LAMA ZOPA
RINPOCHE

octOBER 4-20 - retreat in elista
octOBER 25-27 - teachings in moscow

LAMA
ZOPA
RINPOCHE

ELISTA
MOSCOW
OCTOBER 2019

Central Khurul (gompa) of Kalmykia «The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni», Moscow Buddhist center «Ganden Tendar Ling» (assosiated with FPMT) and «Save Tibet Foundation» are delighted to announce that Lama Zopa Rinpoche will lead MANI retreat for the 1st time in Russia in Elista on October 4-20th by the request from the Honorary Representative of His Holliness Dalai Lama in Russia, Mongolia and CIS, the Shadjin Lama of Kalmykia Telo Tulku Rinpoche.

After the retreat Lama Zopa Rinpoche will give teachings on developing boddhicitta based on Khunu Rinpoche's Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea: Verses in Praise of Bodhicitta on October 25-27th in Moscow (please note the dates have slightly changed!).

We will be joined by Geshe Tenzin Zopa, who was asked by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to lead the retreat at daytime in Elista and review the teachings and conduct Q&A sessions in Moscow.

Everyone interested in Tibetan Buddhism and especially those who feel connection with Lama Zopa Rinpoche as a spiritual teacher are welcome to take part in this unique retreat and join precious teachings in Moscow!

The registration is closed, if you haven't registered but are coming to Moscow for the teachings, please contact us ASAP at teachings@fpmt.ru!


OFF-SITE PARTICIPATION


You can take part in accumulation of OM MANI PADME HUM mantras during the retreat with Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Elista with the motivation to generate bodhicitta to achieve the ultimate enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings and by dedicating the merits to achieving this state, remembering the emptiness.

If you have received the initiation, you can recite the short sadhana, if not, better use the one that Rinpoche put together for off-site participants.

If you wish to add your number of mantras to the total number of recitations at the retreat,
PLEASE SUBMIT MANTRAS UNTIL 10 AM ON OCT 19TH (MOSCOW TIME) through this form.

You can watch evening (18:00 - 20:00 Moscow time) sessions with Rinpoche here. Please note that it goes with consecutive translation from English into Russian.

If you have questions, please contact us at teachings@fpmt.ru.
TEACHERS
KYABJE LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE
Lama Zopa Rinpoche was born in 1946 in Thami, in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, not far from Lawudo cave where his previous incarnation had meditated for the last 20 years of his life.

The Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced him to forsake Tibet for the safety of Bhutan. Rinpoche then went to the Tibetan refugee camp in West Bengal, India, where he met Lama Yeshe, who became his root teacher. The Lamas went to Nepal in 1967, and over the next few years built Kopan monastery, the very beginning of what would become a worldwide organisation, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT).

When Lama Yeshe passed away in 1984, Lama Zopa Rinpoche became the spiritual leader of the FPMT. Today Lama Zopa Rinpoche continues travelling the world to give teachings, and to spread the Dharma of wisdom, love, and compassion.
GESHE TENZIN ZOPA
Geshe Tenzin Zopa holds the honoured Geshe (Doctorate) degree from Sera Je Monastic University, having completed the 20 year monastic curriculum in 17 years. He was ordained at the age of 9 by the late great mahasiddha Geshe Lama Konchog, received novice ordination from Geshe Lundrup Sopa Rinpoche and full ordination from HH the 14th Dalai Lama.

Under the direct tutelage of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the great mahasiddha Geshe Lama Konchog and the most eminent of Gurus including those from the great Sera Jey Monastic University, Geshe Tenzin Zopa possesses vast scriptural knowledge, extensive teaching experience, has successfully managed major projects, has completed many retreats. A prolific teacher, Geshela is the author of 12 books.

Geshe Tenzin Zopa is undertaking the responsibility of overseeing the physical, mental and spiritual development of Tulku Tenzin Phuntsok Rinpoche, the unmistaken reincarnation of the late great mahasiddha Geshe Lama Konchog. In an effort to introduce Buddhist values and teachings on life, death and reincarnation, Geshela played a pivotal role in the documentary "Unmistaken Child".

PROGRAM

Oct 4-6th
Oct 4-6th
1000-arms Chenrezig initiation
Elista, Kalmykia, Russia
19:30 - 23:00 - teachings and initiation
Oct 5-20th
Oct 5-20th
MANI retreat
Elista, Kalmykia, Russia
Please find below the schedule
Oct 25-27th
Oct 25-27th
«How to develop boddhichitta in the modern world»: commentary on Khunu Rinpoche's «Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea: Verses in Praise of Bodhicitta».
Moscow, Russia
Preliminary schedule*:
11:00 - 12:30 - practice session with Geshe Zopa
12:30 - 14:00 - lunch time
14:00 - 15:30 - review and Q&A with Geshe Zopa
15:30 - 16:00 - tea break
16:00 - 17:30 - Rinpoche teachings
17:30 - 18:30 - tea break
18:30 - 20:00 - Rinpoche teachings

*Only Rinpoche's teachings on Oct 25th starting at 19.30 - 20.00
RETREAT IN ELISTA
«We are unbelievably fortunate to have met the Dharma and to have the opportunity to do recitation and meditation on the Compassion Buddha. It is an easy way of purifying whatever negative karma we have collected in not only this life but in many previous lives as well...

