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Buddhadharma : Fall 2005
fall 2005| 32 |buddhadharma I’ve met very few Westerners who can do that. We always twist things slightly and add a spin. We’re not saying it as it was; we’re saying it differently and presenting it as what the other person said. This is what Tulku urgyen’s son Chökyi Nyima rinpoche calls a “lie.” When people listen to dharma talks these days, they often use that same lack of honesty to twist what has been said by mixing in their own interpretation. They later feel that this is what the teacher said. “The teachings” then become a mish- mash of one’s own ideas and judgments and what one felt at the moment. By con- trast, Tulku urgyen’s way of storytelling is very clean. What was it like for you last year when you and your wife, Marcia, traveled to the very places in Tibet that Tulku Urgyen mentions in the book? Visiting places that we’d always heard about − where important events unfolded, where padmasambhava had been, where the great treasury revealer Chokgyur Lingpa had been, where other great mas- ters, like Jamyang Khyentse and Jamgön Kongtrül, had been and taught − was quite moving. Standing in the places where they had been, seeing the caves where they sat, the thrones from which they taught, speaking to the people who knew Tulku urgyen and his uncles, made it all more real to me. At the same time, I don’t regard these beings simply as historical figures who moved around and did things, but rather as bridges between the awakened state of all buddhas and our human realm. These human bridges − awakened masters living at different times and in different places − make it possible for profound knowledge to come into our world in a way that is accessible and applicable to everyone. That’s a great miracle. In fact, there is no greater miracle than an enlight- ened master bringing knowledge into the world that can help people transform themselves. Did many people still remember Tulku Urgyen? A lot of people remembered him, even though most hadn’t seen him since the mid-1950’s. Since the 1980’s, a few had been able to travel to Nepal and return to Tibet. I met some of his relatives who were still there, and some lamas who had received teachings from him. Lineage is one of the main themes in Blazing Splendor. Why is lineage so sig- nificant? What does it really mean? Fortress Peak (Dzong-go Ling), the retreat center of Tulku Urgyen and his teacher, Samten Gyatso, in Nangchen, Eastern Tibet. eRiKPemaKUnSanGGRahamSUnSTein