To Students and Friends of Latri Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche and Yeru Bön Center,
This year, 2021, is almost behind us. Some of us may say “good riddance,” some may say “it was a good year.” Either way, as we practice impermanence, we must say goodbye to 2021 and plan for 2022.
For Yeru Bön Center, 2021 has been a year of challenges and opportunities. Not only for Rinpoche and our center, but for many students who have faced difficult situations and challenges this year. We continue to pray for blessings, peace and healing. We all strive to meet our challenges with an open heart. Bön teaches us to share peace and love with all sentient beings in need.
But 2021 has also been a year of good things. We share the joy with our fellow practitioners who are healing, making life changes, and filling their lives with joy. Many of you have told us about good things happening in your lives through your phone calls and emails. We love sharing your joy!
Our tsogme continues to expand. This has been unexpected and wonderful!
Yeru Bön Center continues to focus on our mission. Our mission is based on three things:
The Teachings of Bön. Rinpoche urges us again to study and practice and remain true to the teachings and lineages of Bön. This provides the basis for our stability of practice, and ultimately our compassion. We further the teachings of Bön, the work of Latri Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche, and other Bön masters.
The Bön Children’s Home. We focus on the needs of the children at the Bön Children’s Home—providing resources and funds to help support the children. We continue our focus to help the BCH with their facilities and repairs to make the Bön Children’s home safe and healthy for these amazing children.
Yeru Retreat Center. We continue our work for Yeru Retreat Center to be a place for Bön masters and practitioners to come for teachings and private retreats.
We invite you to continue reading about not only our focus, but how Yeru Bön Center’s year brought us joy despite the challenges.
With much gratitude, we want to tell everyone again we have received many donations and much support. We have been honored and blessed with the contributions by Bön practitioners and friends during these past years, not only for the BCH children’s needs, but also for Rinpoche’s medical well-being, the temple and Yeru Bön Center. We continue to thank everyone so deeply for your generosity.
Without your support, it would have been difficult for Yeru Bon Center to continue it’s work in supporting the teachings of Bon, the Visiting Geshes, supporting the children at the Bon Children’s Home, Yeru Retreat Center and our contributions to sMenri Monastery and Tritin Norbutse.
With such heartfelt, we thank you for your support and help.
About our Spiritual Founder,
Latri Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche
As many of you are aware, Rinpoche had open heart surgery on March 13, 2020. That day, the Coronavirus was called a pandemic.
Rinpoche had to leave the hospital earlier than planned, as Covid patients were coming into the ward where he was recovering. The hospital shut down all non-essential services, including post- operative recovery services Rinpoche needed.
While Rinpoche was in the hospital and during his recovery, we saw a wonderful thing. Instead of focusing on his illness, Rinpoche showed amazing faith, strength and compassion with his constant concern for the health of others.
He spent much time during his recovery reviewing his Bön texts. He used this time to make his teaching of Bön deeper and more dynamic. He overcame his challenge with wisdom and compassion and a deeper desire to share the Bön teachings.
He began a Facebook Live series, “Wisdom of Bön.” He began a series of Zoom teachings with students around the world. He started a Monday morning series of short teachings that continue to inspire a large group of students worldwide. He has taught many special teachings, which provide deeper insight into subjects that many are familiar with, showing us a new dimension of Bön. He did many Sang and Sur ceremonies in dedication to victims of Covid and other causes. Many of you were a part of these special events.
He continued private retreats at the Yeru Retreat Center.
Aside from his spiritual practice, he learned to cook. He also made wildlife friends, including the squirrels, the racoon that frequented his cabin, and the eagles soaring overhead.
Rinpoche bestowed many blessings at the Yeru Retreat Center and Garauda Lake. Guests who enter the Retreat Center often speak of the profound feeling of peace there.
Rinpoche constantly reminds Yeru’s board members to keep the teachings authentic, to be of service to others, and to continue their own practice.
Rinpoche’s Return to Nepal and India
Rinpoche returned to Nepal in September. Unfortunately, the event that caused him to return was the passing of his dear mother. Rinpoche returned to oversee the 49-day series of prayers and rituals as prescribed by the Bön tradition. He was joined by all members of his family except one, who was unable to travel from Chicago for medical reasons.
