Tribute to Waltraud Benzing
It is with great sadness that we tell you about the death of our dear dharma friend Waltraud Benzing. She passed away peacefully yesterday evening (3rd May, 2023) in Salzburg, Austria.
Many of you will know Waltraud, or Benzing as the monks of Triten Norbutse call her. She first met Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche in the early 90s. Waltraud became a devoted student and accompanied Rinpoche on countless retreats in Europe.
In the 1990s Waltraud would spend many months each year at Triten Norbutse, arriving with suitcases full of basic medicines to treat the monks there, many of whom had suffered during the arduous journey on foot from Tibet. She cared for them so tirelessly that Yongdzin Rinpoche called her ‘Ama-la’, dear Mother.
As well as organising retreats, cooking and translating, Waltraud shared our commitment to preserving the precious teachings of Yungdrung Bön for fellow students and future generations. She worked with Khenzur Nyima Wangyal on several books and enthusiastically translated two FPYB publications.
Waltraud stayed in Shenten Dargye Ling for long periods, helping other volunteers to clear, clean and restore the old chateau for practitioners, cooking for Yongdzin Rinpoche and practising with us.
Waltraud has been a much-loved member of our international sangha, present throughout many key events in the spread of Yungdrung Bön in the West as well as helping establish Triten Norbutse as a thriving monastic community. She was one of the first curators of the Yungdrung Bon Stiftung.
Prayers are being recited for Waltraud Benzing in Triten Norbutse, Shenten Dargye Ling and here at FPYB. We would ask you to join us. One of the prayers you can recite is Tsewang Mönlam.
Carol at FPYB