Lopön Ögyen Ten’dzin Rinpoche

To say that ‘children are the future’ is a cliché – but that does not make the statement odious or fallacious per se. It is what we mean by ‘children’ that matters. It is what we mean by ‘the future’ that is of consequence. It is exactly what it is that connects the two which is of import. The fact that beings are born, grow old, and die says nothing in particular about the future other than the fact that duality is recycled. The principle and function of an authentically better future must be present in the children of whom we speak.

As the inconsequential eccentric yogi and yogini of the Aro gTér, we are merely middle-aged ‘children of rigpa’, and thus we look to our Tsawa’i Lamas as rig’dzin parents. We look to what they endeavoured—through non-dual intentionality—to leave behind for the world, in the care of their inadequate children who endeavour to persevere.

We look particularly to Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche who requested that we establish the gö kar chang lo’i dé (gos dKar lCang lo’i sDe) in the West and preserve it in the East. His request and his encouragement have created the future which is currently visible to us. Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche made this possible through his vision of the inconsequential eccentric yogi and yogini, his unlikely Western children.

We look to Kyabjé Künzang Dorje Rinpoche and Jomo Sam’phel, our heart masters and last remaining teachers, and to their profound encouragement in the task bequeathed to us by Düd’jom Rinpoche.

Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche, Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentsé Rinpoche, gTértrül Chhi’mčd Rig’dzin Rinpoche, and Lama Yeshé Dorje Rinpoche are no longer with us in the incarnation we knew – yet we are their children still. We honour their memory and attempt to be the future they suggested could be.

In the Autumn of 2004, Lopön Ögyen Ten’dzin Rinpoche made a visit to Britain to teach, to give empowerments and transmission, and to establish a sangha. Lopön Ögyen Ten’dzin Rinpoche also described the wonderful school for children he has established in Pemakö – a ‘Hidden Land’ of Padmasambhava in the Northeast of India.

Lopön Ögyen Ten’dzin Rinpoche is an ordained member of the gö kar chang lo’i dé and a Nyingma Lama who teaches in the USA. Lopön Ögyen Ten’dzin Rinpoche has established his own sangha in Britain. He is still relatively young at 52 years of age [as of 2004] and those in Britain who studied with the late Düd’jom Rinpoche Jig’drčl Yeshé Dorje will welcome a return of the Düd’jom gTér teachings to this land.

Lopön Ögyen Ten’dzin Rinpoche is also a ‘child’ of Düd’jom Rinpoche, and as such is part of the future of the Nyingma, the gö kar chang lo’i dé, and the Düd’jom gTér. In addition to this, Lopön Ögyen Ten’dzin Rinpoche is the head of ‘Lhundrüp Tobgyé Ling’ (lhun grub sTobs rGyas gLing) – ‘Where Strength is Gained Spontaneously’.

Lhundrüp Tobgyé Ling received its name from Kyabjé Minling Trichen Rinpoche – the current Head of the Nyingma Tradition, who is a ngakpa. Lhundrüp Tobgyé Ling is the shortened form of Nga’gyür Yoga’i Drüp-dé Lhundrüp Tobgyé Ling (sNga ’gyur yo ga’i sGrub sDe lhun grub sTobs rGyas gLing) ‘Early-translation Yogic Meditation College where Strength is Gained Spontaneously’. It is a Ngak’phang Dratsang for children – a place where boys and girls from the Pemakö region can receive both a secular education and training which will prepare them—should it be their long-term desire—to become ordained ngakpas and ngakmas.

With the hard work and commitment of Lopön Ögyen Ten’dzin Rinpoche, and with the efforts of the Confederate Sanghas of Aro, and others – ‘Lhundrüp Tobgyé Ling’ has been constructed. We now have a building: classrooms, dormitories, and a kitchen have been built. The local people of Pemakö were so happy with our plan for a gö kar chang lo school that they gave their labour without payment so that the work could be accomplished. In 2003, twenty-three boys and girls began their training. This year the number increased to fifty-five, with twenty-two in the nursery class.

