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Lama Thubten Phuntsok Rinpoche (1928 - )

Born in western Tibet in 1928, Rinpoche became a monk at an early age. His first root lama was Nyingma Dzogchen master Dudjom Rinpoche. He studied under Dudjom Rinpoche's guidance for 12 years and then entered retreat at Mt. Kailash for 12 years. After the invasion of Tibet, Lama Thubten fled to India and then to Nepal, where he studied with Chatral Rinpoche at his monastery in Katmandu for 20 years. Rinpoche spent the next 25 years in meditation retreat in the Yolmo valley of Nepal.

Rinpoche has practiced Chöd in 108 charnel grounds. He has been a strict vegetarian for many, many years, emulating Chadral Rinpoche, out of great compassion for the suffering of beings. While in retreat at Blazing Wisdom in 2004-2005, for example, he asked his attendants not to cut grass or do any outdoor work that was likely to harm insects and other beings, though he did build flagpoles and hang hundreds of prayers flags from the trees by himself. He also is expert in constructing Mani prayer-wheels, and has left many wind and water powered Mani-wheels throughout Tibet, India and Nepal marking his passage.

During his seven years in the U.S., Lama Thubten has gathered many disciples, to whom he has taught the preliminaries, Chod, and other practices. He has repeatedly conferred sem tri on the essential unity of emptiness and clarity, infused with compassion, in accordance with his own realization. Lama-la currently lives in Warwick, NY, U.S.A.

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