BUDDHIST GUMBA READING UK EVENTS REPORTS
On the 21st of April 2018, a meeting was held at 140 Northumberland Avenue, Reading. The members decided to form an Ad hoc Committee (7 Members) named BUDDHIST GUMBA READING UK (BGRUK), which consisted of the following members:
Ad Hoc Committee:-
- Chairman: Insp Khem Bahadur Gurung
- Treasurer: Maj Buddhi Bahadur Gurung
- Secretary: Kamal Gurung
- Assistant Secretary: Yubaraj Gurung
- Legal: Subin Gurung
- Members from Mothers Group: Mrs Rajani Gurung
- Members from Mothers Group: Mrs Mina Gurung
2. 03 June 2018 Oral Transmissions to Buddha Amitabh:
After establishing the organisation, a second committee meeting on the 19th of June 2018 was called to formally enlarge the committee size. The committee appointed four vice-chairman, one assistant Treasurer, five members property committee, five Puja co-ordinators and eighteen more committee members.
Subcommittee members’ name and proposed advisors’ names can be found within our minute book if requested.
After having established and expanded the committee, the BGRUK organised an event with the help of the organization’s religious teacher, Guru Khenrinpoche Shir Lama Gurung in Rivermead, Leisure Complex Centre, Reading.
During the event, Kyabje Khenchhen Pema Sherab Rinpochhe, the senior-most Khenpo in the Nyingma Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism gave the oral transmission of Buddha Amitabh, bestowing empowerment and showers of blessing to all the devotees present with the translation being done by Khenrinpoche Shir Lama Guru. It was a huge success and people from all walks of life came to pay homage and pray with over 500 in attendance.
3. 02 Sep. 2018 (Youth Interaction Programme):
After the successful event on the 3rd Jun 18, Buddhist Gumba Reading UK came up with the idea of hosting a Youth Interaction Programme on 2nd Sep 2018 to educate and teach the younger generations about Buddhism principle and philosophy at the Pakistani Community Centre, Reading. Even though it was the first of its kind, it was still a huge success with everyone attending finding it informative and fruitful. BGRUK religious teacher, Guru Khenrinpoche Shir Lama spoke about the Buddha Dharma and its core disciplines that are used to live a happy and simple life. The class was free for everyone with free food being served throughout the event.
BGRUK felt that it is very important to organise events like this in the future to encourage and inspire our younger generations to involve in community support works and learn Buddhism. This will help our future generations to understand our culture, customs and religion in order to preserve our traditions in the UK.
4. 30 Sep. 2018 (Tara Dolma Puja):
On the 30th of September 2018, the BGRUK organised a Tara Dolma Puja with the help of Khenpo Shir lama Guru at Pakistani Community Centre, Reading. It was yet another a rewarding event with a huge number of attendees, mostly from Khenpo Shir Lama guru’s followers. The teaching was purely on the Buddha Dharma and main role of the Tara Dolma which signifies the power of women who we regard as a Goddesses. It is believed that when we have a Tara Dolma Puja, it will protect us from fear and dangers, while fulfilling all our wishes, especially ones on the spiritual path. Meditation on the Tara brings life on our spiritual path and feeds us with endless energy to continue the path.
5. 17 Nov. 2018 Zambhala Puja:
On the 17th of November 2018, the BGRUK organised a Zambhala Empowerment Teaching session at the John Madejski Academy college, Reading. It was lead by 5th H.H. Kyabje Karma Kuchen Rinpoche in collaboration with the Buddhist Community Centre (BCC Kent) Kent and the Palyul Centre, London. The entire programme was arranged with the help of the Buddhist Gumba Reading UK religious teacher, Guru Kenrinpoche Shir Lama Gurung.
Due to the scale of the event, a number of Khenpo gurus and other gurus all over the UK took part in the event, and they are Khenpo Pema Chhophel, Khenpo Thubten Wangchuk, Khenpo Pema Tsering Sherpa, Lopen Dawa Sherpa, Lopen Phurba Tenjin, Lama Chumei Hoiser, Lama Kaji Gurung and Lama Dawa Norbui.
The event was immensely prosperous and all local and neighbouring organizations were present. The events purely run by voluntary contributions with both the BCC Kent and the BGRUK sharing the financial responsibilities equally.
6. 02 March 2019: Mahakal (Clearing away obstacle) and Sang Puja (Smoke Offering):
On the 2nd of March 2019, the Buddhist Gumba Reading UK organised a Mahakal and Sang Puja at the Pakistani Community Centre, Reading, led by Khenpo Santosh Guru. Buddhist followers believe that performing Mahakal (Clearing away obstacles) and Sang Puja (Smoke offering) will help in bringing positive vibes and clearing all obstacles and difficulties one may face.
The event was also a success with all who attended feeling blessed.
7. 18 May 2019: 2563 Buddha Jayanti Celebration:
The BGRUK celebrated the 2563rd birthday (Buddha Jayanti) of Buddha at the South Reading Community Centre, Reading led by Khenpo Dawa Guru. Khenpo Dawa Guru preached about Buddha philosophy and encouraged all to practice basic Panchasheel (Five Precepts of Buddha). The local Reading Borough Councillor, Mrs Rachel Eden was also attended the event as a guest.
