Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New head of Lachab Monastery

Just before leaving for Singapore, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche handed me a letter to translate. It had been written by Ngaktrin Tulku last year, prior to his passing. The letter appoints Karma Gyaltsen Rinpoche to be incharge of the monasteries and retreat centers.

An announcement to all sublime upholders of the Dharma and faithful male and female practitioners and laypeople, especially the main lamas of area:
Karma Gyaltsen Rinpoche—who stems from a line of siddhas, the Tsangsar clan of Nangchen, and who is educated, disciplined and noble-minded, and is experienced and realized—has the qualifications for being responsible for the teachings and the monasteries. Accordingly, I have enthroned him has my successor in the position of crown ornament of Buddhadharma for Tsangsar Lachab Gompa, both the main and the branch monasteries.
It is therefore my hope and request that all sublime masters and faithful benefactors extend him their continued trust and assistance with joy and perseverance. Together with my fervent prayers to the Three Jewels who are the source of benefit and happiness for all beings and for the Buddha's teachings, this was written by Ngaktrin Tulku on the fifteenth day of the tenth month in year of the Female Wood Bird (2005).

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Shri Singha

Sorry not much of interest has been happening here for the past couple of weeks but Erik has been up in retreat at Nagi Gompa. Here's a rather gorgeous picture of Shri Singha, to help tie you over until Erik returns and starts to share his photo collection with everyone once again.

Shri Singha was the chief disciple and successor of Manjushrimitra in the lineage of the Dzogchen teachings. He was born in the Chinese city of Shokyam in Khotan and studied at first with the Chinese masters Hatibhala and Bhelakirti. In his Ocean of Wondrous Sayings, Guru Tashi Tobgyal adds that Shri Singha received a prophesy from Avalokiteshvara while traveling to Serling, telling him to go to the Sosaling charnel ground in order to be sure of the ultimate attainment. After many years Shri Singha met Manjushrimitra in the charnel ground of Sosaling, and remained with him for twenty-five years. Having transmitted all the oral instructions, the great master Manjushrimitra dissolved his bodily form into a mass of light. When Shri Singha cried out in despair and uttered songs of deep yearning, Manjushrimitra appeared again and bestowed him a tiny casket of precious substance. The casket contained his master's final words, a vital instruction named Gomnyam Drugpa, the Six Experiences of Meditation. Having received this transmission, Shri Singha reached ultimate confidence. In Bodhgaya he found the manuscripts of the tantras previously hidden by Manjushrimitra which he took to China where he classified the Instruction Section (man ngag sde) into four parts: the outer, inner, secret, and the innermost unexcelled sections. Among Shri Singha's disciples were four outstanding masters: Jnanasutra, Vimalamitra, Padmasambhava and the Tibetan translator Vairotsana.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Review from Shambhala Sun

Tulku Urgyen was a renowned Buddhist teacher who held the highest teachings of two Tibetan lineages and spent more than twenty years in retreat. He was also fundamentally self-effacing, so while there were many extraordinary experiences in his own life that he could have shared before he died in 1996, these memoirs—told to Erik Pema Kunsang, Tulku Urgyen’s longtime translator, and his wife Marcia Schmidt—consist largely of stories of other great twentieth-century Tibetan teachers. Some of the stories are fantastic (for example, miracles of healing and clairvoyance and the recovery of sacred texts, terma, hidden for a thousand years). Many more are compelling for their intimate portraits of some of the great masters of the twentieth century, and because they reveal the inner workings of an intact religious system in pre-1959 Tibet. Blazing Splendor puts you in intimate touch with a world not entirely lost, but vulnerable to passing away. (reviewed by Andrea McQuillin)