Tashi and the Monk
7.00 pm. Thursday 20th. September
Nestled deep within the foothills of the Himalayas, Jhamtse Gatsai is one of the most extraordinary and inspiring communities you're likely to witness. It's led by Buddhist Monk Lobsang, a renowned spiritual teacher who works to create a reality of love and acceptance for children who have been abused or orphaned. Tashi and the Monk follows that mission as it relates to one of the newest arrivals to his commune - a reluctant five-year old girl who's endured unimaginable neglect and tragedy during her brief life. By the time Tashi enters the community, she has suffered the death of her mother and abandonment by her alcoholic father. The youngest resident, she is ill-tempered and aggressive with many of her adolescent co-habitants.
Lobsang's approach does not rely on professional psychologists, prescription medications or any of the often misguided remedies set forth by modern medicine. He's more interested in building an environment that nourishes the soul. With tremendous patience and a graceful, calming manner, he empowers Tashi and the more than 80 additional children under his counsel to appreciate the gift that is their lives. He infuses them with a generosity of spirit and a shared sense of purpose, and unlocks within them an awareness of their own potential.
From the splendid photography of its awe-inspiring natural setting to its musical score, the technical aspects of the film are uniformly impressive. But the beating heart of Tashi and the Monk - and the reason why it will linger with viewers long after its conclusion - is the rare opportunity to see a child find her hope again. It's a touching tribute to the transformative power of compassion.
The Eagle Huntress
7.00 pm. Thursday 4th. October
THE EAGLE HUNTRESS follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter, and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries. Set against the breath-taking expanse of the Mongolian steppe, THE EAGLE HUNTRESS features some of the most awe-inspiring cinematography ever captured in a documentary, giving this intimate tale of a young girl's quest the dramatic force of an epic narrative film. While there are many old Kazakh eagle hunters who vehemently reject the idea of any female taking part in their ancient tradition, Aisholpan's father Nurgaiv believes that a girl can do anything a boy can, as long as she's determined.
After months of training her eagle with her father, Aisholpan is ready to test her abilities. She enters a renowned competition, the Golden Eagle Festival, and faces off against 70 of the greatest Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia. The most arduous challenge is yet to come, as the rite-of-passage for every young eagle hunter is to take part in a hunt. Aisholpan must ride with her father deep into the frigid mountains and endure 40 below zero temperatures and perilous landscapes to prove she is a true eagle huntress.
Aisholpan never doubts her ability to be as strong or brave as any boy. She recognizes no obstacles and refuses to have her ambition denied. While she practices an ancient art, Aisholpan's story is a modern and inspiring one because she represents a world where a young girl's dreams-no matter how challenging-can come true.
Study and Practice Group
Every Sunday, see our calendar of events for session times (they vary).
Each week we will start with a 45+ minute meditation practice, followed by a study/discussion group. You are welcome to join in even if you missed the earlier sessions.
The answer is to develop Patience. Not grit-your-teeth patience but a naturally arising relaxed attitude based on sensible analysis of what is going on.
Each week we will study, verse by verse, the wonderful teachings from the book ‘Bodhisattvacaryavatara’ - The Guide to the Way of Life of a Bodhisattva by the great Indian Buddhist teacher, Shantideva. Amnyi Trulchung Rinpoche requested in his last message to us that we do this study. That aside, the ideas given by Shantideva are for the most part not even "Buddhist." They are fresh and relevant for anyone wanting to train to overcome negative emotional responses and the damage they cause to ourselves and those we meet with.
1st hour - Refuge Prayers and Vajrasattva Purification practice.
2nd. hour - Study/discussion
Cost: Donation at the door. Free to members.
Amnyi Trulchung Rinpoche - Update
Rinpoche is still in China and in a remote part hard to communicate with. He sends rare message always assuring us he is well and happy and thinking of us. He will return but we have to be patient.
If you would like to know more about Rinpoche, visit his website by clicking on this link.
A HOME FOR THE NBC
For several years there have been concerted efforts to buy a property to house the Nelson Buddhist Centre and some managerial staff. This move would end the NBC's uncertain tenure at Nile Street and create a centre that could be available and operate throughout the day. Many properties have been considered but nothing has quite met the requirements.
The main criterion is that the Centre is located close to Nelson central. The vision is to form a community facility, a place where the Buddha's teaching can be made accessible in an urban setting presented in traditional and contemporary ways.
We now have a sub-committee of enthusiastic volunteers who will be actively searching for a suitable property to buy or lease.