ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

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ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby Ti-ti » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:06 pm

Hey guys!
Wondering if anyone familiar with ChNN's style has also practiced Dzogchen with Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche (of Riwoche Temple in Toronto) and can comment on how they compare? I've been practicing and studying under ChNN from a distance, but really want to add a more accessible, local teacher into the mix.

With the clear structure of the Santi Maha Sangha studies, ChNN's style is quite apparent and open... but with Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche, I'm having a hard time learning anything about his Dzogchen teaching style (and the temple hasn't responded to my emails... probably cuz of holiday season).

Does Rinpoche even teach Dzogchen to those without ordination? Or are the public meditation sessions the only thing offered?

Thanks!
Before Ninakawa passed away, master Ikkyu visited him. "Shall I lead you on?" Ikkyu asked.
Ninakawa replied: "I came here alone and I go alone. What help could you be to me?"
Ikkyu answered: "If you think you really come and go, that is your delusion. Let me show you the path on which there is no coming and no going."
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby Motova » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:31 pm

You can always schedule a meeting with Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche and ask him.

Private meetings happen mostly after Medicine Buddha and Tranquility Meditation, and sometimes after Green Tara on Saturdays.

There are things that go down in the temple that aren't public and aren't posted on the site, from what I have heard.

The community is very nice and the temple is absolutely beautiful. It's definitely worth a visit!

Sorry I can't tell you more, I've only been there about five times.

Good luck! :twothumbsup:
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby Ti-ti » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:50 pm

Thanks! I'll start there then...

I've heard Rinpoche's English is not good and could be a significant barrier... have you found that on your visits?? I'm learning Tibetan but am a loonnnng way away from conversation at the level of Dzogchen, haha.
Before Ninakawa passed away, master Ikkyu visited him. "Shall I lead you on?" Ikkyu asked.
Ninakawa replied: "I came here alone and I go alone. What help could you be to me?"
Ikkyu answered: "If you think you really come and go, that is your delusion. Let me show you the path on which there is no coming and no going."
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby Motova » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:06 am

You may be accommodated by a translator or not, depending on your preference. So I assume his English is pretty decent. My first meeting with him is this week, so I guess I will be able to tell you after (I chose not to go with the translator). Supposedly, Khenpo Pema does private Tibetan lessons for 20$ a hour, which I plan on taking advantage of! He speaks English pretty well, nice guy too.
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby Ti-ti » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:41 am

Cool! Let me know how your meeting goes! :twothumbsup:
Before Ninakawa passed away, master Ikkyu visited him. "Shall I lead you on?" Ikkyu asked.
Ninakawa replied: "I came here alone and I go alone. What help could you be to me?"
Ikkyu answered: "If you think you really come and go, that is your delusion. Let me show you the path on which there is no coming and no going."
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby philji » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:20 am

I believe among his root teachers are Chatral Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche so you can't ask better than that.
Here is a video link of him speaking and his English seems pretty good.
http://youtu.be/JN140mDB9nI
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby In the bone yard » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:51 pm

Well you guys are very lucky to live near teachers like that.
I live in the Midwest (USA), and you might as well be living on an island somewhere.
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby philji » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:28 pm

My geography of the mid west usA is not great but there may be something near you if you check this list.
http://www.tibetnetwork.com/index.php?o ... &Itemid=37
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby Tsultrim T. » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:23 am

I know that Khenpo Sonam was a student/friend of Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche. I think Dungse Rinpoche even took some of his students to visit Riwoche Temple before he passed away. That is a pretty good recommendation to me.
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby In the bone yard » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:31 pm

philji wrote:My geography of the mid west usA is not great but there may be something near you if you check this list.
http://www.tibetnetwork.com/index.php?o ... &Itemid=37

Thank you for that.
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby Ti-ti » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:05 pm

philji wrote:I believe among his root teachers are Chatral Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche so you can't ask better than that.
Here is a video link of him speaking and his English seems pretty good.
http://youtu.be/JN140mDB9nI

