Ukrainian Federation of Wingchun kungfu/Jeetkunedo

Long way of creation. Story of establishment and development.

March 12, I arrived in the city of Xilan (Amdo) from Guangdong. Xilan is an Amdo pronunciation. The name sounds different in Lhasa and Kham dialects. The city is located on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, on the banks of the Huangshui River (湟水), a tributary of the Yellow River. The average height above sea level is 2260 m. The average annual temperature is 6 C. Xilan is surrounded by mountains. Here, even the water does not boil at 100 C.
The mood - to stay in Tibet for a year, year and a half. My conversation with Yuen Chai Wans son Sifu Chitan has put the last point in my decision to leave for Tibet for such a long time. This conversation made me remember what my Laoshi Sum Nung (Cen Neng), Chu Shong-tin, and others had previously told me. And, having given up everything, I left for Tibet.
In the photo, I am with Yuen Chai Wans son Sifu Chitan during one of the conversations.

March 19, visited the doctor of Traditional Tibetan Medicine - Dr. Wabe. Doctor is more than seventy years old. Hes a hereditary doctor, collects raw materials and makes medicines himself. Very welcoming and cordial. Semi joking, semi seriously he called me a "Mongol". He said that I should not hesitate to speak and that I can speak with him in Chinese, he understands normally. And slowly practice the Tibetan language. Its a shame not to know your native language, and you should not be ashamed of practicing foreign languages, - said the old Doctor. He has listened to me, what I lack for complete happiness and prescribed three medications. In Xilan I live 10 minutes walk from the doctors house. He says I mustnt hesitate to come to visit him. Upon learning that I was interested in Kung Fu, Dr. Wabe began to recall that in his youth he was also engaged in martial arts. With the energy of a young boy and the sincere enthusiasm of a child, he began to demonstrate movements. The movements were characteristic of traditional martial art (as I imagined it). I am not a connoisseur of Tibetan kungfu, so I was curious to watch the old doctor. Having told that in Inner Mongolia, the doctor builds a medical datsan, I had been invited by him to come to Malo in the summer to live in a traditional Tibetan home, practice riding horses, to look at the culture and life of Tibetans as it is. The doctor comes to Xilan in the winter, and in the summer he goes to the mountains, collects medicinal raw materials, makes medicines.

March 29 (Saturday), traveled with the brothers of Dr. Nida (Uchi and Hongchen) and their mother to the city of Guide. Behind my back, on the lotus - a huge prayer drum. We have a mood to twist it a little (the drum).

I had to work hard and twist the prayer drum. Weve been twisting the drum for three hours. Its a good Buddhist physical exercise. We are young (relatively young), but our purposefulness is no match for the purposefulness, that is manifested here by the old practitioners, and in particular by the mother of Dr. Nida. In Tibet, the older the people, the more diligently they practice the Dharma. They want to be as ready as possible for the transition.

April 5, a visit to the Museum of Traditional Tibetan Medicine. I am near the statue of the famous founder of traditional Tibetan medicine - Yutog Yontan Gonpo.

An entrance to the Traditional Tibetan Medicine library.

On April 13, by the personal invitation of Geshe Gendun Sherab, I made a pilgrimage to the famous Kumbum monastery. Most likely, he invited me because he learned that I was a student of Doctor Nida. Geshe Gendun Sherab comes from Rebkong and represents the Gelug line. The Geshe title is comparable to the Western Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, and is awarded in the monasteries of the Gelug and Sakya schools. In the traditions of the Kagyu and Nyingma also developed their system of academic education. In these schools, the degree of ka-rabjampa (a clear scholar of the scriptures) is awarded, as well as the title of khenpo (knowledgeable), which acquired the value of priest in Gelug. One of my acquaintances Geshe from the Labran monastery said that to become a Geshe, he needed to study for 18 years and, naturally, pass the exams. The Geshe curriculum is an adaptation of subjects studied in Indian Buddhist universities, such as Nalanda. All subjects were various thematic sections of Kangyur. The canon Kangyur (tib. The Translation of the Word [of Buddha]) was compiled in the first third of the 14th century by Tibetan scholar Budon Rinchen Drub from the Sakya school. The tradition attributes the creation of texts to Buddha Shakyamuni. It consists of 7 sections, 108 volumes, that contain 84,000 lectures. Kangyur appears in two qualities: as a subject of worship and as a source of dogma. The term Kangyur also has the meaning The Words of the Buddha. In Tibet, this program first appears in the Sakya school under the names of Kashi (four subjects) and ka-chu (ten subjects). After passing the program, a degree was awarded according to the results of ritualized debates. By the times of Tsongkhapa, it could be obtained in the monasteries of Sangpu, Kyormolun and Dewachen.
I came to the monastery in a Geshes car, which was driven by a student of Geshe. In the monastery we were met by one of the local Geshes, a great friend of Gendun Sherab. As a hospitable host, he has become our guide in the monastery, and showed the most interesting and important places in Kumbum from his point of view. After visiting the monastery, the local Geshe, having learned from Gendun Sherab about my desire to acquire a statue of the Medicine Buddha and malas (beads, used to count the number of well-read mantras), agreed to help me in the implementation of my plan. While choosing the beads, I asked the local Geshe to determine how correct my choice was and to consecrate the malas.

