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 :

“Impressive dances … Terrifying masks … Some of us receive a real shock … We are carried away by the movements … And we can even be surprised to” dance “internally, without moving. “

Happy monks!

Slideshow 4 :

“Family photo at the end of retreat … Excursion day in the Swiss mountains … Short break during the day … Lama Tenzin films swimming … One of the young monks very much likes the cows that make him feel well … Lunch in the open air ; on the menu: eggs and rosti, the Swiss national dish made of grated potatoes roasted with onions … Departure approaches, and one has to pack one’s bags. The masks of the sacred dances are packed, the Drupchö texts are packed in a heavy suitcase … All this luggage will accompany the monks to Moscow and Kalmykia where two other Drupchös guided by Lhuntrul Rinpoche are planned … “

Slideshow 5 :

“The Lingdrö dances, are also the occasion of a day of festivities for all … In the center, the good corners are not lacking for the meal break … The students offer dances, songs, sketches, skits … And even a very joyous collective dance … Karma Shedrup appreciates the quality of Laurent’s sound system … And trains Carlo in the subtlety of instrument playing and the easing of the fingers … The monks are interested in the photos taken by Michèle Z … All the children are visibly happy here, the activities are not lacking, and the ideas neither “

See you soon for another blog !

He has returned

Nepal, May – June 2018, the conclusion of Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche’s one-year retreat

The morning that Rinpoche leaves his retreat, we are hundreds, of all countries, of all conditions, family, monks, students, friends, waiting for the return of Rinpoche. As he leaves his little “house or hermit’s cave,” in which he has just spent a year, to join us directly … it is impossible to express what we feel.

Homecoming

You have undoubtedly already had access to photos broadcast in real time from one to the other on so-called social networks. Thus, this blog will rather push the doors behind the scenes of the adventure, what we experienced as well as the commitment of all those who made this event a success, as we witnessed the heights of attainment of our teacher, a true master, as he welcomed all participants. Descending from the mountain early in the morning, Rinpoche first passes the long rows of Tibetans, Nepalese, students of all countries, then the monks, after which we all enter the temple. Rinpoche settles and then speaks to us in Tibetan, Nepali, followed by English. For those who are in the back part of the monastery, the echo effect produced by the sound system makes understanding rather difficult. It does not matter, his presence is immense and the communication is done by the heart. Moreover, among those who had arrived a few days before – while Rinpoche was still up there for his last days of retreat – some even thought they felt his compassion and his love caressing and blessing the whole Dallu Valley.

Mid-day, lunch break. Everyone is on the forecourt around round tables and chairs that also look festive. The youngest monks are of course associated with the event, they are at the buffet, and for some, it is obviously the first time they serve meals to guests. Their noses just reach the rim of the large pots, and so they have to lift their arms high to fill the plates, even rising on tiptoe. Regardless, they are visibly delighted. Smiling, and yet serious at the same time, they strive to do a good job. Jigme Rinpoche settles among us, at a table among the guests, as does Lhuntrul Rinpoche and the family too. The children are singing and laughing. We experience the excitement and atmosphere of the great moments of the RIPA lineage, but with something more added: Rinpoche is back.

Two days later, we start the Nyungné. This is the first time that monks, Tibetans, nuns and students are gathered in the temple for this practice of purification … Guided by Rinpoche, who makes more prostrations than us, these four days are impressive. Those who discover this practice for the first time are in shock, and even for those who have a little experience, we are too. Here, the Nyungné is more intense, more powerful, some even say wild. It is true that the energy of the valley of Dallu is particularly powerful, we are in the Ripa Monastery already well charged with practices and blessings since 2005, by the Ripa Masters as well as by the practices of the monks. But above all, Rinpoche’s presence after a year of retreat is manifestly felt, of course, for many. For two nights, he speaks about Nyungné, it is then at night that we return to our respective “guest-houses.” In the dark, our path is strewn with fireflies, small luminous reflections on the grass, a mirror of the stars of the milky way … Magic!

