Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm
Lopon La Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, is one of the best Dzogchen teachers within the whole Bon Tradition.
Below follows a very extensive history about Lopon La. It shows also, what Bon and Bonpos are, what they do study in the world of the Tibetan Traditions seen.
H.E. Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche.jpg [ 89.2 KiB | Viewed 948 times ]
The Biography of Lopon Tenzin Namdak
The Venerable Yongdzin Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche is an accomplished scholar and practitioner of the Bön tradition, in particular of Dzogchen and the Ma Gyud or Mother Tantra, and the foremost and most learned expert on Bön outside Tibet.
Since the 1960s he has also been in the forefront of reviving Bönpo religious culture among the Tibetans living in exile from their homeland in India and Nepal, where he has established Bönpo communities and monastic educational institutions.
Lopon Rinpoche was born
in 1926 in Khyungpo Karru (khyung-po dkar-ru) in Khyungpo district of Kham prov-ince in eastern Tibet. His father was a farmer with land in the Chamdo district, where he possessed many yaks, sheep, horses, goats, dogs and other animals. At the age of seven,
in 1933,he entered Tengchen Monastery (steng-chen dgon-pa), which was the local monastic establishment in the same district. His uncle, Kalzang Tsultrim (bsKal-bzang tshul-khrims), was the Urndze (ommdzad), or chant leader, among the monks at the monastery.
Tengchen Monastery belonged to the tradition of Old Bön (Bön rnying-ma), other-wise known as Yungdrung Bön (g.yung-drung Bön ) in contrast to New Bön (Bön gsar-ma)  and had close affiliations with Menri Monastery and Yungdrung Ling Monastery in central Tibet. This monastery had the only school in the district at the time and here young Lopon Rinpoche was taught to read and write, thus beginning his extensive education. It was here also that he took his novice monk vows at the age of fourteen.
In 1941 when he was fifteen years old, Lopon Rinpoche travelled with his uncle to Yungdrung Ling (g.yung-drung gling), one of the two leading Bönpo monasteries in central Tibet.
Coming from a family famous for its many artists,
from 1941 to 1943 he was largely engaged in helping to execute a series of wall paintings or frescos in the new temple at this monastery. The Lopon had been trained as an artist and painter since the age of eleven, and this training in drawing and painting has served him throughout his entire life.
In 1944 at the age of eighteen, he went on pilgrimage to Nepal with two other monks, first visiting Solu-Khumbu and then Kathmandu, where he meditated at the holy hill of Swayambhunath at the western end of the valley, a location which had once been graced and blessed by the presence of the Buddha Tonpa Shenrab himself. [Lopon Rinpoche returned to Tibet by way of Pokhara and Mustang, the latter also being an area of Bönpo settlement in Nepal. From there he went on pil-grimage to the Mt. Kailas region of west Tibet, which lies at the heart of the old Zhang-zhung kingdom.
In 1945, Lopon Rinpoche returned to Yungdrung Ling to begin
his studies in philosophy (mtshan-nyid).
From 1945 to 1950, he lived more or less a hermit's existence with his tutor and master Gang-ru Tsultrim Gyaltsan Rinpoche (sGang-ru Tshul-khrims rgyal-mtshan). This master was an exceedingly learned Lama in the Bönpo tradition and for some eighteen years he had been the Lopon at Yungdrung Ling Monastery. After retirement from this monastery, Gang-ru Rinpoche lived in a meditation cave at Namtso (gnam-mtsho) Lake in northern Tibet. The young Lopon Rinpoche lived in the cave with this master for four years. With the master, he studied the same subjects as those taught at Yungdrung Ling, namely, grammar (sgra), poetics (snyan-ngag), monastic discipline
('dul-ba), cosmology (mdzod-phug), and the stages of the path to enlightenment (sa-lam). Following his master's advice,
in 1950 he went to Menri Monastery in Tsang province, near Sakya Monastery in central Tibet, in order to complete his studies in preparation for the Geshe (dge-bshes) degree examination, the Tibetan equivalent of a Doctor of Philosophy. Here he underwent a full course of scholastic studies. At this time, his principal teacher was Lopon Sangye Tenzin (slob-dpon Sangs-rgyas bstan-'dzin). At Menri, he studied Tibetan and Sanskrit grammar, poetics, astrology and medicine, as well as chanting and ritual practices. His advanced studies included Prajnaparamita, Madhyamaka philosophy, Abhidharma, Vinaya, Tantra and Dzogchen.
