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Volume 2, Issue 2

The Xuanfa Institute of Sanger, CA April - June 2010

The Dharma Courier


CourierCCCouCCCourier
HARSH REALITY A’s

As a student of Kodokai Aikido I that is done in ever-finer grits [no,


often heard the analogy comparing not the breakfast staple] until the
practice to the process of creating stone is transformed into a highly
a work of art, later as a sensei I polished work of art.
used it to explain to my students
their journey of self-improvement. I I see my practice in the same
used sculpting as the example. way. As an aikidoka practices to
improve their body, mind & spirit,
A stone sculptor begins chiseling they are sculpting the self they !"#$%&'()#$
out chunks of rock until a rough wish to become: that person in
*)+)#&,-)$./&01$$$./"23&$
shape emerges. As the shape is harmony with all things. Areas in
41+526/)$
emerging the sculptor varies the need of change are initially
coarseness of their efforts to avoid obvious and are chiseled or
taking too much stone away. At ground away, then the newly Rinpoche’s Column
some point, revealed by the stone revealed areas are polished until
itself, the sculptor will move from that inner person is released.
Greetings!
chiseling to grinding the stone to
create a more defined area of the As I understand it, Buddhist
We have had a busy time.
sculpture. This process will re- training/practice will transform
Last quarter I told you about
occur at different places on the that inner person into a Buddha
the plans for a long-term
piece as determined by various by developing the Buddha nature
retreat center. The past few
factors. Among those factors is the all sentient beings possess.
months have been spent
readiness of the stone for that learning to use MacDRAFT,
Prostrations can be considered
process, but eventually it will be
grinding for many of us, perhaps Continued on Page4
done over all of the stone.
coarse sand paper. Mantras are
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
While that is happening the more like medium or medium
sculptor is continuously monitoring fine.
Page 2:
the development of the piece, Well, back to the grind. Prema’s Perspective
deciding where to apply more
pressure or take away pieces, Harsha the Scribe Bhadra’s Corner
often moving away from one area
PS- My goal is to be the last Pages 3:
to another as needs arise and are
boddhisatva.
satisfied. Dharma Center Doings

As chiseling gives way to grinding, Page 4: RInpoche’s Column


that gives way to polishing, and Page 6: Listings
Page 2 The Dharma Courier

Prema’s Perspective Bhadra’s Corner

Back in February I was inspired to send press releases to Bhadra’s been too busy to write much but the results
the two daily newspapers in Salt Lake City to announce of her efforts are really quite nice.
the opening of the Xuanfa Dharma Center of Utah. I
wasn’t really expecting much of a response from them, but
wanted to make both the Deseret News, (an LDS Church
owned publication) and The Salt Lake Tribune aware of
the Center and begin to develop a relationship with them.

To my surprise, the religion reporter for The Salt Lake


Tribune became interested in the Center and wrote an
article for their Saturday Faith section that was published
on February 27th. Her story was partly based on the press
release I’d sent, but she also did her own background
research, so much on her own that it was quite a
revelation to me to see the final story. I feel she was well
intentioned, but there were many errors and false
assumptions in her report. Also, I have to question the
opinions of the “experts” she consulted. The story was a
great reminder to me of that old familiar line, “don’t believe
everything you read in the paper.” One of the more
amusing errors was her statement that the Xuanfa Center
is located in my “apartment” – only I don’t live in an
apartment, I live in a single-family house. Some of my
friends in town who saw the article were worried that
something bad had happened in my family and I’d moved
out of my house! I’d say the whole experience was very
instructive, especially getting to see in a heightened way
how our minds so often make assumptions, jump to
conclusions and veer so far off from reality.

On the whole, having the article published has been


positive. I got fewer inquiries than I hoped for, but two
people are continuing to come to the Dharma Listening
sessions because of the article. One of these people had
th
met the 16 Karmapa many years ago and she instantly Just For Fun
Last issue asked,
knew to come and listen to His Holiness’s Discourses as
“What is Master Rinpoche's favorite response to
soon as she saw the article.
a question?”
Answer: “It depends…”
If anyone would like a copy of the press release I sent out
to the newspapers to get it all started, send me an e-mail
at margaret@greatriverbooks.com and I'll send it to you.
What do you call the spot on your forehead
The article can be read at that is rubbed raw doing prostrations? Answer
http://www.sltrib.com/features/ci_14479368 on page 3
Rinpoche’s Column
The Dharma Courier Page 3

