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NaroGatehouseResizedThe three-year retreat is a traditional program of intensive meditation practices intended for serious students wishing to train in the core teachings and practices of the Kagyu Lineage. Learn more about this profound program.

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As I was getting to know Lama Norlha, he was walking in the dining room and told me how if someone did something outlandish by Tibetan Buddhist terms, it would still be okay with the Lama if the intention was a pure one.

Lama Norlha hired my partner John Fuchs to do some carpentry for the retreatants before retreat. John had to do some hard work and take many things apart, dig areas up, etc. And Lama Norlha asked him "Destroy, destroy, why must you destroy?" I felt that John was like Milarepa at those times, building and taking down, over and over again...

John could be irreverent and laughed a lot and told Lama what could and couldn't be done, and Lama Norlha would say to me, "You must beat him!" Finally, I asked the Lama, "should I really beat him?!" He walked on and shook his head smiling... John was paid a small amount per hour and he was happy to have the work at that time. A few years later Lama asked me if John was working, and I told him that he was. Lama said that after working at the monastery he should have lots of work. And he has....

A mutual friend, Tony Guida, told John and I stories of how many years ago Tony used to drive Lama Norlha around the city and they would go dumpster diving to supply some of the NYC center's furnishings - this impressed John and I greatly. Although John, who does not like any formalized religion, had not seen Lama Norlha for many years, Lama Norlha Rinpoche never failed to ask about John.

I feel grateful to Lama Norlha Rinpoche for sharing all his teachings with me, this not very good student.

-Christina Di Marco