Category Archives: RIC Blog

Pending mind-to-mind communication …

May 2020 last special Covid blog

Practicing together online, RAM meditation, surprise teaching of Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche from India, this confinement will have socialized communication by technology in our lineage, to our greatest satisfaction … And if, through our practices, might we finally communicate at a distance without technology?

Get out of confinement with the Buddhas who open the way to the light

Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche speaks to us from India (*)

Thursday, May 7th, Rinpoche addresses us. And even if the transmission is sometimes difficult to hear, we are there, glued to our screens from all time zones. While he is speaking to us, happy and warm little messages parade from all over the world: Europe with Austria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Spain, France (including Alsace !). The Russian Federation is manifested from everywhere, even from Siberia, Buryatia. America too, and finally Asia with Nepal, India and Bhutan, and even Australia. This unexpected meeting with Rinpoche is a real pleasure, the current passes (the barking of the dogs too!); we are all reboosted. The intensity of the meeting, brings a shock to the heart, this is really what emerges from all our telephone conversations from the end of the session. What does Rinpoche tell us? He reminds us of the inevitability of interdependence and impermanence: “The source, the root, the origin of this pandemic which is shaking us all at the moment, is the law of causation … Understanding this law, understanding the interdependence helps us to find a better, healthier, more balanced lifestyle, with a healthier body and a happy mind… Although this pandemic is a misfortune, it also gives us the great opportunity to understand in depth how much we are all interconnected and interdependent. ” Rinpoche also recalls the importance of developing kindness and compassion in ourselves: “We cannot prevent impermanence from bringing change, while if we develop a sense of understanding of kindness and compassion, we can go with the flow “…” Nothing more than kindness and compassion can heal us. We need it, at home, in the community, in society. And we also all need to have it in ourselves, deep down. ” What about the meaning of life? : “Ultimately, I think this impermanence is a wonderful teaching because it is a teaching that cannot be avoided. We have no choice, not facing impermanence is impossible. So how do you make sense of life in this impermanence? Not out of anger, not out of frustration, not by being overly stressed, but by understanding loving kindness, benevolent kindness, and compassion.

(*) read all of Rinpoche’s teaching by clicking on the following link (3 pp): http://ripa-international.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/GJR-May-2020.doc

Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche’s teaching on YouTube (~ 1 hr) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ69_yQnSH8

 

RAM meditation special weekly meetings

Quickly set up after the start of confinement and guided by Geneviève, the meditation meetings of our lineage (Ripa Awerness Meditation) met with great success. They are followed by all countries, by Ripa students as well as by people from outside. And the echoes we hear from one another reflect well the atmosphere of these meetings: “it’s great to feel this very warm atmosphere” … “We are in a space where we feel so good” … “We truly feel how much we can confide in one another, that we can really naturally ask our questions without any reluctance ”…“ It’s as if we were together as a family, we feel really close to each other. ” There is a general feeling that the atmosphere is very cheerful, lively, while offering a commitment to a real work of in depth meditation with good concentration. And everyone confirms their happiness to find themselves, to take advantage of this confinement to maintain this need for contact and connection with one another.

 

In the Center: streaming, practice texts, gardening and maintenance

As you all know, the coronavirus crisis and the confinement it has imposed have been accompanied from the start by streaming practices that everyone can join in. We can therefore meet daily in the morning and in the evening, we can also practice together Sangye Menla – Medicine Buddha – every Saturday at 5 p.m. and Guru Rinpoche every Sunday at 5 p.m. The goal is first to practice together without any physical encounter between us, and to invite the possible arrival of our teachers on the spot. It is also about keeping alive the bond of the RIPA community between all those who wish it. The team of the Center is also considering the possibility of maintaining a regular practice by streaming the tsok days of Sangye Menla, Yeshe Tsogyal, Guru Rinpoche and Gesar of Ling. If this project comes to fruition, you will be informed when the time comes. Our permanent employees work in the garden, permaculture is being put in place seriously and a gardening weekend has recently been organized. They continue to keep the Center in very good condition: cleaning, protecting unoccupied beds against dust, and a thorough Spring cleaning and maintenance … Everything imaginable. When we are back, we will find a clean Center like a new penny. Very important, finally: the texts usually loaned during group practices have been sorted, reordered, improved … In all languages!

 

Your flowers from everywhere, and a surprise gift

The traditional exchange of lily of the valley flowers on May 1st, even if it dates back some time, has been the occasion for many exchanges of bouquets, here are some of them. And also these superb photos of our center in bloom, plus a surprise photo that arrives just from Malaga.

