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GAR DROLMA BUDDHIST CENTER
SMOKE OFFERING & SANGHA PICNIC

SATURDAY AUGUST 30TH @ 10:30AM

Where:   Deb & Bob Jackson’s Farm
      10655 Harrison Road
       Loveland, Ohio 45140


Never been to a smoke offering?  Want to know more about one? Here’s your chance!
 

 
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2013 Smoke Offering
Khenpo Samdup

The Smoke Offering is a ritual practice of making vast offerings to pacify obstacles and raise awareness. It is traditionally used to create harmony, resolve karmic debts, generate vitality, success, prosperity and health in our life, in our land and in our local community.

Khenpo says along with the smoke offering, we will also be practicing the Six Paramitas or “perfections”: generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiastic perseverance, concentration and wisdom.

And since we will all be together in a beautiful peaceful setting, why not stay and enjoy a picnic!   Deb and her husband Bob have graciously offered the use of their farm for the smoke offering followed by a Sangha picnic.

Here’s a great opportunity to socialize with friends or make new friends and have fun. Oh, and bring along family members that would like to participate as well, all are welcome.
 
Hotdogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers and drinks will be supplied.
Just bring a favorite covered dish to share.
 
Please bring a blanket, yoga mat or favorite chair should you want for the smoke offering.  Wear comfortable shoes for walking on grass.

For planning purposes, please RSVP by Wednesday August 27th
at sangha@gardrolma.org
with the number of people attending and let us know the dish you will bring to share.

If you have any questions please contact us at sangha@gardrolma.org or call at 513-604-3723

            We look forward to seeing you at the retreat!
            May all beings benefit

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Please join us at Gar Drolma for a new study group; Buddhist and Western Concepts Advanced Study Group.  The group will meet on the 3rd Friday of each month, starting August 15, from 7:00 – 9:00pm.  

The discussions will include reflecting on Buddhist and Western philosophical thinking about the mind, reviewing neurophysiological evidence concerning the body and mind, and discussing recent theories and ideas from physics. We will provide web links each month that provide relevant background information on the topics to be discussed to make it easier for anyone to participate in the discussion.  

The principal focus of the group is to attempt to reconcile Buddhist ideas and concepts about the body, mind, and universe with Western knowledge.  Discussion topics for the first four meetings are provided below. 

All are welcome to attend the meetings.

The group is being organized by Mike Young. Khenpo Samdup will be leading the discussion.

Please feel free to contact Mike if you have questions:  
mjyxenia@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you at the program.
May the benefits be endless!

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August 15th  7:00 – 9:00pm 
Emptiness in Buddhist & 
Western Thought    


Emptiness is a key concept in Buddhism, and in particular, it is central to the Madhyamaka school of thought.  But what do Buddhists mean when they talk about emptiness?  In the West when we think of emptiness, we usually think of the emptiness of matter:  All matter is basically empty space. Is that what the Buddhists were referring to when
they developed their doctrine of emptiness?  There are at least a few other possible interpretations of emptiness; most of these interpretations deal with perception and what aspects of reality we might be missing when we use concepts to structure experience. For example, could there be an underlying ground or dimension of which all matter is a part? Is the goal of studying emptiness to discover this ground by modifying our perceptual processes?  We will discuss these and other issues associated with the Buddhist concept of emptiness.

Background material:
Emptiness: The Most Misunderstood Word In Buddhism

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September 19th 7:00 – 9:00pm
Appearances Are One’s Own Mind    
  
 
The above phrase is a quote from H.E. Garchen Rinpoche.  Similar quotes can also be found in the sutras.  But what does this statement actually mean?  Does it mean that my mind and its perceptual/cognitive processes create the world that I see, out of all possible worlds that I could see? That is, would I see the world differently if I were embodied a different way (e.g., bees and bats have different perceptual apparatus and see frequencies of light that we cannot see), or would I see the world differently if I had different karma and lived in a different one of the six realms of being? Or alternatively, is it possible that all of matter has another attribute that is awareness, and the universe is a giant mind, of which I am a part?  

The dominant view of contemporary cognitive science is that consciousness emerges (almost magically) from a system once it reaches a certain level of complexity. There is a minority view, however, that argues that matter does have an attribute that is awareness (see panpsychism link below), and there are other views that suggest that consciousness is a property of living systems (as opposed to non-living systems).  We will discuss some of these alternatives.

Background Material:

How Animals See Color
How Animals See the World
The Six Realms of Existence
Panpsychism and Panprotopsychism

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October 17th  7:00 – 9:00pm
What is a klesha?     

                 
We all know kleshas are something that we have to get rid of, or overcome, but what exactly are they, and how do they operate in our minds? Suppose kleshas are habitual patterns of thought, or habitual ways or reacting to the world. 

We seem to go through the day telling ourselves stories in which we interpret events that occur in terms of our own beliefs and values. Are these stories kleshas?  We also seem to consume music, TV, movies, etc. that support our preferred stories and thought processes.  Are we strengthening kleshas when we listen to “our” music, or watch “our” TV shows?  Is advancing on the path cutting through these stories and transmuting the energy associated with them into mindful awareness?

How do kleshas arise in our lives?  Is there any relationship between how kleshas arise and Western ideas on how neurosis arises? Does western psychology have any techniques that might be useful in overcoming kleshas? We will discuss these and other issues associated with kleshas.

Background material:

Kleshas (Buddhism)
In Depth: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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November 21st 7:00 – 9:00pm 
Sambhogakaya, Dharmakaya, Nirmanakaya  


The dharmakaya is described as the empty essence of the mind, the fundamental nature of all phenomena*.  The sambhogakaya is described as blissful radiant energy of the mind that can manifest in a variety of pure forms.  The nirmanakaya is described as the uninterrupted and unceasing display, in physical form, of the empty essence (dharmakaya) and its creative power (sambhogakaya).  How do the concepts of dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya relate to what we know of the modern physical universe? 
Modern physics postulate the existence of a field that underlies everything that is. Is it possible that the dharmakaya is this underlying field?  Could the sambhogakaya be a subset of this, for example, the universe of dark matter and energy that we cannot see directly?   Is the nirmanakaya the universe we can see?  Further, is it possible that there are entities that live in the sambhogakaya (sky dancers; dakinis) that we are unaware of?  Or should we conclude that there is no relationship between these Buddhist concepts and the actual world? 

We will explore the concepts of dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya and try to infer their relationship to modern theories of physics and cosmology.    
(*Mind Beyond Death, Dzogchen Ponlop 2006).

Background material:
The Three Kayas, the bodies of the Buddha


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NGONDRO PRELIMINARY PRACTICES

Please join us Tuesday evenings from 6-7:30pm for instruction and practice on the core Ngondro (preliminary) practices of the Drikung Kagyu tradition. We will spend 2 weeks on each of the practices; Mandala offering, Vajrasattva recitation, and Refuge combined with prostrations. Sessions will include explanations with time for questions, as well as plenty of time to practice. This will be a great way to deepen and support your Ngondro practice! This program is suitable for beginning students or experienced practitioners.

Ngondro means “preliminary.” This set of 3-5 practices is traditionally accomplished before one begins training in the more subtle practices of the Tantras, Mahamudra, or Dzogchen. While referred to as “preliminary” many masters have stated that Ngondro is a complete method by which one can attain enlightenment. These practices are powerful and efficient methods for accumulating merit and purifying obscurations. Practically, these trainings help develop positive, virtuous qualities, weaken and diminish obscurations and negative qualities, and render the practitioner receptive to more subtle teachings.

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Audio recordings ARE now available

 

2014 GAR DROLMA SPRING RETREAT
WITH H.E. GARCHEN RINPOCHE



Chakrasamvara & rare instructions on the Stages of Meditation.

Now that our wonderful spring retreat with Garchen Rinpoche has come to an end, we are extremely happy to be able to offer you
the ability to experience these precious teachings through audio downloads. For those of you who could not attend, it is an opportunity
to share in Garchen Rinpoche’s teachings about the Drikung yidam, Chakrasamvara, and his profound, rare instructions on the
Stages of Meditation. For those of you who did attend, this will be an opportunity to relive the experience many times.

These audio downloads are being made available as part of our new Vajra Speech program at Gar Drolma. It is
our wish to preserve and share the precious teachings of Garchen Rinpoche that we’ve had the privilege to receive at the center
with students around the world. In return, a sliding scale donation is requested from $50 to $80 for both weekend’s teachings.
(click here to order)
to help us sustain the activities of the center for the benefit of beings everywhere.

We are always grateful for your support and we wish to thank those who attended the retreat—often by traveling great distances
or overcoming other difficulties. In addition, we’d like to give a special thanks to those of you who joined us by Ustream. It is
wonderful to know that Garchen Rinpoche’s teachings were able to reach 4000 students from 23 countries. You give us reason
to be even more diligent in our dharma activities.

For more information or any questions, please feel free to contact us at
sangha@gardrolma.org or 513-604-3723



1329 Creighton Ave. Dayton, OH 45420 | Directions (937) 252-2220
E-mail: sangha@gardrolma.org