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Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:54 pm
by sukha
hI have seen some material here and there , and have seen a website of something called Dharma Fellowship of Canada . The leader is someone called Rod Devenish . Does anyone know anything about this ..?
He says he is a tulku of Lama Kunpal?
Would this be a good place to do a retreat?

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:49 pm
by VijayaPath
Hello. It is 2017 and I am only reading your 2014 post now, as I am new to this site. For you and any who may be curious, I am happy to report that the quiet, unassuming Lama Rodney Devenish, founder of the Hermitage retreat centre on Denman Island, BC is, indeed, a highly-accomplished and exceedingly knowledgeable meditation facilitator and Namgyal lineage holder who was, indeed, recognized by the Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche as the Kupal tulku. I have spoken with him personally about this and it is not something he often speaks of, recognizing that he was not equipped with how to manage the knowledge at the time (and not entirely comfortable with how he did). I've done numerous retreats with Lama Rodney (Kunzang Rinpoche) who studied closely with, and received precious relics from (including personal robes) of the likes of Namgyal Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa, Kalu Rinpoche, Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, and even the great U Thila Wunta. So, yes, from first hand experience I definitely recommend retreat with this great Master while he is still with us!

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:36 am
by Harold Musetescu
I would check with the Dharma Centre of Canada about the claims by this man of being named a Tulku by Namgyal Rinpoche.

You can contact them at info@dharmacentre.org

I know many past and present members of Namgyal Rinpoche.

I know that Namgyal Rinpoche did make some members "Lamas" but never once heard of him recognizing anyone as a Tulku.

I could be wrong so please check "Vijayapath" with the headquarters of Namgyal Rinpoche at the Dharma Centre of Canada.

Please get back to us with a follow up.

It would be great to have another "Canadian" Tulku.

:namaste:

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:14 am
by Harold Musetescu
Got this from http://www.naturalmindmeditation.com/rodney-devenish


Rodney Devenish
Rodney Devenish (Karma Kunzang Palden Rinpoche) currently serves as Director of Curriculum for the School of Natural Mind Meditation. Recognized by the 16th Karmapa as Kunzang Rinpoche, Rodney is a Buddhist scholar and highly accomplished meditation master. He has authored a triad of vital meditation manuals and is Spiritual Director of the Dharma Fellowship of His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa. In 2005, Rodney and his wife, Lisa, founded The Hermitage retreat centre on Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Over forty years ago, the Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche (1931-2003) installed Rodney to teach, recognizing him as the Kunpal Rinpoche tulku and holder of the Vijaya Lineage of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1979, Lama Rodney was granted authority to teach Mahamudra by the Venerable Kalu Rinpoche (1905-1989). Lama Rodney studied closely with other such great masters as Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987), Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche (1938-2010) and the U Thila Wunta (1912-2011), receiving treasured and precious relics from each, including personal robes, which he has since passed to his leading disciple, Connie Mitchell.
Unquote

:namaste:

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:11 pm
by Lingpupa
methar wrote:
Got this from http://www.naturalmindmeditation.com/rodney-devenish

Rodney Devenish
Rodney Devenish (Karma Kunzang Palden Rinpoche) currently serves as Director of Curriculum for the School of Natural Mind Meditation...
Great. Lovely. Now the still unanswered question is - can any of these super-sounding recognitions be confirmed by those who gave them, or, since they are mostly dead, their representative organizations, rather than by the adherents of Rodney Devenish, Namgyal etc.

And does anyone know who the "Kunpal Rinpoche" might be, or what the "Vijaya Lineage of the Kagyu School" might be?

Intriguing.

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:15 pm
by jkarlins
Good point Lingpupa. Seems off to me, but again, the real point is to get solid factual confirmation.

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:14 pm
by Palzang Jangchub
Could the "Vijaya lineage" refer specifically to the lineage of transmission of the Ushnishavijaya (Namgyalma) mandala and associated practices within Karma Kagyu? The only reason i even thought of this possibility is because I've been involved in a project that's been investigating the lineages of transmission of Hevajra and Nairatmya within Kagyu.

If not, then it sounds really suspicious. Never heard of any Vijaya Kagyu institutional lineage. Sounds like a Western invention.

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:38 pm
by Malcolm
Lingpupa wrote:
And does anyone know who the "Kunpal Rinpoche" might be, or what the "Vijaya Lineage of the Kagyu School" might be?
Vijaya is a reference to Namgyal (rnam rgyal = vijaya). Apparently Leslie George Dawson aka Namgyal Rimpoche, or his students, imagine that he spawned an independent Karma Kagyu Ladrang.

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:05 pm
by Harold Musetescu
Go this from the Connie Mitchell's website naturalmindmeditation.com.

Quote
Connie Mitchell

Connie Mitchell (Karma Konchok Kunzang Lhamo) founded the School of Natural Mind Meditation in 2013 and currently serves as Executive Director, Senior Curriculum Developer and Master Teacher. Lama Connie was recognized in 2008 by the Venerable Kunzang Rinpoche (1947- ) as holder in direct succession of the Namgyal Lineage of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. In 2017, Lama Connie was officially granted authority to teach Mahamudra, marked by the passing of rare and precious lineage relics.
Unquote

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:30 am
by Lingpupa
That's not the end of her list of qualifications, either! The site says:
Lama Connie holds a Masters degree in International and Intercultural Communications and serves as an engaging and lucid public speaker on the wholistic nature of consciousness. Lama Connie is a further qualified Yoga Alliance instructor and lineage holder of the 1200-year old Nepalese yoga method known as Trulkhor Nyi-Da Kha-jor (Natural Mind Yoga). She is a Sensei in the Japanese tradition of Wado-Kai karate, a certified healing arts practitioner in multiple modalities, and a certified Buddhist Counselor.
This all sounds very amazing!

