FAQs: Drupchen and Ushnishavijaya Puja

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What are the event timings?

To assist with your planning, please see indicative timings below. These are rough guidelines only as they will be subject to change from day to day, depending on the guidance of the Rinpoches:

Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik Drupchen 

  • Jan 31st | Pre-registration: 1-4pm at Aloka
  • Feb 1st | First day of Drupchen: Approx. 9am – 7.30pm
  • Every day of the Drupchen (except the first and last day): Approx. 6am – 7.30pm
  • Feb 9th | Last last day of the Drupchen: Approx. 5am – 3pm 

Ushnishavijaya Puja

  • Feb 12-14th | Every day of the Puja: Approx. 8am – 530pm

 

How do I donate? 

Aloka has always provided all of its activities on a by-donation basis, i.e. we never charge a fixed amount for attendance. In view of the significant scale of this event, we are appealing to your generosity to make this event possible through your donations, rather than seek to cover the costs by charging a fixed fee.

We understand that many of you may be planning to donate closer to the event. For those who are able to, we kindly request for you to make your contributions over the next month to assist us with our financial planning.

Donation methods are outlined here.

 

How do I register in-person at the event? 

We will open registrations a day prior to the commencement of the Drupchen (ie Friday 31 January) between 1-4pm at Aloka. You will also be able to register on the first day of the Drupchen and/or the Puja.

To register, please bring a printed copy of your Eventbrite ticket, and a photo ID.

Only those with an allocated and printed ticket from Eventbrite will be permitted to register and attend.  The registration team will also ask you to sign an acknowledgement including Aloka’s waiver of liability to assist with our insurance purposes for this event.

 

How do I get to Aloka Meditation Centre? 

**Please be advised that parking at Melton is closed due to heavy rains. Please park outside of Aloka instead on Ross Road**

Further information on parking, including a detailed map, can be found here.

Unfortunately there is no public transport to Aloka, nor any organised transport. You will need to make your own arrangements to and from Aloka.

Car parking is very limited onsite, and therefore we ask that you carpool as much as possible. To assist with this, we have setup a Facebook group here for the purpose of connecting those who can offer car space with those that need one. To access this group, you will need a Facebook account. If you don’t have one, please sign up for a free account.

 

Car rental

A car is required to get to and from Aloka. If you need to hire one, we have negotiated a bulk discount with Avis North Sydney. If you rent through Avis North Sydney, you will receive a double upgrade and 1x free day (minimum 7 day rental required). 

The negotiated rates are as follows. The quoted prices are based on 15 days of hire, and will be adjusted accordingly, depending on the actual number of days that you require. 

  • Small: Suzuki Swift upgrade to a Corolla sedan $968 with a $0 excess liability (or $475 with a $4000 excess).
  • Medium: Toyota Corolla hatch upgraded to a Toyota Camry $998 with $0 excess liability (or $506 with a $4000 excess).
  • Large: Toyota Corolla Sedan upgraded to a Mitsubishi ASX (small SUV) $1208 with $0 excess liability (or $816 with a $4000 excess).

To book and obtain the discount for the vehicles above, please email Avis North Sydney directly at north.sydney@abgroup.com.au, quoting the offer code “ALOKA”. 

Bookings must be made by 24th January, 2020 in order to obtain the discount. 

Any further enquiries regarding these vehicles and rates should be directed at Avis North Sydney. 

Please ensure you do your own research as to the suitability of the vehicles and excess options. If you’re interested, Avis North Sydney has also other vehicles available, but they are not eligible for the discounts outlined above. You are of course welcome to book vehicles with any other car rental company.

These pre-negotiated rates are simply to assist with your own planning. We do not assume any responsibility with regard to your bookings made directly with Avis North Sydney.

 

Where can I stay? 

Please click here for further information.

 

What should I do about meals during the event(s)?

As Aloka is in a remote area and the event schedule will not allow much time for breakfast and lunch, we have facilitated for two food truck vendors to be onsite. Please access the vendors’ website below from a laptop / desktop (as the pages do not appear in full on phones / tablets).

Agape Organic (Western) – https://www.agapeorganic.com.au/order-online

Vege4Love (Asian) – https://www.vege4love.com.au/order-online

As Aloka is a vegetarian-only centre, the meal options are vegetarian, vegan and also an option with gluten-free ingredients (but prepared in a non-gluten free kitchen).  If you have strict dietary requirements (for eg if you are coeliac), we strongly recommend that you bring your own food.

Both food truck vendors are requiring all meals to be pre-ordered online by Thursday 30 January. This is to assist with their planning and to avoid long queues.  A limited number of meals will be available daily on a “walk-in” basis, which will be offered at a slightly higher price and by cash payment only. However given the large number of participants, you will run the risk of not having food if you do not pre-order online by 30 January.

To give you flexibility, you can order for selected days with each vendor (ie you can “mix-and-match” between the two vendors). Please carefully review both sites as the vendors have their own requirements and conditions for ordering which Aloka is strictly not responsible for. Once you have placed and paid for your order, absolutely no changes can be made. Please direct all queries in relation to the ordering to the vendors (contact details on their website), as Aloka is merely facilitating this arrangement.

Also, note that once you have pressed “order now”, it will say that your order is ready for pickup in 15 mins at a location that is not Aloka. Please ignore this. The food will be available for pickup at Aloka during the designated breakfast and lunch times. 