I'm still a newb when it comes to evaluating lineages and root teachers, so thanks for the recommendations guys!
So glad to find a teacher who's local AND well recommended!
Before Ninakawa passed away, master Ikkyu visited him. "Shall I lead you on?" Ikkyu asked.
Ninakawa replied: "I came here alone and I go alone. What help could you be to me?"
Ikkyu answered: "If you think you really come and go, that is your delusion. Let me show you the path on which there is no coming and no going."
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby Motova » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:18 pm

He lists all his teachers here:
http://www.riwoche.com/SonamRinpoche.html
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby Kunzang Tobgyal » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:48 am

Khenpo Sonam Tobgyal Rinpoche is an amazing teacher. I've been his student since 1996. He is very realized in my ignorant opinion. He is the hidden type. Not a lot of advertising, no desire for fame. Thinley Norbu came to the temple on a few occasions totally under the radar. Thinley Norbu and Khenpo Sonam were very close. Sonam Rinpoche completed the three year retreat under the guidance of Chatral Rinpoche. He was also one of the heart sons of Nyoshul Khen. Credentials credentials.

If you have the opportunity to meet him, please do so. He does teach dzogchen. Quite often. But as stated above, he maintains a low profile.

His teaching style is very different than Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. But when it comes to dzogchen, real dzogchen masters teach real dzogchen. I believe that they're both truly realized masters.

Good luck, and if you have any other questions i'd be happy to help.


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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby Pero » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:37 pm

Kunzang Tobgyal wrote:His teaching style is very different than Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. But when it comes to dzogchen, real dzogchen masters teach real dzogchen.

Exactly. :twothumbsup:
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby heart » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:45 pm

Pero wrote:
Kunzang Tobgyal wrote:His teaching style is very different than Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. But when it comes to dzogchen, real dzogchen masters teach real dzogchen.

Exactly. :twothumbsup:


:twothumbsup:

/magnus
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby Ti-ti » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:35 pm

heart wrote:
Pero wrote:
Kunzang Tobgyal wrote:His teaching style is very different than Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. But when it comes to dzogchen, real dzogchen masters teach real dzogchen.

Exactly. :twothumbsup:

:twothumbsup:
/magnus


I 100% agree and am definitely not questioning the authenticity of either Master's Dzogchen realization. I just didn't want to over-simplify the question by just saying "all Dzogchen masters teach real dzogchen". When it comes to style, some teachers sit and talk with students, some give them the silent treatment for years and speak in riddles, others lecture regularly, some have structured classes, and some (sadly) don't speak your language, etc. Not that one is ultimately better than the other, but while teachers may be highly realized, students are not, and since no one can do the work for you on the path to attainment, it's important to be real about what kind of communication you need as a practitioner.

That's the only reason I was asking about Khenpo Sonam Tobgyal's style... I'm not married to ChNN style, but between him and Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, those are my only points of reference for Dzogchen so far. I'm very encouraged by the recommendations in this thread (especially from Kunzang Tobgyal, whose been studying with him since 1996!!) I had a sneaking suspicion that he was just one of those amazing "hidden masters" with a gentle and profound style.

This conversation makes me feel very fortunate to have him just a 10 minute streetcar ride away!! If those aren't conditions for a precious human life, I don't know what is, haha....
Before Ninakawa passed away, master Ikkyu visited him. "Shall I lead you on?" Ikkyu asked.
Ninakawa replied: "I came here alone and I go alone. What help could you be to me?"
Ikkyu answered: "If you think you really come and go, that is your delusion. Let me show you the path on which there is no coming and no going."
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby Motova » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:42 pm

philji wrote:I believe among his root teachers are Chatral Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche so you can't ask better than that.
Here is a video link of him speaking and his English seems pretty good.
http://youtu.be/JN140mDB9nI


@OP,

His English seems to have improved (using this video as a reference point).

He is very jolly, youthful, and straightforward.

I am very glad I have met him, and I plan on scheduling future meetings.

:namaste:
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Re: ChNN vs Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche: How do they compare?

Postby philji » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:51 pm

Wow Ti-Ti..only 10 mins away by Streetcar...get yourself a ticket today! :twothumbsup:
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