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This has been a busy year for Buddhism in Australia.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama toured five Australian
states and gave major teachings in Melbourne. Her
Eminence Jetsun Kushola is still on tour at the time of
writing and will be in Australia for two and a half
months and our own teacher, Dzongsar Khyentse
Rinpoche, gave substantial Madhyamika teachings in
Sydney in July. Other lamas are also here or have been
here or are on their way.
Our friends doing three year retreat at Vajradhara Gonpa
are coming to the end of the third year and will be out
early next year. Centres and groups are getting bigger,
new books are coming out, everything is growing.
At the same time we cant just look at the institutional
level and evaluate the development of the Dharma as
taking place outside of ourselves. In her interview for
this issue, Jetsun Kushola makes the valuable point that
foundations such as mind training must be strong before
advanced practices can have any benefit.
She said, Everybody gets so many teachings. I think
now they need to practice, more like doing retreat and
more like understanding mind training. People need to
develop patience and to be kind to each other and to
practice on not doing the ten non-virtuous actions. That
is the best thing to do. People have so many jealousies.
They think they are practitioners but they dont do
exactly what they need to do. So they need to practice
mind training properly and also the basic things have to
develop. They are not developed. They think they dont
need to develop the basic things and then they jump to
the top level it doesnt work that way very well. And
then they increase more hatred and more power
something like that. It doesnt work very well for the
This is salient advice. The basic things are often the
hardest. The transformation of our own self obsession is
still ongoing work.
Sunyata (Di Cousens)
Contributions of photographs and members news are invited.
How to Look for a Guru and Be a Student 3
Interview with Jetsun Kushola 5
No Progress for Tibetan Bhikshunis 6
Photo Diary - Dzongsar Monastery 7
The Five Guru Rinpoche Statues 8
The Dalai Lama in Australia 2007 9
Book Review 10
Births, Deaths, Marriages and Retreats 10
Announcements 11
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
will teach on the Uttara Tantra Buddha Nature
We all possess an unconditioned and unchanging core of
awakening, or Buddha nature, however deep our
confusion and suffering. From the point of view of this
intrinsic nature, there is no difference between the exalted
Buddha and ordinary sentient beings. Anyone who
removes what obscures his or her true nature will become
a Buddha.
The Buddha Maitreya gave the Uttaratantra teaching to
the great Buddhist master Asanga. One of the great
classical texts of Mahayana Buddhism, it is particularly
regarded as a bridge to the Vajrayana teachings,
presenting how Buddha nature exists within us, how it is
approached, and what are the qualities of manifest
Dates: 11-20 April 2008 (tentative)
Venue: Byron Bay Buddhists
T: 02 66 851 646
Gentle Voice : page 2
Gentle Voice : November 2007
In This Issue
About Siddharthas Intent
Founded in 1989 by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche,
Siddhartha's Intent is an international Buddhist
association of non-profit centres, most of which are
nationally registered societies and charities, with the
principal intention of preserving the Buddhist
teachings, as well as increasing an awareness and
understanding of the many aspects of the Buddhist
teaching, beyond the limits of cultures and traditions.
Gentle Voice : November 2007
How to Look for a Guru
and Be a Student
by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Gentle Voice : page 3
Let's now talk about pure perception and Vajrayana
Buddhism. First of all, Id like to tell you that pure
perception should not be understood as a code of
conduct. Thats really important. Pure perception is not a
rule. Unfortunately, when Vajrayana is taught, it's
sometimes said that a practitioner must have pure
perception towards the vajra master. So it sounds like a
Vajrayana ethic.
You should try to approach pure perception differently.
It should be taken as a practice, meaning that you have
to get used to it. At times, as a beginner, you will lose it.
You should remember that you cannot expect to have
completely pure perception right from the beginning. It
doesnt exist. If you have that kind of expectation, it will
lead you to guilt. Pure perception has caused lots of
guilty feelings. Understand pure perception as something
that you should aspire to; you have to practice pure
Pure perception comes when you have an appetite for
emptiness. When you as a vessel can accept the idea of
emptiness, pure perception is easier. Understanding
emptiness is basically knowing that whatever you see or
experience is your interpretation. Its only your
perception; it doesnt exist like that in reality. When you
can accept that, not only intellectually but also
practically, you're getting closer to the understanding of
emptiness. Every time you make a judgment, make a
point of telling yourself, "This is only my perception;
this is my limited idea." If you can do that from the
smallest level, such as a good or bad cup of tea, all the
way up to the vajra masters appearance, you can get
used to pure perception.
We're not talking about thinking of the vajra master as
Buddha. We're not talking about him as being golden in
colour with extra arms, legs and a third eye. We dont
have to make believe; we dont have to create a new
phenomenon and consider it as pure perception. Thats
wrong. Pure perception is when you know whatever you
think, especially about the guru, is your perception.
Accusation, blame and complaint will slowly be
reduced. When these cease, your perception is getting
In Vajrayana Buddhism the guru is not only a being but
the path. The purpose is to recognise that the ultimate
guru is our own wisdom mind. And how do we reveal
this inner wisdom guru? By dismantling the cocoon of
our ego. The outer guru is a person who you hire, after a
lot of analysis and contemplation, to do this job of
deconstructing your ego. That's your primary aim. How
you relate to the guru has to be founded on how much of
the guru's interaction with you undoes this cocoon.
Please keep in mind that the gurus interest must also be
in destroying the students ignorance. Based on that
goal, the guru may tell you to do all kinds of amazing
things. Amazing to what? Amazing to the ego,
unacceptable to the ego. You should do these things as
that is the best treatment.
On top of that, of course, treating the teacher with
etiquette, respect and humility all apply. They're all
ornaments. Without them prostrations and the like are
just another layer of the cocoon that becomes thicker
and thicker, so thick that it needs another kind of
destruction. Everything goes back to the motivation of
wanting to achieve enlightenment. Everything should be
based on that.
There are many misunderstandings about the guru-
disciple relationship. In particular, when a Vajrayana
master tells a student to do whatever he says, this doesn't
represent a theistic, dictatorial situation. Its a mutual
agreement. As a student you want to unveil the wisdom
and the teacher wants to do that, too. That's the
agreement between you and the teacher and, based on
that, you are working together. If you dont have that
mutual agreement, its very hard.
Dzongsar Rinpoche in Sydney, April 2007. Photo by Sunyata.
Continued next page
The terms vajra master and root master are very
Vajrayana language. Of course, Mahayana does have the
concept of master or preceptor, but the Mahayana guru
is mainly a guide, a tutor or a coach, whereas in
Vajrayana he or she may appear as the coach, but more
as the path itself. Even in the practice it is evident. In the
Mahayana tradition there is never a method of dissolving
oneself into the gurus heart or of the guru dissolving
into you.
However, in all the vehicles, especially Mahayana and
Vajrayana, the main guru make no mistake is the
wisdom aspect of our mind. In Mahayana the mind is
emphasised more, but in Vajrayana nadi, prana and
bindu are also spoken
about. Loosely translated
these words mean
'channels', 'wind' and
'consciousness'. The
channels themselves, the
wind that goes through
them and the mind that has
so much influence on them
are inseparable.
Think of it this way: nadi
is a bit like a flute, prana is the wind that goes through
this flute and then there's a blower of the flute, the
bindu. At the moment the flute is rusty and has fungus
growing inside it. Some of the holes are blocked due to
too many hamburgers, too many negative emotions or
too many late nights! All kinds of obscurations have
blocked the whole structure of our body.
So outwardly we try to change that through yoga. The
essence of yoga is sitting straight and assuming a good
posture. By doing that, we try to manipulate the flute.
Then we try to control the prana; however the prana is
very impure. Our perception is very limited bad, good,
tall, short because the holes of the flute are blocked
and there is so much fungus growing in it. Therefore, the
air that is floating around inside is very shaky. By
cleaning this flute, our perceptions slowly begin to
Lets take the example of the perception of the guru,
particularly as it's accompanied by your merit.
According to Vajrayana, the guru has manifested in
front of you through merit. Basically, your own wisdom
mind is reflecting the external guru, so there's all the
more reason to obey him. After all, you're obeying your
true nature. The guru, the blower of the flute, is none
other than your wisdom mind.
What do we mean by obey? We really dont have to
fear some truly existing vampire outside. It's basically
your own minds perception projected out there, which
has been interpreted by a translator called merit. If
merit is not there, the mind will interpret the person as
some arrogant bastard who is talking about
righteousness and on whom you will not waste your
beautiful weekend.
