Deirdre Stubbert, one of the original members of Trungpa Rinpoche’s community, passed away on May 11 in Halifax.
The Sadhana of Mahamudra will be performed to celebrate Deirdre’s life in Halifax on Saturday May 13th at 5 pm; and in Boulder on Wednesday, May 17 at 6 pm. Both events will be at the local Shambhala Centres.
My memories of you dear girl
are of someone with tremendous gentleness, tremendous sweet- hardheartedness.
How fortunate you had that good karma to be open and unpretentious.
To spend such close time with the Vidyadhara when you were a young one.
How fortunate for you dear girl that because of your warm heart, and unassuming bravery; you will be blessed by the lineage.
May you continue your fortunate path; listening for Chogyam' voice
May you continually be blessed by his wisdom and unconditional love for you
You will be missed Sweet-Heart
Deirdre McCormick Stubbert—Deirdre—didn’t receive meditation from Rinpoche until later, after we had moved onto the land.
He had come up to the land, I think just for a visit. At that point I hadn’t had meditation instruction. I’d sat in the house with him or at Allen’s Park but I hadn’t had the formal interview. We were living on the land as staff, and he was giving interviews, and I said, “Oh well, I guess I should go and get meditation instruction.”
Jonathan Eric was the timer; he stood outside the brown trailer where the interviews were happening. You were supposed to get ten minutes and then he’d ring the bell. You’d hear the little “ding!”
When it was my turn, I went in. I was a little nervous and shy. We sat and he said “Let me see your hands.” For some reason, he wanted to look at the lines in my hands, or something with my hands.
Then he said, “Okay, show me how you do it.” And I sat.
And, he gave a couple instructions on the breath and said, “Okay, now, do it again.”
At first I was kind of uptight, then he said, “Now relax, go with the out-breath.” And then I just sat there. Then we did it together for about five minutes. Very quiet.
Then Jonathan knocked. The little bell went off and Rinpoche started laughing. He said, “Don’t go yet.”
So we sat and then the bell rang again. At that point, he was just torturing Jonathan.
I remember thinking, “Okay, that was it.” He was now my guru. That’s when I made the connection.
Up to that point, I thought that I could stay or I could leave; this was just another phase in my life. I loved the people there, but I could have gone anywhere.
But after that, I thought, “Okay, I’m going to stick around. Try. Go on this journey.”
Zanto took a trip to San Francisco and met Deirdre McCormick, who was living upstairs from the Free Clinic on Ashbury and hanging out with some mutual friends from New Orleans. He said to her, “You should come and visit Colorado, because we have this Tibetan lama that is part of our family. He’s really far out and you should meet him.” Deirdre said, “Oh well, that sounds interesting. Why not?” So, she came to Colorado, thinking it was just a visit, but she fit in and quickly became a Pygmy. She got together with Emur after a few weeks.
Deirdre remembers riding to Boulder in the back of the red flatbed with two or three other Pygmies and a dog or two, with two or three others squeezed into the front seat. When they got to Boulder, they drove up Four Mile Canyon to Rinpoche’s house.
Deirdre recalls, “The first person I saw was Lady Diana. Emur had told me about the Tibetan lama who had married a sixteen-year-old English girl, and there she was in the kitchen with her long blond hair and a kind of caftan on. She had Taggie in one arm and she was cooking and stirring a big pot with the other. I said ‘Hello, would you like me to hold him?’
“She said, ‘Yes, that would be great.’
“When she finished what she was doing at the stove, she took Taggie back and said, ‘Thank you.’”
This was the beginning of Deirdre’s forty-plus year close relationship with Diana.
Upstairs, Rinpoche was sitting in the living room on a cushion on the floor. John Baker, Marvin Casper, and Bill Indich were also there, along with a small group of other people who were just hanging out. When we walked in, Rinpoche just sat there.
Deirdre remembers, “He didn’t ask what we were doing, so there was a lot of space. Space that was inviting but terrifying at the same time.”
A year or so later, Emur and Deirdre broke up, and Emur moved into Boulder. Later, Deirdre also moved out, and later the house became the residence for the RMDC directors, and eventually, for Rinpoche when he stayed on the land. He sometimes referred to Prajna as the Kalapa Camp. It was remodeled a number of times and was where he wrote a chant to Magyal Pomra, one of the ancient protectors of dharma practitioners in Tibet.
Her Life a Lhasang
From the San Francisco hippie world
to the Colorado Pygmy camp
From 1960s confusion
From a tent in the snow
to a shack at a Dharma Center
From a tiny cabin
to Prajna, the Kalapa Camp
From the mountain wilderness
to Boulder civilization
From the Colorado Dzong
to Shambhala Canada
From childless marriage
To middle age and beyond
always with good humor and devoted kindness
throughout her journey from confusion
As the smoke of a lhasang arises
blessings descend upon us all.
For Deirdre Stubbert
Jim Lowrey, May 11, 2017