A Visitor from Bhutan, His Holiness Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche

Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche

His Holiness Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche. (Click on the image above to see photos of His Holiness and Lama Karma Namgyel conducting the Vajrakilaya empowerment.)

Oregon recently experienced its first visit from treasured Bhutanese teacher, His Holiness Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche. His Holiness is of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage, the major lineage in Bhutan, and he is a major Buddhist scholar and meditation master there.

His Holiness spent sixteen days in Portland in November. He offered various teachings, private consultation, and constructed a Buddha of Compassion sand mandala at the Buddhist Daihonzan Henjyoji Temple.

His Holiness began the study of Buddhist philosophy and chant by the age of five. He has spent twenty-eight years in retreat in his lifetime, and was recognized by the Royal Government of Bhutan as a master of Buddhist philosophy at the age of forty-five, making him responsible for the education of every Buddhist monk in Bhutan.

The teachings and empowerments he offered included:
  • Vajrakilaya, the deity belonging to the enlightened activity. This deity pacifies all obstacles on the path, magnetizes all pure qualities, and bestows the accomplishment of enlightenment. Vajrakilaya is a yidam deity representing the energetic activity of all the Buddhas.
  • The Medicine Buddha, an emanation of Buddha that holds all wisdom and knowledge to purify and heal any affliction.
  • Tara, which manifests as enlightened activity with all the qualities to alleviate suffering, bring blessings of abundance and prosperity, and shine rays of love to all sentient beings.

The sand mandala was deconstructed on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, after a teaching and empowerment on Chenrezig. One half of the sand was placed in small packets and given to those who attended as blessings for their personal health and healing. The monks poured the other half of colored sand into a specially prepared vessel, and took the sand to the Willamette River, where it was to bless the species in the water, our local area, all of Oregon, and the world.

“Meeting His Holiness can only be described in terms of experiencing the presence of a being of pure compassion, love and light,” commented Diane Jones-Musial, a recipient of the teachings. “An authentic spiritual master, he has blessed me and my family’s lives immeasurably.”

His Holiness Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche's visit to Oregon was sponsored by the Drukpa Mila Center, which is led by Venerable Lama Karma Namgyel. His Holiness toured the U.S. once before, in 2004.

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Contributor: Heidi Enji Hoogstra
Photos: Barry Kaplan