Like all blogs, mine is a work in progress. Like all practitioners, me too. The story of how this blog began in my traditional Tibetan Buddhist three-year retreat is in the introduction. In a nutshell, Lama Norlha Rinpoche kindly granted permission for me to write monthly letters to be posted on the website of KTC’s affiliated center in New Hampshire, Kagyu Samten Choling, where I had been the resident teacher for seven years before entering the three-year retreat at KTC in January 2008. AsI write this a year-plus out of retreat (2012), I am finally getting around to continuing the story: “Mistake by mistake, I travel the perfect path.”
Since graduating retreat in April 2011, I’ve continued to live at Kagyu Thubten Choling Monastery as a retreat caretaker and resident teacher in the hope of repaying a little of Rinpoche’s kindness over the past three decades and helping him realize, in whatever ways I can, his vast vision to benefit all beings. To Lama Norlha Rinpoche and all my other teachers, to my parents, family, fellow practitioners and friends in this lifetime, and to all sentient beings who have been my mothers and will be again: thank you!
~Lama Yeshe Chödrön, aka Linda Jordan
Update 2014: For the past two years I’ve divided my time between KTC and my hometown, Richmond, Virginia, where I help take care of my mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in my last year of retreat and is now 84 years old. These days I am mostly in Richmond, and travel to teach at some of the affiliated centers, while returning to KTC as often as I can.
Update 2015: Late last year, my mother passed away unexpectedly. But I am still in Richmond for the foreseeable future, dealing with the aftermath of a hip injury in June that hooked into my connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, to disable most of my major joints and leave me with very limited mobility and largely housebound. I’m hoping PT, OT, and other modalities will restore my mobility soon, but it’s a slow process, and meanwhile, I’m enjoying a wide-open field of practice.
Update November 2016: I’m mostly recovered from my injury, left with relatively mild disability, still based in Richmond and its affiliated center, Kagyu Shenpen Tharchin, while occasionally traveling to KTC and some of its other centers. The presidential election was this week and I’m reviving the dormant blog in the hope of providing some relief to those who are feeling traumatized and at risk in this new political climate where bullying, intimidation, assaults, and white supremacy seem to have been empowered (hopefully not for long). Wishing happiness and well being to all beings everywhere.
Special thanks to Orlan Cannon for his tireless help with this blog while I was in retreat, and to my friend and fellow practitioner, Jeffrey, who took the photo in front of the KTC Enlightenment Stupa.