In 1953, at the relatively young age of twenty-seven, he passed his oral examinations and was awarded the Geshe degree from Menri Monastery. In the same year, due to his outstanding learning and scholarship, he was elected to serve in the position of Lopon or head teacher for the academic course of studies at the college of the monastery, succeeding his own master Lopon Sangye Tenzin.
From 1953 until 1957, he remained in this position only to retire in that year as the conflict between the native Tibetans and the encroaching Chinese Communists in-creased in central Tibet.
Until 1960, he remained at Se-zhig Monastery on the Dangra lake in northern Tibet.
March 10, 1959, saw the Lhasa uprising against the Chinese Communist tyrannical rule over Tibet. Many of the most famous living Lamas of Tibet, including H.H. the Dalai Lama and H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa, were forced to flee from their homeland and a flood of Tibetan refugees entered India and Nepal.
In 1960, after his long retreat, Lopon Rinpoche L also sought to flee, seeking refuge in India. But on the way south he was shot by Chinese soldiers and incarcerated in a Chinese military prison for nearly ten months, where he endured great hardships. Finally, he was able to make an escape, leading a small party of monks. They traveled by night and hid during the day for some twenty-two days until they reached safety in Nepal by way of the small principality of Lo Mustang. Coming finally to Kathmandu, Lopon Rinpoche stayed for some months at Najyin (gna'-sbyin) Monastery.
In 1961, while residing in Kathmandu, Lopon Rinpoche met and was befriended by the celebrated English Tibetologist, Dr. David Snellgrove, of London University who invited him to London, along with Lopon Sangye Tenzin and Geshe Samten Karmay. Thus, receiving a Rockefeller Foundation Grant in the Visiting Scholar Program, the Lopon came first to the University of London and then he resided for a time at Cambridge University. Towards the end of his stay in England, he made a retreat at a Benedictine monastery on the Isle of Wight.
During this time,
in 1967, his collaboration with Professor Snellgrove resulted in the publication, by Oxford University Press, of The Nine Ways of Bön which contains translated extracts from the famous gZi-brjid, the most extensive hagiography of the Buddha Tonpa Shenrab. This was the first scholarly study of the Bönpo tradition from original sources to be made in a Western language.  Lopon Rinpoche remained in England for three years, from 1961 to 1964.
In 1964, the Lopon returned to India from England and was subsequently employed as a Tibetan expert by the American Library of Congress in New Delhi where, under the PL 480 Program, the American Government purchased diverse books published in India in around fourteen different languages, including Tibetan. The project of purchasing Tibetan texts was under the supervision of the celebrated Tibetologist, E. Eugene Smith, from the University of Washington, a famous center for Tibetan studies in the United States. It was Mr. Smith who was initially responsible for encouraging Tibetan Lamas, including the Lopon, to republish Tibetan texts by way of photo offset in India. This program ensured that these precious texts would not be lost to Tibet or to the world.
While in New Delhi, the Lopon was also befriended by Dr. Lokesh Chandra of the International Academy of Indian Culture and their collaboration led to the publication, by way of photo offset, of a text made from a block-print at Menri. It was an anthology or collection of texts from the Zhang-zhung snyan-rgyud. Published in New Delhi
in 1968, the book was entitled History and Doctrine of Bön -po Nispanna-Yoga. 
Among the nearly one hundred thousand Tibetan refugees who had fled the Chinese Communist occupation of Tibet, a small number belonged to the Bönpo tradition. After escaping from Tsang province, monks from Menri Monastery, which had been totally destroyed by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution inspired by Chairman Mao Tse Tung, found themselves in the Kulu-Manali district of Himachal Pradesh state in
north-west India. Impoverished, they were forced to secure a livelihood as road workers. Among their number was Sherab Lodro (Shes-rab blo-gros), the thirty-second Abbot of Menri Monastery (1935-1963). Finding the road work exhausting in an alien climate, many of the monks died or suffered from serious illness, as did the Abbot himself. Thus, when Lopon Tenzin Namdak returned to India
in 1964, he undertook the task of raising funds and finding land in order to establish a Bönpo settlement in northern India.
