Nov-Jan Magazine (pdf) - Tibetan Buddhist Institute

Nov-Jan Magazine (pdf) - Tibetan Buddhist Institute

TBI MagazineSummer EditionIssue 1 • NovJan 2014• Advice from HisHoliness• TBI AnnualSymposium• Visiting SeraTIBETAN BUDDHIST INSTITUTE – THEKCHEN SHEDRUB CHOELINGA place of Dharma, cultivating study and meditation in the Mahayana Tradition

Contents03 From the Director04 Advice from His Holiness08 TBI Annual Symposium10 TBI Teachings12 Living and DyingMeaningfully13 News from Sera14 Visiting Sera16What’s New at TBI18 News from Tenzin18 Cooking up a Storm

From the Director“Let me see that proper devotion to my kind Master,Foundation of all good qualities, is the root of the Path,and devote myself to him with great Respect andmany efforts – inspire me thus!”– Lam Rim PrayerIt seemed entirely appropriate that in early August, following the astoundingblessings of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet gracing our humble Centre,that the TBI 2013 Symposium examined in depth the topic, Buddhist Meditation: AnInterdisciplinary Approach. His Holiness emphasised study more than anything elseensuring that our practice is deeply grounded in sound reason and understanding.Having no less than three Buddhist Professors together with our very ownindependent scholar and Tibetologist, Ilia Durovic, ensured high quality, thoughtprovoking and incredibly valuable presentations and discussion. The fact thatinternationally acclaimed Prof John Powers, at the request of Ilia, flew in directly fromAlaska where he had been teaching on a text of the Chittamatra tradition,underscores how fortunate we are to have Ilia with us. Ilia is not just the translator, or“loud speaker,” for our precious teachers, whose words would otherwise be justmeaningless sounds, but he occupies a rare place in the history of the transmissionof Tibetan Buddhism into the West. According to our resident teacher, Geshe JampaGyaltsen, Ilia achieved the equivalent of the high Lharampa Geshe degree as aformer monk at Sera Jey Monastic University and has been praised as “a yogi ofyogis” by none other than our very own Founder and Mentor, Kyabje KhensurKangurwa Lobsang Thubten Rinpoche, according to Geshe Yama Rinchen whenvisiting us earlier this year. This means that we can have uttermost confidence in theauthenticity of the translation of the profound teachings such as Lama Je Tsong KhaPa’s The Canticle of the Stages of the Path on Wednesday evenings by one of thefew remaining elderly Lharampa Geshes, Geshe Pema Tsering, who fled Tibetfollowing the Chinese invasion in 1959. Geshela’s incisive and humble presentation“cuts to the quick” as was further evident in the October long weekend teaching onLiving & Dying Meaningfully, an experience to be treasured and practiced! For mepersonally all these teachings, including Ilia’s August Seminar, The BuddhistUnderstanding of Suffering and The Four Noble Truths, seemed to hit home like apile driver, the fact that there is nothing and nowhere within this cycle of lives,Samsara, where we can find true solace – only the Dharma can do this. How kindour teachers are to reach out to teach us this precious Dharma week after week,month after month, year after year, exemplifying the Buddha’s Great Love,Compassion and Wisdom! Let’s not take them for granted; their presence isdependent on each of us! Thank you everyone who are helping to fulfil His Holiness,Rinpoche and our Geshe’s vision for TBI by the offering of service and donations,especially as some students have had to step back for various reasons of family,health, work, etc. I especially thank Carole Armstrong, our former Centre Managerfor her years of faithful service. I’m sure you will all join me in wishing Carole muchlove, good health and prosperity! Thank you everyone for your support as weprepare for exciting times ahead – His Holiness and Kyabje Khensur KangurwaRinpoche’s teachings at Sera in India in December/January, then the return of ourbeloved Geshe Jampa Gyaltsen!Much love,ChrisSpiritual HeadHis Holiness Dalai LamaFounder and TeacherKyabje Khensur Kangurwa LobsangThubten RinpocheChanzoe (Private Secretary of TotalAffairs) and FoundersRepresentativeNawang Thubten (Tenzin)Resident TeacherGeshe Jampa GyaltsenTranslator and Director ofPublishingIlia DurovicDirectorChris RidleyAssistant DirectorAaron TrottTreasurerTania BellLibrarianJeannie SironaMembershipJad AlbaneseTranscribing CoordinatorJill StonerMagazineAaron TrottRyan PaineTibetan Buddhist InstituteThekchen Shedrub Choeling8 Ross AvenueFlinders Park SA 5025(08 8351 8788) or 0404 839 293office@tibetanbuddhistinstitute.orgwww.tibetanbuddhistinstitute.orgChris RidleyTBI Director3 • TBI•

Advice from His HolinessFollowing the requestof Kyabje KhensurKangurwa LobsangThubten Rinpoche,for H.H. the DalaiLama to visit TBI,here is thetranscription ofhis talk on thismomentous dayTranscribed by Jill StonerSo, special brothers and sisters and also respected senior monks and nuns, indeed Iam very happy, I have found some kind of atmosphere of Geshela, [Rinpoche] he is nothere but his spirit is very much present here and all you people I think carry his wish, hisspirit. Generations eventually disappear, I often am telling people, since Buddha came,since Nāgārjuna came, and also now in this case, since Lama Tsong kha pa came,many generations have passed, they are physically no longer there, but their teaching,their message is still very alive. That is the way we carry the teaching, or tradition andtheir advice. So here you carry Geshela’s wish. Then I want to tell you, perhaps I thinkour main concern is the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhist tradition andBuddhist culture. I usually make the distinction between Buddhism and Buddhistculture, like Christianity and Christian culture. Culture is for the whole community,religion is for the individual. So in the Tibetan case, with Tibetan Muslims, their religionis Islam not Buddhism, but their way of life is very much in the spirit of Buddhist culture.Now here firstly Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, is directly related with the Nalandamaster, Shāntarakshita, from I think 7th century, 8th century, I think he was one of the4 • TBI•

