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Help two Buddhists get to a very rare teaching by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche (and hopefully receive a teaching by H.H. The Dalai Lama) in India.
Amanda Bender
Venice, California
United States
2 Team Members


This is our story...

Lets begin with Bryan.

Bryan was intrigued by Buddhism in 1999 when he began seeking a way out of his highly clouded, depressed, life-long web-like mind stream of sadness. At this time, Bryan was working in the linen room at a hospital, delivering towels and picking up soiled sheets. After two years of soiled sheets and Buddhist reading, Bryan's kharma landed him a job at a local spiritual book shop. While working at said book shop and attending the local community college, his interest in Buddhism deepened which eventually lead him to meet his guru, H.E. Garchen Rinpoche. A few years passed and Bryan was tormented by conflicting thoughts-- those of the material world of school, failed relationships, and Los Angeles in general and those of wanting to deepend his practice further. Alas, it was time to seek guidance from his guru. H.E. Garchen Rinpoche advised Bryan to enter the traditional three year retreat under the Drikung Kagyu tradition (this was in 2008). So here was Bryan, an American man at age 32 traveling alone to the foreign land of India. To make a long story short, the journey was rough with many obstacles and reasons to quit, but Bryan endured (go Bryan!). Upon his return after completing what seemed like a thirty-year retreat, Bryan was met by the same book store, and really, the same life...but with a refined sense of clarity.

Lets cut to Amanda.

Amanda was first intrigued by Buddhism in 2010 after dating the owner of previously mentioned spiritual bookstore. Before this, Amanda was a a happy New Yorker, traveling the country with her favorite nomad and spiritual advisor, a 6'7" Jewish Hindu meditator by name of Kriyavan (Te'DeVan to some) Kurzweil. Soon, she decided to settle in the City of Angels to pursue her acting career. Amanda grew sad, she missed her family, she missed the gritty streets of New York, her meditations nolonger felt authentic...and more than anything, she was missing a piece of much needed clarity. Her relationship was growing sour. It was like a hard sour patch kid, rotting under a movie theatre seat for months. During this time, she was given a book by Kalu Rinpoche, Luminous Mind. She immediately felt a connection to Rinpoche's words and the overview of the Buddhist faith. Amanda wanted to learn more about practice and the opportunity arose when she became friends with Bryan.

Now, lets piece this all together.

After being home for less than a year from retreat, Bryan felt called once again to the east, specifically to attend the Kalachakra Teachings by H.H. The Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya, India. And one day, while at the place of Amanda's employment (a very trendy Raw restuarant in the heart of Santa Monica), the two sat down for a chat. Amanda expressed her longings to travel to India, to do some form of practice, and to gain more understanding of her mind. Fortunately for her, Bryan mentioned that after Kalachakra he would be going to Pittoragarh (where one of his teachers, Lama Chompa resides) and that he would be staying there for two months. Well, the trip went down. Bryan picked Amanda up from Delhi and they were on their way. Amanda did some retreat, ate lots of dal, cried most of the time, and decided that she wanted to become a Buddhist.

So here they are, back in Los Angeles. The past six months have been difficult beyond belief with personal obstacles and financial burdens. Nevertheless, the two are determined to make it back to India to receive these precious teachings and thus, further their spiritual development.

Okay... so who is this Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche guy anyway?

In short, he is our hero. 

But really, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is a reincarnated Tibetan master who has totally embraced western culture. His teachings are relevent and applicable to our times and on top of that he makes movies. Really good movies. He has many charitable organizations that fund everything from traditional buddhist teachings, to art and social issues. I (well...we) am very proud to call him guru. He is giving very specific teachings in Bir, India at his monastery from Novemer until the end of January. Unfortunately, due to family and other life issues we would not be able to go until the beginning of January... that is, if we can come up with the money. Please help us. And please check out this amazing being...

You can check him out at one of his many websites (the link below can guide you to all his sites) or watchin his videos on YouTube.



This is what we need...

