It’s said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and in the case of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche and his thousands of devoted followers in Taiwan, the proof cam in April when Rinpoche made a triumphant return to the island after many years’ absence.
“Rinpoche is a huge attraction in Taiwan and people just wanted to see him,” says Lama Karma Drodul, who accompanied Rinpoche on the visit. “He had Mahamudra teachings. He taught the previous Kalu Rinpoche’s shorter version of Mahamudra teaching and the Amitabha Powa teaching, and the last part of the visit, the five centers on Taiwan of Thrangu Rinpoche came together for the Iron Hook Powa teaching. That was about 500 or 600 people,” Lama D reports.
Rinpoche’s visit even caught the attention of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, who completed a painting of Rinpoche’s beloved White Tara in a week to commemorate the visit. “This is a profound story because it shows how much His Holiness Karmapa cares about Khenpo Rinpoche and it shows the connection as student and master,” Lama D notes, adding, “This is the real deal. It’s extremely moving to me.”
Khenpo Rinpoche’s Taiwanese students also responded with a generous outpouring of donations, all of which Rinpoche dedicated to our home center Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in Woodstock, NY. “That’s pretty amazing,” Lama Karma says.
But the most heartening aspect of Rinpoche’s visit may be symbolized by the encounter he had with a longtime student. Lama Karma relates: “One lady is 94, and she thought she’s never see Rinpoche again and he asked Ani Phuntsok if she was still alive, and she was.” They met again, and as Lama D remembers, “That lady inspired Rinpoche that she hadn’t forgot him, as most of us usually do. That was such a moment!”
But just one on a trip that had uncountable moments.
– John Chacona