Name: Lama Wangdu Rinpoche
Interview Age: 78
Date of Birth: 1935
Birthplace: Dhingri - Lhangkor, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1958
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 15C
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States
Categories: Buddhist Traditions
Keywords: Buddhist beliefs, childhood memories, monastic life, pilgrimage, refugee in Nepal -- life as, Utsang
Lama Wangdu Rinpoche's birth took place in Dhingri. His parents were farmers and as a young boy he herded sheep with other children. He recounts teaching his fellow shepherds to play games in dharma activities and tried to influence his parents and friends to engage in religious practices. He remembers that around the age of 9, a relative who was a monk took him to learn reading, writing and the dharma.
At the age of 12 he became very ill and his father was advised by a revered lama that Lama Wangdu Rinpoche must practice the dharma in order to live a long life. So his father requested that the lama, Nadag Rinpoche, be his son's teacher. Lama Wangdu Rinpoche gives an elaborate account of his arduous spiritual practices assigned by his new teacher, which included 300,000 prayers and 300,000 prostrations. He explains the significance of the basic tenets of the Buddha dharma and meditation practices. Between the ages of 18 and 20, he performed the unique chod spiritual practice in 100 cemeteries.
Lama Wangdu Rinpoche's teacher then advised him to go to Nepal on a pilgrimage around 1958. He describes the various Buddhist pilgrim sites in Nepal. By then the Chinese army had already invaded Tibet and Lama Wangdu Rinpoche heard it was not safe to return so he stayed in Nepal. He concludes with the importance of developing love and compassion for all sentient beings.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Jeddadiah Emanuel (Videographer)
- Kalden Norbu (Interpreter)