Category Archives: Special Events

Ven. Robina in Los Angeles | July 27-30 | Organized by Lauren Ross

VEN. ROBINA’S JULY TEACHINGS IN LOS ANGELES
ORGANIZED BY LAUREN ROSS

https://www.stayingsaneinacrazyworld.com

* Please note these teachings are not being organized by Gonpo Ludup Study Group, but by our friend Lauren Ross in LA, who is hoping to start an LA-based FPMT study group. We are helping Lauren promote the teachings and creating the Facebook event page to help get the word out. Please contact Lauren directly for any questions about the LA events: laurenross@mac.com

SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, JULY 27
7:00pm: Doors
7:30pm: Screening of Chasing Buddha documentary
9:00pm: Optional group discussion

FRIDAY, JULY 28
6:00pm: Doors
6:30pm: Teachings/Q&A with Ven. Robina
9:00pm: Optional group discussion

SATURDAY, JULY 29
9am: Optional guided meditation
10am: Teachings/Q&A with Ven. Robina
1pm: Lunch/Discussion
2pm: Teachings/Q&A with Ven. Robina
5pm: Optional group discussion

SUNDAY, JULY 30
9am: Optional guided meditation
10am: Teachings/Q&A with Ven. Robina
1pm: Lunch/Discussion
2pm: Teachings/Q&A with Ven. Robina
5pm: Optional group discussion

Schedule subject to change
Vegetarian lunch provided Saturday and Sunday
Coffee/Tea provided all dates

REGISTRATION
https://www.stayingsaneinacrazyworld.com/register
There are various registration options available based on dates of attendance and what pricing structure works best for each attendee.
* No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

LOCATION
All events held at The York Manor (4908 York Blvd, LA, CA 90042) located at York Blvd & Ave 49, on the border of Highland Park and Eagle Rock, next to Occidental College.

QUESTIONS?
Contact Lauren Ross
laurenross@mac.com

You Can Turn Anything into Dharma Practice

palmo-katy-cropped

You Can Turn Anything into Dharma Practice

An Interview with FPMT nun Ven. Gyalten
Palmo by Gonpo Ludup’s Vanessa Nguyen


Vanessa:
First of all, how should we call you?

Ven Palmo: Palmo is good.

Vanessa: When were you first exposed to the Buddhism?

Ven. Palmo: At the end of 1999.

Vanessa: Can you describe that first experience?

Ven. Palmo: It started with my friend who was helping her dying mother. She introduced me to a book called Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpche, which gave Buddhist techniques that would be beneficial for me to help my parents when they were dying. I used to read it when I was riding the bicycle at the gym or sitting at home.

“Your life is a Dharma practice. Whether it’s kids, aging parents, a traffic jam, or a difficult political situation, you can turn anything into a Dharma practice.”

Then my friend bought a flyer home that advertised a teaching by Ven. Robina called “Be Your Own Therapist.” My friend and I trucked out there and listened. There was nothing that came out of Ven. Robina’s mouth that I didn’t agree with. It connected me with some of the ideas I had in the 70s that I set aside during the 80s and 90s. It felt right.

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Ven. Palmo, Ven. Chokyi, Ven. Katy with Ven. Robina (center) on pilgrimage in Myanmar in 2013. Photo: Dalgish Chew.

Vanessa: Was there one thing the stood out from Ven. Robina’s teaching?

Ven. Palmo: Not one because she talked about the mind, karma, rebirth. I already believed in rebirth and karma. Everything made sense about watching your mind, being in more control of your mind. It bridged the time when I was more spiritual and bought me back on track. In the 70s I wanted to be enlightened, but I didn’t know exactly what that meant. Buddhism actually clarified ideas from before and corrected me where my mind was steering off in the wrong direction. In the 70s I was opening my heart and becoming kinder and more loving, much of what I heard was a way back to that.

Vanessa: How can Buddhism benefit people regardless of their religious or spiritual background?

