Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Urgyen Jigme Rabsel early picture

His beautiful mother, Tendzin Choyang Gyari, gave us this early photo of the Yangsi.


Anonymous said...

Hello all,

I am a disciple of a well-known Lama teaching in the West and he often reminds us of impermanence and that he will one day leave us.

He always speaks with great devotion about Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.

How happy you must all be! 'Happy' cannot describe what you must feel at meeting the reincarnation of your root lama!

How wonderful indeed! And how hard these 10 years must have been for the sangha?

Can someone recount this experience? What gave courage and inspiration during these 10 years when the sun was hidden?

Thank you.


pensum said...

Hmmm... personally, though i was at Nagi the day he died, and attended all the ceremonies including the cremation, for me the sun never set. i think this could be for two reasons:
first, during the cremation as the smoke began to curl up into the air and the flames licked out of the top of the cremation stupa, i suddenly realised what an incredible blessing it was to be able to give one's own guru as an actual smoke offering. so as everyone around me wailed and cried, i found myself with a slight smile reflecting the incredible bliss i was feeling inside.
next, never a day has passed, in fact barely a moment, when Tulku Urgyen isn't present in my life. not as a vision or voice, but as the blessing of the teaching and insight that he passed on to me. his was the most precious kindness, this generosity of pointing out how things actually are, not in any abstract or philosophical way, nor merely parroting what he had been told or read, but cutting to the heart of the matter and providing one with the opportunity to catch a glimpse oneself. a small thing to be sure, nothing really, but so deeply profound and altering one's life forever.
so these have been very blessed years, and that insight remains unchanged now that another bears his name.

Anonymous said...


Did you stay many years around Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche? (I am sorry, those who know you well will smile at this question! :) )And did you do long retreats with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche? This must definitely help to establish an unwavering connexion with the Lama.

I still fear that if my Lama were to leave his corporeal sheath, that my faith and discipline in practice would dwindle and maybe even die...

All that even if my devotion would remain intact and my faith in the Three Jewels remain intact...

When the lama is physically gone, what maintains the discipline of practice? What protected you from discouragement and laziness?

Of course all these questions translate my fears... You've 'been there', so I would very much appreciate your comments... They'll help me grow! :)


pensum said...

oh i wasn't that close but Tulku Urgyen was still kind enough to let me stay up at Nagi Gompa for extended periods (3-4 months) several years in a row. i am also grateful to the incredible generosity and kindness of people like Erik & Marcia, Graham Sunstein and others in the sangha who provided the accomodation and support i needed.

the importance of that time was clarifying questions and practice. and i cannot stress strong enough how important it is to do this. if you have a strong connection or even only brief access to a lama, one should always take advantage to assuage one's doubts and gain confidence in liberation. and i'm not talking about things in the abstract or grasping after this teaching or that empowerment, but improving one's personal understanding and experience.

life is short and opportunities few and far between -- so don't squander them!

i'm not about to pretend that i'm a great practitioner or even have much understanding -- in all honesty i don't know much and my practice is weak. but luckily i have a natural revulsion for samsara and suffering, and that combined with the pointing out instruction seem to sustain me. in fact, as the years pass i find the so called "preliminaries" are really incredibly profound, they only deepen and become more subtle and meaningful. it's with good reason that the path begins with immersing oneself in the contemplation of the four mind-changings. for if these are truly taken to heart one's perseverence will never waver, let alone one's confidence in the Dharma.

if you are feeling lazy just pick up a newspaper or turn on CNN, remind yourself of the horror and madness in the world then reflect on the precious Dharma and look into our own mind nature. devotion and the urge to practice will then arise naturally and the practice will both inspire and sustain itself.

with all its talk about the importance of guru devotion etc. without a deep and sincere desire to overcome ignorance and overturn samsara the Vajrayana can very easily become little more than a cult of personality. we tend to look for somewhere to hang our hopes, only to discover in the end--and often too late--that we were our own refuge. enlightenment is a personal thing and no one can do it for you. both devotion and confidence perhaps arise from realising just how alone and helpless we really are.

not accepting, not rejecting...

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your precious comments.

The thought of enlightenment is still a bit hazy for me. But I do have a strong aspiration to be a good practitionner... even though I am still quite a bit enslaved by my bad habits.

But hopefully, with the help of the teachings, the master's blessings and sustained effort, the thought of enlightenment will gain in weight and depth.

Take care and thanks again for sharing.