From OCT 22nd to NOV 3rd 2018 I undertook a trip to India and Nepal to coach Buddhist monks at the Diwakar Buddhist Academy of Kalimpong and the Sharminub Institute of Kathmandu in the approach to Event Project Management, as they have quite big events going on and will have even more and bigger events on a regular basis. The company I have the honor to be shareholder and CEO, Ten Directions GmbH in Germany, is active in three fields: Event Design and Direction, Travel Agency for Business Travellers and Group Travels to Buddhist countries in Asia, as well as in Training for Creative Event Management, Speaker Training and Mindfulness Coaching. This trip meant also to meet and combine the core values of our company and this project: traveling, helping to organize events, coaching and all this with great heart and for the benefit of others. We think sharing is caring. Therefore, I’d like to share my impressions.
Via New Delhi with a night stay at Ibis Airport Hotel to Bagdogra. I was picked up there by my new friend Palbar. The trip to Kalimpong took us over 5 hours in a wonderful Mahindra Bolero, through Siliguri, and up the mountains until Kalimpong, where Sri Diwakar Buddhist Academy is located.
There monks study Buddhist science and practice with the goal to become Dharma teachers, Acharyas (professors) or Khenpos (deans) on a very sophisticated academic level.
Sunset of day 1 in Kalimpong and beautiful Kalimpong by night. Kalimpong, by the way, is a major school city and recognized for its boarding schools all over India. It used to be the school capital, together with Gangtok, at the time of the British colony, but continued this tradition.
This is a 1959 historic English manor with an awesome history. His Holiness 16th Karmapa, Lama Gendün Rinpoche and later the 17th Karmapa used this house as their residence.
We went for a short visit to the New Nalanda Institute nearby Shri Diwakar Academy. This complex, once finished, will be holding the equivalent of Shri Diwakar for nuns and will contain an Academy such as Shri Diwakar, for women. It is built only by donations and organized by wonderful Anila Pema Zangmo.
This is the great Anila Pema Zangmo. She is only 85 years old and still so active in getting the New Nalanda Institute built. The first step, the completion of the Temple building with large living space for the Gyalwa Karmapa and the Künzig Shamar Rinpoche is just some donations away.
Our “official” photo. Anila showed me around over the 4 floors of the building, build with most beautiful marble and other very sophisticated stones, all put together in quality and craftsmanship which you find rarely in Northern India.
It was difficult to show the sheer size of this building, but you can count: this is half the building in width and depth and one floor is missing.
Project Management Training in Diwakar Buddhist Academy
This was the first group work of my workshop in “Project Management Training, Creativity in Event Management”.
Teaching is also listening to the students, and collecting their ideas of how to approach event management. I was quite surprised about the response as my offer to teach about Event Management was on a voluntary basis. There are two ways to learn: by try and error, which can occasionally be painful, or by joy. Guess what my preference is.
Every group had to come forward with one dedicated representative to present their results and ideas, on which I combined their ideas with own experiences and so gave feedback on what to possibly improve or to take care of.
This is Acharya Tenzin Wangpo on the left, one of the professors at Shri Diwakar Buddist Academy. He has become a dear friend and teacher over the years and visits Europe on a regular basis to give teachings in Buddhist philosophy.
And Dr. Andrew Trapani on the right, who gave a series of lectures about “Exploring the intersection between Science and Buddha Dharma”.
Visit to Diwakar Buddhist School
Diwakar Buddhist School is a school for the youngest monks. They generally have a very difficult biography at their young age and find here a place to get proper education, food, and accommodation. This place lives solely by generous donations and sponsorship. Different projects collect money for this project, such as Infinite Compassion Germany, or for medical supply and treatment – the Karmapa Healthcare Project
We were so lucky with the weather as usually, the Darjeeling weather can be as spooky as a straight damn horror movie. So, today was sunny.