Dear Kadampa Center Family and Friends, 

One of the fundamental teachings of the Buddha is the pervasiveness of change or impermanence – if we look closely, we see that every aspect of our existence is in a continual state of flux. By becoming aware of this change, we can react to it positively and use it to grow on our spiritual path.

We’ve all had a major teaching on change over the past several years! Nothing is exactly as it was two or three years ago – and this especially applies to Kadampa Center.

Whether giving once or becoming a Monthly Sustainer, we’ve made it easier than ever to give! There is no need to fill out a separate pledge form. Simply fill out the online giving form and choose your Sustainer gift amount and frequency.

Also, please consider joining a growing community of people who want Kadampa Center to thrive in the future. Many of our supporters make gifts to Kadampa Center in their will or estate plan so they can do even more to ensure that the Buddha’s teachings of wisdom and compassion will be taught and practiced at our center for generations to come.

If you have any questions, please reach out to giving@kadampa-center.org

 

With deep appreciation for your support!

Most importantly, along with our fellow 140 FPMT centers around the world, we’re facing a future without our precious spiritual director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Rest assured that the highly qualified FPMT board of directors is deeply involved in setting the direction for the future of our parent organization.

What we can say for sure is that Kadampa Center, thanks to the generosity and work of so many, enters 2024 in outstandingly solid financial condition. Kadampa Center is in the best financial shape it has ever been in.  

Rather than being reactive and wish things were the way they used to be, we are planning on using our new reality to move forward and grow. Indeed, we are embracing change and continuing our work toward a sustainable future.

This forward movement includes, but is not limited to:

        • A vigorous spiritual program guided by our beloved resident teachers, Geshe Gelek and Geshe Sangpo, augmented by visiting teachers such as Ven, Robina Courtin, and Don Handrick, that is offered not just in person at the Center but reaches around the world on Zoom and YouTube
        • Solar panels that have been installed, are on-line, and provide all our electricity needs (and more).
        • A reinvigorated Family Program began in January 2024.
        • Our physical buildings and grounds are also in the process of change. We are rethinking and remodeling the kitchen and office areas at the Center, so that our physical facility can meet the needs for more and different types of events.

And that’s just scratching the surface of what’s going on! Our active Board of Directors and an enthusiastic team of Program and Area Coordinators are meeting regularly, and we want you to join us as we move forward and Embrace Change!

2024 Initiatives and Events

Sand Mandalas at Center!

In January, two monks from House 26A at Sera Je arrived for a visit of several months. Geshe Pema and Venerable Tenzin have joined Geshe Sangpo in the creation of sand mandalas at Kadampa Center – Medicine Buddha (practice for healing) and Green Tara (practice for compassion, loving-kindness, and prosperity). We enjoyed several events at the center as well as other venues surrounding these special visitors!

Kitchen Remodel

We are in the early planning stages to remodel our kitchen and office space to create more opportunities for our community to gather and put the teachings into practice! This will be the first renovation of our building since we moved here 17 years ago.

As plans are developed for our kitchen remodel and furthering our grounds beautification  ~  you will learn of special fundraising opportunities.

Buddha Shrine and Grounds Beautification

Embracing Change – We continue our aspirational wish to build a proper shrine for the Buddha and continue the beautification of our outside garden and practice area. 

As plans are developed for our kitchen remodel and furthering our grounds beautification  ~  you will learn of special fundraising opportunities.

2023 in review

Lama Zopa Rinpoche Offerings

Our Spiritual Program responded powerfully to the sad news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s unexpected passing away from this life into parinirvana, on April 13.  We organized multiple pujas and practices for him, with strong participation from our members, Rinpoche’s students.  Many Kadampa Center members donated to sponsor those pujas, and their donations also sponsored a puja at Kopan Monastery in Nepal – Rinpoche’s “home” monastery.
After Rinpoche’s departure, we continue to follow his advice in our offerings of FPMT classes and programs, and we now conclude teachings with a prayer for his swift return, composed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Long Life Prayers for Our Geshes

Our precious teachers, Geshe Gelek Chodha and Geshe Palden Sangpo, have been with us for more than 20 years, kindly guiding us in the Buddha Dharma and how to live happy, peaceful lives.

Our Spiritual Program organized the writing and translation of long-life prayers for our two precious resident Geshes. We presented the prayers to them in a special celebration on Sunday, Aug. 27. 

Animal Blessings with Geshe Sangpo

According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, it’s incredibly important to do practices to benefit animals and lead them to liberation: “It’s not enough that you look after animals and they give you comfort. You must do something of practical benefit for them. This is what you can do every day:​ Circumambulate with them around holy objects, chanting mantras. Recite prayers in their ears to plant the seed of all the realizations of the path to enlightenment. This makes a huge difference. It has incredible results, enabling them to have a good rebirth in their next life, to be born as a human being, and meet the Dharma.”

Expanding Our Reach

We continue to expand our reach beyond our immediate area. The current cycle of Discovering Buddhism now includes many students from Thubten Kunga Ling in Florida, who attend via Zoom as regular DB students. Of course, we also have many students from far-flung areas who attend Geshe-la’s teachings, whether they are logging in from another state or from Argentina, Mexico, Turkey or another country.   

Highest Yoga Tantra Retreat

Kadampa Center followed up on Khensur Rinpoche’s great kindness in conferring tantric initiations, particularly the Vajrayogini highest yoga tantra practice. Geshe Gelek gave teachings over several months, in great detail, on how to do the practice. Also, in April nine students did a three-week approaching retreat, led by Geshe Sangpo, in which all participants completed 100,000 recitations of the mantra. The retreat took place in Boone and concluded with a fire puja. All KC members were invited to join in that puja, and many attended. This was the first such retreat ever held by Kadampa Center. 

Love Notes

Hundreds of cards with messages of love, compassion and inspiration were written for Meals On Wheels by Kadampa Center volunteers!

We Went Solar!

We are living our values and have installed a solar energy array on our roof, partially funded by a grant, that will provide almost all our electric needs for years to come. 

Changes in Leadership

We welcomed new board of director members Nili Wong and Heather Sanderson at the end of 2022 and said farewell to Sandy Carlson who stepped down in November after six years as Board President.

Our Board of Directors and an enthusiastic team of Program Leaders and Coordinators are meeting regularly. These areas include our Spiritual Program, Family Program, Facilities Maintenance, Monthly Potlucks, Media, and IT. New volunteers are always welcome!

Yangsi Rinpoche

Kadampa Center was blessed to have Yangsi Rinpoche for one special night of teaching in October!
It was Yangsi Rinpoche who suggested to Lama Zopa Rinpoche that he consider Geshe Gelek as our resident teacher at Kadampa Center, so we have much to be grateful to him for.

Venerable Robina

Venerable Robina Courtin returned to Kadampa Center for almost a week of teachings, including evenings, a weekend workshop, and our Sunday Morning Dharma Connections.

Visiting Teacher Don Handrick

Gen Don Handrick returned to Kadampa Center for a week of teachings on a variety of topics applicable to our everyday lives in modern society as well as profound aspects of the Buddhist path to enlightenment

Sand Mandala at Elon

Geshe Sangpo returned to Elon University for the ninth year to create a sand mandala for peace and healing.

“When people come here to view and experience the creation of this mandala, which represents the calling together of all the positive, peaceful energy, they are each bringing a little piece of that energy with them, and they all leave with the collective energy they’ve generated,” said Elise Strevel, Kadampa Center’s Outreach Coordinator.

Dorje Khadro

Over the course of the year, it’s easy to make lots of mistakes with our body, speech and mind. We create harmful karmic seeds from unskillful actions that will eventually ripen as suffering.

Kadampa Center’s annual New Year’s Eve Dorje Khadro Fire Puja, a powerful Mahayana purification practice, offered an opportunity to go into the new year with a relatively clean slate. 

Thank You

Take a few moments and renew (or increase) your sustainer giving or to make a one-time donation.

We thank you for your past, present, and future generosity, and ask that you do what you can to contribute to a sustainable, ever-changing Kadampa Center.

With much love and deep appreciation,

Robbie Watkins,

Center Director

As plans are developed for our kitchen remodel and furthering our grounds beautification  ~  you will learn of special fundraising opportunities.

For many years now, the actions that enable us to create a budget and sustain our operation have been your commitment to our sustainer support.

 Please take a few moments to renew (or boost!) your sustainer giving or make a one-time donation in support of Kadampa Center.  If you do not give monthly, please consider signing up. Our online donation process is easier than ever, and it is no longer necessary to fill out a separate pledge with your donation.