My warmest loves and thoughts from your webmaster.
Comment by Willy — February 15, 2017
I just learned about Gelek Rinpoche’s sad entry into nirvana. With him we have lost an important link to the great lineages of Tibet’s great masters, especially of the Geluk school. Known more famously for the Tibetans as Nyakre Khentrul Rinpoche, Rinpoche had been instrumental in reprinting many of the Geluk texts in the 1970s, and also remained an important object of affection for both Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. Of course, his emergence as one of the great Tibetan teachers in the West has also been a source of inspiration for many.
Comment by Thupten Jinpa Langri — February 15, 2017
So very sorry to hear this news. He will be with us always.
Comment by Mark Hunter — February 15, 2017
What devastating news. Gelek Rimpoche’s all-encompassing loving-kindness was a great blessing for everyone who encountered him. We shared Dharma together at the Zen Center of Syracuse and had a memorable dialogue at Syracuse University; I treasured his visits over the years, and our talks at Dharma Teachers Council meetings were always among the most illuminating moments.
I send my loving condolences to Dharma practitioners at Jewel Heart. We will do a service tomorrow at the Zen Center of Syracuse, and Andy will lead one there as well at Saturday’s Vajrayana practice.
Comment by shinge roko sherry chayat — February 15, 2017
Beloved Gelek Rinpoche has gone beyond……..
With his passing, we remember that life is so fragile, so brief.
We have little time to awaken in perfect unselfishness.
Rinpoche gave so much to so many.
He is an inspiration for all of us.
We must remember his way, his great teachings on bodhicitta.
My heart aches knowing that
he is now not among us as a living being
but his great heart will never leave us.
– Roshi Joan Halifax –
Comment by Roshi Joan Halifax — February 15, 2017
I received word of Rinpoche’s passing. Losing a lama is one of the most difficult experiences I’ve gone through, in part because it brings home just how remarkably fortunate I’ve been to meet a true Dharma teacher who can guide me. I’m always amazed that somehow little ol’ me created the cause for such fortune, And now my teacher gone.
But our lamas are never gone. They reside in our hearts forever in the form of the teachings and guidance they’ve given us. We can turn to that at any time to help guide our thoughts, words, and actions. Plus our daily practice of guru yoga and reciting a glance meditation on the lamrim renews our contact with them every day. Our teachers taught us, they believed in our ability to practice the path and to become kinder and more compassionate people. And now that Rinpoche’s physical manifestation is no longer here, out of respect and love for him, we must step up and carry on his work of cultivating wisdom and compassion in our own hearts and in the world. All of you are like light beams radiating from Rinpoche’s heart, carrying the message of the Dharma into the world by how you live your life and how you continue sharing the Dharma with others.
So please support and love each other as you grieve together and go forward to awakening together.
Comment by Ven Thubten Chodron — February 15, 2017
I will always remember the many blessings he gave through his life and example, and continue to be inspired by him and his teachings. He touched many lives locally, through his visits to the Zen Center of Syracuse, LeMoyne College, and Syracuse University.
Jikyo Bonnie Shoultz
Comment by Jikyo Bonnie Shoultz — February 15, 2017
The passing of our beloved Teacher and Guide is truly a sad experience for me and all our dharma brothers and sisters. I, too, am humbled, awed, grateful, that I was somehow fortunate enough to have been connected to him–to have received blessings, guidance, teachings from him. It is truly amazing that such a teacher was with us and provided so much inspiration to so many. He will continue to teach and inspire me for all my life and lives.
Comment by Helen Breault — February 15, 2017
Tears of gratitude for our beloved Rimpoche…we will miss his beautiful smiling face filled with loving compassion and fierce wisdom. I feel no separation, as he has gently and ever-so kindly prepared us over many years for his physical parting. We are more mature and all I want is to make him proud of us in carrying on our work. We continue to be his swarm of lucky bees of disciples. I feel held by him and that his love is wrapped warmly round us, enboldening us to be our more grown up selves and do the work of dharma.
All love to everyone who was so fortunate to come upon him in this lifetime ❤
Comment by Heather MacKenzie — February 15, 2017
What a beautiful soul Gelek Rimpoche was – what a gift we were given to enjoy!
I love him and will always be inspired by his words!
Comment by Ann Dean — February 15, 2017
When I was 22 years-old, I got my first real job, at Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine.
Being locked in a 9-5 job with only two weeks of vacation for the first time in my life, I decided that since I could no longer travel freely, I would still take advantage of adult education classes and thereby do some virtual “traveling” by means of expanding my mental horizons.
I came across a catalogue for the Open Center, on Spring Street, and selected two courses. One was a weekend African drumming workshop with the great Nigerian master Baba Olatunje. The other was with a weekend with a Tibetan Buddhist lama named Gelek Rinpoche.
I had already been studying Tibetan Buddhism for a few years, having started in college and earlier than that, at home. My parents had given me my first instruction in meditation when I was 7 years-old, and when I began learning martial arts 10 years later, I learned to meditate in the dojo. The household in which I was raised was Jewish, but Buddhism was ever-present, and so by the time I met Gelek Rinpoche in the fall of 1988, I had already read a lot about Tibetan Buddhism.
The first day I met him, I asked him this question: “Is it true that on some level, pain and pleasure are the same thing, and we just project these labels onto an otherwise neutral experience?”
Rinpoche took my head in his hands and head-butted me. I can still remember the shock of his forehead tapping mine. Then he said, “Pain is also pain. Pleasure is also pleasure. You have read too many different books. Read one book, do one meditation practice.”
Years later I learned that for a Tibetan lama to touch his head to the head of a student was a great auspicious sign. At the time I was just stunned.
I had the great opportunity to spend the next 29 years as Rinpoche’s student. He called us his friends, but I never had any doubt that I was in the presence of a fully enlightened being. I had the wonderful good fortune to travel with Rinpoche to Tibet, India and Nepal and to get teachings from him at the holy places where the Buddha became enlightened and where the Buddha first taught. Like many hundreds of other students around the world, I found that he saw my potential and knew how to transform my neurosis patiently and skillfully, slowly and with great kindness, and in that way he changed my life completely. I don’t know who I would be now if it wasn’t for the teachings I received from him.
Rinpoche had a singular life. He was essentially born in the Middle Ages, in a feudal Tibet without electricity or any modern conveniences. By today’s standards, he was a billionaire, as a member of the 13th Dalai Lama’s family, he was part of a great landowning clan that had enormous wealth and power. He was educated by the last generation of Tibet’s great masters, was recognized as an incarnate lama at the age of three, and by the time he was a teenager was head abbot of Drepung monastery, with 13,000 monks under his tutelage.
Rinpoche fled Tibet as a refugee. He lost his monastery and his family. He lost his country. He arrived in India penniless. He endured hardships and physical abuse and loss on a scale most people cannot even imagine. But he never once indulged in bitterness. He remained a cheerful champion to the end. Over the last year, he spent a lot of time in the hospital but he never lost his sense of joy and gratitude for life.
Having had the chance to not only be his student, but also hang out with Rinpoche as a friend and human being, his kindness and warmth were extraordinary.
His dharma wisdom and knowledge were far beyond the ability of any of us to fathom but one message I got was that while wisdom is important (and the only way to cut the root of suffering) it’s the icing on the cake.
With his words and his actions, Rinpoche showed that what really matters is a kind warm heart. In every teaching he gave, no matter how difficult the practice was, the message was always there: be kind. Relax. Have a sense of humor. Be gentle and precise. Be kind to others and enjoy life. And always be kind to yourself.
I woke up today and learned he had died. The shock and pain are vivid and real. But I also remember what he taught us, and I can hear his raspy voice saying these words: everything is impermanent. Death is a reality to which none of us is immune. We will all go through it.
Death is nothing other than a separation of the body and mind. The consciousness of the person who has just died is very sensitive and can feel us all here weeping. So while it is natural for us to be sad, the best practice is for us to be peaceful and happy and grateful. And try to live the kinds of lives we know would make him proud.
I am 100% sure Rinpoche died without fear or regret. If anyone on this planet could handle death, he could do it effortlessly and with total control of the dying processes. He is fine. He is beyond fine. He is fully awakened.
For those of us who are left behind, it is sad and frightening, like being on the ship without our captain and navigator. Rinpoche personally guided me through every major life change I experienced in the last thirty years. He made me who I am. And I am very fortunate to have come into contact with such a rare being.
So while today is a day of hot tears, I am trying to be mindful of the fact that the mind of the guru is still very much alive within my heart, and within all of us.
Rinpoche is here every time we feel compassion or show kindness to one another. That is his mind at work, playful, brilliant, alert, and always teaching. Always sharing. Always generous.
Comment by Dimitri Ehrlich — February 15, 2017
I will always remember your great generosity to teach the dharma to us. I have never met anyone else in my life like you. You are the Jewel in my Heart!
Comment by Don Mazour — February 15, 2017
the first thing that always comes to my mind whenever I would think of Rimpoche is his laughter. learning from him gave me the impression of how much laughter is important in learning the dharma. I hope to hear him laughing each day I am here.
Comment by Jim Fritz — February 15, 2017
Snow is falling like Buddhas
Like my tears
My Lama’s feet upon my crown
The turtle who’s head found a yoke on the sea
So lucky to join the lucky swarms of bees
MIG-me! And tse we, ter Chen Chenrezig!
The wind chimes below hail your arrival!
Universal thank you,
Ngawang Gelek Rimpoche
Comment by Sean Ike — February 15, 2017
Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche’s kindness, generosity, warmth, humor, and love will live on! We are all blessed. Today our hearts surrender to his teachings.
Comment by nathalie — February 15, 2017
I only sat in Rogel Hall for a few hours last saturday, surrounded by his friends and students. First encounter with a group teaching. Never met rimpoche, but felt the certainty of the teachings he passed down through those who loved him. Thankyou ,rimpoche.
Comment by andy — February 15, 2017
I feel an ocean of gratitude to have had the good fortune of meeting Rinpoche and studying with him in the last 20 years. His impact in my life cannot be overstated. He embodied our true human potential with his warmth, originality, joyful humor, depth of kindness and eternal wisdom. Oh Rinpoche, you will always be in my heart. Love you an thank you for everything.
Comment by Aline Yamada — February 15, 2017
Thank you, Rimpoche, for sharing the greatest gift of all.
Comment by Terry — February 15, 2017
Our dear Rinpoche dissolved his awareness into the Dharmakaya this morning. One is never fully prepared for such a huge display of Impermanence. So many memories of teachings, initiations, his endless sense of humor, his jokes, the clarity of his mind (and his teachings) his kindness.
“You ” are with us regardless and now we need to dedicate to you all the practices that you so kindly taught us. And pray for your prompt return….still…we are going to miss you.
Comment by Silvia — February 15, 2017
The International Campaign for Tibet was saddened to learn of the passing away of Gelek Rimpoche, a Buddhist scholar and an eminent master. In a message to Mrs. Colleen Smiley and to members of Jewel Heart (the organization Rimpoche established), ICT President Matteo Mecacci offered our heartfelt condolences.
Rimpoche was renowned for his scholarship, both within the Buddhist community and the broader society. He was a friend of the International Campaign for Tibet, having been kind enough to be on our Advisory Board and taking time whenever possible to provide counsel to us
Comment by International Campaign for Tibet — February 15, 2017
My brother, my father, my teacher, my guru – you were all to me –
the greatest gift of love and compassion.
My gratitude is beyond what mere mortal words can tell.
Now I see you in my mind’s eye sitting on a sun and moon cushion, smiling, in a pure land –
…wait for me Rinpoche…
Comment by Dorothy Yurkiw — February 15, 2017
The amount of knowledge and guidance you have shown us is truly staggering, all with such a joyful and genuine (and humorous!) manner. Words cannot describe the heartfelt appreciation for your teachings and presence. I only hope my remaining actions can embody what you dedicated your life to preserve and share. Please continue your beatific work.
Thank you so very much Rimpoche.
Comment by Matthew McKinley — February 15, 2017
Gelek rimpoche was more than an scholar or a Buddhist tantric Master, his intelligence in everything from politics to how to flip a pancake was written on his face. He was one of the Most Noble humans I knew and I was proud to sit in his Shrine Room.May there be a butter lamp in every house today. With gratitude and utmost love,
Comment by aimee renee miracle/crouley — February 15, 2017
I am too sad to say anything meaningful about this beautiful man who passed this morning except to say he changed my family’s life for the better and that I will be devoted to him, my Jewel Heart family and being a better person until I can no longer breath myself.
Comment by Wendy Weiner — February 15, 2017
His wisdom and personal example live in our hearts-minds. Personally, I will never forget the teaching he gave me in a pizza-initiation in São Paulo (in 1993, if I remember correctly).
Comment by Rubens Turkienicz (Brazil) — February 15, 2017
I met him attending a 5 day Tara course of his at Omega in the early 90’s. I was brand new to Buddhism. I came in 30 min late to the teaching and after the session ended he made his way over to me with concern and asked if I was alright..stunning… me out of 100 people. Such compassion for a stranger. I have a picture of him on my ‘altar’ still today . I send him my love and gratitude xoxoxo
Comment by Kelly Grey — February 15, 2017
Dear Rinpoche, you so warmly embraced me, a stranger, to the amazing week-long sitting at the Garrison Institute in the late summer of 2015. I will always treasure the White Tara initiation you gave me and your welcome to the sangha as a new Tibetan Buddhist!. I will carry those memories with me every day moving forward, as steward deeply touched by your amazing presence. Blessings for the new journey ahead!
Mara (M-air-uh) not Mara (M-are-uh)
Comment by Mara Linaberger — February 15, 2017
From a teaching long ago in Ann Arbor, I still have a magnet sign on my fridge…”I Want You to get your KARMIC INSURANCE – It’s Definite – Compounds Daily – It’s The Only Thing That Can Help!” signed, Gelek Rinpoche, Karmic Insurance Consultant. He will be missed.
Comment by Susan S Mader — February 15, 2017
I said these same words on facebook earlier today: The first time I met him, Rimpoche was giving a Tara blessing at Unity Church in east Cleveland. This would have been 2004-2005, I think. After the talk, I was electrified and felt like something I’d been looking for my whole life had fallen into place and a friend suggested I go talk to Rimpoche; when I did, I asked where I could find out more and he chuckled and said we were in Cleveland and that there was a Jewel Heart Center to go to and that was the start of the journey into the Buddhist path for me.
Many years later and I can see how much of an impact this wonderful teacher has had on my life, my outlook, and my spiritual process. I am so thankful that I got to meet him, so thankful that I learned so much from him in my short time as a his student, and now my heart aches at his passing, but I know it will be okay.
Comment by Tim Keller — February 15, 2017
How deeply you will be missed by all Dharma practitioners around the universe. May you be quickly reborn and return to us soon. Om Mani Padme Hung. Sarva Buddha Dakine Folded hands in thanks to you for helping so many during your time here.
Comment by Ani Jane — February 15, 2017
Rimpoche came into my life at the time of my dads difficult passing. Without his advice and teaching, I’m not sure I’d have got through it.
You are forever in my heart
Comment by David Rogers — February 15, 2017
No other teacher has helped me synthesize the dharma into everyday life as much as Gelek Rimpoche. With his laughter and practical advice, he related the depth of the teachings to my life with fresh metaphors and wonderful stories. His gifts were abundant and joyous! My heart is wide open with love and yet full of sadness. Many blessings on your transition Rimpoche!
Comment by Carrie McClintock — February 15, 2017
Greatly saddened by this. I first met Rimpoche when he would come to Chicago for talks and I later attended a retreat at a college before the retreats were in Ann Arbor. I will always remember him cutting through the Buddhadharma so succinctly, for his vajra brilliance, and for his beautiful laugh and smile.
OM MANI PADME HUM.
Comment by Sama — February 15, 2017
Thank you, Rinpoche, for sharing your teachings at the Garrison Institute at a retreat I attended several years ago. I took copious notes and have them still. The Dharma lives and we are blessed to have it in our lives because of teachers like you. We will miss you in these difficult times, but the teachings will help get us through them. May you — and all beings — be well, and happy, and free from suffering.
Comment by Barbara Steiner — February 15, 2017
How fortunate was I to have come upon Rimpoche – Bob Thurman recommended him; my first initiation was with him, it was White Tara, at the Garrison, several years ago; then, Healing Mentor, Yamantaka, and lastly his recent initiation of White Tara, in NYC. How fortunate are we, to have the teachings/videos/books, catalogued, available for many more to have, long into the future. Jewel Heart is a perennial jewel, keeping this treasure chest of teachings for all to share. With Deepest Gratitude to Rimpoche, and Jewel Heart. I will miss him, my heart aches, but I understand – he is not gone.
Comment by Maria Perez — February 15, 2017
Almost no words, but great feeling for s lovingly compassionate who knew no bounds when teaching his students and friends, with wit and Gelek Rimpoche’s limitless scholarly and experiential knowledge–we were all blessed to know this exquisite being in human form♡♡♡ In gratitude. A fortunate student, Juliette.
Comment by Juliette E Brown — February 15, 2017
Following a kind master, the foundation of all perfections, is the very root and basis of the path. Inspire me to see this clearly and make every effort to follow well.
Precious human life, gained but once, has great potential but is easily lost. Inspire me to understand this deeply and seek day and night the taking of its essence.
I must remember that death is quick to strike, for spirit quivers in the flesh like a bubble on the water. And after death ones good and evil deeds trail after one as a shadow trails the body.
Understanding this most certainly is true, may I discard every level of wrong and generate an infinite mass of goodness. Inspire me to be thus continually aware.
Without the tremendous good karma of encountering Gelek Rinpoche, who epitomized these teachings and spread them far and wide, what would we all be like? What incredible benefit he brought to one and all, asking nothing except our practice. We are among those most fortunate of beings.
Oh glorious and precious root guru, come take your lotus and moon seat in my heart and keep me safe in your great kindness. Please grant me the attainments of your body, speech and mind.
Comment by Julie Ritter — February 15, 2017
Father, Guru, Savior, Friend
A part of us has gone, gone, gone beyond
To that supreme state, in blissful, joyful freedom
Yet, crushing sadness defines our hearts today
Our legs no use all of a sudden
We met in 1987, that is when the seed was planted
When the idea of beginingless beginnings took hold
When all beings arose and counted themselves as one
I thank you, I praise you, I love you
Comment by Christy Burns — February 15, 2017
I never forget Rimpoche, he did our married blessing in Holland with me and Veroni. From the first meeting with m he is in our hearts. Dear Coleen, and al people around him. We think also on hou. Best wishes.
Comment by Emile Cobben — February 15, 2017
The International Campaign for Tibet was saddened to learn of the passing away of Gelek Rimpoche, a Buddhist scholar and an eminent master.
Rimpoche was renowned for his scholarship, both within the Buddhist community and the broader society. He was a friend of the International Campaign for Tibet, having been kind enough to be on our Advisory Board and taking time whenever possible to provide counsel to us.
International Campaign for Tibet, Washington, D.C.
Comment by International Campaign for Tibet — February 15, 2017
Rimpoche, I remember and cherish a teaching you gave once about our offerings – we should offer what we hold dear – so I will do that today (and every day), I will do what I love with sole purpose to help all beings. I will be kind to all today and always. Thank you for all you have taught me! I love you
Comment by Alexey Morozov — February 15, 2017
I can only think of how extremely fortunate I am to have met Rimpoche, and the dharma, and my dear Jewel Heart sisters and brothers. I cannot imagine life without these Three Jewels. Thank you, Rimpoche, from the bottom of my heart. Please stay always in my heart, and in my mind.
From birth to birth, please bless me, oh protector,
Never to be separated from your loving care.
Comment by Sally Tittmann — February 15, 2017
I wonderful teacher who embodied the best of the Tibetan master humor,wisdom and compassion. I will perform Medicine Buddha practices and phowa for his benefit & swift return. May his teaching and blessing continue also to resonate in the lives of so many he touched.
Comment by Glenn Friedman — February 15, 2017
I met Gelek Rinpoch while working for the poet Allen Ginsberg in the early 1990’s. I traveled several times to Ann Arbir with Allen who became deeply involved with Gelek Rinpoche and his sangha, Jewel Heart, before his death in 1997. Although I was ultimately involved in the teachings of Dzogchen, I will always remember Gelek Rinpoche and the personal connection he brought to everyone he met including me. I will always also remember his kindness and great capacity for loving kindness. I learned from him a definate method of analytical meditation that I use to this day. I also greatly admired Rinpoche’s ability to integrate with American culture. I miss both him and Allen who, no doubt, would have some interesting conversation these days had they lived to see these strange cultural transitions.
Comment by Jacqueline Gens — February 15, 2017
Words fail to encompass the experience of being a part of Jewel Heart and a student of Rimpoche. What a blessing to have met him, to have heard him speak on Sundays, and to speak with him on occasion afterward. I will never forget the feeling of love and belonging the first time I sat for a weekly dharma talk. I just knew I had found my place. And it carries through any time I listen to or read his teachings. Though I haven’t been able to be physically present at JH in far too long, I will always look to Rimpoche as my first teacher. So much love to Rimpoche and all fellow students and family.
