JF Newsletter #2: Winter '08
What's Happening at JF
Support Jonang Foundation
Aspiration for the Jonangpa
Jonangpa.com: The JF Blog
Volunteer Your Skills
Excerpt from JF's Library
Jonang Nuns Project
New on the Website
The work of Jonang Foundation is dependent on the support of generous contributions made by private benefactors, and by grants awarded through charitable organizations.
Every gift made to Jonang Foundation assists us directly with our cultural heritage preservation and education projects including: ongoing needs for equipment, website and project development, and field research in Tibet.
Both targeted and unrestricted gifts are greatly appreciated.
*Jonang Foundation is a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. All contributions made to Jonang Foundation are tax-deductible within the United States.
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Through the immutable virtue of the threefold refuge,
And the ultimate, stable, constant abundance of truth;
May the enlightened activities of the Jonangpa,
Sovereigns of the teachings on definitive meaning,
Diffuse and expand fortuitously!
We at Jonang Foundation are now seeking volunteers.
To help us with the foundation's growing demands for fundraising, project management, website development, and communications, send an email introducing yourself to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From An Instruction to Lhaje Tsultim O by Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen
Translated by Cyrus Stearns
Natural clear light is noncomposite. Incidental stains are composite.
Natural clear light transcends the three times. Incidental stains are included in the three times.
Natural clear light is apart from the aggregates. Incidental stains are together with the aggregates.
Natural clear light transcends dependent origination. Incidental stains are together with dependent origination.
Natural clear light is apart from all creation and cessation. Incidental stains are momentarily created and momentarily cease.
Natural clear light is changeless. Incidental stains are changeable by nature.
Natural clear light is the true nature. Incidental stains are phenomena.
Natural clear light is madhyamaka. Incidental stains are falling into extremes.
Read more from our Digital Library.
What's Happening at JF
Friends & Benefactors:
Over the past few months, we've been very active at Jonang Foundation. In this 2nd edition of the JF Newsletter, we bring you the news and highlight some of our latest activities.
From early December through the end of January, we conducted our 1st teaching tour through Europe where Khenpo Kunga Sherab Rinpoche performed the Kalachakra empowerment from the Jonang transmission lineage, several condensed empowerments, and taught on zhentong in Italy. The Kalachakra empowerment and teaching retreat were translated into Italian by Valeria Donati, and into English by myself. Tulku Kunga Zangpo also made the trip to the French Alps where he was invited to teach. We would like to thank our friends and hosts throughout Italy and France for their hospitality, and we look forward to deepening our relationships with all of you in the coming years.
Professor Matthew Kapstein has joined our Board of Directors. Professor Kapstein is the Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Chicago Divinity School, and the Director of Studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris. His publications of Tibetan texts by Dolpopa and Khenpo Lodro Drakpa, along with his numerous articles on Jonang history and philosophy have made significant contributions to western scholarship and to our understanding of the Jonangpa. We at Jonang Foundation welcome Professor Kapstein on board, and are excited to start working with him on the executive level.
Dr. Cyrus Stearns, a member of our Board of Directors and the author of "The Buddha from Dolpo," contributed several short translations to the website library. These include 2 texts by Dolpopa, one by the 16th century Jonang and Shangpa Kagyu master Kunga Drolchok, and one by Drolchok's own teacher Lochen Ratnabhadra. These translations are now available for free download in our Digital Library.
We hosted our 1st interns this past summer with 2 successful projects: (1) Jessica Benjamin, a recent graduate from Harvard University on a fellowship to study Buddhist nuns, joined us for almost 3 months over the summer while she stayed at Swe Nunnery in the Ngawa region of Tibet where she helped to initiate Jonang Foundation's Jonang Nuns Project; (2) Robin Child, a senior at Wheaton College (Mass.) on the School for International Training's (SIT) Tibetan Studies program, worked with us for several weeks last autumn, researching new developments in Jonang monasteries in Ngawa.
Initiatives that we are undertaking throughout the 2008 year include:
Due to the recent events in Tibetan regions of China and after careful consideration, we have decided to postpone our pilgrimage through central and eastern Tibet until the summer of 2009. If you would like the itinerary or details regarding the 2009 journey through Tibet, then please contact us via email.
One of the great Jonang masters of our time, Ngawang Pema Namgyal Rinpoche, affectionately referred to as "Gyabla Lama" from Langcha Monastery in Golok, passed away on March 10th of this year. Penam Rinpoche was born in 1925, and was one of the elders of the Jonang tradition in Amdo. He will be missed by all of us at Jonang Foundation.
As we continue to move forward in actualizing our vision, we seek your support, feedback, and participation. In particular, we are on the search for creative means to raise funds for our ongoing projects and to involve more volunteer staff in our daily work. Please think about joining us, and contact us with your interests.
The official weblog ("blog") of Jonang Foundation was launched at Jonangpa.com. This online resource for the study of the Jonang will be used to post research notes and reflections in order to elicit feedback and discussion.
The JF blog features regular commentary on various topics related to the Jonangpa, and the Jonang Tibetan Buddhist heritage. Content on Jonangpa.com is derived from ongoing field research in Tibet and from primary Tibetan language source materials, and is presented in the form of a series of notes on related topics concerning Jonang history, zhentong philosophical thinking, the Kalachakra Tantra, and contemporary issues that concern the Jonangpa.
Readers are invited to submit comments to all posts on Jonangpa.com. To comment, visit the blog and register under the "add new comment" button following each post. We look forward to your online discussions.
This new collection of photographs by the French photographer Frederic Lemalet features the young monks of our school project in eastern Tibet. Photos are being sold on TibetPhoto.org in order to benefit the project. Frederic kindly visited the project last year, and has donated his fantastic photos to the ongoing needs of the project.
TibetPhoto.org is an online gallery of select fine art photographs of Tibet and the Himalayan regions. All proceeds go directly to funding our ongoing cultural preservation and education projects in Tibet.
Contribute towards charitable projects in Tibet with your orders!
Photos in the gallery can be purchased with or without frames as 5x7, 8x10 prints or posters on Kodak Endura paper.
The Jonang Nuns Project was initiated during the Summer of 2007 with the assistance of our first intern, Jessica Benjamin. The project was conceived in order to support ordained life for woman, specifically those living in Tibet.
The project is concerned with constructing and reviving Jonang nunneries and their educational systems so that female practitioners can continue to maintain their tradition. As the Jonang Nuns Project gains support, we will work with growing communities of Buddhist nuns throughout the Amdo region of Tibet.
This project is working with 1 of only 3 Jonang nunneries in Tibet and currently the only active Jonang nunnery in Amdo. As it continues to grow, the nunnery is in great need of funding to build more houses, meditation buildings, and other facilities.
In response to the requests of Jonang masters that seminal works of their tradition now be made available to a larger audience, and aware of the increasing interest and demand for Western language materials that inform readers about this little-known Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Jonang Foundation has formed the Ngedon Thartuk Translation Initiative.
This project is concerned with translating Tibetan works on Jonang history, zhentong philosophy, and the Kalachakra Tantra into English and other modern languages. Translations are appearing in our digital library.
As this project continues to grow, we seek the necessary funding to make these translations available both in print and online.