Ven. Palmo: It gives people tools to work with during difficult situations and that helps them to be more skillful in ways that would be of benefit to themselves and others. One of these tools is meditation. With meditation, we can recognize mistakes in our thinking and make adjustments to obtain more peacefulness and clarity. In cases of difficulty, we can use calmness to resolve problems more effectively.

 

“There are different kinds of meditation that can be done, even when sitting on the bus or in your car.”

 

Vanessa: Can you meditate without studying Buddhism?

Ven. Palmo: Sure. Meditation is not Buddhist at all. It’s one of the tools Buddhists and some Christians and others use. There are different kinds of meditation that can be done, even when sitting on the bus or in your car.

San Francisco traffic. Photo: Shutterstock.
San Francisco traffic. Photo: Shutterstock.

Vanessa: How can we meditate while stuck in traffic?

Ven. Palmo: I used to meditate on developing equanimity  while driving to and from work. The first step is recognize that everybody wants to be happy, and does not want to suffer. Every time I stopped at a light I would observe the people around me and think they’re just like me, just wanting to be happy.  Whatever they were doing, whether I agreed with it or not, was to try to be happy.

Vanessa: What if that person cuts us off and gives us the finger?

Ven. Palmo: Well, then we can try practicing patience. You need to become aware of your mind. Let’s say that person cuts you off, or they’re upset with you because you’re going too slow and gives you the finger. You have this whole dialogue in your mind. You can ask, “Why is this making me upset?” Look inside to see what’s happening. When someone cuts me off in traffic, I ask myself, “Why am I getting upset?” And what I see is that I’m taking it personally, thinking this is my space or my lane.  I can get annoyed because they are driving recklessly or somehow they are getting in MY way . It’s the unsatisfied mind you can see when you have the expectation that there should be no obstruction on the road and everyone should behave nicely the way you expect.  The truth is you getting angry only harms you by making you miserable and doesn’t do anything to the other person.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, 2006
FPMT Spiritual Director Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Portland, OR in 2006. Photo John Berthold.

Vanessa: Speaking of expectations, many people developed fear and anxiety after their expectations weren’t met after the election results. How can Buddhism help us ease those unwholesome states of mind?

Ven. Palmo: That’s a really tough question. There are different levels of anxiety depending on the individual. There can be more anxiety if you’re an undocumented immigrant, Muslim or supporting a woman’s right to choose. But I think there are tools that can help each individual. People need to come to a place where they that can hear Buddhist teachings and consider certain practices. Part of it is looking inward and recognizing the results of our actions. For example someone asked Lama Zopa Rinpoche, “What do you think of Donald Trump?” Rinpoche said, “He is your karmic appearance.” We have to look at that and ask what does that mean and how can we can remedy it.

“Every time I stopped at a light I would observe the people around me and think they’re just like me, just wanting to be happy.  Whatever they were doing, whether I agreed with it or not, was to try to be happy.”

Vanessa: What kind of remedy can we use to ease the post election anxiety?

Ven. Palmo: I like to watch the news because I like to watch my mind watch the news. The key is to start meditation with concentration, like breathing, because it helps to calm the mind. You learn to watch what aggravates you and use techniques to stop it if you want. We embellish what is happening with stories, our own stories, and latch on to them. All of a sudden we have exaggerated things until we’re irritated or fearful, which causes us to suffer. Lama Zopa said, “It’s your mind and it’s your choice to be happy or miserable.”  Having a happy, calm mind doesn’t mean being complacent or not working to help others.  Getting upset and angry ourselves doesn’t help anyone.

Vanessa: If someone has little or no experience with meditation what advice would you give him or her?

