Third Trip to Africa
On November 3rd Drupon Khen Rinpoche completed a third trip to the continent of Africa. The final stop was Lubumbashi, the second city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He stayed here for two days at Kagyu Samye Dzong Lubumbashi and in accord with the wishes of the Centre’s members he gave refuge vows to 111 people and genyen (upaska or lay Buddhist) vows to 104 people. These activities were accompanied by a few words of dharma advice, and a Green Tara puja, attended by many of their Buddhist community. He offered lunch to all the faithful who attended, as well as clothes and other items, as his resources allowed. The event was concluded with a joyful celebration filled with the singing of mantras and dancing.
Drupon Khen Rinpoche commented in a recent Wechat post:
‘While the people of this region do not have much in terms of wealth and resources, they have strong faith and are eager for the dharma. Since they have had very little contact with all kinds of lamas, there are not many propagators of counterfeit dharma and wrong views. They have little cynicism and carry few suspicions about being ‘brain-washed’ and the like. So they have many wonderful and naturally present attributes.
‘As is common knowledge, the buddha dharma depends mainly upon the Sangha as its foundation, and the Sangha in turn depends on those of the Sangha who study and practise. And the foundation for the development of society is education, which in turn relies on schools. For these reasons I am hoping and praying that the foundations for a seat of dharma study and practice, and a school can be established in this area.
‘When looking at things from the dharma perspective, it seems to me that if the lamas and tulkus who have real concern for the buddha dharma and sentient beings, and are endowed with strength and resources, were not always travelling to the more developed countries, but would instead occasionally direct their attention to places in Africa similar to this one, that could bring about much greater benefit for the dharma and for beings than what might be achieved in the richer nations.