 

See you soon “at home.”

Dharma and practice in this time of confinement

April 2020

Physically isolated for several weeks now, our disrupted daily life invites us to practice intensively. The bond that unites us with our teachers is so powerful that it gives us an incredible strength to go through these troubled times well anchored to the path of Dharma.

Guru Rinpoche in crystal

Our more regular and sustained practices

Carried by the messages of our teachers and the lung initiations that His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche transmitted to us in March from Nepal, we have definitely understood that this pandemic is a painful reminder to engage in practices for the benefit of all living beings, without exception. During the March transmission, H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche also reminds us “That there is none greater than Guru Rinpoche,” and he adds: “If one of his most famous manifestations is Guru Dorje Drollö, known for his powers against obstacles, in this practice he takes another form, that of Guru Drakpö, which is more appropriate [under the current circumstances] … If one is able to practice these saddhanas with faith and conviction, I trust that it will be very beneficial to you.”

Consequently, the online streaming of practices organized by our center in Switzerland are there to “ensure the follow-up” of Rinpoche’s message, to accompany us on the way, to support us, to encourage us and to bring us together. Many of you express your satisfaction and warmly thank the center for this initiative. One of us put it this way: “Even locked up, isolated each in his corner, we are not alone anymore, we are all together, and it is a great support.”

One of your beautiful personal home altars… We follow the streaming practices… In her garden, Martine offers Lingdrö dances… Rita immerses herself in the realization of a superb Tangka… Hélène, in great shape, sends us her smile and shares with us her good morale…

Isolation, a precious experience

The forced isolation from the national lockdowns were not necessarily well experienced at the start. Its suddenness and brutality surprised more than one and some experienced moments of sadness and even anxiety. Very quickly, however, the positive aspects emerged. Here is how some among you express it: “The confinement pushes us to practice … Through the streaming [of practices] we get back on the road together … We are carried by a force greater than ourselves … Practices with the center are very positive for me … This situation pushes us to refocus on the essentials … Finally, it is very positive, it is a beautiful offering that comes to us and carries us higher … Time no longer feels the same, it seems to be dilated, suspended, and despite that we don’t have time to get bored… Oddly we don’t feel any frustration, we don’t feel deprived of anything… We feel so close to each other…. ” Some dedicate their practices more specifically to the caregivers who have been transformed into real warriors to save lives, others work at opening the heart, doing long meditation sessions. But our shared experience is the awareness of impermanence, it is palpable, everyone experiences it in the depths of their being.

The surrounds of your practice sessions: Dharma cat, nice cat … Expulsion of the breaths of baby birds born right next to the altar of one of our friends … Exchange of gastronomic ideas … In France, even wines can become “Conscience!”… In Belgium, Rita has only the street to cross to buy her vegetables at the farm next to her little house … Pandemic exorcist standing in a garden near Sylvie’s house in the Paris region …

The center is still in action

On site, the onsite “dream team” continues its activities and the photos that follow are far from representing everything that is going on and being prepared. All the seminars having been canceled due to the lockdown in Switzerland, some of the external speakers have agreed to participate in reduced online programme via Landguet Ried Zoom platform, on a donation basis. It does not replace the originally planned in-person programme, but it helps maintain the contact with our audience. Realising the importance of the existence of such a center, external speakers and participants support it as best they can. Carlo takes care of the installation of a new statue of Buddha; on his new stone base, our little historic Buddha has been elevated; the benches are repainted; the shop is almost ready, Gabriella puts the finishing touches on the presentation and the storage of the objects she brought back from Nepal for us. We are expected. Definitely.

The new Buddha… Our little historic Buddha, present since 2012… Ursula and Carlo add a layer… Preview of the restocked shop…

Your postcards

A thousand thanks to you for all the photos you have sent and a thousand apologies for those you will not find in this blog. It was technically impossible to insert them in their entirety. The following is a reflection of the diversity of all that you have sent, you are full of ideas. You have given us an overview of the animals that accompany your practices, suggested your gastronomic ideas … Here you are offering us flowers from your gardens. And these last photos which open on the sky, towards the infinite, which seem to indicate to us the path on which our practices take us… What happiness! All of your postcards show how lively, imaginative, humorous and connected our RIPA community is. A real gift from the Dharma!

Your flowers … Your skies: From the Mediterranean to France … From Brussels … From Paris … From Vigo in Spain on the Atlantic coast … From Germany in the center where Katharina lives…

Thank you all for your participation and see you soon –

Exceptional Call for Donations COVID-19

As our centre is closed until further notice, you can support it during this time to prepare the return of our Teachers as well as yours! Your donations, even small ones, are welcome.

