Buddhist master visits Bloomington monastery

by La-Tisha Plummer, Indianan Daily Student, Nov 10, 2008

Workshops focus on mental trasnsformations and peace of mind 

Bloomington, Indiana -- Last week students at the Dagom Gaden Tensung-Ling Buddhist Monastery had an opportunity to learn from a world-renowned teacher of their faith.

Buddhist master Gesh Kunchok was invited to Bloomington to teach students. Kunchok, a Tibetan monk, hosted a week-long series of classes that concluded Monday at the monastery. The workshop focused on mental transformation and peace of mind.

“Everyone talks a lot about world peace, but you cannot have world peace until you have peace within your mind,” Kunchok said.

“The students of the monastery wanted to meet him and receive teachings from him,” said Jamyang Lama, resident monk and translator for the monastery. “He is a very respected teacher.”

Back home, Kunchok travels his country offering classes and lectures, spreading the Buddhist message to everyone.

Kunchok does not speak English, so all of the teachings for the week were taught using a translator.

“The translator can actually be a good thing,” said Suzy Fulkerson, a student, member of the monastery board and Bloomington resident. “The break is helpful for assimilating what was just said.”

Most of the teachings included more advanced lessons in meditation and Buddhist philosophy.

“Most focus on mental transformations and peace of mind,” Kunchok said of his series of workshops.

Kunchok became a monk in South India and has since received the highest degree possible, a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy.

“No matter if you are rich or poor, everyone can benefit from the Buddhist teachings,” Yang said.

As a student of the monastery, Fulkerson said she understands the value of Kunchok’s visit to Bloomington.

“This is a very precious opportunity for the people of the community to see what the monastery is really about,” Fulkerson said. “There are about 20 to 50 students of the monastery at any given point, and each of us feel very honored for his first visit to Bloomington to be to our monastery.”