Apprentice profile

Born in Pennsylvania in 1962 – I am now Naljorma gZa’tsal Mé-dröl Yé-drak Pamo. I became aware of Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Dechen in 1994. My apprenticeship started in 1998. I took ordination vows in 2005. I grew up surrounded by ample fields, verdant rolling woodlands, and plenty of streams. I was the third of four siblings – the only girl. My mother was an amateur painter who loved birds and animals. We had a continual stream of injured or abandoned critters to care for. My father was a veterinarian who worked with large and small animals. I assisted him in his work for many years. I loved the environment where I grew up and look back with gratitude. My family were connected to the land and the flow of seasons. We went hunting and fishing together – and ate what we caught. We knew the wild fruits and nuts we could pick as the seasons changed. We grew our own vegetables. One notable year, we grew our own herd of steers and pigs. I learned to ride horses. These days I live in San Francisco with Ngakma Dé-zér. I am a physical therapist and work as a supervisor in a large hospital. But whenever I get a chance, I get back to wild, open country. Cole Porter got it right: Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle / Underneath the western skies / On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder / Till I see the mountains rise / I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences / And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses / And I can't look at hovels and I can't stand fences / Don't fence me in.’

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