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Traga  Rinpoche’s hut  at GBI where  the author  spent time on her writing retreat  

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From Bertrand Odelys - the karmic editor...

(Excerpts from 2007 letters )
“You have a definite style, which means you are a true writer.  And this style, to my mind, matches perfectly the subject matter, that is the life story of Garchen Rinpoche.

Your  way of telling a story is very oriental, very sensuous, and as one reads you, one enters a dream. It‘s as if one is seeing a film in very slow motion  – one thing transforms itself very slowly into another, and yet one is never bored because there is a continuous energy, a continuous thread behind it all.  I say all of this so that you can appreciate the qualities of your writing and story telling. Compared to this, the shortcomings of your English are of no importance; they can easily be put right.  What is important is that one feels a definite link between you and Garchen Rinpoche .”


“Good luck with the book. It is like a mandala! Remember. 25% sweat. 75% love, love, love.  Thank Buddha before and after writing.”





From  Kathy Novic
(Upon Garchen Rinpoche’s return trip  to Tibet in 2004)
“I can’t tell you how your tears affected me at the TMC Frederick  center. I only wish that I could love a teacher with  such intensity.  You’ve either known him in past lives or through your incredible dedication, merited this wonderful relationship. I wish you joy in your love for your Lama and know you have forged this relationship for all lifetimes to come.  I am only sad at your great sorrow in his departure...”

From  Will Evans  (March  1 - May, 2009)
“I wanted to thank you from my heart for the wonderful, deeply meaningful  ‘Letter to My Teacher, the Lama of the Many Lifetimes’  booklet.  I read it as soon as I got back home from the Garchen Institute, despite having been up driving all night. It brought tears to my eyes, and upon finishing it, I immediately wrapped it in a khata and placed it on my shrine. It is perfect in conveying Garchen Rinpoche's heart qualities. May you succeed in writing the entire biography! “

“Just want to let you know that I am on my fourth reading of the ‘Letter to My Teacher’ booklet.  It is deeply inspiring. “

“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but the heart.”         To read  “ Letter to My Teacher,” click here.   

From  Mai-Thy Truong (January 26, 2009)
“Yesterday after I read your writing on Garchen Rinpoche, I felt so much love for  Rinpoche and you in my heart.  Now, every time I thought of those paragraphs ,  tears came to my eyes.  It is very sensuous  and deeply meaningful.   Wish I have  the means so that I can sponsor you for your writing, so that you can just sit and write.  We always asked you to do so many things but now I think you should just sit and write. “


From  Eileen Cahoon  (March 10, 2009)
Thank  you for the tears of my eyes and the opening in my heart reading the precious beginning of Garchen Rinpoche's biography.  May you continue to receive Tara's guidance and complete this in the way you and Rinpoche have envisioned.”


From  Peter  & Maureen de la Cruz  (March 8, 2009)
With worlds of gratitude...  this is a slow and inadequate note of thanks for the heart-felt offering to your Lama and the precious gift you have given us in the form of the booklet with the introduction and first seven years of Garchen Rinpoche’s  life. It is simply wonderful, and it is worthy of study and reflection.”


From  Konchok Kunga-Alejandro (March 4, 2009)
“Ngakma Angela gave me a copy of your booklet "Letter to My Teacher, the Lama of the Many Lifetimes."  Thank you for sharing your writing with everyone. I read the entire booklet in one sitting and it inspired my faith in our lineage and lamas. Your words painted a picture in my mind , making me feel like I was there experiencing all your dreams and inner thoughts. I look forward to reading your book when complete. It touched my heart, thank you.”


From  Olga K.  (November 7, 2009)
“I think that whoever translates it in the future in whatever languages should try to preserve the sense of love and devotion that you have for Rinpoche. This love really permeates the whole text...”

From  Cindy Chang  (November 6, 2009)
“When I thanked you yesterday, I had not read your writing. Today, I am deeply touched by your writing and it really inspires me to practice the dharma with more mindfulness and open heart. Thank you does not adequately express my gratitude to you for your effort in writing this. I look forward to more of the story as told to you by Rinpoche.”


From  Tran Uyen Thi  (January 7, 2010)
“Thank you for writing and for translating [into Vietnamese]. It is not only the biography of  a greatly realized  and compassionate master but also a  literature treasure of a disciple.”