Donation

A big thank you in advance to all of you and see you soon!

At the RIC, work and life continue in a beautiful atmosphere

March 2020

Confined just as all other RIPA students, and half of the 7.8 billion inhabitants who inhabit our planet, our friends, permanent and voluntary, take care of our Center in Switzerland. Loyal to their job, they are actively preparing for our return.

Adapting and preparing for the future

No more outside groups, no more usual activities, no more weekend bookings by Tibetan or other groups …. The Center is confined and also forced to change its habits. Suddenly, our ship adapts. The work continues, efficient and sustained because the burden of the administrative part remains heavy: it is necessary to postpone the dates of the registered groups, cancel reservations, and create new options for the future… Begonia, Antje, and Helen spend most of their days in front of their computer and on the phone. As there is no longer any cash flow and reimbursements have to be made, the costs have been reduced to the strict minimum. All the more so as for our sangha, the cancellations of the coming of Lhuntrul Rinpoche then Jigme Rinpoche for which there were very many registrations also make a hole in the budget. Lluis, the cook, is on site but unemployed, he is nevertheless a great help. Carlo and Ursula, transformed into volunteers for some time, do a wonderful job accompanied by Theresa. Gabriela, Nadya and a few others gather  periodically to work in the garden. Obviously no more hugs, no more physical contact and we keep a respectful distance from one another …. But morale is good. During these troubled times the Sangha spirit has never been so present, so powerful, so supportive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the office – software, documents, listings, Begonia, Antje and Helen juggle with all the sources of information, without forgetting the little scribbled notes, the post-its and other “reminders” …. In the fields – In Switzerland the shops are also closed, including florists. Fortunately, Gabriela planted daffodils in the Fall. They find their most beautiful place on the altar in the offering bowl. And for the tsok, the first primroses picked up at the foot of the Gompa adorn the plates of the teachers…. In the center – there is now a bit more time to undertake some “chores”: ironing the mountains of Katas accumulated over the retreats… Preparation and classification of the texts loaned during the practices. They will be linked in all languages.… The center has finally been graced with beautiful orientation panels made entirely “by hand” with art and care thanks to Carlo and Ursula… Gabriela – unemployed – unpacks deliveries of purchases that she made just four weeks ago in Nepal for the center store.

The streaming of sadhana practices via face-book and the internet have been a great success –

The first experiment took place on March 21 and 22, and it continues (*). It is especially in troubled times like the one we are going through today that the teachings take on their full meaning and significance. And the terms in which Begonia tells us about life and practice at the center are confirmed by all your testimonies: “We are totally immersed in the experience of impermanence, solidarity, altruism, the openness of heart, of all that our Masters teach us and of the practices in which they engage us ”…“ Even if it will prove difficult from a financial point of view for the center, we don’t even think about it in the first degree , we are first concerned with finding the best solution for each individually, for our sangha as well as for all outside groups. It is as if personal interests are falling because we definitely understand that we’re all on the same boat. ” About the boat, Jigme Rinpoche, during his very first teaching in Europe in 1996/1997 told us about the role of the Teacher in Tibetan Buddhism. “The Teacher,” he explained to us, “is like the captain of a boat. On the starting shore, he gathers up all those who wish to leave for the great crossing. Throughout the journey, he will guide them through storms, hurricanes, reefs, shoals and dangers of all kinds. Once arrived on the sacred banks, everyone disembarks and the Teacher sets out again, alone on his boat, to welcome new travelers. ” Upset, many of us burst into tears. More than twenty years later, we are in the middle of a crossing, and not on a cruise ship! Our luck is that our teachers are very great captains. Coronavirus or not, they are there to help us round all the capes and among them, the Cape of Good Hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparation for sadhana practice and streaming – Ursula and Begonia place the throne of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, Antje looks after the camera, each counts his or her accumulations. In all countries – in our gompa in Switzerland and also in Spain, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Russia, etc. More than fifty students followed this first weekend, without forgetting those who have practiced without logging in!


See you soon for the next practice and the next mini-blog!

(*) to follow the practices live, connect directly without any obligation to:https://www.facebook.com/ripa108

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SUPPORT THE CENTER

If you wish to support the center in these difficult times, you can do so by becoming Ripa Supporter or by making a one-off donation and using the bank account on this form: RSP_Form_EN

 

 

A Week of Ripa Meditation in Silence : Happiness!

