Teal Furnholm, sangha member and mitra sister, passed away very peacefully at her home on June 27, 2022. She had lived through cancer more than a decade ago, but it returned in recent years and finally got the better of her.
Teal began practicing with the Aryaloka Triratna Buddhist community while she was in graduate school at UNH, in approximately 2010. After receiving her PhD. in Molecular Biology she moved to California for several years. While there Teal continued to practice. She posted often on Triratna and Aryaloka facebook pages and always felt part of the sangha. In 2019 Teal moved back to the east coast. Her cancer had returned and she needed to be near Boston for treatment. During these last years she lived with close friends in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. It was these friends who cared for her to the end.
Teal became a mitra in 2021 and asked for ordination at the same time. Teal's positive attitude and her wish to do as much as she possibly could while living was an inspiration. Her sense of urgency to understand and practice the Dharma was ablaze. She was a brilliant student of the Dharma and many benefitted from her questioning mind and her perspectives, which were science and Dharma combined. Teal wanted to share her inspiration with others and wished to teach the Dharma so that others could be free of their suffering. For those of us who knew her, we have only to bring Teal to mind to regain our own focus and sense of urgency.
Teal will be missed by many in the sangha, by her many friends, as well as by her father and step-mother and step-siblings, and her mother. What a bright spark she was! We are fortunate to have known her. The best way we Buddhists can honor Teal is to continue our own practice with confidence and diligence. May all beings be free of suffering.
Friends are welcome to read Teal's writings on her personal site: https://tealfurnholm.wordpress.com/, especially the most recent post from 2021, her Life Statement.
May you be healthy
May you be joyful
May love envelop you
May you be fearless