The Gyuto Foundation, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in East Richmond Heights, California, is a charitable non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Tibet's living cultural and spiritual heritage. The Foundation supports activities dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan culture through teaching, hosting local University students, interfaith dialogues and cultural programs.
The Foundation also supports charity programs for the Himalayan children's education and healthcare funds, Tibetan seniors living in the Bay Area and new immigrants.
Your contribution for the monastery is greatly appreciated. Your generosity will allow for the development of this unique facility for local community and supporters. Please visit our WISH LIST and see if you can help us with anything.
Nyung - Ney Fasting Retreat May 28 - 30, 2016 Nyung-Ney (Fasting Retreat) is an effective practice for purifying our negativities. The retreat course involves fasting and multiple daily sessions of prostration and recitation of the sadhana and praises. This is an intensive spiritual practice to purify obscurities and negativities and accumulate merit. The practice involves taking only one vegetarian meal on Saturday and then fasting until an early morning breakfast on Monday. Practitioners will also recite the six syllable mantra OM MANI PED ME HUNG. This mantra purifies the six seed of the six realms within oneself and has the effect of pacifying the suffering of all beings.
Prerequisites: For those who are planning to attend the retreat, there is a prerequisite of having had either a Chenrezig empowerment or one of the hightest yoga Tantra initiations.
Registration required: Please call (510)926-3969 or email info(at)gyutofoundation(dot)org
Please note that we have no more overnight space available inside for the retreat. If you would like to bring a small tent for camping outdoors on the property, please feel free.
May I take this opportunity, on behalf of all Venerable monks of Gyuto Monastery, to sincerely thank His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his blessings and his tireless effort to bring peace, happiness and religious harmony throughout the world.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the supporters; because of their generous contributions, I'm very happy and proud to say that the Gyuto Foundation is now well established.
I also would like to thank all the members of the community who helped us in creating a beautiful Dharma Center here in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Many of the children in the Himalayan regions can't afford to go to High School or College. Many children in that region don't even have a single toy to play with.
Therefore, from now on, I want to dedicate my life for the benefit of the Himalayan children.
I thank you all for your continued support of the Gyuto Foundation.
Again, I wish you all very well and have a wonderful, Happy New Year with your family and friends.
Thank you and Tashi Delek, Venerable Thupten Donyo Monastery Roofing Project Please donate (here).
We have a humble request for all of our friends. Since moving to our new location in Richmond, we've completed all major renovations, except for replacing the 45 year old roof on the monastery. Last winter we had leaking from the roof, and we are expecting more leaks this winter. We would very much like to request that our members and friends help us in raising funds to replace the roof before the rainy season arrives.
We have consulted with several roofing companies, and they suggested that we replace the roof as soon as possible. According to estimates provided by two roofing companies, the cost will be $45,000 - $60,000 to replace it in entirety. We are so grateful for the generous support from all of our members and friends throughout the years and would greatly appreciate donations, in any amount, to help with these final renovations.
All donations are tax-deductible. Please donate here. Thank you very much.
365 Prayer Wheel Project
We have plans to install 365 Prayer Wheels that will surround the monastery and give eveyone an opportunity to circumambulate and turn the wheels. It is suggested that one recite the six syllable mantra - OM MANI PEDME HUNG - while turning the Prayer Wheels. When circumambulating, one can contemplate compassion and develop bodhicitta. Those who spin Prayer Wheels not only create benefit for themselves, but all sentient beings.
We have received donations from 160 sponsors for individual Prayer Wheels for the first phase of the project. We welcome donations for the Prayer Wheel project, in any amount, but currently we are not taking any more individual Prayer Wheel sponsors. The second phase of the project, which will include the remaining 205 wheels, will resume pending approval of the building permit.
We are also looking for donors to sponsor the printing of Compassion Buddha mantras - OM MANI PEDME HUNG - to enclose in the Prayer Wheels. We are looking for sponsors for pringing mantras and we’ll need 100 or more boxes of Buddha of Compassion mantras, each box will cost $150.
10 Billion Buddha of Campassion Mantra's Prayer Wheel Project - Completed!
Our large prayer wheel has been sponsored, completed, and consecrated. It contains 10 billion Buddha of Compassion mantras - OM MANI PEDME HUNG - as a dedication for the benefit of all sentient beings. We wholeheartedly thank our sponsors and volunteers who made this project happen.
Consecration of the Prayer Wheel
Ven. Donyo will be leading a Buddhist Pilgrimage to India in 2016
Venerable Thupten Donyo, Director of the Gyuto Foundation, is organizing his sixth Buddhist pilgrimage to India and Nepal that will take place October 29th - November 15th, 2016 (2 separate tours: Northern India & Southern India) - choose one or both tours. Ven. Donyo will be leading the pilgrimage with prayers and this pilgrimage has taken place every 2 years.
