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I Support

It has been my wish for a long time to be able to support others of like heart who are helping transform this planet and who need further fiscal support to be able to continue their work. Below are the projects I support:

The need of the hour : A Mandala For World Peace

If you build one Vajrakilaya Peace Mandala, it is as virtuous as building 108 stupas. Those who wish to build, and those working toward building, and those who are donating money to build – all three will reach the liberation stage together.                                                                     Lama Dawa Chhodak Rinpoche

In the Buddhist tradition, it is believed that there are special types of monuments that possess powerful energetic abilities to maintain peace and harmony, establish ecological balance, and pacify disease. One example is the construction of a full scale, three dimensional mandala. These types of monuments have the ability to bestow great blessings throughout the earth– permeating the five elements with their power.

We find ourselves at a critical time in human history, when the earth and all of its inhabitants are facing many dangers. How can we make a difference? How can we do something that will pacify negativity and help restore.

The Vajrakilaya Mandala is a powerful embodiment of all the Buddha’s compassionate activities. In response to the growing need to take action, we have initiated the Peace Mandala Project – the construction of a full – scale Vajrakilaya Mandala according to the ancient tantric Buddhist According to divination and through the vision of Lama Dawa Chhodak Rinpoche, it was determined that the most auspicious and effective location for such a Mandala is on the banks of the upper Mississippi River – land that was once sacred to the Native Americans and geographically suited for the maximum energetic effect. Thanks to the generous efforts of the Sangha, and through the blessings of the Guru’s, in the summer of 2007, Saraswati Bhawan purchased the perfect piece of property in Northeast Iowa, on the bluffs overlooking the spectacular Upper Mississippi River Valley Wildlife Preserve.

Be Part Of This Historic Project

The Mandala will be a full scale replica of the only known Vajrakilaya Mandala in existence today, which is in Bhutan. In 2003, Lama Dawa Chhodak Rinpoche began commissioning expert wood carvers from Nepal and Bhutan to carve key elements for the Mandala and have them shipped Progress is underway to build a temple to house the Mandala. It’s design is based on ancient Indian temple construction, but we will be using methods that are eco – friendly and energy – sustaining.

In order to accomplish Lama Dawa’s vision, your help is needed! This is an opportunity for you to make a real difference in the world and help support a project that will bring benefit far into the future!

You can contribute to the Peace Mandala Project by making an online donation, or for Americans, by mailing a check made out to Saraswati Bhawan, P O Box 237, Lansing, Iowa 52151. All donations are tax deductible. For more information and to see pictures of the progress, log onto www.saraswatibhawan.org

Why support such projects?

The most important way all of us can support the planet is to follow NATURAL LAW. Natural Law is not written down in the way human laws are recorded. It is recorded in our own heart. In Sanskrit, the word for natural law is Dharma. For example, the Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and also the Essene, Sufi and Gnostic traditions are systems recorded over the eons to enable man to more easily follow natural law. These teachings given over the ages by great sages, were never meant to be turned into religions, which to a large extent now actually hinder natural law.

In its real essence, to follow natural law, is to simply follow the wisdom which resides in your own heart in each moment. All of the true teachings point to this simple truth. Our real intelligence resides in the heart of who/what we are, not in the head. In Sanskrit this is known as citta (heartmind). The brain only records memory. For example, all people throughout the world when describing who they are, instinctively touch the heart, not the head. When this heartmind is cultivated by naturally following the inclinations of the heart, bodhicitta (compassion) arises. Clarity and the skill to discern what is appropriate in the moment is the end result.

In this day and age, it is difficult to find people in the various spiritual traditions who actually perpetuate and foster the unfolding of natural law. Through grace, I have had the opportunity to come across a few beings who really engender the living truth of Dharma and model for others, a very profound way to live true to their own heart.

As I have walked my path, I have discovered the monumental importance there is, to keep a certain energetic balance on the planet. This can only be accomplished with the continued presence of at least a small group of truly “enlightened “ beings. I have also found that certain lineages within the ancient Dharma traditions have been able to maintain their essence and thus retain their purity, which helps support this much needed balance.

