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Posted on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 : 4:23 p.m.

New and old friends gathered last weekend at Jewel Heart - and this weekend too!

By Jewel Heart

This past weekend’s visit with His Holiness the Ganden Tripa met everyone’s expectations and more. Among his many gifts, I really appreciated His Holiness’ ability to inspire us with his personal relationship to his spiritual practice as well as how to keep it real. In a few short hours, his words gave new perspective on the opportunities our lives hold for us.

Saturday afternoon’s Tenzhuk for His Holiness (Long Life Ceremony) was outstanding. I found myself reflecting on the interesting balance between our good fortune to meet with people like Gelek Rimpoche, His Holiness the Ganden Tripa, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama — all people whose inner and outer worlds represent to us the pinnacle of human achievements — and the truth that, had they not been forced to flee their homeland, they would be happily living out their lives surrounded by their own country and culture. It is very touching that our good fortune is rooted in such a history while they joyfully serve all who choose to listen and learn from them.

While Friday and Saturday were full house crowds, Sunday’s empowerment by His Holiness was overflowing. At the close of the morning, His Holiness again reminded us of how rare it is to have someone like Gelek Rimpoche right here in Ann Arbor. He shared how he much he appreciates and respects Gelek Rimpoche — for many reasons.

Certainly, he said, Rimpoche is to be respected given his vast training and great scholarship in Tibetan Buddhism and how well he brings it to life. He kindly and humbly then shared stories about Rimpoche and said, as students together in Tibet, Gelek Rimpoche had studied with far more great teachers than he. What then caught everyone’s ear was his story relating how Gelek Rimpoche was the person responsible for His Holiness the Ganden Tripa escaping Tibet in 1959. He told how Gelek Rimpoche had sought him out and warned him that he should leave the country right away. With friends and colleagues such as Gelek Rimpoche and His Holiness spread around the globe, it is always a moving experience to witness them enjoying each other’s company, if only for a brief weekend.

We were honored to support Gelek Rimpoche’s wish to bring His Holiness the Ganden Tripa to Ann Arbor, eager to learn from such a learned person, and now I must add it was an honor to enjoy all aspects of the visit, from the teachings, ceremony and empowerment to the delight of new and old friends coming together.

Don’t miss our next three events/activities:

• 7 p.m. tonight is our free monthly film and discussion on "UNMISTAKEN CHILD,"- Tenzin Zopa’s four-year search for his teacher’s reincarnation (Lama Konchog). Stunningly shot - surprising, touching and humorous as well.

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow. Saturday, Nov. 20 is our second annual Holiday Artisan Market: Come and enjoy the wonderful Jewel Heart setting to shop locally. You’ll find handmade goods including great photography, soaps/balms, artwork, jewelry, blankets, for great gifts or your everyday needs.

• 10 to 11 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 21: Gelek Rimpoche is speaking at our center on "Understanding Love" — a great topic no doubt! The write up describes it as "By understanding love is fearless and a genuine wish for happiness, we can begin to distinguish between love and obsession."

Have a great weekend !

For more information, email