Please note: during the tour we will be staying in 2 to 4 star hotels that are often fully booked during pilgrimage season between November - February. Our hotel names are listed in the itinerary below. Ven. Donyo will be traveling with the group to make sure out members and friends have a pleasant tour during the pilgrimage. While in Nepal, we will not be visiting Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, but will visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha which is located just near the border area. During the tour we will be flying two times, at the beginning and end of the tour, and traveling by charter bus the rest of the tour.
Joining the pilgrimage with Venerable Donyo will benefit by not only developing your spiritual path, but also in helping fund the Himalayan Children's Education. Ven. Donyo recently transferred the Directorship over the Gyuto Foundation, which he founded in 2000, to the main monastery in India, and is now dedicating his life to the Himalayan Children's Education. Ven. Donyo's short message for his charity project. A pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred place as an act of devotion and faith. Many enlightened beings have advised to visit the place where the Buddha was born, the place where the Buddha attained Enlightenment, the place where he preached the first teaching, and where he passed away into Mahaparinirvana.
During the pilgrimage we will visit the major holy sites of the Buddha such as: Lumbini - birthplace of Buddha, Kushinagar - where Buddha passed into Mahaparinirvana, Rajgir - where Buddha gave teachings on the Heart Sutra, Varanasi - where Buddha preached his first discourse, and finally Bodh Gaya - where Buddha attained enlightenment. We’ll also visit the Taj-Mahal, one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Please see below for the complete list of sites and the corresponding itinerary.
To register for the pilgrimage, please call or send email to Ven. Donyo to make sure there are still seats available. Once you register, you will need to send a photocopy of your passport for hotel reservation in India. You'll also need to send a deposit check $500 payable to Delek Children's Foundation or DCF. (please write pilgrimage on the memo line) and mail it to: 6401 Bernhard Ave. East Richmond Heights, CA 94805 to ensure your place on the pilgrimage. Without the deposit your registration will not be confiremed. Your deposit will be part of the payment.
If anyone wishes to join the pilgrimage from other states or other countries, they are welcome to do so. However, registration is still required and all participants must arrive in New Delhi no later than Oct. 31st, 2016. Those members who are interested to join the pilgrimage but not fully sure if they are going. If so send us your registration now without deposit to put your name on the list. You can send your deposit 90 days before depature with copy of your passport to ensure your place on the pilgrimage. Then full payment of the trip must be paid in full no later than 60 days. Once you registered with deposit we'll send you the confirmation with Indian and Nepalese visa information. However, without the deposit your registration will not be confiremed. Your deposit will be part of the payment.
India and Nepal Visas: All members please apply for your Indian visa before you book your airline ticket. India and Nepal visa instruction. Lodging: During the trip you will be sharing rooms that have twin beds. If you prefer not to share a room and prefer to have single accommodations, there will be an extra charge and reservations are subject to availability. If you are travelling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate. However, if no roommate is available you will be charged the single accommodation room rate. Therefore, we advise you to encourage your family and/or friends to join the pilgrimage so you can share a room with your family or friends. We will make the greatest effort to make you as comfortable as possible.
Northern part of Pilgrimage will cost $2,600.00 and Southern India tour will cost $1400.00 per person without international air fare. All prices based on shared rooms, twin beds. If you would like a single room there will be an additional $500- $700 perperson. We do not recommend to book single room because it will be costly. Invite a family member or friend to join the pilgrimage. Interested members, please register below. Northern Pilgrimage October 29 - November 11
Please note: There will be maximum 35 seats available and those seats will be available on a first come first serve basis. Currently we have only 11 seats left for the Northern part of the pilgrimage.
Southern India - Visiting Ancient Buddhist Caves
We are also visiting ancient Buddhist Caves in South India right after the pilgrimage November 11th - November 15th, 2016. It will require an additional 5 days to visit the caves near Mumbai but we won't be visiting Mumbai. Interested members can send their registration now.
If you would like a single room for South India trip there will be an additional $450 per per person. We do not recommend to book single room because it will be costly. Interested members please register below. We have 16 seats left for the Southern India trip.
Southern Pilgrimage November 11 - November 15
All local members who are joining the pilgrimage with Ven. Donyo are invited for afternoon tea at the Foundation. We know some members are flying from different cities and those members not necessarry to join the orientation. Ven. Donyo will be giving a brief introduction about the pilgrimage so that the members will have full knoledge about trip as well as India and Nepali culture. Those members who can attend the orientation you can organize your roommate at the orientation. Those who can't join the orientation then we'll asign your roommate.
Please note: All members please make sure that you are in good health in order to travel to India with group and free to walk about an hour each day.