Slideshow 1 – Photo captions: Monks, Tibetans, Nepali, students attentive to the words of Rinpoche … Tsok distribution … Lunch in the open air … The forecourt of the monastery transformed into a huge friendly restaurant … Laughter and songs, a very beautiful atmosphere … Nyungné: prostrations, in the background the monks too … “Music” reinforces the effects of the practice … The huge statue of Chenrezig with a thousand arms supports us in our efforts.

Mero Gaon: the village is rebuilt

Recall this mountain-side village, that was destroyed in its entirety by the earthquake, and for which Rinpoche, so touched by the suffering and distress of the villagers, responded to their call for help. Two years later, the fifty-five houses – one per family – have been rebuilt, to earthquake-resistant standards, with the help of students from all over the world. All have electricity, with a central water point for each group of five houses. Previously, fetching water and bringing it back took a lot of time and effort. Now it is two steps away. Invited to the official inauguration of the village, those who participated in the reconstruction go to the side of the mountain. Reaching the village is already a small adventure in itself: the bus that leads us from the monastery must first descend to Kathmandu, cross the city, its traffic jams, its pollution, then attack the ascent of another mountain with improbable “roads.” Follo wing two hours traversing these roads is added nearly an hour of walking in the mountains with climbs, descents, a small pass at 2000 m, and an arrival at 1725 m, the altitude of the village. All under a blazing sun and a corresponding temperature. Along the way, Rinpoche is greeted by villagers with their kata, as well as school children, etc. We finally cross the small welcome arch specially erected for the occasion by the inhabitants of Mero Gaon. We visit the village, listen to speeches, and witness the unveiling of of the commemorative plaque … Rinpoche addresses the assembly, some other speeches follow … Or not … Because the villagers scheduled to speak obviously do not want to speak in the microphone. And again, the sound is capricious. Rinpoche’s words are punctuated by “glub-gzz-glub-glub.” Although we are more than 1700 m above sea level, his voice seems to come from an immersed submarine on the other side of the world. Finally, he gives up on the microphone.

A friendly meal has been prepared and is served by the villagers, while also giving each family a file that includes the plan of their house, along with a lock and its key. Each family ? No, every woman in every family, who are all well dressed for the occasion, and adorned with beautiful jewelery. Where are the men? We are obviously asking the question. Answer: here it is the women who “guide the boat,” the men follow. Indeed, they are all in festive dress and men, dressed as usual, observe, rather shy and a little behind. They are the ones who serve us the meals assisted by teenagers. The distribution of the files finished, Rinpoche calls a little  boy. All shy, impressed, he approaches, and Rinpoche gives him a great soccer ball for all the kids. His face lights up and he walks away with the gift, all proud and happy. We take the road back, tired but happy.

Slideshow 2 – Photo captions: After the earthquake everything was ravaged, the villagers were sheltering under plastic and sheet metal … Rinpoche came to support them, the reconstruction of the houses was decided and everything is completed … The reception of Rinpoche on the path of Mero Gaon … The small welcome bow of bamboo and cloth welcomes us … The commemorative plaque … Distribution of meals … Rinpoche with some village women … Water flowing from a tap, fascinating! … The press and the Nepalese TV are present for a future documentary.

Lumbini: The Birthplace of Buddha

This is the last leg of our journey. Only 300 kilometres separate Lumbini from Kathmandu. Located in southern Nepal in the Terai plain near the Indian border, it takes more than ten hours by bus to reach it, compared to just half an hour by plane. The sacred area of Lumbini is one of the most important holy places of our great religions of the world. Recognized by UNESCO in 1997, it is said to be one of the most visited pilgrimage destinations on the planet. There is also the temple of Maya Devi – named after the mother of Buddha – also classified as an international heritage site by UNESCO. In the surrounding area, on a park of 23 hectares, numerous temples represent all the schools of Buddhism and many countries of the world. We visit that of Korea, China and many others, all beautiful. The French temple is under construction and as there are still plots of land, Rinpoche and RIPA Russia have decided to build a temple for Russia that is not yet represented. On the spot in the open air, Rinpoche presents us the ground, and this time, the sound system works perfectly thanks to a teenager who follows us everywhere, braced under the weight of the battery on one side and an imposing “loud- speaker” of the other. The general opinion is that Lumbini’s visit allows us to feel the sweetness, serenity and peace that emerge from the place.

In this trip, we are accompanied by about twenty children, already all “banged up” from the first years of their short life. They were rescued from their misfortune and brought together in a children’s home founded by Dorje Dolma, a Nepalese woman that has been supported for a long time by Namkha Rinpoche, Jigme Rinpoche, Lhuntrul Rinpoche and the family. Children spend the day with us and enjoy the hotel pool. They throw themselves into the water with pleasure, play, and practice swimming with us. Confident, visibly well in their skin, in the good company of Dolma, “their mother,” with whom they find attentiveness, listening and tenderness, they find the way to the joy of living. As a result, they come to us without any fear. Spontaneous, direct, open, they are funny, alive, visibly well put together and they help one another naturally (we will talk about this children’s home in more detail in a while). It is there, in Lumbini, that our adventure ends. Everyone is leaving soon for their continent and their country.

Slideshow 3 – Photo captions : In the departure lounge for the flight to Lumbini … We fly on Yeti Airlines. The logo, the imprint of its foot … Close to the place of birth of the Buddha, but well protected from the sun … Rinpoche with the monks who accompany him, then with the children … Opposite: the paparazzi of the Dharma! … After the storm, the paths turn into streams … Beautiful temples … Rinpoche in front of the plot of land for the future Russian temple … Everyone in the water in the pool … Before lunch.

Photo album

A few photos pell-mell to flip through for a more extensive overview of our trip. Next time, come, these are irreplaceable moments with our irreplaceable teachers.

Slideshow 4 – Photo captions: Before the effort, some relaxation, a good football game gets us in shape … The players … The goalkeeper … The cloakroom … Preparations: installation of the big top … Some innovative ideas to clean a tiled floor … Interview of Doctor Milan for the next TV documentary … At the airport – “maximum height 2.18 m, pay attention to your head”? !

Portraits

Slideshow 5 – Photo captions : On the way to the village the children are waiting for Rinpoche … Before listening to him while watching … Portraits of villagers … Taeo’s camera fascinates … One of the small monks of the monastery … Nepal, between tradition and modernity … The hostess of Yeti Airlines in Tibetan dress … Our young “soundman” of Lumbini … Rinpoche with two villagers.

End of the trip

Conclusion-Stupa for World Peace-Lumbini

Ultimate photo of our RIPA family at the Stupa for World Peace in Lumbini.

Next big meeting: the retreat of this summer 2018 in Switzerland with our three Teachers.

August 2017 – Yeshe Tsogyal Retreat

An encounter with universal feminine energy


His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche

  

His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche is in full form, and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche is happy to be among us; Lama Tenzin is confirmed in his duties, the translation team is congratulated, the training of instructors is on track, and there are again newcomers from a variety of countries … This summer has only brought good news.

A powerful and gentle retreat

In this Tibetan year of universal feminine energy, it is quite natural that this retreat is on the topic of Yeshe Tsogyal, as she is part of the DNA of our Ripa lineage. During one of his previous incarnations, Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche was directly and intimately linked to this great spiritual figure of the 8th century. As both disciple and consort of Guru Rinpoche, Yeshe Tsogyal played a fundamental role in the spread of his spiritual teachings and transmissions. If you were unable to be present for the retreat, immerse yourself in the reading of “The Life of Yeshe Tsogyal, Sovereign of Tibet,” written by Arya Salé in the 8th century. You will be carried away by this spiritual epic, this historical fresco, so inspired and full of poetry and marvels. We at the center experienced exactly this during the Drupchö of Yeshé Tsogyel. More good news: Lama Tenzin was officially confirmed in his European spiritual role by His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche. Lama Tenzin was even awarded a degree “as in the West.” This event touched us all and even moved many of us to tears. As for Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche, he is the great “present-absent” of this summer. Present because many among us feel his presence, from the depths of his retreat he does not abandon us! And absent because, obviously, we miss him. It is with always renewed pleasure that we enjoy the spectacle of the Tibetan dances and the festivities punctuating the half-time of these two weeks passed in the intimacy of the universal feminine energy of Yeshe Tsogyal.