I have found somekind of atmosphereof Geshela[Rinpoche]. He isnot here but hisspirit is very muchpresent most masters or scholars. He wasinvited by a Tibetan emperor with PemaSambhawa, firstly Shāntarakshita camethen Pema Sambhawa joined. So hegave public teachings and also gaveordination and also I think translationwork was mainly led by Shāntarakshita.When he reached Tibet, Lhasa, his ageaccording to Indian historian, wasalready over 75. So imagine for an oldIndian great scholar, going to Tibet wasnot easy. The climate particularly alsoyou see very cold and very high too. Atleast in India there were bullock carts,but that cannot be used in Tibet! So heonly ride yaks and horses or mules, likethat. Even I, when I was quite young, asa young person when I was riding along time sometimes some pain here![indicates backside] An old Indianmaster I think must find it very difficult.I think it is quite clear that in theTibetan Buddhist tradition we verymuch emphasise study about differentphilosopher’s views and study alsoabout Buddhist epistomology, whereaswith Chinese Buddhist tradition thereis not much emphasis on Buddhistepistolomology. BecauseShāntarakshita himself was a greatlogician, so logically since he is sucha great logician he introducedcarrying this philosophy teachingto his students, so naturally he wantedhis students, not only one generationbut generation to generation to becomelike himself. Then afterward, I think 9thcentury, Kamalaśīla came according toShāntarakshita’s instruction. So both ofthese they are writing and they aretwo truly great thinkers, greatphilosophers and great logicians.So now today with myself it is over fiftyfour years since I became a refugee,the last fifty years I have on a number ofoccasions meetings and discussionswith many Buddhists from differentBuddhist traditions and Buddhistcountries: Vietnamese, also Korean,and Japanese, and Chinese, andBurmese, Thai, Cambodian, Laotian,Sri Lanka, like that. I give one example:when I met some Sri Lanka bhikśu,I found that yes, we have commonpractice about Vinaya, and thendifferent sort of practice accordingto Vaibhāshika tradition, but wehave common knowledge, commonexperience and common practice.Then when I met some ChineseBuddhist, or Japanese, or Vietnamese,again we have the same sort ofcommon practice: the PrajnaparamitaSutra and then also the Bodhisattvavow, these things are common. Theneven with Tantrayana; Kriya Tantrayana,Carya Tantrayana, Yoga Tantrayana, inChinese tradition these are there. Sothese are our common practice.Perhaps I can go on that with SriLankan Buddhist monk and ChineseBuddhist meeting, I think there is muchless common practice. So whenwe met both traditions yes therewas common practice there, thatmeans Tibetan practice is a morecomplete sort of practice.So now I think non-Buddhist countriesall over the world have the impressionthat Buddha Śākyamūni is Buddha ofnon-violence, or is a symbol of nonviolenceor compassion, like themodern time Mahatma Gandhi. Whenwe heard ‘Gandhi’ the image we haveis some kind of feeling of non-violence.So Buddha Śākyamūni is also likethat. Then his teaching; I think in onequotation, Buddha stated to hisfollowers, “For my followers, monksand scholars or nuns, should notaccept my teaching out of faith, butrather out of thorough investigationand experiment”. So all those masters,including Shāntarakshita, all thoseNalanda masters, strictly followBuddha’s advice, they alwaysinvestigate even Buddha’s ownteaching, Buddha’s own word, theycarry this investigation whether thatteaching can be accepted literally ornot. Therefore the Buddhist way ofapproach is more based oninvestigation rather than faith, so inthis modern time that approach isquite a modern way of approach.Anyway since Buddhism, like others,Jainism and also other philosophies,5 • TBI•

have no concept of creator god, thatdoes not mean disrespect for theconcept of god, but you see in our owntradition, our philosophy, there is noidea or concept of god, creator. So thereligions with a concept of a creator,then that religion come from there, fromgod. The religion with no concept ofcreator, then religion start from thislevel, Buddha himself, originally wasone ordinary sentient being andthrough his own practice, and withthe help of teachers, eventually hebecome Buddha. So thereforeBuddhism has a lot of explanationabout the presentation of our emotions,our mind. In order to transform ouremotions we must have a fullerknowledge about the system ofemotion, so there is a lot of explanationabout emotion, about mind. Nowmodern scientists, particularly themedical scientists and also brainspecialist, they are really showing aninterest to get more information fromBuddhist literature. Not to take asBuddhist practice but simplyinformation about mind. So that issomething in common, so thereforethe preservation of Tibetan Buddhisttradition, I think that it is reallyworthwhile to preserve. It is notpreservation of Buddhist religionbut Buddhist concepts and Buddhistknowledge about mind, emotion, I thinkthis is something quite useful, sois worthwhile to preserve.Then with culture; I describe Buddhistculture as a culture of non-violence,a culture of peace, and ultimatelypeace and non-violence linked withcompassion, so Buddhist culturecan be described as a culture ofcompassion. Irrespective of whetherone is a believer or non-believer, orwithin a believer what one believes, thisbelieve, that believe, it doesn’t matter.Oh! take tea, take tea, take tea![Tea prayer and drinking tea.]The preservation of Tibetan culture:I think firstly there is about thirteen,fourteen millions of human beings,including Tibet and surrounding Tibet,all the Himalaya range and then north,Inner Mongolia, Outer Mongolia andalso some republics in RussianFederation, altogether I think at leastthirteen, fourteen millions. Then China,nowadays according to some surveycarried out by one university in Beijing:what is Buddhist population in China?About three years ago I think thatreport came out that the Buddhistpopulation was about 300 million. Thenthat report also said that the majorityof these many Chinese Buddhists areeducated, they have some education,they are not farmers, like that. Thenamong these Chinese Buddhists manyof them are showing genuine interestabout Tibetan Buddhism.So the preservation of TibetanBuddhism and of Tibetan Buddhistculture I think eventually is of immensebenefit to those in that big country, tothose people in China, the 1.3 billionChinese population. Traditionally Chinais Buddhist country, in the past some,including some Chinese emperors,followed Tibetan Buddhism, now inmodern times Tibetan Buddhism,Buddhist culture can serve millions ofThe preservation ofTibetan Buddhisttradition, I thinkthat it is reallyworthwhile topreserve.Chinese. Therefore this is reallyworthwhile to preserve, so I muchappreciate [indicates the gompa]. Thereare some indications now the ChineseCommunist leaders some of them andtheir family follow Buddhism and alsoTibetan Buddhism, according tosome information, and among manyChinese intellectuals, many Chinesebusinessmen and also some partyleaders, very much sort of interestabout Buddhism. So there areindications that some sort of positivechange may come, of course it is tooearly to say definitely like that.So with this background I very muchappreciate sitting here; Australia,basically a non-Buddhist country, itis Judeo-Christian like a WesternChristian culture country, and religionalso is mainly Christian. How manyJews in Australia? Not many Jews,and not many Muslims? Basically aChristian country, so I am always tellingthe people from different traditionsand backgrounds, it is much safer topreserve your own tradition, includingyour own traditional religious faith.However among millions of people, likein Tibet it is 99%, Buddhist, but thereare Tibetan Muslims, similarly I thinksince late 19th century some TibetanChristians also there. One time onesingle Tibetan Christian in Dharamsalahe wanted to build some church! So itis a fact that the majority of people areof a different religion but among themsome individual has sort of a differentinterest. So among millions of people,some, due to their different mentaldisposition feel Buddhist approachis more suitable, more effective.6 • TBI•