When: Sunday, October 16th, at 2 pm - 4 pm
Where: At Gyuto Foundation, 6401 Bernhard Ave. Richmond, CA 94805
Tea and cofee will be served. BUDDHIST PILGRIMAGE COST INCLUDES:
* Flight from New Delhi Gorakakpure
* Return flight from Varanasi to New Delhi
* All meals are included during the entire trip
* 10 days transportation by A/C deluxe coach bus
* 12 days lodging in twin bed, shared rooms in 2*-4* hotels
* English speaking tour escort at all times
* All entrance fees to the sites
COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:
International airfare or visa fees
Airport taxes if any
Expenses of personal nature
All personal expenses such as drinks, laundry, medical, etc.
Insurance of any kind
Any incidental charges such as flight delay/cancellation due to unforeseen happenings.
Bank charges for fund transfer.
Costs which are not included above in “Cost Includes”
On the last day we request that all members offer small gifts to our tour guide, bus driver and driver's assistant. They always expect some gift from us at the end of the service.
Those members who arrive in Delhi before or stay behind the tour schedule, all additional expenses will be covered by the individual including meals, hotel and transportation from the airport. We encourage that everyone travel on the same flight or try to meet our schedule if flying with different flights or flying from differnet states in order to keep the cost for the tour.
If you decide to cancel and notify us in writing before departure, we will refund your money after subtracting the following fee: More than 60 days ............$500 30 - 59 days....................... 50% Less than 30 days .............No Refund There will be no refunds if you leave the trip for any reason, after the trip has begun. No refund will be made for meals and accommodations if not utilized.
DESCRIPTION OF THE SITES:
Lumbini is the sacred place where the Buddha was born, located in Nepal. There is an ancient shrine there with an image representing his birth as Prince Siddhartha. At this site Asoka's pillar is found, which is engraved with an inscription commemorating Emperor Asoka’s pilgrimage.
Sravasti is said to have been Buddha's residence for 25 years while living in the monastery of Jetavana in Sravasti. Sravasti is the only place where Buddha was supposed to have astonished rival teachers by performing miracles. It is in Sravasti that Buddha transformed Angulimal from a dacoit into a Buddhist monk. The two 21-meter high pillars erected by Emperor Ashoka mark these sites.
Vaishali is the place where one of the eight portions of the Buddha's relics have been enshrined in the foundation after the Maha Parinirvana of Buddha. Buddha first visited Vaishali in the fifth year after his enlightenment and is where he spent the whole rainy season. Later King Ashoka built a stupa there.
Kushinagar is the place where the Buddha lay down and passed into Mahaparinirvana. There are sites that are related to Buddha's Nirvana. A large mound nearby marks the place where a great stupa once stood, and where the Buddha was cremated.
Bodh Gaya is the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment. To the west of the temple is the Bodhi tree and sandstone seat where the Buddha is said to have sat when he reached his full enlightenment. It is the place which should be visited and seen by a person of devotion and which should cause awareness of the nature of impermanence.
Rajgir is known as Vultures Peak, this is where the Buddha gave teachings on the Heart Sutra. The first Dharma council was also held there just after Buddha passed into Mahaparinirvana.
Nalanda is home to the Monastic University that became famous in the centuries following the Buddha’s passing. Nalanda was a flourishing center of learning and for centuries was famous for its learned and versatile teachers.
Varanasi is where Buddha preached his first discourse after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. Emperor Asoka built a Stupa there which stood at a height of about 150 feet tall, the impressive ruins of which can still be seen.
Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the 7 Wonders of the World, and some Western historians have noted that its architectural beauty has never been surpassed. The Taj Mahal is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset.
Northern Pilgrimage Tour Itinerary for Oct. 29th - Nov. 11th, 2016
Saturday, October 29 at 12.20 pm: Depart from San Francisco to New Delhi with All Nippon Airways.
Sunday, October 30: Still on flight
Monday, October 31:Arrive Delhi (All Nippon Airways Arrive Delhi at 12:15 AM) Meet and assist on arrival at Delhi international airport and transfer to hotel. After breakfast or lunch, sightseeing of Delhi. Overnight at Delhi.
Tuesday, November 1: Delhi – Gorakhpur – Lumbini Only Air India flight operates daily once a day from Monday to Saturday except Sunday. AI-9809 Departure from Delhi at 12:15 and Arrives Gorakhpur at 14:15.
Wednesday, November 2: Lumbini + Lumbini – Sravasti Morning visit Lumbini. Afternoon depart to Sravasti. Overnight at Sravasti.
Thursday, November 3:Sravasti + Sravasti – Kushinagar Morning visit Sravasti. Afternoon depart to Kushinagar. Overnight at Kushinagar.
Friday, November 4:Kushinagar + Kushinagar – Vaishali / Patna Morning visit Kushinagar. Afternoon depart to Vaishali or Patna. Overnight at Patna or Vaishali.
