Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

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Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

Postby Tsewang » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:14 am

Can anyone tell me about any Gelugpa centres or Lamas in Sydney? Thanks.
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Re: Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

Postby simhanada » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:29 am

There is Geshe Ngawang Samten at the Vajrayana Institute
http://www.vajrayana.com.au/
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Re: Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

Postby waimengwan » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:28 pm

Do you have to pay for teachings in Australia in Malaysia it is free mostly. How lucky we are.
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Re: Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

Postby jmlee369 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:12 pm

I believe the Tibetan Buddhist Society has a branch in Sydney: http://tibetanbuddhistsociety.org/conta ... ciety.aspx
Unforunately, the founding teacher, Geshe Thubten Loden, has already passed away.
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Re: Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

Postby Tom » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:29 am

Geshe Samten's teachings are free - he is an amazing teacher so Sydney students are so fortunate! Also he just released a new book on Tsongkhapa's In praise of Dependent Arising which is exceptional!

The Tibetan Buddhist Society's resident Geshe is Geshe Choden - also Google Geshe Dawa he is in Sydney as well.
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Re: Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

Postby waimengwan » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:26 am

Thanks TOM coz I heard in Europe and America, one question is 40 USD oh my how are poor people ever going to get dharma.
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Re: Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:43 am

I think this is truly strange if one question is USD 40! I've never heard such a strange thing in my life. I would advise people to be cautious of teachers that would demand $40 per question. Most people who come to Geshe Sonam for advice do not pay anything, some leave an offering of their choice because they want to. But it is very clear that interactions with the teacher are free of charge.

But yes, official teaching courses do have a suggested donation attached.. The unfortunate truth is that Westerners just do not donate to the centres. So most have to charge fees. Where I am in Europe courses are listed with a suggested donation at most of the dharma centres (not my favourite thing in the world, but I see the necessity). However,at our centre there are a number of people who pay less or who do not pay at all and instead do some volunteer work. We just purchased a new building here in the Netherlands and I don't know how else we'd be able to cover the costs if we just counted on goodwill.

My lama in Canada steadfastly refused to set any fees back in the '90s. But people didn't donate so the centre in Toronto had to close. Fortunately, the students in Montreal (many of whom were Asian), had the habit of making donations so that temple was able to remain open.

The unfortunate truth is that Westerners (especially those new to Dharma) usually don't give anything near enough to cover costs unless requested.

And when something is free, it still means someone is paying somewhere. In the case of Kechara the members seem to make very generous donations. So because of that, there are lots of activities free of charge. But I try to drive this point home- that even if you aren't paying someone else is. Because otherwise there is this naieve vision that the temple, food for the teacher and sangha, visas and travel expenses all just "manifest" from somewhere.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

Postby Indrajala » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:04 am

JKhedrup wrote:The unfortunate truth is that Westerners (especially those new to Dharma) usually don't give anything near enough to cover costs unless requested.


The Tibetan Buddhist center I was a member with back in Canada managed to raise money via an annual bazaar, though it wasn't that much. In the long-term they managed to secure various forms of not-for-profit funding by focusing on teaching meditation classes and courses related to Tibetan culture rather than being specifically a religious organization.

It seems though if you want to get steady funding you need a nice building. You can't use a basement or some old house. However, to build such a temple you need substantial cash up front, especially in a western city where property and construction don't come cheap.

I believe though once a warm community is established people will feel compelled to donate time, resources and part of their earnings to it as they get a lot from it in the long-term. We just don't see so much of that with westerners as of yet (at least compared to how immigrant temples operate).
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Re: Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:09 am

Yes I really hope so.

For a long time I was dead set against suggested donations/course fees. I am still deeply uncomfortable with it. But if it allows a building to be purchased and some stability in the community to be established, perhaps in the end the results are worth it.

I also see that without it maybe there would be no activities at all. Certainly it would be impossible to arrange visas and accommodation for teachers from overseas. Likewise, translators of texts do have to eat and need a roof over their head (not a lavish lifestyle).

I always hope as people see the benefits of the dharma and sangha in their lives they will be inspired to generosity.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

Postby Tsewang » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:12 pm

JKhedrup wrote:I think this is truly strange if one question is USD 40! I've never heard such a strange thing in my life. I would advise people to be cautious of teachers that would demand $40 per question.


It's not the teachers who demand, but as you explained later, it's a way to cover costs. It's very unfortunate, if you look at certain teacher's websites, their services are broken down with a cost attached to each. And very often they are in USD, so say someone from a less fortunate country would have to pay way above what they are able to afford due to differences in currency exchange and cost of living. BUT almost always the money made is channeled to support the Teacher's monastery and dharma activities, and like you pointed out, the mentality is different in Asia where generous sponsors are more easily found and can offset the balance so that others may have it free. But I think it's unfair that sometimes no allowances are made for non-Tibetan Sangha as some of my friends who are Sangha are still expected to pay full fees.
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Re: Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

Postby Tom » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:58 am

waimengwan wrote:Thanks TOM coz I heard in Europe and America, one question is 40 USD oh my how are poor people ever going to get dharma.


Wow, I have never seen such a thing in the states! Who is asking for $40 USD a question?

In the US many centers charge something like $40 to attend a full day teaching. This is often required because unlike in Malaysia and Asia, in the West general donations to the Lama are often less forthcoming. Even in the West much of the donations for centers come from Asian students.

Tsewang, Zazep Tulku, is non-monastic and he has a small but dedicated group of students in NSW - he visits every couple of years I think but I don't know much more than that...
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Re: Gelugpa Centres in Sydney?

Postby Tsewang » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:09 am

Tom wrote:
Wow, I have never seen such a thing in the states! Who is asking for $40 USD a question?


Tsewang, Zazep Tulku, is non-monastic and he has a small but dedicated group of students in NSW - he visits every couple of years I think but I don't know much more than that...


Thanks Tom. It's probably US40 for a divination question or a consultation of some sort, not like "what's the meaning of refuge? " Oh that'll be 40 dollars thank you.
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