Following the prophesy by the Second H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, Khandro Rigzin Wangmo, the Second H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche’s Dakini, entrusted the Orgyen Dongak Choiling Monastery (Dudjom Gompa) to H.E. Yeshe Sangpo Rinpoche and H.E. Khandro Pema Chodron on August 6, 2014, at the Yeshe Nyingpo Center, the Second H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche’s Dharma promulgating center in New York City.
Due to the lack of proper maintenance for years, the renovation work of the Dudjom Gompa proved to be quite challenging. Furthermore, the venerable H.E. Yeshe Sangpo Rinpoche and H.E. Khandro Pema Chodron hoped to retain all the blessings from H.H. Chadral Rinpoche when he presided over the original consecration ceremony of the Dudjom Gompa. Therefore, Rinpoche and Khandro planned the renovation work very carefully. They first started with the reconstruction of the library that stores important Dharma classics and scriptures.
The renovation of the main hall of the Dudjom Gompa began with the re-decoration of the Stupa of H.H. the Second Dudjom Rinpoche. The Stupa was filled with holy objects and empowered by H.H. Chatral Rinpoche when the Dudjom Gompa was established. To protect the Stupa and the holy objects, as well as to retain H.H. Chatral Rinpoche’s empowerments, the Stupa was redecorated with gold. Rinpoche ordered the premium-quality gold from Japan and invited two excellent goldsmiths from Taiwan to complete the redecoration work.
The original mandalas and wall paintings surrounding the main hall and the Stupa of H.H. the Second Dudjom Rinpoche were protected by custom-made frames. The exterior of these frames are blanketed by the new paintings and thankas that are made entirely based on the tradition approaches. All these careful works aim to preserve the empowerments and blessings from the original mandalas and wall paintings.
For the Sangha’s dormitory building, due to the lack of the foundation and beams in the original design, the whole building was rebuilt for safety considerations. Upon completion, the new building will include dozens of dormitories that accommodate more than one hundred Sangha, classrooms, dining halls, two kitchens, one big storage room, spacious bathrooms and toilets, and so on. Other construction work of the Monastery, including the grand hall of Prayers Wheels and the room for lamp offerings, are currently underway.
The renovation work of Dudjom Gompa has made great progress in its physical construction. Some of the Sangha have already resided in the dormitories. In addition to the physical construction, Rinpoche and Khandro have stipulated rules for the Sangha and initiated the curriculum just like that of the Samye Memorial Buddhist Vihara – During the eight years of pre-school education, disciples need to complete the basic courses such as the listening, speaking, reading, and writing of the Tibetan language, the production of mandalas and Tormas, and the practice of Dharma. After passing stringent examinations, disciples can further receive the nine-year formal curriculum, including the profound Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings, starting from Bodhicharyavatara to Guyagharva Tantra. These courses were based mainly on teachings from the lineage of H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche. With this rigorous Buddhist education, the Dudjom Gompa will create numerous paradigms that benefit all sentient beings!
The following words from H.E. Khandro Pema Chodron best exemplify the incomparably noble personalities of venerable H.E. Yeshe Sangpo Rinpoche and H.E. Khandro Pema Chodron. Khandro said: “Rinpoche and I have received the unparalleled trust and loving kindness from lineage masters, so that we were entrusted with this supreme mission (to renovate the Dudjom Gompa). I will make every effort to accomplish and perfect this mission to fulfill lineage masters’ grand wishes. Rinpoche and I will complete this mission through our own means without relying on others’ donations and resources. Doing so ensures the purity and perfection of the motivation, the process, and the results of this mission. We will not utilize any of the original resources from the Dudjom Gompa either.” Therefore, since Rinpoche and Khandro were entrusted the Dudjom Gompa, they never raised any outside funding for this renovation mission.
The above descriptions further illustrate Rinpoche and Khandro’s modesty and unassuming disposition despite their greatness, which are deeply respected and beloved by disciples.
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