Consecration of Stupa in Rigul Village

On 13/6/14 on the auspicious day of Fullmoon of Saga Dawa Ringu Tulku’s uncle Thendup Dorjee’s stupa was consecrated by the Tulkus, Khenpos and monks of Rigul Monastery. It was built in Rigul village under the dedicated leadership of Dr. Chuga.Stupa in Rigul Tibet

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Visit to Rigul School

Francois has arrived safe and sound in Rigul, Tibet.

Here he sends a photo of himself and some of the children taken on his safe arrival on Monday 14th October.

Rigul School children

Rigul School children

Francois has also forwarded this message from Khenpo Senge about the Rigul children:

“I want to express my appreciation to all the sponsors and Rigul Tulku Rinpoche for the selfless support, love and care to the Rigul children and in school during all these years! Up to now, we have over 50 children entered the public schools and/or monastery for higher grades studies after studying in the Rigul school. Some of them are even in high school or colleges. The atmosphere is very good in our hometown, children are learning languages in Chinese, Tibetan, and English; Studying Tibetan culture and Buddhism.

People in the villages now all understand the importance of the children getting educated, as children are the hope of the future. It’s really a wonderful change we can see today, which is exactly in line with the initial intension of establishing the school. We will continue this important work, letting more children receive an education at a young age, help them cultivate good ideology. Please continuously give us your great support!

Best Wishes, Khenpo Senge”.


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Corby Council Adopts Rigul Village

Corby Council adopts Tibetan village of Rigul

Corby is to forge links with a Tibetan community after the borough council agreed to adopt the remote village of Rigul. The move means the council has become the first in Britain to formally partner a community in Tibet and it is hoped other places in the UK will follow suit.

From left, deputy leader of Corby Council Jean Addison, Margaret Richardson of the Rigul Trust, Paul Golding, of the London-based Tibet Society, and Cllr Bob Riley

A proposal for the link with Rigul, put forward by deputy leader Cllr Jean Addison and seconded by Cllr Chris Stanbra, was agreed at a full meeting of the council on Thursday (September 19). No public funding will be used but it is hoped residents and groups in the Corby area will support fundraising for Rigul’s school and health clinic, established by the charity, the Rigul Trust.

Cllr Chris Stanbra said: “This is about this council leading the way and making a stand. We should extend the hand of friendship and wouldn’t it be great if other places did the same.” Cllr Mary Butcher added: “These are a peaceful people who are losing their way of life. This is a way of showing that we care.”

The adoption of Rigul, a remote village high in the mountains of Kham (and now part part of China’s Sichuan province) was the idea of Councillor Bob Riley. Councillor  Riley came across the idea in France having already been aware of the issue through the annual raising of the Tibetan flag on 10 March in nearby Northampton. The motion was proposed by the Jean Addison, Deputy Leader of Corby Council, and passed at a full council meeting on 19 September.

The adoption process is similar to twinning but requires no funding nor formal approval from the Chinese authorities. As such the council can choose to do what it wishes in terms of promoting the adoption. Members of Corby Council hope to put on cultural and fundarising events in the future, to raise funds for projects which will benefit the people of Rigul as well as promoting the issue of Tibet in general

Paul Golding, of the London-based Tibet Society, and Margaret Richardson, of the Rigul Trust, visited Corby last week to show support for the plan at a meeting organised by Cllr Bob Riley. They spoke of conditions under the Chinese regime, with Tibetans arrested and detained for printing political leaflets or even displaying a photograph of the Dalai Lama. Those arrested are tortured and many disappear without trace. The presentation included France24’s undercover video report from inside Tibet earlier this year and highlighted recent prisoner cases, including Dolma Gyab (sentenced to death for the alleged murder of his wife) and Ngawang Tobden (student imprisoned for two years for having ‘subversive’ images on his mobile phone).They are denied the right to education in their own language and possession of the Tibetan national flag is a crime.