Now, Rinpoche is back at sMenri Monastery and the Bön Children’s Home. But he continues with his Monday Morning teachings, and his plans to teach in Poland, Costa Rica, Denmark and the US.
Rinpoche has said many times: “If the world falls apart and there are only a few survivors, what if one or two are Bön practitioners?” He wants his students to know the true teachings so they could continue the lineage of Bön.
Letter from Rinpoche
To all my student and friends.
I hope this letter finds you all well at this difficult time happening around the world.
I have now been here in the United States for almost two years continuously. This was not my plan. I had so many plans to continue the teachings of Bon and to help my students and other students on their spiritual path. But in the practice of impermanence, I had to have heart surgery and recover for almost 8 months.
During these months when my doctors wanted me to stay in the US so I can be protected from the Covid virus, I was able to make good use of the time. Because of Zoom, I have been able to stay in contact with my students from around the world while recovering from my surgery. I have enjoyed the Monday morning talks with students. I have enjoyed giving several week-end teachings and getting to know more students. I also enjoyed my private retreat time at the Yeru Retreat Center, and was able to give more teachings and meet more students around the world from my retreat cabin. I would never have thought that was possible before!
I had planned to go back to India the end of October, but as many of you know, my mother passed away in Kathmandu recently. My family needs me to assist with prayers and ceremonies for the 49 days. So, I leave on Monday, September 6th to Nepal for a while.
I want to thank all of the students for your support and encouragement for not only me, but also for Yeru Bon Center, as the board members work on the plans for the Yeru Retreat Center.
I had hoped to be here when construction starts on the Retreat Center. But when I come back, I will be happy to see the temple and the Health and Wellness Center. During this time, I have chosen Geshe Yeshe Gyalwa to help at the Yeru retreat Center for teachings and guidance. Currently he is in Dharamsala learning English before he goes to the Yeru Retreat Center. You will all feel very comfortable with him. I feel he is a good choice to help Yeru and all students, when I am not able to be at the Yeru Retreat Center.
I have also put together a strong teaching course to begin when the temple is finalized. This will be a three year course for students to come and learn the Dho, Ngag and Sem practices of Bon. Students will be able to stay at the Retreat Center while they are in this study course.
The Health and Wellness Center will help students to learn other ways, like Tibetan Medicine, and other modalities of Bon to help you with daily living.
Here I want to say, many of my students always ask what they can do to help Yeru Bon Center. Some of you have done much tremendous help. But I ask while I am gone to please consider to be present to help Yeru Bon Center with the Yeru Retreat Center. There will be work weekends and weeks coming soon. Helping at the Yeru Retreat Center will give merit to you. During these work weekends, I have asked my umzeds to please take time to practice on any practice students need help with. If I am aware of these times, I will make myself available by zoom.
Even though I will not be here in the West, Yeru Bon Center will continue to help with the Bon Children’s Home’s needs. Take the retreat center to the next step, build the temple and prepare housing for many students to come.
I will always do my best to be there for you. Sometimes, I cannot respond immediately, but as soon as possible, I will be able to return emails. So, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If it is an emergency, please contact Yeru Bon Center at 952-300-6111 and let them know the situation and they will be able to reach me.
In these past two year I have given my students very good lessons to help them with their Bon practice. So practice these teachings. Review the videos. Participate in some of the online courses I have approved for the students to be able to continue with their studies.
I want to thank everyone who helped me with my surgery and my recovery, your donations, your prayers and emails. This was a tremendous series of events and I am humbled with how many people helped not only me, but helped Yeru Bon Center.
Know you are all in my heart and in my prayers.
Latri Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche
Bön Children’s Home
We love receiving good news from Phuntsok, secretary to BCH. As of the beginning of October, the children from grades 9-12 were able to resume going back to school in person. They are using strong Covid protocols and precautions to remain healthy. They hope that soon the other grades will be able to resume in-person learning, but for now, the lower grades continue with schooling via internet.
Think about this: It has been a challenge for many parents to take care of their children at home during this Covid pandemic. Imagine taking care of approximately 200 children in lockdown. Normally during the day, the Ayas are cleaning up, washing clothes and taking a break before school lets out. For almost 2 years, they have been in lockdown with the children with very few breaks.
