and his spiritual sons
press release:Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche was among Tibetan Buddhism’s greatest masters of the 20th century, and was highly instrumental in bringing the practice of Dzogchen (Great Perfection) to the West. His students included well-known figures like Sogyal Rinpoche, Daniel Goleman, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Bennett-Goleman and Lama Surya Das.
“Blazing Splendor” — referring to the qualities of a realized master-- is a direct translation of the name he was given by the Karmapa, the head of the Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism. His was a life rich in spirituality and adventure, for not only was he a friend and personal confidant of many of the great religious figures of contemporary Tibet, but his relatives and ancestors were some of the most influential figures in Eastern Tibet over the centuries.
Tulku Urgyen was widely recognized as one of the most outstanding Tibetan lamas to survive the tragedy of the Chinese takeover. To quote Tarthang Tulku, “Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche’s depth of understanding was unsurpassedga and many Tibetan masters stood in awe of his comprehensive knowledge. He had thoroughly studied and practiced the highest teachings and his exposition on Dzogchen transformed the lives of those he touched with gentle, penetrating clarity. As a meditation teacher and a vajra master, he was without peer; he used his knowledge to touch the heart of everyone he met.”
With unsurpassed honesty and humility Tulku Urgyen offers an intimate glimpse into the remarkable reality of a tulku (a reincarnated master) as well as an in-depth portrait of the lost culture of old Tibet. Intimate in tone, Tulku Urgyen originally shared these tales with his closest Western students, over more than a decade. Here they have been organized into a sweeping account that describes a world where miracles, mystery, and deep insight are the order of the day. From a fresh, eye-opening perspective he describes the lives of some of the most realized and genuine spiritual practitioners of 20th century Tibet including:
* his grandmother, who raised six children, mastered
art, music, herbal medicine and astrology--and was recognized as a highly
realized practitioner being mentioned in a ninth century prophecy as
a manifestation of a Buddhist deity;
The world Tulku Urgyen knew was one in which today’s
conventional values were turned upside-down: instead of fame, fortune
or celebrity being the marks of “success”, it was inner
realization that counted, and the mark of a life fulfilled was leaving
a spiritual legacy for others. Tulku Urgyen was uniquely positioned
to know—and share with us—people who lived within this landscape
of sacred values. Yet his message is not that realization is reserved
for an elect few, but something that each and every one of us can attain.
Blazing Splendor covers not just the years of Tulku
Urgyen’s life from his birth in 1920 to his death in 1996, but
also the rich tapestry of his family history, as well as the contemplative
lineages that he himself came to hold. The result being not just a personal
memoir, but a spiritual history of Tibet itself. We hear about the teachers
who brought the Buddhist teachings to Tibet in the 9th century, and
the unbroken line of masters who passed its secrets on through the ages.
Forthcoming, summer 2005, from Rangjung Yeshe Publications
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