Looking Back on Bodhgaya 2018
Thank you to everyone who travelled from far and wide to celebrate the life and teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni with us last month in Bodhgaya, India!
Cards of Wisdom
Envisioned as a means to provide a dose of extra inspiration between practice sessions, visitors seemingly took a shine to our new Cards of Wisdom activity and shared with us their reflections on the cards’ quotations: After reading an excerpt from the sūtra, ‘Calling Witness with a Hundred Prostrations’ [1.37], Alan from Singapore was moved to reflect that the quotation was “a constant reminder that enlightenment is within – so near yet seemingly so distant” and gave thanks to his teachers for their kindness and the opportunity to be with us all in Bodhgaya.
We hope that these Cards of Wisdom allowed all who ‘played’ both the time and the resources to better contemplate the words of the Buddha at the very site of his enlightenment.
4th Resounding Under the Bodhi Tree
Amidst the flurry of dharmic activity throughout the Dzongsar Monlam, our very own highlight was on the morning of November 14th when – together with the Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Institute (DKCLI) – we hosted our 4th Resounding Under the Bodhi Tree!
This year, we saw well over 1,000 participants for our Resounding during the Dzongsar Monlam!
Building on 2016’s collaboration, the Resounding began with a beautiful offering of song and art to H.E. Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche, H.E. Abhaya Vajra Rinpoche, and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, by the 25 children of the Middle Way Education Camp. The children, from five countries, leading by example, then recited four lines of The King of Samādhis Sūtra in both English and Chinese.
After a brief introduction by 84000’s representatives, Khyentse Rinpoche addressed the gathering giving a lengthy speech in Tibetan, describing the purpose, intention and progress of the project. In particular, Khyentse Rinpoche spoke of the importance of beginning this translation project while we still have some Tibetan Buddhist masters alive, as there are some concepts—such as that of non-duality—that more academic, scientific, or non-practitioner translators find difficult to convey wholly and accurately.
(A video and full transcripts in Tibetan and English of Khyentse Rinpoche’s speech are available here.)
With heartfelt thanks to the incredible generosity of The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation (Taiwan) and to Light of the Buddhadharma Foundation International thanks to whom we were able to print and to freely distribute beautiful printed copies of the entire 84000 translation, The King of Samādhis Sūtra, from which all those gathered could resound; to the tireless Pema Wangchuk, who coordinated the carrying of books by countless DCKLI monks into the Temple compound; and to Simon Thomas, Gyan, and Aspi Mistry for their crucial technical, audio, and livestreaming guidance and advice that allowed hundreds of friends and supporters around the world to participate remotely!
From November 8 – 12, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche taught extensively on the sūtra The Teaching of Vimalakīrti from beneath the Bodhi Tree, enriching for those present and those tuned-in remotely their experience and understanding of the Mahayāna concept of non-duality. The links to these recorded teachings can be found below.*
2nd Biennial Siddhartha Festival
We were also honored to have been able to participate in the elegant and beautiful second edition of the Siddhartha Festival, held over the two days immediately following the Monlam.
We shared key excerpts from the The Play in Full and—with the masterful help of the theatrical speakers that led us—we were able to share this commemoration, contemplation, and celebration of the life of the Buddha, the prince who renounced all he possessed and left the world a 2,500 year legacy of wisdom.
And, last though certainly not least, on the final day of the Siddhartha Festival, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche announced 84000’s newest sūtra translation and publication The White Lotus of the Good Dharma!
*For recorded teachings by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on the sūtra, The Teaching of Vimalakīrti:
Day 1, Nov. 8:
Day 2, Nov. 9:
Day 3, Nov. 10:
Day 4, Nov. 11:
Day 5, Nov. 12: