This past year has been difficult for everyone; many of us have suffered from material, physical, and mental afflictions. As young children, we turn to our mothers or fathers for comfort when we encounter problems; in a similar way, many of us turn to the Lama for solace when in difficulty. Rinpoche, I believe, is the only source of refuge for many people both here and overseas. Often we turn to him when we or our loved ones are faced with sickness, depression, difficulties, and death. Sometimes we reach out to him just because we are feeling sad and we know that hearing his voice or seeing his face will make us feel better. Last spring, Rinpoche intended to go on a silent retreat in conjunction with the temporary closure of the MDC. I don’t think that he was actually able to carry out this retreat because, at that time, which was the beginning of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, so many people were initially quite shocked and frightened when confronted with the new and unknown prospect of the disease and lockdowns, and many reached out to Rinpoche for his support and blessings. To read a little about this, you can check out Rinpoche’s blog “A Discussion between Two Old Men”.
In truth, he is only one Lama! Not only is Rinpoche occupied with these efforts for the Dharma and the Sangha, in addition he engages in many mundane and domestic tasks, such as taking care of his Dharma Center, shopping, preparing his own meals, etc. Most of the time he gets around on foot. This may seem somewhat typical from a Western perspective, but often Lamas and monks share these responsibilities with one another, and respected Teachers also have many attendants to support them.
I just wanted to write this brief message at the end of the retreat for all of my Dharma brothers and sisters, and to let Rinpoche know that we do see some of what he does and sincerely appreciate him and his efforts.