… Even if you know the teachings on how to meditate on bodhicitta, you still need to receive the special blessings of the deity, Compassion Buddha. You receive these by doing the meditation and recitation we practice in the mani retreat. Therefore, recitation of OM MANI PADME HUM is one way to actualize bodhicitta–to transform your mind into bodhicitta and make your meditation on bodhicitta effective...

... Without bodhicitta, you cannot cause all happiness for all sentient beings. You cannot do perfect work for all sentient beings, and you cannot achieve the complete qualities of the realizations and cessation, even for yourself.

Thus, everyone is most welcome to join the one hundred million OM MANI PADME HUM mantra retreat» (From the Rinpoche's Invitation to Join the Mani Retreat).
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
What is the languange of the retreat and teachings?
Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Geshe Zopa will be teaching in English. Only Russian translation will be avaliable, it will be consecutive.
What initiation will be given at the retreat? Are there any commitments and limitations?
On October 4-6th Lama Zopa Rinpoche will give the Great One Thousand Arm Chenrezig initiation.

For kriya yoga tantra initiations, ideally participants should avoid black food on the days of the initiation.

There are no tantric vows in these initiations, participants have to take refuge and entering bodhisattva vows.

The commitment Rinpoche usually gives is 1 mala a day for life.

If you can't come on Oct 4-6th, but are willing to participate later, Rinpoche kindly gave permission to join the practice without self-initiation.
Practical info: How do I get a visa?
VISA

First of all, please check if you need a visa to come to Russia. In case you need one, you should apply to the nearest Russian conculate or the official visa center. If you are not sure where to find them, email us at teachings@fpmt.ru and we will try to help.

If you need a visa, apply for a tourist type. Please note, that we were asked to provide the Kalmyk authorities with the list of the registered participants in advance. This is why we will close the registration for the retreat on September 15th. Ideally you should get your visa by that time. Usually it takes 2 weeks after you apply for it.

You will need to check the list of documents requested for the application with the consulate or the visa center in your country, as it may vary, but a common request is
  • your passport valid for at least 6 months after the visit (until May 2020)
  • application form (fill in online and print out)
  • photo
  • tourist confirmation. Attention! This is not the hotel or flight booking, but a separate document issued by a registered Russian tourist company. You can get it from the hotel you have booked or here (we used this service multiple times and it worked for different countries. You will receive an email with a pdf file you need to print out and also additional infomation, such as the name of the inviting organization, address, telephone number, reference number and confirmation number. You need to put this info in your application form, not the gompa's address!).

MEDICAL INSURANCE

It depends on your country, if you need to provide medical insurance when applying for the visa, but in any case we strongly recommend you to check if your current insurance covers Russia or get one for the period of your stay.
Practical info: How do I get there?
FLIGHTS

Most likely there is no direct flight from your city to Elista, so you will have to fly through Moscow. Please note that there are 3 international airports in Moscow: SVO, DME and VKO. All three are in the same distance from the city center.

The most convinient way to get from Moscow to Elista is a direct flight from VKO by this local airline. There is one daily flight from Moscow at 11:00 am and at 13:45 from Elista. Since it's only one daily flight, we advise to book asap!

When you will go through the passport control, you will receive a migration control card. Don't loose it, you may need to show it when you leave the country.

TRANSFER

If you fly not to VKO, make sure you have enough time to go through passport control, pick your luggage and transfer to VKO (can take 2 hours or more). We recommend to use Aeroexpress train to get from any airport to the city center, as it's cheaper and usually faster (45 minutes) than by taxi. If you prefer taxi, use Uber or Gett apps. Unfortunatelly there is a chance that a taxi driver at the airport will try to take advantage and ask too much money for the ride.

Same for Elista, we advise to use Uber/Yandex app there.
Practical info: Where can I stay in Elista for the retreat?
ACCOMODATION

You can find options at booking.com. Some do not require prepayment and offer free cancelation, so we suggest to book even before you get visa to make sure you have a place to stay in. The best option is to stay in a walking distance to the gompa (Google maps - Klykova str). There is a vast net of local bus routes in the city but it might be a bit tricky to use if you don't speak Russian. Taxi is also an option.

Hotels recommended by the gompa administration:
- Hotel Belyy Lotos
- Hotel Marco Polo

Cheaper options:
- Hotel Elista
- Hotel 6

SANGHA

The Central Khurul kindly offers to accomodate up to 15 FPMT ordained sangha members. Please indicate if you are interested when you fill in the registration form below.

Practical info: Mobile connection
The mobile connection and internet are very affordable here. If your phone is not locked, you can buy a local SIM card from MTS, Beeline, Megafon, or Tele2. You can find them at the airport or in small shops around the city.
Practical info: Money
If you wonder about the price range here, you can check this website with some costs statistics for another Russian city close to Elista.

The current rate (it's changing, so check closer to your arrival) is 1 US dollar = 64,85 Russian rubles, 1 euro = 72,50 rubles.

Make sure to have some cash with you when travelling to Elista for buses, etc. You will be able to withdraw from your card at ATMs.
Retreat fee
Retreat is organized by the Central Khurul with no fixed fee for the participants.

You will need to cover all expenses on accomodation, food, transfer, etc. Only tea will be served at the venue.

You are welcome to leave donation at the khurul during the retreat to support the teachings and local Sangha.
Will the sadhana text and the Prayer book be avaliable at the venue?
We intend to offer the sadhana text and the FPMT Retreat Prayer book in English for the registered participants on free donation basis, but please consider buying the latest edition of the Prayer book from the FPMT's online shop in advance, if you don't have one.

Please mark in the registration form, if you bring texts with you, we'd appreciate if we could print less.
What should I bring with me?
Please bring your cushion with you. There are benches in the gompa, but no cushions and it's not possible to bring and sell them to the participants.

Please note, there are regular pujas going on in the gompa that will be attended by the local people who do not participate in the retreat, so you might be asked to take your belongings for the puja time in order not to loose it.

Consider taking shatterproof cup or thermos for tea to reduce plastic waste and a pen for filling in the mantra count card.
What is the registration deadline? Can I skip registration for the retreat and just show up at the venue?
We will close registration for the retreat on September 15th, as we need to provide the local authorities with the list of foreign participants in advance, as well as print the accurate quantity of the texts. In case you haven't registered, you still can come, but we won't be able to help if any questions regarding your visa arise, or provide you with the texts, etc. Thank you for understanding!
I have never been to Russia before and I don't speak Russian, how will it go?
In 2017 people came from Brazil and Finland to Elista for Rinpoche's teachings and they really enjoyed their time in Kalmykia. We plan to have a dedicated English-speaking volunteer to help you around Elista.
I have more questions, whom should I contact?
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact teachings@fpmt.ru. We will reply as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience!
To Shugden practioners
Lama Zopa Rinpoche does not wish to have a guru-disciple relationship with anyone who is practicing Shugden. We kindly ask you not to attend any initiation which Rinpoche is giving.
Off-site participation and mantra accumulation
You can join the retreat by watching evening (18:00 - 20:00 Moscow time) sessions with Lama Zopa Rinpoche giving teachings. It will be streamed with consecutive translation at FPMT YOUTUBE or Facebook.

Also Lama Zopa Rinpoche kindly granted permission to participate off-site in accumulation of OM MANI PADME HUM mantras during the retreat in Elista, by reciting the short sadhana with the motivation to generate bodhicitta to achieve the ultimate enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings and by dedicating the merits to achieving this state, remembering the emptiness.

Practice Requirements:
Anyone can do this practice. However, you are permitted to generate yourself as Eleven-Face Chenrezig only if you have received:
• the initiation (wang) of Eleven-Face/Thousand-Arm Chenrezig
• or the initiation of any deity of performance, yoga, or highest yoga tantra and the subsequent permission (jenang) of Eleven-Face/Thousand-Arm Chenrezig
• or the initiation of any deity of the tathagata or lotus types of action tantra and the subsequent permission of Eleven-Face/Thousand-Arm Chenrezig

Otherwise, you should visualize Eleven-Face Chenrezig above your head or in front of you.

You can dowload the short sadhana.

If you wish to add your number of mantras to the total number of recitations at the retreat, please after each session submit the number recited at the session in this form.

If you have questions, please contact us at teachings@fpmt.ru.
RETREAT VENUE
Central Khurul
358003 Russia, Kalmyk republic, Elista, Klykova str., Zolotaya Obitel' Buddy Shak'yamuni
MOSCOW TEACHINGS
On October 25-27th Lama Zopa Rinpoche will give commentary on Khunu Rinpoche's most famous written work Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea: Verses in Praise of Bodhicitta.

Khunu Lama Rinpoche Tenzin Gyaltsen (1894-1977) was born in the Khunu region of the Indo-Tibetan borderlands in 1894. He was revered by Tibetan Buddhists of all traditions because his life embodied the spiritual practice of compassion and he travelled widely, teaching throughout Tibet and India. His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV was among his many students, he received from Khunu Rinpoche Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life by Shantideva.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche recieved teachings from Khunu Rinpoche on the Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, Lama Atisha's teaching.

