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.