GESHE PHUNTSOK MEMORIAL FUND
The South Carolina Dharma Group, in conjunction with Dr. Jamie Felberg, the Asanga Institute of Montrose, Colorado, and the Charleston Tibetan Society, has established a scholarship fund in memory of Geshe Ngawang Phuntsok. The fund was initiated to support the education of Geshe Phuntsok’s 16 year-old nephew, Tenzin Kunchok. Geshe Phuntsok was the South Carolina Dharma Group’s resident teacher in 2002 and 2003 and was the Asanga Institute’s resident teacher from 2007 to 2012.
It was Geshe Phuntsok’s dream that his nephew, pictured below, be the first person in his family to attend college, and before his death last year, Geshe Phuntsok was helping pay Tenzin’s school fees. Tenzin wants to study to be a teacher or computer technician.
As devoted dharma students of Geshe Phuntsok, and following the moral suggestion of Geshe Dakpa Topgyal, SCDG’s spiritual director, the members of SCDG, CTS, the Asanga Institute, and Dr. Jamie Felberg, donated to the scholarship fund to make Geshe Phuntsok’s dream reality. We made contributions out of heartfelt respect for our teacher and out of the wish that Geshe Phuntsok’s dream be realized.
A second moral imperative, as pointed out by Geshe Topgyal, is to build a stupa in memory of Geshe Phuntsok in his home village, Bomdila, in northeastern India where he was born and where his parents currently reside. We are uncertain if we can succeed—that will depend on collecting funds the needed to build the stupa.
The purpose of the stupa will not just be to honor the memory of Geshe Phuntsok, but also to serve for the long-term spiritual benefit of as many sentient beings as possible. The stupa would exist as a sacred source of merit for generations of numerous devoted people who may make offerings at the stupa and circumambulations around the monument.
Dr. Jamie Felberg has made a commitment to help make the stupa a reality, but any individual who would like to donate can donate online or by mailing a check to the South Carolina Dharma Group, PO Box 50357, Columbia, SC 29250. Contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New to Buddhism and meditation? Here are some tips...
Arriving at the Center: Please to arrive at the dharma center at least a few minutes before the meditation session or class is scheduled to begin. Arriving on time and remaining until the end of the session are gestures of respect for our ordained teachers. We also ask that you remove your shoes and turn off your phone before entering the shrine room.
In the Shrine Room: Some people bow when they enter the shrine room, but it’s not required. You may sit wherever you choose. Before prayers, some of us will do prostrations to remind us to release the ego, but you’re not expected to do this. There will be prayers in Tibetan or sometimes in English before meditation. The prayer booklet gives phonetic transliteration for pronunciation and also there is a translation starting on p. 4. Please leave the booklet in the Shrine Room, but let us know if you want an electronic copy emailed to you. Please do not talk once prayers have begun, and please do not place your feet so that the soles face the altar.
If Geshe Topgyal or another ordained teacher is present, we stand when he enters the room and again when he leaves.
The basics of meditation: Sit comfortably with a straight spine (whether you choose to sit in a chair or on a cushion), place your open right hand in the palm of your open left hand with thumbs touching, and keep your eyes partly open. Unless we suggest a different approach, you’ll start by breathing normally and keeping your attention on your breath, counting each time you breathe out. Many people find it helpful to count breaths up to 9, and then to count backwards down to 1 again. Try to focus your mind completely on the sensation of the breath, perhaps where it enters your nostrils or else the rise and fall of your stomach. There is no special way to breathe—just pay attention to your breath as it happens.
Of course your mind will wander, but don’t be frustrated or upset by this—it is part of the process of getting to know your mind. Just remind yourself to come back to focus on the breath each time you notice that you are thinking about something else. Try to sit still rather than constantly shifting, but if you’re in real discomfort, it’s fine to move. At the end of the session, be sure your feet are not asleep before you stand.
- On Sunday mornings 10-11 AM, please join us for meditation at 2222 Devine St., Columbia, SC 29205.
- Geshe Dakpa Topgal will come from Charleston for some teachings during the fall. To be notified of the dates and topics, please sign up for our email list
or contact us at email@example.com .
- You can now easily and securely make donations online with your credit card or VISA check card!
The purpose of the South Carolina Dharma Group is to promote the
study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism and provide Buddhist
teachings of the Gelukpa tradition to be led by a resident
Tibetan Buddhist teacher and administered by a Tibetan Buddhist
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Copyright 2012 South Carolina Dharma Group