fpmt annual review 2009

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FPMT International Office Annual Review 2009


  • P R E S E R V I N G T H E U N I Q U E L I N E A G E O F F P M T


  • 2M E S S A G E F R O M O U R S P I R I T U A L D I R E C T O R


    My Very Dear Geshes, Sangha, Teachers, Center Directors and Staff, Students, Benefactors and Friends:

    Shantideva said, Merely thinking of benefiting others is consideredmuch more beneficial than making offerings to all the buddhas. Sowhat need is there to say anything about those who actuallyattempt to bring happiness to others?

    Even one person or one insect every single sentient being is mostcherished by every bodhisattva; a sentient being that is against ordislikes you is still most cherished by all buddhas and bodhisattvas that sentient being is most unbelievably, unbelievably, unbelievablyprecious. Slightly disrespecting even one sentient being is the same asdisrespecting all buddhas and bodhisattvas. Similarly, showing evenmodest respect to one sentient being becomes the best offering to allbuddhas and bodhisattvas. Thus you can see how supporting anorganization like the FPMT, which exists only to benefit sentient beings,has incredible advantages.

    Not only does our organization offer social services, which bring muchhappiness and joy to the world and individual sentient beings, but, mostimportantly, we have so many Dharma centers offering teachings,meditations, retreats and practices for taking the minds of sentient beingsfurther from the lower realms and samsara and bringing them closer toliberation and enlightenment. When it comes to learning Dharma andphilosophy, which help us achieve enlightenment, theres no shortage ofopportunity this is amazing! Its like the sun shining. The FPMT offersDharma like the sun shining, awakening sentient beings. So its reallymost fantastic.

    Since the FPMT is a Dharma organization, it has to be run differently fromother entities. Our main goal is to bring sentient beings happiness in alltheir future lives and to liberate them from the oceans of suffering andlead them to the highest enlightenment. If we can achieve enlightenmentwe are then able to do perfect work for all sentient beings. The way we cando this as an organization is through compassion our main goal is thehappiness of others.

    The FPMT has to be run with compassion. This differs from the waynormal companies are run, which is usually with self-cherishing. Runninga company with self-cherishing always brings problems; running anorganization with compassion brings good karma, peace and happiness.

    As a Dharma organization, the FPMT must be run without negative,emotional problems. Even if we dont have much wisdom, if we at leasthave compassion, people will feel our sincerity and will want to help.

    Normal companies are created to do business, not to take care of the mind.Companies are not built to practice Dharma, and as they have money theycan kick out and replace people. Dharma centers are made to practiceDharma, to benefit the minds of sentient beings, from guru devotion up toenlightenment; in particular, they must lay the foundation for realization ofrenunciation, bodhichitta and right view. It is extremely important that thisfoundation be laid in students hearts, subduing or pacifying their ignorance,attachment and self-cherishing thought. Thus FPMT centers are for takingcare of the mind and in this way are totally different from regular companies.

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    And it is especially important to practice compassion,because what distinguishes Buddhism from other religions iscompassion compassion not only for the sick and poor, butfor all human beings, including the rich, and all animals: pigs,fish and so forth. The compassion we practice encompasseseach and every sentient being, excluding not even one. Noother religion embodies such all-embracing compassion forall sentient beings.

    Externally, FPMT is doing quite well. We now need to put effortinto gaining lam-rim and other realizations. It is very importantto at least try.

    I send my heartfelt deep appreciation to all those who are helpingand supporting the organization. This is really an incrediblyamazing way of benefiting others and is the real way to createworld peace. In essence, our centers and projects bringcompassion into the world. That is what we do. Therefore, youcan see how important your work and support is.

    With love and prayers,

  • 4Dear Friends,

    2009 was an interesting year forFPMT. Lama Zopa Rinpoche startedthree different teaching programsthat will be continued over severalyears until completion. In Indonesia,at Potawa Center, Rinpoche beganLama Chpa commentary, somethingthe center had requested a number oftimes. In Singapore, at AmitabhaBuddhist Centre, Rinpoche startedthe commentary on Lama Tsong-khhapa Guru Yoga. Then in NorthCarolina, USA, at Kadampa Center,Rinpoche began the commentaryon Lama Atishas Light of the Path.In 2008, when Rinpoche was inKadampa Center teaching, Rinpochetold me that he had the stronginspiration to give this commentary.