From 1964 to 1967, the Lopon worked desperately to keep the Bön po people and their culture alive in exile. In 1967, with the financial help of the Catholic Relief Ser-vice, he purchased a piece of undeveloped forest land at Dolanji, near Solan in Hi-machal Pradesh, and began to establish a settlement there. The first Bönpo families
who settled there initially lived in tents on the cleared land. Later the new monastery developed nearby.
In 1967 the settlement was formally registered with the Indian Government under the name of the Tibetan Bönpo Foundation. About seventy families transferred there from Manali and each received a house and a small piece of land, the size depending on the number of people in the family in question. The Tibetan Bönpo Foundation possessed its own constitution and administration, with the Abbot of Menri acting as president. The new settlement at Dolanji was given the name Thobgyal Sarpa (thob-rgyal gsar-pa) after the village of Thobgyal in Tsang province, located near the original site of Menri Monastery. However, most of the Tibetans in the new settlement came from the Mt.Kailas region and Upper Tsang in the west as well as Hor, Kongpo, Derge, Amdo and Gyarong in the east. After the death of Sherab Lodro, the thirty-second Abbot of
in 1963, the Abbot of Yungdrung Ling, the second most important monastery for Bön pos in central Tibet, became the spiritual head of the Bönpo community in exile in India. He came to Dolanji
in 1967, together with a group of monks, and founded a new monastic community, overseeing the erection of small houses and a small prayer chapel for religious ser-vices.
In 1969, the Abbot of Yungdrung Ling arranged the ceremony to find a successor to the deceased Abbot of Menri to be chosen by lot. The names were put into a vase and while prayers to the Bön po deities were being chanted, the vase was churned until a name fell out. The selection of the office fell to Jongdong Sangye Tendzin (l]ong-ldong Sangs-rgyas bstan-'dzin), who thus became the thirty-third Abbot of Tashi Menri Monastery. At that time, Sangye Tenzin was working at the University of Oslo, Norway, in
collaboration with the celebrated Tibetologist, Dr. Per Kvaerne. For the rest of the year, he and the Abbot of Yungdrung Ling worked together on the monastery project. Following the death of the Abbot, Jongdong Sangye Tendzin assumed the spiritual leadership of the Bön pos in exile. More houses were erected, as well as a library, and an abbot's residence (bla-brang) was constructed. Monastic life was organized around the ordinances of the Vinaya ('dul-ba). The foundation for a main temple was laid in
1969 and completed in 1978. This temple was given the name Pal Shenten Menri Ling (dpal gshen bstan sman-ri gling). The whole complex was designated as the Bönpo Monastic Centre and it formed part of the Tibetan Bönpo Foundation. At the time,
this was the only Bönpo monastery in India. The Lopon made a second visit to Europe
in 1969 where, at the invitation of Professor Helmut Hoffmann of the University of Munich, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Munich, contributing to the monumental Tibetan-German-English dictionary being compiled there, and yet to be published. The Lopon stayed in Munich for seven months
From 1967, when the first monks came to Dolanji, the teaching was largely given by Lopon Sangye Tenzin, the former teaching master at Menri in Tibet, assisted by his successor, Lopon Tenzin Namdak, the founder of the settlement at Dolanji.
From 1970 to 1979 Lopon Rinpoche continued to teach and write while residing at the Bönpo Monastic Centre and, in addition, he was much engaged in the publishing in New Delhi of a large number of important Bönpo texts. Due to various difficulties, especially a lack of basic canonical books, the teaching was only partial and consisted mainly of training the young monks in the practices of the Dzogchen tradition, especially the Zhang-zhungsnyan- rgyud, which was considered by both Lopons to be of prime importance.