So I think that a centre is neverimposed by one individual Geshe, butis local people showing interest andthen those Lamas, Geshes, find someopportunity. So you see I think mosthighly of this sincere Geshe [Rinpoche] Iam always teasing him, he is a verynice person, a good scholar and agood monk, I like him, I know he hasa really sincere motivation, no selfinterest. But some Lamas you seewhen they find an opportunity theirmain intention is exploitation and thenalso sometimes promoting their ownname. I think there is danger with methe Dalai Lama also there is danger topromote my own name! Unless I watchfrom time to time about my motivation,otherwise there is tendency, a dangerlike that.So therefore I really very muchappreciate this small centre. Now it isimportant that a centre should be alearning centre, not just some prayersor some ritual, but from time to time,for those people who have interest,some discussions, then some sort ofexplanations. Recently I was in Ladakhlast year and also in the past, a fewother locations also, I expressed thatevery monastery should become alearning centre so that ordinary peoplewhen they heard the name of themonastery they should have theimpression, ‘That is a learning centre’.That I think is very important. Now forexample, when we heard ‘Nalanda’, wenever felt that was some monasteryand monk together and somemeditation and some prayer or somesort of meal or offering, we never feltthat when we heard ‘Nalanda’, Nalandamean simply learning centre, academiccentre. I think like Drepung monastery,Sera monastery, Ganden monastery allthose bigger monasteries, when weheard that we immediately get theimpression: ‘Oh these are learningcentres’. Buddhist study is not just fora few weeks, a few months, a fewyears; 20, 30 years, I think a lot todayat least 30 years study. Most of the topscholars they spend at least 20, 30,40 years studying, very, very rigorousstudy.Therefore this sort of centre is actually alearning centre, academic centre, sonow for our Tibetan Buddhist centrehere I think, keep in your mind; moreemphasis on study. Then in themorning occasionally some meditation,these things naturally you will have, butmain purpose is learning, explaining.Then also there as I mentioned earlierBuddhist psychology I think is ofimmense benefit, so eventually thiscentre used for study, for educationmainly about mind and emotion. Thensome non-Buddhists, non-believers,who have some interest about mind,about emotion, they will also come hereand study. So this is not only learningcentre for Buddhism, but learningcentre of human mind. That I think canbe very useful. That’s my suggestion.So that’s all! Now time to come; rest![Prayer and His Holiness eats some ofthe food offering.]You are Vietnamese, you are refugee?You escaped from Vietnam? (Yes.)Originally from North or South? (South.)Saigon area that’s right. So, is there apossibility for you to visit your owncountry nowadays, can you go? Canyou visit? When I give some lecture onBuddhism some Vietnamese fromVietnam come, so I think this last twoyears I had a program, lecture onBuddhism for Vietnamese Buddhist, forVietnamese translation, like that. TheseVietnamese really very, very faithful,they are often you see not satisfiedwith just shaking my hand, but theyhold my hand and they force it ontheir own head like that!(Response: That is a blessing.)Once a Tibetan Lama sometime inTibet, one old Lama, there was onemonastery a little bit of a distance awayand the public in that area requestedthe Lama: “Please come to our placeand give a teaching” then the Lamaresponded “Now I am too old, I cannotteach” then the people, the monksand also the representatives of thecommunity asked the Lama “Just yourpresence then and a blessing” [HisHoliness pats his head] like that, theysaid: “that’s enough“. Then finally thatold Lama accepted and visited there,then he give a long teaching. Then thisLama said that he was not someonewho actually tries to lead others toliberation by actually placing hissamsaric suffering hand on othersheads, but by giving teaching to others,Buddha’s teaching. This very body is asamsaric body, impure, so the hand ofthat impure body, just to put upon thehead never gives salvation. You see;salvation only through knowledge,through practice. So he mentioned:“I am not that kind of Lama who givesthe suffering part of the body and giveblessing”. He doesn’t believe that,so he gave them teaching, lengthyteachings. So that Lama Amdo, notKhampa! I also Amdo not Khampa,so Amdo must follow previouswonderful Amdos!Thank you.

TBI AnnualSymposiumBuddhist Meditation: AnInterdisciplinary Approachby Anne Hamilton-BruceOnce again, an excellent symposium took place at TBI overthe weekend of 10–11th August. The speakers, GrahamMeadows, Ilia Durovic, John Powers and Ralf Zurbrugg, allgave informative, interesting and stimulating presentations.It is difficult to summarise the many highlights in a smallspace, so I am including only a few from my notes.On the first day, Graham discussed the ‘Three MinuteBreathing Space’ practice, which we had a chance to try.Even on a busy day, this can readily be done three times aday. It falls between meditation and daily activities, and wouldbe helpful when facing a difficult situation. On the secondday Graham spoke about measuring mindfulness: the stateof the art and science. Mindfulness he described as beingin the present with non-judgemental experiencing momentby moment. It can be measured using the 5 FacetMindfulness Questionnaire which is available on theWeb, as is a self-compassion scale.In Ilia’s first presentation, he discussed calm abiding, wherethe mind needs to be singly focussed on one object. It is theminimum state of mind to transform how we think. Practiceconsists of observing a well-chosen object, then desistingfrom observing it and visualising it in front of oneself, usinga mental conceptuality until calm abiding is attained. Allvirtuous qualities and insights come from calm abiding, theresultant physical and mental pliancy leading to blissfulness.8 • TBI•

