IMI Monks and Nuns

Vows

Fully Ordained Monk (57)
Fully Ordained Nun (23)
    Novice Monk      (57)
      Novice Nun      (159)
     Rabjung Monk   (5)
      Rabjung Nun    (8)
  Permission to Wear Robes    (1)

Total 310

 

August 2009

In this Issue

Wisdom From Our Teachers

After leading the IMI Monastic Program at Land of Medicine Buddha, Sister Jotika shares her thoughts on Training for Community Life...read more

Announcements

Light of the Path Teachings with Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Jangchub Lamrim Monastic Community; Your IMI Profile; Letters to the Editor; Free Email Accounts; Free email for IMI members. read more

IMI Moments in Time

1992 - The First Sangha Magazine edited by Ven. Fran....read more

Guidelines for Ordination with HHDL

For those considering taking ordination with HH Dalai Lama, we are happy to inform you of the guidelines and application process as provided by the Office of HH Dalai Lama...read more

Monastic Training 2009

IMI offered Monastic Training in America and Europe this summer.....read more

Financial Results for Six Months Ending June 30, 2009

Donations and support for IMI falls behind its level of programs and services offered to the community; concerns for next year's programs are evident....read more

News from Our Communities

Chenrezig Nuns Community, Nalanda Monastery, Thubten Shedrup Ling....read more

2009 International Sangha Prayers for World Peace

The community of monks and nuns of IMI offered over 300 recitations and prayers for World Peace as part of International Sangha Day....read more

Dear IMI

IMI shares some letters received from the community....read more

Building Community—Priorities for IMI

The latest consultation research comes from group discussions with around 75 monks and nuns at Nalanda Monastery, France, in May 2009....read more

Wisdom from Our Teachers

Training for Community Life

An Interview with Sister Jotika

After the Monastic Training Course at Land of Medicine Buddha, IMI was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend time with Sister Jotika to reflect on what motivates her commitment to training new monastics, and why she puts so much emphasis on community living.

Sister Jotika was born in Spain in 1945, and was educated during her teenage years at a progressive convent school run by nuns. It was this experience that influenced so much of the way Sister Jotika approaches her training today with new monks and nuns.

After her schooling years, Sister Jotika took novice ordination at Chithurst Monastery in England with Ajahn Sumedho in 1983, and there she began to get involved with monastic training. Later in 2004 she took full ordination with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Taiwan

Sister Jotika has lived in monasteries for the last 18 years in England, Taiwan, Burma and Spain. She is currently most affiliated with Tushita Meditation Center in Dharamsala.

IMI: How has the experience of growing up in the convent school informed what you’re doing today?

Those nuns were my role models growing up and still are. Often in the Buddhist traditions we hear that women are not able to live together or are only able to live together if they there is a male figure on whom they can depend on and who is the authority figure. But that is not my experience. The nuns in the convent taught me that nuns can build successful and harmonious communities. They were competent, intelligent and independent women fully dedicated to their teaching and to their spiritual life.  They instilled in us a sense of being able to do anything we set our minds to. We were all responsible for the well being of the group.  I learned about community without consciously learning it. They were trained on how to get a class of thirty young women to be united and successful – intellectually and spiritually. I also saw that the flavor of the community changing with the change of director or abbess. Some were sterner while others more exuberant but they all had harmony and the welfare of the community as their prime objective even if tinted by their personalities. So the question I have is, are Christian nuns able to create and live in harmonious communities and Buddhist nuns not so? Why? If what we share is that we are all women, it cannot be on account of our gender. This opens a lot of questions.

Sometime after I ordained in 1983 in England I remembered what I had learn at convent school. As time went by two things became clear, firstly, the importance of the Vinaya for a Buddhist monastic and second the role of the teacher or guide of the community.

IMI: What is the cornerstone of a community?

Any group or community, weather spiritual or worldly, needs to be guided by rules that every individual vows to keep, otherwise is anarchy. A group or a community grows around a leader or elder.  Buddhist monks and nuns ultimately follow the Buddha. He left us the rules by which to guide ourselves and the community. We do not have to invent the rules or fight about who is making the rules or which rules we are going to follow. He laid them down for us and this is what we promise to keep when we ordain. When we ordain we join the Buddha’s club, we accept its rules; the club already has its governing rules for the individual as well as for the community. If we do not want to keep the rules then we should not join the club. It is voluntary.

When the Buddha was asked who would guide the community after he was gone his reply was that the Dharma-Vinaya would be our guide. So it is very clear.  