In 1977, when Lopon Sangye Tenzin died after a protracted illness, Lopon Tenzin Namdak was assigned full responsibility for the education of the younger generation of
monks. In the next year, he conducted funerary and post-mortem rites for his teacher Lopon Sangye Tenzin. By 1978, a sufficient number of important Bönpo texts had
been published, many having been borrowed from the collection housed at Samling Monastery in Dolpo, Nepal, and reprinted in New Delhi, so that classes could be or-ganized around them as a curriculum. Moreover, premises for use as classrooms were now available. Thus, a Dialectics School, or Shedra (bshad-grwa), was established
in 1978, organized under the guidance of Lopon Rinpoche, who served as one of the two professors at the college. The official name of this institution was Yungdrung Bön She drub Lobnyer Dude (g.yung-drung Bön bshad-sgrub slob gnyer 'dussde). In that year the full training in Bönpo academic studies began and in 1986 the first class of monks graduated. In 1978, Lopon Rinpoche, together with the new Abbot, Yongdong Sangye Tenzin, visited H.H. the Dalai Lama, head of the Tibetan Government in exile at Dharamsala in order to inform him of the purpose of establishing the Bönpo settlement at Dolanji and the Lama College or Dialectics School, with its nine year program of Geshe studies. Moreover, they requested official recognition, by the Tibetan Government in Exile in Dharamsala, of Menri Trizin Rinpoche, the Abbot of Menri Monastery, as the head of the Bönpo school in general among Tibetans. Thus, Yongdong Sangye Tenzin became the present throne-holder, or thirty-third Abbot of Menri, under the name H.H. Lungtog Tenpai Nyima (sKyabs-rje lung-rtogs bstan-pa'i nyi-ma dpal bzangpo). Normally, His Holiness resides at Dolanji, but he has now visited the West on a number of occasions. Moreover, H.H. the Dalai Lama and his Government officially recognized the Bön pos as the fifth Tibetan school and granted them representation on the Council of Religious Affairs at Dharamsala.
In 1978, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, together with a group of his Italian students, came to visit Dolanji and, because of his wide non-sectarian interest in Dzogchen, he requested from the Lopon the initiation for Zhang-zhung Meri, the Yidam or meditation deity practice closely associated with the Zhang-zhung snyan-rgyud. This had been the personal Tantric practice of Gyerpungpa himself. It is traditional to receive this empowerment before entering into the practice of Dzogchen according to the Zhang-zhung tradition. Years later, when the Lopon visited Merigar, the retreat center of Norbu Rinpoche in the hills of Tuscany north of Rome, he gave the complete Lung, or scriptural authorization, to Norbu Rinpoche and the latter's students in the Dzogchen Community.
From 1976 to 1986, Lopon Rinpoche educated the young monks at Dolanji and wrote several texts himself, including some that are used in the Dialectics School.
In 1986 Geshe degrees were awarded to the first six young monks to complete the nine year training at Dolanji. For three years Lopon Sangye Tenzin taught the Dzog-chen teachings of the Zhang-zhung snyan-rgyud to a group of about fifteen monks and when he had completed this first cycle of teaching, he was requested to teach it again to the same group. But in the middle of this second cycle he became seriously ill and Lopon Tenzin Namdak took over the burden of teaching. Lopon Sangye Tenzin died
in 1977. He had requested that the money left over from his estate after his death be spent on the dialectics school. With his departure this left as teachers Lopon Tenzin Namdak and Geshe Yungdrung Langyal. Lopon Rinpoche continued to teach Dzogchen. Geshe Yungdrung Langyal, who was a Geshe Lharampa in both the Bönpo and the Gelugpa traditions, having studied at Drepung, was the principal teacher for around twelve students in philosophical studies focusing on Madhyamaka and logic required for the Geshe degree. The purpose of this new Dialectics School at Dolanji was to preserve the tradition of education in philosophy (mtshan-nyid) first established and developed at Yeru Wensakha, where philosophical analysis and logic were applied to the understanding of the mDo sngags sems gsum, that is to say, the teachings of Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. At Tashi Menri in Tibet, the monks studied the five scriptural systems (mdo gzhung lnga) in the philosophy college, but all of the instruction in Tantra and Dzogchen was done in a more private context with individual masters.
The five scriptures, actually five collections of texts, are:
1. tshad-ma - pramana or logic and epistemology;
2. phar-phyin - Prajnaparamita or the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras;
3. dbu-ma - Madhyamaka philosophy;
4. mdzod-phug - Abhidharma or cosmology, and
5. 'dul-ba - Vinaya or monastic discipline.
However, at the revived Menri Monastery at Dolanji, students also study Tantra and Dzogchen in the college, as well as the five above-mentioned scriptural systems that pertain to the Sutra level of teaching. Also included in the course of studies are the secular sciences (rig-gnas), such as grammar, poetics, astrology, medicine and so on. The school has a nine-year program of studies that prepare the student for the Geshe degree examination.
In 1986, Lopon Rinpoche made a return visit to Tibet to visit the site of Menri Monastery and other important Bönpo monasteries, seeking to inspire the few remaining monks who were living under Chinese occupation. He also traveled to eastern Tibet,
including his native district of Khyungpo. Here he enthroned Sherab Gelek (Shes-rab dge-Iegs) as the new Abbot of Tengchen Monastery and offered donations for the restoration of the monastery, which was at that time in a sorry state of disrepair. These
repairs and restorations continue today under the direction of the Abbot. Subse-quently, he was reunited with his mother for the first time after forty-five years. He then returned to Lhasa and flew to Chengdu in China in order to visit temples and the holy mountain of Langchen Gyingri. By way of Lhasa again, he returned by air to Kathmandu. Once in Nepal, he donated all the remaining money he had collected in Tibet and elsewhere to acquiring a small piece of land at the foot of Nagarjuna hill to the west of the famous hill of Swayambhu at the far end of the Kathmandu Valley, in order to build the future monastery of Triten Norbutse (khri-brten nor-burtse). The monastery was formally founded
in 1987 and one of his former students from Dolanji, Geshe Nyima Wangyal, was put in charge of the project. Later the Geshe became the first Khenpo or Abbot of the new monastery.
In 1988 Lopon Rinpoche contracted jaundice, but continued his regular teaching schedule after first moving into a small building erected on the land. Unique to the Bönpo monastic tradition and the education developed by Lopon Rinpoche provided to the monks, is debating of the view of Dzogchen in relation to Madhyamaka and other Buddhist philosophies. Unlike the Nyingmapa tradition, which generally transmitted Dzogchen in the context of secret meditation instructions conferred in private between master and disciple, the Bön pos developed a system of logic and debate specifically related to the Dzogchen teachings and thereby, in a certain sense, brought Dzogchen out of the closet into the philosophical market place of discussion of ideas. This has elicited some criticism from Lamas belonging to other Tibetan schools. However,
in 1988 H.H. the Dalai Lama, who is himself also well versed in Dzogchen and a practitioner of it, visited the Dialectics School at Dolanji and was quite pleased with the fact that the Bönpo monks use debate and logic as a method of studying Dzogchen, especially in relation to other philosophical systems. With much delight and enthusiasm, His Holiness observed the monks debating various philosophical points of the Dzogchen view.
In 1989, Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, made his third visit to the West, this time to England, America and Italy, at the invitation of the Dzogchen Communities of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche in those countries. During the course of several months, Lopon Rinpoche presented to interested Western students Dzogchen teachings according to the Bönpo tradition of the A-khrid and the Zhang-zhung snyan-rgyud. In Los Angeles, the Healing Light Center generously paid the hospital costs for a badly needed operation to extract six gall-stones. Thereafter Lopon Rinpoche recovered completely and was subsequently able to visit Italy, both Rome and Merigar, the retreat center of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche in Tuscany, before returning to Nepal. Again the Lopon was invited to the West in March and April by students of the Dzogchen Community, first to Bischofshofen in Austria and then to Rome and Merigar in Italy and to south Devon in England. Thereafter the Lopon taught for the first time in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. At this time, he was accompanied by Geshe Nyima Wangyal, the first Khenpo or Abbot of Triten Norbutse in Nepal. After his return to Nepal in August, a small group of English students met with the Lopon at Triten Norbutse where, every morning for two hours, he presented an exegetical commentary on a Dzogchen text composed by the famous Shardza Rinpoche (1859-1933)  known as the Kunbzang snying-thig. The edited transcripts of this teaching resulted in the publication
in 1993 of Heart Drops of Dharmakaya. In October he came to New York City at the invitation of H.H. the Dalai Lama to attend the Kalachakra initiation and to give a lecture on the Nature of Mind as the representative of the Bönpo tradition of Tibet. For this lecture, the Lopon had previously composed a paper while teaching in Devon entitled: "The Condensed Meaning of an Explanation of the Teachings of Yungdrung Bön ," which was published in time for the presentation, before the actual Kalachakra initiation. He taught briefly in New York City and Amherst, Massachusetts. After a tour of the American Southwest and various American Indian reservations, he taught on Dzogchen at Coos Bay, Oregon, in November. The transcripts of these teachings were published later in 1992 and privately circulated by the Bönpo Translation Project as Bönpo Dzogchen Teachings.
