KTTG Expresses its appreciation to outgoing director Zoe de Bray and welcomes new director Rene Evenson

KTTG is sad to say goodbye (again) to retiring director Zoe DeBray. She has been an inspiring leader, initiating many projects to maintain the stupa and grounds, growing KTTG into a stable organization, and last but not least, diligently working to find a qualified successor.

Zoe says...

Seems a little silly to be saying goodbye again. I've loved this work; work that came late in my working life that was the most satisfying of any. I've felt that I could use lots of what I've been trained to do; sometimes in creative ways. Everything in life so far seemed to come in handy. I've felt enormously blessed in being a caretaker in the Tashi Gomang Stupa's life; enormously rich in the relationships with all of the people who have helped over these years. So many of you remain my dearest friends and part of this community I love.

The Blog has tracked many of the events and teachers who have come these years, beginning with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche's visit in March 2010 when I met the Tashi Gomang Stupa for the first time. The finish on the Stupa and years of harsh climate had made cracks and bubbles on the surface everywhere. Refurbishing was our first task together as a KTTG team in 2010. It happened effortlessly, miraculously. Those first six months were among the happiest of my entire life.

I end my days of work here hiking to the Stupa. It is one of the great loves of my life. It holds the relics of those who achieved ultimate freedom and unconditional love for all; the building and then the refurbishing brought out the highest in all of us. Through the examples of those Masters, may each of us continue along the path of genuine practice.

Thanks and love to all of you, Zoe

And KTTG is delighted to welcome Rene Evenson as our new director. We're very much looking forward to working with her --- she's already coming up to speed and making things happen.

Rene Evenson has been a student of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism since the 1970s. She has held several administrative positions at dharma centers, including six years as the external affairs director at the then Rocky Mountain Dharma Center (now Shambhala Mountain Center). She comes to KTTG from the City of Fort Collins Utilities, where she spent fourteen years working with residential and small-to-midsized commercial customers.

We had a small celebration to thank Zoe and welcome Rene. In the photo, Zoe is seated on the chair, and Rene is standing to her left.

Meet Our Lifetime Retreatant

 KTTG's Lifelong Retreatant, Mary Raftery, talks about her path and what led her to do a lifelong retreat at the Tashi Gomang Stupa.  She is completely supported through donations and has no funds of her own. As of this year, she does receive a very tiny Social Security payment.  Please consider supporting our lifetime retreatant who has been in retreat since 1990.

Short Biography of My Dharma Path

by Mary Raftery

I met Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche when he first came to the US in 1970.  We met in Boston on the street near a park where hippies, runaways and young Vietnam vets were camping out. The war was raging in Vietnam and hard drugs were beginning to flood the streets.  Rinpoche asked me if I would like to alleviate suffering and benefit beings. We became friends and formed a teacher/disciple relationship.
 
Later, during one of HH Karmapa 16th's visits to the west, I took bodhisattva vows with His Holiness and he asked if I would come to help at his center, KTD, in Woodstock, NY.  After studying some more with Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1983 he said I should go and serve Karmapa.  I moved to KTD in 1984.
 
At KTD I worked on staff in fundraising, washed a lot of dishes(!!) and eventually became Director of KTD, working closely with KTD President, Tenzin Chonyi.  I arranged world tours for Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Tai Situ and other Rinpoches.  At that time we were blessed by visits from many Kagyu lineage holders who gave teachings and blessings, establishing their own centers in the West.  I made a strong connection with our kind lineage masters and was honored to serve them.
 
While at KTD I studied primarily with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche and also received guidance from Bardor Tulku Rinpoche at that time.  I formed a teacher/disciple relation with HE Tia Situ Rinpoche and HE Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche as well.
 
During the time of Trungpa Rinpoche's parinirvana I went to Karma Choling to help prepare for his cremation. While there I formed a close bond with HH Dilgo Kheyntse Rinpoche, and worked closely with Lama Ganga who had been sent from Rumtek to help guide the preparations.
 
After the cremation, I returned to KTD and continued to work on the staff until I became ill.  At that point (1990) I entered retreat at KTD and remained there for twelve years under the guidance of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche as retreat master and HE Tai Situ and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso Rinpoches.  During that time, Tai Situ Rinpoche asked if I would like to do a lifelong retreat, which was Trungpa Rinpoche's wish.  I was grateful and honored for the opportunity of doing a lifelong retreat, which I had wanted to do for many years.
 
The Rinpoches asked that I move to Crestone to do retreat near the stupa, which contains the relics of my spiritual masters who have passed away, as KTD was growing and Crestone is more remote and conducive to solitary retreat.  While in retreat at the stupa, I have had the good fortune to receive guidance from Thrangu Ripoche. As part of my daily practice since beginning retreat here in 2005, I make offerings, do confession and aspiration prayers, and circumbulate the stupa reciting mantras.
 
I'm happy and feel most fortunate to be near the stupa in retreat.  Having served and lived amidst the precious lineage masters, I long to be like them with their infinite compassion and wisdom.  The wish to alleviate suffering and benefit sentient beings has never left my mind since Trungpa Rinpoche introduced me to that possibility many years ago.
 
Please visit our Donations Page if you would like to contribute to the support of our Lifetime Retreatant.

 

New Home for Former Directors

We have news from our directors from 2013-14, Kelly and Sergey Noskov, who are now in a nice village just outside of Ulan Ude, Buryatia, Russia. They are buying a house which you can see here.

Kelly says:

If you click on “street view” you should be looking right at the house we plan to buy and can get a sense of the area. The mountain behind the house is considered a sacred mountain and has a stupa which is nice. As far a monasteries go - Buryatia is pretty much a Buddhist culture (kind of like Japan) and there are temples everywhere. You can just be driving down the road and see a temple where normally a house would be. It’s like Crestone except obviously larger and much more ancient with tons of holy places to visit. Lots of shamanic places too!

KTTG Welcomes Zoe DeBray back as Director

KTTG welcomes back Zoe de Bray to her former position as director.   The KTTG board unanimously voted to reinstate Zoe after a one year absence.  The interim was covered admirably by Sergey and Kelly Noskov.   Sergey is a traditional thangka painter and Kelly has been a Tibetan Buddhist nun.   We thank them for their untiring service to KTTG and wish them success and happiness as they return to Russia, Sergey’s homeland.

Farewell letter from outgoing Director Jacquelyn Zoe de Bray

Zoe has resigned as director of KTTG. She has been a visionary, loving and hard-working leader for our small and diverse group. She will be deeply missed here in Crestone where she has not only accomplished many great acheivements for KTTG but has also forged deep bonds with the other spiritual centers and the entire community. Click on "Read More" to read Zoe's farewell letter. She is being replaced as director by the devoted and hardworking couple Sergey and Kelly Noskov. Watch this space for their introduction.

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Zoe's Earth Sadhana

Zoe wrote an Earth Sadhana for Earth Day, April 22, 2011.  It has since been recited a few times, in a few ways. For instance in June, 2011 we combined energies with Universal Dances for Peace and danced the three parts of the sadhana with the mantras to Green Tara, Chenrezig and Medicine Buddha (see photos at Friends of Karmapa). The sadhana combines the three mantras that can be recited by anyone without a formal "lung" or empowerment.  Click on "read more" to see the Earth Sadhana.

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