We wait for Rinpoche … Flower petals strewn on his path … On the first day of retreat Rinpoche arrives with a big smile … Lama Tenzin confirmed in his duties, His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche give their blessing … Our temple is full … Offering of Katas … Mandala offering by the Tibetan community … Last day, His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche leave the temple … The dances end, the troupe meets around Rinpoche … And on the other side is a forest of “paparazzi.”

 

Women’s energy at the heart of the RIPA lineage

The Ripa International Center is also bathed in this feminine energy. The “chupin” team, for example, is all women and international. We meet our Russian, Spanish, Swiss and French friends. Each year the team strengthens, improves and grows, it attends the rituals with a deep commitment, seriousness, great devotion, great elegance and a visible joy. As far as musical instruments are concerned, women are still very much involved and have been involved for a long time. A feminine presence still is responsible for the preparation and arrangement of flowers, gardens and all that belongs to “green nature.” Nadya has long been the coordinator and the ephemeral team that is formed at each retreat is also predominantly female. There is also the fundamental feminine presence as the head of our center, Begonia, who is its director, along with Antje, who is her “right arm.” In the course of last Spring’s teachings, Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche reminded us that the work accomplished since their arrival is really “incredible.” Finally, when again we think of feminine energy, the connection with children is established quite naturally. And here again, our center confirms its feminine dimension in connection with Yeshe Tsogyal. In the temple, outdoors, on playgrounds or in greenery, the younger generation is everywhere. One comes to be blessed, one pauses in the temple moved by the teachings, one plays, one learns to ride a bicycle, one runs, one sings, and it is here of course that one enjoys the best ice cream of the world …

The “chupin women” in action … The team of this summer around the mandala … After the work, a time to relax and enjoy … Female presence with instruments … Nadya our Dakini of flowers and gardens … Begonia and Antje, our two superb dakinis permanently “on point” … And children visibly happy because they know they are at home.

 

His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche spends a long time with the translation team (*)

In the center, the work never stops. After the retreat, the relay is passed on to the translation team under the authority of Lama Tenzin. Their work is a real adventurefull of heavy responsibility. The challenge: to translate the original Tibetan texts into the five languages currently used in our international community: German, English, Spanish, French and Russian all in an identical presentation and pagination. Also, the very long time that His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche comes to spend with the translators reveals how much he recognizes their work. His thanks are addressed to all with a special attention to Mike, the true pillar of the team. As a student of Dudjom Rinpoche, he knows Tibetan, is a Buddhist scholar, he is a translator, he speaks French very well … And he does not hide his happiness to participate in this adventure with people whom he appreciates. Here is how Lama Tenzin summarizes the memorable morning: “Rinpoche told us how pleased he is with the work we have done so far … And he has told us that we must continue it because we do not translate only for our own interest or that of our sangha, but for the benefit of all beings. ” Lama Tenzin goes on: “Very soon, the team will take on the translation of the biography of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche … We know no more than two percent of his qualities. His biography is so wonderful that we must not only share it among ourselves in our sangha but also with people all over the world … If they read this book one day, if they hear his name, it will be a connection … This is my deepest wish and hope. “ As with all the other translations already done, a long, demanding, complex and subtle task awaits the team. Mike gives an overview: “We are doing harmonization, unification. The ideas expressed must be the same in all languages, and every translated text must be clear and readable, with respect for the Tibetan language and the language to which it is translated. This obviously implies a profound knowledge of Tibetan and here we are lucky to have a jewel, it is Lama Tenzin. He is our guarantor and he knows English well enough to bring us back in the right direction when we go astray on the meaning of a term, an expression. His interventions help us to find the most accurate and close translation of Tibetan … Finally, he is a true scholar. He knows everything!”

