Venerable Chodron: Thank you so much for the wonderful teachings. Please come back to Sravasti Abbey many times to teach.
Rinpoche: Thank you very much. We are very pleased to come back here again. Thank you very much for continuing this invitation. As much as possible I’d like to come to the Abbey, and I really would like to continue encouraging the Abbey’s activities. You are doing something successful, something purposeful by establishing a monastic community.
There were many large monasteries in Tibet-Drepung, Sera, Ganden, Samye. But at the beginning (like your Abbey), they started out with only a few monks.
Tibetan Buddhism is very new in Western countries. Only in 1960 did Tibetan people come out from Tibet. The Chinese forced them. Otherwise Tibetans never went out in the world very much. Now, the Tibetans have brought these teachings and Western people practice them. So Tibetan Buddhist practice continues here in the West. Now it is time for the flourishing of Tibetan Buddhism also in the West.
Dharma centers are not sufficient; a proper monastery is needed. That is why I wish for Sravasti Abbey to continue to increase, so a proper monastic Sangha will exist in the West. This means more monks and nuns, although a huge number is not needed. But one person cannot be the Sangha community. Normally Sangha means four monks or four nuns; that is a proper Sangha. That will be a really proper, solid foundation (for Buddhism in the West). Establishing a monastery is an important job, and I am very happy you are doing this work. I hope that this will be very successful! Thank you.
Learn more about Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche.