2011 has been
a very eventful year for The Asanga Institute. The year started with Geshe receiving his Work Permit from the US Immigration Center, and getting his driver's license reinstated. This was followed by immunizations and a physical exam. Then came the wonderful news that he had been approved for his Green Card—effective July 21, 2011, and effective for 10 years. In 5 years from that time he can apply for US citizenship!
With the support of many members and friends, Geshe's back Social Security taxes have been paid. He even received a refund from the IRS for getting everything paid ahead of time.
Now we will continue
to pay his quarterly
This has brought the beginning of stability to The Asanga Institute, after five years. Our emphasis can now be more on Dharma teachings,
Geshe has become a monk on the move
since he purchased a
used Honda Accord, thanks to the generosity of his sponsor, Dr. Jamie Felberg. His new tires were
a gift from two Asanga members, as was his first three months of auto insurance.
Geshe has been
providing ongoing classes in Grand Junction,
at Peggy Cooper's “A Natural Way” professional space, every two weeks on meditation and Buddhist philosophy.
He also started outreach in Ridgway. Space was provided by Darin Fletcher at The Integrative Movement Center. This was on a weekly basis until the winter driving became more hazardous. He will restart
these classes in the new
The Asanga Institute hosted its annual Tibetan New Year Celebration (Losar), in early March.
After special teachings, there was a potluck lunch, complete with Geshe's authentic homemade Tibetan cookies, and a movie about the present situation in Tibet.
We celebrated the 76th birthday of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in July. Guru's Restaurant provided a gourmet
buffet for the participants. Geshe performed a short Long Life Puja dedicated to His Holiness, followed by cake and a
movie about the Dalai
The special Buddhist holiday Saga Dawa was celebrated in June.
This is the celebration of the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha Shakyamuni. One of our members took her Refuge Vows
to become Buddhist, and Geshe also did a blessing of personal Buddha statues.
Geshe taught a
one-evening class on Buddhism basics as part of the World Religions Series offered by Rev. Arlyn MacDonald's Universal Interfaith Church in Montrose.
He also provided a new year's
eve teaching at The Hillcrest Community Church, on “Self Improvement Resolution in the New Year”, which was very
well attended by the community.
At the Asanga center in Montrose, Geshe continues with Sunday morning meditation and teachings on Buddhist philosophy. New classes have been added during the week to meet the needs of the members. Besides beginner meditation classes, he has added
two classes in Tong Len
Practice (give/take meditation). There has been a gradual increase in interest and attendance with this teaching practice.
Geshe continues to help people in need. He routinely volunteers at Christ's Kitchen in Montrose,
where the hungry can get a nutritious noonday meal.
Geshe has stored personal belongings in his garage for persons in transition, and volunteered his time to help
He has done blessings,
provided council to those with personal problems, has been a spiritual adviser for those with end-of-life issues, and gave Refuge Vows to another Asanga Institute supporter.
The Asanga Institute had a successful yard sale in Montrose, which helped pay for the Green Card expenses.
This holiday season, The Asanga Institute donated approximately $100.00 in canned goods to the local Food Bank. We also donated $50.00 each to four children who had single parents.
The people of the Western Slope of Colorado are very blessed to have the presence of Geshe Ngawang Phuntsok amongst us as Spiritual Director of The Asanga
Institute. His friendship, humor, and teachings on compassion, loving-kindness, and peace are a rare gift not to be ignored.
Geshe Phuntsok, and The Asanga Board Directors thank everyone for their help, support, and concern for The Asanga Institute as it continues to grow and make a presence on the Western Slope of Colorado.
Please check our website (www.asangainstitute.com) for current schedules and events.
May the new year
2012 bring peace and prosperity to all.
Geshe Phuntsok and The Asanga Institute Board of Directors