On March 21st, the Xuanfa Institute of Philadelphia got


Dharma Center Doings together with the Dharmadhatu Center of Dover for a
shared meal, fellowship and Dharma-listening. They were
also collecting their portion of our joint zabuton/zafu order.
!"#$%&'()$"*#%$&*+,'"#'*!"-()(,(.*'##)/)'(.-* It was a wonderful day. We will be making every effort to
* repeat this gathering on a monthly basis, alternating
between our two centers. – From Master Nanda

Master Nanda, leader of the


Dharmadhatu Dharma Center in What do you
Delaware has reached out to the call someone
Unitarian Universalists of Central who makes a
Delaware as they prepare to host really big
a series of discussions titled "The deal of
Four Noble Truths of Buddhism," practicing
led by the Rev. Lyn Oglesby. The Buddhism?
discussions incorporate a video by
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with
an introduction by Buddhist
scholar Robert Thurman. The Rev.
Oglesby attended teachings by the
Dalai Lama for five days in Forms of Address: Just how does one address our Master
January. This group will provide a and others of similar position?
rich and full understanding of the
basic teachings of Buddhism If you went to Marine Corps basic training you already have an idea of
how to address someone without using personal pronouns. At Parris
Master Nanda has offered to assist Island referring to a drill instructor as “you” always ended badly right after
Rev. Oglesby with the objective of being asked if you thought they were a sheep [ewe]. So, do not address
ensuring that the practice of Master Rinpoche as “you”, and, yes, Master Rinpoche is one of several
correct forms of address.
Buddhism does not get portrayed
as a mere extension of a collective Learning proper ways to address a Venerable one is fairly simple but it
religious philosophy and to invite requires thinking before speaking; a habit we probably all should develop.
those who may be interested in I have a couple of suggestions for study guides. Watch Full Metal Jacket,
deepening their understanding to at least the first part that covers basic training, it covers how to refer to
come to the Dharmadhatu Dharma oneself in the third person and how to address superiors. After the basic
Center to hear the teachings of His training portion just eject the DVD. Another, funny and entertaining,
example is Just Visiting, starring Jean Reno and Christina Applegate.
Holiness. It is quite possible that
The movie provides examples of how to act respectfully to one’s master
some form of collaborative effort
and it is a hilarious movie. Pop some popcorn.
could be established between the
two organizations, whereby the Granted these two items offer examples that are extreme but you can get
Dharmadhatu Dharma Center the idea. My next suggestion is to practice by thinking of things you may
offers the opportunity to hear want to say to Master Rinpoche and then deciding how to say them.
recorded discourses in their
Examples: ask if our Venerable Master wants to go to a certain location;
church on occasion and extend the tell our Master how much the lesson just presented is appreciated; ask
option of a visit by Venerable our Master if His Holiness will be coming to Sanger soon.
Zhaxi Zhuoma Rinpoche when Our
Master is in town. Hint: do not use personal pronouns

I offer this respectfully in the hopes that others may benefit from these words.
Harsha
Dharma-brasion

