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   Kalachakra Network

IKN Meetings 


Although this page may not have the most inspiring title, you may find the contents interesting, as we like to keep you informed about what is happening to the IKN. We intend it to be a collection of things like meeting notes which are relevant to our network. Enjoy!

MEETINGS AT GRAZ, 13th and 14th October 2002

Present at either the whole or part of the meetings: Alessandro Bracci, Alex Berzin, Andy Wistreich, Anh Ho, Beate Zweitick, Bob Thurman, Manfred Klell, Michael Muller, Ricky Swaczy, Roy Sutherwood, Rudy Harderwijk, Serenella, Sofia Stril-Rever, Ven Tenzin Tsepag

Unable to find the meeting: Giacomella Orofino

Invited, but unable to attend: Ed Henning, David Reigle, John Newman, Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim, Vesna Wallace

1. Each participant introduced herself or himself and explained the work he or she is doing in relation to Kalacakra. This way we gained an understanding of the stages of development of each of the groups represented. London - practising together and studying practice monthly since 1996. Paris - studying together and now practising together since 2000. Toscana (SDK) - working on materials for publication and planning to build a practice group as the next step. Graz - focus up to now on planning the initiation, getting the retreat centre (with stupa, statue etc) organised - minimal plans yet for developing a practice group - but potential for the future. We also ascertained the potential for a 'group' in Australia and perhaps the US. In discussions outside the meetings, it became evident that there is also some potential for groups in Russia and Slovenia.

2. We agreed on the desirability of each centre where there is a Kalacakra Group having a fast Internet conenction (e.g. ADSL) so that in future, if there are teachings at one centre, there will be the opportunity for live video streaming to groups of practitioners in other parts of the world. As an intermediate technology, we discussed MP3 downloads of teachings as achievable currently - Michael Muller offered to help Rudy with this.

3. Manfred stressed the importance of the European groups at least, coordinating their planning of teachings, retreats etc, and everybody agreed to do this from now on. This will ensure that there are not clashes. As there is actually not massive interest in teachings or retreats, it would be good if all the European groups assume that such events are for all Europe (and perhaps Russia) from now on. The IKN Executive should be used for sharing plans in advance to ensure that we know what one another is planning.

4. There was a plea from Ricky for standards of Sanskrit diacritics for mantras and perhaps for translation terms to be moved towards by translators. In particular, for the sadhanas it would be very helpful to have one way of presenting the mantras.

5. There was particularly extensive discussion arising from Alex's question to the group, 'What is sacred, and why is Tantra secret?' This especially related to the fact the Internet makes things very accessible, as never before, and it is partly due to this new communications techniology that the IKN has become successful in the past two years. However, we still need to protect the commentaries and the practises from public view. As a result of these discussions, the following was resolved:
a) On the IKN website you will get access only to an initial level of 'secret' materials by stating the fact that you have taken the intiation.
b) To gain access to further materials you will need to state that as well as having taken the initiation, you have also been practising daily for some years, and indicate your motivation as being that of a mahayana practitioner.
Further to this, Ricky and Andy discussed also that the website as it currently stands, is possibly over-complex and does not lead the visitor effectively towards the necessary information for especially a beginner practitioner - Rudy and Andy had some discussions later about this, and Rudy is going to look at what is possible. Also, Rudy and Andy have been discussing how to create the two levels effectively and what materials should go in each. This will start to happen soon. Any member of this IKN Executive would be most welcome to comment on the developments, and should preferably share their ideas with the whole group, or if you prefer, send them to Rudy.

6. There was discussion on the issue of how to set up payment for translators, and it was agreed that this is an important issue, but one that cannot be agreeed at a general level, as every case is different.

7. We discussed the text of the Memorandum of Intent, leading to a number of amendments. Of particular interest in these discussions, was the point in the draft 'to avoid a merely academic approach to Kalacakra' which was rejected on the grounds that a number of 'academic' articles on Kalacakra have been very helpful to practitioners. Eventually this was reworded 'to discourage an approach to Kalacakra practice related materials merely for personal or professional gain' as better representing the consensus of the meeting.
The memorandum was reworded by Roy, and a copy for signing was circulated and signed by a number of people. It is still not clear exactly who has signed the Memorandum - getting together the signed copies and eventually publishing the Memorandum on the website with the names of signatories underneath is a job for the coming months.

These are the main points on which I have either notes or memories.

Andy Wistreich, November 2002


SDK organised teachings by Jhado Rinpoche from August 25 to September 4, 2003, during which several key members of the IKN met: Ricky Swaczy, Allessandro Bracci, Sofia Stril-Rever, Beate Zweytick, Andy Wistreich, Roy Sutherwood, Michael Mueller and Rudy Harderwijk. The main focus for the IKN was an interview with Jhado Rinpoche to obtain some advice, to request him to sign the IKN Memorandum of Intent and request him for advice on a regular basis.

1. Translation of the fire puja text - advised by Jhado Rinpoche and now added to the Wish-list
2. Rinpoche also advised to have Gyaltsab Je's commentary to Kalachakra translated into English (or another western language) [this has been added to the Wish-list].
3. We asked Rinpoche on the idea of creating a Kalachakra archive, to which Rinpoche responded very positively. He specifically mentioned to focus on rare Kalachakra texts from qualified masters; first check the teacher, then inform about possible rare texts in their possession. Rinpoche thinks that collecting texts from all traditions is important. He also emphasized that copying or scanning the originals would be more reliable than keying in the texts. This was added to Wish-list as it will certainly cost money.
4. We could try to work towards a standard vocabulary for future translations and possibly to try and revise exisitng texts in our collection - mainly by a team of English native speakers. We hope to start with revising the Defence Wheel sadhana immediately. On that basis, we can seriously edit all the available Kalachakra sadhanas for consistent vocabulary and easy recitation.
5. Andrea Capellari is working with Jhado Rinpoche on improving Bob Thurmans translation of the Defence Wheel (part of the long Kalachakra sadhana by the 7th Dalai Lama).
6. It was suggested to add long-life puja contributions for Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche to our Wish-list.
7. Some sort of offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama from the IKN was suggested. Asked for suggestions, Jhado Rinpoche thought that traditional offerings like thankas etc. may not be very useful, but money is always welcome for many projects of His Holiness, and the translation of one of His Holiness' books (the title to be confirmed) into the native language of a country where people have little access to his teachings would be very beneficial. As Anh Ho is thinking of doing just that into Vietnamese, this is now a fresh project where the IKN hopes to assist.
7. Jhado Rinpoche suggested we could (somewhere in the future, not just yet) request His Holiness the Dalai Lama to give Kalachakra teachings rather than 'just' the Kalachakra initiation.
8. Jhado Rinpoche will likely join the IKN, but he wishes to take some time to study our Memorandum of Intent.
9. The above made us realize that we should get the IKN Memorandum of Intent translated into Tibetan to make it easier for Tibetan teachers to sign up.
10. Sofia has made translations of the long mantras of the long Defence Wheel sadhana, which could go into a preliminary commentary. Also she wrote out all the Sanskrit syllables that appear in the Defence Wheel visualisations - we hoppe to include this in the website somehow. She did however receive some advice from Rinpoche which means revision of much of her work already completed...
11. More detailed discussions about the re-design of the website led to the view that the public IKN website might be considerably smaller than at present. Much of the detailed info would be more appropriate in a part of the website accessible to initiates only, and we could extend the contents there into more 'secret' teachings. (This work may actually take a while as the website has become quite extensive.)

Rudy Harderwijk