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Vajradhara Gompa

What a time it was….

Amid inclement weather and the prospect of sloshing around in gum boots, some 200 students gathered within Vajradhara Gonpa’s misty surrounds, to mark the end of the second three year retreat.

Under Rinpoche’s guidance, the retreatants offered a Tsok Bum. For those unfamiliar with Tibetan terms, this means the offering of 100,000 feast offerings. The Tsok Bum, was a perfect example of the power of the Vajrayana. With Rinpoche’s presence and teaching, and with the retreatants elegantly engaging in the ritual we slip-streamed, into a world that is indeed sacred. The warmth and cooperation amongst participants, happily engaging in karma yoga, before, during and after the retreat, a delight. Inspired no doubt, by the tireless staff and volunteers who have held the retreat together. This is what Sangha can be.

This time together concluded on the 17 March 2012 when the retreat boundary was officially opened to applause and cheers. As swiftly as we gathered we dispersed. In the following weeks, the retreatants too, travelled back to their homes in Germany, Hong Kong, USA and UK, whilst the Australians are considering, can they leave the beautiful Northern Rivers or is Canberra, Sydney or Melbourne beckoning? Now back in our ‘normal lives’ a memory and taste of something profound lingers……

It was a very poignant time for many of us, as it was the last event to be held at the Gonpa. Yes, the Gonpa is to be sold.

Paula Yacoub

Photos Cielo Croci























































The birth of Vajradhara Gonpa

There were six great pillars enclosing the sky
in the auspicious place below the mountain peak
above the valley,
near the source of the spring.

It had rained for days,
it was muddy,
and a hard walk up the mountain.

The clouds moved through the pillars
and the lama performed a smoke offering –
gathering green medicinal leaves –
requesting the use of the space
from the invisible beings who live here.

And the smoke merged with the clouds
and coloured the space between the pillars
and the temple was created.
Di Cousens




Thoughts on Vajradhara Gonpa March 2012

An incomplete work by Cielo Croci

Photos Jerry Epps

The circus is over

this fact

we’ve all known

and now is the time

for us all

to go home

But I feel that inside us

Is a pain

that does burn

That maybe

this time

we may never return.

The fire

that warmed

this place


has gone cold

because this place

that was free

is now

bought and sold

The day

it has come

that we all tried to stall


money and time

has made fools of us all

You’re anxious and stressed


your feeling upset

Because you still

haven’t found

what your looking for yet.

You feel there are

still things

that need to be said,

ideas to be written


words to be read.

You feel distressed

at the fact

that you just can’t hold on


your slipping and falling

till the feeling is gone

You feel

empty and worthless

as thin as a ghost

At the thought

that you’ re losing


may mean the most.

Your fighting

against it

with heavy resistance

the idea

of losing a part

of your very existence.

That no matter

how you think


no matter what you do

you’re letting go

of something

that is precious to you.

Your letting go

of a place

Where you sit on the floor


listen to all

that you heard before

but overlooked

a hundred times or more.

This place

is a signpost

For the life that we’re leading

With the only drug

in the world

To stop our brains

from bleeding.

And whether

you’ve given your heart,

your soul

to this place

Or whether this visit

Is your first


only taste

Its absence

may cut your mind

like a knife


this place is the high

you’ll be chasing

all your life.


you feel in your soul

That you just need a place


they won’t laugh

at your life

or your clothes

or your face.

It reminds you

that the world

Ain’t got you licked


that you can still get up

No matter

how much your kicked.

You need

That place in the sky

That will just help you cope

That spot on the earth

That just gives you hope.

But at the end of the day

Hope is just a word

That maybe they said

and maybe you heard

But you still feel

as if

you need it


And that

if you don’t have it

Then you’re going to be


But these feelings

of hope

And of pleasure

and thrill

Are no more

in this place


In a hundred dollar bill,

Or in a winter’s night chill

Or in an ecstacy pill

Or in the thoughts of we should

Or we won’t or we will

Or a light summer breeze

Or In a firm piece of bread

Or In a person you heard

Or a book that you read

The feeling of joy

of love

and of trust

you just need

to see

lives inside us

So the feelings

you have

When you’re atop this hill

Are now yours to keep

So go

where you will

Fear not the removal

of this book

from your shelf

for you can find

these same feelings

in almost anything else.

Its up to you


To take up your search

You have lost

this temple

but you can find a new church.

There may be those of you

Who feel I’m insane


that drinking champagne

from a mug

Is not

quite the same

But those limitations

They come

from your mind

If you throw them


A new place

you may find.

And don’t worry

about the people

You won’t see

every night

We’ll all meet


on our  journey

to the light.

And besides,

we’re just children

and mothers and fathers

and lovers and fighters

and veterans and martyrs

Law breakers,

Drug takers

Beauty seekers,

Truth finders




and Steiners

So do not feel


Be consumed

not in strife

We’re all


small pieces

of the big picture of life

So go out

and smile

and just sit on the ground

and take in the trees

and the buildings

and sounds

Just be sure to remember

This all doesn’t last


has become


just as now

will soon pass

So pack up your bags

Stitch up your soul

Give back

what you’ve borrowed


replace what you stole

For now is the time

when we all have to leave

But don’t worry,


Be calm,

and breathe.