Winter 2019-2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Our meditation” – Ripa Awerness Meditation (R.A.M) – is gradually unfolded to us over time by Rinpoche. Specific to our lineage, but deeply linked to the Buddhist tradition, it is beginning to become more well known here and there, and in particular, it opens the doors to inner transformation. An adventure without limits.

The intensity and depth of each moment

Like Padmashambhava in his time and the great masters of the past, Rinpoche opens and develops a path for us by having us start from where we are : from what we feel and experience. By guiding us, supporting us, leading us towards the deep exploration of our body, the awareness of our seat, our back, our head, our arms, our shoulders, then of our breathing, our steps, our walking, he is our constant support. His voice accompanies us with strength, gentleness and persuasion. Soothing also, it reassures us and helps us to drop our resistance, our hidden blockages, our internal tensions. In addition to the good four hours of daily meditation in his presence, we are encouraged to remain attentive in each moment, each movement of our body, each breath … The challenge is also to remain focused and open to what surrounds us, being also present to the slightest noise, to every smell, even subtle, even feeling our taste buds identifying the taste of each morsel of our meals, so that we intensely and deeply experience every second … In short, we are invited to stay present in all the gestures of daily life that are usually so automatic, these gestures which are performed a thousand and a thousand times without even thinking about them, while our spirit is often elsewhere … What an exercise!

In order to maintain this state beyond the meditation periods proper, we are invited to participate, with full awareness and with the greatest attention, in the daily maintenance of the Center so that it remains pleasant and in good condition for everyone’s comfort. Dishes for the three daily meals (we are one hundred and twenty!), cleaning and repair of the large dining room, cleaning of the common areas, sinks, showers, keeping of the shop, plant refreshment, maintenance of bouquets of flowers, etc… The request for attention, focus and mindfulness is permanent. Suffice it to say that as the retreat ends, the return to “normality” and speech is sometimes painful. Our nerves having been soothed for a while, find again this inevitable excitement and busy-ness of everyday life …. Very quickly, we plunge back into our great shared addiction: talking, talking, talking …. Which only goes to confirm that silence is so much better. As you already know, Rinpoche will soon go on a personal retreat, it is up to us to continue our meditative journey until his return.

In immersion… Lasting ten minutes for the first few days, meditation sessions ranges reach forty-five minutes at the end of the week, or even more… The joy of relaxing and finding yourself standing at the end of the morning and afternoon … Rinpoche plunges his hand into the “question box” filled with questions from the students. With obligatory silence, all questions are asked in writing.

The best way to sit … Each has its own cushion … Almost flat … Half-moon full of poetry … At altitude … Sloping but not too low … Or squarely in its cocoon…

The training of future instructors continues… Ripa Awerness Meditation working session with Rinpoche… With Lama Tenzin in our dear and beautiful gompa… Or at Yogom with Cynthia…

Photo album… Silent passage to the buffet… The retreat over, the dining room is the first place of exchange… The bouquets are pampered daily… Cleaning is done with a smile… No snow this year, but majestic plants in the frost … And our center is always superb whatever the weather…

Unless something unforeseen occurs, Rinpoche will give a final teaching in May in Switzerland before entering personal retreat. The dates are not yet known, so it is best to be attentive and register quickly, there will be a lot of people!

Our international community gathered for a great summer retreat

July / August 2018: Grand RIPA Retreat in Our Swiss International Center

Back in Europe after a one year retreat, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche offers us a great opportunity to gather once again. For three weeks, our international spiritual community finds its three RIPA Masters together….

Life, death and rebirth: a Buddhist perspective

From the depth of my practice, my retreat gave me the opportunity to think of you, to pray for all, and to develop even more discipline.” This is how Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche returns to us for this first week on the Bardo of death. He adds, “It has also given me a deep understanding of the difference between study and practice. The experience of practice is deeper, as one is beyond analysis, thought, and interpretation. You become free since this experience offers no basis for input or fixation. One becomes free from all judgment and all opinion.” And he further adds, “If we are serious about our spiritual journey, we should really engage in this profound experience to see how much practice makes the difference ….” There is no question of daring to summarize here in a few lines a whole week of exceptional teachings. Rinpoche was inspired by The Bardo Thödöl – The Tibetan Book of the Dead – composed by Padmasambhava in the 8th century, written by Yeshe Tsogyal, and discovered in the 14th century by Karma Lingpa ; this work is a great testament to the ancient wisdom of the Far East. Rinpoche’s introduction will give you just a quick overview: “I have just returned from Orissa (*), where I visited several elderly people who are approaching death. Among them, a lady I’ve known since I was a child. She is almost 90 years old and very close to her departure. I was very surprised to see her so conscious and calm. She told me how much she no longer had any attachment, neither to her family, nor to her children, nor to her house, nor even to her body… She is very relaxed, totally ready to leave… And death is something universal. So it is good to understand this period of death and the bardo in order to prepare ourselves and to help others in this most important period of our lives, at the end of our lives.

