President’s Message 2‐9‐12
Tribute to Lama Soto
Dear Dharma Brothers and Sisters,
It is with sadness that I pass on to you the news that our dear brother Lama Soto passed away in his sleep on the 3rd of February. He was in Delhi at the time recovering from recent surgery and was accompanied by Lama Lekshey, the Abbot of Tergar Osel Ling Monastery. Lama Soto had been the personal attendant to our Precious Guru, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, for many, many years.
We first met Lama Soto when he accompanied the Very Venerable Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche to our Center back in the spring of 2001. The young Mingyur Rinpoche had been sent by His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche to consecrate the newly constructed Enlightenment Stupa at our retreat land in Northern California. For the month leading up to the consecration we worked closely together with our Guru Mingyur Rinpoche and the five accompanying Lamas and got to know them quite well. Lama Soto stood out as the biggest and tallest Lama we had ever encountered and we were impressed by his politeness and constant service to Guru Mingyur
Rinpoche. Even though Lama Soto didn’t speak any English or Chinese, we always seemed to be able to communicate and enjoy his warm smile and friendship.
Since this first visit over 10 years ago, we have grown close to Lama Soto as he accompanied our Guru Mingyur Rinpoche on his many tours and visits to the Yongey Buddhist Center. We know that the departure of our Precious Guru on his Three Year Retreat was very hard on Lama Soto and that his health has not been good these past few years. I feel fortunate to have spent some time with Lama Soto last October at Tergar Osel Ling Monastery in Kathmandu.
I have been in communication with Khenpo Gyurme, Lama Soto’s nephew, and have learned that Lama Soto’s remains were returned to Sherab Ling Monastery and cremated on February 9th per direction of His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche. I will be traveling to Sherab Ling Monastery next month to attend the 49th day Puja ceremony for Lama Soto and to offer Tsok and make offerings to all the lamas and monks in attendance.
Lama Soto will always be remembered as the exemplary attendant to our Guru Mingyur Rinpoche and for his help and friendship to the Center. He was like an older brother to us all and will be greatly missed. May we all remember Lama Soto in our prayers and meditation.
Yours in the Dharma,
Categories: Dorje Palmo