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Buddhadharma : Summer 2008
mahasangha news 87 summer 2 00 8 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly ■ Rod Meade Sperry (above), creator and editor of the Buddhist sub- and pop-culture website theworSthorSe.net, has left his position at Boston-based Wis- dom Publications for a “new ad- venture” working with Diet for a Small Planet author Frances Moore Lappé and her Small Plan- et Institute. WorstHorse fans will be relieved to hear that Rod plans to keep his web-publishing activi- ties going, as well as his “Worst Horse” column in the Shambhala Sun. ■ The mind And Life in- Stitute has presented grants to 15 junior researchers working at the cutting edge of the boundary between spirituality and science. The awards, each valued at $15,000, are named after the neu- roscientist Francisco J. Varela (1946–2001), one of Mind and Life’s cofounders, and are given out to fellows who have attended the Mind and Life Summer Insti- tute. The awards are intended to encourage collaboration between senior scientists or contemplative scholars and their junior counter- parts working in the emerging fields of contemplative neurosci- ence, contemplative clinical sci- ence, and contemplative studies. ■ Kyudo nAKAgAwA roShi (below), dharma heir of Rinzai master Soen Nakagawa Roshi, died on December 29 at age 80. Kyodu became a Zen monk at age eight and went on to become the abbot of Ryutakuji Monastery in Japan and of the Soho Zendo in New York, which he founded in 1981. ■ The Light of Berot- SAnA trAnSLAtion group is hosting a conference of translators in Boulder, Colorado, from Sep- tember 26 to 28 at the Boulder Shambhala Meditation Center. The conference will bring together Tibetan lamas, Western dharma teachers, and translators of Ti- betan texts and oral teachings. A variety of translation topics are on the agenda, including how to safe- guard the future of translation in the West. ■ In March, Nepalese Buddhist priest Prajwal Vajracha- rya, who founded dAnCe mAd- AL in Portland, a foundation for the preservation of the sacred arts of Nepal, gave an exhibition of Newar sacred dance (below) at the Daihonzan Henjyoji Temple, a Shingon temple in Portland. Pra- jwal is leading an effort to estab- lish the first North American Newar (Nepalese Vajrayana) tem- ple in that city. Ground was bro- kenonanewsiteonApril6.■ This year the nithArthA Sum- mer inStitute is offering a course based on the Menla, or “Medicine Buddha,” principles developed by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, and the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. It’s open to health care professionals and other healing practitioners and will be led by Dr. Phil Weber, a family physician who has been an instructor in the Buddhist ap- proach to healing at Naropa Uni- versity for more than 15 years. The program runs from July 12 to 26 and is being held at Western Washington University in Belling- ham, Washington. mindroLLing triChen rinpoChe dieS on february 9, following a period of illness, his holiness the eleventh Mindrolling trichen rinpoche (above) passed away at age 78. in august 2001, he had taken over the role of head of the nyingma lineage from penor rinpoche. Mindrolling rinpoche was the head of Mindrolling Monastery in Dehra Dun, india, a re-creation-in-exile of what had been one of the six major nyingma monasteries in tibet. one of Mindrolling rinpoche’s principal students was his daughter, Venerable Jetsun Khandro rinpoche, who teaches extensively in the West and in 2002 established the Lotus garden retreat center in Virginia’s shenandoah Valley. born in Lhasa in 1931, Mindrolling rinpoche was the eldest son of the tenth Mindrolling trichen, who died when Mindrolling rinpoche was just five years old. he was to inherit responsibility for Mindrolling Monastery, which was established in 1676 and had over one hundred satellite monasteries. it had a reputation for not letting its monastic communities grow into the thousands, so as to encourage close atten- tion to each student. one of the more remarkable features of the Mindrolling tradition is the Jetsunma line of female masters, daughters of various Mindrolling trichens over the years, beginning with Jetsun Mingyur paldron, daughter of the founder of the lineage. after extensive study and fourteen years of solitary retreat, Mindrolling rinpoche was prepared for his enthronement as Mindrolling trichen, but it was interrupted by the invasion of the chinese in 1959. imprisoned for almost a year, he managed to escape from prison and to make a perilous journey to india through bhutan. in 1963, he was enthroned by Dudjom rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse rinpoche, and in 1965, the official monastic seat of Mindrolling in exile was estab- lished in Dehra Dun. from very humble beginnings, it has grown to be a large institution housing three hundred monks, a monastic college, and a nunnery and female retreat center with a present population of thirty nuns. it is also the headquarters of the Mindrolling international society, which Mindrolling rinpoche established in 2000. ➤ gregorypaLMersuVashaKyaMinDroLLinginternationaL