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A letter to my lama, Penor Rinpoche

Dear Rinpoche,

Seven days ago you entered into your final meditation of this life. Even now you rest in equipoise. Our community is united in practice, both here in India and in every place where your teachings have found resonance.

There came a point when it became certain you were going to leave us.  It broke our hearts to see you so ill. We asked the dakinis and the buddhas not to call you, but still you had to go. Any one of would have give up our body to restore yours if such a thing were possible.  To us you are far more than a teacher, or parent, or doctor, you are the very sun who illuminates our lives.

The lamas have taught that when students fail to keep their samaya it shortens the teachers’ life.  Rinpoche, I am so sorry for shortening your life. I am sorry for not being a good nun.  I am sorry for not having compassion for beings.  I am sorry for not practicing the six perfections.  I am sorry for not meditating on the profound truth. 

Rinpoche you have taught us the profound path of tantra again and again.  You have taught us exceedingly high teachings.  You taught us even though we were not all ready or capable.  Thank you, Rinpoche, for putting your life on the line for us.  You knew we were just beginners and yet you fulfilled our highest wishes.

I am sorry, Rinpoche, that I did not practice better.  I am sorry I let time slip away while engaged in worldly matters. I am sorry that I have been the mere shadow of a practitioner.  I thought that the tantric samayas were utterly beyond me as an ordinary person.  I am sorry I didn’t try.  I am sorry for my lack of pure view.  I am sorry for fighting with my fellow students. I am sorry for not maintaining the continuity of practice. I am sorry for not eliminating my wrong views. I am so sorry for shortening your life. I lay this at your feet from the depth of my heart. I confess everything now in the midst of your Dharmakaya heart.

Who could do what you have done?  Who could nurture tens of thousands of monks, nuns, yogis, and lay people? Who could turn the wheel of Dharma year after year all over the world? Who could build so many monasteries, temples, and dharma centers? We can barely take care of ourselves, Rinpoche.  You have done all these things and more, it is astonishing.

Rinpoche there is nothing that I could offer you now that would prolong your life.  Someday soon your mind will leave your body and you will go on to your next destination.  If you decide to go to a pure land, I wouldn’t blame you.  We your students have been ungrateful and probably quite disappointing to you.  I do hope, though, that you will come back soon. 

The only offering I can make to you now is my heart, Rinpoche, and to make these vows in the presence of your Dharmakaya heart:  I vow to never abandon the path of Dharma. I vow to truly take the three jewels as my guides in life.  You were so kind to ordain me, Rinpoche, I vow to keep these precepts you have given me. From now on I will remember bodhichitta everyday.  I will restrain my self from hurting beings.  I will try to love them and care for them and help them. I will lead a Dharma life.  Wherever I go, I will go towards the Dharma.  Whatever I do, I will do Dharma.  Whenever I am lost I will take the three jewels as my guides.  From now on I will exert myself in the path of the secret mantra.  During meditation and in daily life I will practice to the best of my ability.  I vow to go farther and deeper in my studies, so that I may go father and deeper in my practice.  And when I practice, it will be for all beings.  Not just for my self.  I will practice so that beings may be rescued from samsara. 

Thank you, Rinpoche, thank you for everything.  Thank you personally for these vows, these teachings, this monastery, this education.  Thank you Rinpoche for what you have given us.  Thank for what you have done for beings.  We can see only the material expressions of your kindness, but I am certain there is much much more.  I believe you have been benefiting beings with your every thought, word, and breath, for your whole life.  That is amazing, Rinpoche, I pray someday all beings will be like you.

From my heart,

Damchoe Wangmo


6 thoughts on “A letter to my lama, Penor Rinpoche

  1. Dearest spiritual sister, Thank you so much for giving perfect expression to everything that all those who remain in the blessed mandala feel. I join you in every sentiment and aspiration. May we remember and believe that there is no separation in the heart wherever our precious teacher goes. We are always protected, blessed, guided, and loved. Your expression here, to me, is a manifestation of Holiness’ blessing as it reassures me that I can rely on and take refuge in the Palyul sangha that is comprised of others whose hearts yearn as mine does to fulfill Holiness’ wishes and vision. Thank you for your kindness in sharing this. May the Palyul lineage remain strong and true in its discipline and devotion. Yours truly, Phuntsok Dolma

  2. ༈ རྩ་གསུམ་ཀུན་འདུས་རྡོ་རྗེ་སློབ་དཔོན་དྲུང་།།

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