IMI: What is the goal of a monastic community?

When we ordain as monastics we take the vows of individual liberations. We take them with a Mahayana attitude but they are the vows of individual liberation. What we vow at that moment is to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all being using as our support the vows of individual liberation. That is the ultimate goal of monastic life. There is a lot of confusion about this. A lot of people ordain because they want to practice Dharma. To practice Dharma is not necessary to take the vows of individual liberation. You can practice using the bodhisattva or tantric vows. Ordaining as a monastic is meant to be used for the purpose the Buddha set it up. A more immediate goal is the harmony and welfare of the community. If everybody is working on the ultimate goal the immediate one does not pose impossible problems, difficult maybe, but not impossible.  

To read the complete article, please click here. 

Announcements

Light of the Path Teaching Retreat with Lama Zopa Rinpoche

September 8-22, 2009
Black Mountain, North Carolina (USA)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has offered to give a commentary to Lama Atisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, over the course of the next 5 years to be hosted by Kadampa Center, in North Carolina (USA). The first teaching event is scheduled for September 8-22, 2009. Registration is closing in a few days.

Light of the Path will be an annual teaching/retreat event with Rinpoche for the coming years. The event will be webcast for those who cannot attend in person and an online program based on the teachings will be available starting in 2010. As an experiential lamrim retreat, FPMT envisions both the event and the online program that follows becoming the fundamental basis for all other study and practice.

Sponsorship for Sangha to attend the retreat has now been offered.  Along with a kind and generous sponsor, IMI and Kadampa Center are now able to offer funding to reduce the cost from $680 to $300 for each Sangha member attending the retreat.  Please register NOW for only $300 for the retreat!

For further information on the Light of the Path program, please visit FPMT Education Services.

For information on registration, please visit Kadampa Center website here

Nurturing Monastic Communities Around the World

Jangchup Lamrim Monastic Community, Mexico

Lama Atisha used to say: “The greatest generosity is nonattachment.” Working towards that goal makes our life worthwhile. And the Buddha himself gave us the option in a compassionate way to taste the happiness the monastic life, to develop our wisdom to make our best everyday to live with less attachment, in order to develop the greatest quality: seeking to serve others.

Following the advice and instructions of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, an FPMT monastic community has begun in Guadalajara, Mexico. This will be the seed of the monastery to be founded in Mexico, to which Rinpoche gave the name: Jangchub Lamrim Monastic Community.

The monastic community will offer house, food, studies, meditation and practice to every member of our community. In October 2009, they will start studying the Basic Program with visiting Geshes. And Rinpoche informed the group that He will send a resident Geshe soon. Classes and activities for the lay community will be offered as well as social services, including visits to the prisons, schools and hospice care.

If members of the IMI would like to consider joining the community to help develop this interesting project, you are more than welcome to contact us.

To conclude: The greatest meditation in wisdom is seeing through appearances. Please include us in your prayers. May the Sangha flourish everywhere and be in harmony.
Ven. Losang Tonden

Your IMI Profile

You may not appreciate the reminders; you may even ignore them.  Yet it is important for IMI to know the community it serves.  As many of our members age, IMI is looking for ways in which we can provide care in return for the years of service and practice offered within the community. Sometimes we are requested to verify the ordination of our members for teaching events and when visiting other Centers throughout the FPMT mandala.  We hope we have accurate information so we rely on you to check and update accordingly.  Your participation does not require much of your time and is deeply appreciated.

Letters to the Editor

Within the last year you will have noted a lot of activity within the IMI community as it redefines its role and ways in which it can serve.   Of course, change is not always easy, and sometimes not even welcomed. 

We are inviting you to participate in the dialogue of your community.  If you have a view that you want to share with the community, we welcome you to send us your comments, letters, opinions.  Frank, candid, and thought provoking assessments of how well we are doing (or not) can be addressed to IMI eNews.

Free email Accounts

monasticname@imisangha.org

Members of IMI are welcome to their own personal email account at no charge.  IMI is able and willing to offer POP and IMAP (or webmail) accounts to its members.  The internet, although not to be relied upon exclusively, is a great tool with which we can communicate around the world.

To request an email account, please send us contact information for you (or another IMI member) and we will set up the account and contact you.  All addresses will be name@imisangha.org.

IMI Moments In Time

  1992 A Ven. Fran of Kopan edits the first IMI Sangha Magazine which is published this year.  Several articles written by the Sangha appear. The IMI Sangha Magazine continues publication until 2007.

