First, let me announce that this is an independent contest, not affiliated with anything or anybody, and let me announce the prize. The prize is a USD $108.00 Nyingma Trust Gift Certificate, redeemable for any of Dharma Publishing's books, statues, prayer flags, and even Nyingma Institute classes. We'll get back to this in a moment, but first, here is the real news --
The Nyingma Trust was created by Tarthang Tulku to provide for the health and safety of his community of full-time Dharma students. These students have helped realize Tarthang Tulku's vision of preserving Tibetan culture, and bringing the knowledge and benefits of the Dharma to the West.
Kyabje Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche,
the direct manifestation of Padmasambhava,
on the throne at Samye, in Tibet
Since 1969, these students have managed the incredibly expansive projects, foundations, and non-profit organizations founded by Tarthang Rinpoche. These projects take place at the Nyingma Institute and Managalam Center in Berkeley, California, as well as at Odiyan, and the Ratna Ling Retreat Center, on the Northern California coast. Projects also continue in Tibet, India, Nepal, Thailand, the Netherlands, Germany, and Brazil.
Lord of Refuge Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche, in a recent photograph
These committed senior students are the engine that powers most of this preservation work. As the years go by, and they grow older, their health and safety are vital to the fulfillment of the Nyingma sangha's goals. The Nyingma Trust was set in place to provide for their medical needs. By supporting the Nyingma Trust, you are directly supporting the authentic Nyingma lineage in America, and around the world.
Kyabje Chatral Dorje Rinpoche (left), and Kyabje Tarthang Rinpoche (right)
There are no projects anywhere in the world nearer and dearer to my own heart than the projects that flow from the ocean-like wisdom of Kyabje Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche's compassionate view. Of these, I believe the Nyingma Trust to be one of the most important. It may be so difficult for most of us to understand, but these are American people who came to Kyabje Tarthang Rinpoche some 40 years ago, and who have labored in anonymity ever since, never asking anything for themselves. No loud noises. No "look at what I did." No scrambling for status. Just plain, old-fashioned, selfless devotion and back-breaking hard work.
Lets take just a minute and review what they have accomplished --
40 Years of the Authentic Nyingma Lineage in the West
|1969 ||Tarthang Tulku arrives in California. |
|1970 ||Start of Tibetan Pen Friend program: monthly donations to individual Tibetans. |
|1972 ||Nyingma Institute opens in Berkeley; first Human Development Training program. |
|1975 ||Dedication of Odiyan. Dharma Press and Publishing are incorporated. |
|1978 ||Rinpoche retires from public teaching to focus on major publishing and temple projects. |
|1980 ||Odiyan Enlightenment Stupa, 113 feet tall, built in just 3 months. All text pages for Tibetan Buddhist Canon printed: 120 atlas-sized volumes. |
|1982 ||Rinpoche returns to his native Tibet for the first time in more than 30 yrs; sponsors reconstruction of Tarthang monastery. |
|1983 ||Odiyan Open House celebrates completion of Central Mandala. |
|1986 ||Installation of Japanese bell at Stupa. |
|1987 ||Creation of digitized Tibetan font allows typesetting of Tibetan texts. |
|1988 ||108 Land Stupas are placed at places of spiritual power throughout Odiyan. |
|1989 ||Rinpoche initiates the first World Peace Ceremony, Monlam Prayers, in Bodh Gaya, where the Buddha was enlightened. More than 600 monks and lamas participated. |
|1990 ||First international conference of the international Nyingma centers: representatives from Brazil, Germany, Holland, and the United States attend. |
|1994 ||Vajra temple exterior covered with sacred lantsa characters, each cast by hand. |
|1996 ||Odiyan Open House attracts thousands of visitors. |
|1998 ||Vietnamese Buddhists visit Odiyan. This year more than 80,000 books and 150,000 art prints are sent to India. |
|1999 ||Queen Mother of Bhutan sends several sculptors to Odiyan to assist with the Chintamani sculpture project. |
|2001 ||160,000 books and 10,000 hand prayer wheels are produced for free distribution. |
|2004 ||Rinpoche establishes 5 Light Foundations to restore and uplift Buddhism in the world, particularly Asian countries. |
|2005 ||Opening of Ratna Ling retreat center. |
|2006 ||Theravadin Tripitaka Chanting established in Bodh Gaya. |
|2007 ||Gold plating and restoration of Swayambhu Stupa. Completion of Cintamani temple. Completion of Vairana Garden at Odiyan. |
|2008 ||Nyingma Trust founded to support the Nyingma Community members. |
|2009 ||Half a million texts printed to be sent to the World Peace Ceremony. Until 2008 2.2 million books have been distributed to more than 3000 Dharma centers in Asia. |
Taken collectively, these accomplishments represent the largest body of Dharma projects undertaken by anyone, anywhere, in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries -- projects on an almost imperial scale, that are without equal in our time.
