Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Tibet" Arrives in America

Get a glimpse of Tibet at new center
Tom Grace (Cooperstown News Bureau, Aug. 22, 2009)

COOPERSTOWN, New York - Tibetan Yogi Phakchok Rinpoche has invited the public to a Himalayan cultural fair this weekend on the sylvan grounds of the The Rangjung (innate) Yeshe (wisdom) Gomde (place of meditation), a meditation center on Glimmerglen Road in the town of Otsego.

Visitors will hear Tibetan folk songs, experience religious chants, learn of Zen archery, and have a chance to meditate, as well as eat traditional Tibetan dumplings known as momos. In one barn on the property, movies of life in the Himalayan region will be shown all day.

Other group activities will take place in the other barn and people will be free to move from one activity to another. "We want everyone who wants to, to come,'' Rinpoche said Friday. "This place is not ours; it is for everyone.''

The Rangjung Yeshe Gomde is one of two Tibetan meditation centers in the United States, according to Norbu Gyari, Rinpoche's wife. About two years ago, the parcel, which includes a house and two barns situated on 27 acres, was donated to the Buddhists by Gloria Nielson.

The cultural fair is being staged to introduce the Buddhist community to the area and to share some core beliefs with those who want to learn more about Buddhism.

"A tamed mind brings happiness,'' said Rinpoche, a direct descendent of ancient practitioners. The goal of meditation and related exercises is to control one's own mind and fate, he said. "We believe you do not do things that are harmful to others or yourself, but do the things that benefit others and yourself,'' he said.

While Buddhist monks take vows of celibacy, as a yogi, Rinpoche, 28, is free to marry to perpetuate his lineage. He and Gyari have a young son. Although he strayed from his faith in his late teens, Rinpoche said, the example of his many teachers brought him back to the path of enlightenment and self-control. Source