However, Ilia noted that calm abiding is notfor people with mental health, Exploring the Mandala, which I amyet to see.In his second presentation, Ilia contrastedthe Indo Tibetan tradition of meditation(calm abiding/analytical meditation toachieve emptiness), with the Ch’an systemof meditation, i.e., clearing the mind toreach enlightenment. Ilia concluded bynoting that we are all here to improveourselves, but need to be honest and onlytake on what we can manage - old path,white cloud. Initially there is intellectualexcitement about another way of thinking,but there comes a time to move on.However to progress spiritually, we needto rely on a teacher, otherwise there won’tbe ‘realisations’. For me, another highlightwas the pictorial representation of thenine stages of Taming the Elephant Mindleading to Samatha, together with Ilia’stranslation - this picture is definitelyworth a thousand words.John, who had just flown in from Alaska,gave really stimulating presentations,with an excellent PowerPoint (BuddhistMeditation: Theory and Practice) which,together with an accompanying documenton Buddhist meditation, was madeavailable electronically to participants.With respect to attaining enlightenment,meditation is one of three ways, the othersare study or faith, or a combination ofthese. The issue with meditation isn’twhether or not to give up meditation,but what sort of meditation is mosteffective. John also recommended aRalf spoke about Buddhist Economics,providing a succinct lesson covering profitmaximising, marginal analysis, marginalutility, the value paradox and marketing,to mention just a few. With respect tomarketing, it is interesting to note thatduring a recession, fear sells best, while inthe good times, desire and sex sell best.However, for Buddhists, contentment isthe ultimate wealth, with detachment beingthe final achievement. Being mindfuldecreases both fear and desire, helpingto promote the perception of having‘enough’ (Brown et al., Journal ofResearch in Personality, 2009). Ralf alsogave a fascinating presentation on luciddreams on the second day, and provided acommentary, The Subjective Side of LucidDream Research, by Janice Brooks & JayVogelsong. Certainly an intriguing subjectalso warranting follow-up. Ralf suggestedExploring the World of Lucid Dreaming(Stephen Laberge), as starting points.So a big thank you to the speakers forexcellent presentations, handouts andpanel sessions and also to the participantsfor their interesting and thought-provokingquestions – it all goes to a make yetanother memorable symposium, whichwas well worth attending. For myself, I nowI need to do some of the follow-upresearch and practice what I have learnt!Dedications andRequests for PrayersRequests for prayers for lovedones who are sick or haverecently passed away can bemade at the office. Optionsinclude:• Prayers can be requested ofKyabje Khensure Rinpoche atSera Jey Monastery, as well asGeshes and monks inRinpoches’ Khangsten.• Recitation at Pujas held at TBIfor close relatives or friendswho have recently passedaway.• Prayer request for recitation atPujas held at TBI for closerelatives or friends with a currentillness.• Prayer request for recitation atMedicine Buddha Practicesheld at TBI for close relatives orfriends with a current illness, orwho have recently passedaway.

TBI TeachingsImmeasurable BenefitStudents talk about the benefit of teachingsSandy DuffFor me the pointby pointmeditativepractices to trainone's mind is anopportunity tofurther study this marvelous poem.Increasingly the depth of theteachings becomes more apparent.How incredibly fortunate we are tohave Geshe Pema Tsering answerour questions following Histeachings. His guidance and adviceenables clearer understanding andany wrong views are quicklycorrected. Ilia's thorough translationof Geshe's words enables ourunderstanding to be furtherenhanced, thank you Ilia.The scope of Karma and how thisaffects us all is a lesson in itself. Theresult of careless actions can haveprofound results for each of us inour daily and future lives. Thus theneed to be alert to theseconsequences can reduce our ownand others unhappiness and harm. Iam indebted to our wonderfulformer teacher Kyabje KhensurRinpoche for his request to GeshePema Tsering to teach Je Tsong khapa's 'Canticle of the stages of thePath'Eddie PorterIf one wishes tocommit to thepath, twocomponents arenecessary. Thefirst is your karmaand the correct motivation and thesecond is seeking a teacher in orderto attain enlightenment for thebenefit of all sentient beings. A guruteacher is essential to provideguidelines and criteria for a thrivingand full-fledged wisdom culture andwho can show us how toaccomplish the realization and howto practice the Dharma. The teachercan lead us to our own innerwisdom and our own inner guru,even to the Buddha withinourselves.I have been extremely fortunate infinding my Root Guru Teacher inKhensur Kangurwa Rinpoche as Iinitially felt pretty helpless andneeded much help and guidancetowards understanding andpractising the Path. Geshe JampaGyaltsen, Rinpoche's student andentrusted Teacher, has continued toprovide the spiritual guidance, alongwith Geshe Pema Tsering in hisabsence. As well as the profoundand memorable teaching by HisHoliness the Dalai Lama at TBI. Forall this I will always be truly grateful.If one has not yet found theirTeacher then one can bringawareness to their motivations asmuch as possible by doing dailymeditation practice, and praying tothe Triple Gem so that they areprepared when they do meet andrecognize their authentic wisdomteacher.It is often said that when a discipleis ready, the teacher will appear …Mark CatfordWe all lead busylives, full ofresponsibilities andobligations whichseemingly force usto consistentlyprioritise the urgentover the important.I attend Wednesday night teachingsbecause they keep me focussed onthe very essence of life, oncultivating the qualities of characterwhich enable me to understand andface life's challenges with a measureof grace, and in so doing Iexperience less mental & emotionaldifficulty. I experience peace ofmind.In other words I receive guidance onhow to be truly happy, but not justwhen things are as I want them tobe, I'm learning how to learn life'slessons by extracting the meaningof both the 'good' and the 'bad'. I'mlearning how to invest today'slessons into tomorrow's wishes formyself and others.I'm learning how to reach myhighest potential for good, how tobe at my best for everyone, andhow to bring about their lastinghappiness.Is there anything more worthwhilethan this?10 • TBI•

