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Resident teacher Ven. Khenpo Ugyen Wangchuk at the Ewam Ku Sum Ling school of Tibetan Buddhism in Kneeland, CA. Photo credit: Robert Brown

Local Buddhism School Consecrates New Buddha Statue

A local Tibetan school is hosting several upcoming events in Humboldt, which includes the consecration of a Buddha statue and culminates in a weekend intensive with special guest teacher, Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche.

By | Robert Brown

“The statue we are unveiling is known as the second Buddha,” resident teacher Ven. Khenpo Ugyen Wangchuk said.

The statue will be consecrated at a special ceremony held Thursday, Oct. 5, from 9:00 am. until 11:00 am. at the Ewam Ku Sum Ling school in Kneeland.

Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche will be teaching a weekend mind training intensive called Yogi Dharmarakshita’s “The Peacock’s Neutralizing of Poisons,” transcending ego interference to discover true happiness at the Arcata Veterans Hall Saturday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 8 from 10:00 am. until 4:00pm.

Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of Ewam International Centers, which has several locations around the world. He was born into one of the oldest families in Tibet and was recognized in early childhood to be the reincarnation of the Gochen Tulku.

“Rinpoche was captured in Tibet and imprisoned for 10 years by Chinese soldiers,” the owner of Kneeland Ewam Ku Sum Ling school, Amri Padme said. “It turned out to be his greatest opportunity and a positive experience because he was imprisoned alongside several other master teachers that shared their wisdom and practices with him. He also learned how to have compassion for the soldiers that captured him.”

Resident teacher, Khenpo Ugyen Wangchuk is an advanced level monastic originally from Bhutan and has studied Buddhism since the age of 7. He received a Master’s degree in Buddhist Philosophy from the Nyingma Institute Taktse. In 2006, the title of Khenpo was conferred upon him, which is the equivalent of a PhD.

“All Tibetan teachings are about mind training, the transformation of the mind, the true nature of the mind,” Ven. Wangchuk said. “How we can change our mind from difficulties and suffering and reach true happiness.”

Ven. Wangchuk offers teachings for free on a variety of practices in many different places from Trinidad, Mckinleyville, Arcata, HSU, and Kneeland. At some gatherings, the teachings are more basic. At the school, people that have been practicing Buddhism for 10-15 years come in order to go deeper into more advanced teachings.

“In the Western world people are focused on material things bringing happiness,” Ven. Wangchuk said. “Material things will not bring inner happiness, and ends up creating suffering.”

Buddhism originally started in India and spread to many different countries such as Sri Lanka and Thailand, which created the common teachings. It then spread to Korea, Japan, China, and Vietnam, creating the uncommon teachings. When Buddhism reached Tibet, the Vajrayana teachings were created, becoming the most advanced level in Buddhism.

“The Vajrayana teachings help to transform the ordinary mind into the extraordinary mind,” Ven. Wangchuk said. “The mind is the king of our life, whatever our mind thinks and believes, our bodies will follow. The mind is the leader of everything.”

“There is a teaching for everything,” Padme said. “There’s a different teaching for every individual really, that’s the really beautiful part about the Vajrayana tradition. Some people might not like ritual type practices, some might have a hard time just sitting on a cushion and meditating. For every type of person, there is a different practice that will more attract them and be more beneficial to them, so there’s something for everyone.”

Anyone interested in attending any of the events being held this week can go online to or call (707) 599-4997. In addition to the upcoming classes being offered, there is a free Shamatha group meditation at the Arcata Veterans Hall every Thursday from 6:00-6:50 pm.

“I’ve been practicing Buddhism for close to 15 years,” Attorney Paul Warner said. “The meditation practice and Buddhist view really assist with gaining a center of awareness and not becoming distracted by all of the worldly concerns. It’s a paradox, we think we have to stay busy and be on top of things, but sometimes just making space and taking time and centering, things flow much more easily.”

“I used to have to go to Colorado, Southern California, or Leggett for teachings,” Warner said. “Now we have a local center here in Humboldt which is really nice.”

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