Internal Arts Foundation Study Retreat held in August, one of the participants was James O’Shea, who arrived in a wheelchair...

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When Drakpa Gyaltsen Met Drakpa Gyaltsen

Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje has received in this life two Dharma names from his Root Guru His Holiness Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche. The first one is Drakpa Gyaltsen when he took his Refuge Vows and the second is Dondrup Dorje when he took his Bodhisattva Vows...

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Personal Gift of Rock Crystal from Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

On his return to the UK in July after having completed a teaching tour of the Far East and Australia, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje was greeted by the arrival of a most excellent gift of rock crystal from Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo, founder of Kunzang Odsal Palyul Changchub Choling (KPC), USA. 

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Pathgate Summer Retreat 2010

The Pathgate Institute Summer Retreat this year offered three retreats during the month of August, taking place in Greece and the UK: a Dharma Foundation Study Retreat, a Palyul Namcho Dzogchen Ngondro Retreat, and a Classical Internal Arts Foundation Study Retreat.

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Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche Entered Parinirvana

One of Nyingma's most respected masters, Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, passed into Parinirvana at 8:07 PM on June 19, 2010, the auspicious day of Medicine Buddha, at his home, Arya Palo Ling in NY, USA. 

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Dharma Foundation Study in Singapore and Australia

During the month of June and July, Ven. Lama Dondrup gave a series of open teaching based around the syllabus of the Dharma Foundation Study in Singapore and Australia, emphasising right conduct in daily activities and the importance of cultivating mindfulness in Dharma practice.

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Free Offer of HH Penor Rinpoche Thangka Posters

Working under the compassionate guidance of Venerable Lama Dondrup Dorje, a digital thangka of HH Penor Rinpoche was produced in 2007, and was seen and approved by His Holiness before he passed away last year.

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Pathgate Help Saved KPC Temple

n late April, KPC (Kunzang Palyul Choling) was on the verge of losing their temple property to the bank, due to being behind with mortgage payments. On being informed of their plight, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje diverted money to KPC to ensure that the temple will be saved.

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Yu Shu Earthquake

On the morning of April 14th, an earthquake measuring 7.1 struck the Yushu Tibet Autonomous Prefecture located in Qinghai, the traditional Tibetan province of Kham; the birth place of the late Holiness Penor Rinpoche

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1st Anniversary of HH Penor Rinpoche’s Parinirvana

To commemorate the First Anniversary of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’s Parinirvana, a Grand Ceremony comprising five days of puja was held at the Namdroling Monastery in India from the 14th to the 18th of March 2010.

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First Colour Photograph of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche In India

To commemorate the first anniversary of the Parinirvana of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, the Pathgate Gallery has expanded the number of photographs featuring HH Penor Rinpoche to include many rare early prints.

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A New Film on HH Penor Rinpoche's Parinirvana Puja Ceremonies

New to the Dharma Theatre is a 39-minute film Tsa Wai Lama Chen, which covered the events during the Mahaparinirvana Puja Ceremonies for H.H. Penor Rinpoche at Namdroling Monastery last year.

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Palyul Clear Light: A Tribute To HH Penor Rinpoche (1932 - 2009)

To commemorate the First Anniversary of the Parinirvana of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, a special tribute edition of Palyul Clear Light magazine has been produced.

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The Discourse of Dharmapada Sutra at Losar

The Dharmapada Sutra is a collection of 423 stanzas of Lord Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings. Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje gave the commentary of this sutra during the two-day Losar weekend of the Tibetan New Year at the Pathgate Dharma Centre in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England.

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New Pathgate Study Group in Milan, Italy

In response to requests from students in Italy, Venerable Lama Dondrup Dorje has recently given his blessing for a new Pathgate Study Group to be established in Milan.

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Pathgate Institute Provides Translation Broadcast At The Ngagyur Kama Transmission

A record number of over 3000 Nyingma practitioners attended the Second Ngagyur Kama Transmission in Bodhgaya, India this year, for which Pathgate Institute was a principal sponsor.

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Christmas Retreat with Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje

Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje compassionately gave transmission and commentary on Bodhisattvacharyavatara - A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life during the Christmas Retreat at the Pathgate Dharma Centre - Newcastle upon Tyne

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Pathgate Students Welcome New Year with Outdoor Qigong Practice in the Snow

A selected group of Pathgate students who have demonstrated sufficient level of mindfulness in their practice were permitted to attend a two-day form correction retreat on Classical Qigong and Internal Arts.

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Pathgate Partnership Programme – Summary for 2009

The Pathgate Partnership Programme has continued to sponsor many Dharma projects around the world during the past year, due to the support of students and friends of the Pathgate Institute.

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Living without Turmoil

Venerable Lama Dondrup Dorje compassionately gave commentary on Patrul Rinpoche's Thog Tha Bar Sum Du Ge Wai Tam - The Instruction that is Virtuous in the Beginning, Virtuous in the Middle and Virtuous in the End, in the UK at the end of October.

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Publication of ‘The Stairway To The Pure Lands’

'The Stairway to the Pure Lands', is the latest prayer book published by Pathgate Institute of Buddhist Studies.

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Epilogue – Wildfires in Greece

After the wildfires in Greece had died down this summer, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje went to Athens, explaining that further rain was needed to help the regeneration of the scorched earth.

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Students from 23 countries attend the Pathgate Summer Retreat

Students from around the world gathered in Epidavros, Greece to attend the Pathgate Summer Retreat, held from 17th - 28th August.

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Puja of Compassion vs Wildfires in Greece

When raging wildfires broke out in Greece this summer, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje, who was conducting the Pathgate Summer Retreat at the time, was requested to do anything he could to help. Hours after he performed pujas as requested, rain clouds gathered over the retreat area and shifted swiftly in the direction of Athens

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Palyul Sangha Attend Lama Choepa In Hong Kong

On the Saturday evening of 27th June 2009, a large congregation in Hong Kong gathered together to attend a special Lama Choepa Puja (prayer ceremony) in honour of the Mahaparinirvana of the late Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche.

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Meaning Of The Heart Sutra

In response to the request of students in Singapore, Venerable Lama Dondrup Dorje gave a three-hour discourse on the Meaning of the Heart Sutra in Singapore during his recent visit there

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Malaysia Welcomes Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje

Venerable Lama Dondrup Dorje visited Malaysia in early July to give a series of Dharma teachings to various Buddhist Groups in Kajang, Kuala Lumpa, Cheras, and Petaling Jaya.

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Anniversary of Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche

Two weeks after the completion of the Kama Drubcho, and Saga Dawa Duchen celebrations at Namdroling Monastery in India came the 97th Anniversary of the great Dzogchen Master, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche (1846-1912).

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Conclusion Of The Forty-Nine Day Puja For The Late Holiness Penor Rinpoche

The ceremony for the final day of the 49 Day Puja following His Holiness’ passing was held on the 28th day of the third Tibetan month (22nd May 2009).

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Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche Yangsi visited Namdroling

The reincarnation of the great Dzogchen Master Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche Yangsi, visited Namdroling Monastery in late April to pay respect to the late Holiness Penor Rinpoche.

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37 Retreatants Completed 3 year – 3 Month Retreat

On the morning of the 26th April 2009, 37 retreatants left the Samten Oseling Retreat Centre for the first time in three years after having completed theirthree year-three month retreat practice within the closed-door facilities.

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Inauguration of the New Office Building of Ngagyur Nyimgma University

The second of two three-storey buildings for the Ngagyur Nyingma University sponsored by the Pathgate Partnership Programme was formally inaugurated and consecrated by HH Karma Kuchen.

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Pathgate Sangha Pay Homage to the Kudung of HH Penor Rinpoche

During the month of April 2009, several groups of Pathgate students travelled to Namdroling Monastery to pay homage to the Kudung (Holy Body) of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche.

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H.H. Penor Rinpoche's Mahaparinirvana Ceremony

On the morning of 3rd April at 8.00 am, it was confirmed that His Holinesshad released his body from the meditative state of ThugdamThe Kudung (Holy Body) of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche has now been moved toZangdok Palri Temple.

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Prayer for the Swift Rebirth of H.H. Penor Rinpoche

Two new Supplication Prayers for the Swift Rebirth of H.H. Penor Rinpoche have been written by HE Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.

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H.E. Gyangkhang Rinpoche, the new Chairman of Namdroling Monastery and of the Penor Rinpoche Charity Foundation

Following the passing of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, a management committee with six members will hold power at Namdroling Monastery

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His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche Entering Parinirvana

After remaining in the meditative state of Thugdam for six and a half days, on the morning of Friday 3rd April at 8.00 am Indian time, HH Penor Rinpochereleased his body from meditation and entered Parinirvana

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Pathgate Study Group Retreats

Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje has given to his students a massive amount of Dharma teachings over the duration of many years. To give students the opportunity to assimilate these teaching, a series of Pathgate Study Group Retreats have been arranged for their benefit.

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New Uniforms for Staff at Namling Tsepal Tobkyed Hospital

New uniforms were recently offered to every staff member of the Namling Tsepal Tobkyed Hospital in the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe, Mysore, South India, which has benefited from long-time support from the Pathgate Partnership Programme.

