Meeting with H.E. Gelek Rinpoche

by Anonymous

12 May 2009 - 10:19pm Comments Off

Sharing an intimate moment with Gelek Rinpoche


If Tsem Rinpoche is a young Lama with an ancient wisdom heart, then Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche is an ‘ancient’ Lama with a heart that is forever young. By ancient, we mean one of the last great Masters from Tibet, someone in whose childhood home His Holinesses Pabongkha and Trijang Rinpoche were regular visitors, someone who grew up as direct disciple of both of these unsurpassed lineage holders of Jamgon Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition, someone who can quote from a trillion Sutras, effortlessly from memory, and does it with such down-to-earth warmth and humour (and a Satchmo-style foghorn/conch shell voice!) that no molecule is left un-enchanted.

As every year, His Eminence has graced his charming devoted Malaysian Sangha with extensive teachings and public talks. Tsem Rinpoche, although decidedly wary of disrupting Dharma sessions, couldn?’ help for once to join and pay homage personally. Trying to hide in the back rows didn’t do work and he was gently ushered to a chair with flowers next to Gelek Rinpoche. Offering three prostrations and a blessing scarf, Rinpoche then turned his chair so it faced the speaker more than the audience, indicating he had come to listen, not to teach. And yet, the way he listened was a teaching in itself, one I shall never forget. With folded hands, head and back slightly bowed, eyelids lowered, body rocking back and forth in miniature movements, his entire being absorbed wisdom eternities in total rapt receptivity and the visible tangible energy of one-pointed awareness. This must be the no-place where true beauty is born. This must be the state of mind the 50 stanzas of Guru Devotion point towards. It occurred to me that Oneness is not ‘being all of the same pudding’, but this kind of Surrender To The Sacred. In this way, even bum practitioners like myself would never be far or separate from the highest blessings ‘True Transmission cutting through the static’.

Tsem Rinpoche would later tell those of us unable to just leave after the teaching’s conclusion, “His Eminence Gelek Rinpoche is not one of my personal Gurus as I haven’t received initiations from him, yet my reverence to him is without end. Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche is a Dharma master of the highest order and one of the last perfect Dharma Jewels of Tibet. It was Gelek Rinpoche who has opened the door and paved the way for me when I was sent to Malaysia by H.E. Lati Rinpoche. His wonderful tireless assistant Ms. Tee, who has worked for so many years in service of all schools of Buddhism, much in the spirit of Sifu Tony Wong, has even driven me across the country, escorting me to the places where I first could share the holy Dharma. To all of them I am so grateful and shall never forget their kindness.”

The deep love of the Jewel Heart Sangha was palpable as Tsem Rinpoche traded a few ‘tricks’ on how they could serve and care for their Lama even more. Leaving a donation in support of His Eminence?s teachings and asking his assistants to deliver a sacred statue & no surprises there! The next day, Tsem Rinpoche and the Kechara gang headed for an 11pm breakfast at Coffee Beans.

Earlier, Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche had told the audience that “Tsem Rinpoche is doing great service here and I am very happy about this.” And, with the general public slowly dispersing, the two Rinpoches relaxed, stretched, talked and laughed together for a precious little while mutual respect, mutual support & harmony. FRIENDS. What could be more natural?

Note: just because someone wears a plaid shirt and is very easy-going, doesn’t mean they are not Yamantaka.

His Eminence Gelek Rinpoche and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche

Tsem Rinpoche prostrating to Gelek Rinpoche

Making offerings to Gelek Rinpoche

our Dharma sister Irene with Gelek Rinpoche

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