On the sixth of October at 3:35 in the morning, my first root lama ( teacher) entered into Nirvana. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche Master of the Karma Kagyu guided me into the Buddhist practice with these words “even in the the deepest mud pit, gold can be found”. This teaching referred to the transformation of consciousness available through the practice of meditation.
The Venerable Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche was born in easten Tibet. Born in the second month of 1924, he was born to Buddhist parents. After many years of diligent meditative practice,teaching the dharma, and bodhisattva activities, Rinpoche became the Abbot of the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery in Woodstock, New York. It was here that Rinpoche presided over my entrance into the Buddhist path in 1978.
It was also at this location that I was fortunate to take part in the Black Crown Ceremony under the auspices of the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje.
I recall vividly the tireless efforts of Rinpoche to provide Dharma teachings to the various communities. On one occasion at my request, Rinpoche traveled three hours and 216 miles round trip to give a teaching at a seminar that I organized, which included late African Dance Master Chuck Davis, and the late internal arts Master, Professor Huo Chi Kwang.
I remain thankful for such teachers, and their contributions to my quest for transformation.