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Ngagyur Kama Transmission at Bodhgaya

The first Kama Transmission organised by The Association for the Preservation of Ngagyur Kama Tradition was successfully completed on the 25th January in Bodhgaya, India.

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Publication of the First English Edition of the Nyingma Monlam Chenmo Prayer Book

The finished English translation of the Nyingma Monlam Chenmo Prayer Book has now been jointly published by Namdroling Monastery and the Pathgate Institute of Buddhist Studies.

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Pathgate Partnership Programme – Summary for 2008

Chiefly due to generous support from the students and friends of Pathgate Institute over the past year, the Pathgate Partnership Programme has been able to maintain the sponsorship of a range of Dharma projects worldwide.

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Palyul Times – A New English Magazine for Buddhist Enthusiasts

The first issue of Palyul Times, an English language magazine for the followers of the Palyul Tradition has been published by the Translation Group of the Rigzod Editorial Committee, a section of the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute based in Namdroling Monastery.

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Meeting Of The Three Buddhist Paths

Shakyamuni Buddha, the World Honoured One turned the Wheel of Dharma three times during his lifetime, giving rise to the three Buddhist Paths. On recent travels overseas, Lama Dondrup Dorje received invitations to visit a Hinayana Sri Lankan Buddhist Temple in Cyprus, and a Mahayana Chinese Buddhist Temple in Sydney, Australia.

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Milarepa – A Film Trailer

New to our Dharma Theatre is a trailer presentation of Tulku Sonam Rinpoche's production of the story of Tibet’s revered saint, Milarepa.

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Completion of Rainy Season Retreat at Namdroling

The annual six week rainy season retreat, known as yarney, was recently brought to a successful conclusion at Namdroling Monastery.

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Inter-faith Talk on ‘Meditation and Mindfulness’

Following a request to give teaching on Mindfulness and Meditation at a local church, Lama Dondrup Dorje visited St. Chad's Church in Bensham, Gateshead, UK.

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Pathgate Sponsored Second New Building At Namdroling Monastery

The construction of the second of two new 3-storey buildings for the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute at the Namdroling Monastery in India, sponsored entirely by Pathgate Institute has already been in progress for a few months.

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New Book On Animal Welfare

Tara’s Babies Animal Welfare, a Buddhist no-kill dog and bird rescue and sanctuary, is compiling a book to support animal lovers wanting to explore the option of hospice and palliative care for terminally ill or injured companion animals.

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A Letter From Mongolia

The Pathgate Institute has for many years maintained an on-going Pathgate Partnership Programme that provides sponsorship on education to many people from around the world. Erdenehuu, from Mongolia, is one such child.

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‘The Compassionate World of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’ in wide screen and 12 Languages

This 40 minute film, written and directed by Lama Dondrup Dorje has become a big hit among the devotees of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche.

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Mind Training For Mental Health

In June, Lama Dondrup Dorje was invited by the Khmer Workers Forum (KWF) in Sydney, Australia, to give a talk at their monthly meeting. Following this, Lama Dondrup Dorje gave Dharma Teachings and Qigong Seminars in Sydney, Melbourne and Phillip Island.

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The Heart-Shrine Relic Tour In Athens

The Heart Shrine Relics Tour of the Maitreya Project, which features a unique collection of sacred Buddhist Relics, arrived in Athens early in July. These precious relics include those of Kasyapa Buddha, Lord Shakyamuni Buddha and many great Buddhist masters.

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Lama Dondrup Dorje gives TV interview in Greece

While visiting Greece to give teachings at the end of May, Lama Dondrup Dorje was interviewed for a national TV, at the Pathgate Dharma Centre in Athens.

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Milan Welcomes Lama Dondrup Dorje

Lama Dondrup Dorje visited Milan, Italy in early June to give a two-day seminar that included Dharma teaching, Meditation and Qigong. As a result of their request, Lama Dondrup Dorje has agreed to return to Milan in September to give further teaching.

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Shower of Blessing in Spain

Lama Dondrup Dorje visited Spain in May 2008 to give a series of teaching on Dharma topics, Meditation and Qigong. Auspicious signs of rainbows and unseasonal showers marked the start of three days of teaching.

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Pathgate Sponsored Building at Namdroling Near Completion

The construction of a brand new 3-storey building for the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute at the Namdroling Monastery in India is at the final stage of completion.

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Pathgate Students From England Receive Ordination Vows

Three students of Lama Dondrup Dorje from the Pathgate Institute of Buddhist Studies in England received the ordination of Getshul Vows at the Namdroling Monastery in South India.