Guidelines for Ordination with HHDL

Losar 2010

For those considering taking ordination with HH Dalai Lama, we are happy to inform you of the guidelines and application process as provided by the Office of HH Dalai Lama.  It is important that one is serious about their commitment to ordination and has been advised by one's teacher to do take ordination.

The guidelines as communicated by the Office of HH Dalai Lama for those requesting ordination include:

  • One should have Buddhist refuge for at least five (5) years;
  • One should have lived with lay vows for at least three (3) years;
  • One should have refrained from any sexual activity for a period of at least two (2) years.
  • One should NOT have taken ordination before (given one's vows back and requesting ordination again);
  • One should NOT be a Shugden practitioner;
  • Once having taken ordination, one should prepare to go to live in a monastery or nunnery to study or train;
  • Those requesting Gelong ordination should have held the Getsul ordination for at least three (3) years.

Probably the most important aspect in the application process concerns the student's plans once taking ordination. It is critical that students will be in a stable situation under the guidance of a teacher in order to protect the vows. Once having taken ordination, a student should not return to their ordinary work situation; working in a dharma center is permissible. The view of HH Dalai Lama is that if one must go back to one's ordinary work situation, then one should live within the lay vows for the time being.

Women requesting ordination are expected to live at Thosamling nunnery in Sidpur, Himachal Pradesh, India, for a period of two years. This is compulsory for all women ordaining, unless they can prove that they are registered and have been accepted to study and train at a Dharma centre or monastery in the West.

Men requesting ordination are also expected to live at a monastery or a Dharma Centre.

Those requesting ordination must attend the Preordination Training Course scheduled to be hosted at Tushita Center in Dharamsala on behalf of the Office of HH Dalai Lama. The course will be held from February 3 to approximately March 3, 2010 (prior to the ordination ceremony).

To Request Ordination with HH Dalai Lama

  • Download and complete the application for ordination with HH Dalai Lama (available online here).
  • Request an application for the Pre-Ordination Training Course to be held at Tushita Centre from February 3, 2010 to approximately March 3, 2010 (please visit www.tushita.info). Acceptance for the Pre-Ordination Training Course does not mean that one has been accepted for ordination.
  • Obtain a letter of acceptance from the respective monastery or centre, signed by the Director or Abbott, and indicating acceptance into the study program or practice where one will be for a period of two years.
  • Obtain two letters of reference (required). One letter of recommendation should be from one's teacher (root guru); the second letter of recommendation should be from one's teacher or senior sangha (at a local center) who know the candidate well.
  • Send the completed application form, the letter of acceptance from the monastery or Centre, two letters of reference and three passport size photographs to the Office of HH Dalai Lama AND Sister Jotika (Instructions provided with application).

The process for applying can take some time, so please apply early. The deadline for applications is November 30, 2009. Late applications will NOT be accepted.

After receiving approval for ordination, complete the application form for Pre-Ordination Training Course to be held at Tushita Meditation Centre. Send the completed application form for the course to Tushita Meditation Centre.

Please note that IMI is offering support to cover the cost of food and accommodation for all those attending the Pre-Ordination Course at Tushita Mediation Centre.

For further information on the guidelines for ordination, the process for ordination or the Pre-Ordination Training Course, please contact Tushita Meditation Centre (www.tushita.info).

Monastic Training 2009

Monastic Training America

"The training was an extraordinary experience for all participants. I can say that all feel very grateful to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, IMI and HH Dalai Lama for this training... Sister Jotika is an amazing teacher, I dare say a perfect teacher for teaching Vinaya and more."

During June and July 2009, IMI hosted the first Monastic Training Course in the Americas at Land of Medicine Buddha (FPMT).  Sister Jotika and Ven. Thubten Saldon facilitated this month long retreat.   Ven. Choden Rinpoche conferred rabjung and getsul vows during the retreat at Vajrapani Institute (FPMT).

Monastic Training Europe

"We have just finished the Monastic Training at ILTK, it has been a wonderful experience, such an honor to meet and receive teaching from Sister Jotika and Ani Rita. They are just amazing. They brought us back 2500 years ago to the motivation of the Buddha to create the Sangha."

In July, IMI hosted a Monastic Training Course at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa. Sister Jotika and Ven. Rita facilitated the training. Khensur Rinpoche Jampa Tegchok conferred rabjung vows at the end of the two week training course.

