October 25, 2021

Dear Friends,

Our Venerable teacher, Khenpo Karten Rinpoche, wishes to inform his sanghas and friends of two important announcements:

First, Rinpoche is deeply saddened to have learned of the passing of a dear Dharma patron this past Thursday evening. We are honoring her wishes to remain anonymous. However, it is fair to say that without the sincere and selfless generosity of this sponsor, who maintained an abiding devotion toward Rinpoche over many years, and who clearly had a strong karmic connection with him, Manjushri Dharma Center would not exist in its current form. Further, Rinpoche’s activities for the benefit of all motherly sentient beings would  have been significantly more limited without her support.

With palms pressed together, from the depths of our hearts, let us celebrate and rejoice in the life and virtue of our late anonymous Dharma sister, and let us dedicate the roots of our own merit, that she may take immediate rebirth in Sukhavati, the Great Blissful Buddhafield of Amitabha.

Second, Rinpoche wishes for us to know that he will be entering a period of in-home retreat at MDC during the full month of November. After a long and intense period of working for our benefit during the COVID-19 pandemic, with near continual virtual teaching and guidance to his many students around the world, it is time for Rinpoche to rejuvenate and refresh his own energy and practice. Rinpoche will still continue to virtually hold regular Monday evening pujas and will continue his Saturday morning Gampopa teachings during his retreat, but Wednesday evening livestreams, audiences and phone calls and other activities will be curtailed until December.

Let us also rejoice in our good fortune to have such a pure model of spiritual practice as Khenpo Karten Rinpoche, who always prioritizes the study, practice and teaching of the Buddhadharma over engagement with the endless array of enticing worldly distractions to be found in California! The Buddhist tantras clearly state that the ideal guru is a “Vajra Holder of the Three Vows,” that is, one who faultlessly maintains the 253 Vinaya precepts of a fully ordained monastic, the many Bodhisattva precepts, and the innumerable Vajrayana samayas. In this day and age, such a teacher is exceedingly rare, but Rinpoche embodies all the qualities of a monk’s renunciation, a Bodhisattva’s compassion, and the pure view and guru devotion of a tantric yogi. During Rinpoche’s retreat, rather than being saddened by his relative absence, may we all find great joy and inspiration from his precious example.

Kind regards,

Pema Tsultrim (Aaron Joseph), MDC Board President
for Khenpo Karten Rinpoche

May All Beings Benefit!