September 25, 2011
Dear Members, Supporters and Friends of Guhyasamaja Center,
This is an exciting time for all of us. We’re still counting our blessings to have had the remarkable presence and teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama during Kalachakra in Washington, DC this past summer. The presence and actions of thousands of Dharma family members converging in our own backyard continues to energize our center and has added much enthusiasm to our programs in progress. Many new students found us after Kalachakra and our fall and early winter calendar has become quite full with weekly opportunities to study the Dharma and commune with other practictioners.
And now our busy fall is underway. Dr. Lorne Ladner, our director, has begun a two-year intensive Discovering Buddhism program in addition to a monthly group practice of Kalachakra Six Session Guru Yoga. Venerable Tendrol facilitates Meditations on the Path to Bliss the first Saturday of every month.
Most importantly, our precious teacher, Venerable Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa, will return to us in November for a residential retreat. This will take place at Am Kolel Sanctuary, Beallsville, MD from Monday, November 7 through Sunday, November 13. The teaching is The Union of Great Bliss & Emptiness – The Stages of Practicing Highest Yoga Tantra. Please check our website for registration details as there is limited space. Rinpoche will return again in January to continue his teachings on The Stages of the Path (Lam Rim.)
A Thangka Painting Workshop by artist, Carmen Mensink, is scheduled for the last weekend of October. We must have a minimum of 10 participants for this art workshop to happen, so hurry to sign-up!
These current events add to a rich history of Dharma blessings at Guyhasamaja including teachings and initiations by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, nearly six years of incredibly precious regular teachings from Khensur Rinpoche, and visits from many other great masters including Lati Rinpoche, Kyabje Ribur Rinpoche, Dhakpa Tulku Rinpoche, Geshe Tsulga, Geshe Gelek, and countless teachings from visiting international sangha.
Offering the Dharma in our Capitol region is Guhyasamaja’s highest goal! And it is with this in mind and with great enthusiasm that we announce an earnest endeavor, the Guhyasamaja Center Fundraising Campaign!! As we all know, it takes many years to create a thriving Dharma center with a dedicated membership. Since our center was founded by Lama Zopa Rinpoche we have slowly grown our center while borrowing and then renting small spaces for the purpose of teaching the Dharma. It is now our intended goal to purchase a stable space where we may grow and share the Dharma to all in our own sacred space!
Guhyasamaja Center is embarking on this earnest fundraising campaign for the express purpose of raising enough funds for a downpayment on such a space. After much research on the real estate market in our area, GC’s board members have agreed it is time and possible to purchase a building or condominium by the end of 2012!! It will take the help of all of our members and supporters to make it happen in this timeframe.
We currently have approximately $40,000 in our building fund. And, a generous, anonymous Buddhist donor has just offered a matching grant of $20,000 to Guhyasamaja Center if the center can raise $20,000 by March 31, 2012. So, this means that every dollar you give to the center’s building fund from now through March will be matched dollar for dollar! If we can get smaller donations from enough people this donor is giving a SINGLE DONATION of $20,000!!! Please help us … we do not want to miss out on this amazing opportunity.
So we are asking for all of you to please consider helping us with this important work!!! Please do not think ANY donation is too small! If we even had enough $1 donations, we could realize this goal!
Please consider sending any amount that is comfortable for your situation and know that even a small donation has HUGE MERIT for the giver and bears as much gratitude from our center as any!
Thank you for sending something in the mail as soon as possible before the thought of doing so collects too much dust to become a reality!! We are set up on our website to accept Guhyasamaja Building Fund donations via paypal or you can send a check made out to Guhyasamaja Center (with notation for building fund) to:
Guhyasamaja Center Building Fund
P.O. Box 1511
Centreville, VA 20122
Our deep and sincerest gratitude for your consideration,
Guyhasamaja Board Members
A Brief Note from our Center’s Director . . .
Dear Friends & Fellow Dharma Students,
Now is our time. This is our opportunity.
The purpose of any Dharma center is not something small. It’s to share the path to liberation and enlightenment—a path of unbearable compassion and utterly liberating wisdom! And, then to be the FPMT center in the capitol region of the U.S. perhaps carries some special role. It would seem that enhancing compassion and wisdom in this region where so many important decisions are made may have some benefits for the well-being of people on this planet.
So, at the Guhyasamaja Center, we have a wonderful tradition of sharing amazing Dharma teachings and then also of doing prayers and recitations for world peace. These have included (and will continue to include) practices such as Kalachakra Six Session Guru Yoga, reciting the Sutra of Golden Light, making Sur Offerings and so forth.
For the center to continue benefiting, it has become quite urgent that we purchase a place. And, do to the generous matching grant offered by one of our members, if others step forward now to help then that goal is within reach during 2012!
So, if you’ve found Guhyasamaja Center’s programs useful in the past and/or if you feel that such teachings existing in this area on into the future is important, now is the time to step forward and help!
I want to share two more reflections…if you haven’t found the center’s programs useful and if you don’t feel inspired about the benefits of Dharma, then don’t give. But, if you do give something to our matching grant program, please do so while thinking deeply about compassion and bodhichitta motivation. If you give, please do so with a big mind and with love in your heart, inspired to benefit present students, future students, and indirectly all sorts of creatures everywhere. If you’re going to step forward to help, then please think that you’re doing so in order to lead yourself and all other beings to full enlightenment. In that way, whatever anyone gives becomes a very pure karma, so then we are creating such karma together!
And the final thing is if you can, then please remember that the giver, the gift and the receiver are all dependently arisen—are all totally empty from their own side. Whatever you’ve read or heard about emptiness, please bring that to mind as well. If you just write a check or make a donation on paypal without thinking in those ways then you create some good karma. But, from a Buddhist perspective, if you give while thinking in your heart about compassionate bodhichitta and about emptiness, then it becomes a cause of enlightenment. So, my own prayer is that we all practice like that together and thereby attain enlightenment together as soon as possible!
Lorne Ladner, Ph.D.
Director, Guhyasamaja Center