Attendees of the Foundation Service Seminar near Madrid, Spain, December 2017. Photo courtesy of Paloma Fernandez.

In December 2017, a Foundation Service Seminar (FSS) was held near Madrid. Organized and facilitated by Spain national coordinator Paloma Fernandez and senior facilitator and center director François Lecointre, this was the first FSS to be held entirely in Spanish. Paloma shares news from the event:

Last December, we had our first Foundation Service Seminar in Spain, the first time that the seminar has been done in Spanish.

Thirty-eight people came from many different parts of Spain, and one person traveled all the way from London, to participate in the event. People arrived by all means: planes, trains, and buses. Many of them used five vacation days to attend this seminar and dedicate their time to the FPMT and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

François Lecointre, a senior FSS registered facilitator and director of Institut Vajra Yogini, offered his time, his experience, his knowledge, his kindness, and love to all the participants. (And to me, as I was co-facilitating the seminar for the first time!)

We started every day after breakfast. Each day offered different learning activities, which typically ran until 10 p.m. each night. It was a quite intense schedule, but nobody complained. It was a great experience!


A group activity during the Foundation Service Seminar near Madrid, Spain, December 2017. Photo courtesy of Paloma Fernandez.

We all worked with great focus, analyzing different aspects of our service. We had people from nine different centers, one study group, one community project, and one from Universal Education. It was very enriching to have so many different experiences and points of view to share and to learn from.

As well as the dynamic group exercises, we also had a number of beautiful meditations, great presentations, and very stimulating discussions. We also watched very inspiring videos from Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, and Tenzin Ösel Hita.

The main highlight for most of us was, as Lama Yeshe used to say, the “family feeling” that was present during all the seminars. It was so great to be able to share five days and nights with the FPMT family and to experience what it means to be the “ambassadors” of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

One question that came from many participants was: “When is the next one?” So I have the feeling that this is the sign that the first FSS in Spain was a great success!

Foundation Service Seminar events are happening this year in Mexico in early February; at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, UK, in August; and at Milarepa Center, USA, in September. For more information on the Foundation Service Seminar and to find out how to register for future events, visit the FPMT Service Seminar webpage.

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