Interview with Labchi Retreat Master Palden Rinpoche

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Interview with Labchi Retreat Master Palden Rinpoche

Post by pagmotrupa » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:58 pm

Dordzin Döndrub Palden was very unassuming in person (aside from a
little bit of a nonchalant glow or something). During the course of
the first interview we conducted with him, it gradually became
apparent that he had a tremendous deal of experience under his
meditation belt. He has literally spent well over twenty years in
secluded meditation retreat, not just tinkering around, but engaging
in the entire scope of Kagyü vajrayana practices from beginning to
end. His root Lama, Umdze Chözang Rinpoche, was one the two most
respected disciples of the famous Pachung Rinpoche. For some
perspective, Pachung Rinpoche (1901-1988) and another Drigung yogi,
Khyunka Rinpoche, are pretty much credited with maintaining the
Drigung Kagyü traditions of Five-Fold Mahamudra and the Six Dharmas of
Naropa throughout the time of the Chinese cultural revolution. It’s
certainly true that there are dozens if not hundreds of individuals
that go through these practices every generation, but since
instruction relies so heavily upon oral explanations, experiential
guidance, and actual demonstrations, there are not many out of each
generation that are actually qualified to teach these to future

This brings me back to Dordzin Döndrub Palden. Having studied with a
number of Drigung Kagyü Lamas, I was really amazed at the depth and
detail of his understanding and experiential realization (to the
degree he let on) of the Drigung tradition of the Six Dharmas of
Naropa. I was really fortunate to be able to clarify with him some of
the subtleties of the yogic exercises, or trulkhor, practiced in this
tradition. To this day, I have not met anyone else with his
appreciation of the nuances of these exercises in the Drigung
tradition (though I am aware of a small handful of other Lamas that
may have similar qualities). Qualities like these certainly make him a
great person to teach meditation practices to the other retreatants up
at Lapchi.

Such yogic exercises themselves, together with the entire scope of the
elaborate practice of the Six Dharmas of Naropa (not to mention all
the practices leading up to them), will surely elude the majority of
individuals if not just because of their difficulty (i.e. the yogic
exercises require one to maintain and even leap into the full-lotus
posture), but because of the time commitments required to practice
them on an elaborate level. Nevertheless, these practices do represent
a very unique part of our world’s heritage as they show us how to
understand and transform our own minds through working with our
breath, our bodies’ own capacity for bliss, our sleep, our dreams, our
waking lives, our deaths, and beyond. Until these practices and their
effects are more closely studied, and hopefully that will happen in a
proper manner, in many ways the world is in debt to such yogis who are
carefully safeguarding these traditions, which might hold some of the
keys to positive human evolution and enlightenment in the future. ... sain-bolt/" onclick=";return false;

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