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Lions Roar : November 2006
August/September 2006 MANDALA 1 ADVERTISEMENT Very Thin Times FPMT, Inc is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, tax exempt organization. SERA JE We usually take it for granted that the teachings of Lord Buddha have just landed in our laps. We don’t stop to consider deeply the sacri- fices made through the centuries to keep the complete lineage of the entire path to enlightenment alive in this world. At one point, India was Buddhist and the teachings were flourishing. A thousand years ago, India was invaded and Buddhism was virtually wiped out. The teachings were rescued and brought to Tibet where they flourished for centuries. In 1959, history repeated itself. Tibet was invaded and Buddhism was virtually wiped out. The monasteries were destroyed, monks and nuns killed, texts burned, and worse. The only reason the teachings still exist is due to the tireless efforts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and all the amaz- ingly brave monks and nuns who managed to escape (and still manage to escape) from Tibet, carrying what texts they could over the Himalayas – back to India. As refugees, they have born a huge responsibility to preserve the teachings. Today there is no longer any “country” known as the beacon of light for the complete teachings – sutra and tantra – of Buddha. Relative to the world’s population, there are only small pockets of devoted individu- als struggling to keep these precious teachings alive – these teachings that are the only comprehensive remedy to sickness, aging, death, war, famine, and suffering of every kind. It takes decades to become a lineage holder: to acquire extensive knowledge, receive all the transmissions, and develop insights. One would have to start at a very young age, to speak, read, and comprehend deeply the language of the teachings. Who has time to do all this? We in the West have not yet developed the qualities of being com- plete lineage holders. Who is going to keep the teachings alive while we grow up? Most of us are still babies in the Dharma and do not speak or read Tibetan, the current language of the complete lineage. Where are Lord Buddha’s teachings still studied, practiced, and preserved in their entirety? Where do the geshes for most of our centers come from? On whom do we rely to keep the lineage intact? The monks of Sera Je Monastery. We take it for granted that somebody is doing this for us, but are we helping them undertake this monumental task? The monks of Sera Je need your immediate support. Please support the Sera Je Food Fund. Offer food to the monks – preserve the lineage. Out of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s incredible kind- ness, the vast responsibility to provide lunch and dinner to all 3,500 monks of Sera Je was undertaken. Now, 14 years later, Rinpoche has taken on the additional responsibility to include breakfast all year to all the monks. This is roughly 3,000,000 meals a year with a budget of $370,000. Please consider giving a donation of $10, $50, $100 or more if possible. To thank you for your generosity, we would like to offer the following gifts: $10,000 & above Large thangka with brocade: chosen, blessed, and inscribed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, lifetime subscription to Mandala, Discovering Buddhism DVD. $5,000 - $9,999 Gold plated statue blessed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, lifetime subscription to Mandala, Discovering Buddhism DVD. $1,000 - $4,999 Lifetime subscription to Mandala, Discovering Buddhism DVD. $500 - $999 One year subscription to Mandala and Discovering Buddhism DVD. $100 - $499 One year subscription to Mandala. You may also sign up for a recurring donation. If you are a U.S. resident, your donation will be tax deductible. www.fpmt.org/projects/donate.asp Or, send a U.S. check or foreign bank draft to: FPMT, Inc., Sera Je Food Fund, 1632 SE 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214-4702, USA For more detailed information and history about the Sera Je Food Fund, a heart project of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, visit www.fpmt.org/projects/seraje/ Telephone: 503.808.1588 Fax: 503.808.1589 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org RECENTLY, LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE WROTE: “In general, the teachings of Buddha are waning. In particular, the time of the doctrine of the Victorious Tsongkhapa – that is, like refined gold, extremely thin...”