A Mentor, Departed

Dr. Marsha Woolf with His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama
Dr. Marsha Woolf ran the Tibetan Refugee Health Care Project and the office of world-renown Dr. Yeshi Dhonden in the heart of Chelsea for many years. I was sent to volunteer under her supervision in 2007 when I first began studying with the Nechung Foundation and Monastery. She was tough, often fierce, & always instructed from a place of loving-kindness.

During my training in Heart Sutra and Diamond Cutter Sutra, Dr. Woolf embodied the teachings. She lived her life for the care of others and walked the path in every action she made. During my time with the clinic, I witnessed the miracle of patients with end-stage illnesses getting better with Tibetan medicine when all other doctors had given up hope. I also grieved alongside them when the patients often arrived who were too far gone in their illness and lost their battle.

The dying were able to face death with calm serenity after spending sessions with her. Dr. Woolf told me once that death is a part of life we overlook until it is shoved in our face.

"Living with awareness," she often said, " is critical to surviving the Storms of Life."

Her highest criticism of me was that I was a lion who taught herself to be an antelope. So I had to face my fears to continue working in the clinic. I did only because she gave me hope that I could do so.

We are not often blessed in this life to have wise teachers. Some of us walk the path solitary until we are called back to the Source. For this reason, I have so much gratitude to have known this remarkable woman who helped so many without asking for anything in return. Dr. Marsha Woolf's journey is living proof that one person can make a difference.

She will be missed.


"When you die, you rejoice & the world cries." - Tibetan proverb.


Take some time today to express gratitude 
for your own teachers on the Path. 


Blog Archive