In 1992, he returned from Nepal to Dolanji to attend the Geshe examinations and give the initiation for the Ma Gyud, or Bönpo Mother Tantra, the most extensive of all Bönpo Tantric initiations, requiring seven days to complete the cycle. At this time, the Lopon also enthroned Geshe Nyima Wangyal as the first Abbot of Triten Norbutse in the presence of H.H. Menri Trizin, the current Abbot of Menri at Dolanji. That summer, Lopon Rinpoche again visited Tibet, first going on a pilgrimage of the Lhasa area, and then proceeding to the Nag-chu region of Kham or eastern Tibet where he gave many
teachings and initiations. He made a return visit to Tengchen Monastery in his native district of Khyungpo, which had been rebuilt since his previous visit
in 1986. He remained at the monastery for a time, giving the Mawe Senge initiation and teaching the Vinaya to the monks. He visited adjacent regions and then his mother once again. Thereafter he returned to Lhasa, where he purchased a small piece of land in order to build a reception house for the Bön pos living in the city, that is, a place where they could meet and assemble for religious practices.
In 1994, Lopon Rinpoche traveled again to Lhasa and Nagchu, but conditions had changed in China and he was not able to give any teachings or initiations. When he returned to Triten Norbutse Monastery in Kathmandu, he performed the consecration
(rab-gnas) of the new Lhakhang, or temple and assembly hall, at the monastery. The event was also attended by H.H. Menri Trizin from Dolanji and the latter officially inaugurated the Dialectics School (bsad-grwa) and Meditation School (sgrubgrwa) at the monastery. At the Dialectics School, every week one monk is subjected to an exhaustive and thorough examination by Lopon Rinpoche and all the other monks enrolled in the Geshe degree program. Each monk in turn poses questions to the examinee, with even the youngest monks taking their turns at asking questions. It is not unusual for such an oral examination to last five to six hours. In the course of one year every monk in the program is tested two or three times in this manner. Upon successful completion of the thirteen-year Geshe program, during the course of the graduation
ceremony, the monks are awarded the distinguished Geshe degree by the representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama. In addition to the Geshe Degree Program, Lopon Rinpoche provided personal guidance and daily meditation instruction to a small group of advanced practitioners who focus their study and practice on Dzogchen. Lopon Rinpoche also oversaw the monastic education of a small group of orphaned boys who received pre-Geshe training and instruction that also include training in debating.
In early 1994, there were only twenty monks in residence at Triten Norbutse, but after the inception of the Dialectics School, the monastic population increased dramatically in a matter of months. Currently there are over one hundred monks in residence
and new monks arrive at Triten Norbutse, at times on a daily basis. Most come di-rectly from Tibet, but some also from Dolanji in India and some from the border re-gions of Nepal, Including Dolpo and Mustang. Also in recent years, a number of Bönpo nuns have fled Tibet and come to the monastery In the hope of receiving teachings from the Lopon and other senior monks. Since the Cultural Revolution in China and Tibet
in the 1960s, the availability of Bönpo teachings in Tibet has become quite limited. Currently, monks can only receive teachings at the Sutra level because in general there are no qualified teachers available to give the higher level teachings of Tantra and Dzogchen. The Bönpo education currently available in Tibet focuses upon the preliminary practices, zhine meditation, and the. one hundredday Tummo (or psychic heat) retreat. As a result, In order to receive a complete education in the Bönpo tradition, monks and nuns must leave Tibet to obtain these teachings from Lopon Rinpoche. The primary purpose behind the Lopon establishing the Dialectics School is to train Bönpo monks In exI1.e so that they can eventually take the Bönpo teachings back to Tibet.
Since 1995, Lopon Rinpoche has visited Europe regularly "' order to give Dzogchen teachings from the Bönpo tradition, In particular the Zhang-zhung snyan-rgyud and the A-khrid'. From time to time, he has also visited the United States at the invitation
of his former student from Dolanji, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal, and others. Since this time, Lopon Rinpoche has regularly taught retreats every spring or summer in France, where the Association Yungdrung Bön was set up by his Western students to facilitate
his work in the West and in particular Europe. In 2001 this process led to plans to establish a permanent Bönpo teaching, research and retreat center in France, and this project was realized
in the summer of 2005 with the purchase of a chateau in France. This institute and retreat facility is now known as Shenten Dargye Ling (gshen bstan dar-rgyas gling), meaning "the place for the spreading of the teachings of the Buddha Tonpa Shenrab."
For further information regarding the monastery, its programs and future plans, as well as Shenten Dargye Ling in France.
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD