By Matthew Richards

Gaden Relief’s Mongolia Project is reporting success with the rebuilding of Delgeruun Choira Temple in Dundgovi Province. The renovations are progressing remarkably fast and with good craftmanship.

The temple’s head lama, Zava Damdin Rinpoche, has been spending a great amount of time and effort overseeing and participating in this project. Delgeruun Choira Temple is the traditional seat of his predecessors, themselves renown lamas of Mongolia. Feeling a sense of devotion and responsibility to both his previous incarnations and the local community, Rinpoche wants this monastery returned to its former glory.

Planting trees in front of new temple at Delgeruun Choira Monastery, April 2005. Photo: Zeev Rozen.

Planting trees in front of new temple at Delgeruun Choira Monastery, April 2005. Photo: Zeev Rozen.

You can see by the pictures how far it’s come along in the past year: from derelict ruins to a “golden blossom” in the desert. Its new roof gleams in the sun and the refurbished interior is ready for traditional ceremonies and prayers. Zava Damdin Rinpoche planted a tree outside the front to symbolize the temple’s rebirth and already the new kitchen is up and running. With funding support from Gaden Relief’s Mongolia Project, a new electric generator and two gers (yurts) with furniture for living quarters were purchased.

Hauling water at Delgeruun Choira Monastery. Photo: Zeev Rozen.

Hauling water at Delgeruun Choira Monastery. Photo: Zeev Rozen.

Gaden Relief’s spiritual director, Zasep Rinpoche, works closely with Zava Damdin Rinpoche, and together the two lamas are looking at the future direction of the Gobi temple and its needs. Besides money for the contractor for the reconstruction work, Delgeruun Temple needs more gers, solar panels, rest-room facilities, propane gas, cookware and perhaps even some school supplies for study. Once the monastery is officially open, the young monks will need a food fund as well.

There’s a lot of work left to do but we can see what we’ve accomplished together already. Soon, Delgeruun Choira Temple will once more be a famed place to study and practice Buddhism in Mongolia.