The Benchen Monastery Community is under the spiritual guidance of both His Eminence Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche and the late Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche.
It provides information about the Dharma centers in the East and West which are connected to the Rinpoches. And it provides information about various social welfare projects especially targeted at poor and needy people living in the East.
Update May 23, 2015
From Benchen Monastery Committee
The Committee includes a link to a youtube video done by Sherab Wangchuk showing Benchen Monastery: https://youtu.be/eyiFyrHLFzs
The earthquake in Nepal on April 25th disrupted everyone's life and it will be a long time before it returns to any kind of normalcy. The Benchen monks in Swayambhu responded immediately by setting up tarpaulins on the army parade ground across the road, and ensuring that our community was safe and protected. Our monks started collecting rubbish and waste to help keep the camp clean and tidy, and continued to help over the next ten days, by provided morning and afternoon tea, to more than 1000 local people who had taken shelter in the camp. Benchen Shedra, also delivered prepared food to a village on the other side of Pharping that had been very badly affected by the quake.
His Holiness The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, requested that all Kagyu monasteries direct all their efforts into providing immediate aid and assistance to the community. The Benchen senior monks responded by forming a committee that has continued to assess and respond to the changing needs of the community as they have arisen.
It was soon realised that the Swayambhu monastery was not a suitable place for our young monks to be, because of safety issues and the possibility of disease. They were therefore, moved to tents in the Shedra grounds at Pharping, where they continue to stay and where their school lessons have now recommenced.
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, some of the monks went out into communities, both near and far, helping to rescue people trapped in the rubble of fallen and damaged buildings, and making the areas safe. Others were involved in assessing the immediate needs of local and more distant communities and villages, and still others were involved in finding and purchasing goods, such as food, tents and blankets, to provide to victims of this terrible disaster. In addition to the aid programs of Benchen Monastery, our monastery served as the coordination, storage and distribution point for Karmapa Service Committee Nepal's relief activities, and our monks participated in all these distribution functions as well. All this activity has involved our monks and volunteers in loading , unloading, storing, sorting, reloading and transporting these materials out, each day, to the people in need. The Benchen water tanker was also put to good use, delivering clean drinking water to accessible camps near and far. During all of this our Benchen earthquake response committee continued to meet, on an ad hock basis each day, to coordinate efforts and ensure that our aid was being delivered to the most needy.
Tempa Lama send these pictures 23.05.2015
Update May 12, 2015
From a mail of Tempa Lama, BPD
Today around 12:50 Nepal time there was again quite a big but not very long earthquake. There were two weaker but longer aftershocks.After the shaking I went looking around the monastery. The outer wall besides the kitchen now protrudes further outside along the previous crack from the first earthquake.
Our gatekeeper is so traumatized that he was left speechless. As far as I know, all the monks around Swoyambhu and Parphing are very safe. Many of our monks are in remote areas to distribute tents, food, medicine, financial aid, and so on. I could not manage to contact them. As soon as I hear of them, I will let you know.That's all for now.
Tempa and Florian Tashi
Update May 6, 2015
Interview with Tempa Lama, chairman of BPD Monastery, Kathmandu on May, 5th 2015 by Konny Röhrig
I send some question to Tempa Lama concerning the current situation at Benchen monastery. He kindly send these answers (Q = question, A = answer):
Q: Have the aftershocks stopped by now? Have the monks and monastery community moved back to the Gompa?
A: Up to now the earthquake still continues from time to time, but only short single peaks or small shakes. It has not stopped yet. The monks are still sleeping outside on the army camp. Some of them sleeping under the staircase, some sleeping near the gate or elsewhere. But most of the monks are out in the villages to help, to bring food, clothes, tents, money or help digging.
Q: How is the health situation? Are there monks suffering from any diseases?
A: Health wise some people have heavy diarrhoea but the rest don’t has problems. Everyone is wearing masks because there were announcements that lots of sickness can appear. But for the Benchen monks the situation is not too bad.
However, people are traumatised, everybody waiting for the next shake, feeling insecure and they are ready to run. And that is quite similar to all the monks and our friends. Especially at night time all are sleeping very light, that means they are awake most of the time. They try to sleep at daytime but then they have to work, to go out and help.
Q: How about the little monks?
Summer Course 2015 in Benchen Phuntsok Ling:
Alltogether from July 22 to August 8, teaching period from Sat. July 25 - Wed. August 5
July 22 to July 24
August 6 to August 8
Wednesday August 5: Guru Yoga and Tsok offering to the Mahasiddha Milarepa
Other than initially planned Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche will not be able to join the summer course. The reason is because Rinpoche has to visit Tibet which has not been possible in the last years and this can only happen during summer time.
Fortunately Rinpoche will visit Benchen Phuntsok Ling from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, 2015 for three days to give teachings and an empowerment.
The teachings will be translated into German and into English.
To make the organization of the summer course possible it is necessary to register. Please see Registration Summer Course 2015 for more details.
Due to the fact that Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche will visit Tibet this year which is only possible during summer time Rinpoche's European itinerary had to be postponed.
We are very glad that Rinpoche will visit Benchen Phuntsok Ling from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, 2015.
During this time Rinpoche will bestow the empowerment of the Thousand-Armed Chenrezig and will teach Sri Tilopa's "Mahamudra Upadesha". This text contains essential instructions given by the Mahasiddha Tilopa to his disciple Naropa on the banks of the Ganges River.
Finally Rinpoche will consecrate the Stupa in Allmuthen where the relics of Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche are enshrined.