The masters within certain lineages are able to foster this same awakening in others. Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal, due to their isolation over the centuries, have provided the environment and the support to help these essential expressions of natural law continue. Due to the present political and economic climate of the world however, the support these beings once received within their own culture, and that they once shared with their “apprentices” in the Dharma, has been disturbed by the present political climate. In order to give back in some small way for the gifts that have been tendered, I feel a natural impulse to support something that is truly priceless.

Thus my appeal is to those of like heart, who may also feel called to support one of the few surviving traditions which foster the needed awareness to keep our planet in balance. True spiritual practice is not meant to enlighten oneself, because there is no separate self to enlighten, it is to benefit all beings energetically. There is no need to practice enlightenment which is our natural state. For those who remain identified with ego,which is most of humanity, however, spiritual practice can potentially prepare the mind to let go and allow what is already our true state, to unfold.One lineage which has been able to keep its essence intact, is the Namkha Khyung Dzong practitioners of the Nyingmapa tradition, a group of monks, nuns and lay yogi and yogini practitioners, some of whom still live high up in the Himalayan range on the Nepal /China Border. There is also a growing female contingent of nun practitioners in the Tibetan settlement in Orissa India connected with the same lineage.. The purity of these monks and nuns and of the lay yogi and yogini practitioners who do meditation retreats for months and sometimes years at a time, are a great gift to the planet. It is my wish to support their aspirations as well as the schools for the local children in this isolated area with my own abundance and by encouraging others to do the same, because to support these dedicated practitioners, brings untold abundance to the planet as a whole. See below for further information and links.

The need of the hour, as mentioned above, is the swift completion of a special mandala or energized monument which is presently being built on the headwaters of the Mississippi River in the United States. It will be a copy of a special phurba mandala built in Bhutan over a thousand years ago, which has provided energetic support for the country ever since and helped keep the influence of negative energies at bay.

The intention of the current mandala project is to benefit not only the area of North America, but also the entire planet. With the current nuclear devastation and the often unreported pollution spreading around the earth as a result, this mandala will serve to help regain the balance which is so urgently needed. May you also consider donating to these likewise worthy contributors to the planet’s health and well being.

Laxmi Dechen Wangmo

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Information About Namkha Khyung Dzong Lineage
I also encourage support of the Namkha Khyung Dzong practitioners of the Nyingma tradition, the earliest of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The original Namka Khhyung Dzong monastery was situated in the western region of the Tibetan plateau, in an area called Ngari which is located near the Nepalese border next to Mt. Kailash. It is one of the main Nyingmapa monasteries which continues to carry on the tradition of Dudjom Lingpa’s lineage. The original monastery was first established in 1906 when Kyabje Degyal Rinpoche, a close disciple of Dudjom Lingpa, visited Mount Kailash and finding a suitable site, named it Namkha Khyung Dzong (Castle of the Sky Garuda). Degyal Rinpoche was one of among thirteen spiritual disciples of Dudjom Lingpa who attained rainbow body. Most of Degyal Rinpoche’s numerous disciples are located in the Ngari region of Tibet, Ladakh and Piti in India, Humla, Karmarong, Dolpo and Mustang etc. in the Northern Himalayan region of Nepal. There are also many major and minor branch monasteries in those areas.

The main Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery is now located in Humla, Nepal, across the border. It was completed in 1985 by one of the six son’s, of the second reincarnation of Degyel Rinpoche (five of which are Tulku’s or recognized re-incarnated Lama’s), the Venerable Pema Rigtsal Currently Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery in Humla has over one hundred monks. One other Tulku brother, the Venerable Gyebar Rinpoche, has established an additional monastery in Kathmandu. A convent for nun’s in the lineage has also been established in the Tibetan settlement in Orissa where the sacred Stupa containing the remains of the original Degyal Rinpoche is located.

Namkhyung Maha Maya School

The young monks and nuns study Tibetan, English, Nepali, Mathematics and Science. They follow the normal modern curriculum up to class seven.