The training focused on foundations of living a monastic life and the challenges that monk’s and nun’s have in the West.  The teaching sessions covered the Vinaya for novice vows; sojong (confession), ordination procedure and how to wear robes. All participants live, ate and worked in community together. This  was a rare opportunity to receive training that gave each participant the knowledge they need to succeed in monastic life.

IMI is looking forward to having this training available annually as part of an ongoing support to the community of monastic’s and those considering living a life as a Monk or Nun.
  Plans are underway for in 2010 in the America, Europe, and Pacific Regions.

Teacher (A Poem by Ven. Gyalten Sangmo)

One of the students in the course at Land of Medicine Buddha wrote this poem for the teacher of the Monastic Training, Sister Jotika that IMI would like to share with you.

From afar
With the ease of a lifetime of experience
She arrived
Readying for what is to come

Her trained eye spotted each of them 
Clothing worn in ways
That betrayed their needs
Wanting from her
The approval
Silently she states to herself
‘What to think’

In the quiet of the damp early morning
Warmed by a borrowed knitted cap
She studies them
Transparent were their temperaments
Push this one today
Let this one go for another day

Carefully she gives them instruction
                       Memorize these prayers
                       Straighten your robes
                       Quiet ladies
                       A word of Spanish to the only monk
                       Who is going to lead today
                       Faster
                       Let’s see if we can do it with some enthusiasm

Every meal she made small suggestions
Eat the raw foods first, it is better for digestion
Maybe not so much coffee
Take only what you need, no more
Did you get enough

Walking with them up the steep hill to the Shrine
She would inquire about their lives
What they are leaving
And what awaits them

On some days, with sadness
She worries for
The handsome Monk from Mexico
The studious Nun, her new life yet to fully blossom
The exuberant Songster from the Ozarks about to see the limit of her gifts
The American movie lover and afficianto of fineries will she leave it all behind

The days pass, so few left
                       Clean the statue of the Buddha, think of it as your mind
                       You were all a little chatty last night
                       Tonight we are silent
                       Put on your yellow robes, bow
                       Do it again
                       No not like that
                       What is number 32
 
On this final day  
‘Good’ she says to her self
Then a quiet prayer
Go forth

This is her life now
Polishing the new ones
One by one

Financial Results for Six Months Ending June 30, 2009

Financial results for the first half of the year indicate that IMI is considerably below its budget target of $90,500 in income with actual receipts of $53,374.  Donations from individuals, members and FPMT Centers are less than expected given the increase in communications and services offered by IMI.

Our donations of $53,374 fell short of our expenditures of $79,583 for a loss of $26,210 for the first six months of 2009.

The loss is difficult for IMI as we begin to provide much-needed programs and support to the community. The majority of program expenditures are designated for the Lama Yeshe Sangha Fund Grant Program with 27 grants already awarded in 2009.  These and other programs including sponsorship of spiritual guide retreats and monastic training have already been committed for 2009. Cuts in these programs may be necessary in 2010.

Additional funding for administrative infrastructure, communications, development and educational resources have been designated in the 2009 IMI Plan however expenses are being monitored and reduced as feasible.

If you have any question about the IMI financial information presented or the 2009 IMI Approved Budget, please feel free to contact us. Ven. Char Fanning serves as Treasurer of International Mahayana Insitute, Inc.

If you would like to support the programs and services of IMI, please donate here.

News from the Communities

Chenrezig Nuns Community, Australia

International Sangha Day at Chenrezig Institute began at 5.30 am with 20 sangha and about 30 lay people taking the Mayahana Precepts together led by our Teacher Geshe Tashi Tsering (now known as Kushab Lama). Following this a group of 20 lay people recited the Golden Light SUtra while upstairs in the Gompa 5 of our BSP students took ordination and so lunch saw us welcome 3 new nuns and 2 new monks to the CI family. In the afternoon Kushab Lama gave the Bodhisattva vows to over 100 people and this was followed by a meditation on the Mind of Enlightenment by one of the nuns. To finish it all off the new ordainees, accompanied by a group of supporters recited sutras, engaged in meditations and pujas throughout the night, finishing with Lama Chopa at 5am.
Ven. Lhamo

Nalanda Monastery, France

May and June 2009 was probably the most auspicious, and busiest time Nalanda had experienced for a long time. Not only did Lama Zopa Rinpoche stay with us for a few days, but we also hosted visitors from around the world during the retreat and CPMT meeting at nearby Institute Vajra Yogini.

Rinpoche commented on many things at Nalanda and told us to make a 'master plan' for the long term-future, saying we would be one of the three main centres of study for the FPMT. The main things we have to do now are a bigger gompa, providing rooms for 40 people, a huge Ganapati Statue plus building a temple for it, various Thangkas and 7 more stupas. We're still planning to run the Masters Program and Basic Program together in 2012, hence the rooms for 40 people!

So as one project came almost to a close, we're already starting the next one. Rinpoche gave special thanks to John Francois saying that the building was his manifestation. We're really pleased he'll continue to work with us in the next phase of building work.

During the CPMT meeting we invited all the participants to visit Nalanda for lunch, many of whom had not seen the new building, or at least the new building finished. Amongst them many to whom we felt great gratitude (there were some monks and ex-monks who lived previously at Nalanda, there were some sponsors and some FPMT family members who contributed in an essential way to our successful study program).  We gave a short presentation about the history, activities and future of Nalanda. Spending time with our FPMT family was a great pleasure for the community. Then during the retreat some monks stayed at Institute Vajra Yogini, some at Nalanda, and many visiting sangha came to stay for the duration. During the retreat some people were ordained, two of whom are now at Nalanda.

We were sorry to see Ven. Nyingje leave with new monk Ven. Dorje, but we wish them well in their studies in Nepal. We welcomed back senior monk Ven. Tony, and also Ven. Jinpa from the USA who is an old friend of Nalanda's who is also now studying the Basic Program with us.    Also we said goodbye to Ven. Rigsel (Denis Huet) who had to move back to the Institute due to his health.

So now we've started on the 9th Chapter (Wisdom) of the Bodhisattvacharyavatara, and we'll be running a short retreat led by Geshe Jamphel on the whole text in August during the rains retreat. Any sangha who would like to join us for the Rains Retreat, please let us know. 5th August - 18th September. Geshe Jamphel has also agreed to lead a pilgrimage in India (Jan-Feb 2010), with the 1st part dedicated to visiting the holy sites such as Bodhgaya etc., and the 2nd part visiting the South including Ganden, Sera and Drepung Monasteries. Places are available and more details are available on the Nalanda website. Please contact us for more info.

People are also welcome to join us next year for a whole year of Lam Rim teachings from February 2010 led by our abbot, Geshe Jamphel.

Ven. Losang Jinpa (UK)

Thubten Shedrup Ling, Australia

Following the devastating bush fires in our State of Victoria in Summer, the monastery hosted an interfaith prayer service for fire victims. The service was held in a local park not far away from where eleven houses were destroyed in the fires. Representatives of various faiths were invited and requested to offer prayers for the victims. Although the fires were not far from the monastery, they were of no direct threat.

It has been a quiet winter so far with Ven Gyatso in Mongolia and Ven Tony Beaumont studying in Nalanda Monastery. Both are due back later in the year. We were pleased to be able to offer accommodation recently to one of the organisations senior monks Ven Gelek (Max Redlich). It was a priviledge to have Ven Gelek with us if only for a short stay.
The monks continue to support the Atisha Centre teaching and meditation program as well as provide chaplaincy for jails and the local university and provide Geshe care for Atisha Centre's resident teacher, Geshe Konchok Tsering.

Ven. Lhundrup

2009 International Sangha Prayers for World Peace

Wheel Turning Day July 25, 2009

Yes, we at Chekawa study group are taking part in the recitation of the Golden Light Sutra for World Peace.  And on Wheel Turning Day, we're planning to make a nice meal to honour the Sangha jewel, invite friends and relatives and among all gather our annual donation for the Lama Yeshe Sangha Fund.
 
We are most grateful to the FPMT Sangha, that tirelessly gives us support, teachings, advice and an excellent example of a life in the Dharma path.   

Considering we're living in a situation of so much corruption, violence, drug dealing, fighting, environmental degradation, etc., the presence of the Sangha and Dharma teachings is ever so valuable and beneficial.
 
I so much thank you for all IMI does for the benefit of all beings, and particularly for the benefit of us, FPMT groups and centres.

Chekawa Study Group

The community of monks and nuns of IMI and participating public offered over 300 recitations and prayers for World Peace as part of International Sangha Day. IMI made extensive dedications (over 26 pages). We are amazed at the growing participation from around the world in following this precious advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche.



Dear IMI

Letters to the Director of IMI

IMI receives many emails and letters on various topics. We feel it important to share some of these with the wider community. 

