April 14th -16th 2017- At the Ripa International Center
Final meeting before summer 2018…
Before leaving for a one-year retreat in a sacred place lost in the Himalayas, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche wanted to meet us one last time … Three intense days filled with emotion. The following account can only be a weak reflection of what we have experienced.
The meaning of the “Guru” in Tibetan Buddhism
How is it possible to sum up this immense teaching of Rinpoche without risking having misheard, or misunderstood, and without betraying his thoughts regarding that which is most subtle, profound, rich, and inspired? … Impossible. It is addressed to each one of us individually, and to all of us as a group. His words touch us deeply in our hearts, reaching the depths of our intimate concerns and sometimes even of our resistance. So Guru? Master ? Spiritual friend? Teacher ? These aspects that he evokes and develops reach us where we are. Each one receives at his level, according to his path and the opening of his heart.
Rinpoche reminds us of the foundations of Buddhism, the interdependence of phenomena, the truths of relative reality and the absolute, of dissatisfaction, suffering, compassion … During these three days he opens for us endless ways to engage in inner work . He leaves by entrusting us with an enormous “notebook of holiday duties” to fill during his absence. To be filled by practice that we may advance on the path. Do not worry, he does not let us go, does not forsake us, does not forget us. He gives us a monthly appointment at a distance: practicing Guru Rinpoche according to the dates of the Tibetan calendar (*), which he will also do from the depths of his retreat. A way not to lose our connection until next year and to return periodically to the essentials. Just a quote to finish. During these three days, Rinpoche reminded us several times that: “The first Guru is life itself.”
(*) Calendar here
The teachings of Rinpoche are followed in the early evening by a question and answer session with Lama Tenzin. It is in English that he gives us a reminder of the words of Rinpoche … before answering our questions …A moment of recollection.
Practices, meditation … and streaming
Every morning from 6:30 am, some of us find ourselves in our Gompa, which is so inspiring and warm. Others will meditate. Guided by Geneviève, this meditation session is now called Ripa Awareness of Meditation. Broadcasted live via streaming worldwide, sesions are watched around the world. Europeans who have not been able to travel have connected from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Luxembourg and even Switzerland. From Russia, Belarus and Ukraine we listen. There are viewers in Great Britain, Arizona and New York for the United States, Argentina for the South American continent, and Asia with India, Nepal and even Bhutan.
Students from all over Europe gathered for morning practice … Ripa Awareness Meditation with Geneviève … Laurent – the origin of the streaming initiative – ensures with Antje the technical preparation of the live transmission.
Spring is changeable as expected, this weekend of Easter is sunny and warm, then rainy and cold, then again sunny … With the first rays of sun and blue sky, we take advantage to settle outside … each with his plate, his glass, his dessert, then his coffee … Amrit from Switzerland, Ralf from Germany meet at a table with Patrick, our talented expert chef, and Jan of the Czech Republic who assists him … the return of Spring which is already announced by the apple trees of the center in full bloom and the fields of daffodils, and other budding flowers that can be seen on the mountains in the surroundings. On rainy days, a well-protected Flupke of Belgium sounds the hour of the teachings. Rain and fine weather often give us beautiful rainbows above our Ripa center.