El·e·na [el-uh-nuh, uh-ley-nuh; It. e-le-nah] /ˈɛlənə, əˈleɪnə; It. ɛˈlɛnɑ/ –noun a female given name, form of Helen // A proud student of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche // Personal assistant with a BSc (Hons) Psych from Uni of Warwick // These are snapshots of my life, in words and pictures

Meeting Rinpoche in the USA

December 18, 2013 5

Dear everyone who has contacted me requesting to meet Rinpoche,

Thank you so much for your interest! I really am grateful that you wish to spend time with my lama. He is an amazing, vibrant teacher who possesses a wealth of knowledge and most of all, CARES for you from the beginning, middle and to the end.

I’m sorry if your requests have not been met with responses you were hoping for. Please bear with us as we settle down in a more stable location. I will shortly be blogging about the appropriate way to make requests for an audience, as well as to make offerings. For now, here are some guidelines that I request you to please bear in mind:

 

#1:

Remember you are not the only person requesting for an audience. As of this moment, I have registered over 80 requests from people wishing to meet Rinpoche and the list grows every. single. day. By the time 2014 rolls around, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s passed the 150 mark.

Given Rinpoche is one and you are many, that’s a lot of people to meet individually or in small groups! So it’s not that Rinpoche doesn’t want to meet you but that physically, it’s very taxing if not planned well and as you know, Rinpoche has already been unwell with tailbone problems. How about meeting people in larger groups? Well, Rinpoche has already announced that he will not be giving teachings and talks, so there will not be an opportunity for Rinpoche to address larger groups.

Rinpoche shopping to buy presents for students. Even though Rinpoche is not a fan of Christmas (or shopping, in fact!), Rinpoche knows what Christmas means to many of his students so even here in the USA, Rinpoche still continues to practise generosity, just as he did in Malaysia

Rinpoche shopping to buy presents for students. Even though Rinpoche is not a fan of Christmas (or shopping, in fact!), Rinpoche knows what Christmas means to many of his students so even here in the USA, Rinpoche still continues to practise generosity, just as he did in Malaysia

#2:

We are shorthanded. If you guys think there’s a lot of work to do in Kechara, wait till you’re doing the same amount here with just four people and in a foreign city 😉 I am definitely NOT complaining because it is a privilege to be here BUT with our current responsibilities, it does not leave us a lot of time to prepare for audiences because requesting to see a lama is not as simple as saying, “Hey Rinpoche, wanna hang out?” 😉

According to Tibetan protocol (i.e. not Rinpoche’s / our protocol!), there’s a way to invite the lama, a way to receive the lama, and a way to host him. Of course, we don’t expect you to know that which is why it is up to us to prepare, and we simply don’t have the manpower for it. There’s also the scheduling involved for the 80 over people (all of who want the meeting to suit their timing), arranging for items to be shipped over from Malaysia, the setting up of the venue and the liaising with the venue’s management…and speaking of venue…

 

#3:

We don’t have an appropriate place to hold such audiences. No, it’s not appropriate for a lama to meet students in a restaurant, bar, or a country club. And sorry but it’s not appropriate for the lama to invite you into his home which is a 1-bedroom apartment (would you invite someone you don’t know into your bedroom? :P).

Yes, Rinpoche really is in New York City, we haven't been making it up!

Yes, Rinpoche really is in the USA, we haven’t been making it up!

Strangely (and rather sadly), not a single person has offered to help us find such a place either. Again, I’m not complaining but from my side, as my teacher’s student who has the honour of serving him directly, I wish people would give in the same breath as they wish to take. After all, when your request is granted, you will be ‘taking’ from him even if it’s NOT your intention AT ALL – time, effort, knowledge…

Does that mean you shouldn’t request to see Rinpoche? No, PLEASE request! But also think about how else you can help to create the causes for the meeting to take place :)

 

#4:

We don’t have the funds. Finding a place doesn’t just take time, but it also requires funds to book and set up for the audience, funds which we don’t have at the moment. The US is expensive; New York City is expensive. Is this a fundraising request? No, NOT AT ALL. It’s just a statement of the facts, and a gentle reminder that when you request to see Rinpoche, such a request does come with its behind-the-scenes costs that you never get to see.

Again, let me reiterate – I am THANKFUL that there has been such an overwhelming response for people to meet Rinpoche, I really am and I do NOT expect anyone to already know about the four points I mentioned simply because you won’t have experience of it :) so this is as much an educational post as well as an explanation for why you’ve not heard in the affirmative from me thus far.

In the meantime, please be patient with us because we do have some urgent work to complete (unrelated to these audiences), and these audience-related technical issues to resolve :) when we are ready for Rinpoche to meet people (Rinpoche is always ready, it’s us clowns who aren’t!), I will let you know and you will hear from me. In the meantime, please keep registering your interest with me. I can be reached via my Facebook Fanpage or elena.khong@kechara.com.

Thank you! _/|\_

Tsem Ladrang, Tsem Rinpoche

5 Comments → “Meeting Rinpoche in the USA”

  1. Linda 5 years ago   Reply

    Hi! sounds very stressful. It seems to me there are several types of ‘meetings with Rinpoche’: private, one-on-one types of interviews (pujas, etc, etc) and public events. Both are contingent on where Rinpoche precisely is. You can’t really organize the first till you got the ‘tour’ organized. I’ve helped organize a few events (Monks tours, etc) both parts of tours and one-offs in the USA in three states, so you want some advice, email me.

    I would like to see RInpoche visit Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    You need to find an organizer in each city who can find suitable space for whatever types of events that person wants to host in that city or venue. Then you don’t have to do it yourself. You probably can’t. Too hard! Two people were running 18 hours plus a day for a month organizing a mere two weeks’ monks tour in one city. We were so exhausted when they came.

    You need a file that identifies his needs (not everyone will know, like you explained, inviting him to a studio apartment that’s your bedroom is not suitable, a donation is expected to help cover events, etc — we had people wanting house blessings, etc, for gratis. They weren’t being rude; they just didn’t realize that someone has to pay for transportation, food, etc.). And a few other things that you would give to responsible people. Expect a few to fall through due to karma and, eh, incompetence.

    There’s a couple organizations that have a lot of expertize organizing these types of tours. I knew a few people in them who can also help if you want some ideas from those who have been there. It’s a shame there isn’t an email list or something for Dharma folks who do these tasks. Every one has to figure it out on their own but if we networked it would be SO much easier.

    The other idea would be to rent a couple places, like one on the east and one on the west coasts, and hold longer events and expect anyone wanting to meet him to get to these places. If you need ideas on places, I can give you a few, such as the place that Gelek Rinpoche rents in New York state. However these places often are booked a year or so ahead of time so you have to consider that. There is a place near DC that some centers rent as well.

    Email me if you want to talk: lmerle@comcast.net

    Linda M.

Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Do you want to meet Rinpoche in USA? | Tsem Rinpoche - 5 years ago

    […] http://www.elenakhong.com/2013/12/18/meeting-rinpoche-in-the-usa/ […]

  2. Do you want to meet Rinpoche in USA? | Tsem Rinpoche - 5 years ago

    […] http://www.elenakhong.com/2013/12/18/meeting-rinpoche-in-the-usa/ […]

  3. H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche in USA | Lama Tsongkhapa - 4 years ago

    […] If you wish to meet Rinpoche, please read this post before making your requests. All requests for audiences can be sent to […]

  4. Do you want to meet Rinpoche in USA? | Tsem Rinpoche - 1 year ago

    […] http://www.elenakhong.com/2013/12/18/meeting-rinpoche-in-the-usa/ […]

Leave a Reply