It was a most fortunate year giving teachings around the planet and participating in some wonderful retreats.
January began with 3 fantastic nyung né retreats at Milarepa Center led by then director and old friend, Merry Colony. It was so fun to visit Merry and Harry at Milarepa and see how great Milarepa Center looked. They totally spoiled me and it was a treat to see old friends and spent time with the center pussycats.
I then visited Dawn and Jackie at the lodge they were managing down the highway and had an invigorating walk around Savon Pond with Dawn while the temperature hovered around 8 degrees!
Late January took me to Florida to teach at both Tubten Kunga Center in the Boca Raton area and Namdrol Ling Study Group in Miami Beach. I’ve been teaching in Florida for more than 10 years so it’s always nice to catch up with friends and see how the centers are progressing. Namdrol Ling scheduled some sessions with children so this was a great deal of fun at a local Montessori school.
This year I was able to make it to the Orlando area to visit Roy and Maura Harvey, long time friends I met years ago in California. There I was reunited with some tsa tsas (plastic images of Buddhas) I had made while living in California that were shipped to them to create a “tsa tsa” wall in their dining room.
In February, I was in New York at Tibet House for a weekend program hosted by Shantideva Center. As they are my closest geographic center, I have been trying to do more and more there. I also was able to visit the World Trade Center memorial which was very well done and somber.
Later in February, I traveled to Kadampa Center in the Raleigh, North Carolina area and taught a weekend program on compassion. I also gave a lecture at Northeastern University in Boston and some talks around the Philadelphia area.
In March, my father turned 90 and the whole family was in to celebrate. We enjoyed several outings (one to a glorious garden near us) and a wonderful birthday brunch and dinner with family from near and far.
Late March and early April, I was back in Florida for a 10-day program at Tubten Kunga Center which was great. I’ve had a long relationship with this center so it’s always nice to return and see friends.
Easter weekend, Shantideva Center hosted our 3rd Annual Meditation Retreat at Garrison Institute outside of New York City. This beautiful setting on the Hudson River was again a fantastic holder for our meditation program. An even greater treat, was since it was a holiday weekend, we had the place to ourselves and the grand shrine room. We thought our attendance would be down due to it being Easter, but nearly 40 people showed up.
I then flew to California to lead one of the Kopan West retreats at Vajrapani Institute (one of my dear homes having lived there and served for many years) and then taught at the other FPMT centers in California (Land of Medicine Buddha, Tse Chen Ling Center, and Ocean of Compassion Buddha). It was wonderful reconnecting with many old friends and visiting my old haunts and I so enjoyed seeing how the centers have been developing.
By May, I returned to lead some more programs in New York for Shantideva Center leaving later that month for programs in Paris and England.
I started with a weekend program at our Paris Center, Centre Kalachakra and stayed nearby with a longtime friend, Jane. It was so nice having some time with Ven. Elisabeth who has run the center in Paris for years and I really enjoyed meeting new students who were very sincere. I had the good fortune to take a few extra days in Paris so spent some more time with Jane, hosted an old friend Robert who now lives in Holland (whom I had driven cross country with in the US in 1987!), and saw my cousin Shahar. Even had the good fortune to run into two Kirti Gompa monks I knew from when I was helping Ven. Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche in Dharamsala 10 years before!
After that I headed off for a multi-center teaching tour in England starting in Liverpool. It is always a treat to spend time with Stuart and June and they are always keen on showing me more of Liverpool. This time, I was prompted by a friend to visit The Cavern, where the Beatles first played, so of course, I “insisted” on them taking me there. We also visited The International Slavery Museum which was well worth it.
In Leeds, I stayed with wonderful Beth and her delightful dog, Boo. Taught a night in Hull, for the first time, and at Jamyang in London before continuing for a short teaching in Salisbury (getting more time with great hosts Ian and Nicky). Then onto Somerset for a weekend program and some lovely time with Neil and Karen before concluding with a program in Bath and a long weekend retreat at Land of Joy up north.
Following the tour, I was able to return to London for a few days with my sister and family before returning to the States in late June.