So what does praying to the guru mean in Vajrayana?
It actually means getting in touch with your true nature,
nothing else. Yet we always come back to the one
question, "Is the outer guru necessary?" So let's regard
the guru as a mirror. We use a mirror when putting on
lipstick to see our own
reflection and to be better able
to apply the make-up to our lips.
Similarly, to actually see this
inner wisdom, which is none
other than the true nature of our
mind, we are using the outer
guru as a mirror. That is whats
Technically speaking, a vajra
master is someone who gives
you Vajrayana abhisheka or
empowerment, especially the four abhishekas: vase,
secret, wisdom and word. If someone gives you those,
then he's a vajra master for you. But some scholars
would disagree with this, maintaining that the guru is
someone who introduces you to the nature of the mind
and, by doing so, makes you understand that nature.
These days there are so many introducers of the nature
of the mind, but not everybodys introduction to the
nature of the mind works. It sometimes doesnt even go
inside the head. A vajra master might say something or
he might not, but it should temporarily make the whole
system stop. Even perhaps for only half a second the
whole system will stop and you will wonder, "What is
the benefit of yesterday, today and tomorrow? Why is
there a yesterday? Why is there a tomorrow? What is a
weekday? What is a weekend?" Its almost
inexpressible. Everything ceases, but its not like an
experience of being drunk or overdosed. You're very
aware of everything, conscious of everything, alive and
vibrant, but the normal system stops. When that happens
then maybe, whether you like it or not, this guy is your
(The Gentle Voice thanks Tom Pengelly and Claire
Blaxell for the original transcription. This teaching is
available from Siddhartha's Intent as an MP3. For details
please contact Anna Vlajkovic at
or phone 02 9518 1363.)
Gentle Voice : page 4
Every time you make a
judgment, make a point of
telling yourself,
"This is only my perception;
this is my limited idea."
Gentle Voice : November 2007
Gentle Voice : page 5
Gentle Voice : November 2007
H.E. Jetsun Kushola is the older sister of H.H. Sakya
Triziu and a revered lineage holder in the Sakya
Q. Jetsunma, you have been living in the West since
1971, how do you feel that the Dharma is developing
over the last 36 years or so?
A. It is very good.
Q. So what is the best part of the way that it has been
A. I think everywhere it is the same thing. All over the
place there are different centres, in Canada and the
United States, as I know.
Q. And what hasnt been developing sufficiently? How
could it be stronger? Like would it be better if there was
more translation work or more people ...
A. I havent been in other places too much. I think some
centres are going well, some arent. It depends on their
group or the lamas karma and all together.
Q. And in terms of what is needed for the future, do you
think we need special kinds of teachings or programs or
what would be the best way to progress the Dharma?
A. Everybody gets so many teachings. I think now they
need to practice, more like doing retreat and more like
understanding mind training. People need to develop
patience and to be kind to each other and to practice on
not doing the ten non-virtuous actions. That is the best
thing to do. People have so many jealousies. They think
they are practitioners but they dont do exactly what they
need to do. So they need to practice mind training
properly and also the basic things have to develop. They
are not developed. They think they dont need to develop
the basic things and then they jump to the top level it
doesnt work that way very well. And then they increase
more hatred and more power something like that. It
doesnt work very well for the mind.
Q. What are the most basic things people should develop?
A. I think I said it to you just now. People should develop
kindliness and practice patience and that can be learned
from mind training.
Q. And in terms of retreats, what sort of retreats should
people do?
A. Mostly I tell them, first they have to do ngundro
practice preliminary practice. Also in the West, in
Australia too, peoples minds are too busy. Sometimes
people want to do some [Dharma practice] but they dont
do that. And they get teachings but then mostly their
daily life [takes over]. Of course nobody is so perfect
they can do [all possible Dharma practice] but it can be
Q. What about simple shamatha retreats?
A. Yes, sure, thats very good. Because the mind is too
Q. Do you think people should slow down in their life as
well, if their mind is too busy?
A. Yes, of course, if it is enough for the practitioner the
real practitioner. Some people are taking teachings but
they didnt really practice them. There is a difference.
The real practitioners say, Enough is enough, and do
practice now.
