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Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Dissolving the External Display

Thinley Norbu Rinpoche (1931-2011)

By Jakob Leschly

Sublime artists always give energy to others through their art. When they die, they do not leave ordinary inert substance art as a lifeless remainder, but their pure spiritual power lives in their art for the benefit of others.
Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Thinley Norbu Rinpoche – a.k.a. Dungsey Rinpoche, “precious heart son” – passed away on Tuesday, December 27, 2011, in Palm Desert, California. He was 80 years old, and is survived by three daughters and four sons, the eldest of which is Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche.

Rinpoche was the eldest heart son of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-1987), and was regarded as the incarnation of Tertön Trimey (1881-1924), the life in which he was born as the son of the first Dudjom Rinpoche, Traktung Dudjom Lingpa (1835-1904). Rinpoche was also regarded as the re-embodiment of Longchen Rabjam (1308-1363), “The Great Omniscient One’ the Nyingma master who gathered and transmitted the oral and rediscovered lineages of the Great Perfection teachings.

Thinley Norbu Rinpoche completed his training under his father, and continued to study extensively with several great masters at the Mindroling monastery in Central Tibet. In the wake of the Tibetan exodus, Rinpoche taught and spread Dudjom Rinpoche’s treasure teaching in Bhutan, and in the late 1970s he travelled to the West where he continued to live and teach until his passing.

It’s impossible to describe the infinite qualities of a sublime being. Conventionally one could say Thinley Norbu Rinpoche was an extraordinarily powerful, wise, and engaging presence. Elegant and sophisticated, he had an intensely personal way of relating to whomever he met. He possessed a great sense of humour, and a profound love of art and beauty. At all times he effortlessly displayed enlightenment and the qualities of the teaching, and for those students fortunate enough to spend time with him, he was fully committed in guiding them in every aspect of the path. In Rinpoche’s sangha, children were always included with Rinpoche being very attentive to even the minutest aspect of their education, empowering and guiding them in cultivating joy, peace, and values.

Dungsey Thinley Norbu Rinpoche leaves behind him a rich legacy of sublime Buddhist instruction. He wrote beautifully in both Tibetan and English, conveying the Buddhist teaching with a clear sense of his audience, and with a playful grasp of imagery and language. Rinpoche challenged both the religious bent of traditional Asian cultures, as well as the nihilist assumptions of modern culture. His numerous published works provide both a clear foundational understanding, as well as the more profound and subtle instructions of Buddhist view and practice.

Dungsey Thinley Norbu Rinpoche will be cremated in Bhutan on March 3rd. As Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche and other lamas have stated, with the passing of a sublime being, we no longer should externalise him or her, but mingle with their wisdom.

In the crystal mirror theatre of Awareness Mind the supreme artist performs his magical displays, but rare is the clear insight audience capable of viewing this wisdom.

From Magic Dance - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

 

The Display of the Self-Nature of the Five Wisdom Dakinis

by Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

 

Five Wisdom Sisters,
If we do not complement you,
you become five witches,
making us ill and bringing us suffering.
Because we cannot banish you,
always our fate depends on you.

Five Wisdom Sisters,
If we do complement you,
you become five angels,
making us healthy and bringing us happiness.
Because we cannot separate from you,
always our fate depends on you.

Five Wisdom Sisters,
Nothing can be done without depending on your mood.
Farmers cannot grow their crops,
Politicians cannot rule their countries,
Engineers cannot work their machines,
Doctors cannot heal their patients,
Scientists cannot do their research,
Philosophers cannot make their logic,
Artists cannot create their art,
without depending on your mood.

Five Wisdom Sisters,
Nothing can be known without depending on your grace.
Tibetan lamas cannot chant with cool highland habit,
Indian gurus cannot sing with warm lowland habit,
Japanese roshis cannot sit with dark cushion habit,
Muslim sheikhs cannot dance with bright robed habit,
Jewish rabbis cannot pray with soft-voiced habit
Without depending on your grace.

Five Wisdom Sisters,
Even the most mysterious miracles cannot occur without complementing your purity.
Buddha Shakyamuni cannot rest with tranquil gaze of his lotus eyes
underneath the Bodhi tree,
Guru Padmasambhava cannot play magically with countless sky-walking dakinis,
Lord Jesus cannot walk weightlessly across the water,
Prophet Moses cannot see the radiantly burning bush,
Brahmin Saraha-pa cannot straighten arrows,
singing wisdom hymns with his arrow-maker girl,
Crazy saint Tilopa cannot eat fish and torture Naropa,
Greatest yogi Milarepa cannot remain in his cave, singing and accepting hardships
Without complementing your purity.

You are so patient.
Whoever wants to stay,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot stay.
Whoever wants to go,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot go.
Whoever wants to taste or touch,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot taste or touch.
Whatever our actions,
You are always supporting
Patiently without complaining.
But we ignorant beings are always ungrateful,
Stepping on you,

Calling you Earth.
You are so constant.
Whoever wants to be purified,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot be purified.
Whoever wants to quench their thirst,
If you don’t exist,

Cannot quench their thirst.
Whoever wants to hear,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot hear
Whatever our actions,
You are always flowing
Ceaselessly without complaining.
But we desiring beings
Are always ungrateful,
Splashing you,

Calling you Water.
You are so clear.
Whoever wants to fight,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot fight.
Whoever wants to love,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot love.
Whoever wants to see,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot see.
Whatever our actions,
You are always glowing
Unobscuredly without complaining.
But we proud beings
Are always ungrateful
Smothering you,

Calling you Fire.
You are so light.
Whoever wants to rise,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot rise.
Whoever wants to move,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot move.
Whoever wants to smell,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot smell.
Whatever our actions,
You are always moving
Weightlessly without complaining.
But we envious beings
Are always ungrateful,
Fanning you,

Calling you Air.
You are so open.
Whoever wants to exist,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot exist.
Whoever doesn’t want to exist,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot cease to exist.
Whoever wants to know phenomena,
If you don’t exist,
Cannot know phenomena.
Whatever our actions,
You are always welcoming
Spaciously without complaining.
But we ignorant beings
Are always ungrateful,
Emptying you,

Calling you Space.
You are our undemanding slave,
Tirelessly serving us,
From ordinary beings to sublime beings to fulfill our worldly wishes.
You are our powerful queen,
Seductively conquering us,
From ordinary beings to sublime beings,
Into desirable qualities.
You are our Wisdom Dakini,
Effortlessly guiding us with your magic dance,
From ordinary beings to sublime beings,
Into desireless qualities.
And so,
I want to introduce you.

Cosmic Dance Mandala from Tharpaling Monastery Bumthang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please read A Message from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Thinley Norbu Rinpoche’s paranivarna
at www.siddharthasintent.org

 

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