Community meeting notes – 25 November 2023


 Loden Rinpoche

 The main subject of the meeting related to the recent identification of Loden Rinpoche and what it means for the Tibetan Buddhist Society.


 Michael began by outlining the steps that had been undertaken to search for Loden Rinpoche, following Geshe Loden’s guidance.

 It’s expected that Loden Rinpoche will be enrolled in Sera Monastery in 2024 and over time undertake his Geshe training. 

 At some time in the future, we anticipate that he would visit Australia, though not in the short term.

 From a TBS viewpoint the most important thing is that Loden Rinpoche is able to settle into Sera Monastery and begin his monastic education with minimal disruption.  TBS will keep information and updates general in order to protect Rinpoche’s privacy as well as that of his family, and will minimise use of social media channels for this purpose. 

 The monks at Sera are well accustomed to looking after new monks including Rinpoches. TBS and trusted senior monks at Sera will be involved in selecting his main carers, monitoring his wellbeing and education and ensuring that his residence is kept in good condition.  There will be opportunities to contribute financially to the maintenance of his residence if TBS community members would like.

 General discussion

 There was a wide-ranging discussion about related issues including: 

  • How will the identification of Rinpoche affect the TBS teaching program? In general, it will have no immediate effect. The TBS core teaching program reflects Geshe Loden’s precise written directions and is centred around the Tushita books. 
  • The annual commemoration events for Geshe Loden will continue.
  • Will we have some special events dedicated to Rinpoche? Yes, we will have an annual puja and prayer celebration with an auspicious date to be selected for 2024.
  • When will there be updates: the TBS will issue general updates to the community from time to time as information becomes available.  We want to ensure that interested members of our community are informed while giving Rinpoche the space and privacy to settle in and have the normal childhood of a young monk at Sera.
  • What can we do to support the future of Rinpoche?
    • TBS is sponsoring renovations and maintenance at the residence in Sera, which is being managed by Sera monks.
    • TBS will continue to sponsor renovation and upkeep work at the residence and there will be opportunities for TBS community members to contribute if they would like.
    • Geshe Loden envisaged that at some time Loden Rinpoche would come to Australia and teach here. While that will be many years in the future, as a community we can work to make sure we have a beautiful, flourishing, and successful Dharma centre to hand over to Rinpoche and the future generations of TBS students.
    • This includes finding ways as a community to maintain and improve the TBS Melbourne property. There are and will be many opportunities to help with this.  There is a maintenance team that is already looking at some creative options and everyone is welcome to become involved whether through ideas, skills or sponsorship. 
    • There is already a wonderful initiative from the garden team to plant more than 100 new roses around the temple as an offering to Rinpoche. Geshe Loden often spoke about how much anyone who visited the centre, whether Buddhist or not, would naturally enjoy the beauty of the gardens and the peace of the temple.
    • Another current initiative relates to installation of a solar system. This was something that Geshe Loden began to investigate many years ago that has now become financially viable.
    • The centre is a 100% volunteer community. How we best look after the centre for Loden Rinpoche is for us all to work out between us.  All our activities including the regular teaching program, retreats, festivals and community events, looking after the temple and garden are sustained by us as a community.
    • In all TBS activities Geshe Loden advised that the most important thing was to look after others, especially people who come to the centre and that this is a practical way of putting Dharma into practice.
    • Anyone is welcome to become involved in supporting any TBS activities either on a one off or ongoing basis.
    • In the last 12 months energy and activity around the centre has increased and this is a positive sign for the future. We have a strong foundation for a vibrant Dharma centre and community that can flourish under Loden Rinpoche’s care and guidance well into the rest of the 21st