Q. What about study? What sort of things should people
be studying? Like full on training in philosophy, that type
of thing?
A. Yes, you can do that too, but mostly you are working
on the mind - studying the mind doing mind training.
Interview with Jetsun Kushola
by Sunyata, Melbourne
Jetsun Kushola in Melbourne, September 2007.
Photo by Lynn Miller.
In August the young reincarnation of Gyalsay Tulku came to
Australia and visited many states, catching up with old students
as well as making new friends. Photo by Sunyata.
Gentle Voice : page 6
Gentle Voice : November 2007
No Progress for Tibetan
by Bhikshuni Tenzin Palmo, Tashijong
The 1st International Congress on Buddhist
Women's Role in the Sangha was held on 18-20
July 2007 in the pleasant German town of Hamburg.
This was a conference specifically to discuss the
ways of bestowing the bhikshuni or higher
ordination for nuns in the Tibetan tradition. Vinaya
experts from around the Buddhist world came
together to offer the fruits of their considerable
research into this issue. So there was a contagious
atmosphere of expectancy and enthusiasm.
At present nuns in the Tibetan or Mula Sarvastivada
lineage receive ordination only up to the
shramanerika or novice level. Full ordination for
nuns only remains in the Dharmagupta lineage
which exists in China, Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam
where there are presently tens of thousands of
bhikshunis. The main issue is whether this
ordination, which was never brought into Tibet, can
now be introduced so that nuns finally have a
chance to study the Vinaya or monastic texts and
participate as full members of the monastic family.
According to the Vinaya texts the bhikshuni
ordination should be bestowed by a dual sangha of
both nuns and monks. Therefore there are basically
two ways that this lineage might be given: either by
a sangha of 10 senior monks in the Mula
Sarvastivada tradition and 10 senior nuns in the
Dharmagupta tradition. Or simply by a sangha of
senior Mula Sarvastivada monks until such time as
the newly-ordained nuns reach seniority and can
comprise a dual ordination platform.
The situation is of course far more complex than the
above simple analysis and certain Tibetan scholars
have been 'researching' the matter for over 25 years
without reaching a conclusion.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama attended the last day of
the Congress and again stated that he alone could
not make a decision since it is a matter of Vinaya
and requires a consensus of the whole sangha. He
also admitted that while he himself is in favour of
this ordination for the nuns, most of his own Geshes
and other monks are not. Those Geshes who are
supportive are heavily criticised by the more
conservative elements, even in the Tibetan press.
His Holiness therefore recommended that a meeting
should be arranged in India between higher sangha
members of the Theravadin countries and senior
Geshes and Tibetan Vinaya experts. However since
both parties are known to be strongly against the
introduction of the bhikshuni lineage, presumably
they will agree harmoniously to discuss their
unanimous opposition to this higher ordination for
The nuns of the Tibetan tradition have stated that
they would only consider this bhikshuni ordination
if bestowed by His Holiness himself or some great
lamas whom they respect. In the event of His
Holiness bestowing such an ordination there would
surely be an overwhelming response on the part of
the nuns. In the meantime it is necessary for the
nuns to understand the implications and importance
of higher ordination. Until the nuns themselves
appreciate the need for the bhikshuni ordination the
issue remains contentious and academic. The need
to educate the nuns on this matter is therefore
paramount. Otherwise many lamas perceive the
subject of nuns' higher ordination as merely Western
feminist interference and do not take it seriously.
For further information see:
Ven. Tenzin Palmo will be in Australia from 10 April to 11
May 2008. Contact: Leona Kieran at :
A Tibetan Nun in Dharamsala, May 2006. Photo by Di Cousens.
Gentle Voice : page 7
Gentle Voice : November 2007
We reached Dzongar monastery, Kham, in May
2007, on a celebration day. I was travelling with
Namcho, a girl from Amdo. All the people of
Dzongsar were taking part in the offering ceremony.
Each lama sat under a parasol with a specific colour:
Red, Blue, White. Offerings of wood were brought
to them to bless, then of barley ale which was
measured out and blessed, the same for the tsampa.
Then the offering was burnt on small pyres as the
musicians sounded their different instruments.
