By Mimi Pollack
July 2, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - There is an old expression about a boy and his dog, but in this case it is a Tibetan spiritual teacher and his dog, Tashi, a nine year old Pomeranian, and the resident dog at the Drikung Kyobpa Choling [DKC] Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center in Escondido, CA. DKC was founded in 1996 by Drupon Samten, the spiritual director, and his long time assistant, nun, and fellow animal lover, Ani Chodron. Tashi was a gift to them.
Tashi is an important and devoted member of the center. He is very smart and likes to take part in all of the center’s activities. When construction and landscaping were being done to expand the center, Tashi worked alongside Drupon fetching whatever tool he needed. Tashi is trained in both Tibetan and English. For several years, DKC held fundraising events to cover the cost of the construction and Drupon worked closely with Tashi, teaching him many clever tricks, so they could perform at theses events. They put on a successful show that delighted the audience. To this day, Tashi will lie down and pray, do prostrations, and chant with Drupon.
Drupon thinks Tashi is a very compassionate dog who is tuned into others and wants to please. If Drupon is sick, Tashi never leaves his side. He also does not chase lizards or rabbits when they are working outdoors, and instead, he likes to get close to them. He likes to join the others during the meditation ceremonies and remains calm and quiet. He gives healing energy and companionship. Finally, he also knows how to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Tashi loves to wear the Tibetan meditation hat and robe that Drupon made especially for him, and Drupon even grooms Tashi himself. Tashi will pose for pictures and knows others are enjoying his antics. He is truly a treasured member at the DKC Tibetan Meditation Center. For more information on the center and Tashi, their website is
Mimi Pollack is an ESL teacher at Grossmont College and freelance writer.