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New Film on Bodhgaya and Tso Pema

A new film, which follows the journey of a pilgrimage by a group of Buddhists from Taiwan, covers the proceedings of the 17th Nyingmapa Monlam Chenmo in Bodhgaya, and also features Tso Pema (The Lake of Lotus), where Guru Rinpoche subjugated the king of Zahor.

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Dharma Foundation Study in Newcastle

Students from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece, China, Ireland, Mexico, and the UK, attended an end of year five-day retreat in December 2007 on Dharma Foundation Study with Lama Dondrup Dorje.

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Prayer Wheel in Athens

A Prayer Wheel that rotates and projects the mantra of OM MANI PADME HUNG in the form of light onto its surroundings was the main exhibit at an art show in Athens.

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New Bond Of Friendship In Australia

During the month of December 2007, Lama Dondrup Dorje spent two weeks in Australia, on a tour which included teachings in Sydney, Melbourne, Philip Island, Upwey and Adelaide.

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New Resident Spiritual Advisor For Singapore

Khenpo Tashi Dhargay has been appointed by HH Penor Rinpoche to succeed Khenpo Jurme Kunzang as the new resident Spiritual Advisor of the Palyul Nyingma Buddhist Association in Singapore.

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Tibetan Prayer and Mantra

The Tibetan Prayer and Mantra page has been further expanded to include several new prayers, both as audio recordings and printable text.

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The Passing Of Venerable Chodak Gyatso Rinpoche

On the morning of the 3rd October 2007 in Hong Kong, the Venerable Chodak Gyatso Rinpoche, seated in a full lotus meditative posture in his room at the Hong Kong Palyul Dharma Centre, entered beyond this world into the pure realm. He was ninety years of age.

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Lama Dondrup Dorje on Radio Australia

Lama Dondrup Dorje was a guest of Radio Australia of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation during his teaching tour in Australia in June & July 2007. The tour included teachings in Melbourne, Upwey and Sydney.

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Medical Team From Taiwan At Namdroling

A team of doctors and medical students from Taiwan spent two months at the Namdroling Monastery in India. During their stay, they gave free talks, conducted medical check-ups and offered follow-up patient care to both the ordained community and the Tibetans in the area.

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Palyul Lineage Holders

The Pathgate Gallery has been expanded to include a collection of thangkas depicting the Lineage Holders of the Palyul Tradition, from Mahasiddha Karma Chagmed Rinpoche to the current throne holder, His Holiness the Third Drubwang Penor Norbu Rinpoche.

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New Film on Zangdok Pelri Pema Odki Phodrang

New to the Pathgate Theatre is a film presentation showing a virtual tour of Zangdok Pelri Temple at Namdroling Monastery in South India. Please visit the Dharma Theatre to view Zangdok Pelri Pema Odki Phodrang (the Light Rays Palace of Padmasambhava on the Golden Copper Coloured Mountain).

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New Pathgate Study Groups in Portugal & Melbourne

New Study groups have been formed during Lama Dondrup Dorje teaching tours of the Mediterranean region, and of the Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, in March 2007.

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Tse Thar: Life Release in Hong Kong

Tse Thar: The Practice of Ransom and Life Release was held in March 2007 in Hong Kong, to promote the good health and long life of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. Lama Dondrup Dorje was there at the ceremony to assist Chodak Rinpoche, the Head of the Hong Kong Palyul Centre.

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The Life of Guru Rinpoche - A film trailer

The project to translate the Tibetan dialogue of a 12-hour video production of The Life of Guru Rinpoche into English is nearing completion. A film trailer of the production was recently shown to His Holiness Penor Rinpoche who was very pleased with the result.

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Qi Dynamics, Electromagnetic Energy and Buddha Nature

New to the Pathgate Theatre is a film recording an extract from a Two-Day Seminar given by Lama Dondrup Dorje in 2004 in Singapore on the practice of Classical Qigong with focus on Qi Dynamics, Electromagnetic Energy and Buddha Nature.

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Pathgate Students Receive Ordination Vows

On the 18th day of the first month of Tibetan New Year, fourteen European students of the Pathgate Institute of Buddhist Studies received the ordination of Getshul Vows from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. Thanks to Lama Dondrup Dorje making request on their behalf, students were blessed to receive their ordination from His Holiness personally.

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Letter From A Beneficiary Of The Pathgate Partnership Programme

Letter From A Beneficiary Of The Pathgate Partnership Programme Congratulations to Dr. Sonam Topgyal, who has graduated last summer with a Bachelor degree of Medicine and Surgery in India. Dr. Topgyal was a recipient of an academic sponsorship provided by the Pathgate Partnership Programme.

