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Last news from Rimay India

Rimay India, ninth year!

Rimay India began nine years ago, when Lama Mingyour was sent in India by Denys Rinpoché, and began to respond to the first invitations in Tamil Nadu, South India.
Since then, thanks to the many donors, generally Sangha Rimay members, numerous study and practice retreats have been offered, and several social and humanitarian projects have emerged.

January 2016, medical campaign in the villages

This year, a new cooperation with the French doctors association: “Solidarité Homéopathie” was implemented.
This humanitarian association first contacted us to arrange a medical assistance camp in the villages of the India Sangha.

Thus, a friendly team of four doctors: Denis, Wendy, Suzette and Jean-Paul, was formed and was able, during a week of visits with an intense pace, to give more than 150 consultations in four villages in connection with Rimay India. It was, for everybody, challenging, inspiring and intense moments.

This first contact was useful to evaluate the immensity of needs and the minimum infrastructure necessary to continue in a better way the coming years.

Here is Suzette’s report (in French!)
and Denis report (in French too!)
also available on the website of the association Solidarité Homéopathie.

Big thanks to this wonderful team, with the hope that we can continue and develop medical help for our Indian friends in the future!

Organization Retreat January 19 to 23

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For five days, the annual retreat organization with Rimay India NGO partners was held. During these days, we discussed different topics and reports on each one:
Origins of the Indian Sangha, operating principles, communication, growth of study and practice, self-sufficiency for NGOs.

Despite the economic growth, the human and social situation in India is not improving: reduction and pollution of drinking water, increase of forced labor and sexual assaults, worse quality of food, purchasing power declining, Alcoholism ...
Despite the difficulties practitioners continue to practice and study regularly. In some groups, daily. In others, once a week, at least one meeting per month.
There are now 152 groups in the area of ​​Thanjavur and further south around Sivakasi. A hundred of these groups meet study and practice regularly and seriously. The remaining 52 groups have a more episodic activity or are in the process of constitution.

Retreats of study and practice

Three one-week retreats near Thanjavur, another in Sivakasi and a weekend in Tiruvanamalai were held this year 2016. A hundred participants received or reviewed the basic theory and practice of Buddhadharma.
Some practitioners were returning for the second or third time. We could see several practitioners, teenagers, men and women who practice for a number of years now and continue to participate in local groups.

This year, personal interviews for each participants could be organized. This interviews allowed us to evaluate which elements of the transmission work well and those more difficult or problematic on a personal level. It is always when checking understanding and quality of practice on an individual level that we can have a realistic view of the situation.

Since two years, a progressive system (step by step) was set up. In each stage, the practitioner must come to a correct understanding of certain fundamental points, complete a number of hours of practice and participate in Sangha Loka meetings. The retreats given follow the same structure. Until now, retreats follow the first step subjects. Next year, in principle, practitioners who completed the first stage will have access to next level retreats.

Visits in the Indian Sangha Lokas

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There were several periods this year for visiting the villages. Population there is generally very poor, and participants practice where they can, often without specific place.

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For one or two years, many reports came about the good influence of Buddhadharma activities on the lives of the village people, and the interest that they get, even without ever having participated in retreats, about these activities. During this year retreats, a dozen participants were already practicing for a year or more and were getting into a retreat for the first time.

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For untouchable people, old age, sickness, death and physical or mental suffering are a daily reality. Despite tremendous difficulties, women, men and children participating in Rimay India continue their practice and study the Dharma following their possibilities, and these efforts bear gradually good results, which they can themselves measure and taste personally.

Humanitarian Activities

For several years, we are trying to empower the four Rimay India NGOs partners through the establishment of parallel trade. So far, their activity or existence was mostly dependent on fluctuating and random donations and grants. In 2016, for the first time, the four NGOs begin to be autonomous:

-  NGO Deepam (Zacharias): the leasing and cultivation of a hectare of land is beginning to bear fruit, which will allow the repayment of a € 5000 loan (which will then be allocated to other recipients) and to give at least two salaries in the NGO.

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-  NGO Wedss (Rajakumari): this organization was the only one already relatively autonomous thanks to the repayment of a share of the benefits of sewing activities created by the association for the needing women. This activity was increased by a loan of € 3,000 to 20 seamstresses women, which will be repaid in the next 3 years.

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-  NGO Race (Kurinichivalavan): this NGO received this year an interest free loan of € 5,000 to launch an internet shop that will allow it to be self-sufficient.

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-  NGO Sido (Shaktivel): this NGO received last year an interest free loan of € 1,000 to launch an organic rice resale activity in the villages, which now allows it to be self-sufficient .


Weekend in Tiruvannamalai and meeting Rimay India Trust

The trip ended in Thiruvannamalai. After a weekend retreat, we organised a meeting of Rimay India Trust trustees, with a good discussion on short and long term goals, finishing and publishing the book The Way of the Buddha in Tamil, the next field visit and the organization for 2017 ...

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Week-end de retraite à Thiruvannamalai

The Rimay India Trust team

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Visions for the future

Improving understanding and practice
All Rimay India leaders understand the need to improve the quality of study and practice. For this, explaining and encouraging participants to complete the required steps is critical. Buddhadharma begins to take root, many practitioners following Rimay India for 8 years!

A center for Rimay India
The need and utility for a center becomes more and more obvious: it will be possible to hold long retreats and provide a dwelling place for them. Also to arrange more intensive teachings, practice sessions and exams, with more accurate follow-up for each member.
A center will also enable the training in different daily livelihood (Dalits are usually daily labourers in the fields, construction workers in cities, and responsible for cleaning and waste treatment) such as organic farming, profitable and ethical business, medical assistance for people who already have some basic training, learning English and different skills, etc.
These past years, we visited many land properties which may be purchased through donations. Recently a possibility of land in a mountainous region was discussed. A survey team will visit the site in the coming months.

Best wishes to you all, and thanks for your help !!!


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