The July-September 2009 issue of Mandala. Adele Hulse (in pink pants holding gold book) attended a puja lead by Lama Yeshe at Chenrezig Institute, Euldo, Australia, 1976. Photo courtesy of Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.
Big Love, the long-anticipated authorized biography of Lama Yeshe written by Adele Hulse, provides an intimate portrait of FPMT’s founder. This excerpt is a snapshot from the author’s own life and relationship with Lama Yeshe and is another example of how amazing transformation is possible when a strong student meets a loving teacher.
“It was in early March 1974 that the lamas returned to Nepal and met the Australian journalist Adele Hulse who, years later, was to author this biography of Lama Yeshe. She had been in Boudha, the area around the monumental stupa located a 40-minute walk from Kopan hill, since before Christmas. ‘Having spent 11 years in Catholic boarding schools in Australia,’ Adele explained, ‘religion was the last thing on my mind. I wasn’t keen on Californian ‘Boodhists’ jangling their beads and mumbling about their ‘gooroo.’ Then a telegram arrived with the news of my father’s death. Standing outside the Kathmandu post office, I suddenly realized that I too was going to die one day. The words exploded in my brain: ‘He’s dead. You’re next.’ I looked around me at the people in the street and saw that they too would die…”
Cover of Wisdom No. 2, 1984. Photo by Ueli Minder, Geneva, October 1983.
In addition to back issues of Mandala magazine, our archive includes the two issues of Mandala‘s predecessor, Wisdom. Published in 1983-1984 by Wisdom Publications, the magazine is a valuable record of FMPT activities in the early 1980s.
Wisdom No. 2, published in late 1984, shares an extensive and heart-felt tribute to Lama Yeshe, who passed away in March 1984. Over the course of 30 pages, Lama Yeshe is remembered by his students and teachers through stories, teachings, poems and articles.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lawudo, 1970. Photo courtesy of Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.
Big Love, the long-anticipated authorized biography of Lama Yeshe written by Adele Hulse, provides an intimate portrait of FPMT’s founder. In 1979, an extensive teaching tour in Europe has been organized by Lama Yeshe’s burgeoning organization for Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, but Rinpoche decides that he wants to stay at Lawudo, his hermitage in the mountains of Nepal, to meditate. To what lengths will Lama Yeshe and devoted students go to bring him to the West?
Ganden Do Ngag Shedrup Ling Director Massimo Corona reports the recent uncovering of a VHS tape from a decade ago, featuring the former CEO of FPMT Mongolia Ueli Minder and Thubten Gyatso (Dr. Adrian Feldmann). The rough but fascinating video documents some of FPMT’s early contributions to the restoration of Buddhism in Mongolia. The 13-minute video, now available on FPMT Mongolia’s YouTube channel, includes footage of the renovation of a historic monastery located near Ulaanbaatar where Drolma Ling Nunnery, the first residential Tibetan Buddhist nunnery in Mongolia, was established. Also making a brief appearance in the video is Ven. Bakula Rinpoche, who greatly contributed to the return of Buddhism in Mongolia.
The history of Buddhism in Mongolia is rich, going back to the third century B.C.E. But with the rise of communism in the 1920s and Mongolia’s close alignment with the Soviet Union, Mongolian Buddhists suffered heavy oppression, witnessing the extensive destruction of monasteries and temples and the purging of an extraordinary number of monks and lamas in the late 1930s. The relighting of the lamp of Buddhism in Mongolia signifies the strength and determination of Mongolians to reclaim this nearly lost aspect of their cultural heritage.
With 160 centers, projects, and services around the globe, there is always news on FPMT activities, teachers and events. Mandala hopes to share as many of these timely stories as possible. If you have news you would like to share, please let us know.
“Remarkable Meetings with Lama Yeshe: Encounters with a Tibetan Mysitc” is a truly moving account of meetings with Lama Yeshe by Glenn Mullin. “The lama sat there chanting, seemingly oblivious to the danger we were in. I wanted to jump and shout an alarm, to scream out words saying that we should all leave the building before it was flattened. I tossed my eyes to the waterbowls on the altar to check how intense the quake was. To my amazement, the water was utterly still…. I looked back at Lama Yeshe. His eyes were on me, like suns blazing across a thousand universes. Well, I thought to myself, so this is what Tsong Khapa meant when he said that, on meeting with the guru, some people clutch at their breast in fear.”
As an original student of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Dr. Nick Ribush, director of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, has played an integral role in the development of FPMT as we know it today. With Nick’s personal stories and anecdotes from the early days of the organization, this video is an enlightening and entertaining look at the origins of FPMT.