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Shambhala Congress

Dispatches from the Front

Kathmandu Meetings End Shambhala Mission

(Kathmandu, Nepal: November 2002) -- The Shambhala delegation spent 48 hours in Kathmandu, Nepal, before heading home. During that time, the delegation met with the Venerable Tenga Rinpoche, the Venerable Trulshik Rinpoche, the Venerable Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, and received a blessing from the Yangsi Khyentse, the nine-year-old incarnation of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

Audience with Tenga Rinpoche

Tenga Rinpoche received the delegation at his home in Benchenmonastery in Swayambhu. As those familiar with The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya may know, Rinpoche is a highly regarded and learned master of the Kagyu lineage and is known for his vast knowledge, particularly in the areas of rituals, mandalas and stupas. He was principal advisor during the entire process of planning and building the Stupa.

Although he was teaching in Germany on the day of the Stupa consecration, Rinpoche told the delegation he sent prayers for the success of the ceremony. He said he was delighted that everything had been done fully and properly. Although he was disappointed at missing the event, he stressed that he had fulfilled the essential role of placing the tashi terbum (wish-fulfilling vases) in the foundations of the Stupa and completed other indispensable tasks as the Stupa was being built.

Audiences at Shechen Monastery

On their final morning in Kathmandu, the delegation was hosted for breakfast at the home of Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche. On the grounds of his monastery, a three-month-long series of abhishekas and teachings were being held, with more than 100 tulkus and khenpos and over four thousand participants in attendance.

Rabjam Rinpoche is the grandson of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and is responsible for teaching and administration at this important Nyingma center. Shambhala President Richard Reoch presented Rinpoche with a letter from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, inviting him to teach in the Shambhala community, following up on teachings given to us by his grandfather. Rinpoche said he hopes to visit the Shambhala community after a retreat he has planned for next year. Also present at the breakfast was Tulku Pema Wangyal Rinpoche, who has been for many years a retreat master and teacher in France and other parts of Europe, as well as Matthieu Ricard, translator and secretary to Khyentse Rinpoche for many years.

At the end of breakfast, the Yangsi, the nine-year-old incarnation of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, entered the garden with his retinue and blessed the delegation. At the suggestion of Rabjam Rinpoche, Peter Volz, Director of the Shambhala Office of International Affairs, gave the Yangsi coloring books produced at the time of the Stupa consecration.

The teaching program at the monastery was being led by the Venerable Trulshik Rinpoche, a beloved and most senior disciple of Khyentse Rinpoche and one of the most revered masters of the Nyingma tradition. During the delegations meeting with him, Trulshik Rinpoche said he always keeps the Sakyong in his mind and never forgets him. "Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche carries on the teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche. I rejoice in that," Rinpoche said. The delegation felt most fortunate to be granted this audience. Acharya Larry Mermelstein invited Rinpoche to come to the West to give further teachings and to bless the Shambhala community.

Audience at Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling Monastery

The party made a final stop at Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling Monastery, where its abbot, the Venerable Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, was giving his 22nd Annual Seminar to several hundred students. He graciously interrupted his teaching to greet the delegation and confer his blessings.

Moving Forward

The delegation was overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity of the welcome they received throughout their visit. Everywhere they went, there was an unmistakable sense of profound family connection with the leaders of our lineage. The delegates will now be reporting to the Sakyong and others on their meetings and laying plans to build on the foundations laid by their mission.

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