This Dharma Protector day, as a fellow female translator, and as a personal friend, I am sharing this newly-launched Garchen Buddhist Institute (GBI) fundraiser to raise money for a home for Ina Bieler, Garchen Rinpoche’s personal translator for over 17 years.

Five months ago, in January 2022, after watching the GBI Director give the GBI annual accounts report online (and seeing where the money was being spent and used), I wrote to GBI asking them to launch a fundraiser for a home for Ina after she had informed me of her simple (yet dismal) living arrangements for many years and lack of funds in general. I never received any reply from them. However, whether it was connected to my request or not, I was delighted to read about this fundraising initiative launched yesterday and wanted to share it with followers of the DT page, who so actively and generously support Dharma translations and translators.  For example, several articles I have written about Garchen Rinpoche’s teachings have been mainly due to having Ina’s excellent oral translations of them (see  here).

Donations for the fundraiser can be made at this link on the GBI website, here: The email message from GBI is posted below here. 

I always remember, several years ago (before I completed my postgraduate degree in Tibetan Buddhism and had a book published) being very inspired by the example of Ina as one of the few female Dharma translators, in a world still very much dominated by men and monks. A beautiful woman who is also very talented and dedicated as as a translator. English is not her native language either.

Being an administrator is a commonplace skill and does not require special talent or years of specialist skills, training and profound knowledge. However, being a first-class Dharma translator is not only about Tibetan language ability (which takes years of study, often in India or Nepal) but also specialist understanding and study of Buddhist philosophy. Many of Garchen Rinpoche’s teachings have been extremely profound on subjects such as Mahamudra, Dzogchen and so on. That also requires years of study and effort not only to understand correctly but also to translate into English. Such skills and knowledge are rare and precious indeed. The fact that Garchen Rinpoche chose a woman like that to be his translator, also reveals his fearless love and respect for women and their innate wisdom. Ina is, without doubt, one (if not the only)  reason why Garchen Rinpoche’s activities have flourished and been so popular and beneficial for so many! 

It really is time to repay the kindness! May Ina get a suitable home and much more for her priceless and valuable service to infinite beings and the Dharma!

Music?‘Free Money’ by Patti Smith…..'”Every night before I go to sleep, find a ticket, win a lottery, scoop the pearls up from the sea, cash them in and buy you all the things you need.”  

For an interview with Ina Bieler about being a translator, see here:
N.B Since writing this post new information as come to light re the fundraiser, please see update below (31st May 2022). 

Written by Adele Tomlin, 29th May 2022. Updated on 31st May 2022.

Many thanks for all the comments and support! However, I was surprised to read in the GBI Director’s second email update on the fundraiser (that has raised over 80 000 USD for Ina in just one day) that they will own the property/home itself bought from all the donations for Ina. I, as a donor, thought that the donations and home would all be owned directly by Ina herself as they were given directly for her service. So I have since emailed GBI and asked them to make sure she is the owner of the home and that part of the money, or any excess donations as a monetary gift also be given directly to her. Their response was that it would not be tax-deductible if it goes directly to her, which is fine with me.
I have also since been made aware that recently Ina (who has been living in a basic, single room at the centre for years, with a small stipend) was considering leaving the centre because of the lack of suitable living space for her age, role, activities and her new husband. However, it is reported that the Director of the GBI, lives in a big white house at GBI with lots of space for herself alone, seemingly paid for with donor money. Thus, it now seems this fundraiser was  launched more as a response to stop Ina leaving and keeping her there working for very little, rather than genuinely repaying her kindness and service, as it was claimed by the GBI Director in the original email. Also, Ina was never consulted or agreed the fundraiser and what would be done with money raised with the GBI Director before it was first announced.  
In addition, I have been informed that Ina was also kept like a prisoner in GBI during the COVID restrictions, without freedom of movement to and from the centre. In the USA, as in all other countries, it was (and is) a person’s free choice if they want to get the injections or not. They have never been mandatory with good reasons. Insisting Ina quarantine every time she leaves and comes back to the centre is thus heavy-handed and unnecessary, and caused Ina (and her family/friends etc) psychological stress and personal difficulties. Considering these challenges Ina faced (and many more not mentioned here) it is even more remarkable that she has been able to continue her phenomenal translation work, with an output unmatched by any other oral translator.
In any case, if you also would like the money and home to go directly to Ina for her to own and control, and not GBI, please do also write to GBI (email address is and say you would like the home and your donation to go directly to Ina (and be owned by her without any conditions attached). It would be great for Ina also to get a monetary lump sum from the donations so she can also have some personal savings for the future.


