Monday, April 15, 2013

An Open Letter from Yuchen Namkhai about the Khandroling Coop

Dear Friends,

First and foremost I want to apologize for the missed communication of these past months.

I find an apology can be a very cathartic act. It can mend fences and build bridges besides acknowledging and, at the same time, releasing emotional tension.

Since our last meetings in fall 2012, many things have started to take form.
The initial featured idea of the creation of a Khandroling Cooperative has been cultivated and nurtured throughout the past winter, and a team of committed people manifested.

These ‘Coop-people’, share these values: the care of people, so that human needs for survival, for nurturing connection and spiritual needs can be met; the care of the environment, so that the sacred land that’s supporting our human species can be preserved and steward responsibly; a sustainable and viable approach in pursuing these activities, so to give economic support to the DCA, and enhance community building worldwide.

At a practical level, we envision Lower Khandroling as a small farm run by an independent worker cooperative. Independent because we believe we need to rely on a core of committed, accountable and self-funded people to start the foundation of a culture of sustainability, transparency and accountability,  and selfless service to pass on to future generations saving this burden to the Community.

Farming involves working with nature, with the land so that food can be grown to feed other people. It's a way of life that can surely be enjoyed by those who like to get their hands dirty and want to help others at a very basic level. Farming is also a great way to educate ourselves on the interdependency of all living things in nature.

We believe the potential for tensions and obstacles is always high due to the complexity of our interdependent human relationship and condition.
In an interdependent relationship, all members may be emotionally, economically, ecologically and/or morally reliant on and responsible to each other.

Acknowledging interdependence, we embrace sustainability as the capacity for long-term maintenance of well-being, which has ecological, economic, political and cultural dimensions.

We don't live in a vacuum; everything we do has an impact on the world and the people who live on it. The same can be said for sustainability. Often, a single aspect, say environmental, can interact in various ways.

In 1987, the Brundtland Commisions of the United Nation defined sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
To become a sustainable coop and community in general, we need to find a balance between the three main and overlapping aspects that breaks up sustainability (sustain-ability):

We believe the actions required are: educate people to self-reliance and selfless service, support local community people by securing food and creating opportunities, engage the worldwide Community and create new networks.
At its best, the worker coop would help financially support Khandroling, inspire the DZ International Community to replicate and follow the model, mentor and educate people interested in self-reliance and selfless service so to build bridges into future generations.

We welcome the term culture to connote a process of ‘cultivation of the soul and improvement of the mind,’ using the agricultural metaphor described by Roman orator, Cicero in his "Cultura Animi."

We celebrate the term education, coming from "ex ducere" in Latin, to "lead out" or bring out knowledge and skills within people to be transferred from one generation to the next through teaching, training, research and above all mentoring.

Together with you, we believe we’re crafting a new vision.
More updates will follow shortly!

For more info, please don’t hesitate to contact our team leader Paula Barry at


Khandroling Coop Coordinator

[photo by jgens, 2012 fall coop meeting with Yuchen at the farmhouse]


Naomi Zeitz said...

Thank you Yuchen for that lovely letter and clear explanation as to the nature of the coop for Khandroling. I think it is a wonderful idea and it seems things will come together "organically" ha ha, so to speak, and can "nourish" many aspects of our Community life, as well as help us integrate into the bigger world community.

Love, Naomi

Nancy Paris said...

Dear Yuchen, Thanks for your letter and vision for Khandroling Coop. Love, Nancy