Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche


Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920 – 1996) was widely acknowledged as one of the great meditation masters of modern times. Leaving Tibet in the face of the Chinese invasion in 1959, he settled in the hermitage of Nagi Gompa, on the northern slopes of Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley. Here he lived quietly as a true Dzogchen yogi, visited by a steady stream of scholars, students, and practitioners from around the world. Throughout the course of his life he spent more than 20 years in meditation retreat.

Tulku Urgyen was famed for his profound meditative realization and for the concise, lucid and humorous style with which he imparted the essence of the Dzogchen teachings. His method of teaching was ‘instruction through one’s own experience.’ Using few words, this way of teaching points out the nature of mind, revealing a natural simplicity of wakefulness that enables the student to actually touch the heart of the Buddha’s Wisdom Mind.

Tulku Urgyen’s startlingly clear teachings have been captured in several books, including Rainbow Painting, Repeating the Words of the Buddha, Vajra Speech, and As It Is. He had many foreign students, and was keenly interested in the expansion of the Dharma to the West. It was his wish for a North American seat that motivated his eldest son, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, to found Gomde Tibetan Buddhist Meditation & Retreat Center in 1998.

(Excerpt from http://gomdeusa.org/)


‘Experience is said to be the “adornment of awareness.” Awareness is present within all beings; whoever has mind has awareness since it is the mind’s essence. The relationship between mind and awareness is mind being like the shadow of one’s hand and awareness being the hand itself. In this way, there is not one single sentient being who does not have awareness. We might hear about awareness and then think “I understand, awareness is just such and such.” This mental construct is totally useless – from the very first the absence of mental fabrication is crucial. As is said, “Within the naked dharmadhatu of non- fabrication.”

Introducing awareness means to point out the absence of mental fabrication. Otherwise it becomes an introduction to mere discursive thought.’

Continue reading this interview from 1985 with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche with the Vajradhatu Sun Here.

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche’s book “As It Is” is our Book to Hang out With this week.