At the conclusion of the 2017 Mikyo Dorje Retreat at KTD in March, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche addressed the assembled dharma students regarding the difficulties being faced by KTD affiliate center Karma Thegsum Choling of Columbus, Ohio.
Khenpo Rinpoche spoke briefly and movingly regarding his concern for the Columbus KTC. His remarks were translated by Lama Karma Drodhul; this edited transcription was made by Lama Kathy Wesley. May all beings benefit!
As you may know the Columbus KTC in the last year was burned by fire; it was completely destroyed by fire. The Columbus KTC means a lot to Khenpo Rinpoche; it was founded during the time of the 16th Karmapa, and you could say it was the first KTC ever started (in the United States).
Now the center has started the process of rebuilding. This (work) is mainly the responsibility of Khenpo Rinpoche and Lama Kathy, but Khenpo Rinpoche says that he himself is not able to put forth a large amount of effort (toward the rebuilding project). However, he wants everyone to know that the rebuilding of the Columbus KTC is very, very important, and he would like to see it rebuilt.
Khenpo Rinpoche says he is not worried about KTD Monastery, because Tenzin Chonyi is here and Khenpo Karma Tenkyong is here and many lamas and sangha members are supporting it. Khenpo Rinpoche says he is also not worried about the Karme Ling Retreat Center, because there are four retreat masters there taking care of the center and its students.
However, Rinpoche says his biggest worry is about the Columbus KTC. If it is not rebuilt before he dies, he will not be happy; he wants to see it rebuilt soon.
As Lama Kathy is putting all her effort toward this cause, Khenpo Rinpoche is encouraging her to please continue to take this effort and responsibility; and (he encourages her) that instead of just asking individuals for donations, that she ask friends who might have money, or who might own a business, to give to the cause. Never get discouraged.
Even if you don’t know such people personally, you can ask your KTC members to help you find business people and those with wealth who you can approach to ask for donations.
You (have an advantage in that you) speak the language and know how to talk to people. Sometimes Americans hesitate to ask other people for money (for projects such as these); it is something they are not used to.
But Khenpo Rinpoche would like to remind you that this (rebuilding project) is something that will serve the Buddha’s teachings and something special that will be of benefit to all beings. Raising money for the dharma is not something new; this is something foundational. People making offerings (to benefit the dharma) has been happening since the time of the Buddha. This is something that is essentially connected to the dharma and to the benefit of beings. There is no reason for us to hesitate to ask for donations for such a cause as this.