September 1, 2007

9/01/07 Lavaur France

Nalanda Monastery

This week, we had another important visitor Jampa Tegchok Rinpoche. The Rinpoche was the first Abbot of Nalanda over 25 years ago. He is here in France to give a course at the nearby Vajra Yogini Institute and took time to come visit.

"Born in 1930, Khensur Rinpoche Jampa Tegchok became a monk at the age of eight. He studied the major Buddhist treatises at Sera-je Monastic University in Tibet for 14 years before fleeing his homeland in 1959 after the abortive uprising of the Tibetans against the Communist Chinese occupation of their country."

"After staying in the refugee camp at Buxa, India, Rinpoche went to Varanasi, where he obtained his Acharya (Master) Degree and taught for seven years. He then began teaching in the West - three years in England and ten years at Nalanda Monastery in France, and then in the United States. In 1993, His Holiness the Dalai Lama appointed him as abbott of Sera-je Monastic University in India. He has recently retired from that post."

"Khensur Rinpoche Jampa Tegchok is the author of “Transforming Adversity into Joy and Courage: An Explanation of the Thirty-seven Practices of Bodhisattvas”, and a commentary on Seven-point Mind Training to be released later this year by The Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive." from the FPMT

As you can imagine, because of his history with Nalanda, everything was done to make his time here special. Auspicious signs were painted on the driveway up to the monastery. Another grand feast was prepared in the kitchens. And many monks, nuns, and patrons were invited to be here too.

We used chalk to draw symbols like this one

Everyone seemed to be here for Rinpoche's arrival

Khensur Rinpoche Jampa Tegchok

Everyone listened to his talk

He had a laughing smile

Losang Gendun busy in the kitchen

Our honored guest take their seats

Extra tables were added to fit everyone

After lunch, Rinpoche gave a short talk in the gompa to everyone we could squeeze into the place. And after that, he took a tour of the new building, including the new shrine room.

Rinpoche honors the new shrine

Geshe Thubten Choden with the Rinpoche

A group picture of most of the monastics