With unquestioning devotion, Kim lived his final years in service to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, serving first at Liberation Prison Project in San Francisco. When he applied for a receptionist job at FPMTs International Office, Lama Zopa Rinpoche advised instead that Kim become the Executive Director. Without a trace of pride or a moment's hesitation, Kim stepped into the job at the critical time of relocation from Taos to Portland. Almost single handedly, Kim managed the huge task of the move, the final work on FPMT's new building, and offered his many talents in service until his last moments. A lover of plants, from the first day in Portland until his last, Kim worked continually to make the physical environment at Rinpoche's office beautiful.
When Kim fell to the ground from a heart attack, he appeared to do so in a posture of complete surrender and letting go. There appeared to be no struggle, no holding on, and no pain. Within forty minutes, Yangsi Rinpoche was by his side doing prayers, while Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Choden Rinpoche did prayers together in California. Students in Bodhgaya prayed under the bodhi tree and friends around the world offered prayers for his positive rebirth. Shortly after Kim collapsed, the joint International Office/Maitripa community began a 24 hour prayer vigil that lasted many days, reciting King of Prayers, Medicine Buddha, and Vajra Cutter Sutra. Rinpoche has observed that Kim will be reborn a pure land. May all beings be so fortunate!
My dear brothers and sisters at International Office,
Kim’s sudden death is a great teaching for all of us. This is the real teaching instead of just reading a text or having someone tell us. So this is actually showing us that death can happen to all of us any time, all of a sudden.
This is very important to understand, as it helps our development, that we may have missed out on because of the concept of permanence, thinking that I will live for many years. So thinking like this we didn’t get time to practice or develop the mind on the path to enlightenment, due to the concept of permanence, and based on self cherishing thought and clinging to this life.
The most important thing in this life is Dharma, and what makes the whole life most meaningful is to live one's life with bodhichitta, so please continue to live your life with bodhichitta motivation.
With thanks from my heart for all the work and service you all do for the teachings of our kind and compassionate Buddha Shakyamuni, for sentient beings, for Lama Yeshe and for myself.
With much love and prayers,
April 30, 2008