From  Zehra  (January 27, 2010)
“I came across the beginning chapters of your book the other day. It had gotten lost in the shuffle. I sat down and read it, and couldn't put it down. It is just wonderful.”


From  Jacklyn Lee  (April 13, 2010)
“I almost forget to breathe reading your "Letter to My Teacher" booklet.  I read it at work and I thought that I could finish it with a quick scan first and hold the details until I got  home. However, I was wrong. I couldn't stop once the first sentence got into my eye...  It is full of genuine emotions that I can feel your unbroken tie with Rinpoche-la and I know it will continue to last for many, many lifetimes ! “


From  Jeanie Lochrie (May 16, 2010)
“It is with utmost pleasure that I discovered this booklet describing the life of my precious guru, H.E. Garchen Rinpoche. I enjoyed every morsel of  his story, written by your heart.  I will keep you close in my prayers and I look forward to reading the treasure of the entire book.  “


More from Bertrand...

(Excerpts from 2007  until present)
“A few tips for ‘Sou-Sou’ ♪♪ from Bertrand:
Start now and never stop. Regularity more important than intensity: two hours  a day, never miss a day.  Writing is a path: when you write conscientiously, you are a part of the great continuity.  Before writing, have a shower, clean clothes, a clean table, light an incense stick. Writing purifies. “

“I hope my remarks help. Thank you for giving me the privilege of correcting the text. It is such a blessing each time I read about Garchen Rinpoche’s life. You are a good storyteller, and this will make a good book... “

“Just remember to use less adjectives. Remember: Writing is about using a few words to tell many things. Not about using many words to tell a few things.”


From  Kanaya Chevli  (February 13, 2009)
“ Have more confidence! Writing  is easy. You just sit and write what occurs to  you. Writing is very easy. It’s just typing. It’s the occurring that is hard.  Now as far as occurring, occurring happens to the mind, not the body. You are supplying the body. Lama supplies the mind.  So when your mind merges with the Lama, like the small stone interlocking with the larger one, remember, then that’s all you need.  Have more confidence! I think you will merge with Tara. “


From  Pauline Dong  (February 12, 2009)
Thank  you for sharing your writing with me. While I was waiting to Giao to pick me up, I was able to find  time to finish  reading it and  felt much love for  Thay and  you.  I think that in reality, you  have had a very strong connection with Thay in many past lifetimes, and it is not like you just met him in this life. It is just so true that the indivisible string between master and disciple can be continuous and unbroken.”


From  Katherine Lambert  (February 13, 2009)
“Thank you for sharing  your writing. Beautifully told and so full of Rinpoche's loving-kindness and compassion. This is the true Guru Yoga! “


From  D.D.D. (March 24, 2009)
“Do you remember when I suggested my well-read & long time friend –  spiritual but not Buddhist, as an outside resource/reader for Rinpoche's Biography?  Two days ago, I mailed her one of the extra copies you had given me to share with others... This morning she opened it ~ And called with such excitement in her voice... She said she couldn't put the booklet down, but then...she just had to, because she was so impacted by it - she felt like she was there, and she had to stop because - she could hear and feel and see it... in this case - the prayer flags flapping in the wind above the monastery..." where the image and sensations were so strong..." that she had to stop and take it in.  And that was how the whole reading had been for her - she didn't know if it was past life or what. Well, that was my experience totally, that was what I had been trying to explain to you previously, via email - do you remember?   I had said nothing to her about it at all! Her enthusiasm was unprecedented - in all our years of friendship. She had lots of questions, made several other observations and shopped for prayer flags on-line with a few sites I gave her as we spoke, before getting off to finish the book... begging me to let her know as soon as it would become available.”


From  Lan Bui  (February 25, 2009)
“Yesterday  chi.  Thuy said that  she already received your booklet, and when she read it, she was very touched and she cried. She said you have  lots of love for her and  you want to bring her to  see Thay, and maybe that was why she cried. Then  today, anh Ly and I also received the booklet. So  I fought  with him to read it first. I  just read the Letter that you wrote to Thay first, and  it moved me so much and I also cried. Now I have to let anh  Ly read the booklet...  Sorry, I have to stop now because I am crying.”



“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.”
(Phyllis Theroux)


Photo: Sue-Sue (Rinchen Choling-Nepal)


Bertrand & Sue-Sue


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