Dear Friends and Members of Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche’s centres,
It is with deep regret that we inform the Karma Kagyu tradition, the Nyingma tradition and all other schools of Tibetan Buddhism as well as the wider Buddhist community that our treasured and beloved Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche IX passed into parinirvana at 12:10 am on 24 July 2012, being the Fourth Day of the Sixth Month of the Tibetan calendar in the Year of the Dragon. We are deeply shocked and saddened at the loss of such an extraordinary teacher at such a young age. Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche remained lucid to the end and we were both honoured to be present with Rinpoche at the time of his gentle and dignified passing.
Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche was devoted to maintaining the essence and purity of Buddhism. Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche was not only a remarkable and outstanding scholar of the teachings of Buddhism but his ability to communicate the teachings ensured that the essence of the teachings penetrated the hearts and minds of thousands of students of the Dharma throughout the world. We deeply and earnestly pray for the quick rebirth of Traleg Rinpoche. We feel blessed beyond belief to be a part of Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche’s activities throughout the West.
In accordance with the Tibetan tradition evening pujas at E-Vam Buddhist Institute, Carlton North, will commence on Wednesday 25 July from 8pm and all subsequent evenings for 49 days. A tribute ceremony will be held at Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche’s Maitripa Centre, Healesville, (Victoria, Australia) at a date to be confirmed.
With Profound Sadness,
Yours Sincerely in the Dharma,
Felicity Lodro and Kal Kingi
It is with sadness that I have learnt of Traleg’s death. We had planned another exhibition of Tibetan art to support the summer school. My father, who had previously supported this event, died on July 5. I hope we may arrange something to honor both. Traleg was a respected friend and will be missed.
I was deeply saddened to learn of Rinpoche’s passing. Although i never had the good fortune to meet Rinpoche, I was introduced to him through a wonderful book a friend gave me, Mind at Ease, the only book I have where I felt it necessary to mark up and dog-ear…something I never do. A wonderful text.
It is always a great loss for the Dharma community and the world in general when a great teacher moves on. An ocean of prayers and wishes for his students and for Rinpoche’s swift return.
Agent of Equanimity
I have a well-thumbed copy of Traleg Rinpoche’s book Mind at Ease (Shambhala 2004), revisited many times for its clear, well-organized presentation of Mahamudra meditation and unique treatments of the Four Reminders and Four Immeasurables (aka Four Limitless Ones). While my exposure to Traleg was limited to this book and a few video talks and interviews, his insightfulness and gracious style made a big enough impression that his death caused some real tears. Though never an imitator, his work is a pithy, scholarly complement to that of the great Chögyam Trungpa, and deserves special attention from dharma students of all stripes. For those who haven’t read him at all, I should mention his post-graduate education in Australia, which seems to have made his writings and talks in English all the more fluent and eminently accessible. As is the case with Ponlop Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, this makes him exceptionally valuable and helpful to western students, and so his passing is a real loss to us all. It would be heartening to see his teachings more widely disseminated and others following in his brilliant footsteps.
Grand Étang, NS
I never had the good fortune of meeting Traleg Rinpoche in person and receive teachings from him but just seeing one video on youtube in which he spoke about the Vidyadhara, Trungpa Rinpoche, left a deep impression on me. I mourn his passing together with his students and all those close to him. May he quickly return to this world to help dispel the darkness of materialism, care for those who needs his care and so forth!
-Seweryn Julien, Szczecin, Poland
I met Traleg Rinpoche on what I think was his first visit to Boulder. I am composing these somewhat rough recollections now after hearing of his death this morning.
Traleg Rinpoche gave a weekday evening talk at Naropa, on lay practice I believe, about 2005. I don’t remember a lot of what he said but was quite taken with him. His presence had a sort of vividness that’s hard to describe. He was relaxed and his English was clear and precise. He sat in a chair, wore a sport jacket, and didn’t seem to have any particular ‘Tibetanness’ or pretensions of being a spiritual or religious person. He just talked about how to live. He reminded me of the Vidyadhara, Trungpa Rinpoche. I wanted to have a conversation with him about retreat practice, daily life, and anything else I could think of.
I was able to get an interview the next day, up the hill at the Bolduc’s house where he was staying. My conversation with Traleg Rinpoche was short and sweet with no particular revelations. I asked him about coming out of long retreat, which I had just done, and about reintegrating into the world, which I was trying to do. He was encouraging about doing that, but I don’t recall that he had any tips, particularly. He acknowledged the jarring quality of stepping back into the life one had left to go into retreat, and seemed to be suggesting I should lean into it, take things as they came, and the integration would happen. We discussed writing, and I told him I was having difficulty establishing the writing as a steady discipline. He said that when he worked on a book, he wrote every day, and it was no problem. In the course of the conversation I asked if he was writing alone all day, and he said, “Oh no. I spend a few hours dictating to someone and they write it all down for me.”
The weekend came and I assisted a course Rinpoche taught on Lojong, also at Naropa. He now has a book out on that topic, the slogans of Atisha, which he said then he was working on. I was leading a discussion group which met between his talks and some students were complaining because he was going in detail over every slogan and giving commentary to each. All 59 of them. There was little or no audience discussion. Though I was pretty familiar with the topic, and liked it, it was a little numbing even for me. These students were almost all new, young, with no buddhist background. Some were leaving and some were having trouble grappling with the material.
In the last meeting with Rinpoche that weekend I gingerly shared some student feedback. I asked if it might be appropriate to gloss some of the slogans at less length and dwell on just a few of the more important. This would allow time for students to ask questions and open things up a little. I remember him wondering at one point in the conversation whether that was the sort of thing Trungpa Rinpoche might do. I felt that it could be. I indicated that it was possible that he might be expecting more scholasticism from Naropa students than was realistically there to be found (tactful understatement). He seemed to be considering it, then as he arose to go into the last long session of the afternoon he said, “Well, if it was good enough for Atisha, it’s good enough for us!” and proceeded to cover all the remaining slogans thoroughly, running into the evening, as what remained of the audience sagged a little on their cushions.
Best, Phil Karl
I offer the rainbow in my heart and the sunshine in my soul for those who
who know him.
With deep laughs and loves
Wolfgang man kneisel