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2017


Rinpoche's First Visit to Africa


Rinpoche's First Visit to Africa

27 October, 2017

Drupon Khen Rinpoche flew into Johannesburg on the morning of August 30th and headed straight to the Tara Rokpa Centre in Groot Marico to lead a one week meditation and teaching retreat. This was Rinpoche’s first trip to Africa and it came about due to the sincere wishes of many who attend and practise at the centres there.

 

Following the programme used for the annual week long retreat Rinpoche leads at Kagyu Samye Ling, U.K, there were four meditation sessions and two teaching sessions on Gampopa’s Precious Garland of the Supreme Path daily.

 

At the conclusion of the retreat on the morning of the 7th Rinpoche invited over a hundred and fifty people from the local community to lunch, so that he could get to know them a little, as he’d been a little disheartened that none of them had participated in the retreat.

 

After a hearty meal had been enjoyed by all, Rinpoche, accompanied by Lama Katen, Jampa Dorje, Kunga and several people from the centres in Zimbabwe and South Africa, left to catch their flight to Harare for Rinpoche’s first visit to Zimbabwe.

 

Upon arrival they were joyously welcomed by members of the Samye Ling related centres in Harare as well as two spirit mediums, Sekuru Motota and Sekuru Shumba, both of whom are highly revered holy men in the local community.

During Rinpoches six day stay at the new Harare centre, Samye Ling Zimbawe, he gave two teachings daily, Karma Kunga providing the English translation and Jampa Dorge the French, for the small group of eleven Congolese who had made the difficult journey down to Zimbabwe for the rare opportunity to receive dharma on African soil.

 

Rinpoche did not focus on a particular text during these teachings, instead giving heart advice on various aspects of dharma practice, as well as some more specific instruction about how best to approach the practice of calm-abiding meditation. During each session time was also dedicated to answering questions and clearing up any misunderstandings.

 

On the 14th of September, his last day in Africa on this trip, Rinpoche was invited for lunch in Sekuru Shumba’s village, giving him the opportunity to witness something of the life of rural Africans.

 

Read Rinpoche’s personal account of his time in Africa as well of those of Kunga and Karma Palden Wangmo here.