I wrote a long letter to Jim and sent it a few hours before he passed, too late to reach him in this form, so I am sharing placing parts of it here to honor him, in the form of a dedication. Dear Jim, You yourself will already have so much merit to dedicate and rejoice in – knowledge you have contributed with your scholarship, benefit you have offered with your gentle way of being and of course all of what you helped make possible for Maitripa. Without you there at Rinpoche’s side, it would have been very difficult for Maitripa to become what it now is and what it is still growing into. So with all of that merit including the Maitripa to dedicate and rejoice in, what I have to add is not much. But still, I wish to thank you and dedicate the merit of the inspiring example you set over the years of a serious scholar upholding the best academic ideals while remaining steadfast to the values we are taught in the Dharma. Sometimes it seems they are knowledge traditions with two ways of expressing and pursuing the truth (sometimes compatible, sometimes apparently not) but your conviction that they could be kept in harmony is a very important component of Maitripa, and remains an important model for me and for others wishing to do scholarship that is responsible, beneficial and honoring both knowledge traditions. Perhaps you no longer recall them, but in several key moments, you offered words of encouragement to me while I was still in graduate school, and those words continued to echo in my heart and formed a valuable condition for me to continue in moments when I really wondered if it made sense to do so. Having not only the example of someone like you, but your kind and warmhearted encouragement, was truly important for me. I am sure you have similarly been a positive, steady and loving presence to many others. Even if they are too many to recall, or if they came so naturally to you that they do not register as important memories, I know that you carry all this beautiful merit forward with you, and hope that you know it too. I rejoice in all that merit, and from my own side, whatever merit I have been able to generate based on having persevered in my studies, I offer you now with my heartfelt prayers: May you move ahead to this next phase with confidence, in the company of the bodhisattvas you most wish to follow. May we meet again, dear Jim, in a pure land where the leaves of trees give out the sound of root verses and the wind carries the sound of their perfect commentaries, and where the great masters we most yearn to meet appear on jeweled thrones to teach us the Dharma, the moment we think of them. I will look for you there at the feet of Shantarakshita, my friend. With all my love, Damcho

Sent by LhundupDamcho on 08/10/2014