Over a number of years, the FPMT (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition) operated a small centre for the study of Buddhism at a property they had been loaned in Butterfly Valley. From 1998 until the end of 2000, Gelong Shenphen, a fully-ordained monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, was resident on Paros to give teachings and counselling. Many residents of Paros, whether specifically wishing to follow the Buddhist spiritual path, to learn to practice meditation, or simply interested in learning more about the beautiful philosophy of Buddhism, came to Gelong Shenphen's teachings and sought his counsel on many matters.
A gifted teacher, with a fine sense of humour, his courses were easy and fun to follow. I personally learned many practical points about Buddhist philosophy that I have been able to put to use in my daily life.
Since leaving Paros, Gelong Shenphen has travelled to many other parts of the world wherever he has been able to be of service to others. He is currently living in northern Spain where he is working on a project with an orphanage in St. Petersburg to bring a small group of Russian orphans to the South of France and to Spain for holidays and fostering by local families.
Gelong Shenphen has said that he would be very willing to return to Paros at some time in the future if he was needed here and if accommodation were to become available. So, the reason for this article is to put this request "out there": if anyone has a property available (it would need at least one room large enough to hold classes and preferably sleeping quarters for a few temporary residents on "retreat") that they would be willing to lend for a period of time, please get in touch with him at email@example.com. and let him know.
I know I am not alone in saying that we would welcome his return and the many important ways in which he can contribute to our community.