Tashi Choling Center announces construction of stupa in honor of Gyatrul Rinpoche

- through Henry Oudin

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Dhomang Gyatrul Rinpoche. Taken from orgyendorjeden.org

The Tashi Choling Center for Buddhist Studies in Ashland, Oregon, announced plans to build a memorial stupa or chorten for the Venerable Nyingma Lama, Venerable Dhomang Gyatrul Rinpoche, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 98.

Gyatrul Rinpoche, one of the last great Nyingma masters of his generation, has died parinirvana in the early hours of April 8, 2023 at his home in Half Moon Bay, California, in the presence of family members and loved ones.

The planned stupa must be a changchub chorten (the Tibetan term changchub refers to the concept of enlightenment or awakening) will be 9,8 meters tall, and the Tashi Choling Center said it hopes to start the project in 2024. The center also announced that a matching grant of $100 000 US$ had been promised by a long-standing organization. student of Gyatrul Rinpoche for the funds contributed to this effort.

Sangye Khandro. From berotsana.org

In a post about the project shared with BDG, American Buddhist practitioner, scholar and translator Sangye Khandro, spiritual companion of Gyatrul Rinpoche for nearly 30 years, said:

We have all been deeply touched in many ways by the precious presence of Gyatrul Rinpoche during his lifetime, living here among us on this planet – our temporary home. Rinpoche lived a very long life of ninety-eight years, from 1925 to 2023, continually blessing us with his nirmanakaya form as an authentic tulku (or intentional reincarnation). Rinpoche's enlightened deeds remain accessible to us through many expressions and representations, including videos and recordings of dharma teachings and activities as well as many reliquary monuments and sacred structures that Rinpoche has bestowed upon us. Most important is the impression Rinpoche left on the minds of all he touched, always planting seeds of goodness that will continue to germinate and mature for centuries to come.

It is now our responsibility to honor our precious master of Tibet who honored America and made this country his home by erecting a magnificent stupa in his memory and honor. We understand, based on the guidance of our living teachers, as well as Rinpoche himself, that there is no time to waste in constructing this as an offering and expression of devotion and gratitude as well as for giving everyone the chance to gain vast merits and purifying obscurations and karmic defects.

We now have the opportunity to connect at this level of great opportunity, and we sincerely hope that everyone will recognize the opportunity to generate merit and unite as a global sangha community to help Tashi Choling achieve the noble goal of building a stupa to last. many, many generations.

Click here for more details on the stupa project

Gyatrul Rinpoche was born in 1924 in what is now Sichuan Province, China. He was recognized as a tulku at the age of seven by Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro and Tulku Natsok Rangrol, and trained at Payul Dhomang Monastery in eastern Tibet. He spent many years in solitary retirement before fleeing to India in 1959, where he lived for 12 years. Gyatrul Rinpoche then moved to the United States, where he was appointed as the spiritual representative of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche.

Rinpoche was instrumental in establishing many Nyingma centers across the United States, including Tashi Choling in Oregon, Orgyen Dorje Den in the San Francisco Bay Area, Norbu Ling in Texas, Namdroling in Montana and a center in Ensenada, Mexico. A prolific author, Gyatrul Rinpoche also shared a wealth of profound Vajrayana teachings in written form. His books include: Meditation, transformation and dream yoga (Shambhala Publications 2002); Generate Divinity (Snow Lion Publications 1992); and a comment on Natural Liberation: Padmasambhava's Teachings on the Six Bardos (Wisdom Publications 1998).

In his introduction to the 1999 translation of Jamgon Kongtrul's seminal text The teacher-student relationshipGyatrul Rinpoche wrote:

All teachers must eventually leave this world, just like the Buddha himself. Yet the lineage we still receive, the legacy of their enlightened consciousness, is passed down from generation to generation through the teachings that remain. Since this is inevitable, what we must call a lineage in its physical absence is the blessing of its unbroken lineage of teachings. This is what we are supposed to pass on to our generations and those to come. If we were to depend solely on the physical presence of the teacher, then the lineages would have been lost long ago. The Buddha said: “I will reveal the path that leads to liberation. You must practice the path to achieve liberation.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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