Sakya Dokho Choling: An Inspiring Story

The following article is from the Winter, 2004 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

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imagesTulku Nyima Rinpoche - Spiritual Director: Tulku Nyima Rinpoche was born in 1942 in Tromtar, Eastern Tibet (Kham), The great Jamyang Khyentse Choki Lodro recognized him as a reincarnate lama, a tulku, when he was just a small child. At the age of 12 he went to Nyoshul Monastery to study, and trained under many masters, including Orgyen Rigdzin, Khenpo Munsel, and Arig Rinpoche. During this time he studied and meditated on the classic works of the Nyingma and Sakya traditions. After being an abbot many times over in different monasteries in Tibet, in 2002 he became the abbot of the Dokho Monastery in Tibet. In 2003 he served as a Visiting Professor for one semester at the School of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

A Tale of Many Traditions: Towards the end of his term at University of Virginia, Tulku Nyima Rinpoche met His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche (a highly- regarded reincarnated lama of the Drikung Kagyu tradition, known for his vast Compassion and Wisdom) at the Drikung Mahayana Center, Garchen Rinpoche's American Eastern seat in the Washington D.C. area. His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche and Tulku Nyima Rinpoche both had studied under the great Nyingma Master Khenpo Munsel. Upon meeting, the two highly realized masters spontaneously ignited an ageless friendship. In an act so selfless during his teachings, Garchen Rinpoche publicly introduced Tulku Nyima Rinpoche and encouraged his students to receive teachings from him.

2003 Spontaneous Teaching Tour: Based on His Eminence's recommendation and Tulku Nyima Rinpoche's own radiant presence, the Drikung Mahayana Center sponsored a series of teaching events with Tulku Nyima Rinpoche in summer 2003. The purpose of these events was to receive the nectar of blessings that flowed spontaneously from Rinpoche's lips, and for the events to become a way for Rinpoche to raise funds to help rebuild his ailing Dokho monastery in Tibet, which traces its origins back to Chogyel Phakpa, one of the Five Founders of the great Sakya Tradition. Teachings in other parts of the country were also held for the benefit of the Dokho Monastery. Late in summer 2003, Garchen Rinpoche himself invited Tulku Nyima Rinpoche to the Garchen Institute - his American Western seat in Chino Valley, Arizona. There, being humble as he is well known for, Garchen Rinpoche offered his own throne to Tulku Nyima Rinpoche to teach his students!

The Sakya Leadership: In 2003, Tulku Nyima Rinpoche met His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche, a full lineage holder of the Sakya Tradition, at the Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in Seattle. Following the meeting, Tulku Nyima Rinpoche received a letter of support from His Holiness Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche. The year 2003 also marked the auspicious year in which His Holiness Sakya Trizin, the current Head of the Sakya Order, visited North America to bestow teachings and to consecrate Tsechen Kunchub Ling, his North American seat in Walden, N.Y. Following a meeting between His Holiness Sakya Trizin and Tulku Nyima Rinpoche in New York City, His Holiness Sakya Trizin recognized Tulku Nyima Rinpoche as a genuine reincarnate lama of the Sakya tradition, and offered his full support towards Rinpoche's efforts to rebuild the Dokho Monastery that currently houses over 800 monks.

Sakya Dokho Choling: Before traveling back to Tibet due to expiration of his visa, Tulku Nyima Rinpoche returned to the Drikung Mahayana Center. On his last day in the Washington, D.C. area, Rinpoche conducted a short Refuge ceremony and announced his intention to establish a Sakya center in the eastern United States, his first in the West. He named this center Sakya Dokho Choling. He said that he would come back to the U.S. in November 2004 along with a Chinese language translator/ attendant. He has offered to lead a three-month Dzogchen-style retreat given sufficient interest among students. This retreat would be organized to meet the needs of two types of students: those who can spend the entire three months with Rinpoche, and those who can come only on the weekends.

Current Status:

Tulku Nyima Rinpoche is now in Tibet. Inspired by Rinpoche's boundless and joyful Compassion and Wisdom, many students who had received teachings from him are inspired to assist Rinpoche in his Buddha activities to spread the precious Dharma and enlarge the excellent Sangha. His Holiness Sakya Trizin has said that in light of [Tulku Nyima's] knowledge and experience, it would indeed be invaluable for students of the Dharma to receive teachings from him. If you are interested in the potential Dzogchen-style retreat program being planned for the 2004-2005 timeframe, please email us before May, 2004. Seating is limited. We are currently requesting support from benefactors as well as retreat students to help us organize this retreat.

You Can Help!: Sakya Dokho Choling is still in the process of being established and needs your support, both monetary and non-monetary. If you have legal skills, you may be able to help us establish and conduct ourselves as a non-profit Dharma center. We need long-term help in the Web-development/ Web-hosting area. You may even be able to help us in ways we are not aware of - you tell us, please! Donations of any amount - small or large - are welcome, and are currently not tax-deductible until a non-profit status is obtained. His Holiness Sakya Trizin has said that Tulku Nyima Rinpoche is greatly interested in sharing his knowledge and giving teachings. If you are able to host Rinpoche at your Dharma center for teachings, as some Dharma centers in the U.S. did in summer 2003, please contact us to cooperatively plan Rinpoche's itinerary.

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For More Information: Web: www.sakyadokhocholing.org Email: sakya_dokho_choling@yahoo.com Tel: Kanaya Chevli at 301-219-4471 ifis ifoCimss Safya Trizin

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