In Kumbum there is a tree that is located on the birthplace of Je Rinpoche (1357-1419) - a Tibetan religious practitioner, philosopher and mentor. He has gone down in history as a reformer of Tibetan Buddhism and the founder of the Gelugpa school. Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo called Lama Tsongkhapa The King of Dharma of the three worlds; other Tibetan masters of the past and present also worshiped him. Tsongkhapas name is usually preceded by the title Omniscient Instructor in the Gelug school literature. At the age of three, Tsongkhapa received the full Buddhist layman vows from the fourth Karmapa, Rolpa Dorje, who also bestowed upon him the name Kunga Nyingpo. At the age of seven, he was ordained as a novice monk by his mentor Döndrup Rinchen and was given the ordination name Losang Drakpa. Even at such a young age, Tsongkhapa received many teachings and initiations into the tantras of Heruka, Yamantaka and Hayagriva and knew by heart such texts as Chanting the Names of Manjushri. Driven by a passion for the attainment of spiritual knowledge, Tsongkhapa traveled a lot and studied with mentors of all Tibetan Buddhism traditions. At the age of sixteen, he went to the Drikung Kagyu monastery in central Tibet, where he began to study under the leadership of Abbot Chokyi Gyalpo, from whom he received instructions on Bodhichitta and Mahamudra. Konchog Kyab from the same monastery gave him his knowledge of medicine, and only a year later Tsongkhapa achieved mastery in this area. Gifted with an extraordinary memory, he could easily memorize even the most complex texts. So, he memorized the entire commentary to the extensive root text on the rules of monastic discipline (Vinaya), memorizing 17 folios per day. The fame of this spiritual genius soon spread throughout the country and eventually even reached the Chinese emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, who sent him an invitation to visit China.
From Drikung, Tsongkhapa headed for Chodra Chenpo Dewachen Monastery, where he continued his education. He mastered all the works of Buddha Maitreya and the texts on Prajnaparamita in two years. Having achieved excellence in the art of philosophical debates, he became famous for his erudition.
During his visit to Nyapon Kunga Pel in Tsechen, Je Rinpoche met Sakya teacher Rendawa, whom he regarded as his principal teacher. It was at this moment that Tsongkhapa wrote the famous Migtseme prayer, which was redirected to him by Rendawa. From Rendawa and his other mentor of the Sakya school Kazhiwa Losal, Tsongkapa received instructions on monastic discipline, phenomenology, theory of authentic knowledge, Madhyamaka and Guhyasamaja-tantra. He also received the Six Yogas of Naropa, Kalachakra, Mahamudra, Lamdre (Path with its fruit), Chakrasamvara and many others, and subsequently passed them to his students. At the age of 25, Je Tsongkapa took a full initiation dedication and then, began teaching the Abhidharma in Naning. At that time, he began to feel severe back pain, but he cured himself of this ailment on his own by applying the method obtained in Sakya Monastery from Dorje Rinchen, who also gave him a comment on the Hevajra-tantra.
The diligence of Tsongkhapa in spiritual studies was inexhaustible. In addition to studying and teaching philosophy, he has been intensively practicing yoga and meditation, as well as various cleansing practices. Tsongkhapa is known to have made 3.5 million prostrations, 1.8 million mandala offerings and to read countless Vajrasattva mantras. He has constantly seen Yidams, especially Manjushri, whom he could ask questions and receive explanations of the deep aspects of the teaching. In addition, he went into retreat many times. The longest retreat, in Volkha Cholung, lasted four years. During that time, only eight of Tsongkhapas closest students were near him.
In general, Tsongkhapa studied under the guidance of more than a hundred teachers, persistently carried out spiritual practice and, in turn, trained thousands of students, mostly in central and eastern regions of Tibet. He also wrote a lot. His eighteen volumes collection of writings includes hundreds of works on all aspects of Buddhist teachings, explaining the most difficult to understand provisions of Sutrayana and Mantrayana. Major works of Je Tsongkhapa: The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lam rim chen mo), The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra (Sngags rim chen mo), Essence of True Eloquence (Drang nges legs bshad snying po), The Praise of Relativity (rTen-'brel bstod-pa), Brilliant Illumination of the Lamp of the Five Stages / A Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages (gSang-'dus rim-lnga gsal-sgron) and Golden Garland of Eloquence (gSer-phreng). The first of these works, Lam rim chen mo, Tsongkhapa completed in 1402. This work, based on the A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment text by Atiśa, sets out in a detailed and step-by-step way all the way to the Buddhahood and is a basic teaching aid in the Gelug school.
Tsongkhapa taught thousands of monks, and among the many of his closest disciples the most prominent were: Gyeltsab Dharma Rinchen (1364-1432); Khedrub Gelek Pelzang (1385-1438); Gyalwa Gedun Drupa (First Dalai Lama), founder of the Tashi Lhunpo monastery in Shigatse (1391-1474); Jamyang Choje Tashi Pelden, founder of the Drepung Monastery (1379-1449); Jamchen Choje Shakya Yeshe, who founded the Sera Monastery; Je Sherab Senge, founder of Gyume Dratsang - Lower Tantric College - and Segyu Monastery; Jetsun Kunga Dondrup, founder of Gyuto Dratsang - Upper Tantric College.

