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Dear <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>

The LoveLawudo team are happy to bring you our second newsletter on the holy day of Saka Dawa, sharing news and images from Lawudo Gompa and Retreat Center in Solu Khumbu, Nepal.

As you will know, Lawudo Gompa is the most remote retreat centre in the FPMT and the home of Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche in his previous life. Located high in the Himalayas, it offers a unique opportunity to visit and do either group or individual retreat within a traditional Sherpa culture.

We are a group of volunteers calling ourselves LoveLawudo who are exploring how we can all support the Director of Lawudo, Sangay Sherpa, with the challenge of enabling this remote and beautiful place to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

Volunteer update

Many thanks to everyone who has expressed an interest in volunteering at Lawudo Gompa. Although the family have had two very positive recent experiences with volunteers Simone Fry (UK) and Annelise Monod (Switzerland), they've decided to pause the volunteer scheme for the time being. This is partly because it's low season, and also because some local people are offering help, which is excellent news. We'll let you know when further opportunities become available.

Pilgrimage with Venerable Robina in 2018

I’ve wanted to go to Lawudo for years and finally I have the opportunity. I’m so delighted to lead this trek and to raise money for Rinpoche’s holy cave.’
~ Venerable Robina Courtin

Venerable Robina Courtin’s second pilgrimage to Lawudo in April was extremely successful in the beginning, middle and end. Just like the 2017 pilgrimage, it booked out almost immediately. In addition to the scenic beauty of the trek to Lawudo and the experience of being hosted by Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s brother and sister, the fifteen-day itinerary included daily meditation and teachings with Ven. Robina, pujas and a five-day retreat at Lawudo itself. Finally, a total of $25,000 was offered to Lawudo: 50% as a donation to the Monastery, and 50% to support Rinpoche’s long-term vision for a Guru Rinpoche Pure Land at Lawudo (more information to follow).

The group are now working to support the upgrade of the facilities at Lawudo – not only an improved water supply, but also a better chimney in the kitchen and stove tops, toilet seats and solar power.

For more information visit

Pilgrimage opportunity in October

From 5-22 October Venerable Amy Miller will be leading a group pilgrimage to Lawudo. Venerable Amy has been taking people informally to Lawudo since 1990. She says: “if it’s time to consider that once-in-a-lifetime experience or if you’re interested in adding a more spiritual experience to a trip to Nepal then please consider joining us.”

To whet your appetite, take a look at her 9-minute slideshow at

Lawudo Gompa Hosts the Gyangeng Lhasang Puja for the FPMT

It's morning and the kitchen is buzzing with a slight sense of urgency, as it always does when there are visiting monks at Lawudo. There’s concern to not keep them waiting, and to serve plenty of food and unlimited cups of Solja (tea). “Shey shey,” says Anila filling up their cups to the brim. Sitting at the kitchen table and feeling a bit like a spare part, I seize the opportunity to take out my camera and allow myself to just observe the day and take a few snaps here and there.

It's the end of June and the off season in Khumbu. Despite being several weeks into the monsoon, the weather is very warm and sunny, with deep blue skies. A light breeze enjoys whisking the clouds over the surrounding mountain peaks and for the first time in many days, it allows us an almost full view of the mountains as some are in the process of turning from khaki to emerald green. The smoke offering made of juniper and other sweet scented local plants wafts through the air.

Today is a special day because we are doing the very powerful Gyangeng Lhasang Puja at Lawudo - a direct request from Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche to Geshe Thendar, to help dispel obstacles to the success of FPMT projects such as the Maitreya Project. The puja will be led by lamas and monks from Thame Gompa and other local villages. Four lamas arrived two days ago to make the elaborate tormas, and the remainder arrived yesterday evening. The tormas were laid out in the gompa overnight. “The tormas should be put by the window side so that they can see the sky” said Geshela. The monks have a childlike playfulness about them and laughter fills the air. Since some of the family have come up from Kathmandu to offer help, Ani Ngawang Samten la is able to put her feet up a bit. With great delight, 94 year-old uncle Ashang Yonten-la joins his maroon clad Dharma brothers in the gompa.

For most of the year Lawudo is an isolated retreat center, but today Lawudo “Gompa” really comes to life. Its days like these that make me realise how conducive Lawudo is for practice - not only as a hermitage, but also as a living breathing religious community. It's days like these, with the hypnotic sound of the drums and chanting, surrounded by the family, that remind me how special and unique Lawudo is. Today I can imagine what it might have been like back in the days in Tibet to live in a small mountainside monastery.

Gyangeng Lhasang: Abundance Offering Coming from the Altruistic Mind

Here is an explanation from Geshe Thendar la about the puja and its benefits:

In the time of Guru Rinpoche in about 8th century AD there was a very powerful Dharma King in Tibet named Trisong Detsen. When he was going to build Samye Gompa there were many obstacles caused by spirit harm, such as naga gods and local gods or deities. In order to subdue the spirits, King Trisong Detsen invited Guru Rinpoche to Tibet to do some rituals. This was when the Lhasang Puja, the smoke offering for purification, was first performed.

Guru Rinpoche specifically composed the Gyangeng Lhasang Puja to cleanse and purify contamination of the spirits, local gods and naga gods, so that they could be healed in order to stop being mischievous and causing harm to the area and its people. After everything was purified and cleansed they were able to build Samye monastery.

During the Lhasang puja, all the guests should be invited: the guests of veneration: the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha); the awakened manifestations of the Three Roots (Lama, Yidam and Dakini); the guests of qualities of the Oath Bound and Wisdom Protectors; and the guests of compassion. The puja should be dedicated to the beings of the six realms, especially the lower realms.

The puja is done because it is very auspicious and powerful and it really does remove many kinds of obstacles. It has that kind of strong power and potential and brings good luck to the place. It's very powerful. Because the puja is based directly on tantric practices, it becomes even more effective when the lama who is leading it has done a lot of meditation practice and has high realizations.

Normally when you offer the puja, it is good to do it on a Wednesday, which is the auspicious day for His Holiness. You can also offer it on other Dharma days and auspicious days. So basically it's a very powerful practice. It's good to do on special occasions.

In response to Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinopche's request to Geshe Thendar, the first Gyangeng Lhasang Puja for dispelling obstacles for FPMT projects was led on the 26th of June 2017 at Lawudo Gompa by 14 lamas and monks mostly from Thame, including Ngawang Ngendrak, Ngawang Dengyal, Ngawang Thokmay and others. In response to Rinpoche's request, a shorter version of the Lhasang Puja has been led monthly at Lawudo by Ngawang Ngendrak and a few other monks since then.

Translation of Geshe la's words and the puja title from Tibetan to English by Thubten Saldon, with light editing. Article by Simone Fry (Thubten Lhamo).

Please stay in touch

We hope that you have enjoyed receiving news of Lawudo. Here are some ways you can support our efforts :

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May Lawudo flourish and bring peace and happiness to the world.

The LoveLawudo team
Venerable Katy, Alison, Capucine, Nico, Simone, Violette

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