Photo Diary Dzongsar Monastery
Text & Photos by Francesca White, Kham
CentIe VoIce : page 8
CentIe VoIce : November 2007
by Maggie Westhaver, Bir
G[X 9\iX :heh E\acbV[X
These special statues have been brought to the Khyentse Labrang
in Bir. Photo by Steve Cline.
One morning in September last year, Dzongsar
Khyentse Rinpoches vehicle entered the gate of
his residential complex passing through welcoming
clouds of juniper smoke. Rinpoche sat beside
Phuntsok, the driver. Rinpoche was holding
something in his hands. What is that?, I thought.
Rinpoche stepped out of the vehicle wearing what
I would describe as a peculiar look on his face.
Maybe amused. Maybe pleased. I could not make
it out. He went straight to the library and placed
the object on his throne, prostrated and offered a
mandala. Phuntsok whispered to me: Its the Guru
Rinpoche statue. My heart was pounding. This was
the Supreme Statue of Guru Rinpoche, one of ve
precious statues made by Guru Rinpoche himself!
After the mandala offering we sat down together in
two straight rows in front of the statue and tea was
served. Rinpoche said, Well, now, it is nally here.
You know those Tibetans are a bit strange. They
think that this statue is the real Guru Rinpoche, so
if you think like that then this is the time for you to
make aspirations for your next life--while sitting
here right in front of Guru Rinpoche himself.
In awe, no one said much. Rinpoche made the
aspirations for us.
The story of the ve statues may not be known to
all of Rinpoches students. He explained that these
were created during the time of Prince Ralpacan.
He was sad that his father and grandfather had died.
Just before Guru Rinpoche was about to leave for
the Copper Coloured Mountain he begged him to
stay. Guru Rinpoche said to the prince. You dont
have to worry. If you pray to me, I will always be
there. The moment you think of me, I will be there.
But the prince said, I want to see your physical
body. So Guru Rinpoche grabbed some material
or special sand and out of this sand he supposedly
made his statues.
There were originally ve statues. The Supreme
Statue was discovered by Jamyang Khyentse
Wangpo and Chogyur Lingpa. It is in Bir. The
Eastern Pacifying Statue of Guru Rinpoche
disappeared during the Cultural Revolution. The
Southern Increasing Prosperity Statue is with
Rinpoche. The Northern Magnetizing Statue is
with Pewar Rinpoche in Dzongsar in Tibet. The
Wrathful statue is with Rinpoche. It was passed on
to him along with other relics from Chokyi Lodroe
Rinpoche. Guru Rinpoche said that those who see
these statues, if they can have devotion - even if
they do not practice at all - then in seven lifetimes
enlightenment is guaranteed.
On the northwest border of the land of Uddiyana,
On the pistil of a lotus ower and stem,
You attained supreme wondrous siddhi,
Renowned as Padmakara,
Surrounded by a retinue of many dakinis,
Following you I reach accomplishment -
Please come and grant your blessings!
Guru Padma Siddhi Hum
Gentle Voice : page 9
Gentle Voice : November 2007
When the Dalai Lama comes to Australia everybody
in the country seems to be aware that they are in the
presence of one of the great saints of the
contemporary world. Having won the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1989 he also embodies ideas about non-
violence and has an identity as an international man of
peace. About 5000 people came every day to hear
Buddhist lectures in the Rod Laver Arena in
Melbourne where he taught an abstruse philosophical
text by the Indian pandit Nagarjuna. Not everyone
was interested in the content of the text, a lot just
wanted to be there and have contact with him.
There were only 2000 seats available at the blessing
of the Great Stupa site in Bendigo where he also
consecrated a four metre bronze statue of one of the
founders of Buddhism in Tibet, Guru Rinpoche. This
occasion was made more memorable by the dragon
dances of Bendigos Chinese community one of the
oldest Buddhist communities in the country.
Twenty thousand people came to the public talk at
Princes Park in Melbourne and to public talks in
Sydney. At each place the Dalai Lama delivered a
message with three elements. He sought to promote
human values such as compassion, non-violence and
an antidote to the materialism and stress of modern
life. Secondly he wished to promote religious
harmony, an aspiration that all the members of the
different religions could live together in peace. The
third part of his message is a campaign for
meaningful autonomy for Tibetans in the PRC. The
difficulty with this last aspiration may be the elastic
boundaries around the envisaged autonomous zone.