Beyond question, when we are talking about helping the Nyingma Trust, we are talking about helping people who, during the past 40 years, have quite literally changed the face of Buddhism all over the world.
Now, we get to the fun stuff ---
Christmas Contest to
Benefit the Nyingma Trust
This is a simple contest with incredibly complicated rules, so please read very carefully. If you lose, no whining will be tolerated, and if you win, you're going to have to strictly abide by the terms and conditions set forth herein. We've published this in really small type to make the whole deal official. Note that this is an independent contest, not affiliated with Nyingma Trust, its subsidiaries, assigns, heirs, agents, or mental projections. We are just trying to give them a helping hand.
 As stated, the prize is a USD $108.00 Gift Certificate redeemable at the Nyingma Trust online store, at the Dharma Publishing bookstore (or online), at the Tibetan Aid Project online store, or at the Nyingma Institute.
 The winner of this desirable prize will be the 108th new subscriber to Digital Tibetan Buddhist Altar, beginning from right now. So, how does that work? On the right-hand side of this page, you'll notice a little button beneath the caption "Subscribe to Digital Altar." Whack that little button and subscribe to this blog. If you are the 108th new subscriber, starting from right now, 12:02 A.M. on December 11, 2009, you will win the prize.
 Once you have subscribed, send me an email with your name and mailing address. The subject line should read: "DTBA Nyingma Trust Benefit." I need this to correlate your subscription data, and also, I need to know where to send the Gift Certificate. When you email me, be sure to email from the account that is receiving the DTBA subscription. My address is rinpoche2006 (at) gmail (dot) com Please send the usual death threats and appeals to rescue your money from Africa in separate correspondence.
 By entering this contest, you agree that if you should win, you will purchase a Nyingma Trust Gift Certificate and give it to somebody else. Gift Certificates are available in the amounts of USD $27.00, $54.00, and $108.00 respectively. The person you give the certificate to must likewise agree to purchase a certificate and give it to somebody else, and so on and so forth, until every Sam and Sally on the face of the planet has both received and given a Nyingma Trust Gift Certificate!
 Pretty tricky, eh?
 Now, I know that old DTBA subscribers are saying "What!?! We don't get a chance? What's up with that!?!" Calm down. Just use any old new email address (not an existing address) to sign up, send me a note as specified above, and you're good to go.
 This contest closes at midnight on December 31st 2009 unless terminated sooner by reaching the 108th new subscriber. You must be 18 to enter. This contest is void where prohibited by law, and is not open to anybody I've ever slept with. By entering this contest, you agree that we can make your name public, by announcing you as the winner on DTBA, just so everybody knows this was on the up and up.
Now, how cool is that? You go to a hundred different Buddhist blogs, and they're all hitting you up for money. You come to Digital Tibetan Buddhist Altar, and we're giving it away! It is all in the name of a good cause, so enter early. You just might be the lucky winner!