Saturday, November 28, 2009

Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche

I hope that all of you have found yourselves warm and peaceful lately. I wanted to post this picture of Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche for you. He has lived a long life and has lately been very ill. He is likely to make his final transition soon. According to the email Anne Klein sent out, "He is comfortable, clear, and totally at ease. We are sad. We are also joyful at his amazing blessings."

Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche was the first Buddhist teacher I met or received teachings from in this life, in 2001. He has remained an deep inspiration for me since. I have had the wonderful opportunity to visit him a few times over the last couple of years. I snapped the attached photo in early September, 2007.

You can read a little more about him below, copied from

Please keep him and his community in your prayers and meditations.

-Love and light-


Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche is among the most senior Lamas and Dzogchen masters in the Ancient (Nyingma) Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and perhaps the most eminent Nyingma historian alive today.

He was born in 1920 in central Tibet and came to India in 1959. Soon thereafter he was asked by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to represent Dudjom Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma school, in Japan. Khetsun Rinpoche spent ten years in this capacity from 1960-1970, teaching in Tokyo and Kyoto Universities and becoming fluent in Japanese.

In 1971 he returned to India and founded a school to educate Tibetan monks in his tradition. Over the last twenty five years he has accepted numerous invitations to teach in Japanese and U.S. universities and to teach students in retreats in Dordogne, France.

In Tibet, Khetsun Rinpoche received teachings on the Very Essence of the Great Expanse tradition from the famous Lady Master Jetsun Shugseb Rinpoche (d.1953) of Shugseb Nunnery, Tibet's main institution for women practitioners of Dzogchen. Other teachers include Dudjom Rinpoche, Kangyur Rinpoche, and Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche.

Khetsun Rinpoche's writings feature a 13 volume history of all the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. He is also the author of Tantric Practice in Nyingma, used by thousands of Western students as a guide to the foundational practices.


joelle said...

I took my refuge with Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche, He is the greatest Dharma Teacher I have ever known. He was sweet, compassionate and his smile would melt all your samsara away. When Robert, my husband, got ill he was in constant touch with us, sent his heir and grandson to us to perform health puja, and his teachings on the mind and rig-pa are unequaled to me. I am so sad yet he is more present than ever

Anonymous said...

I think you probably know that Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche entered parinirvana here in Boudha Nath last week. I read that he was 90. A big loss to us sentient beings.

He is in tukdam at his monastery.

Jeff said...

Last week I got a message that Khets├╝n Zangpo Rinpoche had died. The message came from Kathmandu, from Tsering, a Tibetan girl my wife and I have been supporting. This was her Rinpoche, her spiritual advisor and the man who had helped determine the trajectory of her life.

It was through Tsering that I had a chance to meet Zangpo Rinpoche. She took me to his monastery on the outskirts of the Kathmandu valley. She thought it might be neat for him to meet me, and me him, since we had both spent a decade or more in Japan. When he learned I lived in Japan, he said something like, oh, you must speak Japanese. He was an old man who had begun to lose his faculties. He didn't realize we had already been conversing for several minutes in Japanese.

Looking back I suppose I was fortunate to meet him. He was one of the last of his generation, those who did all their training in Tibet.

Thank you for the photo. I posted a copy along with the message to my private blog, but thought I might share it here that we might remember Zangpo Rinpoche.

Om mane padme hum.


Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

Hi Michael, I think we met and hung out in Boudha and in Dharamsala 2005-07. (If not it certainly seems like we should have). I was lucky to meet and even have dinner with KSR in 2005. Thanks for your blog and stay in touch.

Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

He passed into parinirvana on 6th December, 2009. ---says Rigpa Wiki.
So, it should soon be time for the search for a tulku?