24th of NOVEMBERLhabab DuchenThe Day Buddha Descended from Tushita HeavensCelebrating the anniversary of the Buddha’s descent from theheavenly realm, Tushita, to earth.Buddha Shakyamuni ascended to The Heaven of Thirty-Three inorder to give teachings to benefit the gods in the desire realms andto repay the kindness of his mother by liberating her from Samsara. Thisis considered to be one of the great deeds of the Buddhaamong twelve great deeds. On Lha-bab Duchen, the effects ofpositive or negative actions are multiplied. It is part of TibetanBuddhist tradition to engage in virtuous activities and prayeron this day.For The Long Life of Geshe Pema Tsering!Our Precious Founder and Mentor,Kyabje Khensur Kangurwa LobsangThubten Rinpoche, once explained howBuddha Shakyamuni, due to his Great Love& Compassion, was foremost amongsta great assembly of Buddhas, to come andteach in this degenerate human realm.We can see how Kyabje Khensur KangurwaRinpoche has exemplified Lord Buddha’saction by coming to us and in turn hisdevoted senior students, Geshe JampaGyaltsen and, as we await Geshela’s return,Geshe Pema Tsering.Such a humble monk of some 60 years,one of the few remaining Lharampa Geshe’swho fled Tibet following the Chinese invasion,enduring many hardships on behalf of theDharma, Geshe Pema Tsering has lovingly,patiently and incisively expounded thisself same precious Dharma to us!Please join us to say a big thank you to Geshela and praythat he may have a long, healthy and happy life!A special puja will take place on the 9:30am Sunday 24th of Novemberto celebrate both of these auspicious occasions.Members and Benefactors LunchMembers and benefactors are cordially invited for a vegetarian lunch at12.00 noon as a special thankyou for your support during thesuccessful visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at TBI on June 20th.RSVP Aaron at office@tibetanbuddhistinstitute.org8351 8788 by Monday 18th of November

Living and DyingMeaningfullyOctober Long Weekendby Jill StonerSaturday’s dawn broke brightly, a morning of glories to offerthe Triple Gem as I made my way to the October longweekend teachings on Living and Dying Meaningfully. GeshePema Tsering kindly presented a commentary on a text ofHis Holiness the Dalai Lama that has not previously beentranslated into English, so we were the recipients of ateaching unavailable from any other source, highlighting tome the enormous and unique benefit of attending teachingsin person.During the course of two days we were skilfully guidedthrough the death process, with descriptions andexplanations of the journey that consciousness takes duringand after its separation from our current physical form. Fewof us can hope to aspire to achieve control of our owndeath, but as Geshe-la taught, by contemplating thistransmigration and the wonders of the most subtle mind andthe winds upon which it rides provides an impetus for us toprepare ourselves for what lies ahead of each and every oneof us.These teachings presented us with the challenge of askingourselves the questions: Where will I go after I die? How will Icope with death? How can I prepare for death? How can Imake my life meaningful? Questions that it became clear lieat the very heart of Buddhist practice and that are relevantboth for those of us at the very beginning of our studies andalso more experienced students.We were given the rare occasion to immerse ourselves inDharma for an entire weekend and appreciate the feeling ofwarm community that sharing in the teachings with fellowstudents engenders. This experience reaffirmed for me thatthis precious human rebirth that we are so privileged to enjoyincludes as a vital component the opportunities that TBIoffers us to fulfil our highest potential as exemplified in ourSpiritual Teachers.Once again TBI provided the continuity and consistency of astable, reliable and unbroken lineage of oral instruction,offering us the precious opportunity of practising pureDharma. Or at the very least trying our best unto death.I would like to personally thank everyone who voluntarilycontributed their time, energies and skills to make thisweekend possible, and to my fellow students who enrichedthe experience for me with their friendship in the Dharma.We were advised to make the most of this while the causesand conditions are favourable, for who knows when they willchange?12 • TBI•

NewsfromSeraby Jampa KhedrubWith the annual debate exam now finished the comingweeks are boding to be a little more relaxed until the relativemadness of HH Dalai Lama’s 9 days of Lam-Rim teachingshere in December, where more than 20,000 people willstream into an area with enough beds for probably less thanhalf that. As more junior members of the monastery ourclass promises to be given a lot of work to do in the projectof first making every corner of the monastery spick andspan ready for His Holiness’ arrival, and then eventuallygetting food and tea to the many guests from around Indiaand the world. 20-odd thousand pieces of bread and cupsof tea don’t make themselves so it will be hard work but it’snice to help out and try to make the stay nice for others sothat they remember fondly their time at Sera.In other news Khensur Rinpoche, who I was fortunateenough to see briefly just this week, is still in very goodhealth, albeit Rinpoche continues to show difficulties withHis hearing. In any case Rinpoche was in very good spiritsand asked many questions regarding the progress of thecentre, who is helping out with what jobs and how thecentre turned out in preparation for His Holiness’ inauguralvisit earlier in the year, and was extremely pleased to hearthat it all turned out so well. After some health problems inrecent years, Khensur Rinpoche Lozang Palden, one ofRinpoche’s eldest students and recent outgoing Sera JeyAbbot, seems to be on the mend and we are very happy toreport that a very kind sponsor has come forward to build anew Ladrang (Lama’s residence) for Him, which is wonderfulinasmuch as His current room is quite basic. Next to the siteof this new Ladrang, a new housegroup assembly hall andkitchen has also been constructed thanks to the kindness ofsponsors and the many monks and workers charged withmaking the project happen, and this site was recentlyblessed by Khensur Kangyurwa Rinpoche and KhensurRinpoche Lozang Palden, a day on which we were alsofortunate enough to hear Rinpoche’s advice to his studentsto be tireless in their efforts towards pursuing listening,contemplation, and meditation in a unified way.Geshe Jampa Gyaltsen is still awaiting the settling of hispassport/visa issues, and is much looking forward toreturning to TBI. Geshe-la’ has for several weeks been inretreat under Rinpoche's instructions.Here at the Westerners’ house meanwhile probably thebiggest story of this year for my fellow foreigners was thegranting of the title of Rig Chung to one of mycontemporaries from America, who became the firstWesterner to receive the title for over two decades (after afew others very narrowly missed out in recent years), andprobably the first to do so in such a big class (well over 100).Long story short, it is a prestigious award given to the topsixteen debaters (based on a debate exam on material inpart of chapter one of Maitreya’s Ornament of ClearRealisation) from the sixth-year class here. He ranked animpressive fifth in that exam and went on to give a veryrespectable account of himself at the later Rig ChungDebate Ceremony, in front of the 2000 or so monks present.As for the rest of us, Jampa Choephel (Nick) and I are welland eagerly pursuing our reading, memorisation, and debateon a day-to-day basis and Rinpoche seems very pleasedwith our progress, which is the main thing.We look forward to the coming months, with both HisHoliness and our precious Khensur Rinpoche givingteachings and look forward to catching up to those from thecentre making the journey across.13 • TBI•

