Naljorpa Ögyen Dorje
Ögyen Dorje

Naljorpa Ögyen Dorje

After practicing several forms of yoga and Advaita (non-dual) Vedanta for a few years in college, in 1982 Naljorpa Ögyen Dorje met Sally. She was then reading books by Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche, and had spent a little time in retreat at the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley. They decided to live as full-time volunteer work-students at the Institute for a year. One year turned into six, and along with working on many different construction and craft projects, Naljorpa Ögyen completed intensive nine month study/retreat programmes in: Kum Nye; Tarthang Rinpoche’s ‘Time Space and Knowledge’ teachings; Longchenpa’s ‘Kindly Bent to Ease Us’ trilogy; texts by Lama Mipham and other Nyingma Lamas; and several other topics. He later returned to the Nyingma Institute for evening classes over three years in classical literary Tibetan.

In 1992, at the end of his commitment to the Nyingma Centre’s community, Ögyen Dorje saw a newspaper advertisement for a bookstore talk by Ngak’chang Rinpoche. He quickly became an apprentice; Sally became an apprentice a few years later.

They are fortunate to have enough space in their home to have created a small shrine room, which now hosts apprentice gatherings and empowerments.

In 2000 in Baarlo, the Netherlands, he took ordination as Naljorpa Ögyen Drak-tsal Rigpa’i Dorje, or as translated by Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen: ‘Thunderbolt of Awareness from Uddiyana—Consummate Radiance of Realised Wrath’. He found himself drawn especially to Dzogchen sem-dé, mantra accumulation, the Sem’dzin practices of Dzogchen men-ngag-dé, the Fourteen Root Vows, and the Drinking Song of Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche. He also enjoys researching Tibetan history, and is currently helping his Lamas research a book on the ‘Dark Ages’ of 9th Century Tibet. He professes an obsessive fondness for essential practice and instruction. He enjoys working with wood, bone, stone, and metal to create practice implements. He enjoys horseriding and playing bagpipes (though not at the same time) and target shooting a wide variety of firearms. Naljorpa Ögyen is now experimenting with loading his own and Ngak’chang Rinpoche’s ammunition.

Naljorpa Ögyen Dorje worked for many years as a bookbinder and production manager, and is now employed by the University of California Berkeley as safety officer in the largest building on campus, a biology laboratory and instructional centre. He and Naljorma Yé-tsal have one daughter – Grace, born in 1991.

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