Message from Rinpoche
This letter is just to share some concerns as I see the spiritual path being sought from so many different angles and with so many different motivations and intentions – some obviously very heartfelt and inspiring and others very dodgy, materialistic, and worldly.
I have heard and also seen with my own eyes that some people, using different names, posting photographs taken with me, and claiming to be my good friends, are doing all kinds of fundraising for their own activities. In these ways they may give the impression that they and their own projects are more than they actually are or are connected to me.
Of course, everyone is free to support and give to whatever cause they want and to whomever they want – whether an accountable, legitimate organization with a good track record or because one has a good feeling for someone or likes them because they have a goiter. After all, we are all karmically connected and indebted to each other, and we are all our own masters. If you generously give with sincere feeling, kindness, and the right motivation, you might even accumulate some merit.
But if your main reason for supporting or giving money to people is just because they say they’re my friends or kin or students or because they make you believe they are connected to me or my work, then I feel responsibility to warn you not to fall for that kind of trick.
For example, some lamas and organizations have said that I endorse their projects, which in any case doesn’t mean much because I am such an ordinary person. But if someone says, for example, that they are producing the world’s flattest, biggest, smallest, shortest, thinnest, or fattest Buddha statue, then I have no choice but to say what a great thing that is, and in fact I often try to rejoice in that because, after all, it is an image of the Buddha. Later, however, I might find that they try to use that so-called endorsement to fundraise and put pressure on donors.
Of course, it’s up to devotees to do what they want. But after reading this, you might really want to confirm which project is actually mine and which is not. To make it very easy, please just refer to the Khyentse Foundation website (www.khyentsefoundation.org), where my personal wishes and projects and Khyentse Foundation related activities are all described and explained. So anyone truly interested in knowing what I do and wish for can visit there.
I certainly cannot judge what people do, but the main reason for writing this letter is just to protect donors and their generosity. With good intentions, many people voluntarily fundraise for me and KF, which I appreciate very much. But we really want donors’ efforts and offerings to be fully accountable and not to be wasted. And in this world of spiritual materialism, I also want to protect people from being misled in ways that later become a cause of regret and negativity, where their generosity ends up becoming fruitless.
So for these reasons, I’d very much prefer that whoever wishes to support my projects and Khyentse Foundation activities, please do it through the official KF channels and by getting information from the official KF representatives.
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse
Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India