To Students of Jetsun Kushok, Sakya Practitioners everywhere and all friends of Sakya Kachod Choling, Welcome to our first e-mail and online newsletter!

In an effort to conserve finite resources and our operating funds, all newsletters and retreat information will now be sent this way. I hope you enjoy the new format. Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to others. I’m sure there are Sakya practitioners whose e-mail addresses I do not have, who would enjoy knowing about our activities and retreats to come.

2008 News

2008 has been a pretty incredible year. Here’s what happened at Sakya Kachod Choling during this year of challenges and blessings:

news_firstApril 12 – May 8 Vajrayogini retreat with Jetsun Kushok
May 31 – June 6 White Tara retreat with Jetsun Kushok
Oct. 17 – Oct. 21 Parting From the Four Attachments teaching and retreat with Ven. Lama Pema Wangdak
Oct. 31 – Nov. 9 Guru/Disciple Relationship, empowerments of Green Tara, Manjushri, Chenrezig and Vajrapani, teaching on the prayer The Activities of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra with Ven. Khenpo Lungrik.

Two local people took advantage of having Lamas here. They made the most of the opportunity and took refuge.

When we were not in or preparing for these events, we began scraping and repainting the outside of the gonpa building. Thanks to Diane Ansel who started the process a couple of years ago by removing all the mold and lichen on the railings and balusters around the deck. with her magical, mystery herbal preparation! If you’re interested in a safe, non toxic way to remove this stuff, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Diane. Thanks to Jen Harrington, Susanna Salsbury and Joan Dayton for all their hard work scraping and painting the railings and balusters. They put in many, many hours and the result is a sparkling fresh look for the gonpa. Work will resume on this project next year when the weather warms up.

news_gardenThe veggie garden is being brought back to life. For two years now it has provided fresh greens, squash, green beans, peas, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, beets, carrots, potatoes and herbs for retreat meals. Thanks to Jen Harrington, Susanna Salsbury and Alice Deane for all of their hard work. Special thanks to Alice for growing starts in her greenhouse and generally overseeing this tasty but labor intensive project! Thanks to Thaddeus Krohl and Bob Freeauf for building two large compost bins and Paul Herbert for building a third smaller one.

Our web site was expanded and now contains a lot more information and photos plus an online donation page. Thanks to Bruce Conway who created the original beautiful site and maintained it for years and to Louise Light who expanded the site with her special creative touch making the site even more stunning and user friendly. If you haven’t already done so, check it out at

Others helped in many ways during the year as well, with contributions of time, money and materials. Thanks to John Soderberg, Paul Herbert, Deborah Freeauf, Steven Salsbury, Bob Freeauf, Kurt Schwalbe, Teddy Deane, Peggy Sue McRae, Carol Herbert, Thaddeus Khrol, Janet Thomas and all who join me on the board: John Soderberg, Peggy Sue McRae, Susanna Salsbury, Jolie Wheeling, Deborah Freeauf, Alice Deane, Janine Lendi, Dawn Presta, Carol Spaulding and Michell Najera. Thanks also to the Land Bank for the use of their weed wrench.

Finally, thanks to all of you who came to do retreat, either group or personal retreat.
This is why we exist. To provide a place where practitioners can get the precious teachings and empowerments from masters such as HH Sakya Trizin and HE Sakya Jetsun Chimey Luding Rinpoche. To have a place of quiet support where practitioners can begin to actualize their own minds through concentrated study free of distractions. This opportunity is available to non practitioners as well. Many individuals have come to SKC just to have a place where they can step back from their fast paced lives, to reflect and look inward.

I often think, as I walk around our 20 acres or am engaged in the work of getting the center ready for retreaters, that this place is like a beautiful little jewel, and the work of taking care of it is akin to polishing a jewel. With your support, no matter what form it takes, we will all keep polishing this jewel. What a wonderful thought, to know this place will be here, quietly, beautifully waiting for the next retreater, the next group.


2009 Schedule


June 15 – Sept. 15 Three month Vajrayogini retreat with Jetsun Kushok. There are still a few spaces available.
Contact Thrinley if you are interested in attending:

Sept. 19 – 24 White Tara retreat with Jetsun Kushok

April 1 – 15 Ven. Lama Pema Wangdak, program to be announced
October or November, Ven. Khenpo Lungrik , program to be announced.

These last two retreats are possibilities. Both Lama Pema Wangdak and Khenpo Lungrik Senge have agreed to come, but we need to have the funds to bring them here. If you were able to attend either of their retreats this Fall, you know how lucky we were to have them. Their teachings on Parting From the Four Attachments, the Activities of Samantabhadra Prayer, etc. were masterful. More than one person said, “I never had such a clear explanation before, this was so helpful”

We have started a Visiting Lama Sponsorship Program. By going to our web page you can make an on-line donation to this sponsorship program. You can also donate directly by mailing a contribution to the center.

Mid September through mid October, pilgrimage to Buddhist holy sites in India , with a possible extension to Nepal , with Jetsun Kushok, sponsored by Sakya Foundation. CLICK HERE TO CONTACT Jen Harrington if you are interested

There are always projects going on, such as the scraping and painting of the building, repainting the interior, working on the garden, making the tent platform sites more durable, keeping the brush and small trees cut back for fire saftey, and more. Call Thrinley if you’re interested in gonpa projects (378-4059) or Alice Deane if you’re interested in gardening or grounds work (378-5250).

The weekly meditation sessions continue at the same times: Four Mandala Ritual of Green Tara at 11:30 a.m. and Shamatha meditation at 1:30 p.m. There is a group that gets together to practice White Tara, sometimes here and sometimes at one of the practitioner’s homes. Call for up-to-date information on time and place.

You get a very special feeling, not to mention heaps of merit, when doing the work of keeping SKC going. Sharing work projects with fellow practitioners and friends of the gonpa is fun and rewarding and we look forward to spending these times with you!

2008 Financial Summary

Generosity, the first Paramita, starts with the supreme generosity and kindness of our teachers. It continues with the devotion, dedication and donations of the people who support SKC so the doors can remain open for us and for all beings. A very big thank you to all of you for your open hearted generosity.

The fund raising drive started at the end of 2007, dedicated to paying off the mortgage, succeeded in lowering the amount owed on the mortgage to $127,000.

Our fixed monthly operating costs are approximately $2,193, This includes:

  • mortgage payment of $813
  • Retreat Manager’s stipend of $600,
  • electricity average $75
  • insurance $150
  • propane average $250
  • accountant/bookkeeper average $250
  • merchant card services $55
  • Telephone and internet services: $61 (currently covered by two donors)

Committed monthly donations come to $465

Two large anonymous annual donations totaling $7000 did not come through this year. Two promised donations for 2008 totaling $6000 also did not come in. Individual donations are down and retreats, both private and group retreat attendance, are down.

Now more than ever before, in the face of a shrinking economy and financial cutbacks that are starting to effect all of us one way or another, we are relying on your generosity and support.

Becoming a member of SKC, doing retreat here and your donations towards our monthly operating costs will all make sure SKC remains the special retreat center that it is.

The donate site is easy to use and completely secure. You can also show your support with a personal check. Make your checks to Sakya Society and mail to PO Box 3191 , Friday Harbor , WA 98250 (donation form to mail is available on the Donation page) .

We are a 501-C-3 non profit corporation and all donations are tax deductible.

If you would like more information about how you can become a part of Sakya Kachod Choling or about doing retreat here, please contact me directly at or call 360-378-4059. If you would like to be removed from this e-mail list, contact

Wishing you a peaceful holiday season and a happy Tibetan New year of the Earth Ox!