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Buddhadharma : Summer 2009
91 summer 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly On a Saturday night in January the body of Richard Manz, a beloved member of the Nalandabodhi com- munity, was discovered. He had taken his own life at age 58. Richard was the gentlest of gentle souls. He was soft-spoken, kind, gener- ous and had a tender heart. He loved Nalanda West, our sangha’s main center in Seattle, and the Nalandabodhi sangha. He loved his cat and other animals. An artist and a fine craftsman, he moved slowly and deliberately and never seemed to be in a rush. He was a true gentleman who brought out the best in people. Those who worked with Richard appreciated his precision, thoughtful- ness, and care. He also had a playful sense of humor, which was delight- ful. He was most comfortable in jeans and work clothes, and never backed away from hard physical labor. He was always willing to lend a helping hand, which he did seemingly countless times, frequently assisting Nalanda West and Nalandabodhi with renovation and con- struction projects. Richard was tireless in his service to His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa, to Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, and to his root guru, Dzogchen Pon- lop Rinpoche. It is difficult to articu- late all the ways he offered his service to the lineage and our sangha. Many of the things he did were unknown to many because he never talked about his accomplishments. Richard Henry Manz was born on November 24, 1950 in Cleveland, where We Welcome your submissions to Lives Lived. send your essay and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org Lynne Conrad Marvet and robert Fors were co-directors of nalanda West from 2003 to 2008, where they worked closely with richard Manz. he spent his early childhood. He went to high school in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and attended college in Austin, Texas, where he received a degree in fine arts. Over the years he also lived in Rio Ran- cho, New Mexico, and Scottsdale, Ari- zona, where he designed fine jewelry for the Art Deco artist, Erté. Richard moved back to Austin and was living there when he met Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche who was teaching at a Treasury of Knowledge retreat in San Antonio. In 2003, having decided he wanted to be near his guru, Richard sold his Austin home and moved to Seattle. He made a generous financial contribution to Nalanda West from the proceeds of his house sale. Richard didn’t care much about material things, and he lived his life very simply. He stopped using email a couple of years ago, limiting communica- tion with him to phone or in person. Richard struggled with debilitat- ing depression for many years. Sev- eral Nalandabodhi sangha members worked with him and talked with him about his illness. As is often the case for people with depression, he found it hard to reach out to others for help, and found it hard to express the depths of his suffering. Sometimes the dark places of our experience can become isolating and lonely. Sometimes the pain can be immobilizing. This was true for Richard. Yet, it is his kindness, exertion, art- istry, and gentleness that will be his leg- acy. Richard offered his body and soul in service to his guru. His tender loving care and personal touch is part of the fabric, the heart, and soul of Nalanda West, as the center of our mandala. This merit and love is beyond time, beyond space, and beyond death. Lives Lived remembering richard manz By Lynne Conrad marvet and robert Fors Richard Manz and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche at Nalanda West in Seattle jAmesprouty