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New Dharma Tale – The Hare On The Moon

New to Dharma Tales is the story of The Hare On The Moon. This tale of the virtue of sacrifice tells of the past life of Shakyamuni Buddha, when he was born as a hare and offered his own flesh as a meal to a hungry stranger, who was the Lord of Heavenly Beings in disguise.

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Pathgate Gallery of HH Penor Rinpoche

New Photo Galleries are now online of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, Namdroling Monastery and Thangkas. The gallery of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche includes early pictures as well as many pictures of his compassionate activities in more recent years.

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Pathgate Dharma Centre - Athens

The first phase of development of the Pathgate Dharma Centre in Athens was completed in october 2006, and opened for meditation and regular puja practice.

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The Heart Sutra of Perfection of Wisdom

New to the Pathgate Theatre this month is a film entitled ‘A Discourse on the Heart Sutra Through the Manifestation Of Classical Qigong Practice’. The film is condensed presentation from the original programme filmed in 1997 at the 6th International Chinese Internal Arts Festival in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

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Pathgate Galleries

The Photo Gallery of Buddhist Art features over eighty rare pieces of antique Buddhist artefacts from Tibet, China, and South Korea.

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Animated Feature of Jataka Tales

New to the Dharma Theatre, is the first of Pathgate Theatre’s animated production which features the Jataka Tale of ‘With Wings That Fly Not’.

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Summer Retreat in Greece

The Pathgate Summer Retreat took place this year at Epidavros in Greece during the month of August. The retreat included first time participants from Australia, Italy, Ireland, Cyprus, Greece, and UK.

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Buddhist Medicine in Athens

Invited by the members of the Palyul Sangha International in Greece, Lama Dondrup Dorje gave a private teaching to students on the Healing Power of Buddhist Medicine.

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Guru Yoga teaching by H.H. Penor Rinpoche

In the Autumn of 2005, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche gave a teaching on Guru Yoga to the members of the Orgyen Mahaguru Society in Taipei, Taiwan. A film trailer of this teaching is available for viewing in the Dharma Theatre.

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Namcho Retreat - The Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind to Dharma

A four-day Easter Retreat on Namcho Ngondro - The Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind to Dharma, was successfully completed in April 2006.

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Congratulations to sponsored students

We would like to congratulate six of our sponsored students on their recent accomplishments; and also wish to welcome seven new students to our Pathgate Sponsorship programme.

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Seminars for the Pathgate Sangha in Dublin, Athens, Hong Kong and Singapore

During May and June 2005, Lama Dondrup Dorje gave teachings in Ireland, Athens, Hong Kong and Singapore.

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Dharma Teaching and Taiji Picnic

On 30th April to 1st of May 2005, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Lama Dondrup Dorje gave a two day seminar on Lojong, the Eight Verses of Mind Transformation, followed by a Taiji Picnic.

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Pathgate students in month long retreat in Namdroling Monastery, India

In February 2005, Lama Dondrup Dorje took a group of eighteen students to the Namdroling Monastery in India to attend the month long Ngondro retreat given by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche.

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Medical equipment for the Namling Tsepal Tobkyed Hospital

A large consignment of medical equipment and supplies were presented by Lama Dondrup Dorje to His Holiness Penor Rinpoche in February 2005, before being delivered to the Namling Tsepal Tobkyed Hospital which is administrated by Namdroling Monastery.

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English edition of the Namdroling Monastery Daily Prayer Book published

The translation of the prayer book, ‘Wish-Granting Attainments’ is now complete and in print, published jointly by Namdroling Monastery and Pathgate Institute of Buddhist Studies in March 2005.

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New Computers for Namdroling Monastery

Since May 2004, one dozen desktop computers, in addition to laptop computers, printers, scanners, UPS (power supply units) and other office equipment has been procured for the Namdroling Monastery

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Arlikumari Nursery School is still sound and standing

A recent revisit by Lama Dondrup Dorje to the Arlikumari Nursery School in Bylakuppe, South India, found the school buildings remained in sound condition. The school first received funding support in 2001 from Pathgate Institute of Buddhist Studies.

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Improved living conditions at the Tsogyal Shedrup Dargyeling, India's largest Tibetan Nunnery

We are happy to report that a number of projects started in 2004 to improve the living condition of Tsogyal Shedrup Dargyeling have been completed.

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Interior decoration of Padma Sangag Chokorling is close to finished

Interior decoration of Padma Sangag Chokorling is close to finished Interior finishing of Padma Sangag Chokorling, a new temple situated at the new camp in Bylakuppe is near completion.

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