Saturday, November 5:Vaishali/Patna + Vaishali – Bodhgaya Morning visit Vaishali. Afternoon depart to Bodhgaya. Overnight at Bodhgaya.
Sunday, November 6: Bodhgaya Morning visit to Mahabodhi temple, Sujata village. After lunch, visit to Mahakala cave. Overnight at Bodhgaya.
Monday, November 7:Bodhgaya (Rajghir & Nalanda) After early breakfast, depart to Rajghir & Nalanda. Overnight at Bodhgaya.
Tuesday, November 8:Bodhgaya – Varanasi After early breakfast, depart to Varanasi. After lunch, visit Sarnath. Overnight at Varanasi.
Wednesday, November 9:Varanasi – Delhi After breakfast, depart to airport to board flight to Delhi. Overnight at Delhi.
Thursday, November 10:Delhi – Agra – Delhi Morning drive to Agra to visit Taj Mahal. Evening return back and overnight at Delhi.
Friday, November 11:Day free for independent activities till departure transfer to international airport to board return flight home or continue to South India.
Saturday, November 12 at 1: 25 am: Depart from New Delhi to San Francisco and arrive on same day Saturday, November 12 at 9.30 am
(Note: Those not continuing their trip to South India leave very early (1:25 am) November 12 - and those who wish to visit South India will leave Delhi in the afternoon on November 11) Northern part of the pilgrimage ends here.
Please note: Southern part of the tour is separate from the Northern part of the pilgrimage.
Ancient Buddhist caves Ajanta & Ellora
The caves were built in two phases starting around the 2nd century BC, with the second group of caves built around 400–650 AD. Buddhist Monks used to retreat to this serene place during the monsoon, and as they had plenty of time during such retreats they used it for deepening their religious quest through prayer and discussion.
Friday, November 11:Delhi – Aurangabad Air India flight Departs from Delhi at 17:50hrs and Arrives Aurangabad at 20:05hrs. Air India is the only flight operating directly to Aurangabad. Rest flies via other places and takes more than 9 hours. Overnight at Aurangabad
Saturday, November 12:Aurangabad – Ajanta Visit Ajanta Caves. Overnight at Aurangabad. The Ajanta caves are closed on Mondays, and the Ellora caves are closed on Tuesdays.
Sunday, November 13:Aurangabad – Ellora Visit Ellora Caves. Overnight at Aurangabad. The Ajanta caves are closed on Mondays, and the Ellora caves are closed on Tuesdays.
Monday, November 14: Aurangabad – Delhi Air India flight Departs from Aurangabad at 16:50hrs and Arrives Delhi at 20:05hrs. Air India is the only flight operating directly from Aurangabad to Delhi. Rest flies via other places and takes more than 9 hours. Overnight at Delhi
Tuesday, November 15:Depart Delhi Day is free for independent activities till departure transfer for onward journey.
TRIP PREPARATION: All participants are advised to check with their health insurance carrier regarding coverage abroad as well as their medical professionals for any precautionary medical treatments for travel to Nepal and India. Emergency medical facilities may not be readily available at all times in Nepal and India.
CHECKLIST Below is a list to help you organize everything you'll need prior to travel:Advised to travel as light as possible
Be sure to arrive to the airport at least three hours prior to departure
Valid Passport with Indian visa
Extra Copy of Passport: Just in case!
Extra passport photos- Email yourself a copy so you have a digital copy as well
Cash: you may need approximately $1,000 - $3,000 for personal needs
DO NOT bring traveler's checks from small banks!
Money, passport and tickets need to be protected at all times and carried on your person throughout the entire trip
Travel insurance: not necessary, but recommended.
November is good weather in Nepal and India but may get a little cold in the morning and evening, so we recommend some warm clothes and/or extra layers just in case
Comfortable shoes for a lot of walking
A small, light blanket can be very useful on the bus
Modest clothes - skin exposure and figure hugging clothes are not commonly worn in India and Nepal and will bring a lot of unwanted and annoying attention
If you are taking any electrical items, you will need 220 volt (NOT 110 volt) and the correct adapter plug for India
Small camera and reliable alarm clock
Hat and sunglasses -the sun can be quite strong even in winter
Tylenol, cough drops, bandages, and so on for basic first aid/medical needs
A small hot water bottle
Strong plastic bags for wet or dirty clothes
Padlock(s) - mainly for luggage
Wet wipes or wet towels, very useful in India
Dried fruit & nuts/ snacks for yourself on the bus
Blow up neck ring cushion
Small flash light
Small first aid kit
Some candies for kids in the rural areas
Thank you and Tashi Delek,
Ven. Thupten Donyo
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Gyuto Foundation Inc.
6401 Bernhard Avenue, Richmond Heights, CA 94805, USA
(510) 926-3969 / (510) 926-3973
These seven icons represent the seven steps of Buddha.