(* State of the Indian Federation on the Bay of Bengal where one of the monasteries of the RIPA lineage is located)

Slideshow 1 :

“Practices and rituals are accompanied by the monks … Offerings of Our Teachers and lamas to H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche at the end of the retreat … Then each of us receives a blessing … The tormas of the rituals are all prepared by the monks, a real work of art … How to put one’s zen well? – a learning session … Atmosphere, atmosphere: candle, bell and dorje … As usual, children lead their lives on their own, caressed by the energy of the teachers, practices, and rituals … “

Lingdro dances in connection with Gesar of Ling …

The second week takes us to the Drupchö (Great Achievement in Tibetan) of Yeshe Tsogyal. A Drupchö is one of the most elaborate forms of Vajrayana practice. It is an exceptional opportunity to immerse one’s self – body, speech and mind – in spiritual experience. We have been discovering and deepening this Drupchö for several years. And it opens up an unlimited field for us to access the experience Rinpoche is talking about. The last week will be reserved for another Drupchö, that of Hayagriva. It is a great discovery for many of us, especially since it is a wrathful deity … An unlimited field of practice and experience. This year, the whole retreat is enriched with dances: Lingdrö dances and sacred dances. Lama Tenzin presents the first: “Ling is all that relates to King Gesar of Ling and Drö means dance,” he adds: “If no one knows the origin of the melodies, we are sure that the poems were composed by Ju Mipham Rinpoche in the 19th century. And all that Mipham has created and written is based on facts from earlier Tibetan history such as that of King Gesar of Ling. At the time of Gesar, every victory was celebrated by dances, archery competitions, and so on. At that time, singing, dancing, participating in festivities were part of the events of life… ” Lama Tenzin continues : ” The Lingdrö dances have a total of fifteen chapters. The first is a dance of offerings to the Guru, Yidam, Dakini, Dharma Protectors, Gesar himself, and his own protectors. In another chapter the dance invites Gesar and all male deities to bless the place, while all the female deities are invited from elsewhere, etc. The first chapter, for example, is an offering to the divinities of wisdom, so we dance with a kata.” In the past, H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche had presented this fundamental aspect of Lingdrö dances to us as follows: “These dances are linked to the awakened activities of King Gesar… They are not ordinary dances… They are practices that help us to overcome the difficulties we face on the path of awakening, they support us in our progress.”

Slideshow 2:

“The Tibetan community of Switzerland always participates. Coming to receive the blessings of the RIPA Masters, they offer us these Lingdrö dances. The day of festivities will bring together more than three hundred people in total … the dances of women and men answer each other … Moment of waiting and anticipation with the children before the dancers “enter the stage”…” King Gesar” is ready… Lama Tenzin too… And as always the children are busy, which does not prevent them from admiring the “show”. “

… And the “Cham” dances, manifestations of the sacred

When we celebrate a Drupchö, obstacles arise created by negative spirits and the Deities represented by terrifying masks remove obstacles and negative energies. This tradition of sacred dances has the particular objective of repelling them. The feminine and masculine deities are represented. But the big difference between the Lingdrö and the “Cham” dances is that the first ones are considered as dances of this world, while the latter ones are the dances of the divinities of wisdom themselves. Everything is in direct relation with Dharma, and they are also defined as dances of liberation by sight. We are not talking here of definitive liberation, but of a momentary liberation: the spectacle reduces the impact of our negative emotions and frees us for a moment from the certainty that what we see is reality whereas it is only an illusory appearance. Everything manifests itself differently and a subtle relationship is established between the practitioner and the divinity. It is said that the Cham has great power in itself, it is said that dancing the cham is the best way to purify the body in particular. The sacred dances we attend each evening during Hayagriva’s Drupchö are part of the traditions of Taksham and Pema Lingpa. And those who attended these dances will tell you in particular how impressively Lhuntrul Rinpoche became Dörje Drollö. On other nights, the female and male deities unfold and imbue us with another energy. All these dances are remarkably performed by the monks who came especially from the RIPA monasteries.

Slideshow 3 :