August 2015 Newsletter

Nepal has a secret weapon: Ratna!



August 2015 Newsletter
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Chamtrul Rinpoche will be offering the Taking Refuge Ceremony

for the first time in New Orleans. This is a wonderful opportunity. I hope many of you are able to join us on Sunday, August 2nd.

What is a Taking Refuge Ceremony?

Taking refuge in the Buddha, the dharma and the sangha is something more than a ritual, wrote Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche: “By taking refuge, we are committing ourselves to freedom.

I take refuge in the Buddha.
I take refuge in the Dharma.
I take refuge in the Sangha.

‘In the Buddhist tradition, the purpose of taking refuge is to awaken from confusion and associate oneself with wakefulness. Taking refuge is a matter of commitment and acceptance and, at the same time, of openness and freedom. By taking the refuge vow we commit ourselves to freedom.”  (

Taking Refuge Tree
I hope you are intrigued and wish to learn more about this profound ritual. During the ceremony, Rinpoche will cut a small piece of your hair, and give you a buddhist name on a piece of paper. If you would like more background the following sites are very informative
This one contains a passage from Pema Chodron:
This one is from the Karmapa’s North American site:

Included in this newsletter:

  • Chamtrul Rinpoche’s visit to New Orleans, July 30-August 2
  • Nepal has a Secret Weapon: Ratna!
  • Clearance Sale, 25% off almost everything
  • Returning to Nepal and India!!! Woo hoo!!!
  • Tibetan House Meditation Class schedule in August
  • August Film Series, Sundays at 7:00pm
  • Special Documentary Film Screening: UNITY

Chamtrul Rinpoche is Coming to New Orleans!

July 30-August 2


We are very grateful and happy to have Chamtrul Rinpoche visit us in New Orleans. We are having a wonderful response to the teachings that he is offering.

There are a few things we would like to share with those of you that are planning to attend any of the teachings.

* Dharma teachings cannot be sold or have a price put on them. Respecting this, there is no ‘door fee’. If you would like to make an offering directly to Chamtrul Rinpoche, you are welcome to do so. No one will be turned away for lack of money. As to how much the offering should be, a reasonable rule of thumb is roughly the amount you earn in one hour for each hour of teachings. Cash is appreciated. There will be envelopes available at the front table at each venue for you to do so. Each venue will let you know how the offerings will be presented to Rinpoche.

Donations go towards Chamtrul Rinpoche’s worldwide teaching tours (travel costs, venue hire, etc) and the running costs of the Bodhicitta Dharma Centre in Dharamsala, India.

* Donations for travel and food expense are always appreciated. Suggested donation is $10 per teaching.

* If you are hoping to participate in the Rufuge Ceremony, you will need to attend the morning and afternoon teachings on Sunday, the 2nd.

* Please arrive early so that we can all be seated and the teachings can begin as close to the starting time as possible.

* Pillows and chairs are available for seating at Tibetan House, LHA and Clearwater Sanctuary. If you have special needs, please let us know ahead of time. If you prefer your own cushion to sit on, please bring it with you.

* If you are hoping to attend the teachings at Clearwater Sanctuary and/or Samten Choeling Tibetan Cultural Center, please call the phone numbers provided to get the information for location, etc.

Samten Choeling TIbetan Cultural Center: 504 723 1317

Clearwater Sanctuary in Covington: 985 630 1009

Teaching Schedule

Healing with the Mind’s Power
Thursday, July 30,
Tibetan House, 4900 Tchoupitoulas

Tantra: What is the Meaning and How to Practice
Friday, July 31
LHA Community Center, 621 N. Rendon

Chenrezig Teaching and Practice -The Power of Mantra – Om Mani Padme Hung
Saturday, August 1
LHA Community Center, 621 N. Rendon
Pt. 1: 10am-1pm (with a tea and cookie break at 11:30)
Pt. 2: 3pm-5pm

Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels – What it means to become a Buddhist
Sunday, August 2
LHA Community Center, 621 N. Rendon
10am -1pm
(with a tea and cookie break at 11:30)

Taking Refuge Ceremony: for those interested in taking formal Buddhist refuge and receiving a Buddhist name from the Rinpoche*
Sunday, August 2
LHA Community Center, 621 N. Rendon

*For those taking refuge, attending the Sunday morning session is required. For those who have previously taken Refuge from other Rinpoche’s or in other Buddhist traditions, there is no problem with participating in the ceremony once again.

Applying Meditation and Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Monday, August 3
Clearwater Sanctuary in Covington
Sign up at  (985) 630-1009 or

Monday, August 3
Samten Choeling Tibetan Cultural Center
For more information, contact: (504) 723-1317

Dream Yoga
Tuesday, August 4
Tibetan House, 4900 Tchoupitoulas

If you are interested in donating a meal for Chamtrul Rinpoche during his visit, please contact us at


Nepal has a Secret Weapon: Ratna!

Of all our vendors in Nepal with email addresses, there was only one we had not heard from since the earthquake: Ratna, our wood sculptor. While researching info about wood carving in Nepal, Eva entered: wood carving Nepal earthquake. Up came an NPR report on Nepal with a photo of Ratna carving. We are relieved and overjoyed to know that he is okay. Please enjoy this very informative interview with him, an excerpt from the May 3, 2015 story, “To Restore Its Shattered Treasures, Nepal Has A Secret Weapon.”

“Blue-uniformed police do the heavy lifting in Dubar square in the city of Patan, one of Nepal’s oldest. Moving wooden beams and stacking broken bricks, they sift through ruined monuments, some of which date back four centuries and more.

Nepal is home to one of the world’s largest collections of cultural heritage sites. A considerable chunk of the treasures crumpled under the intensity of the seismic energy released by the quake nine days ago…

Photo taken by NPR of Ratna working after the eartquakes

…Standing amid the rubble, it’s hard to imagine this place restored, until you meet carver Ratna Muni Brahmacharya. His life’s work has been the restoration of Nepal’s unique architecture.

Brahmacharya sits cross-legged in his workshop, which is infused with the subtle scent of camphor, a rare wood he’s using to carve a Buddha. Nepali carvers, he says, have passed their skills down through the ages. He’s traced his lineage back 2,400 years to the time historians say Buddha would have been born in what is now modern-day Nepal.

“We are Buddhists,” says Brahmacharya, but he is quick to assert that “art is my religion,” and that sharing Nepal’s unique art is his passion. The master carver is a member of Nepal’s indigenous community, or Newar, the carving class even today.

He says his forefathers were involved in building the palaces and monasteries of Patan, with its square now in ruins.

Nepali architecture beguiles with its intricate carvings. Gods, dragons, snakes and suns feature on the doors and rooftops of Nepal’s royal and religious buildings. The distinctive wood-latticed window was thought to keep out those who meant harm — spirits or people.

So immersed is his family in the work of his forefathers that today, Brahmacharya says, some 60 members of Brahmacharya’s family are in the trade, carving wood, stone bone and metal. The 42-year-old craftsman, schooled by his uncles, says he has trained some 500 young carvers.

Ratna’s Sculptures at Tibetan House

“I’m now successful, sending my products around world,” he says. “The most important thing to do now is impart my knowledge to young people so that they join this profession and preserve our ancestors’ legacy.”

Brahmacharya says Nepal must reinforce its vulnerable monuments.

“We have lost a part of our heritage, but our culture is still intact,” he says. “We have the knowledge and the expertise. We can revive our heritage.”

Click here to listen to the full story.

Ratna and Tsering in Durbar Square, Patan, Kathmandu (October 2014)


Clearance Sale at Tibetan House

Is there an item at Tibetan House that has been on your mind?

Come on by! 

We have marked almost all the items in the store 25% off

some at 50% off


Returning to Nepal and India!!! Woo hoo!!!

I am so excited to be returning to these people and places that I love so much. I’ll be thinking of y’all as I use my intuitive senses to find those perfect, special one of kind gifts just right for you! We are grateful to all of you who have donated to Nepal’s recovery. If there is anyone out there that was hoping to donate but haven’t quite yet, there is still time. I am leaving on August the 17th. Look for posting of the trip on our Facebook page! I’ll be back September 25.


Tibetan House’s Meditation Schedule in August/September

There will be no Tuesday night meditation classes

August 18-September 22

**** This class will resume on Tuesday, September 29****

Also, be sure to check out our newest weekly learning opportunity,

Introduction to Tibetan Sound Healing

Sunday mornings, 10am-11am.

For more information about our classes, please visit our website.


Films in August

Tibetan House screens documentary films about Tibet and Buddhism on Sunday evenings.  Screenings begin at 7pm, suggested donation $5.

Words of My Perfect Teacher
Sunday, August 2
View Trailer
Running time: unknown

Adyashanti: What is Real?
Sunday, August 9
Learn more about Adyashanti
Running time: 90 minutes

Mustang: Journey of Transformation
Sunday, August 16
View Trailer
Running time: 30 minutes

Crazy Wisdom: The Life & Times of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
Sunday, August 23
View Trailer
Running time: unknown

Daughters of Wisdom
Sunday, August 30
View Trailer
Running time: 68 minutes


One-Night Event: Documentary Film Screening of UNITY

Wednesday, August 12 at 7pm

Click here for  Participating Theater Locations

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=TcdEBU1iBqs, $max_width=300, $ratings=N, $views=N, $border=N, $title=N, $trim_border=N]|*

Seven years in the making, UNITY explores humanity’s hopeful transformation from living by killing into living by loving. It is a unique event about compassion for all beings, or all “expressions of life,” and going beyond all “separation based on form,” and beyond perceiving opposites. Writer/Director Shaun Monson, collaborating with an astounding cast of 100 celebrity narrators (never before gathered in the history of film-making), presents a message of love, tragedy and hope – all set against the backdrop of some of the most compelling 20th and 21st century footage imaginable.

Presented in chapters, UNITY takes an in-depth look at what it truly means to be human, to be mortal, and to be incarnate in this world. It explores our brief existence among the Cosmos (Chapter I), and then moves on to the perceptions of our Mind (Chapter II), the nature of our Body (Chapter III), the infinite capacity of our Heart (Chapter IV), and ultimately to the mysterious energy of the Soul (Chapter V). Initially, these chapters will appear unrelated to each other. But as it progresses it becomes clear that all life is interconnected, and each chapter represents the totality of our mortal experience, which is only measured in decades.

With a cast of 100 voices all-speaking as one, UNITY is a genuine cinematic experience unlike any other.


View from Nargarkot: When we arrived in Nagarkot last year, the sky was crystal clear and the vista of the Himalayas was breathtaking. We sat still and silent until the sky turned dark, and the stars came out. The next day a storm moved in.  This is a farewell panorama of the storm clouds obscuring the view of the mountains, wistful and peaceful.

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=4zjyR7pvn_M, $max_width=300, $ratings=N, $views=N, $border=N, $title=N, $trim_border=N]|*

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