December 30, 2019
Dear Friends of Sogan Rinpoche and Tupten Osel Choling,
It has been a little over a year since our last letter updating you on Rinpoche’s activities in the USA and we have some information to share. First, we would like to thank you for your connection to Sogan Rinpoche and Tupten Osel Choling and for your ongoing interest in supporting Rinpoche’s dharma activity. We are extraordinarily fortunate that Rinpoche continues to return to the United States when not working for the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. Now, we have the compounded good fortune of establishing Sogan Rinpoche’s hermitage and home in Carson City, NV, where Rinpoche has been working to make it a blessed space for all to enjoy. Rinpoche has decided to call his home, the Hermitage of Tranquility. This material dwelling is also symbolic as the conduit that connects us to Rinpoche’s authentic lineage, giving us the opportunity to receive its continued blessings. The precious Dharma teachings and lineages that Sogan Rinpoche holds are the ultimate gift, offered to us through his boundless generosity. For this, we have immense gratitude.
This hermitage in Carson City will primarily be Sogan Rinpoche’s home when he is staying in the USA. We intend to have teachings and events there in the future. With the help of friends, Rinpoche has remodeled his shrine room and continues to make other improvements as resources allow. It has been a bustling center of activity for the past two years, during which Rinpoche has continued to work on his other international projects. At some point, perhaps in 2020, Sogan Rinpoche plans to spend more time at his Carson City hermitage where he will continue his work remotely.
The house is in good shape although it continues to need some maintenance, as all houses do. It needs to be painted, trees need to be trimmed and removed, and in the future we would like to replace the front lawn with low maintenance, environmentally friendly landscaping that will require less watering. We estimate painting the exterior of the house and landscaping costs to be about $11,000 according to estimates. Of course there are also ongoing expenses including property taxes, homeowner's insurance, and utilities which, including automobile and travel expenses totaled $8,664 in 2019. We have enclosed a breakdown of costs associated with the hermitage and Rinpoche’s expenses for this last year. The cost of health care insurance for Rinpoche is not included in the total, but will need to be considered in the near future as well as connecting the hermitage to the Internet!
In order to meet these needs we have a Hermitage of Tranquility Fund and must ask our friends for support to cover the Hermitage's remaining expenses. We recently received a very generous donation of $1,500 to the Hermitage of Tranquility Fund and are incredibly fortunate to have several monthly donors who together contribute approximately $5,000 per year.
As mentioned above, our current goal is to raise enough money to cover all of the expenses and a little extra to apply to the exterior maintenance. Based on 2019's expenses we predict 2020's hermitage expenses to be approximately $9,000. This year, in order to jump start fundraising for the hermitage, we are quite fortunate to have a donor who will match total donations to the fund up to $1,000.
If you would like to contribute to the Hermitage of Tranquility Fund, donations can be made by check making your check out to "Tupten Osel Choling" with "Hermitage Fund" in the memo line and sending to:
Tupten Osel Choling
℅ Teri Harrigan
15362 Cedar View Rd.
Nevada City, CA 95959
One-time or monthly donations can also be made through PayPal by clicking here and selecting "Hermitage Fund" in the dropdown box. As Tupten Osel Choling is a 501(c)(3) organization, all contributions to the fund will be fully tax-deductible.
We are so grateful to be connected to all of you through Sogan Rinpoche and appreciate everything you have done to support his activity and continued presence in the West. We are very delighted that Sogan Rinpoche has his home in the United States and plans to spend more time here!
With our gratitude,
Tupten Osel Choling Board of Directors
TOC Hermitage of Tranquility and TOC Expenses 2019
Hermitage: Water $1719; Gas $449; Electric $550; Taxes $1428; Insurance $593
Rinpoche’s Auto Expenses (not including the purchase of his Subaru Forester): DMV $357; Insurance $750
Garden and Exterior Maintenance (including fence post repairs, lawn mowing, tree trimming): $1670
Sogan Rinpoche’s Travel Expenses: Rome to Oakland one way $378; SFO to Nepal one way $645 American Express $125
The total of base expenses for 2019 was: $8664