The Institute of Buddhist Studies at Namgyal Monastery in upstate New York held a grand opening ceremony this month to dedicate His Holiness the Great Library and Learning Center 14th Dalai Lama (HHDL LLC). The ceremonies and celebrations, which took place September 8-10, included ceremonial formalities, cultural events and an interfaith conference.
Construction of HHDL LLC, described as “a learning center for everyone of all ages, faiths and education levels to think, grow and understand,” began in April 2022. The center is dedicated to the preservation of the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his efforts to promote world peace, dialogue and cooperation between the philosophy and practice of Buddhism and modern scientific research.
“It has been more than 60 years since His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in exile and he has contributed immensely to promoting the fundamental human values of compassion, forgiveness and tolerance in this world,” said Ven. Thumtok Rinpoche, abbot of Namgyal Monastery in Dharamsala, who attended the inauguration. “This learning center will therefore serve all ages, faiths and education levels to understand His Holiness’s teachings on secular ethics and human values. » (FRG)
HHDL LLC declares its mission:
Uniting 7 billion people around the world by promoting the fundamental human values of compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline to as wide an audience as possible, both through on-site programs and virtual.
(His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama Library and Learning Center)
The opening ceremony began on September 8 with the unveiling of a statue of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, followed by a consecration ceremony and butter lamp offering in the central Great Hall. Tibetan cultural programs were also offered as part of the event, as well as a two-day conference on interfaith and secular ethics at the Institute of Buddhist Studies at Namgyal Monastery on September 9-10.
Also present were Ven Tenzin Choesang, President of the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies and Head of HHDL LLC, as well as His Eminence the 13th Kundiling Tatsak Tenzin Choe Ki Gyaltsen Rinpoche, who was the chief guest.
Founded in 1992, the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies serves as the North American headquarters of the Dalai Lama Monastery and is also a monastic venue for Western practitioners to study Tibetan Buddhism.
“His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is taking a big step from Dharamsala, India, to Ithaca to create his sacred space, a center for meditation and peacemaking, (and) a center of teaching for all who wish to come study to learn more about Buddhism and other religions,” said project donor Diane Brandenburg in April 2022, before the center’s groundbreaking ceremony. (Ithaca Journal)
The HHDL LLC houses a definitive library of the written works of the current Dalai Lama, as well as those of all previous Dalai Lamas. There are also digital archives of 40 hours of teachings from the 000th Dalai Lama, as well as some 14 books containing translations of ancient texts from the Kangyur (collected teachings of the Buddha) and the Tengyur (the translated commentaries on the teachings of the Buddha by the great Indian Buddhist masters and scholars), as well as numerous Buddhist artifacts from India and Tibet.
Although the Dalai Lama, who resides in Dharamsala, did not attend the opening ceremony, he sent a recorded message for the occasion:
Buddhism is not just about reciting prayers regularly. It is about using intelligence and wisdom to bring about a transformation in our thinking, based on the three types of understanding learned from the study of Scripture. This conviction arises from reflection on the meaning of what you have learned and experienced through meditation. (FRG)