Lama Khemsar Rinpoche
17th Lama P. Khemsar (Khyimsar) Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual
director of The Tibetan Yungdrung Bön Study Centre United Kingdom,
The Tibetan Yungdrung Bön Institute Miami FL, USA and Kunzhi-Ling
Lugano, Switzerland with its affiliated Group in Italy. In UK, TYBSC is
a British Charity No.SC023439; In Switzerland, Kunzhi-Ling is a registered
organization; and in USA. TYBI is a non-profit 501C
(3) organization in Miami, FL, USA.
The Lama is an eminent Buddhist teacher of the Yungdrung Bön spiritual tradition; the Pre-Buddhist spiritual Tradition or the Ancient most Native Buddhism of Tibet originated from Zhang Zhung Shambala. He is renowned for his lively disciplined teaching style and sparkling wit. Rinpoche has been teaching in the West for almost 20 years.
Broadly speaking, in the Yungdrung Bön system, there are two approaches in taking spiritual path; She-dra (Dialectic school) and Drub-dra (Meditation school). The Lama has introduced Drub-dra school as the main focus where by practicing Ngondro and Ngo-zhi as per Drub-dra curriculum is a must in all his centres in U.K, Europe, America and Asia. He also maintains the She-dra school aspect in his Drub-dra as an essential part in this that philosophical teachings are given such as teachings on tawa (Views), gom-pa (Meditations), chod-pa (Characteristics) and dre-bu (The result) of respectively Dho (Sutra), Ngak (Tantra) and Sem or Dzogchen; The importance of understanding tong-nyid or tong-pa nyid in general and in particular as per the respective views of dho, ngak, sem-soom; The Zhi-Lam-Drebui Nam-zhak or the designation of base, path and result; The application of dhen-nyii or dhen-pa nyii (The two truths) in Dho and Ngak, etc. The Drub-dra school he has established in the West under the umbrella of The Tibetan Yungdrung Bön Study Centre is a continuation of the model of the Drub-dra school founded by Zhu Nam-gyal Drak-pa at the waist of Mount Mo-mein in Dromo- southern part of Tibet. The present Drub-dra is called Khyimsar Drub-dra.
He and his elder brother Lama Sonam G. Khyimsar are both regarded by their predecessors and their parents as Yang-sid-Trul-kus of Tshampa Yungdrung Wangyal. There is the notion in Yungdrung Bön and Buddhism that a Lama could manifest/reincarnate in to three trul-kus, each of them representing a different aspect (body, speech and mind).
Both parents of Lama P. Khemsar told that when his father (who at that time was called Sherab Wödszer) was 8 years old, he was seriously ill and his parents (Lama Khemsar Rinpoche’s grandparents) approached Tshampa Yungdrung Wangyal for help. The Lama then performed the Namgyal Yang-drub Rite and changed Lama Khemsar’s father’s name from Sherab Wödszer to Namgyal Wangdi. The Namgyal Yang-drub rite proved very successful and Tshampa Yungdrung Wangyal foretold that: “You will become my father in my next life”. Later Namgyal Wangdi married Lama P. Khemsar’s mother Drak-kar Kelszang Butri. Lama Khemsar’s mother gave birth to 12 children out of which 4 did not survive from an early age and the other 8 (4 brothers and 4 sisters) are still living.
The brothers and sisters are also the lineage holders of their two monasteries, Pungmo Gön and Lhari Nyiphug, both of which were founded by the Master Zhu Namgyal Drakpa. The family monasteries have been visited by many visitors including Their Holinesses the 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas and Sir Charles Bell (the then British envoy who became a friend of Tshampa Yungdrung Wangyal, the then Head Lama of Pungmo Gön). Sir Charles Bell, during one of his visits to the monastery, granted the Pungmo Gön monastery with a free ration permit for essential commodities such as sugar, white flour and fabrics sent from Kalimpong, Darjeeling district, which then was under British rule. He did this in gratitude for Tshampa Yungdrung Wangyal's help in concealing Sa-chud Bum-ter (Tresure Vase) and perfoming Bum-ter rite to harmonise supernatural beings who caused obstructions. This was essential as Charles Bell's men could not restore an important bridge at Rishi Chhu-kha, that linked Sikkim to Tibet.
Lama was addmited to Pungmo Gön's monastic school run by Aa-zhang
Yungdrung Gyaltsen at the age of 5 along with his elder brother. However
the schooling was interrupted due to the cultural revolution. From late
1960s and early 1970s, Lama P. Khyimsar Rinpoche received his spiritual
training in Dolanji, India, under the tutelage of many prominent masters
including his root Lama Neljor Tsöndru Gyaltsen Rinpoche, Yungdrung
Ling Khencen Sherab Tenpei Gyaltsen Rinpoche, Horpa Ponlob Sang-gye Tenzin
Rinpoche, Ponlob Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, Ghelong Aam-chhod and Kunszang
Rinpoche, Gheghen Paldhen Tshultrim and latterly, Menri Trizin Lungtog
Tenpei Nyima Rinpoche.
In addition to various short retreats, in 1987 Khyimsar Rinpoche also completed the long traditional Three Year Retreat, under the guidance of Lama Tenpa Gyatsho, his immediate predecessor who later died in Bhutan in 1998. Lama Tenpa Gyatso was the 16th Lama Tri-pa (Throne Holder) of the Pungmo Gön Monastery, who’s Yang-sid Trul-ku Norbu-la is born and lives in Hong Kong. In the earlier days of the 1960s, Lama P. Khyimsar Rinpoche also studied Buddhism under several Buddhist Lamas including Gheshe Lobsang Tharchin, Samdhong Trulku Rinpoche and Jamchen Rinpoche, etc. He had also received teachings, in different times, from His Holiness the 14th, Dalai Lama.
He explored many other faiths too, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In doing so, he discovered that the lessons taught and the wisdom insights gained therein are, in essence, similar and compatible. He however remarked that, “when it comes to the views, meditations, characteristics and result of Yungdrung Bön and the Buddhist Tradition, the above mentioned spiritual traditions do have a vast gap to be filled in”. He thus extends a warm welcome to all to attend his teachings in abridging and enhancing wider views, regardless of faith, creed, or gender, etc., and stresses that as common themes tend to run through all the spiritual paths, it is possible to use his teachings to complement and abridge wider views thus enhancing the teachings of other paths and vice versa. The Lama is a ri-med (Non-sectarian, liberal) teacher thus he teaches "Spiritual Knowledge" rather than religious dogma. He preaches not to change one’s faith but one must change one’s mind and explore other faith’s spiritual knowledge in order to enhance one’s own faith. He tells us not to talk about Religion but to live religiously!
"Human Life, no matter how sucessful, famous, rich and powerful one may be, is completely incomplete without taking a proper spiritual path!"