DHARAMSHALA, June 18: World-renowned Buddhist teacher and author of the highly acclaimed The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche gave an exclusive teaching to youngsters from the Himalayan region at the newly inaugurated Sherpa Community Hall in Queens, New York on Sunday.
The diverse audience included Tibetans and Sherpas and members of the Bhutanese, Mustang, Manang, Sikkim, Yolmo Tamang and Gyalsumdo communities.
Rinpoche spoke of the challenges that the younger generation faces in connecting to Buddhism beyond cultural exercises and through Buddhist practices and teachings. Rinpoche, who is also the founder and spiritual director of Rigpa, an international network of over one hundred and thirty Buddhist centres and groups in forty countries around the world, advised the audience to try and understand the meaning behind the practices.
When asked how Buddhism can help to cope with the stress of daily life, Rinpoche taught and practiced some meditation techniques with the audience.
VajraTV, a global Buddhist television network and the United Sherpa Association had jointly requested the teaching.
Sangay Sherpa, the General Secretary of the United Sherpa Association said that the teaching, “primarily aimed for the younger generation” was organised in order to “preserve our culture.”
Sonam Sherpa, former board member of United Sherpa Association and advisor to VajraTV noted that Tibetans and the Himalayan communities share the same religion: Tibetan Buddhism. “Therefore, just as Tibetans work hard to preserve their culture, Sherpas do the same,” he added.
Thupten Chakrishar, the founder and CEO of VajraTV further commented: “In recent years, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has worked to promote the concept of Gangchenpa, which literally translates to people from the land of snow.”
He pointed out that Sogyal Rinpoche’s teachings to the joint community is “one way to contribute to the concept of Gangchenpa and therefore to follow up on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s vision.”
Based on a report submitted by Tenzin Yewong.