Lama Khemsar Rinpoche
The 17th Lama Phuntsog T. Khemsar Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of The Tibetan Yungdrung Bön Study Centre United Kingdom, The Tibetan Yungdrung Bön Institute Miami FL, USA, Kun-zhi-Ling Lugano, Switzerland and Kun-zhi Ling, Torino, Italy. In UK, TYBSC is a British Charity No.SC023439; In Switzerland, Kunzhi-Ling is a registered organization; in Italy,Torino, Kun-zhi Ling is a registered association and in USA, TYBI is a non-profit 501c (3) organization in Miami, FL, USA.
Lama P.T Khemsar Rinpoche
was admitted 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. T. Khemsar 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 Khenchen 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,
H.H. Menri Trizin Lungtog Tenpei Nyima Rinpoche the head of Yungdrung Bon. In
addition to various solitary retreats, in 1987 Khemsar Rinpoche also completed
the traditional Three Year Retreat, under the guidance of Lama Tenpa Gyatsho,
his immediate predecessor who later died in Bhutan in 1998. Lama Tenpa Gyatsho
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. T. Khemsar Rinpoche also studied Buddhism under several
Buddhist Lamas including Gheshe Lobsang Tharchin, Professor Samdhong Trulku
Rinpoche and Jamchen Rinpoche, etc. He had also received teachings, in different
times, from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama including a five day teaching on
Lo-jong (Mind Training) in Scotland. Similar teachings given by H.H The Dalai
Lama in U.K were also organised by Dharma Network of which TYBSC is a memeber.
L ama Khemsar Rinpoche 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. However, in these faiths, he found that the view based progressive spiritual path (Ta-drub) which leads one to complete enlightenment seemed lacking. This is to say, he remarked, that when it comes to the Ta-Gom-chod-dre (views, meditations, characteristics and result) of Yungdrung Bön Buddhism 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) 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 practice and live religiously!
Lama is an eminent master of Yungdrung Bön Buddhism. He is renowned for
his lively disciplined teaching style and sparkling wit. Rinpoche has been teaching
in the West for almost 20 years.
YUNGDRUNG BON BUDDHISM (The Native Buddhist spiritual Tradition of Tibet) originated from Zhang Zhung.
Bon Buddhism was founded by teacher Tonpa Shenrab who was born
as a prince in Wolmo Lungring otherwise known as Shambala. The history of Yungdrung
Bon can be traced back to more than 18,000 years old. In Tibet, the tradition
was imported originally from Zhang Zhung Shambala. Zhang Zhung is the home of
Yungdrung Bon and consists of many lands in that sub-continent including Western
Tibet with Gang Rinpoche (The precious mountain
-Kailash). Broadly speaking, in the Yungdrung Bön system, there are two
approaches in taking spiritual path; She-dra (Dialectic
school) and Drub-dra/Gom-dra (Meditation school).
The Lama has introduced Drub-dra school as the main focus where by practicing
Ngondro (Foundation) and Ngo-zhi (Principal) teachings one has to reach the
final goal of Enlightenment. As per Drub-dra curriculum, it is a must in all
his centres in U.K, Europe, America and Asia that everyone without exception
has to practice and meditate. 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 Dho (Sutra), Ngak
(Tantra) and Sem or Dzogchen;
The importance of understanding tong-pa nyid or
tong-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-pa
nyii or dhen-nyii (The two truths) in Dho
and Ngak, etc. The Drub-dra schools he has established in the West are a continuation
of the model of the Drub-dra school founded by Zhu Nam-gyal
Drak-pa in the early 20th century at the waist of Mount Mo-mein
in Dromo (upper Chumbi Valley), southern part of
Tibet. This first Drub-dra was located at Dho-kyim (rustic type of retreat house)
which takes 3 hours on foot from His monastery Pungmo Gon. The present Drub-dra
of the Zhu lineage is called Khyimsar Drub-dra.
Khemar Rinpoche and his elder brother Lama Sonam G. Khemsar are both regarded by their predecessors and their parents as Yang-sid-Trul-kus of Tshampa Yungdrung Wangyal the than 14th seat holder of Pungmo Gon. There is the notion in Yungdrung Bön and Buddhism that a Lama could reincarnate in to three trul-kus, each of them representing a different aspects (body, speech and mind).
Both parents of Lama Phuntsog Khemsar told that when his father (who was than called Sherab Wödszer) was 8 years old and was seriously ill, his parents (Lama Khemsar Rinpoche’s grandparents-Jowo Ngo-drub) 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.T. 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 blood-line lineage holders of their two monasteries, Pungmo Gön and Lhari Nyi-phug, both of which were founded by the Master Zhu Namgyal Drakpa. The family monasteries have been visited by many Bonpo Lamas; to mention some: Ku-dhun Tenpa Lodro of Menri Monastery of Tibet, Ghelong Yungdrung Tshultrim Rinpoche of Khar-na Ri-trod and Aa-dho Ponlob Rinpoche of Yungdrung Ling Monastery etc. The Pungmo Gon monastery was also visited by their Holinesses the 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas etc. Among other foreign dignitaries, Sir Charles Bell (the then British envoy based in Sikkim, Gangtok who became a friend of Tsham-pa Yungdrung Wangyal) also visited the Monastery. Sir Charles Bell, during one of his visits to the monastery, granted the Pungmo Gön monastery with a free ration permit from the British Government for essential commodities such as sugar, white flour and fabrics which were collected from Kalimpong, Darjeeling district, which was then under British rule. Tshampa Yungdrung Wangyal offered his service to Sir Charles Bell in concealing Sa-chud Bum-ter (Treasure Vase) and performing Bum-ter rite to harmonise supernatural beings who caused obstructions as they were offended due to selfish conducts of humans. This was essential as Sir Charles Bell's men could not restore an important bridge at Rishi Chhu-kha, that linked Sikkim to Tibet, due to natural calamities force which kept on washing away the bridge every year. Since the Sa-chud Bum-ter concealment rite, the bridge remained intact for years to come despite natural calamities. The bridge still stands there even though it is a rudimentary built one!
Human Life, no matter how successful, famous, rich and powerful one may think one is, its completely incomplete without taking a proper spiritual path. All the external visible objects and internal thoughts and emotions are like soap bubbles which are subject to burst and keep on bursting! Yet, ignorantly, one is so much attached to all of these and therefore suffers vigorously. Taking tranquilizer pills is not the answer, but to learn to detach from attachment is the supreme and lasting tranquiliser!!! Lama Khemsar Rinpoche