Memorial for Ramona Johnson, One Global Village founder, June 2, 2013
To honor Ramona’s memory, we will be raising funds specifically for building a kitchen at Nyingchen Nunnery. The nunnery was first founded in 1772 by DudDrol Dorje, the thirteenth reincarnation of the Karmapa. It was a Meditation Center at the time and later turned into a nunnery by Kachen Dorje, a famous Terton in the Kham region. The land where the nunnery stood was purchased by a local Tibetan doctor who researched the nunnery’s history and committed to restoring it. Currently the nunnery supports 37 anis primarily from the local areas. Ramona had visited the nunnery and was enthusiastic about raising funds for the people of a kitchen and dining room so that all the nuns could cook and eat communally rather than in their separate rooms.
All money raised in June and July, unless otherwise specified, will go to the nunnery project
Ramona was a beloved member of our community from the very beginning, as well as a friend to Lama and practitioner alike. She set a fine example to us in so many way. Ramona graduated from Nursing School in Chicago, Illinois. She then went to work as a Public Health nurse in the Rainbow Bridge Navajo Indian Reservation. In her nursing career she worked as a Public Health nurse at Rainbow Bridge Navajo Indian reservation, John Hopkins in Baltimore, Pima County at the Teresa Lee Clinic. She also taught public health nursing at the U of A and at Texas Women’s University. Ramona also was a public nurse educator in Haiti and in Bangladesh.
After Ramona retired from nursing she embarked on a shamanic studies program where she first connected with Tibetan Shamanism, with which she felt a great kinship. Upon completion she went into a one year silent retreat. It was after this retreat she went into a Tibetan shop in Santa Fe where she met people who told her of a teacher who was in town, and she was invited to this teaching. The teacher was Garchen Rinpoche. Ramona’s daughter says the moment she met Garchen Rinpoche “she knew that this was her next journey in life.” After meeting Garchen Rinpoche Ramona decided she wanted to help. She spent two summers teaching nomadic children in Tibet. She then met Kevin Stuart and taught at his Education and Technology Project for 2 years in Xining. It was after this experience that Ramona started One Global Village – – to help enable the Tibetans to help their own people in Tibet.
Ramona was a volunteer for DNL and for many other worthy endeavors, including Dharmakirti Collage, Arizona Friends of Tibet. Ramona was always kind, always happy to see each of us, always searching for ways to be more helpful, always empathetic to each person’s plight. She will truly be missed.
We at One Global Village are committed to continuing the work that Ramona and others started. We have been communicating with our Tibetan friends and assuring them of our continued support. Although we feel a great loss and acknowledge that it was Ramona’s energy, gentle spirit and love for the Tibetan people that inspired us, we feel honored to continue the work that has been started.