Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche "defrosts" Rigpa London with teachings on Madhyamika, Mahamudra and Dzogchen

With the UK in the grip of the biggest ‘cold snap’ since the sixties, we were definitely in need of some antifreeze, and Chökyi Nyima Rinpoches visit to Rigpa London certainly supplied the antidote! It was wonderful to see over 150 people in spite of very difficult travelling conditions – and to welcome so many students from different sanghas to the centre.

Surveying the shrine with its magnificent Buddha statue, Rinpoche uttered a ‘wow!’ before doing prostrations and ascending the throne.

The title of the teaching was “The Three Great Views – Madhyamaka, Mahamudra and Dzogchen” which Rinpoche delivered with incredible clarity and precision. Although this involved quite a plethora of Dharma terminology, it was punctuated by some very pithy gems such as the analogy of oxidisation on copper for the stains that obscure our Buddha nature, the phrase “Samsara is mere thought” and Rinpoche, when speaking of emptiness, encouraging us to ‘freak out’ in a good way when we understand that all our thinking is delusional!

When Rinpoche invited questions from the audience we had a real treat as he spoke about his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and a delightful reunion with a man in the audience who had been invited to dinner with the great master’s family in Nepal in 1978 – Rinpoche remembered the man very well, and this inspired him to speak very intimately about the incredible kindness of his mum (Rinpoche’s word!).

To round off the afternoon, Rinpoche spoke very inspiringly on devotion, explaining so movingly why it is that masters display such emotion – perhaps seemingly inappropriately to us – when thinking or speaking of their own teachers. Without them how could we finally ‘quit the habit’ of our afflictive emotions and uncover the Great Compassion that wishes only to bring all sentient beings to the same realisation?

It was a truly fabulous mix of the highest teaching and the warmest and most intimate anecdotes and interactions…thank you Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche… I am certain that like me, everyone left with an inner glow that may even have melted some of the snows around us on our homeward journeys!

(Story by Jim Peters, Photos by Sasha Radovic)

Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche visited Rigpa's London centre on 9 January 2010. For information about upcoming Rigpa events and meditation courses in the UK, go to: www.rigpa.org.uk

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