Message from the Tergar Instructors – India, 2015

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche in India after returning from his retreat. Photo: Paul McGowan
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche in India after returning from his retreat. Photo: Paul McGowan

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Greetings from India!
 
It has been quite an adventure since we arrived in India and met with Mingyur Rinpoche for the first time. We spent the first few days in Delhi, where the four of us – along with Ani Miao Rong and Chin Yung from Tergar Asia – spent many hours with Rinpoche over the course of two days. He told us all about his retreat and shared his vision for the future of the Tergar Community. We were also able to tell him how the community has flourished while he was away and to ask the many questions that have accumulated over the past four years. Rinpoche has many ideas that are clearly inspired by his experiences in retreat. We look forward to the day when he shares them with the community.

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and the Tergar Instructors along with Linda, Ani Miao Rong, and Chin Yung from Tergar Asia. Photo: Paul McGowan
His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and the Tergar Instructors along with Linda, Ani Miao Rong, and Chin Yung from Tergar Asia. Photo: Paul McGowan

For these first few days we stayed at the same hotel with His Holiness Karmapa – who was in Delhi to give some teachings. Mingyur Rinpoche met with him daily during that time. One day we were fortunate to have lunch with the Karmapa, Mingyur Rinpoche, and a few other guests, and it was wonderful to see them chatting and laughing – they were clearly enjoying each other’s presence. We also accompanied Mingyur Rinpoche to meet with Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, another important teacher in the Kagyu lineage. The visit was short, but it was nice to see these two great teachers reconnecting. Throughout our stay in Delhi, many people came to visit Mingyur Rinpoche at the hotel where we were staying, so he spent part of each day receiving visitors from around the world.

The four Tergar Instructors with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. Photo: Tergar International.
The four Tergar Instructors with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. Photo: Tergar International.

On Tuesday, we packed our bags and left for Sherab Ling Monastery, the seat of His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche, one of Mingyur Rinpoche’s four main teachers. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills in Northwest India, this majestic monastery is where Mingyur Rinpoche spent many of his early years, including many years in retreat. Upon arrival, Mingyur Rinpoche was greeted by a procession of hundreds of monks and nuns, all clearly excited to see him again after such a long time away. Rinpoche made his way through the crowd and was ushered in to meet with Tai Situ Rinpoche, who was in a month-long retreat. We were unexpectedly invited in as well and were able to witness their remarkable reunion.

The first meeting between Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and Khenting Tai Situ Rinpoche. Photo Paul McGowan
The first meeting between Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and Khenting Tai Situ Rinpoche. Photo Paul McGowan

The meeting began with Mingyur Rinpoche presenting a mandala offering – a symbolic gift that represents the entire universe. He then took a seat nearby Tai Situ Rinpoche. We sat quietly on the opposite side of Tai Situ Rinpoche as the two spoke quietly in Tibetan. After a few minutes, Tai Situ Rinpoche turned to us and began speaking in English. He told us about the historic connection between the previous Tai Situ Rinpoches and Yongey Mingyur Rinpoches, and also how important it is to maintain the teachings of this precious lineage so that it remains available for future generations. All the while, he was smiling and laughing, both serious and playful at the same time. We were all moved by his presence and felt incredibly fortunate to spend time with our two teachers in such a special moment. After half an hour or so, we all left and Tai Situ Rinpoche resumed his retreat.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and Khenting Tai Situ Rinpoche. Photo Paul McGowan
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and Khenting Tai Situ Rinpoche. Photo Paul McGowan

Over the past few days, Mingyur Rinpoche has been meeting regularly with Tai Situ Rinpoche. He has also been receiving visitors for a few hours each afternoon. Despite the remoteness of the monastery, there have been hundreds of visitors coming to meet him. Yesterday Mingyur Rinpoche gave his first teachings since he completed his retreat. He first visited the monks’ three-year retreat center here at Sherab Ling and gave teachings to the retreatants. He then visited the monastic college (shedra) and gave a talk to a few hundred monks. He told the monks that studying Buddhist philosophy is not merely a theoretical exercise, but should be rooted in practice and direct experience. He also spoke of the importance of having a compassionate motivation for one’s study and practice, stressing that one should do so to help others, not merely to advance one’s own interests and ambitions. After leaving the monastic college, Rinpoche went to the nuns’ three-year retreat center and spent the afternoon there giving teachings.