(*) A much more complete presentation of the words of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and the unique work of the translation team will be posted soon on the site of the Ripa International Center. You will be notified once it is online.

His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche blesses every member of the team … He expresses his satisfaction to Mike … His Eminence then reminds us of the importance of these translations … The original texts in Tibetan … Are transferred to computer, a work tool impossible to circumvent… The team settles around Rinpoche … And listens to his words … The visit ends with a “family” photo … To which Begoña joins as our director of the Ripa International Center.

 

The pioneers of Ripa Awareness Meditation

Announced by Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche since a long time, the Ripa instructor training began this year with a first session in his presence and under his authority. This summer, the participants – all of whom are appointed by our teachers – meet for the second session, led by Geneviève, who is responsible and the organizer of “Ripa Awareness Meditation.” Instructors, participants and translators from Germany, Spain, France, Russia and Switzerland, are thus again assembledfor a very full week. Spread in small groups of three, one learns for example to guide Shiné, each one being in turn guide, participant and observer. The theory is also studied from texts recommended by Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche, including commentaries from great Masters such as His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and His Holiness the Karmapa. In order to maintain the link between all, to continue this common work and to maintain the good harmony that has been established, the creation of a computer platform for exchanges and communication is envisaged. Regular meetings online would then be possible, as well as consulting root texts, transcripts, exchanging information, etc … Suffice it to say that this formidable adventure is in its beginnings, everything is being built, everything is being created under the inspiration and through the spiritual bond with Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche and the Ripa lineage. This first stage already allows its participants to lead meditation, within our associations, but also with outside groups, including companies, because the vocation of the “Ripa Awareness Meditation” is to be open to all, without exception, Buddhist and non-Buddhist.

The explanations of Geneviève are followed with the greatest attention … Extra concentration for Jovana who listens after the Spanish translation of Antonio … The atmosphere is very joyful … Helen is applauded, and then it is Peter’s turn… A general good humor surrounds Geneviève because everything progresses very well, which is confirmed by the participants: “this experience allows us to be very close to one another … A great confidence has settled among us … I have just felt a very deep experience and I sense that this is our responsibility now … It is also because we come from very different backgrounds that this session was so rich with humanity. “

 

The new ones (*)

“I thank our eminent teachers for coming so far for us … I am so happy to have met such teachers, we feel so much compassion from His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche … I find exactly what I was looking for in the teachings of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche … One feels how true they are, that they are authentic Buddhist masters … Here I feel good and at peace.” The newcomers who are just discovering Buddhism are under the shock of their first meeting with the masters of the Ripa lineage. And then there are those who already have had experiences with another lineage, and also there are Ripa students who come for the first time. Originally from Colombia, South Korea, Spain, France, Holland, Poland, Switzerland, Russia, and so on, a good twenty new students have arrived in the past year: “It is superb here … The landscape, space, everything is open, one feels free … A real place of peace … To get there is like leaving civilization and immersing oneself in another world.” The welcome? “We are welcomed, the soft and peaceful atmosphere is perhaps related to the large number of women … When we arrive we are immediately in a family, a real international family and even if we do not speak the same language, there is this friendly recognition through an exchange of glances … I knew no one, yet the warmth of the welcome reassured me … I arrived in an unknown world without having instructions, I was worried, but the fraternal and warm atmosphere gave me confidence … As novices we are not at all intimidated because we are helped spontaneously in a very friendly and open atmosphere … I feel so good here, there is something that makes me feel that I need to come back.” And participation in everyday work like dishes and household? “Putting ourselves at the service of the community places us all at the same level and it also helps to meet others … All this daily work done in common is a very rich experience that leads us to respect the work of others, to respect the center.”

(*) Thanks to Martine, Katharina, Daniel, Sophie, Ignasi, Eliane, Michele, Tae-Ho, Monica, Fred, Ania, Montse, Oscar, Viktoria, Baatar, Tania, Mickael and all those who have shared so spontaneously and sincerely their impressions.