Chu Sup Tsang Monastery, located in the village of Ventoselo (San Amaro, Ourense) is to be the first university centre of Buddhist philosophy in Spain and Europe in which formal studies are given of the Five Great Areas of Buddhist Knowledge (Tsema, Parchin , Uma, Dulwa and Dzo) – according to the model of the great Monastic Universities of India and Tibet, such as Ganden Monastery, from which stem our spiritual director Ven Lama Geshe Tenzing Tamding as well as the Masters that accompany him in this undertaking in Spain: His Eminence Nyare Tritul Rinpoche and the Ven. Lama Geshe Lobsang Yeshi.
The construction of a library open to the general public, which will house nearly 30,000 volumes of sacred texts of Buddhism and which, at the express wish of the Lama Geshe Tenzing Tamding and Chu Sup Tsang Foundation, will also include texts from a variety of non-Buddhist religions and traditions present in the world. The aim of this project is that Chu Sup Tsang may become a place of interest for researchers of philosophy from around the world. This library will by its content be something unique in Spain and Europe, with the potential of becoming an essential reference for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.
The current Gompa – the place for meditation and prayer at any Buddhist Monastery- where teachings and lectures are given, can accommodate a maximum of 100 people. The future project includes a new Gompa with a capacity of up to 500 people. The Gompa will be integrated into the library building, forming the heart of the library. This new Gompa dedicated to meditation and teaching will be able to house, in addition to all the sacred texts and images that are kept in the current Gompa, the statue of Buddha Shakyamuni which arrived in Chu Sup Tsang from Asia in 2014. It measures almost 3m in height and weighs 350 kg (when hollow). In future it will be filled with millions of mantras written on small strips of paper, as well as different relics and sacred objects as established in Buddhist tradition – and will weigh over 900 kg. Already now, this statue is a reason for tourists and locals to visit, despite it remaining in its original packaging and awaiting- due to its size- its definitive and adequate location. When the future Gompa is (will be) finished and this magnificent bronze representation of Buddha placed in it, it will undoubtedly become another attraction for Buddhist and non-Buddhist visitors alike.
The third indispensable element of this monastic-university complex is the stupa figure, the geometric and architectural representation of the enlightened mind, a Buddhist construction par excellence whose explanation of meanings and symbolisms alone would take up thousands of pages. A place of meditation, pilgrimage and practice for Buddhists from anywhere in the world. A point of attraction and place of high cultural and touristical interest for any non-Buddhist. A monument to peace, compassion, wisdom and harmony among all beings. A source of blessing and peace for any place that shelters it, and of whose meanings and symbolic architecture we could talk, filling page after page …
The educational and monastic complex of Chu Sup Tsang will be completed with the construction of several independent study- and meditation-modules for studies and retreats of short, medium or long duration.
E l Gaden Shartse Gelugpa monastery is located in southern India, in the region of Karnataka , which was rebuilt as a replica of the destroyed monastery of Gaden Shartse in Tibet .
It houses a community of about 1500 monks, ranging in age from 4 to even 100 years old – many of them orphans – to whom the Monastery provides free accommodation, meals and teachings. All the studies that enable monks to achieve the degree of Geshe Lharampa (the highest academic honor allowed in the Gelugpa education system, equivalent to the degree of Doctor of Buddhist Philosophy according to the Indian University).
The monks try to stock up on their own crops, the seeds of which were once donated by the Government of India; but the periods of heavy rains devastate their plantations annually, so they largely depend on the donations received.
The sanitary conditions are very precarious, existing problems with accommodation, toilets, electric light, drinking water, etc. They only receive an annual medical visit (for all residents of the Monastery) which causes diseases such as tuberculosis, diabetes, heart problems, blindness, etc., to be frequent.
Another reason for numerous diseases is the Indian climate, very different from the Tibetan.
Since most of the monks are exiles from Tibet, the harsh conditions of the trip to India means that many of them arrive in pitiful conditions, losing limbs or freezing paralysis, or suffering from various ailments (diarrhea, fevers …)
For all these reasons, the Monastery greatly appreciates the help made by the people who help maintain it.
The Foundation collaborates with the Gashar Nyagre Kangtsen monks residence belonging to the Ganden Shartse Monastery. The collaboration project includes direct help to the Nyagre Kangtsen residence and indirectly through the sponsorship program. A part of the money received by the sponsorship is given to the sponsored monk to cover his needs and the rest is destined for the betterment of the community; creating a link through written correspondence between the monk and the people who sponsor him, who can closely follow his personal and monastic evolution.
The amount of the donations for sponsorships is totally elastic, since the Monastery appreciates even the minimum help; As a reference we can indicate that the average is 55 cents per day (which is about € 200 per year), due to the high costs of bank transfers, the Foundation sends the money to the Monastery every six months or annually.
At the moment it is the monastery who chooses the monk to sponsor, and will send a photo of it.