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Sangha News   Memorial Pages

Annapurna Memorial Page
(aka Annapurna Broffman, Georganne Coffee)

Interview with Annapurna

What's on this page: Notice of her death from her son immediately below
Note from Reuven   On Annapurna from Loring  Annapurna's music   note from DC
Cremation Friday   Rene's Cremation Report   Puja for Annapurna  Rene's Puja Report

A Wonderful Blog for Annapurna - much more than here - photos and memories
Photos of Annapurna's Shrine at the Pine Street Clinic
Sangha News   On Death and Dying Memorial  Index 

6-24-09 - Back in June, Beverly Armstrong sent this poem in memory of Annapurna.


note from Annapurna's Son

click on photo by Reuven Ben Yumin to enlarge

Hello all,

It is with great reluctance that I share some sad news: Annapurna is no longer with us. Her final moments were joyful, peaceful, and without suffering.

As many of you receiving these email are practicing Buddhists, I greatly need your help with telling me what sort of final arrangements we, her family, should now take that would be keeping with Buddhist tradition. Information about what steps should happen next and when would be greatly appreciated.

Love and light to you all,

Nicholas Broffman


From: Reuven <robert[at]>

A jolt for all of us, but then again it's so fragile and so precious we should rededicate ourselves to the highest vision and knowledge that we have. 

Good that she was able to find peace in the final moments—comes through wisdom developed during a deep lifelong meditative practice.    

A practitioner of both Zen and Tibetan Buddhism both should perhaps somehow be included in any farewell ceremony. Those who knew her and loved and respected her may want to, if possible, gather together to commemorate her passage.

Included are two pictures from this past summer when we visited together.

For me she was always an inspiration, a bright shining deva.

Nibbana  paramam  sukha

Santutthi paramam dhănam  


6-13-07 - On Annapurna from Loring Palmer

yes, "graduation time" for annapurna, this sweet and powerful yogini.

thank you for the invitation to write something. because she's been a significant spiritual partner beginning with the acid trip in berkeley's tilden park shortly after her graduation from UC berkeley. she's come a long way, always having discerning insight on what could advance her spiritual evolution. she rose from the murky water like a beautiful white lotus to benefit all who saw her.

she addressed her ongoing struggle with asthma and health issues, by practicing macrobiotics, a year of study with mishio kushi, in boston. and later becoming a capable acupuncturist and assisting her husband at their pine street clinic.

after meeting suzuki roshi and practicing zen at sfzc, she traveled to india to discover the great "maharaji," neem kuroli baba [with baba ram das]. then later, after meeting trungpa rinpoche, return to nepal to be with khentse rinpoche and her dear teacher, dudjom rinpoche. she continued the tibetan connection, and maintained an awesome shrine in her home. later she was part of the ayahuasca church. and she directed me to a road-man for several ayahuasca trips. from the first acid trip in berkeley, to buddhism, to macrobiotics, to healing, she followed through with the intention to evolve and to help others do the same.

her generosity was notable. many, in need, were given gratis treatment at the clinic. she and her husband did what they could for rick fields. she opened her home in larkspur to visiting spiritual teachers. and her solstice celebrations were not to be missed.

so in my grief i see her "graduation"/crossing over, as evolution, continuing to higher levels. i pray for her auspicious rebirth. i feel sadness and gratitude for having been touched by her intelligence and warm heart.



a big p.s. to the message i sent re annapurna: she developed herself as a very good vocalist and was on several cd's. she produced her own recording, "mother of the mystery." [see scan]. her teacher was shafqal ali khan. she made a cd with him, "beyond the beyond." these were recorded at beyond the beyond studios in SF/ beyond the beyond records. if you're not familiar with the music, i would describe it as "journey music"---trippy---like the music played at ayahuasca sessions. "mother of the mystery" is less trippy. she chants the heart sutra beautifully on both recordings. i felt a deep resonance last night as i listened to her sing "gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha."

