Heather Skye, a Native American tribal liaison, recently started volunteering and living at KTD and she made time for an interview in between mopping the new wing, cleaning the shrines and filling is as a cook when needed.
What brought you to KTD?
I came here because there was a window of opportunity and I wanted to be here. At this moment, I am as stress-free as I’ve ever been in my life.
Did you feel there was any contradiction between your Native American heritage and practicing Buddhism?
No they both have the same core belief that all life is sacred. That the Earth is sacred and alive just like us.
Who is your favorite deity?
It’s a tossup between Medicine Buddha and White Tara. Before my first visit in 2009, I hadn’t had a dream in a week and so I asked for one, and White Tara came to me.
What do you LOVE about KTD?
I love the feel about the place. No place is perfect but of all the places I have been all over America, besides the Black Hills in South Dakota, KTD has got to be one of the holiest. KTD and the surrounding area have a spiritual consciousness that is present.
What is most challenging about working and living at KTD?
Nothing is too challenging and challenges seem to take care of themselves within a matter of days.
What’s your best memory so far in your short time here?
Having to make a last minute breakfast for Rinpoche. Me and (Nicole Vacca) Nyingje had 10 minutes notice and Lama Karma Drodhul was jogging back and forth in the dining room.
Would you say he was running for moral support?
I’m not sure, but it was funny and we didn’t end up going nuts.
What would you say about visitors and sangha who come to KTD?
I believe every person comes here with a purpose and that their purpose is served. I love talking to the people who come here and it inspires me to work harder on my own practice. Watching them do their practice I learn so much from them. Ordinary people come here just to pray; not just for themselves but for the whole universe. I couldn’t think of anything better to witness. Out of every place in the world they could go, people choose to come here.
– Anne Hulett