Lama Sidney has been living the Dharma for the past 50 years. These days his life revolves around his teaching and his spiritual practice. Unfortunately his old trailer has become unlivable. So we’re halfway in the process of building him a new home. It will also contain a space where students can gather to get precious Tibetan Buddhist teachings.
The situation in 2019
Lama’s trailer on the Hermitage grounds developed leaks, often a problem in the BC rainforest. This resulted in mold infestation. We’ve cleaned up the Trailer since 2018, but Lama Sidney has other health conditions that require a larger space that allows for homecare.
Construction began in the fall of 2019 with the generous donations of dozens of supporters from the 2018 campaign. Now, we need your help and donations to finish a Home for Lama Sidney.
As of October 2019, an unfinished shell of the cabin has been completed. Roofing, electrical, plumbing and interior remain to be finished. We need more donations to be able to complete the home for Lama Sidney.
Lama Karma Tsultrim Namdak Rinpoche (aka Sidney McQueen-Smith, M.D. or, as he is affectionately known to his friends, ‘Lama Sid’) was first ordained as a monk of the Theravadan order at Wat Mahatat in Thailand in 1968, at the age of 24. His teachers at that time included the renowned Vipassana master Chao Khun Rajasiddhimuni. Following his ordination Lama studied and practiced the strict discipline of a monk in Thailand for two years, learning the Pali language, and engaging in an intense daily regime of vipassana meditation practice.
His lengthy practice of meditation bore fruit, but upon his return to his homeland in 1970, he found it necessary to give back his robes and reenter lay life as there was no support for Buddhist monastics in Canada at that time. Fortunately, prior to his return, while in Calcutta, India, he had met and become a student of His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa, spiritual head of the Ka’gyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. Thanks to the guidance he’d received from His Holiness, he was able to continue practice, applying techniques of yoga and tantric practice designed specifically for people of lay status. It was thus that he learned of the value of many practices unique to Tibetan Buddhism.
In the years that followed, Lama Sidney continued his spiritual practice while earning a living at a wide variety of jobs, including working at a sawmill green chain, as a dishwasher, as a long-distance truck driver, and a construction foreman, to name just a few. In 1977 at the age of 30, Lama attended medical school and went on to spend years as a doctor in central Manitoba, living and working on First Nation reserves, often flying out to remote Inuit communities to provide medical services.
Lama Tsultrim was installed as a Lama by his root master Namgyal Rinpoche in Ontario in the late seventies, and is a holder of the Namgyal lineage. Lama has received innumerable empowerments from a long list of eminent masters, including His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche, Kyabje Namgyal Rinpoche, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche, and Ayang Rinpoche. Upon his retirement from medical practice in 2008, Lama Sidney dedicated himself to teaching the Dharma in Nanaimo, B.C., Canada, where he lived for a number of years before moving to the Hermitage. Wishing to return to monastic life, he received full Bhikshu re-ordination in 2011 from his root master, His Eminence Tai Situ Kentin Rinpoche at Sherab Ling Monastery in India. Shortly thereafter Lama Tsultrim received the title of “Rinpoche” (lit., precious one) in recognition of his position in the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Lama Tsultrim now lives in semi-retirement on the Hermitage property, and continues to teach Buddha-Dharma to all who come in search of his knowledge and guidance.
You can watch a Youtube Playlist with his precious teachings on:
Lama Sidney has an amazing community backing him up: his brother, Lyle Mc-Queen has led the build of his home, and we’ve built the exterior shell of a cabin (about 630 square feet) on the grounds of the Hermitage, a space that Lama can call home that will meet his needs.
Additionally, the space will provide a private area for up to ten practitioners to come and receive precious teachings from Lama Sidney.
Artist Render of Lama's Home
The Hermitage is a meditation retreat in Denman Island, BC. Our Mission is to share the spiritual tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and meditation in such a way as to be meaningful to Western people.
Most of the Team lives in the Hermitage, volunteering to provide support for the Meditation Retreats that go on at the Hermitage (www.thehermitage.ca). We have a wide range of skills, but we need more people, especially experienced electricians, plumbers, roofers, etc.
Lisa Devenish & Lama Rodney Devenish: Founders of the Hermitage.
Lyle Mc-Queen Smith: Builder and Lama Sidney’s Brother.
Bill Hicks: ED and Volunteer Builder.
Karma Dorje: Monk and Resident.
Joy Brockman: Architect.
Emiliano Marquez: Filmmaker, volunteer builder.
The total cost of the project is $120,000 CA. But $55,000 of is being donated already in labor by our generous volunteers. Last year over $14,000 CA was donated by generous supporters. A generous amount of materials were donated as well.
We need to raise $30,000CA to finish his cabin. Additional to the $8,630 previously donated by generous donors.
Please help us manifest this if you can! Your contribution will help keep the precious teachings that Lama Sidney holds, alive. As well as financial contributions, we welcome donated building supplies (e-mail: [email redacted] before donating any supplies) and any offers for volunteer labor, specially skilled carpenters, roofers, electricians and plumbers.
Thank you so much !
The Hermitage Team
- Jacob Alanjian
- Laurel Carrington
- Jim Heller
- Elaine Pelletier
Denman Island, BC