I was deeply saddened by the passing of Peter Lieberson, who was both a good friend and a wonderful teacher and student of the Buddhadharma. Lopön Peter, as he was known to all connected to Lotus Garden, was an invaluable member of our sangha and every one of us who knew him could not but be touched by his brilliant wisdom, kindness, humour and elegance. The leadership he provided both through his teachings and his life was an inspiration to all who came in contact with him. Peter’s dedication to the Dharma and his great love for learning started in the mid-1970s when he first started studying with Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and continued up until the very moment of his passing. His life is an example of a dedicated practitioner and a loving teacher who possessed a marvelous intellect, compassion, sanity and true grace of body and spirit.
I vividly remember my first meeting with Peter in Halifax in 1993 when he hosted my sister and me for a dinner at his home. At the time I was struck by his wonderful intelligence and great devotion to his Guru, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Since then my admiration, affection and trust for him grew over the years. It was always truly a delight to listen to him speak passionately on such varied topics as Mahamudra, the state of Buddhism in the West, the best way to guide a new practitioner of the Dharma, the best gourmet cuisine to be found in some area, fashion in Milan and Paris and of course about the world of music of which he was a master. No matter what he was involved with, it was with wisdom, compassion, honesty, vitality and courage.
Peter will be missed very much by all who knew him and will be remembered as a truly dedicated practitioner and wonderful human being. We will remember him also through his music which was a great gift to the world and seemed to embody his beautiful spirit. All our thoughts and prayers are also for Peter’s family, particularly his beloved daughters and devoted wife Rinchen. Rinchen was kind enough to send me some recent photographs of Peter from Israel. He was in the midst of some intense treatments but he was still the same Peter in all the photographsluminous, courageous and compassionate with the most radiant smile ever. That is how I think I will always remember him.
-Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche