Dza Kilung Jingme Rinpoche recently spoke about preserving Tibetan culture and Tibetan Buddhism through education at a fundraiser on Whidbey Island. His talk and the accompanying slideshow were in support of the Kilung Shedra Monastic College in remote Dzachuka Tibet.
Kilung Rinpoche began the rebuilding of the centuries old monastic institution about fifteen years ago through his Kilung Foundation. The school was thriving, but on April 7 a devastating fire swept through the complex destroying almost all the buildings and their contents. Fortunately, the school was not in session so no one was injured or killed. Most of the dormitories and cabins that housed the sixty students who attended the Shedra and the monks who are their teachers were, however, destroyed creating a serious crisis at that high altitude where temperatures remain chilly for most of the year.
Because the remote village lacks resources like running water, the fire, which began in late morning, burned through the night. Still, Kilung Rinpoche’s message was hopeful.
He said, “We won’t give up. This is something that you have to face. We must rebuild and cannot let a fire destroy children’s education and the continuation of monk’s Buddhist studies.”
Already, the sixty students have resumed studying and living on the site in tents and temporary structures. Still, there is an urgent need to reconstruct as much as possible of the Shedra during the short “building season” before the cold of next winter sets in.
Anyone wishing to support this cause, as did most of the eighty people attending the Whidbey fundraiser, can do so at the website http://www.kilung.org.
May all people have adequate shelter and education.