Monday 10th August
Today Rinpoche visited the Zatsen Juvenile Detention centre in Ulaanbaatar city. He was greeted by the head officer (director) of the detention centre, who updated him with the current situation of the young boys. There are 25 young boys at the moment and there have been a lot of developments in the detention centre, such as providing education and vocational training for the boys while they are in the centre. They can study up to the level of the higher secondary school. They also started vocational training for the boys in various skills as well, so that they are prepared to get a job when they go back into society.
Rinpoche personally thanked the officer for the centre’s progress and for providing the best opportunities for these young boys by making good use of their time in the detention centre. Rinpoche met all the 25 young boys and they paid him great respect and we can see that they really like to see someone like Rinpoche come and visit them. Rinpoche gave them a short Dharma teaching and advised them to make the best use of their time in educating themselves and learning new skills as they now have the educational and vocational training facilities available in the centre. He also advised them to make a strong motivation every morning that they would like to make their life a happy and meaningful one. He then said prayers for their health and for a successful life in the future. He also distributed Dharma books by His Holiness the Dalai Lama that were translated into Mongolian and advised them to read and learn from them. He then distributed notebooks, fruit juice and sweets to them.
Rinpoche has been going to this juvenile detention centre for many years, and volunteers from his Asral charity also go to the centre every week to help these boys. Asral centre also provides psychotherapy sessions for the boys. The centre also brings Buddhist teachers to give teachings. The boys really expressed a lot of interest in meeting Buddhist monks. The office of the juvenile centre also provided a room for these young boys to meditate and pray. Asral charity has done a great job with the renovation of the room and made it into a very comfortable meditation room. Rinpoche taught them a simple meditation, which they all took part in in the meditation room.
In the afternoon, Rinpoche met many Mongolians at Asral’s centre. The abbot of Khujirt temple (Batzaya) in Huchird district came to see Rinpoche and he invited him to come and give a teaching in his temple on behalf of his whole town and temple.