How would you describe Tulku Urgyen to the world at large?
Erik Pema Kunsang: Tulku Urgyen, you could say, was a profound mystic and a unique kind of philosopher, one who could guide people toward a type of insight that goes beyond theory and concepts. Observing how easily and naturally he worked with others, you could deduce what Tulku Urgyen himself experienced on a daily basis. Most of us would view his area of expertise—pointing out what things look like from the awakened point of view—as being very heavy and difficult. Yet, he made it extremely accessible. You practically weren’t allowed to leave the room until you agreed just how easy it was to see things from the awakened point of view. You couldn’t just nod your head in agreement, either. You actually had to experience that ease for yourself.
From the fourteen years you spent living with him as a translator, what can you say about him as a person?
Tulku Urgyen is more like something I have under my skin than an external person. Although he really did get under my skin, he was incredibly mild and gentle. (read full interview at Buddhadharma)