“Dear Worldwide Sangha,

For those of us who do not speak Tibetan and who value the precious vast dharma teachings that our beloved teacher H.E. Garchen Rinpoche has transmitted to us, we have one person we are especially indebted to – his translator Ina Bieler. If Ina did not have an excellent mastery of Garchen Rinpoche’s specific dialect, we would not have been able to receive Rinpoche’s inconceivable dharma blessings with such accuracy. I know his dharma gift has been absolutely life changing for me and I imagine the same is true for thousands of Garchen Rinpoche’s students worldwide. Ina has worked so hard for the last 17 years to improve her translation skills, translating thousands of Garchen Rinpoche’s teachings worldwide and numerous texts. She has tirelessly served us all day and night, helping to translate thousands of our questions and requests of Garchen Rinpoche. She has served with kindness and patience, enduring countless hardships and we have all been the beneficiaries of her sustained diligent efforts.

As many of you know, Ina has served for very little pay for almost two decades with no chance to amass any savings for her future. Now Ina is in need of a modest home at the Garchen Institute. My hope is that you will be inspired to repay Ina’s kindness and make a donation to the Garchen Institute specifically for this cause. This is one of those times when the power of the sangha can truly manifest abundance and everyone can create merit in the process. Whatever the size of your donation (all tax deductible) – together we can show Ina our immense gratitude.

Examples of how we could manifest this gift of gratitude of $220,000 for a much needed home for Ina:

If 200 of us donated $1100 each

If 400 of us donated $550 each

If 800 of us donated $275 each

If 1000 of us donated $220 each

If 2000 of us donated $110 each

If 3000 of us donated $73.30 each

If 4000 of us donated $55 each

Rarely do we get a chance to show our appreciation to Ina in such a meaningful way.


We will post the progress on our website so everyone can see the manifestation. I have donated and hope you will too! May Ina truly experience the enormity of our profound gratitude for her amazing service! With great appreciation, Christina Lundberg Director at the Garchen Institute Here is a note from one of the board members of the Garchen Institute and the Southwest Buddhafield Endowment Fund and long time devoted student – Will Evans:

“For 17 years now, Ina has basically lived out of a suitcase. Even at the Garchen Institute, she’s had to move from room to room. She has given her youth enduring hardship for our sake. Despite that, she is humble and friendly to us all, despite our demands. She continues to share her deep, intuitive knowledge of Rinpoche’s vajra speech. Ina is very kind. The teachings I’ve received from Garchen Rinpoche have all come through her. I probably would not be alive today, if not for my connection to Rinpoche— I almost feel I owe my life to Ina’s kindness. I have a debt to her that I can never repay. All these years, while I have harvested the fruit of her exertion, Ina has lived as a nomad. Minimal pay, endless workload, hours early and late. While she has been striving for others, I have mostly spent my time making myself comfortable. Right now, help is needed to provide Ina a modest home. I sincerely feel it’s time to give something back. To really thank Ina. To acknowledge her. Around the world, how many of us are indebted to Ina? Many thousands. It is truly joyful to repay a debt of gratitude! With a happy heart I pledge to help Ina have a home. I hope you will, too. ” Will Evans

“Dear Worldwide Sangha,
Thank you all for your generous response to the call for donations to help manifest a house for Ina to live in at the Garchen Institute. It’s so important that the Institute can provide proper housing for Ina and support her important work that greatly benefits us all!
As the Institute is a non profit we rely entirely on donations to generate everything here.
The new house that will be created at the Institute will be used by Ina for as long as she continues to serve here. It is Ina’s hope to spend the rest of her life at the Institute to translate for H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, create a comprehensive archive of his teachings and translate for other teachers at the Institute and in the mandala.
Your donations are tax deductible because the Institute will own the house but it’s being specifically created for Ina to use. Donating for this house is a way that we can all show our gratitude for Ina’s major gift of service to all of us!
In the last 48 hours the outpouring of gratitude has been inspiring! $88,568 has been donated. We only need $131,432 more to reach our goal.
Please help make this dream a reality and repay the kindness to Ina!We greatly appreciate donations of every size.”


    1. Please see update, if you want the money to go directly to Ina (instead of to GBI), you need to contact GBI and specifically request that and they will make it a non-tax deductible gift to her 🙂

  1. Thank you for promoting this! Ina has been our voice of H.E. Garchen Rinpoche for many years and a treasure for us. More recently, you have been impressively prolific, generous, and helpful. Thank you also!

    In loving Dharma, Peter

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