The boundaries are not the present day provincial
ones defining the Tibet Autonomous Region, but
would take in ethnic Tibetans in about four other
provinces. Autonomy is also left fairly undefined.
Every day the Dalai Lama teaches he appears on
newspapers and on television, thereby giving
Buddhism in Australia a face. It is a face that is well
known and well loved but his greatest impact is in his
spiritual presence.
The Dalai Lama in
Australia 2007
Text & Photos by Diana Cousens
The 10th Sakyadhita International Conference
on Buddhist Women will be held in Ulaan
Bataar, Mongolia, from July 1-5, 2008, with a
temple tour on July 6-7, 2008. Proposals are
being accepted for papers on Buddhist women
and on topics of interest to Buddhist women.
Proposals should be 250-500 words in length.
Proposals should include the senders
institutional affiliation and contact information.
Gentle Voice : page 10
Book Review
Gentle Voice : November 2007
Births, Deaths, Marriages & Retreats
The Three Boys and Other Folk Tales from Tibet
by Yeshi Dorjee and John Major
University of HawaiI Press, Honolulu, 2007
These tales, half of which are drawn from the
eleventh century Indian collection known as the
Vetalapancavimsati, the Twenty Five Corpse Tales,
are partly intended to serve as a guide to
appropriate human behaviour. In the complex
background to the early tales, a servant of the
philosopher Nagarjuna has to carry a zombie corpse
from a cemetery to the Buddhist master in absolute
silence. However the skilled zombie tells tales
which always elicit an expression of compassion,
concern or pain from the servant, with the result
that at each exclamation the zombie returns to the
cemetery tree from which he hangs until the next
attempt to remove him.
The wide-ranging stories presented here come from
an oral tradition and the Corpse Stories differ
from their more orthodox textual version. The
translator Yeshe Dorjee heard these oral versions as
a servant to older monks in South India in the
1970s and 80s and presents us with seven of the
Corpse Stories and 8 folk tales. In all of them he
captures something of their original free spirit.
Through them we enter a world of spiritual
transformation, greed, selflessness, karma, faith,
dreams and zombie corpses - a world better by far
than that of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
John Majors Introduction to the tales is of interest,
placing them into a setting. However he is in error
imagining that they are part of a Tibetan Buddhist
cultural setting. Indeed it is unlikely that a monk
would recite such tales to the public,
accompanying himself on a stringed instrument
as he suggests. These stories are rather part of the
family ritual of lay people, in which they are told,
re-told and commented on around the fire at night.
Their message might be Buddhist but they are
basically rollicking yarns with a moral overlay. The
book also contains a useful introduction to each
story as well as helpful suggestion for further
readings. It is highly recommended as an
introduction to the wonderful world of Tibetan folk
Reviewed by David Templeman, Monash University
Lama Tashi Namgyal died on 8 August 2007 in Bir,
India. He was the attendant to
Jamyang Khyentse Chkyi Lodr
from a very young age and was
amongst those Khyentse Chkyi
Lodr took on the 3-year long
pilgrimage from Kham to central
Tibet that finally ended in
Sikkim in the mid-fifties.
Khyentse Chkyi Lodr,
Khandro Tsering Chdrn and
their whole party remained as guests of the Chogyal of
Sikkim at the Palace Monastery in Gangtok because it
was too dangerous to return to Tibet. After Khyentse
Chkyi Lodr's death in 1959 Lama Tashi Namgyal
remained in Gangtok for the rest of his life and became
attendant to the young incarnation of his master,
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.
Ann Hentz passed away on 31st of December, 2006. She
was 85 and a member of Rinpoches Canadian sangha.
Ann contributed to the Dharma in many ways, most
notably through making spoken word recordings of
Dharma books for those with problems with their vision.
Recent recordings included the Bodhichayavatara and
What Makes You Not a Buddhist. She became a student
of Rinpoches in 1990 in Kalimpong and undertook
many retreats.
Gentle Voice : page 11
Gentle Voice : November 2007
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoches teachings and
primary activities in Australia will now take place in
Northern New South Wales. Siddharthas Intent
Southern Door will now be known as Byron Bay
Buddhists - Siddharthas Intent Australia and be
based in Byron Bay. Rinpoche has nominated a new
executive and working committees for both Byron
Bay Buddhists Siddharthas Intent Australia and
Vajradhara Gonpa. Rinpoche has merged these
committees into one management structure so as to
simplify the management of both organizations.
