The Great Return

The great moment of reunion with Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche, followed by another kind of homecoming, with a rediscovery through his teachings, of Medicine Buddha, then Yeshe Tsogyal, and King Gesar of Ling, that are all exceptional and moving

A sumptuous first week

Who says that the first week of our retreat is a summer holiday? Relaxed, intimate, warm, happy and friendly yes, but also studious and full. Practice begins from 6:30 in the morning for some; there is YOGOM with François whose growing success is truly justified, the room fills, and those arriving just in time, find a place for themselves as they can…. Then … at 10 am, the first teaching with Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche begins. The “old” – original students – came for a reunion with their teacher, and many new students also came to meet him. The first group met Rinpoche’s European return with an atmoshphere of joy. The second group, are somewhat overwhelmed by the encounter. And it is moving. The lessons are profound, so much so that they almost come through us, as well as the gaze of Rinpoche! Certain practices invite us us to wander privately, in isolation,  in the countryside … and the experience is great.

One thing is certain: Rinpoche is back and we understand quickly, that he has returned to make us work. We remember then what we have often been reminded of in the past, “the link with the spiritual master is like sitting on the tip of a needle … one is never at ease, ‘There is no possible comfort.’ ” A good and wise reminder! …

Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche and Lhuntrul Rinpoche are greeted by Lama Tenzin, there is music and students who offer their kata … Everyone settles for their individual practice in nature … The growing success of YOGOM … Coffee break after the meal … one of the beautiful and superb flower bouquets of Nadya.

Backstage preparations

Everything must of course be prepared before the arrival of our Rinpoches and the work is spread over a dozen days at least. This year, particular emphasis has been placed on improving our Gompa. A whole team has transported “on the backs of men” some six hundred kilos of fake parquet to cover the three hundred square meters of floor … A titanic job spread over several days. We must first cover this huge area, let the parquet settle, then affix it, paste it, and finally end the work with subtle and targeted finishing. Germans, Bhutanese, Spanish, French … A dozen people will succeed each other in turn, in the various stages of renovation. Another huge job was to transform the ceiling into beautiful waves of draped fabrics, presented in such way that a new and very soft light appears to the eye. In addition to that, the columns have also all been repainted … In the end, the result is worth seeing. So much so that some have tears in their eyes upon discovering it. This colossal work is obviously supplemented by the usual preparations: installation of the sound system, carpets, cushions and small practice tables, some of which have also been painted. Around the whole center everyone is preparing, and the countdown has begun …

Installation of the fake parquet … the new splendid ceiling definitively hides the sports facilities … the sound system is prepared … Everywhere, everyone is busy … which includes the placement and offering of a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Brand new: the Ripa Café

The “coffee shop” is beautiful and the second surprise of the summer of 2015. On the menu: great coffee in all its forms: espresso, cappuccino whose reputation is already settled, chocolate, ice cream, cold drinks, syrups and especially …. sublime “homemade” cakes. The few garden tables create a terrace, surrounded by greenery. With the sun and heat, the terrace is becoming the second center after the full attendence in our Gompa. The decor – made with the means at hand and much taste – is pleasant, attractive and warm, including a welcoming smile. It makes you want to take a seat, it feels good, and one does not really want to leave. Without exception, the “clients” like “guests” are all Ripa students. And as we all know that we are amongst ourselves, we seem to find ourselves as a family! The drinks and cakes cost around € 2/3, and the proceeds are donated entirely to the Center … To consume without moderation!

Warm welcome … nice decoration … various delicious cakes, not to mention the terrace becomes the place where one wishes to take a seat … bouquets of wild and simple flowers … It is a success … If you want to help, you are welcome!