The Buddhist Gumba Reading UK took the opportunity of this special day to collect dry food from all attendees on a volunteer basis and donate to the local charity food bank. BGRUK member, Mrs Raj Kumari Gurung coordinated the event immaculately, as a result a van full of food was donated to the local Food-Bank charity representative. The event was hugely successful, and we hope to do it again in 2020.
8. 07 July 2019: Ani Choying Drolma Charity Concert Dinner Night:
This was a historical event in UK for us as an organisation. On the 7th of July over 1000 people attended with the main guest of the event being the local MP Matt Rodda from East Reading, along with around 100 organizations.
The charity event was coordinated by VP Krishna Bahadur Gurung with the main purpose of the event being to raise fund to build a Gumba in Reading.
The event was started with the welcome song of ‘’Jaha Chhan Buddhaka Ankha…’’ performed by Assistant Treasurer, Mr Chandra Bahadur Gurung.
Ani Choying Drolma, also known as the “Singing Nun”, performed spell binding songs with her melodious voice that captured the audience creating an unforgettable night.
She sang both Buddhist Chants and songs including her most famous ‘’Fulko Ankhama Fulai Sansara..’’. She was also supported by well-known musicians Nhyoo Bajracharya (A judge from Nepal Idol) and his musician Co.
There is no doubt, it was one of the best events in BGRUK history which shone a spotlight and brought our organization to the world.
9. 14 July 2019: Race for Life to help Cancer Research UK.
The Buddhist Gumba Reading UK Mother and Puja group (Prayer service rituals) participated in 5K Park Run at Prospect Park, Reading on the 14th of July 2019. There were nearly 50 participants in the race who helped us raise £917.51 for Cancer Research UK. The cheque was jointly handed over to the representative by chairman Insp Khem Bahadur Gurung and race coordinator Mrs Raj Kumari Gurung.
A lunch and refreshments during and after the event for all attendees was kindly provided by BGRUK member, Mrs Min (Dut) Kumari Gurung at her house who lives close to the event park. The event was a step forward in paying back to the community that we were a part of.
10. 25 Aug 2019: Nepali Mela:
The Buddhist Gumba Reading UK Mother Group booked two Stalls, one for food and other for hot beverages, to advertise the Buddhist Gumba Reading UK Gumba and raise funds for Gumba project at the Nepali Mela.
The event ran auspiciously and managed to raise A handsome sum of money towards the Gumba. It was also very fun to watch the mother’s being busy for a good cause.
Even in the warm weather, the Mother team cooked live Sel-Roti and Stir-Fry Noodles for all to enjoy. Some of the team were busy helping other members at the other tent advertise the Gumba to the public.
Within the other tent, men were busy and sweating in the heat while cooking a BBQ, which was a pure joy to watch as both teams were working hard for a good cause.
11. 20 Oct. 2019: BGRUK Deusi Bhailo WareHouse:
The Buddhist Gumba Reading UK held a Deusi-Bhailo Programme at the Warehouse, Reading to celebrate the Nepali festival, Bhai Tika Deepawali (festival of light) while also raising funds for the Gumba. To spice up the event, the Mothers Group hired a well-known Nepalese folk singer Ms Khima Roka Magar. All the catering and management was also organised by the Mothers Group. It was a very lucrative evening and that raised a healthy sum of £4300 after all expenditures
To provide more entertainment, local artist Ghandruk Ama Samaj and Tamu (Gurung) Sanskrit Munch UK performed live songs and music to everyone excitement. The Mothers group and organization also hosted a raffle with sponsored prizes with the first prize being a 10-gram gold ring donated by the BGRUK.
12. 17 Nov. 2019 : Interaction Programme:
On 17 Nov 2019, Buddhist Gumba Reading UK organised a huge interaction program based on Buddha Dharma from Birth to Death Rites by Khenrinpoche Shir Lama Guru with Yogesh Gurung as the programme host. The event was chaired by Insp Khem Bahadur Gurung with NRNAUK President Mrs Poonam Gurung being the main guest. Similarly, Tamu Dhee UK President Mr Nanda Jang Gurung, Tamu Samaj Uk Shivchandra Gurung, Tamu Forum UK Director Capt. Raju Gurung, Deputy Mayer of Barnet Lachhya Bahadur Gurung, BCCUK President Naresh Gurung, BGRUK Trustees GM Jai Bahadur Gurung MVO and Lt Jas Bahadur Gurung were also present as special guests. Other attendees consisted of past presidents, chairpersons from different Samajs, organisations, AMA Samuha and Devotees.
The program was divided in two phases with the first phase being Mahankal Puja and the second being and interaction program on the birth to death rites followed by question-answers from the audience. Donors and volunteers were also awarded with certificates and Khadas by venerable Guru Khenrinpoche Shir Lama Gurung.
