Second Kalu Rinpoche


KALU RINPOCHE was born in 1905 in eastern Tibet. During his early years, he was tutored by his father at home and received a thorough grounding in the meditative and ritual traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.

When Kalu Rinpoche was fifteen years old, he was sent to begin his higher studies at the great monastery of Palpung, the foremost center of the Karma Kagyu school. He remained there for more than a decade, during which time he mastered the vast body of teaching that forms the philosophical basis of Buddhist practice and completed two three-year retreats. Rinpoche's gurus included the foremost disciples of the supreme master of the Eclectic Movement, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye. Among them were the Fifteenth Gyalwa Karmapa Khakhyab Dorje; Eleventh Tai Situ Pema Wangchuk Gyalpo, the abbot and foremost teacher of Palpung monastery; Zhechen Gyaltsab Byurme Namgyla, the great Nyingma master who was regarded as Mipham Rinpoche's unequaled disciple; and the meditation master Drupon Norbu Donrdrup, whose teaching had a profound impact on Rinpoche's life. At the same time, his Dharma brethren included the foremost masters of his generation: Kongtrul Khyentse Ozer, Zhechen Kongrtrul Rinpoche, Jamyang Khyentse Choki Lodro, Dingo Khyentse Rinpoche, and many others.

At age twenty-six, Rinpoche left Palpung to pursue the life of a solitary yogi in the woods of the Khampa countryside. For nearly fifteen years, he strove to perfect his realization of all aspects to the teachings and he became renowned in the villages and among the nomads as a true representative of the Bodhisattva's path. Rinpoche's simple and direct style of teaching is in many ways the product of the need to bring the living experience of the Buddha's teaching to those who had not benefited from the sophisticated educational system of the monastic system.

It was thus with an established mastery of meditative practice that Kalu Rinpoche returned to Palpung to receive final teachings from Drupon Norbu Dondrup, who entrusted him with the rare transmission of the teaching of the Shangpa Kagyu.

During the 1940's, Rinpoche visited central Tibet with the party of Situ Rinpoche, and there he taught extensively. His disciples included the Reting Rinpoche, regent of all Tibet during the infancy of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

Returning to Kham, Rinpoche became the abbot of the meditation center associated with Palpung and the meditation teacher of His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa. He remained in that position until the situation in Tibet forced him into exile in India.

Kalu Rinpoche has taught extensively in America and Europe, and during his three visits to the West he had founded teaching centers in over a dozen countries. In France, he has established the first retreat center ever to teach the traditional three-year retreats of the Shangpa and Karma Kagyu lineages to Western students.

Also Available:

Karmapa Teachings

100 Short Instructions of Mikyo Dorje
Recorded at Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya, India. January 17-22, 2017.

Heart Sutra
Recorded at the Hyatt Hotel, Gurgaon, New Delhi, India. August 15-18, 2016.

Dhamra Talks in Paris
Recorded at the Marriott Hotel, Paris 14th arrondissement, France. June 4-5, 2016.

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