Home / Blog / COMING HOME – Chapter 6


This is the 6th chapter in a series of emails called COMING HOME that will be shared between now and mid-October that are written to entertain, maybe inform, spark memories, connect our hearts, and definitely beseech your help to sustain Karmê Chöling through April 30, 2020. Karmê Chöling needs your unrestricted donations now more than ever before.

I hope you enjoy it. If you missed Chapter 5, you can read it here.

Mahalo Nui!
Kit Kanohoaloha Wynkoop
Director of Development

I feel so very lucky to have been at Karmê Chöling when I have – even with everything that’s happened since Summer last year. It’s a tragic time of transition for Karmê Chöling and for Shambhala – and yet, the possibility of important growth and improvement is very real. On the front lines most days, though, this time feels like a barrage of unsympathetic beads on the mala of change – to me, anyway.

In being here since January 2015, I have accumulated hundreds of wonderful memories that will be with me always yet relatable to few in the world – a practice in sad/joy, for sure. There can be intense comradery in the Karmê Chöling community – if the iteration of community at any given time makes room for that to happen. The average community member stays 1.5 years.

Shrine RoomIn good years, the excited energy of 60+ people would descend on the house on program arrival days. I’d get to know many of them through wonderful conversations in the halls or at meals and then they’d all leave. The ebb and flow of energy and connection is dramatic which makes it all the more joyous when people return – a true feeling of family for me.

There have been hundreds of people who have resided at Karmê Chöling in one role or another over the past almost 50 years. As most of you who have lived here may remember, the accessibility to the teachings, the teachers, the practices, the reference materials, the sacred land & buildings, and the worldwide community is unrivaled. 

Living and working at Karmê Chöling is essentially a volunteer gig, save for a place to sleep, meals that are made for us, and a nominal stipend. AND it is so much more than that. For those of you who have never lived at Karmê Chöling, I would say Karmê Chöling is all about the teachings, teachers, practice, land, and broader community. There is no comparison to the depth of experience I’ve had practicing in these shrine rooms; soaking in the energy of the land; and interacting with guests who have had their hearts and minds opened wide to the brilliance of reality.

A good number of people come to live here with intentions to take it easy; recover; push their personal or political agenda; or hide. We all come with some degree of those in each of us, I feel – but, make no mistake, Karmê Chöling is a training ground pressure cooker. There really is no room for not practicing the dharma here – the dralas make that perfectly clear.

If we step back to a wider view, life at Karmê Chöling is a test of the Bodhisattva path: How do we give completely of ourselves whenever called upon with grace, active-kindness, and unlimited compassion? When some are and some aren’t doing that, it can take real practice to live together in harmony.

Stay Tuned for Chapter 7 ….


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