Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche at Shambhala Mountain Center

Yangsi Rinpoche and entourage sat on the reviewing platform as dark clouds moved in.

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I just spent a magical afternoon with Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche. He came to Shambhala Mountain Center to see the Great Stupa and we hosted him in classic Vajradhatu style. The staff and dathun and visitors lined the path to the stupa with the eight auspicious symbols drawn in white sand, throwing bushels of rose petals.

Inside the stupa was set with throne and brocaded cushions for the entourage, including Rabjam Rinpoche, Gesar Mukpo, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Yangsi Rinpoche, and Matthieu Ricard. Traditional tea and rice with saffron were served to Yangsi Rinpoche in a beautiful jade and gold cup with swirling silver teapots and all the flourishes, and then to the entourage and other guests. Ven. Rabjam Rinpoche addressed the assembly. Then the principals of SMC made speeches of welcome to Khyentse Rinpoche. After that a cello piece by Elgar was performed by Julia Emery. It was a very moving performance.

Then we were all treated to a Kyudo Reisha ceremony performed by two of the sons of Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin, Vajra and Michael Rich. Khyentse Rinpoche and entourage then toured the upstairs of the stupa. After that we all went to a lunch under canopies in the encampment ground, followed by a wonderful flag raising and full dress drill by a small contingent of the SMC kasung headed by our beloved Commander Craig Morman. Yangsi Rinpoche and entourage sat on the reviewing platform as dark clouds moved in and thunder punctuated their marching salutes to the reviewing Rinpoches. Then, accompanied by flashing lightning and Khampa cries from Kongtrul Rinpoche they headed to the line of cars and goodbyes, and leaving us all on the side of the road in the subsequent downpour. And on to a couple of hours of cleanup and take down…..

I don’t think I have experienced a visit like that since that last visit of Khyentse’s predecessor.

From the land of happy Dharma,
Greg Smith

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Greg Smith, well-known sangha artist and thangka painter, has lived and painted for many years at Shambhala Mountain Center and is responsible for much of the painting in the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya. As a tribute to CTR, Greg has offered the image below: a newly completed thangka of the Vidyadhara. For more information on Greg's work, please visit his website.