Boone County Public Library

2018•01 - BCPL Newsletter

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discover... BOONE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY JANUARY 2018 Discover Boone County Public Library . . . because history can be found here. L Boone County Public Library BCP Hear the firsthand story of a prominent Buddhist teach- er and Tibetan lama who survived a tumultuous era of Tibetan history and get an insider's perspective of life in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery on Thursday, January 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Library. At the age of two, Arjia Rinpoche was recognized as the reincarna- tion of a thirteenth-century Buddhist reformer and was enthroned as Abbot of the Kumbum Monastery in Tibet where he was treated as a living Buddha. In 1950, while Rinpoche was still a child, Chinese Communists invaded Tibet, took control of the monastery, and tortured and arrested Rinpoche's monastery family. Rinpoche was forced to attend reeducation indoctrination in a Chinese school, but continued to practice his religion and study Buddhism in secret. Because of his failure to comply, in 1966 he was sent to a forced labor camp where he resided for fourteen years. After the death of Chairman Mao, Rinpoche was freed from the camp and he resumed serving as Abbot of the Kumbum Monastery. During this period, he directed the renovation of the monastery and reestablished religious studies. He also helped to establish programs such as a local Red Cross chapter, Disaster Relief Project, and clinics and schools for local villages. In 1998, Rinpoche was asked to lead the Chinese National Buddhist Association. This association serves as the bridge between Buddhists and the Chinese government by communicating government regu- lations to Buddhists and mobilizing them to comply with national laws. Rinpoche entered exile rather than compromise his spiritual beliefs and escaped to Guatemala before being granted asylum in the United States. In the United States, Rinpoche established the Tibetan Center for Compassion and Wisdom and then later was appointed by the Dalai Lama as director of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington, IN. Rinpoche currently directs both centers, which are dedicated to the preservation of Buddhist teachings and culture within and outside of Tibet and Mongolia. Tibetan Lama in Exile

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