Many Greetings from Rinpoche’s Centre in Northern Ireland here in Belfast. One of our main functions is continuing to carry out our programme of Meditations as requested by Rinpoche.
For those who don’t know, we have a Shrine Room, a small sitting room, an office, and a shared kitchen and toilets. We have regular sessions on Sunday mornings, Mondays (morning, lunchtime and evenings), Tara Practice on Thursdays, Thirty-Five Buddhas Practice and once month we offer a Dharma DVD evening. We have Jen, Lucy, Sally and Lynn running these. Lucy ran a six week course on Mindfulness which was well received.
Lucy runs our shop for us too. She has small but steady trade going on. Lynn continues as Honorary Buddhist Chaplain for Belfast Hospitals’ Trust and sits on the Interfaith Forum Executive Committee. She will also be giving some talks on Buddhism for the Downpatrick Museum as part of their Interfaith dialogue programme.
In the Autumn we were videoed chanting Tara Practice by a Religious Education Teacher who is constructing an internet site for use by teachers and including all religions. Lynn was interviewed for this as well answering questions about Buddhism.
In August Rinpoche appointed Dr. Tim Green as new trustee. We are very pleased to have him and he will give a talk on our behalf to the Interfaith Forum and also run a one or two day workshop to help our running expenses.
We also carry out quite a few fundraising events to help the Centre. Over the summer we hosted the showing of the film Dalai Lama Renaissance in a theatre in the new Museum & Arts Centre in Belfast. We were oversubscribed which was great.
We were so delighted that Rinpoche was in attendance accompanied by Ani-la and Desmond who gave a very nice introduction. Rinpoche was able to meet his students in the North and also some of his supporters here.
In August the Belfast Mela came around again, with this year some 20,000 people attending in lovely sunshine. We have a stall there each year and we sell items from Anna and Sarah which help the elderly monks, goods from Mongolia and we have a fabulous hamper donated by Clare which we raffle to fund the Centre. It is a tremendously fun day with acrobats, loud live music, dance, Chinese dragons, and super food. We are able to hand out lots of leaflets about both Centres, the Monks and Rinpoche’s work in Mongolia. The best part for us was having Rinpoche in attendance. Younam and Brian came too and helped on the stall, bringing much laughter and fun.
Janice has been helping by running some afternoons of guided walks and homemade afternoon teas at her home in Edenderry village. People help in other ways too, Rita gave us a sofa, Sharman (who brought all the chairs for the meeting room in Jampa Ling in Cavan) also found some for us as well and an elderly lady who died gave us £1,000.
In late November Lynn accompanied Rinpoche, Ani-la, Deidre and Valerie to India to attend His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Teachings in Drepung. We were able to meet up with Bonnie too. There were some very sad faces here from those unable to go this time.
It was wonderful to see our monks and the new Guest House. It was so good to see how they are all getting on and to be able to give sponsors here some updates on how their money is helping . Some of the monks are getting quite old now and Ani-la has written a moving report on these eldery monks who have given so much.
We have people to thank so much once again for all their help – Anne, Caitriona,Clare, Jen, Kiera and James, Kyle, Lucy, Janice, Sally, Sam and Sharman.
Thanks are also due to Jen our Treasurer who keeps complicated accounts for us and has a task each month of writing reports!! We would be lost without her.
But most of all we thank our Precious Teacher, Ven. Lama Panchen Otrul Rinpoche for His continuing guidance, patience and wisdom and we thank Him from the bottom of our hearts for remaining with us.
Jampa Ling Northern Ireland is located on Malone Road near the University.