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InternationalTibetan Buddhism Study Intitute

 
 
 
 
 International Tibetan Buddhism
Study Institute

InternationalTibetan Buddhism Study IntituteStory of Establishment

Either due to past aspirations or recent positive karmic connections, it happened that in the early spring of the ox year according to the Tibetan calendar, Thubten Norbu
Rinpoche invited a few masters who had vowed to benefit sentient beings for the sake of the longevity of the Wish Fulfilling Gem, His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok, to a
gathering in a Japanese vegetarian shabu-shabu restaurant, during which their conversation turned to the development of Buddhism and the suffering of sentient
beings.
In this time of degeneration, Buddhism and its temples and monasteries face outer, inner and secret obstacles. There are disciples who, although having vowed to practice
with their body, speech and mind nevertheless have difficulties finding a right access to Tibetan Buddhism. Some self-righteous Dharma preachers propagate erroneous
teachings in disguise of Tibetan Buddhism; some with their incomplete understanding or even total ignorance of Buddhism misguide the public with their own interpretations.
In consequence, many of those who are interested in learning about Buddha’s teachings have been led to faulty doctrines or even to a loss of direction. Therefore, many
misunderstandings have risen about Tibetan Buddhism.
Tibetan Buddhism is nowadays growing all over the world, Taiwan alone having more than 200 centers and groups that propagate it. At the same time, as Tibetan Buddhism places
utmost importance on lineage, every center is preoccupied with spreading their own lineage and operates within their own narrow circle, while the promotion of Tibetan
Buddhism as a whole is an exceptionally rare phenomenon. No organization to unite Tibetan Buddhism exists either. Although protecting each individual lineage and
tradition is extremely important, Tibetan Buddhism as a whole should be considered foremost.
It is essential to secure the continuance of Tibetan Buddhism, which includes the complete teachings of Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. Under such circumstances, it
is every Buddhist’s responsibility to uphold and propagate authentic Tibetan Buddhism regardless of sect; every teaching and word of any high master should be seen as
treasure common to all fellow Buddhists who should have the right to benefit from them. It is also a mission of Dharma teachers to spread the wish fulfilling jewel-like
Dharma to everyone who has affinity with it. In order to put these grand aims into action it is necessary to establish a solid organization. Everyone who attended the gathering equally felt and verbalized the need for an institution such as the
International Association for the Research of Tibetan Buddhism.
Khenpo Choeni Dhonthok said then: “We have been building monasteries, training monks, building schools and educating students in our own hometowns. These are surely
activities that propagate Dharma and benefit sentient beings, but they are not a really great contribution for the whole Buddhism. Neither is it enough to put our
expectations of protecting and propagating Buddha Dharma to someone else, waiting for some great person to show up. Here today, we have 5 monks who have the same
aspiration, and if we can get it started, the people who are going to accomplish our hopes will also appear.”
Tsulnam Rinpoche said:”It will really be beneficial if we can act instantly. At themoment, we need three courages which are the courage to think, courage to speak and
courage to act. We can wait no more. What needs to be done has to be done right now.”
Thubten Norbu Rinpoche said:”For the sake of Dharma and sentient beings, worldly benefits, honor and reputation have to be put aside. We need to start from the basics
and then work hard upwards, to shoulder the founding of an association. A great plan must start from the foundation.”
Rigzin Chenpo Rinpoche said:”Establishing an association requires a plan with certain successive steps and rules that have to be followed. All participants must join forces
for the same aspiration and vow to make concerted efforts. That way a small movement can accomplish a great goal.”
Garwang Lama said:”With a strong aspiration like this, we should now discuss the details of the plan and reach solid decisions.”
Tsulnam Rinpoche said:”Founding an association is an important matter. If everyone has time, we had better find a hotel around here to discuss it.”
All agreed with this, and even though everybody had their own arrangements for that evening, they rearranged their schedules, thinking that it was a special moment that
shouldn’t be missed. As Secretary Shu and Assistant Lu volunteered to pay the expenses at Dante Hotel (70 TianJin Road, Taipei City), we all gladly moved there and
carried on our discussion to reach a common agreement on several points on the agenda.
Later that night, the chairwoman and assistant Lu of Tsulnam Rinpoche's center invited everyone for dinner at a vegetarian restaurant, after which the group returned to the
hotel and continued their discussion until the early hours. Having taken a short nap, next day, we carried on our discussion during and after the 7 oclock breakfast, and
continued until 10 AM.The many discussed subjects were finally trimmed down to 4 main items: Objective, Funds, Membership and Aspiration. 
Objective- equality
Regardless of lineage, gender or race, it is our aim to uphold and spread traditional Buddhism, propagate environmental protection and create global peace. We plan to
distribute Buddha’s teachings by means of modern mass media like the Internet, radio,
TV etc.
Funds
As every Rinpoche has their own burden of expenses for their monasteries and school, there are little funds available for the project, but all four Rinpoches volunteered
to provide NT$ 100,000 each and Garwang Lama NT$ 50,000 to cover the initial expenses. In the future, the establishment of funds would be decided at a meeting of all
members.
Membership
In the beginning, every Rinpoche will bring two of their own senior disciples who have an aspiration to spread the Dharma. More members will join later.
Members will make a draw in front of the Triple Gem to decide their position in the
association as chairman, supervisor, secretary, accountant, cashier etc.
Aspiration
Whoever works in the International Association for the Research of Tibetan Buddhism shall follow the objectives of the Association justly, selflessly and with their best
effort.
The above minutes were recorded by Garwang Lama and translated into Chinese by Thupnor Rinpoche. It was decided that the 2nd meeting will be held at Nyingmapa La
Rong Tac Sum Chu Ling Buddhist Institute, where all establishing members are required to attend and provide the volunteered donation. Thus, a consensus has been reached on
all discussed points. May everything be auspicious.
International  Tibetan Buddhism Study Istitute
March 23, 2009
 
 
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