Anniversary of Yogi – Ngakpa Lama Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

Today is the anniversary of the passing away of one of the great Tibetan Lamas who was also a Yogi (Ngakpa). (1) He came to the west, trained and ordained many westerners, including women. Here is a quote to celebrate him.

“A completely awakened state is enlightenment, the unwavering recognition of the absolute nature of our being. Absolute nature pervades everything and is separate from nothing, but we have gone so far on a tangent, so far into mind’s dualistic delusion that we have lost sight of what is absolute…

In a spiritual sense it is not very effective to attempt to change the outside world in order to prevent our own suffering. For example if we glance into a mirror and see a dirty face we might think, “Oh what a dirty face!” Then we quickly grab a cloth and scrub the mirror. This is not the way to get rid of the dirty face we see. Once we realize that the reflection is our own face, we can change the appearance in the mirror by simply washing our face. It will not work to wash away the suffering of our circumstances, but by recognizing our mind as the original cause we can change ourselves.”

– Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, Life In Relation to Death Page 10

Learn more about this Nyingma Lama.

(1) The term Ngakpa or Naljorpa refers to Buddhist Yogis, the ordained Tibetan clergy who are non-celibate and teach Vajrayana, Tibetan Yoga  and Dzogchen. You can recognize them by their robes, they wear a red and white shawl instead of the maroon shawl of their monastic counterparts. These days in North American Buddhism, even their initiated students also wear the same shawl to signify that they practice in a Ngakpa tradition or are non-renunciate Buddhists.

Pema Khandro is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, humanitarian, and teacher in the rare lineage of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis. Raised in the west, ordained in the Nyingma lineage, enthroned as a tulku and trained as an academic, Pema Khandro presents both a traditional perspective and a modern voice. Read more at:
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  1. Thanks for sharing Rinpoche’s analogy with the mirror. I can’t count how many times I have scrubbed that mirror myself with nothing but dissatisfaction and frustration as the result. This brings to mind the quote by Zen master Yasutani Roshi, “The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.”

  2. I’m very happy to be aware of this great Lama. I love Ngakpas and Ngakmas. I love Dzogchen. To even imagine that everything one has sought is already here in the simplicity and depth of an ordinary moment without a future goal or change in circumstance. How beautiful is that!!!

  3. H.E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche was unique indeed and it’s absolutely amazing for me to see your connection with him. I simply get speechless with that. As I said on a Facebook post some days ago, though I didn’t have the opportunity to meet him face-to-face, he’s absolutely present in my life because he was the root teacher of Lama Tsering Everest. As you already know, she gave me the empowerment I needed to go ahead with my Red Tara practice.

    You said how fortunate I am. I need to remember that all the time. Thank you so much for this sublime rememberance


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