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.
In keeping with the tradition of making offerings, if you insist on making offerings, then please support Khyentse Foundation and 84000. Both of these represent my aspirations and wishes.
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
my very limited understanding is able to understand my beloved Rinpoche as much as I am able to be. I am pressing the French coffee since almost 40 years (yes still coffee, but coffein is the same than teain). I am nourishing my plants with the coffee grounds. I am with Rinpoche since 3 years – I just want to say – thanx – this is just one of these helpless words. I am so happy to be with Rinpoche – karma is connecting us – and I am so thankful for that.
my thinking : U keep it all, even the socks …, and m open a Kofee Shop. By the way , In france they used to kall Koffee : jus de chaussette , goes to the traditions ways of old kofee doing der;;; Cheers, Keep the good jokes
what about an online auction with the proceeds going to the mentioned projects, though of course this would involve some efforts and I am also not sure about the ‘official rules’ on
how to handle items that were given as an offering … but just thinking practically here. Aside from this I do not find this post of Rinpoche rude at all
Please Rinpoche, don’t do what William wants you to do, because although in french we actually use the expression “jus de chaussette” for café, it’s only in the case of a very poor taste café (too much dater, or not enough café), almost like the term “dishwater” in english!!! Joke!
ESCUCHAR ,O EN ESTE CASO LEER AL MAESTRO…CON TANTO HUMOR ME PRODUCE ALEGRIA NO ES RUDA FORMA DE EXPRESION ES LA REALIDAD CON QUE PERMANENTEMENTE NOS ENFRENTA. VERLA CON OJOS DE AVE ..OJALA PODAMOS ACOSTUMBRARNOS. SALUD Y LARGA VIDA A RINPOCHE
Very sensible comments Rinpoche; gifts can be really semi strangling! the best gifts come from insight & restraint & spontaneity & need not be visible. You are inspiring & truthful. Suzannah from Australia
I’m confused. Can’t Rinpoche just re-gift to the many people who come to his teachings and ceremonies?
You don’t understand the second last coffee press is awesome. You should definitely keep that one. It’s quite small and travel strong too. 😀