Comment by Brandi Asher — February 15, 2017
I am so happy that my husband Jim and I had the good karma to receive a Dharma teaching from a master such as Gelek Rinpoche. To be in his presence was to experience an all-enveloping warmth, compassion, and joy that I will always cherish.
Comment by Sandra McCann — February 15, 2017
My heart is heavy, but I am comforted by my memories of his smile, his warmth, and wonderful laugh. He gave us all we need and it’s up to us to honor his memory by living our lives as students worthy of a spiritual lion. I’m grateful I have a loving Sangha for support in living Rimpoche’s teaching.
Comment by Wendy from Cleveland chapter — February 15, 2017
I heard Rimpoche speak a few times. Sometimes it was a large gathering, sometimes it was only a few, maybe 5 or 7. But the thing that resonated with me was his immense gratitude to be wherever he was. I have always tried to emulate that in my own life. Peace be with Rimpoche now and forever.
Comment by Ben Kessler — February 15, 2017
Rinpoche, most precious teacher, may we realize the wisdom and compassion you so skilllfully kindled in our hearts and minds.
And when it hurts, as it does now, may we remember laughing heartily with you, our friend.
And then, we will continue on with the kindness and generosity you so graciously showered upon us.
Comment by David Farrell — February 15, 2017
Rimpoche’s extraordinary kindness will remain with us always. His abiding love, care and concern for students of the Buddhadharma in the West made a lasting impression on me. I recall in particular him leading a small group workshop at Garrison Institute where he advocated strongly for keeping open secular, non-traditional doors to the Dharma. He was an exemplar of wisdom and skillful means; anyone with any connection to him is truly blessed, and my heart goes out in particular to all those close to him at this time. May he continue to encourage and inspire, and may his enduring presence resound in every moment.
Comment by Lama Christopher Coriat — February 15, 2017
How my heart aches and I feel so saddened to hear of Rimpoche’s passing this morning. Yet I see his beautiful smile lingering in my awareness and his teachings are reverberating in my thoughts. I met him in Cleveland at a bookstore in 1999 as he discussed Odessey to Freedom. He autographed his book for me and I will treasure it always! My visit to Ann Arbor was also so memorable with Rimpoche and Ram Dass lecturing on the weekend retreat, and am so glee to have purchased the CD’s which I review often He was a Beacon of Light and a Loving Compassionate Being who I feel so privileged to have met in this lifetime. May he be free forever. Love, Mary
Comment by Mary — February 15, 2017
Rimpoche, wise and kind teacher, your teachings and example brightened the hearts and minds of many and set on fire the rest. We are devoted to you now and always. Thank you for blessing us with your presence and care.
Comment by Vicki Milnark — February 15, 2017
Today, on holiday in the Gambia, i saw the News that Gehlek Rimpoche passed away. Tears came in my eyes. At that moment i was together with my wife talking to a poor divercorced young Gambian mother. I know that Rimpoche would sayed to me; talk to that woman , try to help her where you can. That is much more important than crying About me. The Gambian woman called Mariam, asked me what i had in my hand. I answered, it is a buddhistic dollar. What is buddhistic she said.
Comment by Twan — February 15, 2017
Your words ” Be Fearless Choose Love” will be with me forever – With thanks and gratitude and love for all the teachings – of wisdom and compassion…
Comment by Chrysanne — February 15, 2017
Recently met and received the White Tara initiation teaching from Rinpoche in NYC. So happy I was able to spend that time with him.
Comment by Jason Lalonde — February 15, 2017
We were students of Rinpoche in Miami, Florida. We were blessed to have known him and experienced his kindness. Our hearts are sad, but our minds and spirit are blessed to have known him.
Comment by Ana Maria and Jesus Becerra — February 15, 2017
I saw Rinpoche in New York recently. I learned he was mostly blind and couldn’t walk. Yet in prayer and deep meditation, he became luminous. Powerful, sweet, unforgettable teacher.❤️
Comment by Annette Barbasch — February 15, 2017
I doubt Rimpoche would even have known who I was, but he brought great joy and comfort to me all the same. I will miss him.
Comment by Sam — February 16, 2017
You touched my life profoundly, and gave me an opportunity for immense healing. Though I am saddened not to have had the fortune to speak with you directly in this lifetime, I know your words are part of my heart-mind now. Every time I practice White Tara, you will be there. Forever in gratitude and love, Mindy
Comment by Mindy — February 16, 2017
My heart and soul are saddened at hearing the news. I will always cherish the time that I got to spend in his presence. He changed me in so many ways. The world has lost an amazing human being. Sending my love and well wishes to Colleen, all of Jewel Heart Ann Arbor and beyond. Gone but never forgotten..
Comment by Kenn Wilson — February 16, 2017
I / we have been so blessed to have met you with your Turquoise Lion’s Mane. Wishing for a swift return.
Comment by Terry Satterthwaite — February 16, 2017
I remember being at a lecture he was giving, and I was a bit bored because I’d heard it several times before, and contemplated not coming back for the second half. Well, I did, and as soon as I sat down he looked directly at me and with a big smile on his face, said ‘Welcome back!’. I swear he’d read my mind.
The atmosphere of the room would change when he was in it. While I didn’t always understand or appreciate the teachings as I should have, he is completely the model of how human beings should be, and I’ll never forget him.
Comment by Daniel W. — February 16, 2017
Those we love don’t go away,
They walk beside us every day,
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
Still loved, still missed and very dear.
Comment by Sissel Bridges — February 16, 2017
Although I did not know Gelek Rinpoche very well, his passing leaves a void in the Buddhist world. He gave his life tirelessly for spreading the Dharma. Several years ago, I e-mailed Rinpoche to ask him a question during a controversy and he answered and apologised for not answering sooner. I hold his Sangha members in my heart during this time.
Comment by Mary O'Brien — February 16, 2017
A student asked Chodak Tulku Rinpoche, “What is your relationship to us?’ Rinpoche replied, “You are sitting here, taking teachings. A part of me is in you and a part of you is in me.” Gelek Rinpoche is not gone; he lives in us. Strive to keep his essence always before you. Be joyful that the burden of his body is gone; now he can really have fun!
Comment by Bonnie Dean — February 16, 2017
Had the good fortune to have been in Gelek Rinpoche presence on numerous occasions and experienced the warmth and gentleness of his smile and knowing eyes upon me and others….so taken by his passing and rejoice in knowing his presence will always be with us all.
Comment by Daniel Volz — February 16, 2017
My son got engaged last night
My Guru entered the bardo this morning
His passing woke me in the dark hours
His love and kindness brought the instructions
Of my Guru Devotion to my mind and mouth
His teachings have altered the way I, and all who come after me
In my family will view the the Universe
May all of my Dearest Teachr’s wishes and dreams be realized
May We, the blessed and lucky Sangha
Continue to be the reason for this to happen.
Comment by Cyd (Aniela) Higgins — February 16, 2017
My deepest gratitude to Gelek Rimpoche, I will remember him for ever with his beautiful smile and kindness,
The way he used to teach us the Dharma, and make it easy to understand, in our occidental culture, it is most valious than a billion of diamonds.
I very often remember the great experience received in ann arbor with the kind people of Jewel Heart and Our Loved Teacher,
Hope his words and teachings at all levels will remain in my Heart, Word and Mind until Enligthment
Comment by Angel Morales — February 16, 2017
Rimpoche and Jewel Heart sangha, you inspired me and guided me to change my life. Thank you.
Comment by Christy — February 16, 2017
His Eminence has bn my guide n my light since I met him when I was 14 or 15. His timely advice 30 years ago saved my dad from certain death… N my dad is still alive today bcos of this living bodhisattva… He has been a source of Wisdom for me n my family… I am so devastated to hear of his passing into clear light. The world is a much darker place without his light and love…
Great Lama… Please return to us soon…
Comment by Bibi K. Poh — February 16, 2017
Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche, your teachings are deeply embedded in me, and I pray
that they will always become more and more deeply rooted within me.
Rinpoche was my first English speaking Lama. In 1981 I met him at his home in Delhi,
received teachings from him at Tibet House, Delhi, and other centers in India,
lots of teachings and initiations early on, during my first months after
having taken refuge. Incredible teachings, such as transmitting to
a little band of us, Bruce, Aura, Sandy, and I, things like
instructions on the practice of a sadhana precisely following the outline of
instructions given by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, a miraculous opportunity
to look so nakedly and directly into the practice of the tradition.
So many memories coming back…
There was that fun time we had playing music at Jewel Heart with his student Alan Ginsberg reciting poetry.
I remember Rinpoche refusing to accept money for gas as such a powerful lesson about karma for me.
Gosh, even my very introduction to the use of cell phones was riding with him in a vehicle
as he called ahead to a restaurant to order food! I’d never seen anything like it before!
I liked the idea of ancient wisdom making use of the latest technology.
He commissioned a written translation from me which was a great encouragement and boost to my work.
I saw him many other times like in Switzerland, at his New York City teachings, fun interactions,
it was always so special to see him. His teachings and example were very potent
and they always stuck with me. We invited him to teach in the temple we had built on our land in Big Sur,
and he gave a teaching for the local folks and kids. We invited him to Esalen Institute, as well.
His teachings were perfect, and he was always so generously encouraging of my translation work.
His tender actions and kind expression told you of his inner qualities, his compassion and wisdom,
and his teachings were always illuminated by his comprehensive knowledge and experience of the teachings,
revealing their very essence with such powerful practical examples.
I believe he was able to personally benefit so many because of the way in which he gave of himself.
I myself am definitely just one ray of light emanating from the sun of his wise compassionate activities in our world.
Thank You Rinpoche!
Comment by david molk — February 16, 2017
Goodbye dearest Rinpoche. Thank you for all you have done for each and every one of us. We will carry on your light and precious teachings in our actions and lives each day. Om Mani Padme Hum.
Comment by Dawn Holtz — February 16, 2017
My deepest gratitude to H.E Gelek Rimpoche.
We are so fortunate to have met and received the precious dharma from Rimpoche in Malaysia.
May his Dharma wishes continue for the benefit of all mother sentient beings!
Comment by Melinda Foo Yuet Mooi — February 16, 2017
My heart goes out to all of you who loved Gelek Rinpoche so much. He was such a wonderful, deep, insightful, funny, loving and wise spiritual mentor and friend. I have pictures of that beautiful, happy face of his plastered all around my house. I know how devoted you were to him and what fine care you took of him. My heart just breaks for you. I am sure Rinpoche died with serenity and optimism. He will always be a real inspiration in making light of his long, painful physical ordeal.
