November 29, 1997
I would like to welcome Presidents, Vice Presidents and Ex Vice Presidents for the conference of the Presidents of: Zuru Ling Vancouver, Tashi Choling Nelson, Potala Meditation Centre Thunder Bay, Ganden Choling Toronto, Chittamani Centre Ottawa, and Golden Blue Lotus Tara Center Idaho. This is our first gathering of this kind and I wish to have this kind of meeting every year.
The purpose of this meeting is to preserve and propagate the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, Tibetan Buddhism and particularly the Lineage of Lama Tsong Khappa.
These centres have been places of learning Buddhism and meditation for the last sixteen years. We have done numerous Dharma activities. Such as organizing meditation retreats, initiations and teachings. Led by such great teachers as His Holiness Khabje Zong Rinpoche, Lati Rinpoche, Tara Rinpoche, His Holiness Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa. I myself have given many teachings and conducted lots of retreats over the years.
We have invited many guest lecturers including Tibetan doctors, thanka painters. As well as Canadian Tibetan Buddhist teachers such as Geshe Kaldan and Jhampa Shaneman, Achaan Maha Gosananda and Dhyani Ywahoo.
We also did a lot of fund raising for Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal. We raised money for SeraJe Health Care Centre and their Guest House. Now they have a good health care centre which is one of the best Tibetan Health Care Centres in India. We also raised money and donations for four nunneries: ChoKyeGyal Nunnery in Zangskar; Ganden Choling Nunnery and Dolma Ling Nunnery in Dharamsala; Samten Choling Nunnery in Kulu.
We did a lot of fund raising through Ganden Relief organization which is a part of Ganden Choling. Also we raised the money for reconstruction of Zuru Monastery in Tibet. Also through Ganden Relief, we helped Drepung Loseling Monks Sponsorship Program. We probably helped 500 little monks. We sponsor many hundreds of Tibetan Children, monks and nuns in India and Nepal. We organized our centres across Canada for the SeraJe Monks tour and raised approximately $55,000 for SeraJe. We have sent lots of drugs to SeraJe Health Care over the years. We managed to buy twenty-one wood stoves for the nuns in ChoKyeGyal in Zangskar. Now they can stay in the nunnery and do practice instead of going to the village in winter to keep warm. We also sent medicine and money to Delek Hospital in Dharamsala which is run by the Tibetan Government.
Our centres have become a source of the practice of generosity of material aid to the east and the practice of generosity of Dharma in the west. I think hundreds of thousands of people in the west and the east both have benefited through our Dharma Centres. I am very thankful to all our Dharma friends and friends of the Tibetan people. What we have done so far is very little comparing the suffering in the east and the west and the suffering of the world. It is like one drop of water in the ocean.
I would like to see us continue to do what we have been doing and do more to help all sentient beings. Our centres are growing. Interest in Buddhism in the west is growing. I think the support for Tibetan Buddhism and support for the struggle of the Tibetan people is also growing. So I feel during this meeting we can discuss how to work together. Through united effort we can accomplish more.
I see we can share together and have all the centres under one umbrella organization. We have the same goal, the same kind of constitution and follow the same lineage, the Lineage of Gelugpa and the Lineage of Lama Tsong Khappa. Therefore I would like to ask all of us to discuss this agenda for the next two days.
Ven. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche
The Second Annual Meeting of the Ganden Umbrella took place on October 18, 1998 in Toronto.
In the future Rinpoche would like to go back to Tibet to visit his Zuru Monastery, family and home town of Zadoh, where he would like to build a hospital for the people.
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