Their other vehicle is the Mahayana!Visiting SeraA pilgrimage to Indiaby Justin ActonWhen the Jangchup Lamrim Teaching Organizing Committeereleased the dates for the second and final part of theteachings on Eighteen Treatises of the Stages of the Path toEnlightenment by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and thatthey were to commence on the 25th of December (morecommonly known as Christmas Day here in the West) to 3rdof January 2014 at Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe South India,it was always going to be an uphill struggle for a WesternBuddhist living with a pseudo-Christian family to sell theconcept of them being away for this most celebrated ofholidays. When I pitched this to my dear wife Helen andchildren Molly and Ike, I was pleasantly surprised by theirreaction. My daughter was not too happy at first but afterconsultation with her very own wrathful protector (her mum)and the promise that in my absence she would not have tofinish off all her sprouts during Christmas dinner, she wasquite easily paid off, so to speak. Helen was mostencouraging as she believes our whole family circle hasreaped the benefits.Since I started attending teachings by our precious teacherKyabje Khensur Kangurwa Lobsang Thubten Rinpoche andother classes at TBI, almost four years ago, I was mostsurprised by my son Ike, who some at TBI know hasattended quite a few teachings with our resident teacherGeshe Jampa Gyaltsen. Ike pulled me to one side and said,“Dad, I will miss you over the Christmas period, but I knowthe reason you are going to the teachings. It is not for yourselfbut it is so you can be of a benefit to all sentient beings.”Obviously Ike was listening to the teachings by Geshela andreally grasped the essence of the precious Dharma – that ofbodhicitta. I just hope my own motivation one day will be aspure. The reaction from my non-Dharma friends and otherfamily members was not so encouraging. I did not quite havepeople abusing me in the street but many people have askedme how can I abandon my family at Christmas and remarkinghow selfish it is to swan off for three weeks and not take myfamily with me. I do fully understand this criticism if you havea one-dimensional view of life, but if we take into account ourcountless past lives and countless future lives to beexperienced in various realms, three weeks pales intoinsignificance. It would probably be more acceptable intoday’s society if I was going off on a footy or fishing trip withthe lads, taking in various clubs and pubs, than it is to go toIndia and take in various monasteries and teachings, withhope to bring back a little knowledge to pass on to others, asopposed to bringing back some dead fish and a damagedliver! So as I prepare to tear myself away from all themounting celebrations here in Adelaide, turning my back onall the true symbols of Christmas like flying reindeers andsnow in the middle of summer, leaving behind the few peoplewho want to keep the consumerism in Christmas byshowering loved ones with gifts and running up a credit cardbill, I am preparing myself for the second part of theJangchup lamrim teachings.Before I left for India for the first teaching in December 2012,many people told me of the intense suffering and hardship ofthe Indian people. I assumed that poverty and physicalhardship were the worst kind of suffering and that not gettinga coffee at the press of a button or not getting a signal on mymobile phone were perfect examples of suffering. I didhowever, with a little knowledge under my belt, hope I wouldbe ready for a little personal hardship.My first lesson on suffering, the suffering of suffering, becamevery apparent during our five-hour delay in Melbourne. Thefrustration that not everything went like clockwork was quiteapparent. Feelings of frustration that lead to various achesand pains highlighted a great lack of patience on my part andin a desperate bid to relieve us from this suffering, the airlineoffered us free food, drinks and even a free padlock!The teachings of Gehse Jampa Gayltsen were of infinitelymore use. I recalled Geshela teaching me the chapter onpatience from Santideva’s Bodhicaryavatara where Santidevasays, “Do you not consider the pain of mosquitoes, thirst andhunger as insignificant? Cold, heat, rain, wind, travelling,illness and beatings should not induce a sense of fragility.14 • TBI•

Otherwise the distress becomes greater.”A lesson on the suffering of change swiftly followed. It seemeda sweet relief to be boarding a capsule that was about toproject us 23,000 feet in the air at 6OO mph, but after the firsthour of economy-class airline travel and the person in front ofme seemingly desperate to lie on my lap, I knew a new formof suffering was coming into play. I thought that because livingin a wealthy country like Australia with a high degree ofmaterial development and because we have overcome manyproblems that our forefathers faced, we would be a happierbunch than people in India. But I now see that as we solvethese problems, new ones arise, that by exaggerating thevalue of things like houses and cars and the need for more legroom on an aircraft, we ultimately render them worthless. Ithink this is the nature of change and as a result we thenexperience the suffering of change.Gehse Yama Rinchen in his brief spell at TBI taught that allpervasive suffering acts as a basis for the first two sufferingsand comes about through our feelings, in experiencing thingsthat we don’t wish for and not experiencing what we do wishfor. He taught that the root of all suffering is the afflictions andour distorted view of reality, which ensnares us in cyclicexistence. Some people commit suicide as a way out of thissuffering, mistakenly thinking that by ending a particularhuman life there will be nothing after, no continuity of themind. I was amazed that the suicide rate in Australia is almostthe same as it is in India, and that there is a paradox thatsome of the happiest countries in the world like Sweden,Holland, Switzerland and the happiest states in the US havesome of the highest suicide rates in the world. Seeminglypeople judge their own happiness by that of those aroundthem, using material gain as a yard stick.As I prepared for the first teachings and again as I preparemyself for the second teachings, many people are interestedin how I fare in India without the so-called creature comforts oflife in Australia. They wonder whether living with nointernet ,TV, air conditioning, hot water and, much to theamusement of my children, no Western style toilet, wouldincrease my attachment to these objects (the origins of mysuffering) or whether would I realise they are just luxuries. HisHoliness taught during the teachings that our ultimate causeof suffering is our mind, which is influenced by negativethoughts such as anger and jealousy, and which grasps atthings to be inherently real. His Holiness also taught that whenwe become attached to an object we feel the object isactually out there and solid. Before we become attached tothese things, the objects appear ordinary. But when webecome attached or desire things, we impute qualities ontothese objects that just do not exist. This appearance ofsomething being truly beautiful or essential to our happinessfuels our attachment yet further. From this ignorance ofgrasping at things being truly existent we grasp at a trulyexistent self and become attached to things being “mine”.From this “mine/I” we become competitive and jealous ofothers and their achievements and possessions. This can leadto irritation, harsh words and even acts of violence towards“others” that could threaten this “I” or “me”. These negativeactions of body, speech and mind accumulate much negativekarma, which ripens as a result in this or future lives.While staying in the monastery I got some water in my earwhen showering and it led to a very minor ear infection. Butone night I followed the thought pattern of what may happento me if the infection got worse and spread, and with thisthought the pain in my ear did in fact get a lot worse. Butwhen I analysed the pain with a more rational mind, it actuallydecreased, leading me to understand that my mental painwas far worse than my physical pain. This led me to thinkabout the mind that grasps at things as truly existent, which isat the root of all my disturbing and negative states of mind.Through the teachings from His Holiness I was able toascertain that we must investigate how the things the mindperceives actually exist. Since this mind is deceived byappearances it must be eliminated for us to attain liberation,the cessation of suffering.I find it hard to imagine that I and the rest of the TBI studentsare lucky enough to be staying in Rinpoche’s compound forthe whole three weeks. To be in the presence of such a greatbeing for such a long period of time is a real blessing. Alongwith ten days of teachings from His Holiness it will not be hardto find perfect examples of the path to the cessation ofsuffering we all ultimately need to follow. I believe all a studentof limited capacity like myself can do is let thesepersonifications of the six perfections and three highertrainings wash over me, and hopefully in a future life theseseeds will ripen into a result that I may at some point be of abenefit to at least one sentient being.I would like to wish allthe sixteen or so peoplefrom TBI who aretraveling to Seramonastery for theteachings all the best ontheir journey and withtheir studies. And mayall the students unableto travel receive equalblessings from watchingthe teachings via thelive webcast. Takegood care.!15 • TBI•

