Mary Sue Newton reflects on her trip to Bhutan for the Centennial Celebrations, and how close she felt to her teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, while there.
Two weeks ago the Centennial Celebrations took place in Bhutan, led by Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche and Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche. Rabjam Rinpoche and the Queen Grandmother hosted students from Croatia, Europe, America, Mexico, Brazil, the South Pacific, and thousands of Bhutanese. For three days we practiced, and then toured the country. This was my life’s dream, and I wanted to share the experience with you, just to say how fortunate we are right now, and how fortunate we will continue to be with the new generation of teachers who are being so lovingly trained. It gives me great hope for the future of the world and the continuation of Dharma in the West.
At this Celebration of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche were Dudjom Rinpoche’s Tulku, Namkye Nyingpo Rinpoche, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, Khyentse Jigme Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpcoche, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche the Nyoshul Khen Yangsi, Choling Rinpcohe, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, and many more. Incidentally, I learned how to give multiple katas from the most elegant Bhutanese ladies and gentlemen.
On the last day, a wild storm descended on the tsok…all the elements were dancing and rejoicing…the wind dismantling the tent, the rain of blessing falling, people lashing themselves to the tent ropes hoping to hold the tent and the shrine down…the Queen Grandmother and the elderly Rinpoches being carried to cover. The magical display of the phenomenal world was stronger than we humans.
For students of Trungpa Rinpoche in particular, I want to express how close I felt to him in Bhutan…I finally got it, understood him. I could envision him coming out of Tibet and into the West, and then back to Taktsang to write his most famous terma….the crazy wisdom, the magic, the drala all converging.
As we are getting older, I want to encourage everyone to go to Bhutan, especially Trungpa Rinpoche’s students, because he has made so much possible for us here in America: bringing his two main teachers, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa and Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, to America. Both gave credibility to the lineage and tradition of Dharma here in the West. As a sangha we have run the whole gamut of emotions with our teacher, sometimes not knowing what to say in response to criticism or change…Personally I am at peace now and feel, as my life comes to close, there could be nothing better than what is happening this summer. One of many cycles of “full circle,” so to speak…
Please indulge this expression of my heart…I couldn’t hold back, since so many wonderful events are happening this summer, the Celebration of Kyabje Digo Khyentse Rinpoche and introduction of his young incarnation, and the empowerments at Lotus Garden. Both are rare and historic; we might consider stepping back and seeing what we can do to attend.
May all be victorious on the path of Dharma.
Mary Sue Newton