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Recent Activities 2017-03-11T17:45:57+00:00

Recent Activities

SCOUT SUNDAY – MARCH 5, 2017
On Sunday, March 5, 2017, Tsechen Kunchab Ling was honored to host Scout Sunday for about 60 scouts and their parents from Boy Scout Troop 31, Montgomery NY Council. The event was undertaken to help scouts understand other faith traditions, in fulfillment of the goal “A Scout is Reverent.” Troop Leader Grogan and Chaplain Olsen assisted iReverend Ani Kunga Chodron in leading the program. Scouts learned about the centrality of compassion in the Buddhist faith, the ten ten non-virtues to be avoided, and the law of karma. Scouts and their parents made and hung prayer flags, toured the temple, compared the ten non-virtues and the ten commandments, and made food and shelter for the birds in the animal sanctuary on the temple property. Afterward, Scout Leader Grogan reported “Thank you. We had a great time. It was a very positive and enlightening experience for all.”

NEW YEAR OPEN HOUSE – MARCH 4, 2017

On Saturday, March 4, Tsechen Kunchab Ling welcomed neighbors in the Walden area to a Tibetan New Year Open House. Guests enjoyed a tour of the main sanctuary and the library, explanations of the art and statues, a lesson in Tibetan folk dancing, and New Year treats. We were delighted to have many neighbors and local friends attend.

INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY – FEBRUARY 19 & FEBRUARY 21, 2017

To further His Holiness the Sakya Trizin’s and Venerable Khenpo Kalsang’s goal of preserving the Tibetan language, Tsechen Kunchab Ling observed UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day with two events.

On Sunday, February 19, in collaboration with the Josephine-Louise Public Library, the temple offered a presentation “Rescuing an Endangered Language in Our Own Backyard: The Case of Walden and Tibet.” Presenters were Venerable Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen and temple staff, and Mr. Nawang Tsering Gurung, Coordinator of the Endangered Language Alliance, Voices of the Himalayas project.
On Tuesday, February 21, Tsechen Kunchab Ling welcomed 25 children from Diki Tibetan School, as well as their teachers and parents, to the temple for a day of enjoyable language and Dharma activities designed to help to preserve Tibetan religion, language, and culture.

CELEBRATION OF HIS HOLINESS THE SAKYA TRIZIN’S 70TH BIRTHDAY – SEPTEMBER, 2016

Tsechen Kunchab Ling’s 15th annual Tibetan & Himalayan Cultural Festival in celebration of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin’s WeH.H Birthdaystern birthday (September 7) was blessed with beautiful weather, heartfelt prayers, and offerings. The program included a drama of scenes from His Holiness’ life performed by youngsters, raising of prayer flags, traditional dance and song, Dharma games, nourishing food and company, and delicious birthday cake of course.

To prolong His Holiness’ life and the lives of all holy teachers and sentient beings, orphaned and condemned animals were released within the wooded areas of the temple property. Scores of attendees, young and old, enthusiastically participated in this effort.

The temple’s abbot, Venerable Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen, presided over the activities, and the program was graced by the presence of Venerable Khenpo Pema Wangdak and the Gyaltsen Choden family, relatives of His Holiness. By this merit, may His Holiness’ life be long and all of his holy activities flourish for hundreds of eons!

ORANGE COUNTY OPEN STUDIO TOUR – OCTOBER 17-18, 2015

Four Tibetan traditional artists demonstrated thangka painting, torma sculpting, prayer stone carving, and prayer flag printing at the temple’s Tibetan and Himalayan Cultural Center on Saturday and Sunday, October 17-18, 2015. The event was a part of the Orange County Arts Council Open Studio Tour. This was our second year participating in the Open Studio tour.
A high point of the weekend was a demonstration of traditional thangka painting by renowned Tibetan painter and teacher Sonam Rinzin, who came from his studio in New York City to Walden with his students for the weekend.

CELEBRATION OF HIS HOLINESS THE SAKYA TRIZIN’S 70TH BIRTHDAY – AUGUST, 2015

His Holiness upon the throne as His Birthday Celebration BeginsOn August 14-16, about 700 people from many nationalities gathered for the temple’s annual celebration of His Holiness Sakya Trizin’s birthday. This year, the event was blessed by the presence of His Holiness Sakya Trizin, His Eminence Gyana Vajra Rinpoche, and Her Eminence Gyalyum Chenmo-la, as well as rinpoches, khenpos, monks and nuns. Hundreds of families, including those from Sakya Tsechen Tsogpa and the Upper Mustang Lhowa Nyamship Association camped under beautiful sunny skies for a three-day weekend. Everyone enjoyed advice from His Holiness, long-life prayers, raising of prayer flags, Tibetan and Himalayan songs and dances, and children’s Dharma activities. The blessed presence of His Holiness together with so many happy people and perfect weather for this very auspicious occasion made the event like a dream come true.

NEPAL EARTHQUAKE RELIEF BENEFIT DINNER – JULY 11, 2015

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On Saturday, July 11, 2015, Tsechen Kunchab Ling held a fundraising dinner in the Tibetan and Himalayan Cultural Center for victims of the earthquake in Nepal. Our neighboring faith community, the Fox Hill Bruderhof (Christian) joined the temple out of compassion for the suffering so many people were experiencing to make the event a meaningful success. Guests enjoyed American and Nepali cuisine by the temple chefs, a performance by the Fox Hill klezmer band musicians, a briefing “Earthquakes and the Himalayas” by Tsechen Kunchab Ling member and geophysicist Randy Kuehnel, and a live report from Kathmandu from Lama Kunga Choden who spent several years living at Tsechen Kunchab Ling. There was also a sale of crafts and food made by Fox Hill children and youth. Through everyone’s efforts, the event was able to raise $2700 for the relief effort! The money was directed to the repair of an elementary boarding school for Mustangi children in Kathmandu that was badly damaged by the earthquake. Thank you to everyone who make the event a wonderful success.

MUSTANG KYIDUG USA ARCHERY FESTIVAL- MAY, 2015

The Mustang Kyidug U.S.A., headquartered in New York City, held their annual Dazhang archery festival at Tsechen Kunchab Ling. For three days, they prayed, camped, and spent days practicing the traditional sport of archery, bringing the customs and culture of their Himalayan homeland to the United States. The Kyidug designed year’s festival as a fundraiser for earthquake victims in Nepal, and all participants wore green tee shirts to demonstrate their solidarity and support for the victims and the survivors’ efforts to rebuild their lives.

REGIONAL ECONOMIC COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAM FUNDRAISING BREAKFAST- MAY 5, 2015

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On Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 7:00 am, Tsechen Kunchab Ling was delighted to host a fundraising breakfast for the Regional Economic Community Action Program (RECAP) as part of the organization’s 50th anniversary calendar of events. After a welcome on behalf of Venerable Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen, the event featured a networking and a video presentation about RECAP, followed by moving testimonials from people whom the organization had helped. Three former clients, who were participants in our supportive housing, addictions and Head Start programs, shared their stories of success with the crowd. We wish RECAP every success in their efforts to improve the community by helping others.

REGIONAL TIBETAN WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION LABSOL CELEBRATION- MAY 3, 2015

TWAOn a perfect spring day, over 1800 Tibetan women and families from the Regional Tibetan Women’s Association of New York and New Jersey were welcomed to Tsechen Kunchab Ling for their annual Lhapsol event. In the temple, they chanted for all living beings, especially those who have suffered so much due to the earthquake in Nepal. Outdoors under the beautiful blue sky amid the blossoming trees and flowers, they hung prayer flags and burned incense, enjoyed picnics, and had a wonderful, happy time.

VASSAR STUDENT WEEKEND AT TSECHEN KUNCHAB LING – April 17-19, 2015

IMG_7392-001On a beautiful spring weekend, Tsechen Kunchab Ling welcomed 23 students from Vassar College to share our lives at the monastery for a long weekend, to explore life at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. This popular program is now in its tenth year with a long student waiting list. It is co-sponsored by Tsechen Kunchab Ling and the Vassar Office of Fieldwork, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, and the Department of Religion.  During our 48-hours together, we explored the meaning of compassion in meditation, daily life, and relationships, chiseled prayer stones, made prayer flags and helped with the work of the monastery. One of the students later wrote the monastery to say, “It was such a beautiful, eye-opening weekend, and I felt so much more grounded and refreshed upon my return to campus. I have tried to make time to keep practicing the meditations I learned as part of my daily routine, and it makes a difference. My time at the monastery will remain one of my most treasured memories from my time at Vassar.”

HIS HOLINESS SAKYA TRIZIN BESTOWS THE THIRTEEN GOLDEN DHARMAS – MARCH 31, 2015

IMG_6872-001For two weeks in March 2015, His Holiness the Sakya Trizin bestowed the Thirteen Golden Dharmas Initiation cycle at Tsechen Kunchab Ling to a fortunate group of over 300 disciples who traveled from 12 different countries and nearly half of the U.S. states to attend this wonderful Dharma event. This very special set of empowerments came from India to the founders of the Sakya Order in Tibet during the twelfth century. Originally so precious that only gold was a suitable offering of appreciation for receiving them, the Thirteen Golden Dharmas were taught only to the inner circle of practitioners and did not go beyond the fence of the Sakya monastery. His Holiness opened the door to this ancient initiation cycle with the two-day Hevajra empowerment, followed by the initiations of Black Manjushri, Singhananda, Garuda, Red Jambala, Kurukulli, Ganapati, Takiraja, a different Kurukulli, Red Vasudhara, Tinuma, and three Vajrayogini initiations from the Naro, Indra, and Maitri traditions.

HIS HOLINESS THE SAKYA TRIZIN’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION – SEP, 2014

10603421_714141498639909_2500356088257356149_nFrom August 30 to September 1, Venerable Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen and the members of Tsechen Kunchab Ling hosted a three-day overnight celebration in honor of His Holiness Sakya Trizin’s Birthday. The event was attended by several hundred people, including Venerable Khenpo Pema Wangdak, members of Sakya Tsechen Association, and many other students of His Holiness. During the weekend, many prayers for His Holiness’ long life and the success of his Dharma activities were followed by the raising of prayer flags, songs in his honor, and a birthday cake. Other enjoyable events included a movie about His Holiness’ holy activities throughout the world, children’s classes, enjoyable contests, lots of delicious food, and an auction to raise funds for the temple construction project. May His Holiness Sakya Trizin life be long and all of his Dharma activities flourish for hundreds of eons!

TIBETAN TEA- A CULTURAL ADVENTURE – JULY, 2014

1948150_711706462216746_144992739287834797_nTibetan Tea: A Multi- Part Cultural Adventure from the Roof of the World took place over two events in July. It is co-sponsored by Tsechen Kunchab Ling Tibetan and Himalayan Cultural Center and the Josephine- Louise Public Library.
The History and Culture of Tibetan Tea were presented on Wednesday, July 23 at 6:30 pm. at the Josephine Louise Public Library, 1 Municipal Square, Walden. Tibetan Expert Kalsang Kalsang shared her knowledge, artifacts, and videos of the fascinating rituals and history of tea in Tibet.
A Tibetan Tea Ceremony took place on Saturday, July 26 at 2:30 p.m. at Tsechen Kunchab Ling Tibetan and Himalayan Cultural Center. A real Tibetan Tea Ceremony conducted by Dawa and Dolkar Sherpa and the monks and nuns of Tsechen Kunchab Ling Temple.

FRIENDLY DHARMA VISIT FROM WAT THAI DC- JULY 9, 2014

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On July 9, 2014, Venerable Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen and the Sangha of Tsechen Kunchab Ling warmly welcomed Venerable Dr. Thanat Inthisan and monks and nuns from Wat Thai DC and Wat Lao in Virginia for a friendly Dharma visit.

FAMILY DHARMA CAMP – JULY 3-6,2014

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Families gathered at the temple over the Fourth of July weekend for Tsechen Kunchab Ling Dharma Camp. It was a beautiful and enjoyable weekend of Dharma study, prayers, and traditional camp fun.

REGIONAL TIBETAN WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION LABSOL CELEBRATION- JUNE 2014

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On June 8, 2014, on a beautiful spring day, about 1200 members and friends of the Tibetan Women’s Association gathered at Tsechen Kunchab Ling for their annual Lhapso Celebration. A wonderful time was enjoyed by all.

MUSTANG KYIDUG USA ARCHERY FESTIVAL – MAY 17-18, 2014

The Mustang Kyidug U.S.A., headquartered in New York City, held their annual Dazhang archery festival at Tsechen Kunchab Ling. For two days, they prayed, camped, and spent days practicing the traditional sport of archery, bringing the customs and culture of their Himalayan homeland to the United States.

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BUDDHA’S DESCENT FROM HEAVEN DAY – NOV 2013

Venerable Khenpo Kalsang and the Sangha celebrated Buddha’s Descent from Heaven Day with many prayers, offerings, and candles. We were delighted to host Venerable Khenpo Tenba Zangpo from Mustang and many friends from Sakya Tsechen Association in New York City for the event.

999621_586497964737597_1597258201_nOPEN HOUSE AND FREE SCREENING OF THE CUP  AT TKL- NOV 2013

On Sunday, November 17, Tsechen Kunchab Ling welcomed local neighbors from the Walden area for an open house. People enjoyed tea and sweet rice and were fascinated to see the statues, tapestries, Tibetan books, and other things in the shrine room. The temple is fortunate to have such wonderfully friendly neighbors!

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VASSAR FIELD WORK PROGRAM AT TSECHEN KUNCHAB LING – OCT 2013

Twelve students from Vassar College came to live at Tsechen Kunchab Ling for 48 hours on the weekend of October 25 – 27. They joined in the life of the monastery to learn about Buddhist philosophy and meditation, make prayer flags, prayer stone and help with gardening and fall clean up.

What fun everyone had!

At Vassar, this program is jointly sponsored by the Office of Fieldwork, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, and the Department of Religion. At Tsechen Kunchab Ling Temple, the program is coordinated by Venerable Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen and Chodrung-ma Kunga Chodron.

CELEBRATION OF HIS HOLINESS SAKYA TRIZIN’S BIRTHDAY – SEP 2013

The 2013 Festival of Tibetan Religion and Culture in celebration of His Holiness Sakya Trizin’s birthday was co-sponsored with the Sakya Tsechen Association and was honored by the attendance and remarks of the Honorable Kelsang Aukatsang, the new Representative of His Holiness Dalai Lama to the Americas. Other notable attendees were the presidents and other representatives of the Tibetan Association (Chithun Tsokpa), Tibetan Youth Congress, Chushi Gangduk Association, Tibetan Women’s Association, Bhutanese Association, Mustang Association, Dege Association, Ngari Association, and others. Many friends and disciples of His Holiness Sakya Trizin from the Tibetan, American, and Chinese communities also gathered for the event.

Following prayers for His Holiness Sakya Trizin’s long life, new prayer flags were raised for His Holiness and the holy family, and beautiful songs and colorful dances from many regions of Tibet were performed in his honor.

With the aspiration for His Holiness’ long life, a number of people took a vow of vegetarianism for a week, month, or year, and one faithful young man took the vow for his entire life. Other young people did hundreds of prostrations and circumambulations, dedicating the merit to the long life of His Holiness. They received certificates of accomplishment for their efforts. May His Holiness precious life be long and all of his Dharma activities forever flourish!

DSC_1102COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF ORANGE AND SULLIVAN COUNTIES – SEP 2013

On Sunday, September 15, Tsechen Kunchab Ling was delighted to offer the President’s Circle Reception for the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties. Mr. Derek Wynkoop, President of the Board of Directors, and Ms. Karen VanHouten Minogue, Executive Director, and members of the President’s Circle enjoyed a tour of the temple, followed by a delicious afternoon reception catered by Kelly Baugh. The wonderful afternoon concluded with an exciting performance under the “big top” at our neighbor, the Big Apple Circus.

OPEN HOUSE & DEMONSTRATION OF PRAYER FLAG MAKING – SEP 2013

On Saturday, September 14, Tsechen Kunchab Ling hosted an open house for the community, which included a tour of the temple and a demonstration of prayer-flag making techniques. Participants ranged in age from8 to 80, and all enjoyed making some prayer flags together, under the tutelage of Thupa Lugru, the temple’s artist-in-residence. May all the prayers of all living beings be accomplished!

H.H SAKYA TRIZIN WITH KHENPO PEMA AND STUDENTS  – JUN 2013

His Holiness the Sakya Trizin gave special public teachings to all students on June 23rd . A day-long program of teachings, refuge, oral reading transmissions, and “Ka’go” for personal blessings and a special meeting with Her Eminence Gyalyum Kusho La, His Holiness’s wife, and Her Eminence Jetsun Kusho La , His Holiness’s elder sister.

H.H SAKYA TRIZIN IN DHARMA SEAL CHINESE MONASTERY – JUN 2013

His Holiness Sakya Trizin and Jetsun Kushok was invited by venerable Xin Xing to visit Dharma Seal Chinese Monastery and give Dharma Talk on June 15th for “World Peace Prayer Program”.