Ven. Palmo: Start with breathing meditation and make the time to sit down every day, even if it’s short.  When you try to focus on the breath at first you may think your mind is getting worse.  You will see how crazy the mind is. When we jump into anger about something, we don’t see the thought process that brings up those negative emotions. By doing mediation we can get things settled enough in order to deconstruct the destructive patterns, and use antidotes we have learned to settle the mind. When you start meditation let go of any expectations, and don’t worry about the results.  Too much worrying in advance is useless. The worry doesn’t help.

 

“The truth is when people start to meditate, it always looks worse than expected. The first step of meditation happens when you notice how wacked out, crazy your mind is. Noticing it is a cause of celebration!”

 

Vanessa: What advice do you have for someone who has difficulty meditating in one posture or has a racing mind?

Ven. Palmo: Practice slowing the mind with short meditations until you become accustomed to longer sessions. If there are body issues and you can’t sit cross-legged, sit in a chair. There’s also walking meditation.

Vanessa: Is it possible to travel the path to enlightenment without meditating?

Ven. Palmo: You can start on the path to enlightenment without meditation, but if you expect to finish it meditation is a must. Meditation actually helps to gain realizations. You can gain some insights while you’re moving, but realizations come from time on the cushion. It depends what you do with your mind, but you do need to learn how to gain control of your mind. That’s where meditation can help. The truth is when people start to meditate, it always looks worse than expected. The first step of meditation happens when you notice how wacked out, crazy your mind is. Noticing it is a cause of celebration!

Vanessa: So people should rejoice when they see that their mind is going crazy during meditation?

Ven. Palmo: Yeah! Because you’re finally seeing what you’ve been doing all the time. By seeing it you then can begin to change it.

Vanessa: Orange County is known for conspicuous consumption such as nice cars, houses, etc. Do those conditions pose a challenge to one’s Buddhism practice?

Ven. Palmo: No. I have a nice house in San Francisco and I drive an old Mercedes to get to far places. But if you’re life is consumed with your possessions then it could become a problem. The more resources one has, the more they can help benefit others.

Photo: The statue of Shakyamuni Buddha at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, in Northern India, where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment, while meditating under the Bodhi Tree. Jamyang190.

Vanessa: The Buddha left his wife and child in the middle of the night. Some people would see that as abandonment. How would you explain the Buddha’s actions?

Ven. Palmo: Today it would look like abandonment. But what I think is that he saw the suffering of the people in his kingdom. He wanted to end suffering, including the suffering of his wife and son. Everyone was going to experience the sufferings of getting old, getting sick, and end up dying, no matter how good their conditions were. If you look at the bigger view, he did it to find a way to end suffering for his wife and child and all other sentient beings.

 

“The thing to remember is that the changes we experience in Dharma practice comes slowly. The best thing to do is go slowly. I would say relax; don’t worry. If you are consistent change will come.”

 

Vanessa: How can one who works full time to support a family commit to a Dharma practice?

Ven. Palmo: It is more difficult. Each person needs to figure out how to use his or her time. The truth is having a family is a huge Dharma practice. Your life is a Dharma practice. Whether it’s kids, aging parents, a traffic jam, or a difficult political situation, you can turn anything into a Dharma practice.

Vanessa: What advice would you give to some who gets overly excited about Buddhism and immediately jumps into intense meditations and retreats?

Ven. Palmo: I would tell people to be careful. Usually when somebody gets too excited and jumps totally into retreats and does this and that, it’s simply because they want a quick result. And often in the West, we think results should happen in a flash, like turning on a computer and Googling something. We expect all kinds of amazing things to happen because we’re reading about amazing experiences others have had. This can lead to disappointment. The thing to remember is that the changes we experience in Dharma practice comes slowly. The best thing to do is go slowly. I would say relax; don’t worry. If you are consistent change will come.

GEN DON HANDRICK VISIT | OCT 23–30

Gen. Don Handrick Visit
Oct 23–30, 2017

REGISTRATION, COST, LOCATION & DETAILS TO COME

Gonpo Ludup Study Group is delighted to welcome Gen. Don back to Laguna Beach!

