Chögyal Namkhai Norbu – The Future of the Shang Shung Foundation

An announcement made by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu by webcast at Dzamling Gar, Tenerife, December 1, 2017, 10 am. With the participation of Marco Baseggio, lawyer, and Giovanni Boni, engineer for the Dzamling Gar project.

Good day to everybody. As you can see, I have recovered well. During my illness I thought and reflected on various things. I thought about the present but also about the future of many situations or activities that we are going ahead with in our large Dzogchen Community. So I thought of calling this general meeting because I want you to participate so that you may listen to my thoughts and also express your ideas both for the present and especially for the future.

I think that having too many institutions that are officially recognised entails many expenses in terms of money and, most of all, in work. There are fewer and fewer people who can dedicate their time to the Community because when people have a job, this takes up most of their time. But we need to have some organizations in order to comply with the laws of all countries. As we know, all countries have laws. I think that, wherever possible, it is good to reduce.

Now, for example, we have two foundations that work in the same field, culture. In this case, I think we could join the two foundations into one, a single foundation perhaps a little broader. We would join the two foundations officially, but within they would maintain their own autonomy and work with their own human and economic resources and maintain their characteristics.

The present Shang Shung Foundation works mainly with culture, training new instructors and translators, research, and medicine, and will continue to work in this way because this is its specialisation. The other foundation would work with its own resources autonomously with culture and tourism. In just a few words, this is the concept that I wanted to communicate. Then we will work on some projects and the details that we will carry out. I hope I have explained it well.

Thank you. This is what I wanted to communicate.

Marco Baseggio: Rinpoche and Rosa have put me in charge. I have done some research in order to understand how to set up this new cultural foundation according to the law and how to fuse Shang Shung within this new cultural foundation. There are various ways to do this and in order to understand which path to follow, we have to decide firstly where the headquarters of the new foundation will be. But this is a relative aspect.

The principle is that according to the law the new foundation will have a wider purpose or goal, as we have understood and seen with Rinpoche and Rosa, so it will be able to contain within it a more specific department that is related to Tibetan culture in all its various aspects. While on the other hand, it will also be involved in aspects that are not so strictly related to Tibetan culture or to historical issues but more contemporary things. This new foundation will also include the Museum of Asian Art and Culture.

Legally we have checked and seen that we have all possibilities of doing this and now we just have to apply and decide some more specific and concrete aspects.

I am available to answer any legal questions that you may have. This is, more or less, what I wanted to say.

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu: Marco is a lawyer that I have known for many years and for me he is someone who is trustworthy. Whatever I have to do I want to have someone trustworthy who gives me advice and gets things done and this is why he has been carrying out this research as much as possible.

I’ve already said what I had to say. Then we have to work on all the details and how to carry things out.

Then I also have many offerings that I have been given. I haven’t had time to inform everybody because I was ill.

[The names of donors are read out.]

Thank you very much. This is what we have received. As you know it is very beneficial to participate not only for the Community, but also for yourselves because the Gönpa will remain as a place of practice for the future as well. That is why our engineer Giovanni has prepared something to show us how the work is going ahead right now with the Gönpa. So we would like to know a little bit.

Giovanni Boni: Thank you Rinpoche. What we are doing is under the eyes of all of us here at Dzamling Gar but many people don’t know about it and so we will show just a few photos and a short video so that people can understand. Once again I would like to thank all the donors who have been mentioned and also the previous ones, and especially once again, our Master.

future shang shung foundation

The idea we have is to already have the new Gönpa functioning by the beginning of 2019. The project, however, will not be completed. Only the first phase will be completed in December 2018. In order to complete it, we will need at least another two or three years and still need your participation and donations. Even though so far, thanks to our Master’s work and thanks to donors, we have raised more than four million euro, we still need to raise one to one and a half million euro. I wish everyone good work and participation.

future shang shung foundation

We can show a short video to understand what point we are at. We’ve built the platform of the terrace. We’ve raised the first pillars and we’ve started fixing the girders that will be put together for the roofing. On December 12 we will start putting up the first girders and the roofing will be finished by March. But the whole work to make the Gönpa usable will not be finished until the end of November 2018.

This is all from me. If you have any questions, you may ask, and once again I thank our precious Master.

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu: I would like to thank not only those who offer money but all those people who are putting their work and dedicating their time. Giovanni Boni, the engineer, has told me that by next year the first phase will be completed in time for my birthday. I really hope that it will be like this because time is passing. We have very short lives. Nobody lives for centuries and centuries. So it is our hope that it will be completed. This is really important. For that reason I have really dedicated myself, as you know very well. We all have to live in our present time and do our best. Thank you.