April 19-20, a visit to Rebkong. Behind my back is a Green Tara statue. Around it, Tibetans are constantly performing kora - a circumambulation around a sacred site or object in a clockwise direction.

Behind my back is the main entrance to the Rongwo Monastery.

Geshe Gendun Sherab, famous at the Rongwo Monastery, invited me to participate in the night practice of Palden Lhamo. Palden Lhamo (Tib.: dpal ldan lha mo Glorious Goddess; Sanskrit: Sri Devi) - in Tibetan Buddhism: a wrathful female deity, one of the 8 principal dharmapalas. Her holiday (Uposatha Day - the 25th day of the lunar calendar) is celebrated on the eve of the Buddhist new year (Tsagaan Sar). A special mantra is dedicated to her. Palden Lhamo is one of the main defenders of the faith and teachings in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In Tibetan Buddhism, Palden Lhamo is a protector deity (Dharmapala) of the new tantra schools, she guards the teachings of Mahayana. She is considered the wrathful form of the goddess Saraswati, as well as the spiritual wife of Mahakala. She protects against evil spirits, curse and evil tongues, as well as against all external enemies. Palden Lhamo is believed to heal from all diseases and is the guardian of life and death secrets. Demons of diseases, demons of cemeteries and carnivorous demons are subordinate to her will, so everyone tries not to mention her name. Night practice began at 3 a.m.

Prayer drums around the Rongwu Monastery.

Behind my back are the famous Rtsod-pa (monachal disputations in Tibet).

It's frosty outside. I'm in a jacket, a sweater and a whole lot of things to stay warm. Monks - with bare hands and in rather light clothing. Apparently the practice warms them.

Night practice began at three o'clock in the morning (3 a.m.). It was dark and cold. I didnt want to leave my room at all. Because of the cold, I did not even want to move. But the monks performed rituals barefoot and with their hands open to the shoulders, and in breaks we (guests) were given treats - hot Tibetan tea and Tibetan bread.

Inside the temple. Incredibly beautiful woodcarving used in the decoration of the monastery rooms.

Holiday of the Ukrainian-Chinese-Tibetan friendship.

May 2, visiting the Kumbum monastery again. There is a medical school there. Therapeutic baths are made here. Therapeutic baths are an integral part of the Traditional Tibetan Medicine. In the External Procedures section, the compositions of therapeutic raw materials for baths are described in detail, against which diseases and the rules for taking procedures.