 

What should I bring / not bring? 

As we are accommodating a very large number of participants in the temple, we request that you strictly limit the items you bring into the temple to a bare minimum. This will greatly assist with the comfort of the many participants in the temple. 

We suggest that you bring the following items:

  1. Small cushion to sit on. Please do not bring your own outdoor / foldable chairs etc. If you are unable to sit on the floor, chairs will be made available in the temple.
  2. Water bottle, insect repellent, hat and umbrella.
  3. Electronic device (for practice texts – see above)
  4. Reusable container and cup (for receiving the daily tsok offerings – see below).
  5. Torch / flashlight for when you are on site before sunrise and/or after sunset.

Please do not bring any other items such as small boxes, electrical fans or other equipment that requires connection to an electrical power source.

Inside the temple, you are requested to give precedence to the ordained sangha, facilitate the work and movements of the Lamas, monks and service teams, and comply with all the instructions (safety or other) that may be given by the organisers.

 

How do I access practice texts during the event(s)?

The texts of the Drupchen are now available. They are only available as electronic files in PDF format. Please note these texts are strictly for participants who are coming for the Drupchen (not for those that are coming only for the Ushnishavijaya Puja). These texts and the links are not to be shared with anyone else. These are only for you as a participant of the Drupchen to download for yourself.

They can be accessed at digital.padmakara.com, under the menu “Textes”.

There are three files you will need to download, designated J, K, and L. The file names, in full, are:

J_v2.0_CPN_TRINLE_2020.pdf

K_v2.0_CPN_DRUPKHOK_2020.pdf

L_v2.0_CPN_ANNEXES_2020.pdf

These three files should be found at the top of the list on the Padmakara Downloads site.

J is the main sādhana itself, K is the text of the ritual framework, and L contains some of the other texts and prayers you will need.

As the selection and order of the texts recited varies from session to session and from day to day, this three-file system has been planned to make navigation as easy as possible. It may nevertheless still be challenging. During the practice, you are strongly advised to keep all three files open at the same time so that you can navigate between them using the tabs of your PDF reader software. (If your device is large enough, you are recommended to set it to display double page spreads, with the Tibetan on the left and the phonetics and English on the right.)

Page numbers (for the English pages) will be displayed on screens in the temple. The relevant file letter will also be displayed, and the display is colour coded with a different colour for each file. We will frequently be alternating between the three different files. We will typically read through one file to a certain point, then jump to one of the other files to read another text, and come back to the first file at the point where we left off. That is why it is best to keep all three files open at the same time.

Each file has a hyperlinked contents list that, depending on your software, you will find under the Bookmarks or Table of Contents tab. This can be used as an accessory to navigation. Your software may also have a page-number slider for rapid scrolling.

It is quite possible that changes to one or more of the files may become necessary before or during the Drupchen, in which case updated versions will be posted for download. Any such updates will be announced or displayed on the screens before or after the sessions.

When considering electronic devices, those with long battery life are recommended, as are backup battery packs. Please make sure your devices are charged overnight. A tablet device or small laptop is recommended (rather than an eReader such as Kindle or Kobo which is slower to navigate).

Due to the sheer volume of the texts, no physical copies will be made available. You may choose to print them at your discretion, but note there are hundreds of pages.

Texts to the Ushnishavijaya Puja will be available at a later date.

 

What do I need to know about the tsok? What if I have allergies? 

In line with other drupchens that have been organised by our teachers, where possible we have sourced as many of our tsok food offerings from organic or local farmers / suppliers nearby to Aloka. We have also sought to minimise packaging / plastic / waste as much as possible. To this effect, we would be grateful if you can bring each day a reusable container and cup, and ideally a sealable container (so that you can take any extra tsok with you). 

Importantly, please note that the tsok offerings will include nuts and grains and will be prepared with other items which may contain soy, dairy, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts. If you have specific allergies or intolerances, you will need to exercise the necessary precautions.

Given the large scale and number of participants at this event, please do not bring any of your own offerings for the tsok.

You are welcome to make a donation towards the tsok if you would like to, upon registration of the event.

 

Is there mobile/cellular reception at Aloka? 

As Aloka is in a rural area, mobile reception can be patchy depending on the network you are with. Telstra has the best reception, followed by Vodafone then Optus. If mobile reception is important to you during sessions, then Telstra is best. Otherwise during breaks, you should be able to access reception at different areas of Aloka outside of the tent.

Please note there is no wi-fi available.

 

What do I need to know about bushfires? 

A dedicated page on bushfires can be found here.  

We ask that you please be bushfire alert and do not do anything that could trigger a fire:

  1. Do not bring or use your own candles, incense, lighters.
  2. There is strictly no smoking at Aloka grounds, at the carpark, or on any neighbouring property. 

 

I am a doctor/nurse – can I help? 

We will have a limited number of doctors/nurses in attendance that have volunteered to help, in the event of any emergencies. 

If you are a doctor or nurse that is willing to assist in the event of emergencies, please kindly inform us on: cpndrupchen@gmail.com.

 

I have a disability and/or I’m elderly – can I make special requests?

If you require special parking assistance / dropoffs because of a disability, then please email us, and we will do our best to accommodate those needs. Please request this only if you truly need assistance.

There will be sufficient seating in the temple for those that need to sit on a chair.