Lama Jampa Thaye and Dechen Drolma visited Tegchen Legshey Ling monastery here in Nepal recently to be able to take part in the 25th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the monastery being held this year, and to spend time with Karma Thinley Rinpoche who is in residence at the monastery.
On the morning of the 7th September Lama Jampa and Dechen Drolma arrived at the monastery, where they were received by Karma Thinley Rinpoche and all the sangha members, all exchanging traditional auspicious white scarves in greeting. Many of the sangha had not seen Lama Jampa and Dechen Drolma since their last visit 10 years ago, and were happy to meet again after so long. After a substantial Nangchen style lunch hosted by Karma Thinley Rinpoche, Lama Jampa and Dechen Drolma walked to the nearby great stupa of Jarung Kasyor in Boudhanath, to circumambulate and pay their respects.
On the second day, Lama Jampa and Dechen Drolma accompanied Karma Thinley Rinpoche on a pilgrimage to visit the holy sites located around the town of Pharping, located about 10 miles south of Kathmandu, high up on the rim of the valley. Karma Thinley Rinpoche reminded us that the holy site of Yang Lesho, located in Pharping, is the place where Guru Padma Sambhava demonstrated enlightenment, and is thus like another Bodh Gaya for those who follow the vajrayana path elaborated by Guru Rinpoche, the second Buddha of this age. This site is also where Guru Rinpoche received and accomplished Vajra Kilaya before setting off to subdue all obstacles and bring the holy Dharma to the northern lands called Tibet. Pharping is also the location of an ancient temple sacred to Vajrayogini, the female deity particularly revered in both the Sakya and Kagyu traditions. Pharping is believed to have been the home of the Pamtingpa brothers from the Sakya Vajrayogini lineage The great master and translator Marpa, founder of the Kagyu tradition, is known to have spent a lot of time in Pharping during his travels in search of the holy Dharma. Karma Thinley Rinpoche has recently built a small retreat facility in Pharping, called “Pal Donag Tashi Ngedon Choling”, to be a suitable and comfortable place for the monks and nuns of Tegchen Legshey Ling to be able to practice longer retreats. Lama Jampa and Dechen Drolma visited the retreat centre for the first time, and were able to relax and enjoy the peaceful, spiritual surroundings.
On the third day of their visit, Lama Jampa Thaye and Dechen Drolma hosted a reception for Karma Thinley Rinpoche, Tulku Konchok Tenzin, Tulku Khedrup Gyamtso, Zopa Tulku, Tsepak Dorje Tulku, Venerable Lama Assi, Lama Kalsang Gyamtso, Lama Thubten Gyamtso, and all the ordained and lay sangha members of Tegchen Legshey Ling, to celebrate the 25thanniversary of the monastery. The reception was held at the beautiful “Yak & Yeti” Hotel in Kathmandu, famous for its beautiful gardens and sumptuous buffet lunches!
At the reception, Venerable Lama Assi thanked Karma Thinley Rinpoche for all his Dharma activities carried out ceaselessly over so many years; he then gave a brief outline of the history of the monastery, and thanked all the key actors that helped to bring the monastery into existence and who have also been continuing to generously contribute in many different ways to its ongoing maintenance and prosperity. In particular he highlighted and expressed appreciation on behalf of Karma Thinley Rinpoche and all the sangha for the constant substantial and generous support, from the very inception of the monastery, that has come from Lama Jampa Thaye and the Dechen group of Dharma centres under his direction. Venerable Lama Assi finally wished Karma Thinley Rinpoche the very best of health and long life, and a very hearty and auspicious “Tashi Deleg” to all the venerable and lay sanghas present at the celebratory reception.
In response, Lama Jampa Thaye firstly gave a brief account of how he first met Karma Thinley Rinpoche in 1973, and how becoming his disciple completely changed the course of his life. He pointed out that we all in Tegchen Legshey Ling and in the Dechen Dharma centres around the world are Karma Thinley Rinpoche’s spiritual children, and that Rinpoche is our master, great example and father, and Tegchen Legshey Ling is our spiritual centre. Lama Jampa thanked all who have been involved in creating and maintaining Tegchen Legshey Ling monastery, which is such a beautiful receptacle of the three jewels, and the fulfillment of Karma Thinley Rinpoche’s wishes and prayers to benefit sentient beings and uphold the holy Buddha-Dharma in the world. Lama Jampa wished all those present a long, healthy and happy life, thanked Karma Thinley Rinpoche for all his ceaseless Dharma activities and requested his blessings.
The fourth and last day of the visit was spent at the monastery with Rinpoche and at Jarong Kashor Stupa in Boudhanath. Before lunch the resident ordained sangha of Tegchen Legshey Ling gathered and made a doubled offering of the traditional long-life mandala and “Tenzhug” ritual to both Karma Thinley Rinpoche and Lama Jampa Thaye, wishing them long life and thanking them for their extensive Dharma activities.