Sherab Lhamo is a teacher of the Amdo dialect of Tibetan language for foreigners. My teacher of the Tibetan language at the Qinghai University for Nationalities in Amdo.

A group of my fellow students studying Tibetan at the Qinghai University for Nationalities in Amdo. In the center is our teacher - Lhamo laoshi.

With my teachers of colloquial Chinese and colloquial Tibetan. Behind my back (with a camera), Dr. Nida's elder brother - Hungchen.

A group of my fellow students studying Chinese at the Qinghai University for Nationalities in Amdo.

I am with my Chinese grammar teacher - Dan laoshi, at the Qinghai University for Nationalities in Amdo.

May 9, a visit to the Tibetan medicine hospital and Tibetan Medicine research center.

In the closed library of the Traditional Tibetan Medicine research center. A huge number of texts on Traditional Tibetan Medicine are stored here. These texts are studied, and their methods and recipes are tested on hospital patients, and the results are checked using modern diagnostic equipment.

May 16-18, Ukrainian Federation of Wingchun kungfu/Jeetkunedo conducted a training seminar in Rivne. The seminar was held under the leadership of the Fedarations Vice-President Andrii Kuzmin. The seminar was held according to the plan and training program.

June 6, visited (again) the city of Guide. Were in the upper reaches of the Yellow River. The water in the river is still light green here, clear and beautiful (in the middle course, the water is already yellow. Hence the name is Yellow River). You can only get here by a camel.

June 14, a trip to Qinghaihu (Qinghai Lake, Koko Nor). Koko Nor (Chinese: 青海 湖, (Qinghaihu), Mongolian: ө ) is the largest drainless mountain saline lake in Central Asia. Located in Qinghai province in the west of China. The current Chinese name "Qinghai," the older Mongolian name "Kokonor", and the Tibetan name translate to Green Sea, Blue Lake and Teal Sea, respectively. Qinghai Lake is located about 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of the provincial capital of Xining at 3,205 m (10,515 ft) above sea level in a hollow of the Tibetan plateau, the largest known depth is 38 m. The banks are not well divided; the ancient lake terraces are developed (up to 50 m high). There are few sandy islands. 23 rivers flow into Koko Nor, the most aquiferous of which, the Buha River forms a delta extending into Koko Nor in the west. The summer flood on the rivers causes seasonal fluctuations in the lake level. In summer, the water warms up to 1820 C, from November to March the lake freezes. Mineralization during drought periods is 3 g/l. Fish found here is mainly from the carp family. Among the Europeans, N. M. Przhevalsky was the first to investigate Koko Nor in 1872.

On July 23, I decided to go to Kham from Amdo. Statue of King Gesar in Yushu. The cult of King Gesar is very popular in this region. This territory is located at altitudes in the range of 4000-5000m. It is here where originate the largest rivers of Southeast Asia - the Yellow River, Yangtze River and the Mekong. One of the best forms of Cordyceps grows here, which in Tibetan is called Yartsa Gunbu. Plants, that are equated in their properties to ginseng, no longer grow anywhere but here. It is Terton Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche who gives the cycle of teachings on the practices of King Gesar (Lord Gesar).

Terton Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche with his sons.

In addition to ritual practices, dances and chants, public official events dedicated to this event were also held. The monks are waiting for their turn, while Tibetan people are performing.

The movements of the Tibetan monks were very similar in content to the movements of the Shaolin wu seng (warrior monks).

Tibetan daredevils demonstrated the possibility of riding a yak. Proving in practice that yak can be not only a pack animal.

Horse racing with simultaneous shooting. The art of riders and warriors. Vaulting on horses, with a demonstration of acrobatic elements fascinated and at the same time turned on the audience. After all, each of the spectators preferred one of the riders.

Tibetan martial arts practitioner during a break after his performance.

Tibetan monks during a break after their performance.

Tibetan Yim Wing Chun wasnt letting go of the mobile phone, while preparing for the performance, demonstrating the Tibetan analogue of Chum Kiu (2nd form).

Tibetan Yim Wing Chun has a Tibetan variation of the female Baat Cham Dao (also known as Butterfly swords) on the right side of her belt.

