I started this blog in 2008 at the beginning of my three-year retreat at KTC, with Lama Norlha’s permission, as a way to keep in touch with fellow practitioners at Kagyu Samten Choling, KTC’s affiliated center in New Hampshire, where I had served as resident teacher for seven years before retreat. With no phone, internet or email, I wrote the posts and snail-mailed them to be posted online.
I wrote about one post a month the first year, and hardly any in years two and three once the practices got really intense and we spent long periods in complete silence. When my retreat ended in April 2011, I started up again, posting only occasionally until last year, when I started an online class on Togme Zangpo’s 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva.
Currently based in Richmond, Virginia, I work as a member of the KTC teaching staff with several of its centers online and/or in person, primarily Kagyu Shenpen Tharchin in Richmond and Kagyu Drupcho Chodzong in Washington, DC. My aspiration is to use the teachings I’ve received through the kindness of my teachers to help fellow dharma students develop a personal practice and apply the traditional yet timeless teachings of the Kagyu lineage to their own life experience,
I see my role as that of a friend or mentor encouraging others who share my enthusiasm for studying the Buddha’s teachings, reflecting on them, and developing a daily practice of meditation. In the words of Geshe Jampa Tegchok, commenting on verse 6 of the 37 practices: “Good companions also include our fellow Dharma students at our Dharma center or monastery. We listen to the teachings, discuss the teachings to eliminate doubts, and meditate and practice together. By supporting us along the path and encouraging us when we feel discouraged, our Dharma friends help us transform our minds in a positive way and progress on the path to enlightenment.”
You will find here a number of posts about what a three-year retreat is like, a lot of “Dharma pep talks,” and a study guide to the 37 practices of a bodhisattva, created as a way for participants in a 2017-2018 online class to keep up when they missed a class and also, hopefully, as a support for anyone who is interested in studying this invaluable text. As of September 2018, I’m also posting a study guide for an ongoing class on Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation.
If you want to contact me or join the current class on Thursday afternoons, email me if you have my address or message me via Facebook.
Wishing you a swift path to awakening, free from obstacles.
Linda Jordan, aka Lama (Yeshe) Chodron
Updated November 2018