Died – Elisa Gonzalez

By the Shelburne Falls glacial potholes, 2015 (ChNN retreat at Tsegyalgar East), photo by Robyn Kinsey

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear Vajra sister, Elisa Gonzalez who left her body peacefully in San Antonio, TX on January 9, 2024 at 7:55 am surrounded by friends and family.

Elisa touched the lives of many, as she devoted most of her life to the dharma from the 1970s onward. 

Elisa Gonzalez was drawn to spirituality in her youth when she continually asked herself: “Why is there so much suffering in the world?” This question remained with her during her studies at the University of the Americas in Mexico City. She began by studying Theosophy and later Buddhism. In 1984, Elisa returned to San Antonio, Texas, already deeply involved in Shambhala Buddhism, she helped found a local center. In her term as director, Elisa taught meditation in both English and Spanish, making Buddhism accessible to the city’s Hispanic community. 

In 2007 she met Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. Elisa, never being one to hesitate, dove in immediately and in 2008 served as Secretary of Tsegyalgar West and in 2012 she joined Blue Gakyil of Tsegyalgar East.

During these years she attended summer retreats with Jim Valby at Khandroling as well as retreats with Rinpoche at Tsegyalgar West, Tashigar Norte, Merigar West and many retreats at Tsegyalgar East.

Throughout her life Elisa demonstrated the Bodhisattva vow of putting others first and holding nothing back for herself. She embodied lovingkindness and openness to all and was a true spiritual friend. Elisa will be greatly missed.

Nancy Paris and Robyn Kinsey

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