Rigul Trusts would wish to thank the people of Corby and the Corby Council for taking this supportive initiative, and we hope that soon other city and town councils would also wish to step forward and follow their lead, to give a visible support to Tibetans living under such oppressive rule and trying to survive in very harsh conditions.

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Daily Life in Rigul village, Tibet

Dear Friends
As many of you will know, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche was born in Rigul, Kham , Tibet, and he is still the Abbot and director of Rigul monastery. Through many difficult years, Rinpoche has had to operate from afar, in a position of exile in India. Students, friends and family worldwide have helped Rinpoche to realise his dream of restoring his monastery, the teaching shedra,  providing a health clinic and school for all the people of Rigul and for people coming from many miles around.
Here is a very moving account of daily life in Rigul by Shannon Lui, who visited Rigul last October.
We are now needing to raise £34,000 or 42,000 euros every year to maintain very basic needs.
Yesterday, Ringu Tulku messaged to say that the costs have increased even on this amount of money just given.

Hello Margaret,
I made a trip to Ringu Temple in early October. It was an impressive but tough journey as it took us over two days by car for just one way trip. But it’s all worth it when we finally get to see the temple, the village, the school, the teachers, the students, the doctor, and Kempo’s family. I’m attaching some photos to share with you. We saw the new playground with fence at school, the repaired roof, the solar energy alternators for the teachers and doctor, and many other stuffs that were purchased or built using the fund from Rigul Trust. Kempo and the teachers/students want me to help pass their appreciation to you and everyone else who have been helping them to make all these improvements during the past years. Kempo also prays for your family and friends during various Buddhist activitieshis as well as his daily practice.

We know Kempo has tried his best to prepare relatively better food and living for us, but we clearly see how tough the living condition is. The weather is cold, with winter of over 6 months long. (It snowed when we were there in early Oct). People lack of a lot of basic supplies for live. Things like vegetable/fruits, clothes or even toothpaste, they will have to buy from a town that is 3 hours driving distance. To purchase school furniture, books, and other important stuff, Kempo will have to travel 2 to 3 days to ChengDu city, then arrange trucks to carry back. The cost of trucks is quite expensive due to the long distance and bad road condition, (RMB 5000 to 7000). . The kids were happily taking the school meals and smile to us all time, when taking photos for them. They are really sweet kids. They practiced some Tibet dance after class and performed it in the next day to thank us for bringing them gifts,candies and school supply. Also, the village has no phone lines, even mobile phone signal is only available for a short period of time in the day time. We were out of connection most of the time there. Also, we visited the doctor and his clinic office, he is a very nice and reliable person that helping a lot of people including the neighbor village. He travels to patient home by bike no matter in daytime or nighttime. There are also a couple items that need additional fund. 1) Dr. Chuga plans to build an attached room for patients to take treatment, as currently, they can only do it in the open yard area, very cold. 2) to save medicine cost, Dr. Chuga picks and collects Tibet medicine on his own and need two kinds of machines to grind them into powder, currenlty, he is doing by hands, but it’s very slow and hurting his hands. I saw there are a lot of medicine are getting sundried in his room, but not able to grind into powder yet. So Kempo wonders if there is any possiblity to fund above two items. Please kindly advise

During the one week stay, we all experienced a lot, and learned a lot.  It’s a beautiful and peaceful piece of land with good souls. I want to visit there again. Hope you will have a chance to come to China and get to visit Ringu village, to meet the people you’ve been supporting some day.

Meanwhile, wish you all the best! Stay warm!

Best Regards,


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Ringu Tulku Public Talk on Tonglen

Ringu Tulku is a Tibetan Buddhist Master who travels the world meeting people, giving talks and seminars. He is also an internationally renowned author. Rigul Trust will be hosting a public talk by Ringu Tulku in Southampton on the subject of ‘Generating Immeasurable Loving Kindness/Compassion’ –  The Tibetan meditation practice known  as tonglen.