Okay folks, we need $3,120. Let me break that down for you:

  • Air Fare- We have been doing our research on various travel sites (Expedia, Travelocity, the list goes on) and it seems that the average cost for a roundtrip ticket from L.A. to Delhi will be $1,300... multiply that by two because there are two of us makes $2,600.
  • Train Tickets- Once we get to Delhi, we have to take the train to Dharamsala, where we have to get permits to go to Bir (where the teaching is). Tickets roundtrip for both of us will cost about $40.
  • Taxi Fare- Overall, we are going to need to take taxis from the airport to Manju Ka Tilla (where we will be staying the night before in Delhi we hop on the train to Dharamsala), then from the train station to Dharamsala, and finally from Dharmsala to Bir... not to mention, that we are going to need to do that on the returning trip as well. This will most likely cost about $60.
  • Accomodations- We will need to stay at guest houses two or three nights in Delhi, one night in Dharamsala, and most of the month of January in Bir. Most guest houses run about $10 a night.... that comes to $300 for the entirety of the trip.
  • Food and Other Expenses- We figure that we can probably get by on $4 a day each... that is $8 for the two of us a day... and that is $120 for the month.

So, why donate to us besides getting some cool swag?

Time for some real talk. Obviously, everything we mentioned above are just material possessions that probably aren't even worth the value of what are you are donating, but are within the means of what we can humbly offer you. On an ultimate level, you  will be establishing a connection with the profound Buddha-Dharma. 
As with all Buddha-Dharma, we will dedicate the merit accumulated for the benefit of all sentient beings.
"In order to clear away the suffering of limitless beings, through the wisdom realizing the purity of the three spheres, to dedicate the virtues attained by making such effort for enlightenment is the bodhisattvas' practice."
-The 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas, by Gyalse Thogme Zangpo

If you can't donate, here are some other options...

Some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help:

  • Ask yourself, "Why can't I donate? Do I really need that Snicker's bar? Do I really need to spend $4.99 on a Hail Mary's chocolate mint pie at Whole Food's for the third time today? Hm...maybe I should donate this money to Bryan and Amanda instead?" Just kidding.
  • Passing this site onto someone that would be interested or already has an interest in Buddhism.
  • Posting this site on one of your social media profiles.
  • Asking one of your millionaire friends for a donation for us. You can tell them that this has been a very good read that they might enjoy.
  • Pray for us.
  • If you don't want to pray for us, then please pray for H.H. The Dalai Lama and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. Their long life prayers are listed below:

H.H. Dalai Lama Long Life Prayer

For this realm encircled by snow-covered mountains

You are the source of every benefit and bliss without exception.

Tenzin Gyaltso, you who are one with Avalokiteshvara,

May you remain steadfast until samsara's end.

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche Long Life Prayer

Dance of wisdom and love, sovereign of the entire Buddhist teaching-

The great Dharma-ocean of the transmission and realization of the profound and vast,

You have mastered through hearing, reflection, and meditating.

Supreme incarnation, may your aspirations be filled, and may your life and activity be infinite.


Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 


raised in 1 month
3% funded
No time left
$3,120 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on November 28, 2012
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    Butter Lamp Offering

    You will get the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping two religious pilgrims fulfill one of their heart's desires to finally meet a great teacher that they feel a deep connection to. We will also light butter lamps in your name at H.H. The Dalai Lama's main monastery, Namgyal.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2013
  • $25USD
    Incense and Small Token

    You will get all that was mentioned above and a box of authentic TIbetan Incense along with a gift from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's monastery that suitable for your altar space (if you have one... if not, you can just enjoy this small token :D ).

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2013
  • $50USD
    H.H. The Dalai Lama Tee Shirt!

    You will get all that was mentioned above plus a tee shirt of your size from Dharamsala.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2013
  • $100USD
    H.H. The Dalai Lama Audio CD

    You will get all that was mentioned above and an audio CD of the teachings of H.H. The Dalai Lama.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2013
  • $500USD
    Bronze Statue

    THE BIG ONE. If you donate $500, you will get an 8-10" bronze statue of either Tara or Avalokiteshvara with a gold-leaf face for your altar space.

    0 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
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