My Very Short Life in Tibet


Here’s a short one from Michael Chender in the spirit of Alan Sloan’s My Very Short Life with Milarepa

Very early on, I was looking to see if maybe I had been some exalted person in a previous incarnation. I was too embarrassed to ask such a question straightforwardly, so I said to Rinpoche, “Does the fact that many of us were instantly attracted to study with you when you came here mean we were Tibetans in former lives?” He looked at me for a moment and said,

“There does seem to have been a migration of incarnations. Who knows … you could have been a fly on a donkey’s ass in Tibet.”

© 2004 by Michael Chender


Michael Chender began studing with Trungpa Rinpoche in 1970, and was a senior teacher and meditation instructor in the Buddhist and Shambhala streams of Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings. He was also a student of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche beginning in the late 1990s. He was the founder of the Shambhala Institute for Authentic Leadership (later known as ALIA), and retired after a long career in the information business in 2013. Michael died in Halifax on July 2, 2019.