Zangdok Palri Newsletter February 2013 (EN)

Sambhota Primary School, the Dzogchen nurturing primary school for orphans & Sambhota Secondary School
No 22 – February 2013

At the Dzogchen school


School life continues in all serenity for the 35 children currently enrolled. The main event at the start of this year will be the testing and selection of a new teacher by our local responsibles. This new teacher will assist the current headmistress.


At the Chengdu school


 all 4 of our secondary students have started their second year, perfecting their language skills in Chinese and Tibetan under the outstanding guidance of their teachers. Meanwhile, back in Dzogchen, our youngest students are working doubly hard to be able to cross the threshold to the oh so coveted secondary school!


A look at the books


We are often asked about the yearly cost of keeping these two schools up andrunning. Here’s a short overview of the costs entailed, based on the accountsof the last few years.For the 35 children currently housed in the school-orphanage, the annual budget amounts to approximately  €20,150 and includes :

  • food, clothing, bed linen :  €15,300
  • healthcare budget (estimate) : €1,000
  • pay (teacher, cook, housekeeperand coordinator) : €3,850


For the Chengdu secondary school, the annual budget amounts to roughly €13,000 :

  • food, clothing, electricity : €3,800
  • teacher’s pay : €3,000
  • rent : €6,200

Additionally, a number of renovations were needed in Dzogchen last year.
Ten years of extreme weather at 4,000m altitude obviously have their effect. We have had to repair roofs, replace a number of dormitory doors andwindows, buy a new power generator etc. Total cost: around €18,000.
Keep in mind we receive no government funding whatsoever. We have only been able to raise this money and make ends meet through your generosity : your donations and your sponsorships.


Dzogchen – A long tradition of study and teaching

Like all Tibetan regions, Dzogchen is steeped in Buddhism. Dzogchen village is home to a monastery and a university that carry its name, as well as other institutes, monasteries and retreat centres. The monasteries do more than safeguard the transmission of Buddhist philosophy and the training of monks and future teachers. They are the indispensable social and cultural centre of an entire region, and as such fulfil a key role in the lay population’s sense of identity.
Dzogchen monastery was founded in 1685 and rapidly developed into one of the principal centres of Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet. Over the centuries, it has created several hundred monasteries in Asia as well as in the West.

Eager to preserve Buddhist teachings, Dzogchen monastery inspired the founding of the famous Dege printing house in 1729, which still uses carved wooden printing blocks dipped in ink, following the secular tradition.

The mother monastery has produced numerous great masters, teachers and practitioners. Up until 1959, it continued to develop as a key institute for philosophical training and education. Reconstruction of the monastery has been ongoing since the 1980s.

Founded in the 19th century, the monastic university of Shri Singha was closely connected to Dzogchen monastery. Its reputation quickly spread beyond the Kham region of Tibet as one of the most influential academic institutes, setting the standard for training, education and numerous scientific disciplines including Buddhist philosophy, medicine, the arts etc. To earn the title of Khenpo (equivalent to PhD), students faced a long and challenging curriculum of 4 to 12 years, depending on individual talent and diligence.
Like the monastery, Shri Singha university produced many great minds and practitioners, who in turn became teachers themselves or retired into solitude and meditation.
The university is today being reconstructed, once again attracting students even from very far away.


Our heartfelt thanks to

  • the volunteers and organisers of the Bazar International, and of the Fraen & Mammen of Heiderscheid, Reuler and Bertrange, who have generously donated part of the proceeds of their 2012 Christmas fairs,
  • and to all donors and sponsors who commit themselves to supporting the development of the Sambhota schools, giving these programmes a future.


Let’s get together!


This spring we will have two booths, at the Cactus commercial centre of Howald and Cora in Foetz. Come and discover a wide range of natural incenses, handmade artefacts from Asia and the Himalayan regions, books, essential oils and lots of new silver jewellery. Great ideas for a gift, or simply to indulge yourself!
The dates haven’t been fixed yet, so kindly get in touch for updates.

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We invite you to support the project through patronage or a gift Zangdok Palri asbl – LU94 1111 1778 8887 0000 – CCPLLULL

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Zangdok Palri asbl
10, rue Bartholmy
L-1216 Howald