Since the Dalai Lama’s escape into exile, the cultural and spiritual heritage of Tibet have become increasingly popular throughout the world. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche was among Tibetan Buddhism’s greatest masters of the 20th century and was highly instrumental in bringing the practice of Dzogchen (Great Perfection) Practice to the West. Erik Pema Kunsang, one of his oldest western students, along with his wife Marcia Binder Schmidt and friend, Daniel Goleman, present an intimate glimpse into a remarkable reality of a spiritual master as well as an in-depth portrait of the lost culture of old Tibet. Through their voices, pantheons of characters come alive. Marcia said, “He was known for his humanity and accessibility any person could go into his small room and be greeted by him – He would touch heads with anyone.” Traverse with us the landscape of a society whose greatest wealth was not material but spiritual.
Erik Pema Kunsang (also known as Erik Schmidt) is one of the world’s most gifted English interpreters of Tibetan. He has studied with and translated for more than 60 Tibetan masters, and is the compiler of The Rangjung Yeshe Tibetan-English Dictionary of Buddhist Culture. Erik Pema Kunsang and Marcia Binder Schmidt are the authors of Blazing Splendor: The Memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (North Atlantic Books 2005), with a foreword by Lama Sogyal Rinpoche and introduction by Daniel Goleman. Daniel Goleman is the author of the worldwide bestseller Emotional Intelligence (Bantam 2005).
Topics Explored in this Dialogue:
- How is Dzogchen practice different from other Buddhist practices?
- Why the three Dzogchen practices were never practiced in Tibet
- What different worldview did Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche possess?
- Who is Padmasambava and what did hidden treasures did he teach?
- Why the mysteries of Tibet largely remain an enigma
- What gifts has the lost culture of Tibet brought us?
Program Number: 3120 Host: Michael Toms Interview Date: 10/20/2005