From above- dharma queen


The Dharma Courier Page 4

Rinpoche’s Column continued from


The Sangha as Community
Page 1
Participation in a religious community is new for me. I
ceased active participation in the Anglican Church in
1968-1969. Yes, before many of you were born. But I
an English CAD system to enable you to do found spiritual community in Kodokai Aikido at the dojo
drafting. I financed much of my undergraduate level and also at the level of the international
education and my first Masters doing drafting, but it organization. Members of the dojo participated in more
is quite different on a computer and this Luddite than classes, camps & seminars. As one crusty old
learns slowly. I still have a few plans and elevations submariner put it, we were a family, a clan, and we
of the Yurts and cabins to do, but it is almost ready actively supported our family by working on the dojo,
to submit. And then there is the matter of fees—this maintenance, etc. and financial support, monthly
process is not cheap. You will be hearing more on training fees, fees for special events, and testing. If
fund raising to actually acquire the money to build a one of us was unable to practice we still paid our
small temple, add a Meditation Hall, and many monthly fees. In this way we all worked to ensure that
individual cabins as well as landscaping, paving, our family was able to do the things it needed to do.
etc., but first I want to be sure the county will let us And, the dojo-cho [person in charge & often chief
do it. instructor] did not handle the money, it detracted from
teaching and talking with students.
We have started “unofficially” to have our retreats.
March 19-21 we held a “test” extended meditation I think that a Sangha is very much like that in many
retreat that was well attended and received. Many ways. It is different because there are times when
periods of meditation—both sitting and walking, donations are accepted and when they are not. I, for
chanting and we tried to do it in silence. The latter one, cannot be sure yet of when they are or are not
will take some practice. Everyone said they wanted accepted. It depends. I think a good approach is to
to do it again AND they wanted me to be tougher always offer the donation & see what happens.
on them. Of course I cannot do anything now until
we have our permits, but I would like to plan a Our wonderful Master, Ven. Zhaxi Zhuoma Rinpoche,
seven-day meditation retreat over the Fourth of July has spent the better part of the last two years or so
and Labor day weekends. Mark your calendars! I spreading the wonderful news about HH Dorje Chang
am afraid I am behind on my plans to start the Buddha III. Part of those efforts has been dedicated to
certificate program. That will have to wait until the finding disciples and setting up dharma centers: we
permits are in hand and my book goes to press. are some of those results. We have become a Sangha
The first draft of the book has been translated into and we need to do everything within our abilities to
Chinese and the review process is under way. ensure that the Sangha not only survives, but thrives
Writing is very challenging. so that all living beings will receive benefits of our
efforts.
I am very happy to announce that the Xuanfa
Institute has a dharma center in the works in Asia. So, pending our Master’s approval, I am suggesting
Pending government approval, the Xuanfa Dharma that we establish a system for sending financial
Center of Vietnam will be in operation yet this year. support to Xuanfa, establishing someone[s] to be
It started with a young man, Th!ng V"#ng V$, responsible for properly handling the funds with
telling me that he had translated the sutra “What Is oversight from our Master but relieving our Master of
Cultivation? Into Vietnamese, his native tongue. the mundane chores associated with finances. I am
This generated the idea of him starting a dharma not suggesting that there be a monthly minimum or the
center and within a few days we were on our way expectation of one. I am suggesting that those who
with websites and links to my home page. I hope he can send what they can & that details be kept
can come to Sanger in May to pick up the CDs and confidential.
DVDs. This action in turn, inspired new disciple,
Harsha
Page 5 The Dharma Courier

The Xuanfa Institute


Rinpoche’s Column continued from Page 4 11507 East Ashlan Avenue
(Mail to PO Box 272)
Sanger, California 93657
Phone 626-375-6328 Fax 559-875-3515
E-mail: zhaxiz@gmail.com

Chandramani Groger to start translating "What Is Soon to be the home of


Cultivation?" into Tagalong. She hopes to start a center in
Xuanfa Temple of Sanger
her native country of the Philippines, the next time she
visits there. She and her German husband Ingo (who is a (Under development, permits pending)
student of Bodi Wentu Rinpoche) live near by and are
also helping to make sure the temple kitten and flowers
Dedicated to propagating the true
are well taken care of. dharma established by
Shakyamuni Buddha—the
fundamental Theravada, the
exoteric Mahayana, and the
All of this caused me to reflect on the international esoteric Vajrayana—and
character of our Sangha. We have many students who expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang
Buddha III.
have recent roots all over the world. This is certainly a
source of many unique ways to propagate the dharma (As
well as having some fantastic ethnic food). What if some
of the rest of you who still have family and friends in your
native countries considered setting up dharma centers
there? Beginning with translating “What Is Cultivation?” is
a good place to start. That is what Amal did in Germany,
Thang in Vietnam, and now Chandramani in the
Philippines. Not only are you able to propagate the
dharma of our Buddha Master around the world,but the The Xuanfa Institute logo consists
of seven “jewels” on a sun-mirror,
process of translating is a very good way to deepen your
sailing on a moon boat in dharma-
own understanding of the dharma. You have to really clouds. The seven “jewels” are
know something to be able to translate it. You can check Good Fortune, Miracles or Holy
out what they did as starters, but don’t be overwhelmed. Manifestations, the Five Vidyas,
You can start small with just a link in your native tongue to Wisdom, Compassion, Becoming
my website and then go from there. We will add a caveat, a Saint or Holy Being, and the
just as I do for the English translations, that these are Quick Path to Enlightenment. The
preliminary translations that have not been approved by image of the Jewel Mirror came to
the Office of His Holiness and may contain errors. That Ven. Zhaxi Zhuoma in a dream. It
was such an unusual and vivid
way you can feel less intimidated by the process. We
dream that she told her vajra
need to start somewhere and now is the time to start.
master, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha
III, about it only to have His
Holiness laugh and say, “But of
I send you all warm regards and many blessings, Zhaxi course, that’s the magical
Buddha-dharma that I have been
Zhuoma
trying to teach you. Use that
image as a means of expounding
the Dharma!” You can learn more
about these jewels on
www.zhaxizhuoma.net
The Dharma Courier
Page 6 XUANFA Affiliated Dharma Centers

