From Traleg Khandro, widow of Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, who died in late July, comes this letter about how she and her practice community intend to go forward.
“Dear Friends and Members of E-Vam Institute New York,
“I want to first thank you all for attending Pujas, your kind words of support, and generous donations during the time of Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche’s passing into Parinirvana.
“It has been the most painful and difficult of times. It has also been a time to celebrate the richness of Rinpoche’s life, his kindness, warmth and generosity, his profound, accessible and insightful Dharma Teachings; his wonderful books, so many remarkable qualities and so much Dharma activity in sadly too short a life. “We have been so blessed to have Rinpoche in our lives for the time we had.
“Rinpoche has charged me with the responsibility of running two of his Centers: E-Vam Institute New York and Yeshe Nyima Centre, Sydney Australia. I want you to know that I am fully committed to this task and I come to my new responsibilities with absolute determination. I am extremely fortunate to have very detailed instructions from Rinpoche regarding the development and continuation of his Centers. So in many ways and much of the time I am following instructions rather than making decisions.
“It has been explained to me from some of the Tibetan Masters in the Kagyu tradition that there are indications of a swift rebirth. So our motivation can be strong towards maintaining and building Rinpoche’s Centers to welcome a young Traleg Tulku the 10th back to his Centers in the near future.
“Soon after Rinpoche’s passing I requested Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche give a weekend course on the Traleg Lineage at E-Vam. It was a great honor for us to welcome Khenpo La on the last weekend in September for these teachings. As you may know Khenpo Kharthar comes from Thrangu Monastery, Tibet where Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche is Supreme Abbott. Khenpo Karthar knew both Traleg the 8th and Traleg the 9th, and was instrumental in the production of the book Nyima Tashi published by KTD mapping the history of the Traleg lineage. The weekend of teachings to tribute our beloved Teacher was a unique opportunity to gather a concise and personal account of the enlightened qualities and activities particular to this great lineage. We will make these teachings available soon for anyone who may have missed this wonderful series of talks, and I thank Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche from the bottom of my heart for providing such detailed and important Teachings.
“I intend to contact members of E-Vam individually in the near future. In the meantime I wanted to share with you some of the activities planned as we move forward and embrace our new reality. It is my intention to maintain an even keel and changes will be kept to a minimum. I want to begin by thanking Deidre Collings (Dee) for her dedication to the role of Caretaker at E-Vam for the last 6+ years. She has been a tremendous asset to the Center and has worked tirelessly toward Rinpoche’s vision for E-Vam. As many of you may know earlier this year Rinpoche selected Daniel and Lisa Blaze as new Caretakers for E-Vam. They have settled in well and have managed so many unexpected responsibilities associated with Rinpoche passing with grace and composure so soon after their arrival. Their ongoing dedication is inspiring and I hope if you haven’t already you will join me in welcoming them to E-Vam. Daniel will be taking on areas of Centre Management as well.
“Our regular program recommenced recently beginning with Wednesday meditation. Regular Pujas will be scheduled shortly both for E-Vam at Chatham and the Gompa in Lexington Avenue, Manhattan. Soon we will be beginning a study program at Lexington Ave based on Rinpoche’s book Luminous Bliss.
“Later this year Daniel will be launching an extended study program for members based on the most recent in a series of Teachings given by Traleg Rinpoche. This study program will have an online study option. The courses will include audio Teachings by Traleg Rinpoche and study assistance and guidance provided by Rinpoche’s Shedra students Trent Sigley and Daniel. In line with the study topics will be weekend course intensives from time to time given by visiting Kagyu and Nyingma Lamas. The course curriculum includes learning technical terms in Sanskrit and some assignment work. Puja instruction will also be given on some of the traditional Pujas from the Kagyu tradition such as Karma Pakshi and Milarepa. The curriculum design is in accordance with Traleg Rinpoche’s instructions and should provide thorough and comprehensive study opportunities.
“As many of you may know a team of Rinpoche’s students stayed at E-Vam this summer to renovate Rinpoche’s house situated on the E-Vam property. Rinpoche requested that his house be used for individuals’ private retreat and contemplative holiday accommodation. The upstairs area is close to finished and should be available for hire for short and long term Retreats and holidays by early next year. The accommodation includes a spacious bedroom and a combined kitchenette, lounge/dining room and bathroom facilities, and will be centrally heated for cozy mid-winter ‘getaways.’ By next year it will include an additional bedroom, full kitchen facilities, and a spacious living area. Lisa Blaze will be managing this new initiative, and we have named this beautiful retreat cottage ‘Dakini Dwelling’.
“The next E-Vam teaching program and newsletter will be disseminated shortly. We are lucky to have attracted some truly amazing teachers for the coming year. Rinpoche worked tirelessly to establish Centers in different parts of the Western world, and we fully intend to continue his vision to the best of our ability. I encourage your continued support and participation with E-Vam Institute.
“Yours most sincerely in the Dharma,
Traleg Khandro (Felicity)”