I loved to hear him tell stories about when he first came to the US. He was so funny about discovering doughnuts.(!) He comforted me about my fear of flying because he was frightened too. So human and warm and funny. The internet broadcasts of his teachings have been wonderful. Thank you so much.
With deepest condolences to you and profound respect for Rinpoche,
Comment by Elsie Walker — February 16, 2017
You are my lama,
You are my yidam,
You are my dakini and dharma protector,
From now until I attain enlightenment
I shall seek no refuge other than you.
In this life, in the bardo, and until enlightenment,
Please hold me in the hook of your compassion,
Free me from the fears of samsara and nirvana,
Grant me all attainments, be my constant companion,
And protect me from all obstacles.
Oh glorious and precious root guru,
Come take your lotus and moon seat at my heart,
And keep me safe in your great kindness.
Remain steadfast until I attain enlightenment.
Comment by Bill Kirchner — February 16, 2017
I am so fortunate and grateful to have met you and received so many inspiring n life changing teachings from you. I will miss you terribly. Your cup overflowing with kindness and unconditional love for everyone. You are my lama, yidam, dakini and dharma protector, please keep me safe n remain steadfast until I attain enlightenment. Please return soon to continue to benefit all sentient beings.
Comment by Krystal Low Lee Choo — February 16, 2017
I echo the many sentiments of gratitude, love, and respect
expressed by all here. Venerable Gelek Rinpoche was a disciple and dear friend of my root guru Venerable Denmark Lichi friend of my Teacher Ven Denma Locho Rinpoche.
Thus I was blessed to know him and receive teachings from him.
He was exquisite in so many ways but his compassion and ability to make one
feel known and loved was amazing.
Most especially, I want to acknowledge his wife and fellow traveler
Colleen for her unparalleled love and caring for Rinpoche and to thank her
for making his life better and easier! Dynamic Duo for sure🙏
With love Sandra Magnussen
Comment by Sandra magnussen — February 16, 2017
I had the joy and privilege for the last 18 months of starting my first Buddhists teachings with Galek Rimpoche. I am truly honored to have learned from him.
He made me want to be a kinder more loving and attentive human being, and because of this my life is growing in joy and that feels such a blessing.
Along with his profound wisdom I will also keep in my heart that wonderful dynamic smile and his cheeky little giggles.
Thank you for being you, Rimpoche, an absolutely supreme human being. Sending you so much love.And sending much love to everyone who loved you dearly xx
Comment by Simone Bienne — February 16, 2017
You have come into our lives and affected each and everyone of us in so many different ways. Ways that will help us in our lives and in our spiritual path. Thank you so much, Rimpoche . You will always be in our hearts , just like we will be in your heart.
Comment by LimJit Choong — February 16, 2017
I was saddened to hear of your passing but then my heart filled with gratitude to have learned from you. Thank you for all you gave.
Comment by Toni — February 16, 2017
Such a vivid presence with me always. Thank you Rinpoche.
Comment by Stephanie Ulmer — February 16, 2017
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha
I treasure You, Rinpoche.
Your laughter in my heart,
Beloved Guru. ❤️
Comment by Bud Miller — February 16, 2017
Blessed Rimpoche, you will always be in my heart. Thank you for bringing such sweetness into my life and to those around us.
Comment by Jamgyang Wangmo — February 16, 2017
Dearest Rimpoche, great Dharma king, you will always be my teacher and I rejoice for that. Cannot imagine what life would of been without you.
Sincere condolences to your family and the lucky bees of Jewel Heart.
Om ah guru vajradhara jina shasana sukalyana vijaya sarva siddhi hung hung.
Em a ho!
Comment by Jennifer MacLeod Kelley — February 16, 2017
Gelek Rinpoche will always e in my heart. When I received terrible news about my cancer he came to my home and talked with me and held me gently, this put me on the road to be determined to live and I have. I credit him for opening my heart again when I was afraid. I thank him from the bottom of my heart and am so sorry I could not physically attend his recent talks in Bloomfield Hills. Today is a mixture of sadness and a burning happiness for I know he has reached his destination.
Comment by Carol Kaplan — February 16, 2017
Drinchen Lama Lobzang Thubwang Dorjechang Nyarey Khentrul Rinpoche Ngagwang Gelek Pal Zangpo Chok:
Having been endowed with the lineage of Lhabtsun Dorjechang,
served to the delight of Vajrabhairava and Vajrayogini, the two Yongzin Lamas,
worked to kindle the light of the holy teachings and fulfill the aspirations of the Holder of White Lotus,
Kyabje Ngagwang Gelek Palzang, I beseech you:
For the benefit of the teachings and sentient ones in this degenerate age,
Please do not rest too long in the peaceful realm of dharmadhatu,
with your great compassion and unwavering vows of enlightened actions,
Please soon shine the rays of unflawed Nirmanakaya emanations upon us!
Comment by Ratnasevaka Maitridharmadhara — February 16, 2017
I am very sad to learn the passing away of kyabje Gelek Rinpoche. I remember couple of years ago, when he was happened to visit Washington DC, I invited him to Voice of America, Tibetan Service and interviewed him on my weekly ‘ Buddhism and Culture program’. He was a true spiritual master, who has all the good qualities that spiritual teachers require. Very kind, showing love, compassion, and generous to all. He was a witty too. May he be reborn again. My profound condolence to his family members and Jewel heart Buddhist Center members.
comment by Kunsang Dolma- February 15, 2017
Comment by Kunsang Dolma Chaksam — February 16, 2017
It’s impossible to count or recount all the ways you’ve changed and redefined my life and death. I can only humbly say, thank you. Until the joy of our next meeting.
Although Rimpoche always learned us to be prepared for death at each moment, I realized at the moment I heard he had passed away yesterday, I was in shock because of his death. So with his passing, he kept on teaching. He will be close to us, even now that his physical apearance has left us. I feel grateful …
Comment by Sari Koppens — February 16, 2017
A very very compassionate person and near focus on own self and always look at the suffering of the others. It is fortunate that I have met Gelek Rimpoche and learn some fundamentals from him.
His voice will always in my heart as I will never forget his voice even he is not around physically.
Comment by Ritchie Lim — February 16, 2017
Your legacy is incomprehensible. Just look at the Sanga gathering here. So many beautiful thoughts by so many beautiful people. Thank you rinpoche, thank you.
Comment by Onno — February 16, 2017
Thank you for your great kindness in turning the wheel of Dharma. Please come back quickly to continue the lineage of the Great Lama Tsongkhapa.
Comment by Betty Voon — February 16, 2017
You took my wounded hand
and touched it to your cheek
When I first met you
and you formed a union around my love and me
and though we moved out west to find our path
you gave your kindness
in a deep room inside of me
holy holy holy Rimpoche
like a blazing blue fire
and blessed this impermanence
now moving through me always with me.
We Love you Rimpoche.
Comment by Kevin Moore O'Leary — February 16, 2017
How fortune we all are to have known Rimpoche…to have heard his teachings. I remember listening to him talk about his more recent medical problems and realized how matter of fact he was about this awful, frightening things he was tolerating. He bore all of that suffering with such dignity. He continued to teach in spite of his illness, practicing and teaching while obviously not feeling well. That in itself was a HUGE lesson… the dharma came first, and he shared the teachings until almost his last breath. It’s what he was born to do, and boy, he nailed it. I love you Rimpoche, thank you for coming to northern Michigan to teach when you had so many needy ones pulling on you from all directions. Please return to us soon. I just selfishly want you back. Such a sweet man, but WOW! He was sooo smart! I love you always and will try to live by your example. Godspeed precious jewel. M.j. Trigilio
Comment by M.j. trigilio — February 16, 2017
My gratitude goes out to rinpoche for all his devotion, dedication and love in conveying his precious teachings and initiations to us. I see myself as fortunate to having met rinpoche in this life. Forever grateful and with the best wishes for a good onward journey, free of obstacles to his desired destination. Thank you!
Comment by Silvia P. — February 16, 2017
Thank you Rimpoche, for your timeless wisdom, your kind heart and your illuminating smiles and humor. For always grateful for guiding me and helping me in my rocky journey on the path.
Comment by Pieter — February 16, 2017
Thank you so much Rinpochee for who you were and who you are. Your unconditional love that you shared with us will always be with us.
Comment by Darja O. — February 16, 2017
I am traveling in Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia, where I have visited over two dozen Buddhist pagodas, temples and stupas. I have said a meditative prayer for Rinpoche in every one of them, prior to his passing. Today I lit incense in honor of his death. He was such a humble, inspirational champion of life, love, compassion and enlightenment. His friendly, accessible presence and leadership will be deeply missed. I hope that the Ann Arbor sangha will find a path to honor his exemplary life in ways that will sustain their wonderful community after his loss. A special condolence to Colleen.
And our best to his other followers around the world. May we all be united in our resolve to continue his good works.
Comment by Doug Kelbaugh — February 16, 2017
Good-bye my friend. It is the end of something good and the start of something better.
Comment by Dan O — February 16, 2017
Rimarrai sempre nel mio cuore-
You will remain always in my heart
Comment by Paolo Quaranta — February 16, 2017
Dear Jewel Heart and Family my condolence to you all.
As member of Jewel Heart Netherlands I have been the oppurtunity to learn about the Dharma for the last 23 years. Many thanks that I got the wisdom of the Dharma through the great efforts Gelek Rimpoche made. I wish him a very good Journey.
Comment by Frank Egberts — February 16, 2017
Rimpoche held out his arms, vast and wide embracing the all of his children with utmost benevolent wisdom, love and compassion, we are closer now than every before. May we steadfast and carry forth your teachings.
May your return be graceful and swift as a hummingbird dancing in the glistening sun on a windless day………..new life, new growth, spreading your wings……embracing all that is once again……
Comment by Julie Jeffery — February 16, 2017
There are no words.
A single snowflake races to earth.
I watch as it melts into the ground.
I bow to you my Lama.
Comment by Tim Fullerton — February 16, 2017
I remember the moment we met and how it changed me, your incomparable kindness. I am so grateful to have had the fortune to learn from you for almost 20 years. I will keep working … Thank you Rinpoche, and may all your heart-work and wishes benefit us all, soon!!!
Comment by Bob — February 16, 2017
To my Dharma brothers and sisters
who worry that you did not have a
“personal relationship” with your guru:
rejoice that, instead, you may have a pure one.
Be glad that instead of the
sticky slime of self-concern,
of mistransferred parental longings,
of “look at me (don’t look at me)”,
“love me (don’t love me)”,
you may instead know him
as his true, uncovered self—
the great sun of Dharmadhatu shining broadly,
reaching long arms to touch,
stir, warm, and ripen us.
Know him as his “shortest ever possible”
Odyssey to Freedom,
aeons of learning
cut to the slim bone of meaning,
or as the endless knot of
innumerable hours of taped transmission.
