Getting to the wooded landscape that surrounds KTD was not easy for any of the participants of the retreat. Nonetheless, all the efforts have been completely rewarded, not only by the invaluable teachings of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, but by the opportunity of sharing this time with new friends like Lama Karma Drodhul.
At the start of the retreat, Lama Karma, one of the resident teachers at KTD, told us: “I hope that when you conclude the program, you will have seen that it is worth it to come to this place; this is one of the missions of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa for all of us. His Holiness himself, spent 2 months blessing this area. Great teachers of the four noble lineages have come here, such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness Sakya Trizin, amongst others. Many great teachers have come here to give their blessings.
Receiving these teachings on the Buddha of Compassion has been, whether on line or in person, an experience of such magnitude that we might not be able to take it all in. Lama Karma comments, “You cannot imagine how much you have learned and how many Dharma blessing you have received. All this knowledge regarding compassion, if you are able to practice the benefits, will make the blessings flourish to the benefit of others and I do believe you will do it. I have visited countries in Latin America and I have seen the thirst for Dharma, you really want Dharma. I think this is very powerful. These activities sow the seeds, so in the future people will be able to receive teachings directly from HH the 17th Karmapa.”
In our time at the Pilgrimage with Lama Karma we saw he is a living example of the teachings that he has received from his teachers. In a simple but blunt way, he shares Dharma, emphasizing two important factors in the practice: determination and confidence. Lama Karma possesses a joy for living that is contagious. His warmth conquered our hearts from the first instant, when he entered the Gompa and his sincere smile expresses very clearly “Buenos días, ¿cómo están?” With his habitual modesty and his sense of humor, he ends some of his valuable message to us with a smile and saying “quizás algo como esto, no soy muy bueno en español…” [“maybe it’s something like this, not that good with Spanish.”]
Each moment with us, during teachings in the Gompa, in the dining room or in other places in the monastery, Lama Karma made us feel that we were in our home at KTD. It isn’t rare that Wednesday afternoon, when he said goodbye, saying “por favor regresen”, [“please, come back.”], tears of joy and gratefulness came of our eyes. After dinner, with khatas in our hands we said goodbye to Lama Karma as he exited the Monastery, happy for the splendid opportunity of meeting him and being able to connect with him.
We make aspirations for his long life, and for us, who have received these precious teachings, to be able to transform them into benefit for all beings – an offering of gratefulness.