Dear Sangha and Friends,
It is with great pleasure that I am writing to you again. As the spiritually profound and culturally vibrant year of Guru Padmasambhava is almost coming to a close, we have all felt the blessings and joy in our hearts and are left with an immense sense of gratitude.
I am happy to see how this celebration has provided us with renewed confidence and energy in the importance of making practice central to the progress of the path. As Guru Rinpoche said:
My view may be as high as the sky,
My conduct is as detailed as the earth.
We are indeed very fortunate, given the uncertain circumstances and mental unrest of today's times, to have come under the Refuge and guidance of Guru Rinpoche and the Masters of his lineage. I believe this is due to past Karmic connections and faith and diligence in this life.
Next year, the year of the bird, marks the year of Lady Yeshe Tsogyal. In remembrance and celebration of the Mother of Wisdom, I am so happy to inform you of my decision to enter into another year of retreat under the guidance of my Father, beginning next Spring. I hope to embody at least some part of the meaning of 'Ripa' (Mountain Yogi). I have always believed in the power and importance of practice; as Buddha said, one of the two pillars that the living Dharma stands on is practice. Study alone is never sufficient, though necessary.
Your thoughts, prayers, and love will be with me as always you will be in my heart.
As our Earth is being tormented and its people filled with increasing anxieties and a sense of fragility, the Buddha's teaching of wisdom and compassion, as the basis of fundamental awakening for caring, healing, and finding peace, is so relevant for today. We all have a special responsibility, through our practice and experience, to share and help others in any way we can.
In this direction the modern science and ancient Buddhist thought have embarked on a new found love in their common endeavour with a hope to reduce suffering and unhappiness. However I can only hope and pray, in their rush for entertaining courtship, that they remain faithful to their Authentic lineages.
I have had a very busy year, truly enriching and touching. Throughout my journey across the continents I have met people from all diverse backgrounds, enjoyed so much their warmth, generosity and love, especially my students and friends that I met again during my teaching tours of the Padmalings, the Ripa Centers, and particularly at the RIC. I noticed you have matured, not only in age, but in your understanding and practice of Dharma. Also a sense of Sanghahood, as a foundation of support and awareness on the path, has become more evident.
I remain grateful to everyone. Thank you so much.
Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche