Venerable Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche’s visit to Mongolia 2017.
Ven. Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche has visited Mongolia each year for the last 25 years. His work focuses on two main areas. Firstly, to support the re-emergence of Buddhism, Mongolia’s traditional religion, following independence from the Soviet Union. Secondly, to address Mongolia’s dire poverty, particularly its effect on single mothers and their children. His main priorities are centred on providing access to education and developing practical skills for self-sustaining employment. A Hot Meal program helps to support some of the most disadvantaged children in the capital city.
Tuesday 1st August [click on any image to enlarge]
Ven. Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche and his students Younam, Caitriona Ni Threasaigh and Jennifer Davies were greeted at Ulanbaataar’s Ghengis Khan Airport and transported to Asral Centre, where he was welcomed by staff, volunteers, students and families. A reception celebrating his arrival in Mongolia was held in Rinpoche’s honour.
Following a long-life Mandala offering, Rinpoche greeted and thanked all the staff, volunteers and supporters of Asral and his work in Mongolia.
Wednesday 2nd August
The Centre was honoured by a visit of H.E. Ling Rinpoche and Venerable Nechung Khuten. H.E. Ling Rinpoche gave teachings and stressed the importance of training our minds through the teachings of the Buddha. H.E. Ling Rinpoche expressed his deep admiration for Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche’s humanitarian work in Mongolia, and his appreciation to all the staff, volunteers and supporters of Asral Centre for the vital work carried out by all involved.
Ven. Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche gave a brief report of his humanitarian work, and again offered thanks to all who supported the projects. The guests were given a tour of the the centre, visiting the children’s classrooms and kitchens that provide for the Hot Meal project. They also visited the MIM (Made in Mongolia) felt-making workshop to see the hand-made products being designed and made by mainly single mothers. The positive work being done to support the local district was appreciated by everyone.
Ven. Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche met with a number of students and supporters of Asral in the afternoon.
Thursday 3rd August
Again many students and supporters of Asral came to receive blessings and guidance from Ven. Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche. He was visited by a father whose son received support from Asral to attend school. The boy is doing very well.
Friday 4th August
Rinpoche spent the day receiving visits from students. A mother whose two children benefited from the Hot Meal Project brought her two-month-old daughter to meet Rinpoche. Caitriona Ni Threasaigh and Jenny Davies, Rinpoche’s Irish students, offered the woman some baby blankets and baby clothes, of great benefit when winter temperatures drop to as much as minus forty degrees. The mother invited Caitriona and Jenny for tea in the afternoon. When they arrived, the baby was already dressed in a new baby-grow and wrapped in a blanket from Ireland.
Irish student Sinead Ni Gháirbhith arrived in Mongolia with film-makers Jonathan White and John Conway, to make a documentary about Rinpoche’s activities and humanitarian projects.
A group of German tourists on their third visit to Mongolia, and who are interested in Buddhist philosophy, came to see Rinpoche. They asked a number of questions, specifically relating to interfaith dialogue, and kindly gave a generous donation to Asral.
Mrs. Tully, who owns a construction company that generously sponsored recent renovations at Asral Centre, came with some of her employees to see Rinpoche and to receive blessings. Many of Mrs. Tully’s staff volunteered their help with the renovations, and she has offered to give more assistance in the future if necessary.
In the afternoon, Rinpoche was invited by H.E. Kundeling Tatsak Rinpoche to a White Tara Initiation teaching at the Hotel Corporate in the city centre. The teachings were given to a packed audience. H.E. expressed his appreciation to Rinpoche for all his humanitarian work in Mongolia.
Saturday 5th August
A representative of ‘Home’, a Mongolian magazine, has committed to publishing articles in their bi-monthly editions about the teachings and work of Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche and Asral NGO . Topics for possible future articles were discussed with Rinpoche.
Later in the afternoon, H.E. Kundeling Tatsak Rinpoche came to give the White Tara initiation and teachings. Staff, volunteers and supporters of Asral helped to arrange the shrine room and prepare the food. The initiation was attended by over 200 people.
H.E. Kunde Ling Tatsak Rinpoche gave thanks to Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche for his dedication to the re-introduction of Buddhism and for his tireless humanitarian work in Mongolia.
Sunday 6th August
Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche was invited to attend the Ulanbaataar Nadam Festival. All of the high Lamas were present to watch the activities, which included a Buddhist Mask Dance.
Following the festival Rinpoche went to meet with H.E. Rizong Rinpoche, 103rd Throne holder of the Gelukpa School of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche gave H.E. a brief report on his spiritual and charity work in Mongolia. H.E. Rizong Rinpoche very much appreciated all the practical and spiritual work Rinpoche performed for the Mongolian people.