New Potable Water System Installed at Amarbayasgalant Monastery
By Matthew Richards
Wonderful news! Through everyone’s vision, faith, generosity and effort, the illustrious Amarbayasgalant Monastery, one of Mongolia’s most important centers of Vajrayana Buddhist Thought and Practice, now has a system delivering potable water. Gerlee, our devoted friend and contact in the Amar Mur office in Ulaan Bataar informed us that a South Korean firm finished the drilling work by June 30th. The dream has been realized. The Amarbayasgalant community is very happy and appreciative of everyone’s work and generosity. There are already plans to build a green house and garden and the water will bring a good measure of hygiene for the monks. Amazingly, it took only six months to raise $20,000 for this project. The Mongolia project would like to thank everyone for their participation and giving. In particular, we’d like to thank: the Very Venerable Zasep Rinpoche for his spiritual direction, Gerlee and the Amar Mur center for their organization, some of our anonymous members who offered large donations and the spiritual community of Ven. Zasep Rinpoche’s center in Moscow, Idaho, the Golden Blue Lotus Tara Center for raising a significant amount through their fundraising efforts. Have a look at the photos of the well-work and contractual agreements.
Ven. Zasep Rinpoche and a number of his students will be visiting Mongolia and Amarbayasgalant monastery this August 2004. Rinpoche wants to consult with everyone there as to see in what direction to take the Mongolia Project – there will be a local community needs-assessment with emphasis on primary health care and education in particular, similar to Gaden Relief’s efforts in Tibet. Already, two of Rinpoche’s students accompanying him on the trip, with help from Rinpoche’s Australian Sangha, have collected clothes, toothbrushes and sunglasses for the monks at Amarbayasgalant.
One idea of Rinpoche’s is to raise money to help renovate Amarbayasgalant’s sister monastery in the desert south of UB. The young abbot of Amarbayasgalant, Ven. Zava Damdin Rinpoche heads another institution as well, a small monastery in the town of Delgertsogt, north of Mandalgovi, in the Gobi. Traditionally the seat of the Damdin Rinpoches of Mongolia, this monastery was destroyed during the Stalinist years and is in need of repair. The local lay community, while indeed devoted and doing their best to restore the building, is nevertheless quite poor owing to their nomadic lifestyle and cannot afford to do too much. Rinpoche has mentioned that there could be a role for the Mongolia Project here, either raising money for electricity or a water system for the monastery. Presently we’ll have to wait for his word. We will get a better idea of Rinpoche’s plans when the group returns to Canada at the end of August. Relevant information will be posted on this website.
For more information on the new well, please see the project preliminary report below.