Dear friends and sponsors of the Togdens,
I must apologize again for a long delay in the annual Togdens newsletter, mostly due to health issues. Last winter I was finally able to return to India after the pandemic and arrived there after two years and eight months of lockdown. I was so happy to return home to my little retreat house in Tashi Jong after such a long time and I stayed about two months. After getting settled in my place I went to see the togdens at the lower retreat center to offer them their annual sponsor money, it was delightful to see them again and they are very grateful for your continuous support. Their health has been ok, except for Tsawa Lama who suffers from intestinal issues and regularly goes to Delhi to consult Tibetan Dr Drolkar who has wonderful healing medicines. A few of the other togdens also rely on her medicines and get consultations from time to time in Delhi.
I didn’t have enough energy to walk up to the Yamantaka retreat center as it’s on a hill with a very steep path, so Togden Gyamtso came to visit me and I offered the sponsor money for all the togdens up there. Later on Togden Shenphen Tharchin and Togden Drubgyu also came by so there was plenty of time to catch up….
Recently I was in touch with one of the togdens who told me that the monsoon rains have been extremely heavy this summer, so many roads were washed away in higher areas such as Kullu and Manali, it’s still raining now but not very hot. Togden Achos’s health has improved a lot since he was cured from the shingles that he got during the lockdown. He mostly stays in his room and Khamtrul Rinpoche usually goes there to have lunch with him. Togden Thutop Nyima has been to Nepal for a while where he taught at Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s nunnery and also stayed at Choegyal Rinpoche’s retreat place in Pokhara for a while. Afterwards he went to Vietnam for a while to teach, and now they all seem to be there except for Togden Drubgyu, who is in Argentina with Khamtrul Rinpoche who was invited to teach at the Drukpa Kagyu Centre there in Argentina a few weeks ago* [*August 2023]
Last November  Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche was giving a series of empowerments at his Monastic College in Chauntra, about half an hour drive from Tashi Jong. During the final day of the offering ceremonies some of the togdens also attended and in one of the photos Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is joking with Togden Thinley Kunchab about his hair….
During the time I was in Tashi Jong last winter, I think it was in December , Khamtrul Rinpoche was invited to give the Bodhisattva vows in Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s nunnery Dongyu Gatsal Ling, which I attended along with some of the togdens and monks from Tashi Jong and some of the laypeople. Some … photos were taken at the lower retreat center, some during the bodhisattva ceremonies at the nunnery, some during the Yamantaka drupchen last January, and some during the lama dances at Bhuntar in Kullu Valley where Khamtrul Rinooche has a small branch monastery where they were invited to perform the lama dances.
I plan to return to Tashi Jong next November and hope to send some more fresh news from there later on.
View the 2021-2022 photo album here.
View the 2023 photo album here.
With sincere gratitude from the togdens for your ongoing support, and warm wishes from Ani Jinba