Yudron wrote:This side issue has little to do with Ngakpa Chogyam, who publicly says he remembers the ter of his teacher from his past life--Aro Lingma. He says Aro Lingma, who there is no historical record of, had previous incarnations going all the way back to Yeshe Tsogyal, and probably beyond. Behind the scenes, he says he is a terton himself.
I am wondering when you heard Ngak'chang Rinpoche say he was a terton. I have not heard this. (I'm not trying to be confrontational, I just genuinely have not heard him say this.)
Well, you would know better than anyone what he is saying currently.
When I asked him about it, many years ago at a bookstore talk in California, he strongly denied that he was a terton. But credible people have posted here that he is now quietly acknowledging that he view himself that way. If you are unequivocally saying that is not true, then I would take your word for it.
Although it may seem like a bigger claim that he himself a terton, I have been told it is a bigger claim to traditionalists to say that a non-terton tulku can propagate a terma lineage he remembers receiving in a past life. I'm not a scholar, but I have been told this is unprecedented.
These are not the issues that personally came to give me the hee bee gee bees about him. It is the self-aggrandizing and exaggeration on his web sites that make me uncomfortable, as well as history of having threatened legal action against one of his own lamas that put an end to my former affection for him. By exaggeration I mean, for example saying that he wad practiced three ngondros during a certain period of his life, but failing to say that he never finished any of them. Or, making a big hoopla about the endorsement implied by the various gifts that lamas have given him, failing to note that lamas frequently give gifts as a thank you or a friendly token. Or saying that LTR gave him the name Ngakchang Rinpoche, when he probably just told him that Ngakchang was a better work to use than Ngakpa for what he was doing... according to David Chapman he was not given the Rinpoche title by LTR. That kind of thing--like a politician or PR person, twisting little things to make himself look better..
I personally would still have affection for him if he still called himself Ngakpa Chogyam or Ngakchang Chogyam, had one or two websites, and just said the basic truth about himself. He is a practitioner who had the tenacity and good fortune to study with a number of great lamas over abut 40 years. He believes he was recognized as a tulku by a couple of great lamas, but never formally enthroned, and those lamas never told anyone but him. A couple of his lamas seem to have been okay with him teaching. He vividly remembers a past life in which he was a male member of a small matrifocal ter gar in Tibet, and wants to share what he remembered. He found that practicing Dzogchen was more valuable than finishing all the numbers of a ngondro. All that could be really positive, interesting, and pretty damn cool! For me, personally, the exaggeration, etc... undermines all this good stuff. It's was really disappointing for me to watch things degenerate over the past 20 years into what appears to be an ocean of pride. But, on the other hand, it has been a great cautionary tale. I do not speak for me lamas (who do not use the internet or see his PR sites.)