Memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
Since the Dalai Lama's escape into exile the cultural and spiritual heritage
of Tibet have become increasingly popular throughout the world. Today,
it seems Tibetan Buddhism has become part of the mainstream as celebrities
and politicians seek photo-ops with the Dalai Lama, movies about Tibet
can easily be found on video shelves and the most rigorous of scientists
have begun to employ the most advanced technologies to plumb the mysteries
of the meditative mind. Yet, beyond the maroon robes and exotic artwork,
the culture and philosophy of Tibet largely remain an enigma. Fortunately,
Tulku Urgyen, a highly respected Tibetan lama, has pulled back the veil
in the intimate and enlightening pages of his memoir Blazing Splendor.
Tulku Urgyen was born into a family that included some of the most influential
and fascinating figures in Tibetan history. Being recognized as the reincarnation
of a highly respected Buddhist teacher, while still young he was installed
as the head of a monastery. However, inspired by his illustrious relatives
and the tales of the great masters of the past, he longed for a simple
life spent doing retreat in a cave. So, disillusioned by the burdens of
monastic affairs, he eventually freed himself of his inherited duties
and began a life of wandering and adventure.
In the ensuing years he alternately spent his time between retreat and
traveling throughout the country, meeting and befriending many remarkable
characters along the way. However, as exciting and rewarding as his experiences
and encounters were, the impending invasion of the Red Army cast a foreboding
shadow across his path, propelling his eventual escape into exile.
Displaying a humility worthy of the Buddha himself, Tulku Urgyen never
seeks to amplify his own life or elevate his standing. Hence the greater
part of his memoirs are dedicated to providing personal and often quite
intimate glimpses into the inspiring lives of many of the incredible individuals
he was fortunate enough to meet throughout his quite extraordinary life.
With humility, grace and refreshing candor he also shares the stories
and teachings he heard from those closest to him, creating a rare testament
and stunningly honest portrayal of a sadly vanishing world.
A unique document in both religious and cultural literature, whether one's
interest is spiritual, historical or simple reading pleasure Blazing Splendor
is without a doubt a captivating read.
Compassion, wisdom, devotion and the innermost nature of mindyou
will read about all of these in this book. These stories and memories
imply that spiritual realization is really possible. This is not simply
ancient history, a phenomenon that happened in the past in India or in
Tibet. Thanks to masters like Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche this living tradition
of wisdom and spiritual awakening of the Buddha continues right now in
the present and is readily available to people everywhere.
Sogyal Rinpocheauthor of The Tibetan Book of
Living and Dying
"Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche was among Tibetan Buddhism's greatest teachers
of the 20th century. His memoir, Blazing Splendor, invites us to join
him as he looks back over a life that put him at the center of an unparalleled
spiritual abundance. Through his unblinking eyes we meet remarkable contemplative
adepts. And through the lens of his awakened awareness, we see the world
from a fresh, eye-opening perspective. It is a sweeping account that shares
with readers a world where miracles, mystery and deep insight are the
order of the day-a world as reflected through the open, lucid quality
of Tulku Urgyen's mind."
Daniel Golemanauthor of Emotional
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920-1996) was one of the outstanding Tibetan
Buddhist teachers of his generation. Forced into exile by the Communist
invasion of Tibet, he came to settle in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal.
Though spending over 25 years in retreat, he not only taught extensively,
but also founded numerous monasteries and retreat centers the world over.
He is the author of such popular books as Rainbow Painting and As It Is
Vols. I & II.