Tuesday, February 26, 2008

a joyful day for la sangha latina

with great joy i would like to report that my dear friend flora, who came with me to india hoping to bring together the conditions to ordain, last week was able to receive her monastic vows from his holiness the dalai lama. flora now bears the name tenzin nangpal, and is a novice nun (getsulma or sramanerika) in the monastic order founded by buddha 2,500 years ago.

i have watched flora grow from the day she began attending the summer courses in buddhist philosophy in madison, wisconsin, where i was living, and have visited her dharma center in xalapa, mexico several times as well. the step from lay practitioner of buddhism to ordained member of the sangha is a huge one, and flora had been preparing herself internally and externally for several years. for the time being, she will remain in india to begin receiving her foundational training and to commence the work of inner retooling that is involved in this transition and in this way of life. (for an account - in spanish - of her experience as she prepared, read her blog)

in the photo here, flora - that is to say venerable tenzin nangpel - is pictured with the other non-tibetans ordained with her, and sits just at the right hand of his holiness the dalai lama.

flora now joins a tiny number of other latin americans who have taken ordination vows in the tibetan buddhist tradition. a cause for general rejoicing. indeed, it is a joyful day when someone is able to make this commitment - joyful for her, joyful for her community in mexico and joyful for others who might also be inspired to fully dedicate their live to their spiritual development in service to others. it is also extremely joyful to me to be able to welcome flora as a sister in the vows.


Shravasti Dhammika said...

Dear Ven Damcho,
I stumbled on yout wed site and really enjoyed following your )inner and outer)journey. May it proceed smoothly. Your beautiful pictures of Bhaja, Kala and Bedsa bought back very happy memories. But it is your post of August 4 2006 that interested me most. I have never seen or heard of this place (and I know a LOT about Buddhist sites in India). Could you give me its name and the details of how to get there?

damchö said...

dear shravasti dhammika

i am delighted that you found something of interest on this site. the sites i visited in august 200t6 were all in the state of andhra pradesh, which is exceptionally rich in buddhist sites both excavated and in fact many more unexcavated. on august 1 i visited sankaram, the present name for what was once sangharama, near the village of anakapalle just inand from visakhapatnam. later in the month i visited several sites but the only one i think i mentioned on the blog beyond amaravati is guntupalli where dignaga once lived. it combines the cave vihara we know from the western deccan with large open assembly halls (as i recall guntupalli seemed to be laid out on a scheme of 8 by 8 pillars, so quite massive).

hope that helps?