Planning for Impermanence
As we near the end of 2020, and begin planning for 2021, we want to thank our donors, supporters, and volunteers near and far for another year of carrying out Rinpoche’s ever-growing activities in preserving and propagating the Buddhadharma. In this issue, we share Rinpoche’s video on Khyentse Foundation’s dissolution resolution, we announce the establishment of the Lynne Macready Education Fund, and we share a heart-touching note from a young couple in the San Francisco Bay Area, USA, on their decision to include KF in their planned giving.
Photo above by Pawo Choyning Dorji
Rinpoche talks about KF’s dissolution resolution
Since Khyentse Foundation began, we have pondered the organization’s legacy and considered how to allocate our resources if Rinpoche leaves us. We would rather not think about this, but the truth of impermanence requires that we do. Rinpoche has always emphasized the importance of generosity and whole-hearted offering, and in that spirit KF continually aspires to be both diligent and mindful about never wasting a single dollar that is donated. We always strive to create the most benefit from the offerings that we receive. This mindset is an important part of Khyentse Foundation’s dissolution resolution..
What exactly does it mean for the foundation to have a dissolution resolution? The primary purpose of this document is to stipulate that the foundation will be dissolved in the event that Rinpoche can no longer lead it. The document also describes how the remaining assets will be used at that time. It is reviewed, updated, and approved by Rinpoche and the KF board of directors each year at the annual meeting.
We have found that some people are surprised to learn that KF will dissolve after Rinpoche is no longer with us. We realize that many KF supporters expect that the foundation will last forever and continue Rinpoche’s legacy, so we feel that it’s important to explain the dissolution resolution.
Rinpoche’s decision to dissolve the foundation is in itself a teaching on recognizing impermanence and being prepared for it in a practical way. In fact, this is an ongoing aspiration, to accept the present and do our best while we can, without attachment to the results. The existence of our dissolution resolution is a skillful and practical means to be prepared for the unexpected. Just as many people have a will and estate plan, so does the foundation.
Having this plan in place does not mean that we are shrinking; in fact, just the opposite. We are making use of our present resources to the utmost, and thinking of bigger and grander things. An aspect of Rinpoche’s legacy lies in all the projects that KF is engaged in—from preserving and digitizing Buddhist texts to translation projects to endowed chairs to Buddhist curricula for children. These projects are going to last a very long time. There is still so much that we need to do, and can do, under Rinpoche’s leadership.
Rinpoche feels that it is important to explain the reasons for dissolving KF. In this video, he talks about why Khyentse Foundation will come to an end when he can no longer oversee it, and what has been done to ensure the maximum impact of ongoing projects for future generations.
Long Life Supplication for Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Skull-Garland Lotus Heruka, conqueror of māras,
Whose deathless natural wisdom mind has transformed
The root of existence into great vajra bliss,
Subjugator of apparent phenomena, please shower the blessings of immortality.
Lynne Macready Education Fund established
In 2015, Lynne Macready, a longtime student of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, passed away in Australia, supported by friends and sangha. Recognizing the inevitability of birth and death, she had prepared a will, and in mid 2016, Khyentse Foundation was notified that the foundation was the beneficiary of a significant portion of this estate. Lynne’s gift to Khyentse Foundation was extremely generous, and we remain humbled by her trust in the foundation’s work.
In the years since her passing, we have spoken about Lynne often and discussed with Rinpoche how best to honor this incredible gift and fulfill Lynne’s wishes to support the future of Buddhism. After much consideration, we are honored to announce the Lynne Macready Education Fund, established to support Buddhist education efforts in Australia and to further KF’s work in this important area.
Lynne was an active member of her community and of the Australian sangha. For many years she worked as a book editor. Fluent in both German and French, she became a subtitle translator for the broadcasting company SBS, and later worked as a psychotherapist. Lynne was one of the first editors of Rinpoche’s earliest publication, the Gentle Voice, and enjoyed interviewing visiting lamas for that newsletter. The Gentle Voice was popular in the sangha. It was both a great service to Rinpoche and one of the first activities to bring the worldwide sangha together. It was through the Gentle Voice that the monastic groups started to connect with western lay practitioners, paving the way for new partnerships and communication. Lynne had a specific interest in supporting monastic sangha and retreatants, and she quietly sponsored retreatants at Vajradhara Gonpa in Australia and at Centre d’Études de Chanteloube in France.
The Lynne Macready Education Fund will support all aspects of study and practice in Australia—at the university level, in children’s education, and for Buddhist studies scholarships and practice grants. Through her legacy gift, Lynne has given KF the opportunity to reach many more people. We expect the impact to be significant and we know it will bring incredible benefit to many. We dedicate all the merit to Lynne and to her family.
Alas! Composite things are impermanent!
It is their nature to arise and pass away.
Once they arise, they will surely pass away—
Their quieting is happiness.
What pleasure is there? What joy?
In the midst of this blazing fire?
You have plunged into the darkness –
Why don’t you seek out a lamp?
Read Impermanence: A Translation of the first chapter of the Tibetan Udānavarga in full by Professor Peter Skilling in memory of E. Gene Smith, Stefano Zacchetti, and other distinguished Buddhist scholars. The Udānavarga is a grand compendium of Buddhist verse, compiled by a Dharmatrāta about whom we know next to nothing. In Sarvāstivādin and Mūlasarvāstivādin circles the Udānavarga was as popular as is the Dhammapada in Theravādin circles, and it circulated widely in South and Central Asia.
Sharing the Merit
‘Leaving our estate to Khyentse Foundation to benefit all sentient beings.’
I guess you could say we are of the philosophy “Go big or go home!” If you think small, your results will be small, and if you think big, then your results will accordingly be BIG! That’s just cause and effect. The end result could be even bigger than you can imagine. So when we recently created our trust, we decided to leave the majority of our estate to Khyentse Foundation—because in our hearts, we believe that this is the best way to benefit all sentient beings.
We know for sure that this will effectively be used to preserve the Buddhadharma in the future. There is no greater blessing, no greater wealth, no greater power, than the dharma, which is the truth, and the proven instructions of how to actualize it ourselves, for real, bit by bit, every day. We wish that happiness, that freedom from suffering, that joy, that equanimity for all beings. May what we are able to give in a small way have boundless effects—because that is the nature of compassion.
We celebrate Rinpoche’s vision and the efforts of everyone donating their time and talents to Khyentse Foundation—so inspiring! We’ve also asked for part of it to be distributed to Lotus Outreach because this is a skillful way of thinking big, through quite an immediate mechanism. We have to admit that we’re still suckers for instant gratification. During our lifetime, may we spend less money on ourselves buying useless things that are only able to make you feel happy for 5 minutes, and instead channel it to a recurring donation to help provide education and give more bicycles to change the trajectory of the lives of underprivileged girls right away.
— A young couple in San Francisco Bay Area, USA, who wish to remain anonymous.
IN OTHER NEWS
- KF’s Buddhist Studies Scholarships, Individual Practice Grants, and Work as Practice Scholarships are open for application, December 15, 2020 to January 15, 2021
- “On His Lotus Seat“, an online event to honor the Buddha, Jan 1, 2021. Stay tuned.
- Listen to Rinpoche’s teaching on Vipassana, 11-12 December 2020, Taipei, Taiwan
- Volunteer needed: Do you have graphic design capabilities and are interested in helping the foundation? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org