Thursday, 13 February 2014

Captivating Kopan and its white wall

Kopan Monastery in 1970s by Jamyang Wangmo
I saw this beautiful painting of Kopan Monastery in the 1970s by Jamyang Wangmo and was captivated. 

And just as equally immediately, it suddenly struck upon me that I've somehow seen that stretch of white wall before. Then I recalled the dream which I had on the night of Khenrinpoche Lama Lhundrup's cremation on 13 Sept 2011. He was the endearing former abbot of Kopan Monastery. 

In the wee hours of the morning (about 4 hours) after Khenrinpoche's holy body was offered to the cremation pyre the evening before, I had a dream. In it, I dreamt I was walking and came to a long stretch of white wall. I couldn't see what was on the other side of the wall. Then a small boy appeared and handed me a pail of paint and instructed me to paint the wall. When my brush touched the wall it was a brilliant resplendent golden colour. I painted the whole stretch of wall gold. 

To cut the story short, Lama Lhundrup appeared and when I told him I wanted to make an offering, he said in English "wait, I go sit" as he went up the throne seat. He blessed me as I offered khata and 2 red packets: the first I wished him a long life, and the second I requested to be able to meet him and to be his student in every lifetime until enlightenment. For the second wish, he paused and told me 'must write down and indicate' but then he took the red packet from me and wrote himself, 'personal guru, lifetimes', after which I woke up immediately. 

I was really touched by this dream and by Lama Lhundrup's kindness, that I cried when I woke up. At the same time, I felt guilty that when he was alive, I didn't spent as much time with him. It was only upon death that I realised how I didn't recognise him as my close guru in this lifetime, when he was alive. 

Kopan Monastery main gompa
Hence this precious dream had so much significance to me and this beautiful painting  of Kopan reminds me of Lama Lhundrup. I felt a strong feeling when I first stepped into this monastery on a hill. I felt it was the place I wanted to die in when the time comes. It's just a small place compared to the 3 great monasteries of Gaden, Sera and Drepung, but it had a nice cozy comfortable feel to me - something indescribable. I was there on a retreat and it also coincided with the 49 days of Lama Lhundrup's passing. 

The wall is painted light yellow nowadays compared to the white wall of the 1970s. Now I know what was on the other side of the wall in the dream.... the main gompa. And I offered 2 red packets (with the same written wishes in my dream) on Lama Lhundrup's throne when I was there on the 49th day of his passing after many days of extensive grand pujas. Waiting for his return which I believe will be very soon. 

The late Khenrinpoche Lama Lhundrup and tulkus Phuntsok Rinpoche and Lama Kundol in Kopan

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