On August 21st 2010, after more than a year of preparation and planning, Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, Jetsün Dechen Paldrön, the senior managers and monks of Mindrolling Monastery and senior members of Lotus Garden went to Dulles airport to await the arrival of Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche for his first visit to Lotus Garden Retreat Center. There was a large gathering of the Lotus Garden community with about 50 members waiting Kyabje Rinpoche's arrival at the airport. The much anticipated moment finally arrived when Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche exited the customs area and was warmly and joyously greeted by everyone. Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche was accompanied by his main attendant, Gelong Ugyen Damphel, and his nephew, Paljorla. The entire welcoming party then offered khatags to Kyabje Rinpoche after which Rinpoche was escorted to his car which was followed by a motorcade of 15 vehicles. After the long drive from the airport to Lotus Garden, Kyabje Tsetrul Rinpoche was welcomed by the larger sangha.
Kyabje Rinpoche, with great and untiring kindness, bestowed his blessings upon everyone present as each person went up to Rinpoche and offered his or her respects.
Everyone gathered expressed their feeling that Rinpoche's arrival to Lotus Garden to bestow the unparalleled Künzang Gongpa Zangthal was the coming together of lifetimes of merit and virtuous aspirations and the feeling of awe and gratitude was palpable. The great kindness of our own teacher, Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, in making such a supremely precious event possible and bring it to all our lives was felt acutely by all those gathered there.
The next few days were rest days. Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche visited some of the nearby attractions such as the Skyline Drive, Lake Arrowhead and the Luray Zoo. Kyabje Tsetrul Rinpoche also toured Lotus Garden and blessed the very land itself with his compassionate presence. On the morning of the 27th of August, Kyabje Rinpoche blessed the zung (dharanis and other sacred articles to fill sacred objects) for the Buddha Statue that overlooks the lotus pond. Kyabje Rinpoche performed the sadhana of...
On the 19th day of the 6th lunar month in the year 2138 of the Iron Tiger (August 28th, 2010), at 10:00am, the Künzang Gongpa Zangthal began at Lotus Garden with a traditional and magnificent procession that stretched from the main residence to the Lhawang Gatsal shrine room to welcome Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche with open and joyous hearts. Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, Jetsün Dechen Paldrön accompanied by the senior monks of Mindrolling and the nuns of Samten Tse, lopöns of Lotus Garden, senior practitioners and members of Lotus Garden led the procession bearing offerings of incense, victory banners, the eight auspicious symbols, the seven royal emblems, flowers and silk scarves. The procession also included eminent visiting teachers—His Eminence Penam Rinpoche, Tulku Drakpa Rinpoche, Lodi Gyari Rinpoche, Anyen Rinpoche, Khenpo Gyurme Samdup and others who joined the procession, while several hundred practitioners who had traveled to Lotus Garden to receive the empowerments lined the road to welcome Kyabje Rinpoche who waved graciously as his vehicle passed them.
Those lining the road then fell in behind the procession as it slowly approached Lhawang Gatsal. The sang smoke wafted skyward and the melodies of silnyen, gyalings, dungchens, dungkars, drums, gongs and other instruments welcomed Kyabje Rinpoche. Everyone filed into the shrine room which was beautifully adorned with tormas, butter lamps, flowers and various offerings for the ceremony. The mandala and body, speech and mind offerings were offered to Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche by Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche. It was then followed by the traditional recitation of Kyabje Rinpoche's long-life supplication and khatag offerings by the entire gathered assembly.
Kaybje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche and the gathered assembly of rinpoches, tulkus, khenpos and dignitaries were offered traditional tea and rice during this auspicious occasion . Prayers were then made for the spread and flourishing of the buddhadharma as well as the long life and continued glorious activity of Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche. It was a joyous beginning for what every practitioner present that day had been looking forward to for a very long time. Everyone gathered was greatly moved to be in the glorious presence of such a pristine embodiment of wisdom, compassion, gentleness and humility. The community of Lotus Garden prays for the continued presence of Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche and aspires single-pointedly that the merit and benefit of these precious transmissions are ceaseless throughout the ten directions.