ABOUT GEN DON
Don Handrick is a graduate of the first Masters Program of Buddhist Studies, the FPMT’s seven-year study program inspired by the traditional geshe studies at the great Gelugpa monastic universities. Since 2006, Don has been the resident teacher at Thubten Norbu Ling Buddhist Center in Santa Fe, NM, and he also teaches regularly at the Ksitigarbha Tibetan Buddhist Center in Taos, NM. Don also serves as a Buddhist teacher for Liberation Prison Project, which includes teaching Buddhism at a local prison in New Mexico. In 2015, Don led the month-long November Course at Kopan Monastery and in 2016, he began spending a portion of each year visiting other FPMT centers as a touring teacher.

 

QUESTIONS?
Contact Kate
gonpo.ludup@gmail.com
(949) 371-6804

Articles about Gen Don
Dharma teachers: seven years in the making

Some of Gen Don’s Teachings
Using Work as a Spiritual Path
What’s so Bad about Complaining?

Online Live Guided Meditations with Ven. Palmo | Every Other Wed Evening | June 28

ONLINE LIVE MEDITATION CLASS

EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY EVENING

NEXT CLASS: WED, JUNE 28,  7–8 pm

Lead by FPMT nun Ven. Gyalten Palmo


Gonpo Ludup Study Group
is delighted to host an on-going every other Wednesday-evening online meditation series with FPMT nun Ven. Gyalten Palmo. Open to all. No experience with meditation necessary.

LINK TO JOIN:
https://zoom.us/j/492644115
* PLEASE NOTE that the class closes at 7:05pm, so please join in time.

ABOUT THIS ONLINE CLASS
We are using Zoom video software for these classes. Once you click on the June 28 drop-in meditation link (https://zoom.us/j/492644115), you will receive a prompt to download Zoom on your computer. It takes about two minutes, depending on your Internet speed.

ABOUT VEN. PALMO
Ven. Gyalten Palmo grew up in San Francisco and started studying Tibetan Buddhism 16 years ago. She has studied closely under Ribur Rinpoche, His Eminence Choden Rinpoche, Geshe Ngawang Dakpa and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and completed FPMT’s five-year Basic Program. In 2012, she was ordained by Choden Rinpoche at Sera Jey Monastic University in India. As an FPMT-registered teacher, she has been teaching Discovering Buddhism regularly since 2013 at Tse Chen Ling Center, our San Francisco center. Ven. Palmo loves studying and sharing the Dharma with others.

COST
No cost. Offered by Gonpo Ludup Study Group.

DATE & TIME
Wednesday, June 28, 7–8 pm

QUESTIONS?
Contact Kate
gonpo.ludup@gmail.com

MONTHLY MEDICINE BUDDHA PUJAS | MAR 12, 2017

The Medicine, or Healing, Buddha is the manifestation of the healing energy of all enlightened beings. Medicine Buddha practice is said to be particularly beneficial both for mental and physical healing as well as for world peace, and also for success. These pujas are especially beneficial for those who are experiencing physical or mental illness or those who have recently passed away. We also always dedicate to the long lives of our teachers, and for the well-being of our local & global communities, friends, family and loved ones.

If you are unable to attend, you are welcome to email the names of your friends and loved ones who are sick, struggling, experiencing any type of obstacle, or those who have recently passed away, to gonpo.ludup@gmail.com. We will include them all in our prayers.

“The seven Medicine Buddhas manifested in order to pacify the obstacles to the achievement of temporary happiness, liberation and the ultimate happiness of full enlightenment,” says the great Tibetan Buddhist Yogi Lama Zopa Rinpoche. “They are powerful in healing diseases as well as for purification. The Medicine Buddha practice can be used to help purify those who have already died and liberate them from suffering. It is also very powerful in bringing about success, both temporary and ultimate.”