The purpose of imparting modern education to the monks and nuns is to build a basic academic foundation prior to their monastic philosophical studies. In the present context, it is more helpful to have the foundation of a modern education before entering a monastic college (Shedra). In the future this will allow the monks and nuns to impart the Buddhist teachings in different languages and integrate them hand in hand with science and other standard secondary school studies. The intention is to prepare them to work for social harmony and world peace through the preservation and propagation of Buddha Dharma. With a firm foundation and balance between both a modern and a traditional Buddhist education, the monks and nuns will be better able to integrate and share the practical knowledge of a Dharma inspired life with society.

Current Situation

The main Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery is located in the Humla district, in the North Western part of Nepal, just south of the Tibetan border in the region of Mount Kailash.. It is 3190 meters above sea level. The Humla region lacks modern facilities like vehicles, telephones, roads etc. Inaccessible by road due to its surrounding mountainous geographical placement and with a lack of modern communication links, it is thus lacking in the modern amenities that most people take for granted. In terms of food production, the upper region of Humla yields a single annual harvest and the lower region yields two harvests a year. The main crops are rice, barley and beans, but due to infertile soil and the nature of high altitude crops, the production is insufficient to feed all of the population. Therefore the food requirement for over one hundred monks has to be brought in on horses, mules and porters from the border area. The entire area is also landlocked from the outside by heavy snowfall for several months every year. The cost of commodities in the Humla region is higher than it is in the city. If you put all of these hardships aside, however, due to its isolation, the region is very suitable and conducive for spiritual practice and study.

Current Needs

The additional Monastery in Nepal is now complete and is located at the northern border of the Kathmandu Valley. It however needs further support for the monks who live there. In Orrisa, one building for housing the nuns is now complete along with a new kitchen and bathroom facilities. As the number is growing and the nuns are now cramped, additional funds are needed for housing the nuns, as well as for their new Gompa. The monastery in Humla currently needs a general store-house for the whole monastery and eventually an administrative office quarter, library, and preferably a guest house. Additionally a computer room for the monks, a kitchen for the whole monastery and last but not least, also a nunnery for nuns who wish to remain close to their home in the Himalayas will be needed. The nuns in Humla face a lot of challenges. As there is no nunnery for them at the moment, nuns in Humla have to stay with their families and as a result, often have to work instead of practice. There is always the risk that they cannot continue their religious practice due to our lack of a separate nunnery. As a result, they face difficulty in their practice and in preserving their particular spiritual lineage. Some are impelled to go to other monasteries where they then need to follow other spiritual lineages to fit in. Although we have planned to build a nunnery for quite some time, because of financial constraints, it has not happened yet and is high on our priority list. There are also many lay practitioners in addition to monks and nuns who engage in three year, one year and six month retreats, as well as one hundred day retreats. But as there is no retreat center, the retreat practitioners do not have the opportunity to do so in a suitable environment. It is the wish and aspiration of many retreat practitioners in the area to build a proper retreat center in the near future. The plan is to build a retreat center not far from Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery as soon as it becomes fiscally possible. The monastery is also planning to build a 150 ft. statue of Guru Padmasambhava to help avert wide spread natural calamities, epidemic diseases, environmental pollution, the risk inherent in the proliferation of nuclear weapons etc.

Another project which is currently planned, is a clinic in the monastery which currently purchases Tibetan herbal and Western medicine valued at more than Rs.200,000 every year. This medicine is used for the monks of the monastery as well as for the local people and travelers. The amount of drugs the monastery purchases is not sufficient for our actual needs. It is a high priority to set up a formal clinic and engage a professional doctor in the monastery to help solve the various health related problems of the monks, nuns and local people. Both the monk’s and nun’s food, dress, dharma texts and various other requirements need to be covered. Over the years, Ven. Pema Rigtsal Rinpoche has managed all of the expenses of the monastery in Humla on his own. However with today’s economic climate, there is a need for additional moneys from people like yourself who wish to contribute to the support of peace and harmony in the world. For further information about the Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery and to see how you can benefit by either a direct contribution to a monk or nun, or to one of the monastery projects,

please click on: www.namkhyung.org

Two fine projects to support the children in the region surrounding the Humla monastery have been taken on by two of the former monks of the Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery. For further Information

please click on:  www.kmchildrenhome.org         www.kailashkids.org