The year 2020 been full of incredible challenges and difficulties for people all around the world. And like so many places, Mindrolling Monastery has remained in strict lock-down as well for the last nine months, with members of the monastery staying inside the campus at all times. No one from the outside community has been allowed inside without going through a quarantine period and a thorough COVID check.
Amid such a worldwide upheaval and following all safety precautions, Mindrolling Monastery has been steadfast with the vision and activities of Dharma that have always supported and sustained the community and benefitted beings wherever possible. Remaining within the uncompromising view of Dharma, Minling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche and all the teachers, the Monastery administration staff, and the monks and nuns of Mindrolling have done whatever possible to give aid and respite to those who have been affected by the pandemic.
All the monks have been healthy and have received complete care and support from the monastery to ensure their health and safety. This has all been done in coordination with the Clement Town Tibetan Colony, and this coordination has helped the larger community to stay safe during these times.
Prayers to Ease the Suffering of Beings
Following all health and safety guidelines from the government of India, Mindrolling Monastery has been doing continuous prayers to dispel the obstacles of all beings. In addition, all the annual Drubchöes and practices have been held following strict safety guidelines. The Minling Dorsem drubchö was held for seven days and was especially dedicated to all beings who have suffered and died due to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the Te-da Tshe Chu ceremony was held for three days. The Ka Ma’i Tshog Chen Dupa drubchö was held for seven days and the five-day drubchö for the three protectors Gyaltsen Lha Gsum was also held. These prayers have all been dedicated to easing the suffering of beings, a swift end to the pandemic, and pacification the elements.
The 6th Birthday of Minling Dungse Rinpoche
With great joy and enthusiasm, Mindrolling Monastery and the worldwide Mindrolling Sangha celebrated the 6th birthday of Minling Dungse Rinpoche. Extensive prayers and mandala offerings were made by the Rinpoches, Tulkus, Khenpos, monks, nuns, and the lay community of Mindrolling in the main shrine room of Mindrolling Monastery. Dungse Rinpoche and his elder sister, Jetsün Rinpoche have continued all their studies and trainings uninterruptedly this year and they both provide much hope for the future.
In celebration of this day, Minling Ladrang, Mindrolling monastery and Mindrolling International dedicated many efforts in distributing food, clothing, medicine, and other essential things, to hundreds of people in dire need. Extensive prayers and offerings were also made for the long lives of both Dungse Rinpoche and Jetsün Rinpoche by all Sangha members. The day of celebrations was filled with much joy for the entire community.
Statue Unveiled at the Dondrub Ling Settlement
Also, during this year, Dondrub Ling Tibetan settlement of Clement Town, unveiled the statue of Kyabje Dzongnang Jampal Lodrö Rinpoche. Because of travel restrictions from COVID-19, the Yangsi Kyabje Dzongnang Rinpoche was unable to attend and officiate this ceremony as originally planned. Therefore, the ceremony was presided over by Kyabje Khenchen Rinpoche, Kyabje Choegon Rinpoche, and Kasur Gyari Drolma la, with members of the Tibetan colony in attendance. This ceremony was held with all the necessary precautions to prevent and spread of the coronavirus. Even with such restrictions in place all members of the Dondrub Ling community took great joy in celebrating the day.
Renovation and Restoration During Pandemic Shut-Down
During the months of complete lock-down, the monastery has engaged in many renovation and restoration projects around the entire campus this year. These works include repairing all the murals and outer façade of the main temple and the stupa and repairing the road, septic, and water infrastructure. This work has been done in a detailed and thorough manner and will provide a well maintained, beautiful, and functional campus for the community and visitors for years to come. Members within the monastery undertook the entire work while following all the guidelines of safety.
Aiding Victims of the Pandemic
Under the guidance of Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, the Monastery has also been engaged in extensive charitable work through the Mindrolling International Charitable Projects. Wherever possible, the Mindrolling sangha has given aid and support to the incredible number of people affected by the pandemic and the lock-downs. These projects have included vaccinating all monks, nuns, elderly and lay people in the monastery and the Dondrub Ling Tibetan Colony of Clement Town. The charitable projects have also provided food, supplies, and medical aid to those in need in the Tibetan Colony and all around the Indian state of Uttarakhand. An exerted effort was made to create a safe environment for local people to find work while maintaining great caution and safety measures against the pandemic.
The monastery has remained attentive to the needs of the surrounding community and has used whatever resources available to provide support where needed. This charitable work has been invaluable to so many who have faced not just illness but loss of livelihood due to the lock-downs and travel restrictions.
As the pandemic continues to cause suffering for beings, Mindrolling Monastery remains committed to the vast vision of wisdom and compassion that have been the constant guiding principles since its founding. All the teachers, monks and nuns will continue all the prayers and charitable activities that can be of aid to those who are suffering. We hope that everyone can stay well and safe and we all pray for a swift end to this pandemic and for wisdom and compassion to prevail in the world.