More than a thousand years ago, the legendary Princess Wencheng made a stop here, bringing with her a huge amount of relics and knowledge. In this place, in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, the road is divided. On one side is Lhasa, on the other is Sichuan.

The route of Princess Wencheng can be traced by Buddhist inscriptions on rocks. The mantra OM MANI PADME HUM is at almost every step.

In addition, the path of the princess is marked by numerous chortens (stupas), which are also objects of worship.

A visit to the Princess Wencheng Temple. The princess made a long stop here, before Lhasa.

A visit to the monastery of Karma Kagyu line in Kham. Theres a small hall above the monastery rather a skete. The relics of Marpas granddaughter (1012-1097) are kept here. Marpa was the first Karma Kagyu teacher in Tibet. Milarepa and Gampopa were also famous followers of this school. A separate hall of Mahakala Bernagchen (Black Cloak), the main Karma Kagyu Guardian.

A visit to the summer khampa camp.

Local Tibetan bulls greeted us warily.

A wolf is also a wolf in Tibet - a reliable friend and helper of man.

Upon learning that I did not have a return ticket, Tibetan friends offered me a means of transportation and a bag of tsampa, not to lose weight on the road. Recalling the yak races I saw, Ive gone wild.

The rhetorical question: whose martial arts are stronger: Chinese, Japanese or Tibetan?, was in the air. And in the end, it set the masses in motion.

Exchange of experience with Tibetan martial arts practitioners. What is more practical: Wingchun or Lama Pai?

Each of us tried not to lose face.

Each one opposed something to others.

Infected by the general passion, Professor Miyagi, the master of the Shinkage-ryu school, rushed into the fight presenting Japanese Bujutsu to those around him. Shinkage-ryu (Jap. 新 陰 流 Shinkage-ryu: The New Shadow School) is one of the oldest Japanese fencing schools with a sword, founded in the middle of the 16th century.
The story of shinkage-ryu: The founder of the school is - Kamiizumi Ise-no-Kami Nobutsuna. He was trained in three schools, which are called the origins of Japanese Kenjutsu - Nen-ryu, Katori Shinto-ryu, Kage-ryu. Ise-no Kami improved the technique of these schools, paying special attention to the techniques and principles of the Kage-ryu school. The result was the creation of a Shinkage-ryu school. By participating in numerous battles, Ise-no Kami actually proved the effectiveness of the school he created, which later became very popular in medieval Japan.

Friendship and Tsingtao beer won. Sho (yak yogurt) was popular the next morning.

Milk for sho has been prepared in advance. Women understood that in the morning sho would be as good as gold.

While getting acquainted with the local raw materials for the preparation of Rinchen (precious pills), we did not leave the secret hope of finding a bag of cordyceps.

Cordyceps (cordyceps sinensis), a well-known mushroom in China, is in one row in importance with ginseng, antlers of deer and lingzhi mushroom. It lives in the highlands of Tibet (3500-4200 meters above sea level). The history of the use of cordyceps in China as a means of health and disease prevention has more than 2,000 years. Cordyceps can be attributed to both the flora group and the fauna group. It is a twin creature, a plant and an insect. Cordyceps is rich in nutrients and specific biological components found in highland plants. The unique chemical composition of the fungus allows it to be used as a broad-spectrum drug. Speaking succinctly, Cordyceps has regulatory properties in relation to the organs of the human body and directly counteracts diseases. Cordyceps literally repairs the cell and is a preventive and restorative factor of the body. Doctors attribute to Cordyceps fortifying properties, the ability to stimulate the bodys own defenses, improve potency and strengthen the nervous system.

Another gompa.

A visit to the Jiegu monastery of the Sakya line in Yushu. The monastery is being restored after a major earthquake in 2010. As a result of the earthquake, entire villages were destroyed. It killed more than 2,000 people.

One of the Tibetans places of worship.

Another of the Tibetans places of worship in Yushu, called Mani - Jewel. A huge number of mantras carved on the stones. There arent hundreds of mantras, not even thousands. There are tens of thousands of them.

August 26, another visit to the Museum of Traditional Tibetan Medicine.

A Museum of Tibetan Astrology in Amdo. Tools used for astrological calculations and measurements, classic thangkas and texts on astrology, statues of outstanding astrology masters and lineages are demonstrated.