The beginning of the second phase was opened with Assistant Treasurer, Chandra Bahadur Gurung singing ‘’Jaha Chhan Buddhaka Aankha ……’’ beautifully. The program was then formally started with a candle lighting ceremony by NRNAUK President Mrs Poonam Gurung and all the special guests. General Secretary Kamal Gurung was the role of honour to deliver the welcome speech on behalf of the organisation. After the speech, Mrs Usha Gurung read out the Guru’s biography for all to listen to.
TDUK VP Mr. Hari Gurung and Mr. Narayan Singh Gurung helped to review the Guru’s speeches. BGRUK Treasurer Maj Buddhi Bahadur Gurung read out the names of all the generous donors. BGRUK President Insp Khem Bahadur Gurung then thanked everyone for attending and formally ended the event.
13. 31 Dec. 2019: BGRUK Lhochhar Celebration:
On the 31st of December 2019, the Buddhist Gumba Reading UK celebrated Tamu Lhochhar at South Reading Community Hub, Reading. On that day Khenpo Dashrath Guru, was responsible for performing the puja along with Lopen Sonam Guru and Lama Guru Kaji Gurung.
The year of the Deer was ending with the year of the Mouse coming to replace it. It is believed that by doing Gyabshi puja or Ayuko Puja (Clear of obstacles or worship of the Age) that all devotees who attend are showered with blessings to generate an overwhelming amount of positive energy to clear negativities and dangerous hurdles to health and finance. In short, ‘’Gyabshi Puja” means 400 offerings to pacify the four Maras with the Gyabshi Practice being used to increase the life span and merits by purifying one’s defilements and suffering.
14. 18 Jan 2020: Annual General Meeting:
The BGRUK’s first AGM was held at the South Reading Community Hub and coordinated by VP Krishna Gurung. The programme’s main guest was Khenpo Dashrath Guru who was accompanied by NRNA President Mrs Poonam Gurung, TDUK President Mr. Nanda Jang Gurung, Tamu Forum Director Capt. Raju Gurung and advisor Maj Udai Bahadur Gurung MBE.
The programme was divided into two parts; the first part mainly consisted of welcoming the guests and the reading out of annual and fiscal reports by general secretary Kamal Gurung and treasurer Maj Buddhi Bahadur Gurung respectively. A religious briefing was also held by VP Nar Bahadur Gurung in which guests, trustees and advisors were given the opportunity to say their views and suggestions. All speakers were happy and ready to help our project in any way possible in the coming future and expressed their best wishes towards the Gumba.
During the event the guests were looked after by VP Mrs Radha Gurung and Mrs Dimpi Gurung. Khenpo Dashrath Guru read out best wishes from religious Guru Khenrinpoche Shir Lama Guru.
In the second half of the programme, there was a question and answer held which allowed the public and members to discuss the annual reports.
All in all the first Annual General Meeting was a very favourable one for BGRUK.
BGRUK felicitated to Miss Jesica Gurung (daughter of BGRUK founding member, Mr Rajendra and Mrs Ganga Gurung) with Khada and Pachhauri (Traditional Apron). Miss Jesica Gurung was facilitated for her academic outstanding achievements on her GCSE exam in 2019.
15. 2564 Buddha Jayanti:
For the 2564 Buddha Anniversary (Buddha Jayanti), Buddhist Gumba Reading UK celebrated with venerable Khenrinpoche Dasarath Guru on the 7th of May 2020.
Due to Covid-19 we are forced to celebrate virtually as directed by the government. To protect ourselves and public we celebrated 2564 Buddha Jayanti at home as other devotees and public members also joined in from their home practicing puja through a live video stream on Facebook and Viber. Khenpo Dasarath Guru lead the prayer and practiced many ritual practices to purify and protect all sentients beings from the Coronavirus.
To gain eternal peace for the deceased members and other people around the world, we as a religious organization, formally kept a minute silence, chanted prayers, lit 108 Oil Lamps and offered in their memory.
As a Charity Organization BGRUK decided to donate food to Readifood Reading’s Food Bank. This year the BGRUK decided not to ask donations from the public, instead asking Executive members only. Mrs Rajkumari Gurung and Mr Subin Gurung (Web co-ordinator) ran the event and we are very thankful to them for their contributions to the organization as we managed to raise total £1,248.00.
Mr Kamal Gurung, General Secretary, helped buying food and provided free transportation allowing us to deliver food to the local food bank. On food handover day, the food receipt was handed by Mrs Rajkumari Gurung to Amanda Bayley – Assistant Director. Acting Chairman VP Krishna Bahadur Gurung was participating via a live call during the process.
Mrs Usha Gurung, Trustee, Mr Kamal Gurung, General Secretary, Mrs Rajkumari Gurung, event coordinator, Mr Subin Gurung, Web and event joint coordinator and assistant Secretary Mr Yubaraj Gurung were also present on handover day.
To help local people, the BGRUK also donated 800 face masks to local organizations. To help prevent the spread of the Corona virus, organisations set up points of contact for pick-up drop medical prescriptions, routine hospital check-up and personal shopping. We wanted to give back by helping these organisations.
In the end we would like to thank everyone who supported us personally and virtually.