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Venerable ARJIA RINPOCHE's 10th Anniversary at TMBCC and a Special Birthday Celebration

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October 15, 2016: Sut Siri Akal. "Sikh greeting: God's Name is Eternal Truth." They had come from near and far to honor the leadership and celebrate the birthday of Venerable Arjia Rinpoche, Director and spiritual leader of Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center (TMBCC) in Bloomington; friends, faithful, guests and special dignitaries: Tenpa Tsering, representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Luvsanjamts Davaanyam; John Mellencamp, celebrated Indiana rocker and musician; KP Singh - The Center for Interfaith Cooperation's "2016 Interfaith Ambassador of the Year" and other faith leaders; Tibetan performers and friends in festive traditional clothes came from across the USA to the TMBCC and added color and spirit to the weekend celebration (September 24-25, 2016). The beautiful Buddhist and interfaith pilgrimage center in the Midwest is hallowed by six visits of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, a venerated Teacher and Buddha of Compassion and an honored spiritual global rattna (a brilliant and rare precious jewel).

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The celebration of the 10th Anniversary of TMBCC was a beautiful affair: The weather was perfect; the prayer flags were fluttering in the wind; the ornate sanctuary of Kumbum Chamtse Ling Temple was decorated for the occasion, for special prayer for Venerable Arjia Rinpoche's leadership and his 66th Birthday, and long-life prayers for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. It seems that the gods, Nature, and Highest Spirit were smiling throughout the weekend of festivities: tributes, fundraising dinner; prayer, rock concert, fellowship, meditation and chants of thanksgiving, and a giant Tapestry of Buddha was blessing all who were present. 

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Photo Credits: KP Singh and Allen Yates

I was honored to be part of the dedicated ceremonies and called on to say a few words as my tribute to Venerable Arjia Rinpoche, an enlightened teacher and faith scholar, an interfaith leader, and a respected friend. The invitation to join other dignitaries for a festive traditional Tibetan lunch was very special. My visits to the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center are always a joyful learning and spiritually-enriching experience, a welcome renewal, and a pilgrimage of spirit. It has been an exciting to witness the convergence of diverse cultures, faiths, and ethnic communities: Buddhists, Baha'i, Hindus, Jains, Muslims, Sikhs, and other nationalities and groups from distant lands into America's Heartland and adding to the emerging rich cultural tapestry and a vibrant spiritual landscape across Indiana over the past half century. We celebrate and welcome meeting at "the crossroads of America" and opportunity to learn and connect with new pioneers - people and their traditions, unique heritage and experiences, and common dreams and prayers going forward.

Kanwal Prakash 'KP' Singh

Kanwal Prakash 'KP' Singh

KP participates in interfaith and humanitarian initiatives (Interfaith Hunger Initiative); activities and celebrations of diverse faiths and ethnic communities in Indiana.  KP assists with cultural training for Police Officers and TSA personnel; works with teachers, students, civic leaders to create a better understanding of Sikh and other faith traditions and contributions. KP advocates interfacing and mainstreaming ethnic talents, assets to benefit and serve all Americans.

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