Venue: The Friend’s Meeting House, 1A Ordnance Road, Southampton SO15 2AZ

Date: Monday June 17th 2013 Time: 7.15pm to 9.15 pm

Admission by Donation -100% of all donations will go for health, education and poverty relief.

Ringu Tulku





Southampton Tonglen RT A5


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The Tibetan Experience – Refugee Week

Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of events that celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary.  Since being invaded in 1949, more than 1/6th of Tibet’s population of 6 million have died as a direct result of the Chinese occupation, and over 150,000 have fled into exile as refugees.  Despite watching the systematic destruction of their national independence, culture and religion, Tibetans have not looked for retaliation but have sought peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect. In 1989 HH Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for this non-violent response. As he says….“ Violence can only breed more violence and suffering.  Our struggle must remain non-violent and free of hatred. We are trying to end the suffering of our people, not to inflict suffering upon others.”
Ringu Tulku, Buddhist monk, Tibetan refugee and internationally renowned author, will give a public talk on this compassionate response to invasion & exile, rooted in traditional Buddhist values.

Venue: The Avenue St. Andrew’s URC
(Junction of The Avenue & Alma Road,) Southampton SO17 1XQ
Date: Tuesday June 18th 2013 
Time: 7.15pm to 9.15 pm

Refugee Week RT A5flyer

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New Year Good Wishes

New Year Good Wishes to all of our supporters of Rigul Trust projects.

Dear Friends,

We hope you are well and in good spirits. With the coming of the New Year 2013, we would like to take this opportunity to extend our greetings and very best wishes to all of you.

May you enjoy prosperity.

May your dreams come true in the coming year and may things go well without obstacles.

May Buddha always bless you and may your Dharma practices become fruitful.

May you live long and healthily.

On behalf of all the people in Rigul, Kham,Tibet we extend their great gratitude and lots of Tashi Deleks for all the support you have so nobly and generously given for the health clinic, the school and the khenpo there.

Without this extraordinary financial support, Ringu Tulku’s people in Rigul would not have a health clinic or a school and the people in Rigul are in great need of our support to help alleviate such poverty.

So in 2012 with your great support, Rigul Trust funded:

  • 40,000 hot, school meals and an education for 60 children
  • Salaries of 5 teachers and 3 cooks.
  • The advanced running costs of the health clinic for approximately 10,000 patients plus the salaries of Dr Chuga, his assistant and the nurse, Ani Choden.

To fund all of the above for 2013 will cost £34,000 or 42,000 euros!!

Thank you all so very, very much from the Rigul Trust Trustees, Patron and the people of Rigul in particular.

Here is a short update from our Patron of Rigul Trust o the activities of the Trust in helping to releive the poverty in Rigul:

“Thank you very much for some contribution to the people in Rigul. The school and clinic in Rigul are actually doing very well. There was a little bit of a rumor that maybe the Chinese government might close the school. But this is just a rumor, so far; and I hope nothing will happen. They are doing very well there. At the moment they are building toilets – the first time toilets being built for the school in Rigul. I don’t know how good those toilets will be, but they are building it. And last year, they built a dining hall. So far they have been eating in the classrooms or outside, so now they have a proper dining hall and tables where they can eat. And those people who also pass out [graduated] from the school, many have joined shedra as monks; I think about 40 of them. And many others, including the girls, many girls have gone for higher studies, higher schools, middle, secondary schools elsewhere, a little bit far. So it seems the school is very helpful. Also the clinic is being used quite a lot. Lots of people come for their checkup and for medicines. So thank you very much, you and others who have contributed and helped in these projects. As you can see, we have been now helping them for a long time. Every year, around £30,000 are needed for the school and clinic. So far we have been able to make them through your generous contributions. So hopefully, we will be able to continue.”
Thank you very much.
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Patron Rigul Trust Charity

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Rigul’s water tap and toilet

Sanitation in the form of a water tap and now the first toilet in Rigul village will soon both be available to the community in this remote part of Tibet.

