Dear Venerable Thubten Chödron and Sravasti Abbey,
I want to thank you for making your Dharma teachings available through the Internet. Let me explain to you why they are so valuable to me.
In the Netherlands, I study at the FPMT centre and with Jewel Heart. I’ve been a serious Dharma student for some ten years now. At Jewel Heart we study in weekly study groups because our teacher, Gelek Rinpoche, is only able to visit us twice a year. About a year ago, I started leading study groups, even though I feel unsure whether I have the knowledge or the skills to do so. But since my teacher says it’s beneficial for all parties, I do it. I take my task very seriously and try to make sure I’m very well prepared.
Nowadays I read in all the different lamrims, and listen to your teachings. I do this all the time, also when I’m cooking, walking etc. These teachings help me so much and mean so much to me! I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart that you make these available through the Internet. I benefit so much from it, and therefore so do the people in my study groups.
Producing these audio recordings and videos and making them available must cost you a lot of effort and money. It is wonderful that you make them available for free. It becomes expensive to buy all the books and tapes, and I’m so happy that you give everything away for free. You are one of the very few who does so. Also, the quality of the tapes is wonderful. There is hardly any background noise, the announcements and other remarks that aren’t important to outside listeners are edited out, as are inaudible questions from the audience. Venerable Thubten Chödron repeats the questions for us. How very thoughtful and wonderful! It warms my heart to think how much care is given to the production of these recordings.
Another aspect that makes these teachings special is that most teachings are given by Tibetan men. Don’t get me wrong—I’m a great fan of all my teachers and of the lamas whose books I read, but their cultural background is so different from ours. It’s refreshing to listen to someone who has learned and practiced the traditional Dharma so well, and also has a Western background. You address all the issues that come up in the Western mind. Often you answer a question that I’ve wondered about for years, but have never heard any of my teachers address. These same questions also come up in the study groups.
So, from the bottom of my heart, a million thanks! May all your undertakings be fruitful.
This article is available in Spanish: Carta de un estudiante del Dharma