The Tibetan lama and author of books including Good Life, Good Death: Tibetan Wisdom on Reincarnation, has died. As posted on his Facebook page:
Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche, our dear teacher and friend, passed away this morning at 6 AM. We will keep him in our thoughts today and every day.
Information regarding arrangements will be posted on the Jewel Heart International Facebook Page as we receive it and we ask you to respect the privacy of his immediate family at this time.
Born in Lhasa, Tibet in 1939, Rimpoche [whose name was sometimes spelled "Gelek Rinpoche,” "Gehlek Rimpoche,” or variations thereof] trained at Drepung Monastic University, earning his geshe degree. He fled Tibet for India in 1959, and became director of Tibet House in Delhi, India. In the late 80s he founded Jewel Heart, the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based center “dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism and to bringing the practice of this rich tradition within the context of contemporary life to everyone.” A lively center, Jewel Heart attracts and serves practitioners of all levels, and is informed by a board and advisors that includes luminaries such as Amy Hertz, Jonathan Rose, Richard Gere, and Philip Glass — who serves as Board chair and once wrote an exclusive composition as a fundraiser for the sangha. Poet Allen Ginsberg was also a member of the community.
In noting his passing, Roshi Joan Halifax offered this tribute, surely among the first of many to come:
Beloved Gelek Rinpoche has gone beyond……..
With his passing, we remember that life is so fragile, so brief.
We have little time to awaken in perfect unselfishness.
Rinpoche gave so much to so many.
He is an inspiration for all of us.
We must remember his way, his great teachings on bodhicitta.
My heart aches knowing that he is now not among us as a living being
but his great heart will never leave us.
Rimpoche was also a contributor to our publication, Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly. We wish to express and share sympathies with all who knew or were touched by his presence and teachings.
Please read enjoy this selection of his articles from our archives.