The Ayas and staff have done an amazing job taking care of the children. The children are healthy and safe because of all their loving care.
But the Covid lockdown has delayed much important work on the grounds and facilities at the BCH. And because of Covid, the cost of food has escalated, just like in all our countries. With the public school locked down, the BCH must provide three meals a day, as the students can’t eat lunch at school. There is more cleaning required as part of the Covid protocols. More expenses all around. The facility was in much needed work before the pandemic and now it is in dire need of attention, but until the lockdown is completely removed, they are not able to bring in outside help.
The best Yeru Bön Center can do is to continue raising funds to help the Bön Children’s Home.
Sponsorships are so needed to just manage their basic needs such as meals, personal items, clothing.
General funds cover unforeseen medical issues, basic repairs, electricity, fees for the Ayas and staff so needed to take care of the children.
Further Education: The children at the Bön Children’s Home are so beautifully encouraged to strive for a proper education. An education to help them to provide for themselves and their families. So, with this in mind, the children at the Bön Children’s Home work hard to be at the top of their class—to have a good education, so they can continue their education at a university or trade school.
In order to receive a Further Education scholarship, the children must fulfil the requirements to achieve the scholarships. And they do. They work so hard. The hard part is, BCH does not have the funds available to send the children on to further their education. I know Rinpoche’s supporters around the world can help with this.
Facilities: I know this sounds like a broken record, but with all our efforts, we have yet to reach our goal to be able to pay for engineers and repairs.
All of the dormitories need major repairs:
- The roofs need to be repaired.
- The BCH is struggling with black mold.
- Concrete floors in the dormitories are cracking and in need of refinishing.
- Concrete walkways are deteriorating.
- Bathrooms need to be repaired.
- Exterior Walls need to be resurfaced.
One of the dormitories must be demolished and rebuilt. It was the first dormitory built at the Bön Children’s Home. The engineers say the building is not safe for habitation, so they have moved the children out, and the building is used for Rinpoche’s and the staff’s offices.
Domestic Needs: And then there is the “domestic” side of the children’s needs. The children need new blankets—warmer ones with fewer holes. New beds are needed, as some of them are falling apart after years of use.
New clothes and shoes are always needed. Personal hygiene supplies are needed for young students as well as for the older students. With winter coming, warm sweaters and coats are always needed. In the past, volunteers have knitted or crocheted warm caps for the children.
The children at the Bön Children’s Home feel so fortunate for what they have. They know it is because of the compassion sponsors have shown.
Please see this video about the BCH Facility:
BCH Support Team:
Please consider being a part of the BCH support team.
You can make a donation by clicking on: https://yeruboncenter.org/donations/
Plans are being made for one or more trips in 2022 to sMenri Monastery. If you can join us, you may be able to visit the BCH and meet the children and staff, if the Covid situation allows. We will keep you notified about upcoming trips.
Rinpoche wants Yeru Retreat Center to be a place where all Bön masters and practitioners can come, from whatever center, from around the world, to hold retreats for their centers. A place where Bön practitioners can come for private retreats. A place where people can enjoy the peace, blessings and healing of Garuda Lake and forest.
For the past four years, many changes have occurred at the Yeru Retreat Center. A lot of work has been done so our guests will feel welcome and comfortable. Yeru Retreat Center remains very natural and blended within the forest. We believe in the healing elements of nature and for all who come to enjoy.
Garuda Lake remains a focal point. The lake was rated as an “environmentally protected lake.” Recently, the rating was upgraded to a “unique environmentally protected lake.” We understand there are only a few lakes with this rating nationwide.
When we came to the Center location, it had been abandoned for years. The place needed lots of clean-up and care. We cleaned trash out of the lake and from the land. At the same time, our visiting Bön masters, particularly His Holiness the 34th sMenri Trizin, Kundrol Rinpoche, and Latri Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche, and other geshes, performed ceremonies and blessings for the Center. Even the people in the area say the land and the lake have improved since Yeru Bön Center has arrived.