Wednesday Night DeityPractices6:00pmWhat’s Newat TBIby Aaron TrottAs you would be aware the format of thenewsletter has changed. This was donefor a number of reasons but primarily toreduce the workload for those whocompile it and also making it easier inthe future to hand this task on to otherpeople as the need arises. We have alsoshifted to a quarterly newsletter/magazine to help reduce the workloadbut we have increased its size from 12to 16 pages and in some larger issues,such as this one, we will use 20 pages.You may notice some work commencingover the next few months in theresident’s area to repair and completethe ceiling and cornice. This has beenlong overdue and I think it will be greatto have this area finished and in goodcondition for the return of our residentteacher Geshe Jampa Gyaltsen sometime in Janaury. Thanks to Natalie andJudy who have did a great job inclearing out the rooms ready for thework to commence.Also, in the interests of reducingworkload for those who volunteer at TBI,and after many months of discussion,road testing, and numerous changes informat we have purchased a system foruse in the reception area. This systemwill be used to record all purchases(shop, events etc.) and donations. Whenmaking purchases via eftpos we will alsonow be able to add a donation for thosewho may wish to. It will also record allour sponsorship and membershippayments as well as providing a printedreceipt for those who may need one. Wehave included a linked document forvolunteers to be able to leave messagesfor any of the management team and aspreadsheet for upcoming eventsallowing the recording of those attendingand payments received. There will alsobe a database included for the libraryand membership, which will streamlineboth of these areas and again help toreduce the workload for those involved.The software is also available on thecomputer in the office so that paymentscan be made there. Finally, our systemwill allow for accurate reporting in aformat that we hope will saveconsiderable time for both theSponsorship Scheme as well as TBIrecord keeping.We have had a great response to ourrecent request for volunteers and thankyou to all those who have offered tocontribute. However we still have somejobs that need filling including some11am-3pm spots on the reception deskand numerous other odds jobs.Please have a look at the latest calendarand make note of the closing time forTBI over the Christmas and New YearPeriod as we will be closing on 24thDecember and re-opening January13th 2014.On a lighter note, Jamyang and littleDechen (Tenzin’s wife and daughter)have now left for India to spend sometime catching up with Jamyung’s familyand friends. We wish them a safe andhappy time with their family and a safereturn to Adelaide in the New Year.Chenrezig (first and fifth Wednesday)Vajrasattva (second Wednesday)and Green Tara (third Wednesday)Thirty Five Buddhas Purification(fourth Wednesday)16 • TBI• tibetanbuddhistinstitute.orgPlease check the latest calendar forwhat's on each week.

LEARN TO MEDITATEMondays 6.30 pmIt is important that we have a tamed, disciplined mind and a warmheart. The mind is intrinsically pure, with a positive motivation, and ourverbal and physical actions can become positive, producing wholesomeresults, results that are pleasant and beneficial. On the other hand, whenthe mind remains coarse, we commit harsh verbal and physical actions, whichby nature harm or hurt others, with the result being un-pleasantand painful. Meditation helps to calm the mind and we can then become morepeaceful and disciplined. Everyone is most welcome to come andlearn to calm the mind, body, feelings and thoughts. Lead by experiencedstudents.INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISMMondays 7.30 pmAre you curious about Buddhism? Would you like to know more aboutthe Buddhist way of life? Buddhism has been around for 2500 yearsand is a philosophy that offers a way of life that promotes the potentialof the individual and offers ways of understanding ourselves and theworld around us. Introduction to Buddhism will give you an overviewof the Buddha’s teachings, and how to apply them in daily life.Instructors for Introduction to BuddhismTBANovember – Natalie PlayfordDecember – Natalie PlayfordJanuarySTUDY GROUPS AT TBISundays 9.30-11.00amAll are invited to join these scintillating studygroups at TBI— a valuable opportunity to furtherinvestigate the teachings as frequentlyencouraged by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama:“I am known for being frank and in our monasticstudies we rely a great deal on citing scripturalsources, but we also need to employ reasoning. Inthe Buddhist investigation of reality we traditionallyemploy four principles of reasoning: dependence,function, nature and evidence.”Topic: The Dalai Lama, Stages Of MeditationReading together His Holiness’s incisive commentary of the classic root text on Buddhist Meditation byKamalashila has been incredibly beneficial for experienced and new students alike. Sharing, in a safe andsupportive atmosphere, examples of how practical these guidelines can be in daily life, as well as addressing theinevitable challenges to practice, has proved to be a real blessing. Beginners and experienced students alike arewelcome to slowly explore this gem together!