CALIFORNIA:
Buddha Nature Dharma Center: Contact Master Narsimha (Spencer Johnson); 1672-A Orchard Street, Santa Rosa, California;
707-321-3527; narsimha@xuanfainstitute.org; www.bn.xuanfainstitute.org
Dawapalmo, The Xuanfa Dharma Center of Pacifica: Contact Kamala (Marta Torres); 140 Gateway Drive, Pacifica, California
94044; 650-678-5395; kamala@xuanfainstitute.org; www.dawapalmo.xuanfainstitute.org [SPANISH]
The Xuanfa Dharma Center of San Diego: 4115 3rd Avenue, San Diego, California; Contact Dharmadina (Elisa Lane); 619-322-
5067, elisa.lane@cox.net; or Uppalavanna (Marieta Darrah); 858-361-4245, mettadhar@hotmail.com; or Abhirati (Sondra
Buschman); 619-325-0992, sondrab@tibetanacademy.org;
The Xuanfa Dharma Center of the San Gabriel Valley: Contact Opalina (Kam Fung); 660 Monterey Pass Road, Monterey Park,
California 91754; 626-536-1832; opalina@xuanfainistitute.org; www.sgv.xuanfainstitute.org [CHINESE]
DELAWARE: Dharmadhatu Dharma Center- Contact Master Nanda (Glenn Gauvry); 190 Main Street, Little Creek, Delaware;
302-236-5383; glenn-nanda@comcast.net; www.dharmadhatu-center.org/
NEVADA: Xuanfa Dharma Center of Las Vegas - Contact Sakula (Katie Hughes-Appel); 7628 Delaware Bay Drive, Las Vegas,
NV 89128; 702-292-4341; sakula@xuanfainstitute.org; www.lasvegas.xuanfainstitute.org
NEW MEXICO: Xiuxing Institute of Taos - Contact Harsha (Mike Jones); 1337-G Gusdorf Road, Taos, NM 87557; 575-770-7372;
xit@taosdharma.org; www.taosdharma.org
NORTH CAROLINA:
Asheville Nectar Dharma Center - Contact Master Dr. Shu-Ying Kuai, 114 Arlington Street, Asheville, NC; 828-254-2167
Xuanfa Dharma Center of Asheville - Contact Diane Bove, 59 Watauga Street, Asheville, NC: 828-255-4741
PENNSYLVANIA: Xuanfa Dharma Center of Philadelphia - Contact Bilwa (April Lynn Kay); 5444 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia,
PA 19128; 215-429-5526; bilwa@xuanfainstitute.org; www.phila.xuanfainstitute.org
UTAH: Xuanfa Dharma Center of Utah - Contact Prema (Margaret Esterman); 161 M street, Salt Lake City, UT 84103; 801-532-
4833; margaret@greatriverbooks.com
Xuanfa Dharma Centers-Canada

ONTARIO: Xuanfa Dharma Center of Toronto-Contact Umang (Justin Teaw); 60 Glenashton Drive, Oakville, Ontario Canada
L6H6G2; 905-257-3456; umang@xuanfainstitute.org; www.to.xuanfainstitute.org.[BAHASA MALAYSIAN]
Xuanfa Dharma Centers-GERMANY:
Xuanfa Dharmazentrum of Cologne-Contact Amal (Alexander Blazic); Wahlenstr. 9-11, 50823 Köln (Cologne), Germany; +49
(0)221 298 3690; kontakt@xuanfa-dharmazentrum.de; www.xuanfa-dharmazentrum.de [GERMAN]

XUANFA DHARMA CENTERS BEING FORMED IN ASIA:

Vietnam: Xuanfa Dharma Center of Vietnam [In process of being established]-Contact Th!ng V"#ng V$; PHONE: +84-
942090906; 2/27 Van Bao, Hanoi, Vietnam; E-mail thangvuongvu2@gmail.com; http://www.tuyenphap.com [Vietnamese]

Xuanfa Institute of the Philippines; Contact Chandramani (Ethel Groger); PHONE: 559-289-5456; E-mail
chandramani@xuanfainstitute.org; http://www.philippines.xuanfainstitute.org/

If your center has an upcoming event, please provide the details and we will make sure it is included in the newsletter.
The target publication date for The Dharma Courier is the first week of the quarter.
Thanks & we hope you find this a useful project. Many special thanks to responders & contributors.
Love & Joy to all beings,
Harsha the Scribe