Prema Swearingenmet His Eminence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche in 1987, and moved to Junction City in 1990.
For twenty years Prema has lived next door to Rigdzin Ling and has participated in a variety of projects there. Some of these projects were: learning to carve the designs of the nimbus (halo) that is behind the Guru Rinpoche statue; painting a nimbus for another statue, and the shrine it sits on; participating in almost every stage of the making of the eight great stupas at Rigdzin Ling which were finished in 2000. When Rigdzin Ling’s 16 prayer flag poles needed new gyaltsens, Prema organized the project and coordinated a team to make them.
For the last two years Prema has been coordinating the restoration of the eight stupas at Rigdzin Ling. This has involved restoring cracked concrete, making new molds and plaques, adhering them to the stupas and painting them. She spent many weeks devising, with co-workers a new, safe method for hanging the four hundred brilliant, five-colored prayer flags that have hung behind the stupas for more than ten years. The sheer beauty and awesome roar of four hundred brightly colored prayer flags flapping in the strong wind at Rigdzin Ling will be remembered by all who have heard it.
Prema has been coordinating the start-up of the project to make 14,000 tsatsas that will fill the Tsatsa House, between the seventh and eighth stupas. She is also involved with coordinating the maintenance of the Guru Rinpoche statue and roof, fountain and pond, and the maintenance of the Vajrakilaya prayer wheel house that sits between the fifth and sixth stupas.
She enjoys working with volunteers of all ages.