California Dharma Celebration 2008
On a cool mid-December southern California weekend in the metropolis of Los Angeles, over two hundred Kadampas from all over the massive state of California and throughout the United States appeared at the University of Philosophical Research to receive teachings and the empowerment of Buddha Shakyamuni from Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong, the NKT National Spiritual Director in the US and Resident Teacher of Kadampa Meditation Center California.
On Friday night, Gen Kelsang Atisha, Resident Teacher at Vajrapuni Center in San Diego gave an introductory talk on Buddhist view, meditation and action, preparing us for the empowerment on Saturday. Tessa Logan, Resident Teacher of Saraha Buddhist Center in San Francisco, guided meditations throughout the weekend.
Late Saturday morning, the shrine radiant with Buddha Shakyamuni and an abundant array of offerings, Gen-la Dekyong granted the empowerment of Buddha Shakyamuni. She gave teachings on the ultimate nature of reality, and commentary to the ‘Liberating Prayer’, elucidating the meaning of this special prayer composed by Geshe Kelsang himself.
That evening Gen-la Dekyong presided over Wishfulfilling Jewel with tsog puja. This was followed by an inspiring 30 minute video presentation on a large screen that detailed the vision and kindness of Venerable Geshe-la in America, and his tireless activities to help Kadam Dharma benefit living beings throughout the world.
The weekend provided an opportunity for the California Sangha to work, pray, eat, laugh and meditate together while creating causes for greater and wider Dharma developments in the future. We dedicate all of the merit we accumulated in this year’s ‘CADC’ to the very long life of our precious Spiritual Guide, Venerable Geshe-la, whose immeasurable kindness and profound blessings flowed like a river through this holy and memorable weekend. We pray that in the future this Celebration will touch the lives of thousands of people in the state of California, that inner peace leads naturally and easily to outer peace, and that the nectar of holy Kadam Dharma flourishes widely forevermore.