Despite Rinpoche’s repeated requests for people to refrain from giving him gifts and to instead channel their generosity to one of his organizations, at recent events, well-intentioned friends came bearing many items. At one event, Rinpoche ended up with:
- 22 coffee makers and 5 French presses
- A stack of expensive Pu-erh tea that his monks do not know how to prepare
- Boxes upon boxes of food like noodles that he cannot consume while he is traveling
- 6 pairs of pants and countless socks
- Many other items
Rinpoche said, “This really gave me so much pressure.” With the Khyentse Monlam and other teachings and events planned for the end of 2016, Rinpoche reissued his statement on gift giving. Please see his complete letter to the global sangha below.
Letter from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
The best offering we can make to the Buddhas and their teachers is to put the Dharma into practice. So it has been said by previous masters.
I know you are all very dedicated and generous, but I request that you do not give me personal gifts of any type during the coming events around the world.
It also troubles me when offerings get wasted, as often happens. In recent times, people have given me more than 20 coffee makers of all sorts, and so many different vitamins that I couldn’t possibly finish before their expiration dates; even if I were to start this minute, it would take many lifetimes. In any case, I have disciplined myself to take only those vitamins that my personal doctor has prescribed. And there are so many chocolates and Chinese teas that we end up either using in haste or storing in a place where they often pile up unused and eventually get damaged. In fact, some stuff takes up so much room that I don’t have space to store it and, since I travel a lot, I can’t carry it with me. These are just a few examples of how I feel unable to respect and appreciate such gifts properly.
But there are many good ways you can make offerings. Aside from practicing the Dharma and supporting Khyentse Foundation and 84000, you can offer candles, water, and incense in your own homes. At times of holy land pilgrimages or pujas that I do, you can just make offerings of whatever is needed during that puja, and so on.
I am sorry to be a bit rude in this letter, but please understand that it comes from really wanting to appreciate and not waste your gift, so that it goes into something truly beneficial.
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse