Monday, December 7, 2009

The Conclusion

The 3-Year-Retreat in Lerab Ling is over. On the 21st of November Sogyal Rinpoche practised together with his students for the last time within the framework of this event. Never before in the history of the world a retreat like this, in which more than 450 students participated, has taken place. So much practice, so many teachings, so many invited teachers, so much blessing and so much personal transformation!
This last day began at 6.30am with the long life-practice of Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik, followed by the daily practices of Riwo Sangchö and Tendrel Nyesel Tsok. At noon Sogyal Rinpoche joined the Sangha, and after another short practice-time the Tenshyuk ceremony could start. It was a firework of performances which all delivered the message of "Thank You, Rinpoche!". Rinpoche's work and training of his students found expression not only in various personal stories of transformation, but also in the way of how these perfomances and media-products like films were produced. It was amazing! And Rinpoche and everybody present enjoyed it.
Without a longer break the ceremony and the conclusion of the practices took as long as 8pm in the evening, and to top it all, a proper fireworks display took place above the lake with the statue of Guru Rinpoche. Afterwards everybody rushed to the exquisite buffet in the former teaching tent. The very last hours of this retreat were celebrated by again various live performances and lots of music and dancing. I was very happy to see that after having been isolated from the rest of the normal world for such a long time, people haven't lost their love of partying. And in my opinion, it was the best Rigpa party ever!
Sogyal Rinpoche practising at the feet of his Root-Lama Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö.
Khandro Tsering Chödrön, resident at Lerab Ling, in front of the looks-like-me-statue of Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö.
Lama Yönten heading the group of students that offer statues, texts, precious substances etc. for the long life of Sogyal Rinpoche.
Lerab Ling's nuns cheerfully watching a movie about themselves.

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