Administrative Director: Paula Raymond-Yacoub
Secretary: Christina Peebles
Treasurer: Hugo Croci
Committee Members:
Phil Pidcock, Karen Henry, Meg Hart
Contact: 61 2 66 882 055
News from Vajradhara Gonpa Three-Year Retreat
Vajradhara Gonpa is now accepting expressions of
interest for the next three-year retreat, which will
commence in early 2009. Please enquire by email to or by post to Vajradhara
Gonpa, PO Box 345, Kyogle NSW 2474 Australia.
For more details see:
The current three-year retreat will culminate with a
practice intensive (drubchen) based on the Heart
Essence of Deathless Arya Tara (Chime Phagma
Nyingtig), a treasure of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
Scheduled to take place 2-9 April 2008, the
drubchen will be performed entirely in English for
the first time. You are invited to express your
interest in attending. As numbers are limited for the
drubchen, Rinpoche will select participants from
amongst the applicants. Rinpoche invites everyone
to attend the ceremony for the opening of the three-
year retreat boundary on April 9th. Please enquire
by email to:
Work as Practice Program. Come and experience
the joy of being in the retreat atmosphere and
pristine natural beauty of the Gonpa environment.
Between June 2008 and January 2009 a Work as
Practice Program will be offered. The program will
focus on application of mindfulness and
accumulation of merit through preparation of the
retreat centre for the next three-year retreat.
Included will be daily meditation sessions supported
by three-year retreat staff. Practitioners with skills in
construction, repairs and maintenance, such as
carpentry, electrical, plumbing, mechanical,
painting, landscaping and general labour, are invited
to express their interest, as are those who can
support these efforts by cooking and caring for the
facilities. There is no charge for the program and
basic accommodation and meals will be provided.
Participation will be by invitation. Please submit an
expression of interest to
Highlights from Southern Cross University,
Southern Cross University conferred an Honorary
Doctorate on His Holiness The Dalai Lama XIV in
Melbourne on 8 June 2007 in recognition of His
Holiness global peace efforts;
The University signed an MOU with Byron Bay
Buddhists - Siddharthas Intent Australia to develop
and enhance collaborative endeavours in the future,
especially aligned with the activities of the
Universitys Centre for Peace and Social Justice
The CPSJ invited Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
to launch The Buddhist Perspectives Series on 15
June 2007 at our Lismore campus and Rinpoche
delighted a capacity crowd on his topic, Buddhism,
Technology and Media, with a Commentary on
Education. (the mp3 file is available on the
Centres website
The University is considering offering new and
innovative Buddhist programs.
Practice Sessions for Students
Byron Bay
1/22 Fawcett Street
Brunswick Heads NSW 2483
Contact: Paula Raymond-Yacoub
02 66 851 646
Regular Practice Sessions
Wednesday evenings Shamatha meditation
Monthly Tsa Sum Dril Drup tsog practice on Guru
Rinpoche Day
Monthly Longchen Nyingthik Ngndro practice,
third Sunday of each month
Contact: Chantal Gebbie or Tanya Gebbie
Chantal 0412 763 037/ Tanya 0402 258 230
Regular Practice Sessions
Fortnightly Wednesday evenings, Shamatha
meditation and Madhyamakavatara Revision
Guru Rinpoche Day, Tsa Sum Dril Drup tsog
offering practice
Dakini Day, Chime Phagma Nyingthik tsog
offering practice
2nd Monthly half-day Longchen Nyingthik
Ngndro practice
Blue Mountains
28 Fletcher Street, Wentworth Falls
Contact: Hugo Croci
02 4757 2339
Regular Practice Sessions
Monday evenings, Shamatha meditation &
Madhyamakavatara study group
Contact: Tineke Adolphus
08 8362 7553
Auckland, New Zealand
Contact: Buddha Aotearoa
09 424 3334
Because of its sacred content, please treat this newsletter with respect. Should you need to dispose of it, please
burn it, rather than throwing it away.
P O B o x 1 5 5
S u f f o l k P a r k
N S W 2 4 8 1 A u s t r a l i a
Cover photo of Dzongsar Monastery by Francesca White.
N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 7
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