Desert Dharma:

The following article is from the Autumn, 1995 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

H.E. Kalu Rinpoche and V.V. Bokar Rinpoche Vsit Tucson


On July 9 and 10, over 400 people from Tucson, Arizona and surrounding areas of the Southwest received teachings, blessings and empowerments from His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche and the Very Venerable Bokar Rinpoche. The Rinpoches visited Tucson as pait of their lengthy journey through North and South America and Asia.

This is the first time that the present Kalu Rinpoche, almostfive, has visited North America The previous Kalu Rinpoche passed away in 1989. His reincarnation was officially recognized in 1992 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tai Situ Rinpoche, and other advanced beings.

The scheduled public events included two afternoon teachings by Bokar Rinpoche, Compassion and Bodhicitta and Meditation and Daily Practice. On the two consecutive evenings, Kalu Rinpoche and Bokar Rinpoche gave Refuge and Chenrezig and Vajrasattva Blessings and Empowerments. Over 100 individuais took Refuge during the two-day event, which was facilitated by the Bodhisattva Institute.

Karma Tenpa Gyeltsen, spiritual director of the Bodhisattva Institute, was a student and disciple of the previous Kalu Rinpoche, from whom he took monastic vows in 1983. Since receiving ordination, he dreamed of returning to his hometown of Tucson and establishing a Dharma center. In February of 1994 he opened the Bodhisattva Institute in Tucson, a sniall Dharma center providing a supportive environment for daily practice and learning. However, interest in the Dharma was so strong that the Institute's space and resources were soon over-whelmed. Consequently, one year later Tenpa unveiled the architectural plans for Chang Chub Ling, Place of Enlightenment, an envisioned tempie and monastery which will serve the needs of Tibetan Buddhist monks, nuns and lay followers. These plans previously had received the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche, His Emmence Kalu Rinpoche, the Very Venerable Bokar Rinpoche, the Venerable Bardor Tulku Rinpoche and the Venerable Lama Lodru Rinpoche. The name, Chang Chub Ling, was suggested by Tai Situ Rinpoche. That was the name of the previous Kalu Rinpoche's first monastery in Bhutan after he left Tibet.

Moved by the warm and appreciative reception that Kalu Rinpoche, Bokar Rinpoche and entourage had received in Tucson, and by the energetic efforts of Tenpa to firmly plant the Dharma in the West, Lama Gyaltsen, the present Kalu Rinpoche's father, spontaneously addressed the audience during the second evening. He urged ali to suppoit the work of the Bodhisattva Institute in whatever way they could in the monumentai task of constructing Chang Chub Ling, noting that it should not be the burden of one man, one monk, here referring to Tenpa. As a sign of his support, Lama Gyaltsen promised to provide a large golden statue of Buddha Vajradhara for the new tempie and several lamas from Kalu Rinpoche's monastery in Sonada to serve as ritual masters and teachers for Chang Chub Ling.

Kalu Rinpoche, Bokar Rinpoche and entourage left Tucson on July 11, promising to return soon. In the meantime, the Bodhisattva Institute looks forward to an upcoming October visit by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, accomplished yogi, scholar and master of the Kagyu lineage. This will be followed by a November visit by Lama Lodru Rinpoche.

The Bodhisattva Institute warmly welcomes the financial support of others. Inquiries about the Bodhisattva Institute, Chang Chub Ling, upcoming events, or about audiotaped and videotaped recordings of the recent two-day event should be directed to: Bodhisattva Institute, 714 N. Desert Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85711. Tel: 520-325-2272. ?

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