Name: Tsering Namgyal
Interview Age: 86
Date of Birth: 1931
Birthplace: Sangen Longnya, Kham, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1953
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 15U
Location: Rajpur, Uttarakhand, India
Categories: Buddhist Traditions
Keywords: Buddhist beliefs, education, Kham, refugee in India -- life as, Chinese rule -- life under, monastic life, pilgrimage
Tsering Namgyal was born in 1933 in the village of Sangen Longnya, Kham Province. His family members were farmers, but he became a monk at the age of 10 at Tsara Monastery. He excelled in his religious studies in the Kagyu tradition, which he continued until age 19. He studied the nyingthig 'heart essence' practice under a dzogchen 'great perfection' lama and describes the three types of meditation yoga. Tsering Namgyal is now a ngagpa 'tantric practitioner' and explains the sang ngag 'secret mantra' and interaction of the male and female deities in that practice.
When Tsering Namgyal's mother died, he vowed to give up khorwa 'cyclic existence' and left his monastery to travel to pilgrimage sights. En route he worked temporarily as a prison guard for the occupying Chinese. Then he volunteered to study at a Chinese school in Chamdo because he would be paid for attending. Tsering Namgyal was allowed to study whatever topics he liked, but was requested to return home and teach the villagers. Instead of following orders, he went on a pilgrimage of the holy places in Tibet and India in the 1950s.
Remaining in India after his pilgrimage, Tsering Namgyal worked as a teacher at the Tibetan Women's Handicraft Centre in Rajpur for 50 years. Now in retirement he tries to help people in need at all times, especially in spiritual matters, and is caretaker of the local temple.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Tenzin Choenyi (Videographer)