Founded by Lama Yeshe in 1974 at Kopan Monastery, the International Mahayana Institute (IMI) is FPMT’s community of monks and nuns. IMI Sangha members serve in the FPMT organization as registered teachers, directors, spiritual program coordinators, editors, and more. On July 16, FPMT’s sixteenth annual International Sangha Day, we celebrate and thank our Sangha.
Ven. Losang Tendar, IMI director draws our attention to our aging Sangha members, a topic highlighted by Lama Zopa Rinpoche on April 7, 2018 during the Bodhicaryavatara and Rinjung Gyatsa Retreat at The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Australia.
During the retreat in Bendigo this year, Lama Zopa Rinpoche brought up the topic of our aging Sangha members.
He spoke about many older students, who have dedicated so many years—their lives—to developing and building up the FPMT. Rinpoche said we can see how this has brought benefit to sentient beings.
He said in the past we have had meetings about how to help the Sangha when they become old, but we did not come up with a workable solution. He joked, “we had meetings numberless times.” Rinpoche advised that from time to time we should have discussions and meetings to talk about obstacles, difficulties, and solutions.
Rinpoche said of the Sangha, “When they become old—including myself—we can’t move, can’t function, can’t see, can’t walk, with lots of pain.” Rinpoche joked, “Maybe I have to come back to Bendigo from Nepal for an old folks’ home.”
Rinpoche said the Sangha will age like this soon. He presented the idea that we should organize for the Sangha, and that this needs some discussion. He said the Sangha will need help.
Suggestions for celebrating International Sangha Day include reciting the Sutra for Remembering the Three Jewels; showing respect for and appreciation of monastics; generating a deeper awareness of the Sangha Rare Sublime One; and making a donation to the Lama Yeshe Sangha Fund.
To learn more about the International Mahayana Institute visit the website:
Watch recordings of Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching during the Bodhicaryavatara and Rinjung Gyatsa Retreat at The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Australia, March 30-May 12, 2018.
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