Previously the families of this mountainous region had to transport cooking and washing water from the nearby river by hand, even through the harsh winter months. And now a toilet to serve the community is being built by the local people to bring modern sanitation too.

Khenpo Shenge has sent us this photo of the toilet construction work under way.

As the winters in Tibet are so severe the laying of underground water pipes to carry the water from the stream to the new tap was necessary as over-ground piping caused the water to freeze in winter.

Here the children of Rigul School sit in front of the new water tap at the school.

Learning conditions at the school have been very basic in the past. The new tap follows the building of the dining room for the school children, but before that they had to eat in the open air. There is no solar heating and it must be really cold in the homes, the school and the clinic. Many building improvements still need to be made in Rigul village as when Ringu Tulku
 visited there in 2005 he found that every building leaked during the rains.

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Buddhist Teachings aiding welfare projects in Tibet

We are pleased to announce that the patron of Rigul Trust, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, will be giving Buddhist teachings on the subject of ‘Living and Dying with Peace and with Dignity’ in Southampton, with all proceeds going to support Rigul Trust education and health care projects. The dates are:

Saturday June 9th 2012

10 to 12am and 2 to 4pm

and continued on

Sunday June 10th 2012

3 until 7pm with a break

The venue is the ‘Friends Meeting House’, 1a Ordnance Road, Southampton, SO15 2AZ.

Contact:  Margaret Richardson Tel: 023 8046 2926   Or Ian Stuart Tel: 01903 733958

Ringu Tulku

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Master of the Kagyu Order and has served as Professor of Tibetan studies in Sikkim for twenty five years. Since 1990 he has been travelling and teaching Buddhism and meditation at universities, institutes and Buddhist centres in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, S. Africa and Asia. He also participates in various interfaith and science and Buddhist dialogues and has authored books on Buddhism and some children’s books both in Tibetan and European languages.

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Karmapa’s message of hope, harmony, love and respect

This is the Tibetan New Year statement from the head of the Kagyu lineage, the Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje. The recent protests and self-immolations in Tibet against brutal Chinese repression have caused him to speak these words full of hope for future peace and freedom: ” Acknowledging the real human distress of Tibetans in Tibet and taking full responsibility for what is happening there would lay a wise basis for building mutual trust between Tibetans and the Chinese government. Rather than treating this as an issue of political opposition, it would be far more effective for Chinese authorities to treat this as a matter of basic human welfare.”

Statement from the Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje,

(6 February, 2012, Bodh Gaya) – Reports have just emerged that three more Tibetans set themselves ablaze within a single day in eastern Tibet. This comes shortly after four Tibetans immolated themselves and others died in demonstrations in Tibet during the month of January. As tensions escalate, instead of showing concern and trying to understand the causes of the situation, the Chinese authorities respond with increasing force and oppression. Each new report of a Tibetan death brings me immense pain and sadness; three in a single day is more than the heart can bear. I pray that these sacrifices have not been in vain, but will yield a change in policy that will bring our Tibetan brothers and sisters relief.

Having been given the name Karmapa, I belong to a 900 year old reincarnation lineage that has historically avoided any political engagement, a tradition I have no intention of changing. And yet as a Tibetan, I have great sympathy and affection for the Tibetan people and I have great misgivings about remaining silent while they are in pain. Their welfare is my greatest concern.

Tibetan demonstrations and self-immolations are a symptom of deep but unacknowledged dissatisfaction. If Tibetans were given a genuine opportunity to lead their lives as they wished, preserving their language, religion and culture, they would neither be demonstrating nor sacrificing their lives.

Since 1959, we Tibetans have faced unimaginable loss, yet we have found benefit in adversity. Many of us rediscovered our true identity as Tibetans. We rediscovered a sense of national unity among the people of the three provinces of Tibet. And we came to value a unifying leader, in the person of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. These factors have given us all great grounds for hope.