Mingyur Rinpoche offering traditional blessing to monks and community members at Sherab Ling Monastery, India. Photo Paul McGowan
Mingyur Rinpoche offering traditional blessing to monks and community members at Sherab Ling Monastery, India. Photo Paul McGowan

We have been meeting with Rinpoche for a few hours each evening to continue our discussions. Last night we filmed a few new videos for the community. Soon you will be able to watch these videos and hear from Rinpoche himself about his experiences on retreat. It’s a remarkable story!

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and Tergar Instructors. Photo: Tergar International
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and Tergar Instructors. Photo: Tergar International

Tomorrow we return to Delhi with Mingyur Rinpoche. The day after that we will part ways. Mingyur Rinpoche will travel to Kathmandu, where he will visit his monastery, and also see his brother Tsoknyi Rinpoche, his grandfather, his mother (whom he also met in Delhi), and his many students in Nepal. He will be there just a few days before returning to Sherab Ling. In late December, he will travel to Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya, where he will stay for a few months. He told us that his stay in Bodhgaya will be a good time for people to come and meet him. He has not yet decided whether or not he will offer teachings while he is there.
 
Meanwhile, we will return to the United States and begin preparing for Mingyur Rinpoche’s visit to our communities in Europe, North America and South America. We don’t have any specific details yet, but Mingyur Rinpoche will hopefully be able to travel to the West next year.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and the four Tergar Instructors. Photo Paul McGowan
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and the four Tergar Instructors. Photo: Tergar International

Mingyur Rinpoche has expressed great appreciation for what the community has accomplished over the past few years. As a community, our commitment to practice, to supporting one another, and to making the world a better place has only grown while he was on retreat. On behalf of Mingyur Rinpoche, we would like to thank you for everything you have done to keep the teachings alive in your own heart.
 
Warmest wishes,
 
Cortland, Edwin, Myoshin, and Tim

 
 

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November 18, 2015

12 responses on "Message from the Tergar Instructors - India, 2015"

  1. Profile photo of minding

    Thank you for the record of your time with Rinpoche.

  2. Profile photo of laurenceshakya

    Thank you so much for sharing with us these beautiful moments. What a delight to read about the record of your stay. it is like if I was there myself with you and Rinpoche.

    Back in France since 2 weeks after many months in Nepal where I live…I smiled when I learned that Rinpoche would go to Nepal soon…patiently waiting to meet with Rinpoche one day. For now, looking forward to listen to Rinpoche’s experience about his retreat. we are so so fortunate.

    My respect and gratitude to Rinpoche and to you, Myoshin, Cortland, Edwin and Tim

  3. Profile photo of helenroberts12

    Hello Myoshin, Edwin et al

    Thanks so much for this great letter. As much as the words I appreciate the photo’s. It making me think a 4 1/2 year retreat is a really great idea. Mingyur Rinpoche oozes peace, focus and happiness. You guys look pretty happy too:)

    Cant wait to see you all in the flesh again and to meet Mingyur Rinpoche for the first time.

    Helen Roberts

  4. Profile photo of mseidler

    Yes, thank you for the sharing.

  5. Profile photo of teeming-heart

    Wonderful! Thank you for relaying the stories and photos.

  6. Profile photo of beth

    Thank you for these precious photos and commentary, and the video of Mingyur Rinpoche’s experience and teaching on attachment and appreciation. Words fall short in expressing the well of feeling, reverence and deepest appreciation for Rinpoche imparting his experience to us. I’m so happy he has returned healthy and well ~ so grateful for the Tergar instructors and community. Thank you !!!

  7. Profile photo of jampasangmo

    Thank you all for sharing the coming back of Rinpoche. And also thanks a lot for working with us without Rinpoche. All the courses I spent with you have been extremely helpful for me in my Nuns life.
    Jampa

  8. Profile photo of jeffscannell

    Thanks to Paul for the great videos!

  9. Profile photo of matildeagar

    What a tender and generous story of trial, survival, love, compassion, and the capacity for beauty to grow from adversity!
    Dear Rinpoche, We are grateful for your safe return and look forward to the teachings you have to offer us directly from
    your retreat experience. With Deep Appreciation

  10. Profile photo of amyreyer

    Thanks to all of you for sharing this with us, what a precious reunion! I asked my kids about whether now was a good time for me to go on a 3 year retreat and they burst out laughing–teenagers! But they do think Mingyur Rinpoche is cool, so that’s something!

  11. Profile photo of msapos

    Welcome back Rinpoche. So glad that you had a wonderful retreat and we hope that we can continue to assist and serve with your goals of teaching the Dharma. Warmest wishes.

  12. Profile photo of judyporter

    What an experience of a lifetime (perhaps many lifetimes!) Beautiful photos and story. Thanks for making it available to us.

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