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Lama Zopa Rinpoche Visits Moscow and Kalmykia

Lama Zopa arrives in Kalmykia. From
Lama Zopa arrives in Kalmykia. From

Venerable Lama Zopa Rinpoche, spiritual leader of the international Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), began his tour of Moscow and Elista, capital of Republic of Kalmykia, on 29 September. 

Rinpoche’s program began with a blessing ceremony for a large number of pets during Animal Care Day, celebrated at the Amber Plaza Hall in Moscow. The unique ceremony was attended by more than 600 people and their animal companions. The event was organized by the Fund for the Preservation of Cultural and Philosophical Traditions of Tibetan Buddhism“Save Tibet,” the Fund for the Promotion of a Humane and Responsible Attitude to Animals “Wind Cat,” with the support of Moscow Buddhist center Ganden Tendar Ling, which is associated with FPMT, and several organizations related to animal care. 

According to Rinpoche: “The purpose of such a ceremony is to give peace and calmness to the hearts of animals and to give meaning to their lives so that, sooner or later, they can find complete awakening and the highest happiness.” (Золотая обитель Будды Шакьямуни)

On 30 September, the esteemed Gelug teacher arrived for a second time in Kalmykia to lead a Mani retreat for 100 million accumulations of the mantra of great compassion, Om Mani Peme Hung, at Europe’s largest Buddhist temple, the Golden Abode of Shakyamuni Buddha. The retreat was held for the first time in Russia at the request of Telo Tulku Rinpoche, shadjin lama (head lama) of the Kalmyk people and honorary representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Russia, Mongolia, and the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. It was organized by the Golden Abode of Shakyamuni Buddha, Ganden Tendar Ling, and the Fund for the Preservation of Cultural and Philosophical Traditions of Tibetan Buddhism“Save Tibet.”

Lama Zopa blesses pets in Moscow. Image courtesy of Renat Alyaudinov
Lama Zopa blesses pets in Moscow. Image courtesy of Renat Alyaudinov

The official opening of the retreat was held on 1 October, in the large hall of the Kalmyk temple, with welcoming speeches by Telo Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and Venerable Yelo Rinpoche, spiritual leader of Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha (Buryatia). The three teachers expressed the general opinion that the Mani retreat would be of great benefit to the citizens of Kalmykia and all of Russia.

0n 4–6 October, Lama Zopa bestowed a Thousand-armed Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) initiation for the Russian and international public. Geshe Tenzin Zopa, who received his monastic degree from Sera Je Monastic University, was appointed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to review his teachings during the retreat and to lead the practice session.

The retreat will continue until 20 October and is being streamed with simultaneous translation on the FPMT website and on the Facebook pages of FPMT and the central temple of Kalmykia. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has granted permission for offsite participation in the mantra accumulation during the retreat, by reciting the short sadhana of the deity with sincere motivation to generate bodhicitta (the awakened mind).

On Saturday, Lama Zopa Rinpoche will perform another animal blessing ceremony at the exhibition complex of the Elista Hippodrome. The organizers of the ritual are the Golden Abode of Shakyamuni Buddha, “Save Tibet,” and “Wind Cat.”

After the program in Kalmykia, Lama Zopa Rinpoche will again visit Moscow to give teachings on developing bodhicitta at Ganden Tendar Ling on25–27October. The teachings will be based on the text Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea: Verses in Praise of Bodhicitta, written by the renowned Tibetan teacher Khunu Lama Rinpoche Tenzin Gyaltsen (1894–1977).

Lama Zopa Rinpoche was born in 1946 in the village of Thami, in the Mount Everest region of Nepal. At the age of three, he was recognized as the incarnation of Kunsang Yeshe (1865–1946), a renowned yogi and a tantric master of the Nyingma school of Vajrayana Buddhism. After the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959, Lama Zopa first moved to Bhutan and then to a Tibetan refugee camp in West Bengal, India, where he met his root teacher, Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935–84), who was from the Gelug school. In 1967, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Thubten Yeshe moved to Nepal, where they founded Kopan Monastery and started the FPMT. After the passing of Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche became the spiritual leader of the FPMT and continued traveling the world to spread the wisdom and compassion of the Dharma.

Avalokiteshvara initiation in Elista. From
Avalokiteshvara initiation in Elista. From

See more

Лама Сопа Ринпоче проведет в Элисте церемонию благословения животных (Золотая обитель Будды Шакьямуни [Russian language only])
Посвящение 1000-рукого Будды Сострадания(Save Tibet Russia [Russian language only])
Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Russia 2019
FPMT (Facebook)

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