Dear IMI,

I have a small concern and wanted to share it with you. I've heard that some Sangha are starting to wear maroon surgical scrubs in their daily life instead of their robes - not just around their rooms, but out in public at the center and generally out in the world.

The reason I am concerned is that first, it breaks the vows, but most important, Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave instructions about four years ago now that He wanted His Sangha to be properly dressed, in robes that were in good shape, etc.  In robes would be the operative phrase there.

I tend to be a little strict when it comes to the vows and since Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave that advice to always be properly dressed, I have always tried to be. Hardly anyone does this, but abandoning the robes all together and wearing surgical scrubs with sleeves instead sets a really bad example.

Anyway I just feel it sets a bad example and most important, goes against the specific instructions of our abbot and teacher, Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Thank you,
IMI Member

IMI  Director Responds: A few considerations come to mind when reading this email.  First of all it is important to remind the monastic community of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s advice when it comes to wearing robes. (To review Lama Zopa's Advice, please click here).  In my own reflection on the many times I have met Rinpoche, there has never been a time where I remember him not wearing robes and the importance reflected in that gesture.

Yet I am also reminded that in San Francisco, as many of you know (apart from first time tourists), the weather can be foggy, cold and windy. Often we sangha living there are wearing jackets (with sleeves) when we go out; Ven. Geshe Dakpa, resident teacher at Tse Chen Ling, nonwithstanding. Wearing a zen  in the streets of San Francisco when it is windy can be quite tricky.

In consideration of the vows, the shentab, chogyu and namjar are the robes blessed as part of our ordination; the dongka (shirt) and zen are not. So while these other garments are part of the uniform for the community and there is benefit in our wearing them, there seems to be some room for interpretation, especially outside of teachings.

I imagine there are many opinions on this subject, and it would be good to hear from others about their views. (Please email us if you have any comments).

In the meantime, if you can follow Rinpoche’s advice that would be good. If you can practice wisdom and compassion, great!

 

Dear IMI,

If you get the opportunity in communications with Sangha before retreats, it could be good to remind Sangha that they have an extra responsibility to attend sessions and follow the discipline of the retreat, especially if they are sponsored.

It is difficult for retreatants and even staff to keep the silence in the morning for example if they see some ordained Sangha obviously not caring.  

On the whole, the retreat went very well here but a few times, some sangha seemed to take it easy and skip sessions.  It is also difficult to know who has a good reason not to attend; waiting for interview with Rinpoche, being sick etc.

On the whole, it has been great and very inspiring to have as many Sangha doing retreat. Just thought it might be helpful to remind them about their extra responsibility if they are sponsored.

Thank you,
Retreat Participant


IMI Director Responds: Thank you for writing to IMI. It is clearly important for the monastic community to set a good example for the lay community.  While wearing the robes does not mean that we are all Buddhas, these robes represent a responsibility to protect the minds of the lay community who take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.  Considering the comments above, it is clear, the example in our individual behavior is important in maintaining respect for the entire monastic community.


Building Community-Priorities for Sangha

Report from IMI Community Discussions at Nalanda

 “Being Sangha is about joining community, and even if you’re not living in community, we need to understand that just by becoming a member of the Sangha, we are becoming part of community.”

IMI is committed to meeting the Sangha community development plan goals for 2008-2013. Ongoing consultation and discussion forums with the worldwide monastic body are continuing. The latest consultation research comes from group discussions with around 75 monks and nuns at Nalanda Monastery, France, in May 2009.

The results from Nalanda unveiled immediate community needs, and areas for further inquiry. IMI will use the findings to situate the delivery of programs and services within the unique socio-cultural and legal framework of all our member countries. IMI plans to work closely with regional representatives and local FPMT centers to nurture the needs of the community over time.

The overall message from Nalanda confirmed better communication networks will enhance knowledge sharing and resources to meet the challenges of an aging Sangha population. A more connected community offers a chance to feel in touch with what is happening outside local groups, and can utilize the wealth of experience embedded around the world.

The group discussions at Nalanda reflected on central aspects of community life.  Providing the conditions for adequate health care and housing was seen as the foundation for a thriving community. Other important areas explored in the discussions were family, finance, legal, work, social responsibilities and communications. 

For a complete report on the findings from the Nalanda Meeting 2009, please click here.

IMI eNews is published periodically to communicate with the IMI monastic community. If you would like to submit announcements or write an article for the IMI eNews, please email office@imisangha.org

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