I have written to them to see if they have an explanation for what "officially" means, who granted it, and also what sort of recognition letter Rodney may have been given by the Karmapa. Tibetans love those documents, so if there's any truth in it he must have one.

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:09 am
by Harold Musetescu
Hello Lingpupa

You could also try contacting this person at the office of the 17th Karmapa.

Khenpo Ghawang, Coordinator (Recognizing and Reincarnation and Matters)
[Moderator's edit.]

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:13 pm
by Harold Musetescu
The following information comes from the the website of the "Office of the 17th Karmapa" at http://kagyuoffice.org/office/contact/

Khenpo Ghawang, Coordinator (Recognizing and Reincarnation and Matters)


Khenpo Ghawang is in charge of handling all public inquiries having to do with Tulkus recognized by the past and present Karmapas.

:namaste:

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:17 pm
by Grigoris
I wonder if anybody here is actually considering taking teachings from this person (and thus want verification of his qualifications) or if they are just being nosy gits?

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:18 pm
by Malcolm
methar wrote:
I could be wrong so please check "Vijayapath" with the headquarters of Namgyal Rinpoche at the Dharma Centre of Canada.
Image

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:56 pm
by CedarTree
Malcolm wrote:
methar wrote:
I could be wrong so please check "Vijayapath" with the headquarters of Namgyal Rinpoche at the Dharma Centre of Canada.
Image
Lol

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:08 pm
by conebeckham
I know Khenpo Ghawang; I will ask him and report back if he has anything to share.

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:45 am
by Lingpupa
Grigoris wrote:I wonder if anybody here is actually considering taking teachings from this person (and thus want verification of his qualifications) or if they are just being nosy gits?
Goodish point, but are those alternatives the only possibilities you see?

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:51 am
by Grigoris
Lingpupa wrote:
Grigoris wrote:I wonder if anybody here is actually considering taking teachings from this person (and thus want verification of his qualifications) or if they are just being nosy gits?
Goodish point, but are those alternatives the only possibilities you see?
In the context of this discussion? Yes.

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:39 pm
by Harold Musetescu
See the new bio profile on Rodney Devenish at naturalmindmeditation.com/rodney-devenish and compare it to the old bio profile I have posted from the same website on this thread.

Re: Dharma Fellowship

Posted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:21 am
by Lingpupa
Do feel free to call me a nosy git – I can happily gloss "nosy" as having a curious, enquiring mind, something anybody could be proud of. As for "git", I think that's the kind of word that mainly serves to convey the speaker's negative value judgement, and is therefore more a matter for the speaker than for me.

In any case, I do have a very small personal reason to be interested in this. It would have been in March 1974, shortly after I had first taken refuge, that I came across Leslie Dawson / Namgyal, who was giving a Chenrezi empowerment. The Lama who was spiritual director of the centre let it be known that he wanted his students to take this empowerment. But wait for it! The reason was this: although LD was not the real deal, he had been recognised by the 16th Karmapa, so if nobody went to the empowerment it would be rude. An interesting experience for a beginner, so I think it's fair that I'm curious about the fallout of his later career.

Anyway, on Wednesday of last week (9 August) I sent the following email to the "naturalmindmeditation" website (this is a full, unedited copy):
Hi,

I and a few friends have been intrigued by your website, and we are trying to work out (I hope you don't mind me saying this) if you are "legit", or not. Do you mind, therefore, if I ask you one or two questions? I'll take it that's okay, and here goes:

The site says that "Lama Connie was officially granted authority to teach Mahamudra”, but does not explain what "officially" means, or who it was who did this. Can you explain?

Generally, the qualifications claimed for both Connie and for Rodney are rather grand. Can you explain which "Kunzang Rinpoche” Rodney has been recognised as, and can you show us a copy of whatever recognition letter he was given by the Karmapa?

I look forward to hearing

Yours in the Dharma

Alex Wilding
I also wrote to Khenpo Gawang at the publicly provided address for matters of recognition. To date I have not heard back from either of these people, but it now appears that changes have been made to the naturalmindmeditation website. I have tabulated the differences, but for the sake of space I provide here just a summary (italics and bolding all mine, in the hope of greater clarity):

1) Rodney Devenish

Recognized by the 16th Karmapa as Kunzang Rinpoche – removed

Namgyal … recognizing him as the Kunpal Rinpoche tulku and holder of the Vijaya Lineage of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism – removed

studied closely with … the U Thila Wunta (1912-2011), receiving treasured and precious relics from each, including personal robes, which he has since passed to his leading disciple, Connie Mitchell – removed

2) Connie Mitchell
Lama Connie – now just Connie (three occurrences of this change - the word "lama" has been taken out)

was officially granted authority to teach Mahamudra – now just "was granted authority to teach Mahamudra"

and serves as an engaging and lucid public speaker on the wholistic nature of consciousness – removed

and a certified Buddhist Counselor – removed

Draw your own conclusions!