Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche and Sogyal Rinpoche

I‘ve always found people’s backs interesting. For example, these two snaps from the 1986 summer retreat (the traumatic one that rather put me off summer retreats) speak to me just of just how close Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche and Sogyal Rinpoche were to each other. More so than most of the pictures I have of them face on.

Khen Rinpoche was around alot in the late 80s, but I was entirely unaware of the immensity of his spiritual stature. In those days I was pretty dim about almost everything—actually, I still am. The difference now is that I know I know nothing. Back then, though, my rather patronizing perception of Khen Rinpoche was that he was ‘our Khenpo’, the gentle lama who laughed a lot and liked nothing better than to hang out with our sangha.

I remember bumping into Sogyal Rinpoche on several occasions during that time, pecha in hand, busily memorizing the texts he was studying with Khenpo. His diligence certainly impressed me, but what struck me more was his eagerness to be a ‘student’. I came from the world of music, and although I’d seen many great musicians enjoy working together, I couldn’t recall any who, at the pinacle of their career, were willing to climb down from their ‘maestro’ or ‘diva’ plinths to study with a teacher. True, Horowitz did take twelve years off  ‘to practise’, but I don’t think he had a teacher. I wonder if any famous Oxbridge Dons ever went back to school?

Anyway, for me, both these pictures radiate both the great affection these two extraordinary masters had for each other, and serve to remind me of the power of humility. Not a quality I was born with. Nor one that Rupert Murdoch has ever been much interested in cultivating….

3 thoughts on “Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche and Sogyal Rinpoche

  1. Thank you for these photographs. The top one was when we visited the lakes on the French/Spanish border. That was an amazing day. I don’t seem to have any photographs from that retreat so this is a lovely discovery.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s