Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Unsolicited Reviews

I read the book during the first few days of one of our Warrior Assemblies - it goes to show that Dharma can enter otherwise than through the actual teachings themselves - these stories were like bathing in Dharma - for once I could put together both my love for reading stories with my love for reading Dharma. In a word, thank you. Thank you for preserving and presenting in such a thorough and complete way these precious recollections.

Jim Lindsey, Drala Book & Gifts, Halifax, Nova Scotia


Anonymous said...

As for the Blazing book, it's terrific. I wrote you an email, but I know you're busy so I'll say it again: thank you! thank you! thank you! If it weren't for you, well, we non-tibetan sentient beings would be pretty screwed.
love, joe

Anonymous said...

I'm loving the memoirs.I'm up to "Two Special Uncles..."

The stories are great. I am loving reading about these lineage masters as human beings who do sublime things, funny things, angry things, silly things.

I love how TUR's father started out as such a feisty warrior and was "tamed" by his meeting with Chonchok Rinpoche. Also, how Khyentse kept getting upset with Patrul for turning the lineage holders into monks!!!

The human quality is something that I've always felt was missing in a lot of namthar's that I've read. The masters seem so saintly all the time, that it is difficult to relate.

Here we see people who, if not exactly like you and me, at least have enough human qualities to make someone like me feel that attainment of enlightenment is not just a pipe dream.

Learning about their lives makes saying the lineage prayer so nice too, because its not just a bunch of names now.

Anonymous said...

We have one copy of this book. My wife and I were in bed last night arguing about which one of us could read it...

Anonymous said...

It is with great joy and gratitude that I rejoice in reading this truly marvelous book. I was fortunate to have a copy gifted to me and I am finding it a deeply meaningful and wonderful experience to read. I am so grateful to you both for all the hard work that went into making this book happen.

Anonymous said...

Blazing devotion

With my body having left wonderful Gomde Denmark behind for this year, it is great to have this wonderful book as a companion and inspiration.

It helps my mind getting back to the universal Gomde, for for people who practice where they are, and to the wonderful stories. It makes the lineage prayers become so much more alive.

I really like the story about Sakya Shri's encampment, and the daily routines for the practitioners there.


Anonymous said...

For the past few weeks I have been reading, more accurately perhaps, devouring, Blazing Splendor, by Erik, Marcia and others. Devouring and relishing, staying up late, never wanting the narrative to end. Now it has, and I feel like saying, on behalf of myself, who did not have sufficient merit to meet Tulku Urgyen in this life, that it has been invaluable to be able to catch a glimpse of him and various other great masters, by way of his memoirs.
I feel truly happy, having been able to glean insights from the text, as well as refreshed and so very inspired. So, countless thanks to all involved, plus heartfelt appreciation for the effort.
I also want to mention the wry humour, which I enjoyed to a fault. The Chokling of Tsikey is a particular favourite, but to be honest I was continuously impressed. As one should be.

All the best,


Anonymous said...

Guilty reading pleasure !

Anonymous said...

A big, big thank you to Erik and Marcia (and all the others who helped) for Blazing Splendor! I read it in Greece and it really touched me deeply. What a wonderful and inspiring book. Thanks. Love, Tina

Rigzin said...

Hi Everyone:

Here is my announcement to the Riwoche Sangha in Toronto of the September 24 reading that we will be hosting. It also has a fuller review of my own impressions of this wonderful book:

Dear Sangha:

Although Chokling Rinpoche is not able to come to Toronto this year,
we are fortunate to host an exciting event as part of the launch tour
for the memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche: "Blazing Splendor:
The Memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche."

The book's editor, Michael Tweed will be at the temple to read
excerpts from the book and show video of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
teaching. The event takes place at the Riwoche Temple, Saturday
September 24 at 7:30 PM. There is no charge for admission. Donations, as
always, will be accepted.