6-14-07 - Loring wrote:

there is the question, "how did this happen ?" that i've been told, has not been addressed convincingly in the communications. actually, david chadwick conveyed son nick's explanation that it was a heart attack triggered by the medication-of-last-resort, a powerful medicinal spray used to counteract an asthma attack. this seems a logical conclusion. but i don't know.

from my long friendship with annapurna i know that her health and well-being was precarious because of her asthmatic condition. [nick and michael, please help me with this evaluation.] she told me that going right up to death's door was a familiar occurrence for her. an asthma attack would result in wheezing and gasping for breath that would be sheer terror for her: the experience of smothering to death. a blast of the oral spray would save her. but also affect her heart rate[?] as much as possible she avoided the spray but kept it handy just in case.

she became her own physician. she took on her physical infirmity. in the same way she took herself on, spiritually, to diminish her big ego and narcissism. thus she took care of the temple of the body and developed her soul, spiritually. she appears to have achieved success. the physical is transient, ____the soul continues on. having reached the goal of nirvana/unbinding, there's nothing more to be done. the battle is over. victory has been won. the other shore has been reached.

as nick told me, "she was ready."

From Nicholas to Loring

The cause was either cardiac arrest and/or respiratory failure, likely caused by the medication she was taking for her asthma. She may have reached a point where she had no choice but to take another spray of medication to help her breathe, which was perhaps just too stimulating to her heart. Up against a wall with no choice, I think this last spray triggered quick cardiac arrest. She knew - and shared with us - that this was probably the the way her final moments were going to play out.

And in those final moments, which were Saturday morning (a week ago today), she was seated in meditation with her arms together in prayer. In the moments afterwards (either immediately or some time later), she fell forward across her lap, which is how she was found. It was described as a scene of great dignity.


DC - She was found by her ex husband Michael Broffman on Monday. Nicholas was in London with his grandfather when he heard the news.

Shafqat Ali Khan & Annapurna
Beyond the Beyond Records
Mother of the Mystery
Beyond the Beyond

6-13-07 - Annapurna's son Nick, who is in New York, is writing something more to be posted here. He told me by phone today that Annapurna probably died Friday and likely from her acute asthma. He said she expected to die from either that or a heart attack from her asthma medicine. She was discovered Monday at her place in Greenbrae. We discussed having a get-together of her friends out here in the Bay Area later this summer. - DC

6-14-07 - A puja this sat nite at 7 pm with Lama Palden has been set for Annapurna.  - Just got an email from Rico Provasoli who said, "I assume you knew Annapurna, an early student of Suzuki Roshi at SF Zen Center. She passed away this week, cardiac arrest from her asthma inhaler. A puja this sat nite at 7 pm with Lama Palden has been set. Namaste.

The Puja is Saturday June 16 at 7PM at 1938A 4th Street in San Rafael - coming from the freeway 101 go West on 3rd Street which joins with 4th and about a block past that there's a tanning salon on the right then it's just past that.

Thanks - DC


A message from Lama Palden on the Puja and mediation for Annapurna

Dear Friends,

All of us who knew Annapurna greatly appreciated her loving kindness, generosity, wisdom and many outstanding qualities. Many of her friends are doing spiritual practice for her, although I think we all feel that she is in the best hands possible and is undoubtedly doing very well.

We will hold an Amitabha puja for her at Sukhasiddhi Foundation in San Rafael this Saturday evening, June 16th at 7 pm. This is a Tibetan Buddhist meditation ceremony to shower her with love and merit so as to create the best possible circumstances for her now and in the future. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Please arrive a little early so we can start on time. Flowers are welcome. Directions are on our website below. all my love and prayers for all of you,

Lama Palden
Sukhasiddhi Foundation

1938A Fourth Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
Lama Palden's office: (415) 721-2952

6-14-07 - An email from Annapurna's son Nicholas on the cremation.

Hello all,

The cremation will begin at 3pm (Pacific Time) tomorrow, Friday, at the following location:

Valley Memorial Park
650 Bugeia Ln
Novato, CA 94945
(415) 897-9609

Directions are at the bottom of this email.

The cremation will take approximately two to two and a half hours to complete. All are welcome to stop by at any point, either for just a moment or until completion.

It's certainly not necessarily to bring anything, but because people have asked, a snack to share is something to consider. There's a lawn area, too, so consider bringing a blanket or chair as well.

For those who haven't seen it, there's a blog now:

Should you have photos, stories, or anything else you want to share, please feel free to post something (or email me and I'll post it for you).

