SUMMARY OF DENYS RINPOCHE’S TALK WHEN RETURNING FROM TIBET
House of Wisdom, Shangpa Karma Ling, 2019, August 19th
We are coming back from Khams, Sichuan province of China. Khams is the birthplace of numerous great Tibetan masters: of the present, of the past centuries and of the Rimay movement, which grew from Khams in the XIXth century.
We went on this adventure walking of the footsteps of our root master Kalu Dorjé Chang who continued the activity of Jamgön Kontrül Lodrö Thayé.
The main purpose of the pilgrimage was to reconnect with the origins of the lineage. Kalu Dorjé Chang left Tibet for Bhutan in the late 1950’s and then went to India in Darjeeling and Sonada, where he founded retreat centers. The first Sonada retreat started in 1967-68 and Bokar Rinpoché was in the retreat, I arrived at Sonada at this period.
Today, 50 years later, we went to meet Kalu Dorje Chang descendants and continuators of the Shangpa lineage in Khams. We visited the different Shangpa retreat centers currently active in Khams in order to know each other’s as brothers and sisters in the lineage and to see how we could help each other, developing a fruitful cooperation for the good of the lineage and of all.
We travelled in a loop from Chengdu to Chengdu and visited:
in Garzé: Ridrag, Kalu Dorje Chang birthplace and Bengen, a monastery supported by Ven. Wangchen Rinpoché.
Then, we visited the very active Takpel retreat center and shédra, and further the Tsabtsa monastery complex.
We stopped in Dergé before going to the incredible Shéchen and Dzogchen valleys of magnificent temples.
At the extremity of the loop we visited the two residences of Jamgön Kontrül Lodrö Thayé at Tsadra and Dzongshö. Kalu Dorjé Chang continued his activity in the XXth century and the ‘Buddha University’ continues it nowadays.
On the way back to Chengdu we went through Peyul, Luhuo and Tagong.
Everywhere we met with the lamas, managers and specially the retreat masters (drupön) and were very well welcomed. We had fructuous exchanges, shared practices and envisioned how to vivify the Shangpa lineage according to the needs of our time.
Back to Chengdu, we purchased Dharma materials and statues: the statues of the origin and of the contemporary lineage (project conduced along with Tsadra Drupön Yargyé) and to replace those that burned in the Chartreuse building, our seat at Shangpa Rimay Ling, France.
We were very impressed to discover modern China with infrastructures more developed than in Europe; Chengdu is a High-tech megalopolis of 12 million people hanging mobile devices, days and night, in a quite smooth and relaxed way of leaving. In the Sichuan region of Khams where we traveled, most of the monasteries are very prosperous and beautiful with golden shining roofs illuminating the vast immensity of the Tibetan mountain flowered valleys, rivers and plateaus.
Temples and ranges of stupas are as numerous as churches punctuating the French landscape!
We hope to realize a film with the rich collection of images we collected along the journey and will make it available for all the places we visited.
The film will be an homage to Kalu Rangjung Künchab and a teaching on the life of the forefathers. It will help disciples in the retreats centers practices.