News from Tenzin(Founder's Representative)Dear Respected Members and Friends,I have had a long talk with Rinpoche by phone, and I am happyto report that he is in very good health. Many of his studentswere most fortunate to see Rinpoche via Skype on the OctoberLong Weekend Course as they took turns to listen to the wisewords of advice from our beloved teacher. Of course Rinpoche isvery much looking forward to seeing his students and membersin December, when many are making the journey to Sera to seeHis Holiness the Dalai Lama and Rinpoche give teachings.Rinpoche is tremendously happy to announce that theEnthronement of Tenzin Yeshi Sonam Rinpoche will take place on18th December 2013. He is the reincarnation of Gurmey KhensurUjen Tsetsen Rinpoche and he was the Root Guru of KyabjeKhenusr Rinpoche. Ujen Tsetsen Rinpoche was one of the GreatMasters of Sera Monastery, passing away in 2007 at Sera, duringthe time of one of TBI ‘s 11 day retreats in the Adelaide hills.After considerable discussion with Rinpoche, Geshela,management and myself, we came to the conclusion that it istime for a change to our program. This came on top of thedirection by His Holiness during his visit in June 2013, that the“the focus of this Buddhist centre should be on study … this is alearning centre”. Therefore beginning in the new year, we willimplement a new program to reflect the growing needs of ourcentre. We are presenting a streamlined teaching schedule,designed for all levels of students abilities.I am so grateful to Geshe Pema Tsering for filling in for us whilstGeshe Jampa Gyaltsen has been away. There has beentremendous benefit for our students and therefore TBI, and Iwould like to thank him so much for his willingness to step in andenable teachings to continue. You are most welcome to comealong to his Long Life Puja on 24th November (see informationon page 11).I look forward to seeing you at TBI.Warm regards,Nawang Thubten (Tenzin)Geshe Jampa Gyaltsen is well and happy, and very much lookingforward to returning to TBI in January 2014. His long awaitedIdentity Certificate has finally been organized, and his visa is inthe process of being of being granted. I hope that he will return inmid January.* * *We will be holding our AGM on Wednesdaythe 20th of November. Please join us at8:15pm, following that evening’s teachings.Tenzin Yeshi Sonam RinpocheCooking up a Stormwith Natalie PlayfordPumpkin, Coriander and Green Lentil CurryLike most curries, this one really benefits from waiting a day or soto eat it, so the flavours develop.Pumpkins become abundant as we head into Summer. Here’s abeautiful recipe to try: my simple but very delicious Pumpkin,Coriander and Green Lentil Curry. I came up with this dish in thelead-up to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to TBI in June thisyear. On a couple of days I brought the Pumpkin, Coriander andGreen Lentil Curry along to share with folks as we got ourprecious centre ready for the awe-inspiring arrival of Chenrezig.Tenzin loved the curry, which is fragrant rather than hot. And youwill find that kids like it too so I happily share this recipe with you.Happy cooking!Serves 4500g Jap or Kent pumpkin, peeled and chopped1 large sweet potato, scrubbed well and choppedolive oil1 onion, diced2 cloves garlic, finely choppedsmall knob ginger, grated2T red curry paste2 or 3 Kaffir lime leaves1C green lentils, rinsed and drained2 x 240 ml cans Ayam coconut milk1L water¼ bunch coriander, stems and leaves chopped, plus extra forgarnish1.Preheat oven to 200C. Put pumpkin and sweet potato in roastingpan, coat with olive oil, sprinkle on salt and pepper and pop inthe oven while the lentils cook.2.On a moderate heat, fry onion in a tablespoon or so of olive oil tillonion is softened. Add the garlic, ginger, curry paste and limeleaves and cook a further 1-2 minutes. Add the lentils and stirthrough. Add the coconut milk and water and bring to the boil.Turn the heat down and simmer without the lid on, for 30-40minutes, till lentils are soft but still holding their shape.3.When vegetables are soft and browning at edges, remove fromoven. Stir into the cooked lentils, check for seasoning. Turn offthe heat and stir in the coriander. Serve hot with rice.18 • TBI•

Sangha SupportMaking offerings is extremely importantfor our own personal practice and also,of course, for our Resident Sangha.Geshe Jampa Gyaltsen was chosen byKyabje Rinpoche because of hisimmense knowledge of the Dharma andamazing ability to impart this to hisstudents. In the words of Jampa Sherab(Ben) “If Kyabje Khensur KangurwaRinpoche was the sun then Geshelawould be his flames”We need financial help to ensure ourSangha are supported and cared forappropriately.Please see one of the managementcommittee, call 08 8351 8788, or if youwould like to contribute.Tibetan Sponsorship Scheme“Some people need so little, but they need so little so much”$10.00 a month sponsors Monks (at Sera Je Monastic University in India); Nuns (at Nyagye Nunnery in Tibet and JungchubChoeling Nunnery in India); Lay Tibetans (mostly in camps and villages surrounding Sera Monastery and mostly children);$10 a month could also sponsor students from Gyalten Charity School, Tibet, which operates entirely from donations.These children travel far to attend this school, so that they can learn, as well as the usual curriculum, English, Tibetan,Tibetan Medicine and Culture).Donations are gladly accepted for the Emergency Medical Fund, which was set up by Kyabje Khensur Rinpoche for anymonk at Sera or anyone in the nearby lay community, who is in urgent medical need. Any donations to this fund are mostgratefully received.For 33 cents a day, can you really afford NOT to sponsor a Tibetan? 8351 8788

TIBETAN BUDDHIST INSTITUTETHEKCHEN SHEDRUB CHOELINGBECOME A MEMBERTBI membership offers you the following benefits:Kyabje KhensurKangurwa LobsangThubten Rinpochefounded Tibetan BuddhistInstitute in 2005 as aresult of His HolinessThe 14th Dalai Lamaspeaking publicly of theneed for Geshes in exile tobroaden and preserve theteachings of the BuddhaDharma. The centresatisfies both the wish ofHis Holiness and providesbenefit to all sentientbeings through teachingsand meditation.• 20% off events (excluding events with accommodation)• Free access to extensive library of Buddhist Literature• Bi-monthly Newsletter - personally delivered• 10% discount on shop items (excluding already discounted items)• Annual Member Function• Vote at AGMConcession $120 per year(That’s $0.33 per day)Waged $180 per year(That’s $0.50 per day)Dharma Wheel Membership $588 per year(That’s $49 per month or $1.65 per day)address: 8 Ross Avenue Flinders Park SA, 5025 phone: (08) 8351 8788web: email:

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