Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rinpoche came to visit

Life at art school was thrown into a manageable tizzy this week when the Rinpoche decided to pay a visit. The management was given a couple of days notice and so everything was mostly ready when he arrived this morning at around 09:00.

Rabjam Rinpoche is the abbot of the monastery where I study, the guy in charge, and the spiritual heir and grandson of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, one of Tibet's great Buddhist masters and one of the Dalai Lama's teachers.

Most of the female students wore their chupas, the traditional Tibetan dress, and when we received word that he was coming we all lined up out front of the art school to welcome the Rinpoche with katas.

The purpose of his visit was to confer refuge on new students, a ceremony in which one announces the intent to be practice Buddhism by taking refuge in the Buddha, dharma, and sangha - the teacher, the teaching, and the community of practicioners. By taking refuge, students may more efficaciously study and and practice sacred art.

The visit lasted little more than an hour and ended with a round of tea and biscuits accompanied by a few stories from Rinpoche's travels.



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