So, we tell the county officials, “blessings work.” Rinpoche calls the Yeru Retreat Center: “Mini Tibet”
This plan has been in the making for several years. This temple was requested by His Holiness, the 33rd sMenri Trizin. Like many things of spiritual importance, the construction has encountered many obstacles. Fortunately, we’ve been able to meet them.
Because of the lake’s rating, many changes needed to be address to manage the special regulations and limitations on construction. Because of Covid we were delayed in getting surveyors. wetland and environmental specialists out to do the necessary site work. This fall, we received the permits to go ahead. Excavation has begun and we will continue in spring after the thaw.
The temple was designed by a Bön practitioner who incorporated the five elements within and outside of the temple.
We worked with Rinpoche and Geshe Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung who advised how to proceed with the design.
We met with His Holiness, the 34th sMenri Trizin with the final design and received the blessing from His Eminence and a special prayer for the temple.
The temple is designed to last over 100 years. It will be LEED certified, meaning it will meet the established criteria for being a “green” building. Overlooking Garuda Lake, it will be big enough to accommodate over 100 people, with a private secret Sidpa Gyalmo chapel, and a Bön library and reading area.
Latri Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche’s vision is that this temple is for all Bön practitioners to be able to come for teachings or private retreats.
In Bön, being involved in building a temple is a way of accumulating merit in our Bön practice. As Rinpoche says, every time prayers are said in the temple, the reverberations continue the merit of those who helped build the temple.
Rinpoche asks all Bön practitioners and friends of Bön to consider being part of this temple.
Meeting with His Eminence Yongdzin Rinpoche and Khenpo Tempa Yungdrung
While in Kathmandu in October 2021, David and Dr. Bernadette were granted an audience with His Eminence, Yongdzin Rinpoche. His Eminence met them in the garden on the upper level of Triten Norbutse Monastery. He was in good spirits and appeared to be in good health, demonstrating his usual charm and well-known smile. He was pleased to hear that we have received the permits to construct the temple at Yeru Retreat Center. We discussed how COVID had caused delays and obstacles in the new construction at both Triten Norbutse Monastery and Yeru Retreat Center.
His Eminence advised that Yeru perform a specific set of prayers to overcome obstacles and bless the land at the Temple site prior to construction. He advised Yeru to continue our work. This acknowledgement and display of compassion was a highlight of the trip.
His Eminence’s advice to practitioners is to continue their practices, including the Sidpa Gyalmo water blessing practice to overcome Covid and other obstacles, and the long- life practice of Tsewang Rigzin.
David and Dr. Bernadette were also able to have an audience with Khenpo Tempa Yungdrung Rinpoche at Triten Norbutse Monastery. They were able to record much of their conversation with Rinpoche. You can hear the interview, including Rinpoche’s advice to practitioners, on the podcast, Böncast, or at www.doortobön.org.
These two audiences were very encouraging. Despite COVID concerns, we were able to reconnect with His Eminence and Khepo Tempa Yungdrung Rinpoche in person, strengthening the connections between Yeru Bön Center and Triten Norbutse Monastery. Both these masters were very positive in their outlook and message, and an inspiration for all practitioners to follow.
Year End Contribution:
Yeru Bon Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contribution is tax deductible.
To make a donation by check, please make your check payable to Yeru Bön Center, and mail it to Yeru Bön Center, 14702 Excelsior Blvd., Suite 1249, Minnetonka, MN 55345. Please be sure to specify on your check what your donation is for.
Or to make a donation through Paypal, go to www.yeruboncenter.org, and click on DONATIONS tab, upper right corner of the webpage.
It’s hard to put all of the many, many blessings or to talk about some of the obstacles, but here we highlighted some. As we close this 2021 year, we continue to focus on what is important in our lives, our spiritual path, the friends we have all made, through our teachings and definitely the precious teachings of Bon.
Rinpoche has discussed more beautiful teachings of Bon and special events for all students of Bon. We are excited to open 2022 with a renewed excitement in the teachings of Bon.
In closing, we ask you to please consider an end of year donation to the Bön Children’s Home and for the Yeru Retreat Center Temple at this end of year season.
Thank you for your continued support.
Please accept our best wishes for your continued health and prosperity during the COVID pandemic.