DATES & TIME
Sunday, March 12, 7–8:30 pm

LOCATION
Kate’s apartment (RSVP to Kate for address & directions: gonpo.ludup@gmail.com)

QUESTIONS?
Contact Kate
gonpo.ludup@gmail.com

Ven. Katy Cole Visit | May 10-18, 2017

Ven. Katy Cole Visit
May 10-18, 2017

FPMT nun Ven. Katy Cole returns to Laguna Beach for a week of introductory meditation, practice classes, pujas, and more. In each meditation class Ven. Katy will cover basic meditation techniques and then lead participants through a guided meditation, based on Ven. Sangye Khadro’s classic book, How to Meditate. In our half-day retreat we will focus on meditations and practices to purify negative karma.

Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Ven. Katy Cole has a Masters in Clinical Psychology and has been a Buddhist nun for 12 years. She ordained with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala in 2004. Since 2003, Ven. Katy has served in a variety of positions supporting Lama Zopa Rinpoche‘s FPMT: as Liberation Prison Project‘s spiritual program coordinator and chaplain coordinator and on LPP’s US Board of Directors; as one of the monastics at Rinpoche’s home in Aptos, looking after the hundreds offerings completed there everyday; and as assistant to the caretaker at Lawudo Gompa, Rinpoche’s family’s home and FPMT retreat center in the Nepalese Himalayas. In 2008 Ven. Katy completed a one-year retreat at FPMT’s De-Tong Ling Retreat Centre on Kangaroo Island, just south of Adelaide in South Australia. She has also completed several retreats at Lawudo Gompa, as well as various Vipassana retreats for 10 years before meeting her Tibetan Buddhist teachers.

Please see links below for information of all events Ven. Katy will be leading during her visit in Laguna Beach.

Wednesday, May 10
Medicine Buddha Puja Lead by Ven. Katy * CANCELLED
7-8 pm
VEN. KATY’S FLIGHT WAS DELAYED AND WE’VE HAD TO CANCEL TONIGHT’S PUJA. WE ARE STILL ON FOR OUR FIRST MEDITATION CLASS, TOMORROW NIGHT AT OM LAGUNA BEACH.
OM Meditation Studio
Offered by Gonpo Ludup Study Group
Perfect for beginners. No experience necessary.

Thursday, May 11
Meditation on How to Develop Love with Ven. Katy
7-8 pm
OM Meditation Studio
Suggested donation $10-30.
No one ever turned away for lack of funds.
Perfect for beginners. No experience necessary.

Friday, May 12
Simple Meditation to Purify Negativity with Ven. Katy
7-8 pm
OM Meditation Studio
Suggested donation $10-30.
No one ever turned away for lack of funds.
Perfect for beginners. No experience necessary.

Saturday, May 13
Half-day Retreat: How to Purify Negative Karma with Ven. Katy
OM Meditation Studio
9 am – 1 pm
SUGGESTED DONATION $20-60.
No one ever turned away for lack of funds.
Perfect for beginners. No experience necessary.

Tuesday, May 16
7-8 pm
OM Meditation Studio

Suggested donation $10-30.
No one ever turned away for lack of funds.
Perfect for beginners. No experience necessary.

Wednesday, May 17
Healing Meditation with Ven. Katy
7-8 pm
OM Meditation Studio
Suggested donation $10-30.
No one ever turned away for lack of funds.
Perfect for beginners. No experience necessary.

Thursday, May 18
Vajrasattva Tsog Lead by Ven. Katy
7-8pm
Kate’s apartment
RSVP: gonpo.ludup@gmail.com
Offered by Gonpo Ludup Study Group

Discovering Buddhism Module 5: Death and Rebirth | JUN 4-JUL 23

DISCOVERING BUDDHISM
MODULE FIVE
DEATH AND REBIRTH
JUN 4-JUL 23
With FPMT Teacher Ven. Gyalten Palmo

THIS COURSE IS ONE OF OUR “LOCALS-ONLY” LIVE ONLINE COURSES. WE WILL MEET FOR 6 SUNDAYS AT OM LAGUNA BEACH. VEN. PALMO WILL BE TEACHING ONLINE LIVE FROM SAN FRANCISCO. 

