Servant

One evening in 1971, at the Four Mile Canyon house

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One evening in 1971, at the Four Mile Canyon house, Rinpoche invited Ruth Astor and me to have dinner with him. I believe we had whatever leftovers he found in the refrigerator. He heated them up on the stove and started serving us. I remember this made me nervous. I said something like, “Rinpoche, let me do that.” He continued unfazed, telling me to sit down, while he continued to server us. When we finished eating I got up slowly to clear the table and he strongly indicated he would wash the dishes. Much later I learned that “Trungpa” means “servant” or “one who is close by.”

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Polly Wellenbach
Polly was an early and life-long devoted student of the Vidyadhara. She served for many years as the director of Karma Dzong (Shambhala Center) in Boulder. She died in 2012 in Halifax.