    I had been thinking for some time about what could be done to betterorganize Rinpoches teaching retreat events. One missing aspect wasthe opportunity to study Rinpoches teachings in an organized way.Additionally, how to make Rinpoches teachings more available andaccessible to everyone? So this is why we started offering theteachings online, in a way that is engaging and inspiring. When Idiscussed this with Rinpoche, Rinpoches key comment was studentsreceive plenty of teachings so many! There is no lack of teachings,the aspect that is lacking is the practice putting them into practicein our daily life.

    This is the unique quality that comes to life when Rinpoche teaches and itwas the same with Lama Yeshe. The teachings go to the heart and are veryinspiring; Rinpoche and Lama were/are living examples of the teachings.

    At the end of Rinpoches teaching retreats students are usually happy,inspired and tired! So nowwe have the opportunity, through the newOnlineLearning Center (OLC), for students to study Rinpoches teachings onlineanytime and, of course, we also have access to Lama Yeshes teachingsthanks to Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

    The hope is that by doing this well all be inspired to practice theteachings in our daily lives, at work and at home, so that we can gainactual experience of the Path.

    We already have the first two modules up on the OLC, many students areusing this and now we are able to offer it free to all the IMI Sangha. Thisis an incredible achievement starting our OLC please take a look. Weare already planning for the future and where this can go is very exciting!We have a great team that can make this work.

    Many people have been working hard in setting up the Media and OnlineLearning Centers a huge amount of thanks and gratitude to MerryColony, Eamon Walsh, Adam Payne, Kendall Magnussen and all the IOFstaff; the Media Team (Harold Weichhart, Jean-Luc Castagner, ToineJanssen, Alex Ben el hadj); Vit Pham; Institut Vajra Yogini in France; andcore teachers, including Ven. Gyatso, Ven. Dondrub, Ven. Drimay, Ven.Joan Nicell, Ven. Amy Miller and Don Handrick.

    We have so many centers and students around the world now we aremaking an effort to be more present on the Internet. This will aid us in ourcommunications with the rest of the organization, students who do notlive near a Dharma center now will have the opportunity to hear and seethe teachings, and it will help the foundation to maintain a truly globalcommunity and more easily work together for a compassionate world.

    In 2009 Rinpoche traveled and taught continuously throughout the year,spending only four days of the year at his house in Aptos. In some ways youcan call it a rest but barely time to unpack and have a shower, shave yourhead, pat the dog, have a cup of tea and then pack again 12 suitcases,three backpacks and one holy jola.

    M E S S A G E F R O M O U R C H I E F E X E C U T I V E O F F I C E R


    Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Ven. Roger Kunsang

  • 5On the road Rinpoche is continually teaching; giving initiations, blessingsand pujas; liberating animals; answering never-ending letters, emails andphone calls; taking care of students, centers, and so many projects; andbeing, most of all, a yogi. Whenever there is a pause Rinpoche is in prayeror meditation, no matter the situation. And Rinpoche always takes time, nomatter how rushed, to be kind to everyone, to take time for every sentientbeing. It is always very busy (if I didnt have to deal with my self-cherishingmind it would be pure delightful bliss serving the Guru and others!).

    What makes this lifestyle possible and practical are the people workinghard in Rinpoches Office (FPMT International Office) supporting useverywhere we go. We have Ven. Holly (part of the office) based inRinpoches house, a tireless assistant (it is very convenient to be able tocall someone at 3 A.M. or on Sundays for help). We have a greatlydedicated staff deeply appreciating the opportunity to serve others. Weare always in touch with the office daily by phone or email and whenRinpoche is staying for three or four weeks in one place I take theopportunity to fly back to the office in Portland for two weeks to work.

    At every center we visit the director, staff, students and volunteersmake such an incredible effort to look after Rinpoche (and the attendants).The service and kindness is excellent. THANK YOU.

    Also in 2009, Rinpoche attended the opening of Drati Khamtsen (Rinpocheskhamtsen) in Sera je Monastery. Rinpoche was the main sponsor due tothe generosity of Henry and Catherine Lau, Hup Cheng and AmitabhaBuddhist Centre, Jayabalan and Losang Dragpa Centre, ThubtenKhunpen, Dato Lee Soon Hian, and many others THANK YOU. Theynow have a great main temple and accommodation for all the monks.


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