October 2, went to Rebkong. Rebkong is a famous ngagpa settlement. The Ngagpa tradition is the ultimate knowledge of a perfectly balanced life! Ngagpa is a cultural non-monastic spiritual tradition of the Tibetan people. Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) founded it in the 8th century, so that the laity can receive spiritual and cultural education. King Trisong Detsen not only made a significant contribution to the development of the ngagpa tradition, but was a ngagpa himself, and served as an example for other people.
Many ngagpas showed their abilities, becoming highly educated people and proving themselves to be outstanding practitioners. An example of this is the founder of modern Traditional Tibetan Medicine (TTM) Yutog Yontan Gonpo (8th century). He was a ngagpa like many of his predecessors - doctors in the family line. In the 9th century, Tri Ralpachen (Ralpacan), the third Dharma King of Tibet, also became Ngakpa. Thanks to his devotion to the Teaching and support, the ngagpa culture flourished throughout Tibet. The last Tibetan king Lang Darma did everything to destroy the Buddhist tradition in Tibet, but he could not destroy the Ngagpa tradition. It is something basic for the Tibetan people.
Having left for Rebkong, I had an agreement with Tibetan friends that I would live with the Ngagpa families. It was interesting for me to study this tradition while living among ngagpas, observing their daily life. My friends did everything so that Ive been able to see what was interested in, touch it and if I need to, ask questions. I was taught to bake bread, cook some dishes. I got some insight into their daily life and the way they do housekeeping. I could observe the process of their spiritual practices and ask questions.

Great-grandfather ngagpa with growing up change.

Tibetan women make a huge contribution to the Ngak-Mang tradition. Ngakmo (ngagpa-women) such as Yeshe Tsogyal, Machig Labdron and Shugseb Jetsun were highly respected practitioners and are an inspiring example for many Tibetan women. Yeshe Tsogyal (777837), the first Tibetan ngakmo, is also considered the first Tibetan woman doctor; she has discovered many mantras and methods of treatment related to Tibetan medicine. On October 3, on Guru Padmasambhava Day, I was able to attend a collective practice in the ngagpa village. I was allowed to attend practice and take photos. I took a photo while staying in the next room. But I didnt have the audacity to click with my camera in the gompa during practice.
Free from any sectarian views, the Ngagpa tradition continues today in China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Mongolia, and more recently in the West, thanks to men and women studying and practicing daily.
While living in the village of Ngagpa, I occasionally traveled to various mountain monasteries. If someone from the locals went to a monastery, I was invited to go with them.

Everyday life of Rebkong. Yaks are everywhere.

Hospital of the Rongwo Monastery in Rebkong. All medicines sold in this hospital are made and sanctified by monks. The transmission line of the Rinchen (Precious Pills) production rules comes from Khenpo Troru Tsenam. Khenpo Troru Tsenam was unable to go Malo, in order to get the transmission people had to come to Rebkong from Malo. Taking this opportunity, I replenished my dimensionless Tibetan first-aid kit with medicines made in the monastery according to the instructions of Khenpo Troru Tsenam.

Inside the hospital of the Rongwo Monastery in Rebkong.

I was lucky to live in the house of a famous Ngagpa and receive deep instructions on the practice of various mantras and the rules for using ritual objects.

A thing, I had planned for a long time has finally come true. I arrived at the famous Labrang monastery. I did not come here as a tourist, but came to live in a monastic trakang and to communicate with lamas. Labrang Monastery or Labrang Tashikyil (full name Genden Shedrup Dargye Tashi Gyesu khyilwe Ling) was founded in 1709 by Jamyang Zhepa Ngawang Tsondru, who was a disciple of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Labrang is located at an altitude of 2.920 m in the valley of the Daxia River. Labrang Monastery is the largest Tibetan monastery outside of the Tibetan Autonomous Region and one of the six leading monasteries of the Gelugpa line. Due to its successful location in the Tibetan region of Amdo, near the borders of the Tibetan world and traditional trade routes, the monastery quickly grew rich, expanding its territory and fame. In particular, the missionary of the Buryats, Tuvinians and Kalmyks went from the territory of Labrang. Nowadays the community of the monastery has almost 2000 people (there were times when about 4000 monks and lamas lived here). About 40 small monasteries in the surrounding mountains are located under the direct control of Labrang, as well as a convent in the western part of the village. The monastery has 18 large prayer halls, among which the seven-storey Shakyamuni hall, two large stupas, as well as about 500 small chapels and monastic cells. Along the walls of the monastery stretches a pilgrim trail - kora, three kilometers long, around the perimeter of which there are mani - prayer wheels or millstones from 1 to 2.5 meters high, in total 1,174 pieces. During the passage of kora, pilgrim is obliged to unleash each of them. Among other things, Labrang is a major educational center of Buddhism with six institutions: The Institute of Buddhist Philosophy, the Lower and Upper Tantric Institutes, the Kalachakra Institute, the Institute of Tibetan Medicine and the Institute of Religious Law. The current abbot of Labrang Monastery, the Sixth Jamyang Zhepa is the Vice-President of the Buddhist Association of China.