Best wishes,


4-17-07 Rene Pettit reports on the cremation

Annapurna's cremation ceremony was a wonderful family gathering in novato off of atherton road. the setting was other-world funereal. it was stunning. she died in the lotus position -fully dressed for work-doing puja at her alter. her upper body was slumped foward over her legs. her ashes will be made into a thousand butter balls to be burned in tibetan ceremonies around the world. howie klein, david chadwick and i were the only ones from zen center to attend. maharaji neem-karoli baba and dudjom rinpoches groups were well represented. besides michio kuchi, they were her main practice groups after zen center. tomorrow night is a puja at lama paldens in san rafael and the maharajis people are planning something afterwords. it is amazing how well-loved she is. her records must have widened her fame as the cremation was that of a holy being. i cried all the way there on my motorcycle and stayed in tears most of the day. her first husband, will be there

tomorrow. her daughter by him is excruciatingly beautiful with a smile of welcome rivaling her mothers if such a thing is possible. the old ex-con was touched to the point of cosmic intimacy. a great being has passed.

6-21-07 - Rene Pittet's report on The Amitabha Puja for Annapurna

The Amitabha Puja for Annapurna was held Saturday night at the Sukhasiddha Foundation on the miracle mile between San Rafael and Redhill in San Anselmo. Lama Palden's readings were from facsimile woodblock prints, both in tibetan and english. Songs of Milarespa and other tibetan saints were sung by all. Pictures of Annapurna in prayer, laughing merrily, and giving birth( halfin and halfout) to her lovely daughter Gita adorned the alter. Flowers were everywhere and seemed to never stop arriving. As did her buddhist and secular friends, more than a hundred of which crowded into the immaculate shrine room. The ceremony was low-key elegant with great human warmth. Photographs of her beloved gurus, from Neem Karoli Baba to Dudjom Rinpoche, the 16th and 17th Karmapas, Jamgon Kontrul to the Dalai Lama were in attendance. Lama Palden conducted the entire ceremony with a most delicate deference to the departed Annapurna. She also read a message from Dudjom's successor in Nepal who knew Annapurna well and sent his prayers and blessings, although he added that they might not be necessary as her practice was so mature. So many beautiful women were in attendance that I found myself staring at them all, like a small boy hidden safely among a clique of old inja hands, who all seem to have been Maharaji dedvotees in the early seventies. The most seminally famous among the lot was Dhammadipo, Annapurnas first husband. He affirmed the legend was true that Maharaji told him to marry Annapurna, and that he did so, within a year. They stayed together for several years during which the incomparable Gita was born. There was talk of Bagavan Das and Dhammadipo meeting in greece in 1964, a full ten years before the famous Ram Dass interlude. The conversation drifted from Dhammadipo living in a house in Nepal he could not stand up in, as he is six feet four, to Ram Dass overstaying his endless visa extensions and being thrown out of the country. All the while I could hear women nearby telling anecdotal stories of Annapurna and her unending generosity to all. Her second husband, Michael Broffman, the father of her son Nicholas, managed to remain the perfect host throughout two sequential days of ceremonies and well-intentioned reminiscences, tirelessly giving due-diligence to every detail and well-wisher. He is such a calm, balanced guy. Annapurna chose her men well, and together they wove exemplary lives of mythmaking, healing and social responsibility in our new tantric age. A legend of our time has passed but not without leaving new shoots of incredible lightness. Annapurna had prepared both her husbands and two children for the eventuality that she might die from an asthma attack, or from a heart attack, brought on by her inhaler, to ward off an asthma attack. She was ready and they, too, were ready, the family revealed at yesterdays cremation. Most of us are not called to die like Annapurna, locked in the devotional lotus embrace, an inhaler-dorje clasped in our outstretched hand, clutched to the bosom of our belief, forevermore! What are we to think or say when such a being has dwelled among us?.................Perhaps we can only bow in gratitude for the enduring brightness of her example in our lives: OM MANI PADME HUM.

click on photo by Reuven Ben Yumin to enlarge

Photos of Annapurna's Shrine at the Pine Street Clinic in San Anselmo by Rene Pittet

   The Pine Street Clinic

Entering the Clinic

Looking at the front


  Annapurna Shrine

  Annapurna Shrine close

  Annapurna Shrine closer

see the Pine Street Foundation website.

The Pine Street Clinic
124 Pine St
San Anselmo, CA 94960
(415) 485-0484
Get directions

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