Helping hand for Pangphu Monastery

Morning Star, Aug 8 2007

Vernon, Canada -- Canadian friends are doing everything they can to help the Pangphu Monastery in Tibet. Christine Hwang, formerly of Vernon, now a Vancouver graphic artist, is bringing Lama Rabten to Vernon for a fundraising dinner and slide show Aug. 12.

Pangphu Monastery was established in 1144 AD by Dusum Khyenpa, the first Karmpa, and has continued the Karma Kagyu lineage for practitioners around the world. The monastery is outside a village and does not have the means to provide food, housing and clothing for the monks.

The monks must provide their own support and spend a lot of time traveling between the monastery and their homes so they do not have as much time for study and maintaining the temple. Lama Rabten said North American currency goes a long way in Tibet and any contribution, no matter how modest, is very helpful.

Hwang learned about Tibetan Buddhism from an uncle while she was growing up.

"I became more and more interested in it. I enjoy the teachings of compassion and the importance of compassion to becoming a happy person and I'm interested in the humanitarian aid work," she said.

Lama Rabten will present a seminar about Tibetan Buddhism Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Japanese Hall on Bella Vista Road.

For more information about the Nalanabodhi Vancouver Centre which helps support the monastery call 604-675-9282 or e-mail to

The Pangphu Monastery fundraising dinner, slide show titled Journey to Shangrila, China and silent auction will be held Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. at Apple Lane Restaurant in Vernon with a 12-course traditional Chinese dinner and a no-host bar. The cost is $40 per person with limited advance tickets available from Ghee or Teresa Hwang at 549-1356.