Heruka House Sangha Celebrates Rinpoche’s Birthday
On Saturday, October 14, Heruka Institute sangha members gathered to celebrate Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche’s birthday. The fun began early in the day with preparations (we worked together joyfully) and a delicious vegetarian luncheon at Amorn Thai, our favorite local Thai restaurant. As the day progressed, more sangha members arrived, bringing beautiful food offerings including 3 exquisite cakes. We played a board game called, “Rebirth: The Tibetan Game of Liberation,” that had us laughing really hard because several of us couldn’t seem to break out of the lower realms. Rinpoche gave a short speech, reflecting on his journey to America. When he first arrived, he knew no one. Fourteen years later, Rinpoche has a large number of treasured friends and Dharma students. There were about 25 of us at Heruka House on Saturday; a very diverse group including Americans of European, Vietnamese, Tibetan, and Latin American descent, plus Native Americans and Mongolians. After dinner we made small clay Buddha statues together, which was like a calming meditation as we focused on trying to do our best, but feeling a little clumsy with the clay. I think we all came away with a greater respect for sculptors! It was so much fun and Rinpoche seemed very pleased with his students’ hand-made offerings. I think everyone left the party feeling a little happier and lighter. Even though many of us met for the first time on Saturday, all felt warm and familiar.
I’ve noticed that I feel stronger after spending time with sangha members, perhaps because of their pure motivations and compassion, but also because of the wisdom of their experience. Rinpoche reminds us that everyone has a unique gift of experience and there are different kinds of wisdom. He encourages us to be patient with one another and to see the best qualities in our fellow sangha members. This has been a very useful practice for me, as I’ve learned the more patient I am with others, the less I have to regret. I’m grateful to be part of this community and thankful for our teacher who has attracted so many wonderful members to the Heruka Institute sangha. Happy Birthday, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, and thanks to everyone who joined the celebration!
~ Written by Yeshi Tsomo