Having recently finished the book, I can tell you that it is a great
read on several levels:

It gives a wonderful account of the three great tertons, Chokgyur
Lingpa, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgon Kongtrul. The way these
three worked together to reveal and transmit dharma teachings that
are now being practiced all over the world is one of the truly great
spiritual renaisances to have ever taken place in history. The book
gives a vivid sense of how the confluence of these three great rivers
produced a mighty torrent of benefit for all those of us who have
stood "downstream" ever since.

For anyone practicing the Chokling Tersar lineage, it is an excellent
primer on the lineage holders, their lives, miracles and all their
human idiosyncracies. Although it is very respectful, Tulku Urgyen
Rinpoche presents these men and women as fully human, so the stories
of their lives are as likely to set you laughing on one page as
crying on the next. It really deepens the experience of saying the
lineage prayer at the start of the Trinley Nyingpo practice, to have
a fuller picture of who these people were.

For anyone with a connection to the Longchen Nyingthig, there are
wonderful accounts of Patrul Rinpoche, HH Dudjom Rinpoche, HH Dilgo
Khyentse Rinpoche, Chatral Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche - all
very important teachers and root gurus of our own teacher, Khenpo
Sonam Rinpoche.

The book opens with an account of the length to which Tulku Urgyen
Rinpoche's grandmother went to be sure that the Chokling Tersar would
continue to be transmitted. It continues all the way through with
accounts of her activities and those of other esteemed women in the
lineage. Something that is often rare in spiritual biographies of
this kind.

It is also an excellent account of the last days of a free Tibet and
the struggles that various lamas went through in escaping to freedom
to the West.

The real beauty of the book, however, is that within these very
engaging "stories" lies a treasure trove of rich dharma teachings in
easy to understand language, that are immediately applicable to our

The best way to learn is when we don't even realize that we are being
taught. In an effortless way, Tulku Urgyen tells one fascinating
story after an other. Once we reach the end, we realize that we
have learned valuable truths about how to apply the richness of the
Dzogchen tradition itself.

There is an excellent glossary (also online) with helpful definitions
and explanations of various Dzogchen practices, termas, lineage
holders, etc.

Best of all, Erik Pema Kunzang, Marcia Binder Schmidt and Michael
Tweed (to whom these stories were told by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche) have
managed to effectively capture Tulku Urgyen's "voice." Although I
never met him personally, the style of writing conveys a true human
(if extraordinary) individual. I came away from reading the book
with a sense that I had been there too, sitting at his feet hearing
these wonderful teachings myself.

Many thanks are owed to all those who put so much effort in sharing
their personal blessing with the rest of us.

The book can be ordered through the following link, and Michael will
bring copies for purchase on the night of the reading.

I hope to see you there.


Anonymous said...

I spent much of the weekend immersing myself in "Blazing Splendor," the newly-published memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche compiled by Erik Pema Kunsang and Marcia Binder Schmidt.
At the risk of sounding like a gushing teenager (which I am "so not"), I have to say that the book is fabulous. There were times when I literally could not put it down.
There are stories of many of the well-known teachers of Tibet's rime movement, and teachers who came after that. Some of the teachers discussed are "Old Khyentse" (Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo), Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, and the terton Chokgyur Lingpa, who was Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's great-grandfather.
For those of us who love "the woo-woo stuff" (stories of clairvoyance and "odd happenings," etc.), there is much to like. ;-)
Even better, though, is the inspiration that comes from reading about *all* manifestations of wisdom and compassion in action for the sake of sentient beings, and seeing the photographs of many of the people who are described in the book. My only quibble is that I wish the photographs were larger. But still, it's great to have them (and there are lots of them).
An aside for people with connections to KTD: Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's great- grandmother, Lady Degah (I've also seen it spelled "Dega" in "Precious Essence"), was the sister of the first Barway Dorje, the third incarnation of whom we know as Bardor Tulku Rinpoche--my own teacher, as well as the teacher of many people on this list.
If you like reading namthar (sacred biography), I can pretty much guarantee that you will love this book.
Many thanks and bows in the direction of Erik and Marcia for making it possible for this book to reach our hands.
In dharma, Lu in FL

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