Patrick McGinity touches up paint on Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s throne, Raleigh, North Carolina, US, July 2017. Photo courtesy of Kadampa Center.

From August 20 to September 17, Lama Zopa Rinpoche will teach in Black Mountain, North Carolina, US, at the fifth annual Light of the Path retreat, hosted by Kadampa Center. This massive Dharma undertaking requires the support of dozens of volunteers over months. Communications coordinator Patti Pandya and spiritual program coordinator Donna Seese shared this report:

In a few short weeks, Rinpoche will begin teaching at the fifth Light of the Path Retreat, and the energy at Kadampa Center in Raleigh is rising!

Some three dozen people—not just in North Carolina, but also the media team who will come from France to oversee the livestreaming of the event—have worked for months to prepare. In the coming weeks, more folks will team up to fill goodie bags for participants; clean, organize, and touch up supplies; and pack a moving truck to haul the entire retreat from Raleigh to Blue Ridge Assembly, the event site.

After an afternoon spent organizing, boxing up and labeling altar and gompa supplies for the retreat, Susan Daniel stores the boxes ready to be packed and trucked to the event site, Raleigh, North Carolina, US, July 2017. Photo courtesy of Kadampa Center.

“Supporting conditions for the teachings—oh, my gosh—it’s like a jackpot service opportunity,” said student Rebecca Z. “When Rinpoche arrives at Kadampa Center and we see our membership turn out in force, you get an experience of how profound the retreat is for people. To help be a part of that is unreal.”

Connecting to the larger FPMT family gives student Susan Daniel a quiet sense of satisfaction. After last year’s retreat she went on pilgrimage with Ven. Robina Courtin, and was delighted to encounter new friends that she had made at the Light of the Path 2016 retreat.

Some Light of the Path supplies are stored in members’ homes. Sandy Carlson checks on mugs for Sangha, Raleigh, North Carolina, US, July 2017. Photo courtesy of Kadampa Center.

For Sandy Carlson, serving Rinpoche and the Sangha puts her in a whole new zone throughout the retreat. “When you give yourself over to service like this, it’s a different mindset,” she said. “I see Rinpoche working with people, see the love that he has for people. I’ve just seen his true wisdom.”

Learn more about how you can prepare for the Light of the Path 2017 retreat on

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