Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching in Vienna, Austria, September 2017. Photo by Oliver Petermann.

In September of this year, Lama Zopa Rinpoche visited Panchen Losang Chogyen Gelugzentrum (PLC) in Austria. This was Rinpoche’s first official visit and the first opportunity for Austrian students to attend teachings, receive an initiation, and to take refuge from Rinpoche. Center director Stefan Seidler shares a brief overview of Rinpoche’s time in Vienna:

In September, Lama Zopa Rinpoche arrived for the first time in Vienna. Many of us are still feeling the presence of our precious guru in our hearts and minds.

From the very first moments at the airport, where spiritual program coordinator Andrea Husnik, myself, and many students from Panchen Losang Chogyen Gelugzentrum welcomed him, everybody felt Rinpoche‘s incredible kindness, generosity, and the warmth of heart.

After one night in a hotel, Rinpoche and his entourage moved into a wonderful old house in a quiet area in the north of Vienna, where they would stay for the next two weeks and which had been offered very generously by the parents of one of PLC’s board members.

Hard work was required to prepare the house for so many visitors, and the benefits everybody received from Rinpoche have been enormous. He was so kind to share much of his precious time with the host family, even learning how to make apple strudel. Rinpoche’s mere presence—his wisdom, his laugh, his never-ending kindness to everyone in the house—gave them all so much inspiration that every domestic task became a pure joy.

Also during the visit, all of the center’s board members and main volunteers had the opportunity to spend time with Rinpoche. As almost none of the center members in Vienna had met Rinpoche before, this visit was an amazing and rare opportunity for all of them. A very nice dinner for board members and volunteers was held in Vienna’s city center, and a wonderful, inspiring private visit to the center itself prepared us all for the big weekend to come.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching in Vienna, Austria, September 2017. Photo courtesy of Ven. Sherab.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching in Vienna, Austria, September 2017. Photo courtesy of Ven. Sherab.

Almost 400 people registered and the venue, which we had rented, was fully packed for all three days. Besides people from Austria and Germany, many others traveled from all over Europe to visit Vienna. We had guests from Spain, the UK, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, France, Italy and many more countries, all eager to attend Rinpoche’s teachings.

Rinpoche’s teachings were amazing. With the help of transcriber Ven. Joan Nicell and translators Ven. Birgit Schweiberer and Ven. Paloma Alba, we were able to understand Rinpoche’s limitless wisdom.

After the teachings, Rinpoche also gave refuge. More than 50 people took refuge and, for most of them, this was also their first chance to have direct contact with Rinpoche. Later, attendees received a Medicine Buddha initiation.

For everybody from the Vienna center, everybody who attended the teachings, and of course everybody who helped plan, organize, and prepare this great visit, we’re sure the benefits and inspiration of the visit will last for a long time. PLC is very grateful that we could host our guru Lama Zopa Rinpoche and we hope he will come back very soon!

Watch Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s September 2017 teachings in Vienna, Austria, on Rinpoche Available Now:

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