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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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New Calligraphy Artwork by
Kenting Tai Situpa

Originals and high-quality
reproduction prints
are now available

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In 1996, I was accompanying Lama Norlha Rinpoche on a teaching tour in South America. We had had a long day of air travel from Colombia to Peru followed by several hours of teaching and were finally heading home to get some dinner and rest. I was exhausted and hungry, and I’m sure Rinpoche was too. As we were walking toward the car, a woman approached us with great urgency and begged Rinpoche to come to her home to bless her dying mother. Thinking it would take too long, I suggested that Rinpoche give the woman a blessing cord to take to her mother. But Rinpoche said no, we must go, and off we went into the night, following the woman on foot through alleyways and into an old building and down several flights of stairs until we came to where the mother was. They were clearly very poor, and living in a basement. The mother was lying on the floor in a tiny room. I could see her as we approached the room and suddenly I was hit with the overpowering stench of human filth and illness. It was obvious the mother had not moved from the floor in that room for quite a while. The stench was so strong that I gagged uncontrollably and could not will myself to continue walking into the room. But Rinpoche walked right in like nothing was different, and he kneeled down by the mother, held her hand tenderly and started praying. She was sobbing in gratitude and so was her daughter. In that moment I saw the power of selfless compassion to heal inconsolable misery.

I saw many, many similar examples of Rinpoche putting others before himself and making it a top priority to help someone connect with dharma. His main concern was trying to help others find the dharma.

-Lama Jamdron