You can read more about the life of this highly realized lama in Mandala magazine.
What is the language of the teachings in Moscow?
Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Geshe Zopa will be teaching in English. Only Russian translation will be avaliable (it will be simultaneous).
Will the texts be avaliable at the venue?
We kindly ask you to consider buing texts in advance or bringing your copy with you:
- VAST AS THE HEAVENS, DEEP AS THE SEA. Verses in Praise of Bodhicitta by Khunu Rinpoche
- The FPMT Prayers for Teaching Occasions book

If you need a hard copy, we will print some in English, please indicate you need it in the registration form below.
Teachings fee
At this time you only need to register. The suggested amount of donation to cover venue rent, logistics expenses, etc, will be announced in September, it will be approx. 3000 rubles = 40 euros / 46 USD. You will be able to donate at the spot in cash. If you prefer Paypal, please contact us in advance at teachings@fpmt.ru. If you can't donate, it's not an obstacle for attending the teachings.

No fee or donation expected from ordained Sangha.

You will need to cover your own expenses on accomodation, meals and transport. Tea with cookies will be served at the venue.

If you wish to become a sponsor and contribute in spreading Dharma, please contact us at teachings@fpmt.ru.
Practical info: Russian Visa
VISA

First of all, please check if you need a visa to come to Russia. In case you need one, you should apply to the nearest Russian conculate or the official visa center. If you are not sure where to find them, email us at teachings@fpmt.ru and we will try to help.

If you need a visa, apply for a tourist type. Usually it takes 2 weeks after you apply to receive it.
You will need to check the list of documents requested for the application with the consulate or the visa center in your country, as it may vary, but a common request is
  • your passport valid for at least 6 months after the visit (until May 2020)
  • application form (fill in online and print out)
  • photo
  • tourist confirmation. Attention! This is not the hotel or flight booking, but a separate document issued by a registered Russian tourist company. You can get it from the hotel you have booked or here (we used this service multiple times and it worked for different countries. You will receive an email with a pdf file you need to print out and also additional infomation, such as the name of the inviting organization, address, telephone number, reference number and confirmation number. You need to put this info in your application form, not the venue's address!

MEDICAL INSURANCE
It depends on your country, if you need to provide medical insurance when applying for the visa, but in any case we strongly recommend to check if your current insurance covers Russia or get one for the period of your stay.
Practical info: How do I get to the venue?
FLIGHTS

Please note that there are 3 international airports in Moscow: SVO, DME and VKO.

When you will go through the passport control, you will receive a migration control card. Don't loose it, you may need to show it when you leave the country.

We recommend to use Aeroexpress train to get from any airport to the city center, as it's cheaper and usually faster (45 minutes) than by taxi. You can book your ticket online.

If you prefer taxi, use Uber or Gett apps. Unfortunatelly there is a chance that a taxi driver at the airport will try to take advantage and ask too much money for the ride.

Moscow metro is a comfortable and affordable way to get to the venue, you only pay for the trip, doesn't matter how long is the distance. You can also use Uber or Gett apps for taxi.
Practical info: Where can I stay in Moscow?
Moscow has a variety of accomodation options from hostels and hotels to rooms and apartments, please check them at booking.com or airbnb.com.

We suggest to look for the places in the city center or close to the venue, which is next to Tulskaya metro station. The neighborhood is called Danilovsky district.

Unfortunately since our center doesn't have a property, we can't provide Sangha members with accomodation. If you are interested, we can put you in touch, sharing a room or an apartment can be very cost effective.

Some hotels you may consider (we haven't stayed there, but they have good reviews and are in 15 minutes walk from the venue):
- Oliva hotel
- Starboard Side Hotel
- Mini-Hotel Flamingo Tulskaya
- Izumrud Yug Hotel
- Mango hotel
- Hotel Andreevskiy

This one is not in walking distance to the venue, but very close to the city center and quite affordable - Matreshka hotel
Practical info: Mobile
The mobile connection and internet are very affordable here. If your phone is not locked, you can buy a local SIM card from MTS, Beeline, Megafon, or Tele2. You can find them in the airport or in small shops around the city.
Practical info: Money
If you wonder about the prices here, you can check this website with some costs statistics for Moscow.

The current currency rate (it's changing, so check closer to your arrival) is 1 US dollar = 64,85 Russian rubles, 1 euro = 72,50 rubles.

Most shops and restaurants accept Visa and Mastercard. You don't need a lot of cash on you. Also we don't recommend to exchange at the airport, you get better rates at the city center. There are plenty ATMs too.
MOSCOW VENUE
Otkritiy Mir (OpenWorld Centre)
Pavlovskaya str., 18 bld. 2, Moscow, Russia, 358003
EXPO hall (ground floor)
For inquiries in English:
teachings@fpmt.ru
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