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Pema Chödrön

Chökyi Senge Rinpoche

"I'm delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the completion of the Shedra at Surmang Dutsi Til. This was the home and inspiration for our teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and after all that he has given to us I feel honored to be able to offer something in return to his reincarnation, Chokyi Senge the 12th Trungpa Rinpoche, and to the nuns, monks, and lay men, women and children of his home community. Please join me in this effort to bring this wonderful project to fruition."
- Ani Pema Chödrön

We are delighted to announce the enthusiastic support and participation of the Pema Chodron Foundation in the form of a $150,000 grant over the next eight months, $125,000 of which is a matching grant. This is half the money needed to meet our goal and is extremely good news, just the boost we need. The terms of the grant require us to raise $75,000 by the end of the calendar year. The deadline for the remainder is June 2015.

This is an invitation for you to join us, The Konchok Foundation, in the final phase of bringing the Surmang Shedra to fruition. Since 2010, the Shedra has hosted a successful children's education program for lay children and novice monks, though it has been relatively quiet in terms of construction work as the area has been recovering from the devastating earthquake of 2010. The Shedra did not suffer any damage at that time, and Konchok Foundation supporters contributed more than $100,000 to help victims of the earthquake.

Currently there is a resurgence of energy and enthusiasm to finish the remaining construction, purchase the furnishings and get the actual Shedra program up and running. Conversations have begun with Chökyi Senge Rinpoche, the 12th Trungpa, and the rest of the Surmang leadership concerning the manifestation of the Shedra college program, beginning as early as the fall of 2015. We are also exploring how nuns can be included at this time, which has always been our intention. And we have learned that there are 50-60 nuns from the Surmang Valley who are currently scattered about, including Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche's niece and her mother.

Join us in this matching grant campaign by making a donation today!

Your donation will allow us to...

  • Continue our successful children's education program
  • Complete and consecrate the shedra complex
  • Launch the shedra college study for monks and nuns

TO MAKE A DONATION by either check or credit card, please click here. For US donors, you can also simply mail a check, made payable to Konchok Foundation, to Ginny Lipson, 2880 Stephens Road, Boulder, CO 80305. The mailing directions for Canadian donors to make a donation by check are included on the donations page. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent provided by US and Canadian law. If you have any questions about a donation, please email ginnylipson@gmail.com.

Shedra Project Information

It has always been the local leadership's intention that the Shedra would be available to lay people as well as monastics, to nuns as well as monks, and to children as well as lay adults. Although the Shedra building complex has been sufficiently functional to allow its use for educational programs for children over the past four years, it has not been possible until now to fully complete the complex, or to hold an official opening, or to commence the main Shedra curriculum. The educational programs for children have focused on literacy and basic academic skills while the programs for adults would focus on the intellectual training provided by an advanced dharma education

The Shedra is directed by the leadership of Surmang Dutsi Til monastery, whose abbot is Chökyi Senge Rinpoche, the 12th Trungpa. He works closely with Aten Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsering Gyurme, also known as Surmang Khenpo. Khenpo, who many of you know, is the Project Manager and has been a strong driving force behind this project from the very beginning

There are no other schools, whether for adults or for children, in the Surmang Valley.

Plan: The Surmang Shedra building complex is now structurally complete. The building is quite beautiful, as can be seen here on the Konchok Foundation website. The complex includes a large lhakang (shrine hall), classrooms, living quarters for teachers, and residential quarters for approximately 72 students. Although already in use for the children's school, a number of finishing details and furnishings are still needed in the 25,000 square foot complex. Since it would be too expensive to fully decorate the facility with rupas (images) and thangkas (murals) in the traditional style at this time, a relatively simple and inexpensive approach will be taken toward artwork. That way, the Shedra programs can commence, with additional artwork to follow when more patrons come forward.

Financial: We have spent approximately $750,000 to date. An additional $275,000 is required, which is the amount of the Pema Chödrön Foundation gift and matching grant with the matching donations from our supporters. The finishing and furnishing of the building complex combined with the opening ceremony is estimated at $193,380. The remainder of the budget will be used for the expenses of the first year of the Shedra, and for ongoing operational costs of the children's educational programs.

Timetable: As soon as funds become available, work can begin and the ordering of necessary materials and furnishings. Our goal is to have the physical building completed by the fall of 2015. If we are able to put all of the human resources in place, the Shedra program could begin at that time. It may require additional time. Transportation is difficult in the winter at the high altitudes of Tibet, however the monastery does operate throughout the winter. Indeed, the largest program for children each year takes place from November through February.

So again we warmly invite you to join Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and The Konchok Foundation, Chökyi Senge Trungpa XII Rinpoche, along with Ani Pema Chodron, by giving what you can during this important and exciting time. Feel free to contact us, Bob & Lindy, at lotusking@indra.com, or 303-444-2379