So many heartfelt thanks to all those who showed up this past weekend to scrape, paint, refresh, plant and add all kinds of sweet vibes to the center. It was much appreciated!
We had a fantastic retreat day on April 15th with Kendall. The day provided a delicious sampler of daily Mahayana Mindfulness meditations to do when on the cushion or off. Walking meditations done while contemplating taking and giving, mind being the creator of all, and all causative phenomena being like a star, a cloud or a drop of dew were interspersed with wonderfully rich teachings on bodhichitta, the 12 links and emptiness. Hopefully this was only the first of many more retreats with kendall.
Milarepa Center served up a delicious Indian inspired dinner at the Peacham Cafe on March 16th with the dedicated help of Dawn and Jackie from Seyon Lodge in Groton, VT. Not having too many local options for a dinner out the local community was delighted as was the Cafe who sold deserts and coffee. For Milarepa Center, the dinner provided income and a great opportunity to meet our neighbors. It was a very fun evening and we’ve already scheduled another for June!
A fabulous time was had by all with the visit and teaching of Kopan’s Cherok Lama. Cherok Lama is currently studying at Sera Je Monastic University in India and came to Milarepa for his losar holiday. On Feb 19th Milarepa’s gompa was packed for Rinpoche’s talk on Dharma in Daily Life followed by a Q&A. Rinpoche captured the audience with his bright smile and very personal teaching style. After the teaching a very warm atmosphere pervaded the center and many stayed on for hours chatting and relaxing over tea and snacks. It was a true joy and blessing to have Rinpoche with us!
Milarepa Center ushered in the new year with purification and merit making. Three Nyung Na were done Dec 30 – Jan 6th and were thoroughly enjoyed by all. Five people completed all three and another two completed one. We made daily dedications for the all the Friends and Donors of the center and the many others in need of prayers. We also dedicated the merit that all beings, especially all world leaders, develop the compassionate mind that thinks of others more than self and that our most kind teachers always remain to guide us. As a light snow fell during the last session it felt certain that Guru Chenrezig was bestowing blessings.
Milarepa’s prayer flags got a makeover on Dec 8th. Both Sig Andersen and Sandy Colony had kindly brought new prayer flags from Nepal so the old tattered ones could be replaced with bright freshly printed new flags. With the motivation to bless all the beings in the air and on the ground and to help balance the internal an external elements we hung Chenrezig, Buddha Shakyamuni, Tara, Wind horse, and various protection flags. The timing was especially great as Milarepa friend Bob Zimmerman had just offered new spotlights to our beautiful stupa. The stupa now shines brightly above US Rte 5 and 91 and together with the prayer flags offers blessings to all who pass by. Thank you Sig, Luke, Dawn, and Harry for making a day of merit making so joy-full!!
“Serving others from the heart is the best offering”
-Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Over the past two years there have been discussions about the possibility of establishing a Sangha community of FPMT monks and nuns at Milarepa Center. These discussions have concluded that Milarepa Center would be an excellent place for the Sangha, particularly nuns, to settle.
This is a great and unique opportunity for the Sangha, particularly for American nuns, to finally have a home in the USA.
Milarepa Center is a unique and amazing place to live. In Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, it’s located on 276 acres of wooded mountainside and rolling fields. There are two tiny houses and two small retreat cabins on the property. The main building is an old farmhouse with several bedrooms, an offering room, and a dormitory. There is also a large kitchen, separate dining area, a well stocked library and a lovely gompa on the third floor which houses a complete set of the Kangyur. In front of the house is a set of 10 prayer wheels and at the entrance of the property there is a large (15 ft) stupa.
The existing facilities can comfortably accommodate 3 or 4 people each with their own room. Over time when more Sangha join the community the retreat cabins can be upgraded for year round living. The current permit will also allow one more cabin to be built. If there is need for more cabins in the future further permitting will be required.
It is our hope that the Sangha will move in and take responsibility for the property in 2017.
Milarepa Center is a well established Buddhist retreat center that has been in existence for 35 years. It is respected and appreciated by the local community and the Sangha members will equally be welcomed by all.