We have previously published Buddhist commentaries about our friend, Mynak Tulku Rinpoche - A Pilgrimage to Bhutan, regarding his work in the reconstruction of the Tibetan Minyang Rikhud Monastery following a massive earthquake as well as, Meditation to the Next Life and Beyond, concerning the passing of the oldest monk in their monastery. The oldest monk, Dura Lagan, passed at the age of 92 following 40 years of meditation. Mynak Tulku recently shared an update of what has happened with respect to both subjects which we would like to share. Sadly, the Chinese were not issuing visas to enable him to visit his former monastery this year but he hopes it will be possible in the future. This situation represents a clear statement about the Tibetan paranoia that remains in Xi Jinping's regime.
The Elephant Story and Sara Story Design provided a modest contribution to the reconstruction of the Minyang Rikhud Monastery. The monastery is shown below in gold which is now reaching its construction conclusion.
One thousand Buddha images were enshrined on altars on the first and second floors of the main assembly hall which were gifted by a local businessman. Each of the 20-inch tall images were casted in Chengdu by Nepalese craftsmen.
The visual impact of a two-story display of one thousand Buddha images is certainly dramatic!
Mynak Tulku Rinpoche is shown below with his former Tibetan teacher, Dura Lagan (old lama of Duratshang), on a previous visit to his monastery. Shortly thereafter, Dura Lagan passed away at the age of 92. He was cremated just outside his meditation hut near the monastery.
Following his cremation, there was a commitment from the community to honor the revered monk with a stupa to be erected in his honor. Dura Lagan had suffered tremendously at the hands of the rabid Red Guards during the cultural revolution in China serving fifteen years in a harsh labor camp. Every night he maintained his sanity by reciting the prayer to the Green Tara which he thought would offer individual protection from the spiritual dangers of greed, hatred and delusion which are considered to be the three causes of individual suffering. The marble stupa shown below was recently built and inaugurated in his honor.
Most of our travails in today's world pale by comparison to the indignities suffered by many Chinese during the cultural revolution. Educated and religious Chinese were forced to endure the greatest hardships with even harsher punishment to alien "Tibetans" who stoically refused to bow to the demands of the Chinese seeking to subdue them. Perhaps it is not radically different today relative to discrimination by people ignorant of the values of different cultures, religions and races. Will there ever be a change-maybe we all need to learn the verses of the Green Tara mantra.
A short video of the installation of the Buddha images in the monastery follows below. If anyone would like to offer support to Mynak Tulka's monastery or arrange to meet him on a visit to Thimphu, Bhutan, please let us know at The Elephant Story for his contact details. Meeting him is a spiritual experience.
The begging bowl or alms bowl is one of the simplest but most important objects in the daily lives of Buddhist monks. Primarily a practical object, it is used as a bowl in which to collect alms (either money or food) from lay supporters.
Handmade in Thailand, the bowls are constructed from eight pieces of steel, invoking the eight spokes on the Buddhist Wheel of Dharma. The seams are then fused with copper to give them their distinctive pattern and finished with a clear lacquer finish.