David Petit (11 August 1955 - 22 July 2010), dedicated co-founder of southern Colorado's truly beautiful Tara Mandala, energetic stupa builder, and beloved husband of Lama Tsultrim Allione, has suffered a fatal heart attack during his sleep. The following statement has been released:
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.
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.