We take great pleasure in being able to inform you that members of the gö kar chang lo’i dé—Lamas and otherwise— from India, Nepal, and Tibet have sent their children to Lhundrüp Tobgyé Ling. Without this possibility they would have had to send their children to monasteries to get an education. Lopön Ögyen Ten’dzin Rinpoche informed us that a Tibetan Lama (who is the sole surviving Lineage Holder of a medicine and astrology gTérma), having heard of Lhundrüp Tobgyé Ling, walked for ten days in order to see it. When he saw the children studying in the gö kar chang lo traditions, he determined to remain as a teacher.

This project has received great encouragement from Dung-sé Thrin-lé Norbu Rinpoche – the son of Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche Jig’drčl Yeshé Dorje. The project has also received the encouragement of Kyabjé Künzang Dorje Rinpoche and Jomo Sam’phel, who have recently impressed upon us the vital importance of preserving the gö kar chang lo’i dé.

In order to provide food, clothing, education, and a place to live for a boy or girl at the school the cost is Ł430 ($260) per year. There are also other projects such as:

1. Gompa construction – Ł15,200 ($25,000)

2. A water purification system for the village – Ł6,100 ($10,000)

3. Establishment of an endowment for gö kar chang lo education which will fund Lhundrüp Tobgyé Ling and further Ngak’phang Dratsangs – Ł60,700 ($1,000,000)

If you care about the future of the gö kar chang lo’i dé and are interested in this amazing project – we encourage you to meet Lopön Ögyen Ten’dzin Rinpoche in Britain this Autumn. You will be able to ask him questions and establish a direct relationship with him, and through him the children at Lhundrüp Tobgyé Ling. To find out how to sponsor a child or make a donation please visit this page.

Lhundrüp Tobgyé Ling is a unique Ngak’phang Dratsang in the Nyingma tradition, as it is intended for children. A Ngak’phang Dratsang is a school in which ngakpas and ngakmas are educated – the male and female yogic practitioners who take the non-celibate, non-monastic ordination of the Vajrayana tradition.

The ‘White Skirt Long Hair’ tradition is extremely important—if not crucial—to the survival of the Nyingma tradition and to the survival of Vajrayana in general. This is the case because the gö kar chang lo’i dé was established by Padmasambhava and is thus central to the authenticity of Vajrayana Buddhism as it was first founded in Tibet and the Himalayan region. It was the gö kar chang lo’i dé who kept Buddhism alive in Tibet under the persecution of Langdarma, and it is to them that the extant Nyingma Lineages owe their existence today. The gö kar chang lo’i dé are vital to the preservation of Vajrayana because it is they who practise Vajrayana as their central and primary methodology – and, who manifest Vajrayana most directly in their appearance and behaviour. Without the gö kar chang lo’i dé, Vajrayana would not be visible in the world as an example or as an inspiration. The monastic lineages practise Vajrayana, but are not permitted to do so openly across the complete spectrum of transformation and self-liberation. Although Vajrayana is secret, it has often been the gö kar chang lo’i dé practitioners who have been the greatest inspiration to the broader population. Mahasiddhas such as Sang-gyé Yeshé; Marpa and Dag’mčdma; Milarépa; Thangthong Gyalpo; Jomo Menmo; Drukpa Künlegs; DoKhyentsé Yeshé Dorje and his sister Khandroma Losčl Drölma; Khyungchen Aro Lingma; Aro Yeshé and his consorts A-yé Khandro and A-shé Khandro; Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche; Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche; gTértrül Chhi’mčd Rig’dzin Rinpoche; Dung-sé Thrin-lé Norbu Rinpoche; Kyabjé Künzang Dorje Rinpoche and Jomo Sam’phel – these, and many more gö kar chang lo yogis and yoginis, have touched the hearts and minds of ordinary people as well as profound practitioners.

We would hazard the notion that it is Vajrayana, more than monastically-oriented Sutra, which has inspiration to offer to those who live in the world of career and family – and without the gö kar chang lo’i dé there is little or no point of entry to the sphere of Vajrayana.

The children at Lhundrüp Tobgyé Ling in Pemakö are the future. This is definite and delightful. Through these children, the world will see the revival of the gö kar chang lo’i dé, and through this lineage – the revival of Vajrayana. Vajrayana contains teachings which address romantic relationship as practice and such practices encourage heightened respect and appreciation between men and women. With mutual respect and appreciation, parents can raise happy and kindly children who are likely to grow up with a great deal to offer the world.

< Prev   Next >