‘Spiritual master’ coming to Steele Creek

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comJune 18, 2013 

— Short of the Dalai Lama himself, The Peaceful Dragon couldn’t bring in a much higher authority on Tibetan Buddhist tradition – which is why the school is telling folks to get their tickets now.

His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, 41st throne holder of the Sakya tradition, visits North Carolina for the first time June 25-27. Included is a 7 p.m. talk June 26 titled “The Seven Qualities of the Higher Realms” at Peaceful Dragon.

“I feel it is a tremendous honor to have such a high-ranking spiritual master visiting not just our center, but the Carolinas for the first time,” said Eric Sbarge, director and head instructor at Peaceful Dragon. “We are not a religious center, but of course, the Asian martial arts, yoga and meditation that we teach are influenced by Asian belief systems.

“This is a great opportunity for our students and the public to learn more of the spiritual traditions that helped give rise to these arts that we benefit from so much today,” he said.

According to the school, the presentation will explain “how to live daily life in a manner that brings peace and happiness to oneself and to others.” Dating back to 1073, the Sakya tradition is one of four major orders of Tibetan Buddhism. As throne holder of that order, the Sakya Trizin is the second highest master in Tibetan Buddhism after the Dalai Lama.

Lama Migmar is the Buddhist chaplain at Harvard University and founder of Sakya Institute for Buddhist Studies in Cambridge, Mass. He’s hosting the Sakya Trizin in July and said any location where such teaching is given should feel privileged.

“It will bring lots of wisdom and compassion,” Migmar said.

The Sakya Trizin’s eldest son, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, spoke at Peaceful Dragon in 2007. The Sakya Order is a family affair, namely the Khon family, unbroken for 41 generations to date with the Sakya Trizin.

The order is named for the Sakya region of Tibet where the monastery began in 1073, but Chinese control of Tibet in 1964 forced the order to relocate. It was established in exile in Rajpur, India. There also is a U.S. monastic seat in Walden, N.Y., set up in 2001.

Sbarge expects, despite Charlotte being more “Bible Belt” than Buddhist, to see the visit generate interest.

“We anticipate interest from spiritually motivated people of all faiths and walks of life,” he said. “Clearly followers of any Buddhist traditions are likely to attend, but most of our students at The Peaceful Dragon are Christian, and we anticipate the audience will reflect the cross-section of faiths that makes up the Carolinas.”

There’s even application, he said, for people of no faith background.

“While His Holiness the Sakya Trizin is Buddhist, his message of peace and happiness for all beings is universal, and the topic of his public talk should be of interest and relevance to anyone,” Sbarge said.

Seating for the June 26 talk is limited. Tickets are available in advance or for purchase the night of the event, if not sold out. A suggested donation is $20. For more information, call 704-504-8866 or visit thepeacefuldragon.com.

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