 

 

 

Gonpo Ludup Study Group is delighted to host our fifth module of FPMT‘s Discovering Buddhism series, Death & Rebirth, with FPMT teacher Ven. Gyalten Palmo.

Although this course is part of the Discovering Buddhism series, anyone is welcome to attend — you do not have to have attended the previous modules. Each class will consist of teachings, meditations and Q & A with Ven. Palmo. There will also be optional homework and readings each week.
ABOUT MODULE 5
Explore the process of death and rebirth and its impact on how we live our lives. By reflecting on death you can learn to fulfill your purpose in life, resolve conflicts, and develop the skills to help yourself and others at death.
ABOUT VEN. GYALTEN PALMO
 

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Ven. Gyalten Palmo grew up in San Francisco and started studying Tibetan Buddhism 16 years ago. She has studied closely under Ribur Rinpoche, His Eminence Choden Rinpoche, Geshe Ngawang Dakpa and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and completed FPMT’s five-year Basic Program. In 2012, she was ordained by Choden Rinpoche at Sera Jey Monastic University in India. As an FPMT-registered teacher, she has been teaching Discovering Buddhism regularly since 2013 at Tse Chen Ling, our San Francisco center, since 2013. Ven. Palmo loves studying and sharing the Dharma with others.

COST
$108 suggested donation for the course.
No one turned away for lack of funds. Contact Kate at gonpo.ludup@gmail.com for scholarship details.

DATES & TIMES

Class 1 | Sunday, June 4, 10–11:30 am
Class 2 | Sunday, June 11, 10–11:30 am
Class 3 | Sunday, June 25, 10–11:30 am
Class 4 | Sunday, July 9, 10–11:30 am
Class 5 | Sunday, July 16, 10–11:30 am
Class 6 | Sunday, July 23, 10–11:30 am

LOCATION
OM laguna beach
332 Forest Avenue #28
Laguna Beach CA 92651

QUESTIONS?
Contact Kate
gonpo.ludup@gmail.com
(949) 371–6804

Ven. Robina Courtin Visit | Aug 1-13, 2017

Ven. Robina Courtin Visit
Aug 1-13, 2017

REGISTRATION, COST, LOCATION & DETAILS TO COME

Gonpo Ludup Study Group is delighted to welcome Ven. Robina back to Laguna Beach!

VEN. ROBINA IS ALSO TEACHING IN LOS ANGELES JULY 27–30. DETAILS HERE FOR THOSE EVENTS. 

ABOUT VEN. ROBINA
Australian ex-Catholic, ex-political activist, ex-radical feminist, and former body guard for the Dalai Lama, Robina Courtin has been a Buddhist nun since 1978. Well known for her work for 14 years with people in prisons in the US and Australia, Robina’s life and work is the subject of the award-winning documentary Chasing Buddha, featured at Sundance in 2001. A renowned teacher of Buddhist psychology and philosophy, she teaches full time around the world at the centers of her teachers’ organization, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT).

Tue, Aug 1
Public Talk: Cultivating Love & Compassion in Difficult Times
7-9 pm

7-9 pm
Sun, Aug 6
10 am – 5 pm

Mon, Aug 7

Public Talk: How to Live a Life True to Yourself
7-9 pm

Tue, Aug 8
Public Talk: Dealing with Depression & Anxiety
7-9 pm

Fri, Aug 11
Public Talk: Happy Living, Happy Dying
7-9 pm

Sat, Aug 12 – Sun Aug 13
Weekend Workshop: Preparing for Death & How to Help Others
10 am-5 pm both days

QUESTIONS?
Contact Kate
gonpo.ludup@gmail.com
(949) 371–6804