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David Petit, 1955-2010
David Petit (1955-2010)
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Dear Friends,

Lama Tsultrim, her family, and the Tara Mandala community regretfully announce the death of Lama's beloved husband, David Petit, on July 22nd, 2010. The cremation will take place at the stupa at Tara Mandala at dawn (5:50 am) on July 24th, 2010. Everyone is welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers please make offerings to Tara Mandala for which David gave his heart and life force. He died in his sleep of a heart attack. David was a great practitioner so we don't need to worry about him. He spent the last twenty years of his life in the constant accumulation of merit for the Dharma. The night before his death he was joyful and at peace.

David is survived by his wife, Lama Tsultrim Allione, his siblings Lenard Petit, Leo Petit, Jasma Petit, Bobbi Petit, and Chris Petit, his step-chidren, Sherab Kloppenburg, Aloka Sands, and Costanzo Allione, and his father, Robert Petit.

If you would like to offer prayers, blessings, or condolences of words or images, please email Lizzy at These will be placed at the stupa. You can also mail them to Tara Mandala, PO Box 3040, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

David Petit (1955-2010) would have been fifty-five August 11th. He was born in Salem, Massachusetts, the third of six children of Peg and Robert Petit, and later moved to New Hampshire with his family. At the age of sixteen he went to Europe and began studying in the Anthroposophic communities in England and Germany where he graduated from college, stayed for thirteen years, and became a famous performer and teacher of Eurythmy. He had his own dance company there with his first wife Leslie, and then they returned to the United States and were divorced in 1987.

In 1989, through the Waldorf School in Springs Valley, New York, David met Lama Tsultrim. It was instant recognition when he heard her name mentioned by another teacher in the corridor of the school. Her children attended this school and David taught them theater and Eurythmy. After they met, they fell deeply in love, and this love has gone on for the last 21 years. David took on the responsibilities of co-parenting Lama Tsultrim’s children, being her partner in all ways, and supporting her vision. First, he helped build a stupa dedicated to Tara at their house in Valley Cottage, New York. Then, together they found the land that became Tara Mandala on Sept 18, 1993. At Tara Mandala, the first land project was building another stupa, which David did with his own hands and the assistance of a few people from the native rocks of the land. It is dedicated to Nyala Pema Duddul, was completed in 1999, and consecrated by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. From the first yurt and tepee to the incredible Tara Temple, nothing at Tara Mandala would exist without David. He also kept watch over the finances and worked in his own way with the spirits and animals of the land. To this end, during ten years of outdoor kitchen every summer, there were never any disturbances from bears. David has been a pillar of strength, forbearance and constant support for Lama Tsultrim and her family, who all adored him.

One thing that many people do not know about David is that he was a very great practitioner of Dzog Chen. In conversations with Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche during the past twenty-four hours, Rinpoche told Lama Tsultrim that she should tell people this. He was an advanced practitioner of Tögel, and in the last two years he moved ahead through the four visions rapidly. A few days before he died, he told Lama Tsultrim that he felt his body was disappearing, dissolving. Rinpoche suggests that everyone attempt to mix their minds with his mind, as he was definitely liberated in the Bardo of Dharmata, and he has complete confidence in this. If the Sangha does this it will benefit them greatly. In the last weeks Lama Tsultrim and David had many particularly poignant and deeply felt times, with expression of profound and ever increasing love.

At the same time as his practice was developing extremely rapidly to the point where he was experiencing Tögel visions day and night, David was very burdened by worries about Tara Mandala and surrounding issues, trying to make Tara Mandala grow in a good and stable way, and both he and Lama Tsultrim experienced strong obstacles arising at Tara Mandala this summer. Because of this, Lama Tsultrim called a meeting of some core Tara Mandala people about a week ago, and had asked for certain practices to be started.

Now these practices will continue along with the Zhitro practices for David. If the Sangha could keep a strong protector’s practice and Chöd going with the energy sent to Tara Mandala this would be very helpful. The ultimate practice to do is Prajna Paramita, and in the central nature of mind portion blend your mind with David's in the boundless space of the Dharmata. If you have Dzinpa Rangdröl Dharmapalas, please do that also along with Zhitro every Thursday until Sept 9. If you can do this Lama Tsultrim would be grateful. You can use the attached photo of David for Zhitro and other practices, or use a photo from the online album of David.

It is natural that when something very positive is taking place negativities also arise. However, the suddenness of David’s death and the indications before it show he certainly has been liberated. More difficult is what will be missing at Tara Mandala and for Lama Tsultrim and her family in David’s absence. Please do what you can to help to support the growth and stabilization of Machig Labdrön’s lineage.

Lama Tsultrim will go into retreat shortly after the cremation and will remain in retreat until the Drub Chen. The family retreat will be held by Tara Mandala staff, as well as Charlotte Rotterdam, our beloved former director, who will teach the adult portion of the retreat. Lama Tsultrim has asked Debra Travis, a warm, knowledgeable teacher highly esteemed in the California Sangha who is moving to Tara Mandala in early August, to teach the Sutrayana and Mahayana portions of the Three Yana Retreat. Lama Tsultrim requests as many Sangha as possible attend the Drub Chen where special ceremonies will be done for David.

Blessings from all of us at Tara Mandala.

Online Photo Album
Online Donation Form
Audio File of David singing Song of the Vajra

Death is real
It comes without warning
This body will be a corpse

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