I submit the following comment posted here by a reader as it pertains to Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s so-called Retreat Lamas.
“To start an amusement park one needs mascots. Like Mikey mouse and Goofy. Then you can have folks wear big costumes of them so that enthusiastic visitors can have their pictures taken with them as precious mementos.
I guess it makes sense that Khenpo Karthar retired to lead a corporate re-branding of Tibet. After all he did such a good job making the KTD amusement park. It’s got these great, fun, options: you can just visit and have your pictures taken with Tibetan lamas. You can also pay $25k and live like a lama for three years after which you get this cool costume, a title and a city dharma center to preside over.
Their food court needs to be redone, and there should be a proper tram like at Disney, but besides that KTD Tibet Land is pretty fun.
I guess the version in Tibet wouldn’t have white folks dressed like lamas though.”
In 1992 Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche entered retreat at Karme Ling in Delhi, New York.
“We had two people here in Chicago, Marvin and Colleen, friends of mine, whom were able to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to live in retreat with Rinpoche.”
33 year old me was happy for them both.
“Marvin had done very well for himself as a highly skilled engineer in the tech industry so he could afford to do whatever he wanted at this point in his life.”
At this point in my life, a divorced father of two young children, my concern was for their child.
“Sean’s mom and step dad were essentially using the pretense of being in retreat with Rinpoche to separate as man and wife.”
These were Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s first Retreat lamas.
“The idea that these people were going into retreat to become lamas would have come as news to us here in Chicago.”
For 58 year old me I share this here today not to throw shade on Marvin and Colleen as parents, or Retreat lamas, whatever this title means, but on then 70 year old Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, our guru, taking advantage of their domestic misfortune for the glorification of the 7 year old child he, along with Thrangu and Akong Rinpoches collaborated with the Chinese Government to enthrone at Tsurphu Monastery as 17th Karmapa in 1992, which in retrospect was his motivation at this point in his life.