China speaks of having brought development to Tibet, and when I lived there it was materially comfortable. Yet prosperity and development have not benefited Tibetans in the ways that they consider most valuable. Material comfort counts for little without inner contentment. Tibetans live with the constant suspicion that they will be forced to act against their conscience and denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Chinese authorities persistently portray His Holiness as the enemy. They have rebuffed his repeated efforts to find a peaceful and negotiated solution to the Tibetan-Chinese problem. They dismiss the heartfelt faith and loyalty with which the Tibetan people universally regard His Holiness. Even Tibetans born in Tibet decades after His Holiness the Dalai Lama had gone into exile still regard him as their guide and refuge not only for this life, but for life after life. Therefore, constantly depicting His Holiness the Dalai Lama in hostile terms is an affront that benefits no one. In fact, striking at the heart of Tibetan faith damages the prospect of winning Tibetans’ trust. This is neither effective nor wise.

I call on the authorities in Beijing to see past the veneer of wellbeing that local officials present. Acknowledging the real human distress of Tibetans in Tibet and taking full responsibility for what is happening there would lay a wise basis for building mutual trust between Tibetans and the Chinese government. Rather than treating this as an issue of political opposition, it would be far more effective for Chinese authorities to treat this as a matter of basic human welfare.

In these difficult times, I urge Tibetans in Tibet: Stay true to yourselves, keep your equanimity in the face of hardship and remain focused on the long term. Always bear in mind that your lives have great value, as human beings and as Tibetans.

With the prospect of the Tibetan New Year in sight, I offer my prayers that Tibetans, our Chinese brothers and sisters, and our friends and supporters across India and around the world may find lasting happiness and true peace. May the New Year usher in an era of harmony, characterized by love and respect for each other and for the earth that is our common home.

Ogyen Trinley Dorje,

17th Gyalwang Karmapa

Below are some recent reports documented in the news and by human rights organisations on the self-immolations and protests that have emerged from Tibet over the past few weeks and which highlight the words of the Karmapa and his call for the acknowledgement of the real human distress of Tibetans within Tibet.


The crackdown by the Chiniese authorities on monasteries has caused another tragedy and the sacrifice of a life for the desperate call for freedom from repression in Tibet:

Tibetan monastic official self-immolates

Tamchoe Sangpo, a monk in his late 30s, set fire to himself and died today (17th February 2012) in the grounds of Bongthak Monastery, Themchen County, Eastern Tibet.   Tamchoe was a teacher at the monastic school and a member of the Democratic Management Committee of the monastery, the government-controlled body which the authorities rely on to control the monasteries.

Security personnel inside the monastery  Chinese security personnel came to the monastery on 23 January and watched over the monks’ daily activities after a patriotic re-education campaign there had met with protests.
Tamchoe had told the police that they must leave the monastery because it is a place for monks. They ignored his requests.  A checkpoint which was stationed outside the monastery is now being used to prevent anyone from entering or leaving. Phone lines have also been cut. Concerns are mounting about the situation in Tibet. Free Tibet Campaign in the UK has reported on the routine detention and torture of ordinary Tibetan citizens and of monks and nuns, and continues to campaign for the release of political prisoners. On 13th February 2012 they reported:
Another Tibetan teenager self-immolates in Ngaba while hundreds protest in Jyekundo
A young monk, Lobsang Gyatso, set fire to himself today (13th February 20120) in Ngaba Town, Eastern Tibet. Lobsang is the second teenager to set themselves on fire in Ngaba in the last three days. His whereabouts and wellbeing are unknown.

Protests in Jyekundo Hundreds of kilometres away, Tibetans in Jyekundo Town are taking to the streets to protest against the occupying Chinese despite the threatening presence of Chinese state security personnel all around.  There are unconfirmed reports that some were taken away by Chinese security forces.

Lhasa  People returning to Lhasa from India are being detained in informal places of detention such as hotels. They are being denied any contact with the outside world and have been told that they will be held until April.

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