View of the Labrang monastery from above, from one of the peaks.

There is a huge number of monastic courtyards around the monastery, whole neighborhoods. In each trakang lives one monk. I have not seen any other variants.

Sensei Miyagi (a master of the traditional Japanese school of Shinkage-ryu) and me were hospitably met and accommodated by Geshe Dorji in his camp. Geshe Dorji studied for 19 years before defending a Geshe degree. Now Geshe Dorji continues to study Buddhist tantra.

One of the monastery datsans.

Medical datsan of the monastery.

Along the walls of the Medical datsan medical thangkas are placed with the images of the Medicine Trees.

Lama doctors going to the next medical ritual.

Got to the sanctum sanctorum of the monastery - the repository of boards, from which pecha are printed.

We are looking for a book that interests us, and it seems like it is on the boards. The monastery library holds an extensive collection of books and scrolls in Tibetan, including about 60,000 sutras

Visited the Bonpo monastery. Yungdrung Bon is practiced here. The monastery was founded by the bon mahasiddha Tseshig Drungrampa in the 12th century, more than 900 years ago. The monastery is located in the mountains at an altitude of more than 2,900 meters above sea level.

One of the bon monastery gompas on the background.

Professor Miyagi and I are visiting a Bon Lama.

On November 9, I left for the mountain monastery 佑宁寺- Youning-si (this is the Chinese name), the Tibetans call it Gonlun Jampa Ling (དགོན་ལུང་བྱམས་པ་གླིང་།). The monastery was founded in 1604.
The central gate of the monastery.

This is the place where Karmapa was in retreat. How was it possible to live here, especially in this weather?

The repository of boards for the publication of pecha.

We continue to look for different second-hand books.

Lama making masks for ritual dances.

I want to choose one mask for myself and order it for the new year.

The place where the masks are made. A workshop...

A visit the Baima-si monastery in Amdo (not to be confused with the Baima-si monastery in Luoyang).

Palgyi Dorje from Lhalung practised here, after he killed the king of Tibet Langdarma. King Landarma came to power as a result of a palace coup and the assassination of his brother Ralpacan in 838, with the support of the pro-Bon aristocracy. Landarma constantly demonstrated hatred of Buddhism and the monastic community. Whenever he met a Buddhist statue on his way, he ordered her to speak, and if the statue was silent, he would order her nose or finger to be cut off. These partially mutilated statues stood for centuries in the vicinity of Lhasa. Landarma ordered to execute any monk of the Red Sangha (fully dedicated monks) who did not recognize his anti-Buddhist decrees. But at the same time, he spared members of the White Sangha (yogis and elders of clan), as he considered them householders, and not monks. During the reign of Landarma, many Buddhist texts and transmissions were destroyed, but the Nyingma tradition did not die at the expense of the White Sangha representatives and refugees on the outskirts of Tibet and in the neighboring states. Landarma was shot with a bow by Lhalung Palgyi Dorje. The latter was not a monk as it is usually written, but had the vow of a novice. Palgyi Dorje, filled with compassion for the king, killed him. After this, Palgyi Dorje retired to solitude, devoting his whole life to the study of Mahayana texts and meditation. The death of the king-persecutor is now celebrated in a number of regions where Tibetan Buddhism is spread.
One of the Baima-si monastery gompas on the background.

December 12-14, Ukrainian Federation of Wingchun kungfu/Jeetkunedo conducted a training seminar. The seminar was held under the leadership of the Federations Vice-President Andrii Kuzmin. The seminar was held according to the plan and training program.

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