He speaks just one word, really: “Confidence!”
Do this, now.
You can do this.
Although we are small, the power of the lineage is great.
If that is not sufficient,
if you mourn untasted closeness,
then take as yours any of these:
a silent circumambulation in the snow;
rolled paper stuck in ears blowing an absurd horn;
running pants-less from omniscient gaze;
a bag of Chinese leftovers given with the warning,
“Enjoy your life, it is short lived”;
a fatherly embrace of a broken child
whose own father has passed;
‘guess who’ hands shading anxious eyes;
being dragged to the door because
“You were just here last night!
That’s too much! Get out—take your tea!”
and the briefest flicker of concern as eyes lock
that, maybe, this time was too much,
that, maybe, you wouldn’t return;
the unfathomable love of ocean eyes
when after eating your hatred,
eating your pride,
eating your loneliness,
eating your regret
you do, at last, return.
These and a million other moments
that only ever had one goal—
to make you reach, reach,
every moment of your vining life
into a scintillating swirl of iridescent kindness.
May we all find the joy that has never known suffering.
Comment by Kate Pierro — February 16, 2017
Namo Gurubhye,Namo Buddhaya,Namo Dharmaya,Namo Sanghaya. Stunned sadness followed by extreme gratitude. Seven years ago, my karma lead me to Rimpoche and this amazing path. In this (perceived) short time, I always thought of Rimpoche as the guy 10 minutes down the street who I learn from, only to see a worldwide outpouring of sentiment reminding me of how fortunate I am — a true testament to who Rimpoche is. Humble. Compassionate. Wise. His gentle way wrapped me in warmth each time I was with him. I pray for him to return to us, and know he will be in my heart forever.♥♥♥♥
Comment by Andrea — February 16, 2017
We were blessed with the Living Presence of Ancient Tibet and now each of us who met him, knew him or knew the Sangha carry some of that scent with us. Good Life. Good Death.
Comment by Michael Peters — February 16, 2017
Most precious lama, incarnation of Holy Amitabha, embodiment of the freedom and gentleness of all arhats, the universal compassion of all bodhisattvas and the great tantric accomplishments of all mahasiddhas, master whose kindness to us in this present age exceeds that of all buddhas past, present and future, please return quickly to our human realm and continue your work to uplift this heavy world, to bring light to those in darkness, and to arouse wisdom in those now powered only by ignorance. And I would like to ask one small selfish prayer. May I meet with you in lifetime after lifetime, until ssamsara is emptied.
Comment by Glenn Mullin — February 16, 2017
My first experience with Nawang Gehlek Trinley Namgye – as he named himself in his book – has been in reading and rereading Good Life, Good Death. I am sad that he is now going through what he talked so humbly and authentically about in this teaching. He says at the end of the author’s note, “What I have learned may help you ease your pain, relax your anxieties, reduce your anger, reduce your attachment, and build a little wisdom.” Always teaching, now even in death. My heart goes out to all of you who learned from and worked with him directly – his family and friends all over the world, and particularly at Jewel Heart in Ann Arbor. I was blessed to meet him there one Sunday a few short years ago. I was obsequious; he was down-to-earth and welcomed me. No big deal; but a big deal, as you well know. I am saddened and moved by his death. But because of his example, I am also less afraid and encouraged to deepen my practice. That is my offering today with gratitude for the good life and good death of this great teacher.
Comment by Rosalie Wright — February 16, 2017
thank you Rinpoche La, for being.
Comment by Jeroen Spaan — February 16, 2017
The first time I met Rinpoche in May of 1991, I went home and wrote:
You come like a wave from the great ocean and sweep towards the shore
Where we stand with our arms outstretched.
I have have thought many times over the years that I did something right, sometime!
I will miss my precious teacher.
Comment by Margaret Mann-DeVos — February 16, 2017
I will remember the message of love. Thank you for your kindness and compassion.
Comment by Barbara K. Riering — February 16, 2017
What stood out for me about Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche, as has been the case with all the great realizers I’ve met, was not his formidable scholarly and monastic background; how many texts he had mastered, or in which languages, but his very real kindness, his capacity for truly connecting with and caring about others, his refusal to impose Tibet on the US, his warmth, approachability, and willingness to adapt. The one time I had the good fortune to speak with him personally in 2005 in NYC was shortly after the passing of my own late teacher, an event, as others here have mentioned, that is unspeakably monumental, even as it slips so quickly into silence, and in spite of all our practices and rehearsals around impermanence. Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche’s true humility and lack of formality deeply touched me. I thought: wow, he really gets westerners. He created an atmosphere of ease, warmth, kindness, open communication, and love that nurtured self-acceptance and light heartedness. His relaxed approach, while never compromising content when it came to the teachings, garnished with his sweet playfulness and great sense of humor, seemed to me to really gently encourage personal integration and because of that a sense of real community among his followers. How beautiful. _()_
Comment by Maria Montenegro — February 16, 2017
thank you for your deep compassion, kindness, generosity and wisdom …the message of love
Comment by shelagh keeley — February 16, 2017
I already miss you tremendously!
Thank you for everything.
Comment by Sandra Szymanski — February 16, 2017
I first met Rimpoche on December 8, 1989, at the University of Chicago, where he gave a public talk. Brenda introduced him. He took the podium and simply stood, with great dignity, in silence for some time before speaking. The whole room, many people present, fell into a deep, silent stillness. I seemed to know in that moment I was in the right place. My relationship with him over the subsequent years tended to be at something of a respectful distance. But oh how very deeply he entered into my heart!
Thank you, Rimpoche. Thank you so very, very much.
Comment by Bob Marsh — February 16, 2017
Dearest Rinpoche, Thank you for being compassion and wisdom. Thank you for believing that someday I might make it there too. Thank you for the hilarious and befuddling response when I asked if I should get married. Thank you for then presiding at my wedding. I’ll never forget you taking a napkinful of currants from our offering and sticking them in your pocket. Thank you for making me think, every time I see it, that the full moon will give me cookies. Thank you for the saying “a baby of potato and dough” and thank you for shaking my cage every time I needed to be reminded that I was in one. Thank you for introducing me to the practice of buying bait and releasing it in the wild. Thank you for all you did to counter my deepest misdeeds. Thank you for teaching me the four Rs. I always kept my distance but now I know it is time for me to shed that obstacle and become closer to you. To honor you by believing that you are with me. Thank you for teaching me to fall and stand up again. Thank you for your selfless and bottomless efforts to teach. When you’ve had a good rest, please come back.
Comment by Kate Glahn — February 16, 2017
I first met Rinpoche while accompanying HH Dalai Lama to Ann Arbor back in the ’90s. He was exuberant, so friendly, so giving. We met several times over the years, and his face always lit up on those occasions. I am deeply moved and saddened by his loss. Come back and teach us!
An-shu Stephen K. Hayes
Comment by An-shu Stephen K. Hayes — February 16, 2017
I will always remember how Rinpoche grabbed the khata i offered and placed it over my head as i smiled and sent all the happiness from my heart to him. Deeply grateful, his teachings continue to drop precious jewels to us forever.
Comment by amy black — February 16, 2017
Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never ever the same. Namaste!
Comment by Joni T Strickfaden — February 16, 2017
Although I didn’t/don’t always understand the nuances of my practices, I’ve always felt safe learning with Rimpoche (and my sangha family). I was never made to feel that a question was too simple or silly and have consistently been encouraged to ask and investigate. While I’m still in the infancy of my learning, I’m so grateful for the seeds of love and compassion that Rimpoche planted in my heart and mind and for the way that he nurtured me to help those seeds sprout, grow and propagate. I’m extremely gratified to know that those seeds have been passed to my daughters simply through their proximity to his kindness, wisdom and generosity. I remain forever grateful; forever faithful. Thank you, Rimpoche. ♥
Comment by Laura Reynolds — February 16, 2017
I wish I could find words that would accurately express the magnitude of my gratitude to Rimpoche. His vast knowledge, intelligence, critical thinking skills, sharp and penetrating wisdom and compassion, sense of humor, infinite kindness, altogether made him so unique and special. I feel that even if he had lived 300 years and I had been his student for 300 years, I would at most have learned 0.1% of all that he could teach me. He is not just present at every breath I take, he is part of me. The fact that I feel his presence so strongly and vividly in my mind, helps me cope with this great void that we all share.
Comment by Bento Soares — February 16, 2017
Words cannot convey my respect, appreciation, love and gratitude for Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche. It would be easier to invite you into my heart for a peek at 30 years of experiencing and witnessing his flawless qualities of love, compassion and wisdom in action, effortlessly and equally shared with hundreds and hundreds of people – day after day after day, helping people in whatever way was best suited for their needs. Boundless generosity on every level possible.
Yesterday, February 15th at 6am Rimpoche left our worldly presence. Our hearts are full with his blessings. Through his kindness, he taught us the inseparability and pervasiveness of compassion and wisdom and so much more. While he remains close to each of us with our meditational practices, may he quickly return and continue to share his blessings of unparralleled service. I love you with all my heart Rimpoche.
Comment by Kathleen Laritz — February 16, 2017
Tsongkhapa’s teaching are in my heart. I can feel them. Thank you. I love you.
Comment by Amy Dumke — February 16, 2017
Rimpoche has led us to the vineyard of dharma with wise and compassionate guidance that will end all our ignorance and suffering……we must now walk the path to enlightenment’s shore.
Comment by Joe — February 16, 2017
Tears at the phyical passing of Gelek Rimpoche. I was blessed to receive his teachings years ago while living near Ann Arbor. They will instruct and comfort me always. I thank him for his compassion and wisdom.
Comment by Ellen Van Pelt — February 16, 2017
The Day After
You: the biggest smile.
Was there even when you frowned.
My precious guru.
You: the sweetest speech.
Was there even when you yelled.
My precious guru.
You: the strongest mind.
Was there even when you joked.
My precious guru.
You: your open heart
Light-natured, all compassion.
My precious guru.
You: Dharma on two legs.
Us: Imperfect lucky students.
Now: grateful, sad, and tender hearts all around.
Thank you, dear Rimpoche.
Comment by Elizabeth Hurwitz — February 16, 2017
Homage to a Great Guru,
whose wisdom mind was a like a light in the dark,
May his spiritual aspirations be fulfilled,
And may he continue to bless our Body, Speech, and Minds,
May the torch of his teachings never be forgotten.
Comment by M. Smith — February 16, 2017
I am just so saddened by Rinpoche’s passing. He was not just a teacher, he was happiness.
He always had a smile on his face. I was lucky to have him as a friend and a Lama.
I will miss his wisdom and comfort, his undying love for all and his silly jokes.
I love you Rinpoche…until we meet again……
Comment by Jane (Yurkiw) Frazier — February 16, 2017
Thank you very, very much dear Gelek for your wisdom and wit. I only met you once and shook hands with you.way back in 2005 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. I won’t forget your lessons!! I will keep them in my heart.
Comment by Hans Biemond — February 16, 2017
I had the incredible opportunity to sit under Gelek Rimpoche’s life-changing teachings for just short of 2 years. Time passes so quickly. He was gentle spirited, compassionate, and an incredible teacher. A true inspiration. You will truly be missed.
Comment by Randy O — February 16, 2017
In late 2001, I started a project in East Lansing and was told by the teacher that I was studying with to “Check out Rimpoche , he’s the real deal!”. Such an amazing 16 years have passed since then. To be taught, cajoled entertained and finally married by him. To carry on him teaching as I have understood them is the best I have to offer in return.
Comment by Bob Rickman — February 16, 2017
In 1970, in Tibet House Delhi, Gelek Rimpoche taught me about thangka painting forgeries and fakes. His wife, Daisy, was the Director of Tibet House at its first location. Gelek Rimpoche ‘s knowledge on thangka fakes and forgeries is shared in our preservation workshops http://www.treasurecaretaker.com The upcoming Preservation of Monastery Treasures workshop at Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala, March 15-21, will include quotes from Gelek Rimpoche’s discussion of a “fake” Tara thangka, from 1970 in Tibet House.
Comment by Ann Shaftel — February 16, 2017
Needless to say, I’m very saddened by the passing of Gelek Rimpoche. As far as I’m concerned he was the best of the Tibetan Buddhist teachers to come to the West. He always spoke of things in down-to-earth terms, didn’t engage in any psychological game-playing, and was one of the wisest and funniest people I ever met. Even though I haven’t been actively involved in the scene for many years, he was and continues to be a significant influence in my life.
Comment by Bob Petrarca — February 16, 2017
With heartfelt gratitude we bow to you Our precious Lama whom to behold, hear or recall is worthwhile. Thank you so much for teaching us to be appreciative, kind, and rejoice and to remember whatever we do to be of benefit to sentient beings. Thank you for all your blessings of Wisdom and Compassion. You are UNFORGETTABLE! Please take swift rebirth for the sake of sentient beings. Om ah guru vajradhara jina sasana sukalyana vijaya sarva siddhi hung hung
Comment by JayaLodro — February 16, 2017
I am deeply, deeply saddened to learn the passing away of Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche this morning.
Please convey my heartfelt condolences to the members of Jewelheart Sangha.
As you know Rinpoche and I had very close personal friendship going back to over 40 years and his passing away is great personal loss to me. Rinpoche was a great teacher and also a loyal and dependable friend.
I have asked Yangdon la to make a token condolence offering on my behalf. I very much wanted to personally come to pay my respects to the Kudhung but I am just getting ready to return to Asia and I have made commitments till the very last day of my departure.
Ujjen La, I know this is a great personal loss to you and I can not even imagine how you must be feeling.
Thank you for serving my friend with so much care and devotion.
Please convey my deeply felt condolences to Carlleen.
Comment by Lodi Gyari Rinpoche — February 16, 2017
My dearest Rimpoche,
Thank you for everything. Every single thing.
Comment by Christine Wright — February 16, 2017
Thank you for helping me to get onto the Path to Enlightenment, and for your guidance regarding my academic path of Tibetan Studies.
One of the greatest gifts from you is that, whenever I think about you, I never feel alone on the Path. I remember when I went to Mt. Kailash for extensive kora, you told me to call you each time I went around the mountain “Even if it’s 3:00am!”. I did, and you immediately picked up the phone each time. . . Whatever you told me, it was always the truth. Thank you for that.
Now I will continue with the precious Dorje Neljorma practices you taught me so I can dedicate all of my accumulated merit for your very quick return. So please come back soon!
Ariel “Yeshe Khandro” Lewin
Comment by Ariel Lewin — February 16, 2017
You never forget your first.
Of the many teachings and transmissions you shared with me I remember the kindness of your powerful touch. Whenever you shook my hand or smacked my shoulder, you concretely gave your affection.
The last time I saw you, you held my hand, rubbed my cheek, and gave me a gentle smack and sent me on your way. You honored us all Rimpoche. With your body, speech, and mind.
You loved, and will always be loved.
Comment by Joe Evans — February 16, 2017
So many thoughts around meeting my very beloved rimpochee. , so many wishes for him out of enormous gratitude to have been my dearest teacher, so many tears also. We knew each other 34 years. Like you emphasized, thank you so much to have been on this earth, I trust that we will meet again. Marian.
Comment by Marian van der horst — February 16, 2017
May I have the excellent good fortune to meet you again in future lives as I was fortunate to meet you in this incarnation. I bow to you with joy and gratitude Rimpoche.
Comment by Stephen Kelly — February 16, 2017
I am deeply saddened by the news of your death Rimpoche. You are in my heart always, and I will cherish all the memories of you, as I cherish the teachings you have brought into my world. You have always been there for so many people when they needed you. My son, Daniel, was touched by your connection to him when he was just a little boy. You accepted his bear hugs and questions with open arms and an open mind. He told me when he was a little boy that you were like a grandpa to him. I will never forget you, and I will strive to be a better practitioner to honor your gifts to me. Love you always and forever.
Comment by Miriam Sullivan — February 16, 2017
We met once many years ago after a speaking engagement in NYC, although our conversation was brief you left a lasting impression and I have cherished that memory over the years. Good luck on your travels Rimpoche.
Comment by eugenia perl — February 16, 2017
Tirelessly tirelessly you opened my heart, again and again and AGAIN as it so often was required Thank you for both letting me and helping me enclose you in my heart. I am so dense! and you were/are always patiently patiently and so generously there. Please remain with us here now and with those in the future for as long as it takes.
Comment by Pam Parrish — February 17, 2017
I am thankful to have had the fortunate opportunity to have learned from such a beloved teacher. Rimpoche has shown the way to find peace in my life. I will miss his wisdom & his humor. I am also grateful to have met the wonderful people of this sangha. Deep bows & much love.
Comment by Jim Grenoble — February 17, 2017
Gelek Rinpoche taught at Omega Institute for many years, sometimes with Allen Ginsberg, sometimes with Robert Thurman, sometimes by himself. Always, it was a highlight for me when he graced us on our campus. Such kindness and wisdom and humor and intelligence. I have met so many teachers over the years at Omega, but Lama Gelek stands out for his authenticity and curiosity and LOVE. What a blessing to have known him and learned from him. Thank you to everyone who served his teachings over the years. In friendship with all seekers, and with a deep sadness at our shared loss, Elizabeth Lesser
Comment by Elizabeth Lesser — February 17, 2017
Nyare Khentrul (Gelek) Rinpooche has passed away
To our great sorrow we have learnt that the eminent Tibetan Master Nyare Khentrul Rinpoche, better known as Gelek Rinpoche, passed away yesterday at 6 am local time in the USA.
Rinpoche was one of the most important early trail blazers to establish Tibetan Buddhism in the West. He was brilliant at holding the balance between maintaining the undiluted traditional knowledge and the transfer to the west with all its own idiosyncratic conditions.
He still came from the generation of scholars born in old Tibet. 1939 he was born as a nephew of the 13th Dalai Lama. As a recognized incarnation he first experienced life in a monastery. He completed his studies in Drepung monastic university at a very young age with a geshe title.
In 1959 he escaped to India, along with many of his fellow Tibetans and returned his monks vows then. He was one of the first students of the Young Lamas Home School.
He came to the West early, to the USA, where amongst others he kept close contact with famous poet Allen Ginsberg and musician Philip Glass.
He founded the Buddhist organization Jewel Heart, which amongst others, has a sister organization in Holland.
Gelek Rinpoche is a close friend of our spiritual guide Dagyab Rinpoche. They knew each other since childhood. Due to this deep bond between them many students of one lama are also students of the other.
Gelek Rimpoche has also given teachings in Tibethaus and Chödzong, (the predecessor to Tibethaus). He will remain unforgettable. This teachings were carried equally by profound wisdom and great humor and were always relevant to daily life. He also wrote important books and commentaries.
Like many Tibetans of his generation Rinpoche had been suffering for some years from the consequences of heavy diabetes. As an ordinary person he would have had to die much sooner, but for years, carried by his great responsibility and compassion, he continued to visit and look after all his centers, although he could hardly walk any more and was in great pain.
It was a slow good bye, yet it is still very painful for his close students who have been with him for many decades.
Dagyab Rinpoche said yesterday, “I wish that all the heart wishes of Rinpoche, for which he has given his life on behalf of his students – and by extension, all sentient beings – will be fulfilled.
To all those who feel close to him, especially his students, I would like to give this advice: In future – just as has been said in the transmitted discussion between Geshe Potowa and Drom Tönpa – you should take Gelek Rinpoche’s words as your teacher and rely on them.”
Elke Hessel und Puntsok Tsering
Lama Chöpa Puja
Tomorrow, Friday, Februry 17, from 5 pm to 6.30 pm we will conduct a detailed traditional Lama Chöpa puja for Rinpoche. It is an open event that anyone can join. We look forward to you attending. Please bring a little gift (fruit, flowers or a donation)
Comment by Tibethaus Frankfurt, Germany — February 17, 2017
We are very sad to learn that our beloved friend, teacher, and former board member of the Tibet Fund, Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche passed away this morning at 6. We were truly blessed to know him and receive his profound wisdom. In 2015, we had the opportunity to honor Gelek Rimpoche during our 6th Annual Tibet Fund Gala celebrating his extraordinary achievements as a spiritual teacher who worked tirelessly to promote Tibetan Buddhism and the just cause of the Tibetan people.
Born in 1939 in Lhasa, Gelek Rimpoche studied at Drepung Monastery and received the Geshe Lharampa, the highest degree of scholarship at an exceptionally young age of 20. Rimpoche gained reputation for his powers of memory, intellectual judgment and penetrating insight. After coming into exile in India in 1959, Rimpoche first taught Tibetan language to young students in Simla and later became the principal of another school in Dharamsala. Rimpoche was also the director of the Tibet House in New Delhi and became the head of All India Radio’s Tibetan Program Section.
Rimpoche conducted over thousands of interviews in compiling an oral history of the fall of Tibet to the Communist China. He also edited and printed over 170 volumes of rare Tibetan manuscripts that would have otherwise been lost to humanity. In the late 1970s Gelek Rimpoche was directed by both the Senior and Junior tutors to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to begin teaching Western students. Since that time, he established the Jewel Heart Center and has given Buddhist teachings and helped spread His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message of peace and harmony to make this world a better place to live in.
Rimpoche had served as one of the key members of the Tibet Fund’s Board and we remain grateful for the significant ways he had helped The Tibet Fund to rebuild and sustain the culture of Tibetans in exile and in Tibet.
Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche is revered for his loving kindness and compassion, pure upholding of ceaseless dedication to the welfare of all beings. He will live on forever in our hearts.
With a heavy heart, the entire Board of Directors and staff members of the Tibet Fund would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the members of Jewel Heart Center.
Comment by Tibet Fund — February 17, 2017
Thank you for everything you have taught me. I will try live out your teachings in this and all future lives.
Wishing for a quick return.
Comment by Matthew Sisco — February 17, 2017
My family and I used to go see Gelek Rimpoche for Losar celebrations. I greatly respect his work and teachings and believe now it is more important than ever for the Tibetan community and its allies to listen and keep these messages alive.
Comment by D. Yang — February 17, 2017
Celebrating Gelek Rimpoche
Early Wednesday morning, February 15th, 2017, the Tibetan community in exile and the international Buddhist community lost one of its leading lights—Kyabje Ngawang Gelek Demo Rimpoche—known to his many students around the world as Gelek Rimpoche, or simply Rimpoche, our precious gem. Besides His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Gelek’s peer, Trungpa Rimpoche, our jewel had few equals in his ability to be a living bridge between the Himalayan ivory towers of Tibet’s spiritual-intellectual elite and the increasingly global technology and pop culture of the modern West. While his preeminence among the vanishing breed of master scholars trained in the mountain kingdom alone would have warranted a storied place in history, it was his unexpected role as a leading monk exile turned lay Buddhist teacher that earned him global renown.
Nephew to the 13th Dalai Lama, and educated alongside the 14th, Gelek found himself at 21 attending an unusual prep school in Delhi with Trungpa, Lama Zopa, Chokyi Nyima and other “young lamas,” getting groomed by the first Western Tibetan nun Freda Bedi to understand and teach the new world he was thrust into. Our Rimpoche turned out to be not just a gifted student, but an avid connoisseur of Western culture. Soon enough, he found himself in New York City, sharing his light with the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Paul Simon, and Philip Glass.
The fortunate students of the Jewel Heart community he founded in Michigan in 1988 (which spread worldwide) could hardly be expected to recognize the miraculous time-warp they had lucked into. They got to drink Tibet’s purest streams of contemplative science in fluent American English from one of the Deans of Drepung University—Tibet’s Harvard and Vatican Archive rolled into one. Disguised in blue jeans and a bright silk sport shirt, Rimpoche made it all seem so easy, so natural—understanding modern culture like the back of his hand—even barring his modern students from ancient traditions like prostrating to their Lama. So Nikki Appino’s 2014 documentary of his remarkable life hit just the right note with its title, borrowing the nickname his fellow lamas coined for him back in the ’60’s: “The American Rimpoche.”
Yet to those of us who were lucky enough to study with him over the years or to just be around him for a single teaching, tale, or quip, it was not the Rimpoche’s historic work preserving endangered textual treasures, his esoteric role as the living conduit of some of Tibet’s most beloved mystic lineages, or his cache as spiritual guide to some of America’s creative icons that most blew our minds or melted our hearts. It was purely and simply Gelek’s radically humble, invariably helpful, and exquisitely kind human presence.
I first met Gelek in Delhi in 1979, on my first trip to India with my college professor Bob Thurman, who knew the Rimpoche from his years as the first Western Tibetan monk. The old friends agreed to take me along on their trip together to Drepung University, transplanted into South India, for a teaching by the Dalai Lama’s tutor Ling Rimpoche on the wisdom that slays death, personified in the fierce brilliance called Yamantaka. That was my first encounter with the Rimpoche’s natural kindness. Gelek hosted us in his old residence hall and quizzed me each night of the week-long teaching to be sure I’d grasped the key points despite my limited Tibetan. It would be ten years before I saw him again. I was living in Mill Valley, California, and was thrilled to hear he would be guest teacher at Green Gulch Zen Center. True to form, he seemed to actually remember me when I greeted him, took my hand and led me to sit at his feet for the talk. He even called me out during his lecture to check the Sanskrit of a text he was referencing, as if he needed my help for that. After the meeting, he asked me to come to see him at Jewel Heart in Ann Arbor. From that day on, I felt truly blessed to have the rare opportunity to learn and be with him consistently over 25 years.
Although it has been my good fortune to encounter and learn from many eminent Tibetan masters in this life, no one has touched me as deeply or as personally as Gelek. He was there for me when things fell apart, and there for me when they came together, always bringing me—and all of us—back to center, with a warm smile and wise word. As my spiritual journey eventually converged with my profession as a psychotherapist, to my surprise it was not any of my other teachers or my psychiatrist father who ended up being my role-model, but Gelek Rimpoche. I witnessed in him wise and constant care for each and every individual that crossed his path, regardless of their walk in life, their lot of fortune or misfortune. It was his vocation as a doctor and nurse of souls, combined with his personifying the medicine of human kindness we all so urgently need today, that made Gelek my hero, my peerless teacher, my precious gem.
We are all so profoundly grateful to you Rimpoche, for being you. All our love goes with you as you embark on this exciting new leg of your multi-life odyssey—towards embodying ultimate freedom and consummate altruism. OM YAMANTAKA HUM PHAT! OM MANI PADME HUM HREE!
Comment by Joe Loizzo — February 17, 2017
Dearest Rimpoche, may you dwell in the clear light for eons, may you attain Buddha hood and may all the Jewel Heart Sangha be Karmically connected to you forever.
Comment by Bill Goodrich — February 17, 2017
Dear Rimpoche,thank you for everything you did in this world for the benefit of all beings!
Personally I had the opportunity to let you come in in my life, like so many others.
I am very happy and gratefull for that. Inseparable you and your wisdom are in my mind and in my heart!
Comment by Albert Mund — February 17, 2017
I only had one opportunity to see Gelek Rimpoche, during one of his visits to Amsterdam some years ago. I was very impressed with the clarity, immediacy and relevance of his teachings and his warm and engaged presence. To all for whom he was an inspiration and beloved teacher I offer my sincere condolences. May his teachings live on for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Comment by AllanJaeger — February 17, 2017
I will always hold Rinpoche in my heart,
The raspy bird chirp cadence of his voice,
The warmth of his sangha,
His depths of wisdom,
His connection to Tara,
His boundless energy and enthusiasm
His ghost stories,
The spiritual odyssey he charted for us all,
Your physical presence will be missed
Your wisdom and compassion’s presence will burn bright in us all,
Reflected by your students,
You will always be our Jewel Heart.
Comment by Jeff Kunken — February 17, 2017
We have been blessed by his presence. Sincere condolences to family, friends, and students near and far.
Comment by Jennifer Kay — February 17, 2017
I was so sad when I heard about Gelek Rinpoche’s death and felt so lucky in having known him. I last saw him at a dinner where he was being honored by the Garrison Institute. On my way over there, knowing Rinpoche had been ill, I hoped for a video appearance by him. To my surprise, when I walked in, he was actually there. What a blessing! And, I thought, how like Rinpoche — showing up so beautifully where he was needed, courageous in going the extra step, teaching so wonderfully and naturally through who he was.
Comment by Sharon Salzberg — February 17, 2017
Rimpoche, you are the Buddha who brings us the Dharma, who built the Shanghai which daily benefits from your many blessings,and who pledges to multiply and apply your many blessings. SAFE JOURNEY, BELOVED TEACHER.
Comment by Marilyn hall — February 17, 2017
I feel so very Blessed that my life was touched by this humble, wise, kind, thoughtful and abundantly generous teacher and friend. He will be missed so very dearly in his most beautiful form, I trust that in his unstoppable and natural desire to share his rebirth will be swift. Sending prayers and Love, and wishes that the winds of transition delivery you Rinpoche safely to your next destination .
Comment by AnnDee Greenberg — February 17, 2017
Recollection about Ghelek Rinpoche.
I first met Ghelek Rinpoche in 1997 in San Francisco at Amy Hertz’s house. A number of luminaries where there including photographer Galen Rowell and Allen Ginsburg. His seemingly modern and casual appearance was the antithesis of the serene robed, and distant Tibetan lama one would expect.
Well dressed, laughing, and making references to media and pop culture, he taught the room with his wisdom intermixed with his more modern references. Later I came to realize this was a ” skillful means” he would employ so Westerners would feel more comfortable around him, and allow him to be closer and less removed than most Rinpoches I had met before him.
Returning to New York around the time of Allens passing, I met him again at memorials for Allen. From that I became his student at the newly opened Jewel heart center in Tribeca. Again I think his seemingly casual manner was not that easy as I was used to more traditional lamas ,but soon the depth of his knowledge began to impress me. He would easily quote from memory long passages. from difficult and arcane Geluk philosophy texts with uncanny ease, all the while telling jokes and stories.
He also attracted an eclectic sangha of scholars,
artist, musicians ,writers and the occasional celeb. He made creative people feel comfortable and always emphasized the value of creative work as a practice. He also was extremely patient and skillful at training the somewhat artistically wild students with the practices and prayers of Tibetan Buddhism.
I found found it uncanny how he would start with a text but sort of ” read’ the thoughts in the room and address a concern of one or many students.
His energy seemed indefatigable as he traveled around the world teaching at centers in Holland, Malaysia, and around the U.S and elsewhere. Ann Arbor was always his base in the U.S. and he established his center there and his core students. Only later I would learn of his early work in Dehli and the U.S. on major scholarship of Tibet including Melvyn Goldsteins seminal Tibetan language primer, and many many others.
I could go on ,as Im sure many will , with a list of his accomplishments and qualities, but I would like to tell a more personal story.
In 2006-2007, I was called back to Pittsburgh, my home town to care for my ailing father, uncle and aunt. A huge and daunting task which was needless to say , a very stressful life event . I realized I still had many good friends in Pittsburgh,from my childhood, but no spiritual community as I had in New York, and i worried about be alone in my practice.
One day I was at the mall I grew up closest to, South Hills Village mall, and I was leaving through a copy of Tricycle magazine, the Buddhist magazine at Barnes and Noble , and reading an article called ” Calling the Lama from afar”. It is a practice people in Buddhism do to call the energy of the teacher or lama near you.
A woman came up to me and asked ” oh I see you are reading Trycycle??? Are you interested in Buddhism?? or spirituality?”
I said ” Yes , Ive studied a bit ” She replied “Ohh , you should meet my husband, he studies Buddhism with a Tibetan teacher…”
My curiosity piques I asked” oh who is that???” She replied
” Ghelek Rinpoche, have you ever heard of him???” .. ” callng the lama from afar!!!”
Being a bit shocked by the synchronicity of this, she then introduced me to her husband , Bob Rickman , who was not just a long time student of Gheleks but also he had lived in New Jersey and it turned out we had shared many experiences and teachings in common in New York without ever meeting!!! From this auspicious and amazing meeting ,we formed a small study group in Pittsburgh,and I was able to travel to see Ghelek at Jewel Heart , Cleveland, multiple times which had been Gheleks initial group on arriving in the states from India, as well as
Ann Arbor, , especially for His Holiness’ visit in 2008.
This culminated in bringing Ghelek to Pittsburgh to teach which was a dream come true for many in Pittsburgh who had never seen him there or met him. It was especially poignant for my friend Helena Halla. I had met Helena in the hospital when I was caring for my dad. A feisty and independent 88 year old, she was a volunteer at Presby, and had had a rich and interesting life but conveyed to me how she had always wanted to meet a real
“Tibetan master’. In meeting Ghelek ,on the day he came, she fulfilled a life long wish….both have now moved on…
I write this as one memory amongst many, many deep learning, teachings and experiences we all shared with him, and also to show :
It may not be just “random atoms” moving us around. the world is much deeper than we realize, and Ghelek was an excellent guide in showing us that….
It is with great sadness that we take our leave of our teacher and friend but knowing he is fine in his travel onward, we can appreciate the deep and powerful blessings he brought to so many….
Comment by Eric Mendlow — February 17, 2017
begging for your swift return o sweet Father!
Comment by Seda — February 17, 2017
After clouds of tears
The sun will shine again
Clearing my mind and warming my heart.
I’ll be waiting for you
Working my butt off
There’s so much to do!
See you soon, dear Rimpoche <3
Comment by Marinelle van Dongen — February 17, 2017
From a distance I loved and admired my guru! I am reminded of an analogy he often drew between this
fragile human body and an apartment. “When our domicile is no longer in a condition to be inhabited we have no other alternative but to move.” I’m saddened by the vacancy sign but comforted by the knowledge that he will be there to help me when my turn comes!
Comment by Karma Samten — February 17, 2017
I went to a few of his teachings he inspired man to the path I walk today. His kind words smile and laughter was something special.
Comment by Tim lawrence — February 17, 2017
Me to the path.
Comment by Tim lawrence — February 17, 2017
This weeks Abbots Address is dedicated to Gelek Rimpoche.
Lions among humans free from suffering here to protect & serve.
you will find me don’t despair, you will recognize me
the only thing I know that’s true is my lama
Comment by beth — February 17, 2017
Oh guru vajra holder your body like a magic gem…I bow to the lotus of your foot.
Demo Rimpoche… please carry us further.
Comment by Tom repasky — February 17, 2017
First saw Gelek Rinpoche at Friend’s Meeting House in early 1980s. He was probably the first Tibetan Lama I had ever seen before. I was really impressed with his great dialogue with Ram Dass many years later. Also just saw him at EMU event. He was a great teacher. My condolences to the members/family at Jewel Heart for such a profound loss.
Comment by Tom Lincoln — February 17, 2017
When I need to cry, laugh and think about Dharma all at the same time I look to Allen Ginsberg, who was one of the wonderful facets of sun-like Gelek Rinpoche – Gospel Noble Truths
Born in this world You got to suffer Everything changes You got no soul Try to be gay
Ignorant, happy You get the blues You eat jellyroll There is one Way You take the high road
In your big Wheel 8 steps you fly Look at the View Right to horizon Talk to the sky
Act like you talk Work like the sun Shine in your heaven See what you done Come down & walk Sit, you sit down Breathe when you breathe Lie Down, you lie down Walk where you walk
Talk when you talk Cry when you cry Lie down, you lie down Die when you die
Look where you look Hear what you hear Taste what you taste here Smell what you smell
Touch whom you touch Think what you think Let go, let it go slow Earth Heaven & Hell
Die when you die Die when you die Lie down, you lie down Die when you die
Comment by Sean — February 17, 2017
Our profoundly joyful Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche la. I’m eternally inspired by his brilliantly realized embodiment of love, discipline, generosity, humor, compassion… My heart is with you family, friends and students.
I’m especially grateful to all of you who have helped record and transcribe the invaluable library of Rimpoche’s teachings, and to my dear friend Dimitri Ehrlich, who studied with Rimpoche since the late 80s and brought me to my first class 15 years ago. Shortly after I began studying with Rimpoche, I experienced a kundalini awakening that lasted three days. I’ll never know exactly what role Rimpoche played in that life changing experience, but I feel he was instrumental.
All love to you, Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche la. You help us see life more clearly, even through our tears. I am eternally grateful.
Comment by Erika Rand — February 17, 2017
And now the time has come to say goodbye to one who has made a powerful impact on our lives and the lives of countless good people around the world. One who was a vision of history in motion. A voice of truth, love, peace, & power in the struggle to end struggle, to end suffering and the cause of suffering. A sentient being who’s soul was not confined to a physical body, but rather traveled freely through the worlds of imagination and consciousness. And now, that soul is no longer attached to the physical world. It resides now in the memories of those who have been enlightened by its presence in ways that are best expressed in silence. We are different now, we are stronger now, we are more comfortable now, we are better now. We will carry that torch, we will carry the candles, We will raise the heads of all that we encounter who are contemplating the worlds below. Let us continue to visit, to be in touch, with our benefactor in gratitude and assurance of goodwill, knowing that all thought, all emotion, all speech, all activity, is one reality. … Peace be upon the spirit of dear Gelek Rimpoche … Joe Kidd & Sheila Burke …
Comment by Joe Kidd & Sheila Burke — February 17, 2017
I was led to my spiritual teacher Gelek Rimpoche by Allen Ginsberg, once quite literally as Allen walked with him into the first Jewel Heart store opening celebration sometime in perhaps 1996 or so. I watched from and adjacent cafe, then dared to follow Allen into that space that later became like a second home.
Later Rimpoche showed me how to heal my aching heart and move on in life after my mother died in 1998, how to leave behind guilt and work on generosity, patience, wisdom, compassion, building the path into each day to the best of my ability. He taught me to begin to transform my reality little bit by little bit. The time that Kevin KOlectric and I spent with Rimpoche and the beautiful Jewel Heart sangha brought us closer together, laid a strong foundation for our relationship.
As we moved to California, I have missed weekly teachings, the precious, incredible blessing of regular whole week long retreats, thankful since for his visits and ours. But I carry with me a deep and lasting connection that is beyond space or time. As a parent I have aimed to implement what I have learned from him. I have had that guiding point to come back to again and again, every day. Patience. Generosity. Kind heart. Impermenance. Love.
Now that he has passed from this life, yesterday on the dawn of Shakymuni Buddha’s paranirvana day, I miss him even more. But his passing has brought out such and intense wave of gratitude! What a blessing to have known the teachings of Gelek Rimpoche! To have sat before him, hugged and kissed him, laughed and cried with him! Thank you Rimpoche! For guiding me in this life and may I have the good fortune to encounter your next brilliant and auscpicious rebirth!
And thank you to the incredible Jewel Heart Sangha for carrying on the teachings and the precious spiritual community. My heart is warmed.
Comment by Kara Moore-O'Leary — February 17, 2017
Words fall short to describe the role that Gelek Rimpoche played in my life. He blessed me all the time. I will miss him dearly saying: Hey! Neigbour! I vow to keep him “alive” in myself, in my practice and with our sangha. May all his dharma wishes be fulfilled.
Comment by Roland Driebergen — February 17, 2017
There are periods [in which] when you try to listen you will not understand anything, when you try to read you cannot you can’t catch the words,
when you try to think you cannot get proper thinking,
when you try to meditate nothing develops within you.
When you try to say some prayers, you can’t say them.
There are times like that.
What do you do at that time?
Nothing, except depend on the guru yoga practice. Go back to guru yoga.
This is the path which will protect you, make you understand, make you develop.
This is one of those times for me……thank you for this gift.
Comment by Joe Breault — February 17, 2017
Rimpoche will always be remembered as a monk appearing and
coming into my life from rays of sunlight from the sky.
How very fortunate my family and I have met Rimpoche and
Rimpoche will always reside in our hearts forever in the form
of the teachings and guidances.
May the unmistaken reincarnation of Rimpoche return swiftly
to us with all His qualities!
Comment by Fran — February 18, 2017
We miss you very, very much but we know you are not gone. Your physical form may have left us but you will always be in our hearts. You are still around to protect us and guide us. We pray for your smooth rebirth everyday. I can’t thank you enough for all the help and guidance you have provided me, my family and the whole of Jewel Heart. We miss you and come back soon. ❤️💓💞💗💕❣️
Comment by Rui Wen — February 18, 2017
I always found myself tongue-tied around you. Even after 20 years of knowing you, I always had difficulty asking questions or engaging in even the smallest of conversations. Even now, as I address you in my heart and on this page, I am at a loss for finding the right words. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel comfortable around you, it was that I felt SO MUCH. I simply didn’t know what to say or how to say it. I wasn’t able to tell you these things before you died, so I want to try now:
Thank you Rimpoche. Thank you for all of your hard work, beginning as a young child and continuing to your last day. Thank you for your generosity of wisdom and love. I have always trusted you and you never failed me. You are my hero. I will spend the rest of my life trying to be worthy enough to call myself your student.
Please help me find you again, lifetime after lifetime, until I realize what you have taught.
Comment by Michael Vernon — February 18, 2017
Dear brothers and sisters in the Dharma,
On behalf of all of the Tashi Lhunpo monks, we wish to express our deep sadness. gate gate para sam gate Bodhi Svaha…This video was taken upon news of Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche’s passing. May his disciples, family, friends, and students take comfort in it.
Comment by Khen Rinpoche Lobzang Tsetan — February 18, 2017
Rimpoche, thank you for the many years of kind and compassionate teachings. Thank you for your guidance. Please let me live a life that reflects your gracious wisdom.
Comment by Anne Yantus — February 18, 2017
An experience of a lifetime
How beautiful, how beautiful
A life changing gift
Thank you, Rimpoche
Comment by Marsha Sweet — February 18, 2017
I have many childhood memories of playing in the other room, or the basement when my mother went to one of Rimpoche’s teachings. When I could manage to sit still, I loved to listen to him, and always felt a sense of happiness when I was around him. I was never really a regular at jewel heart myself, but Rimpoche’s voice was a part of my childhood, and I feel a piece of me is missing without his voice in the world.
Comment by Holly Lankton — February 18, 2017
One of the great, wise, loving embodiments of the Dharma is no longer here, but the brilliance of his teachings and of his students will continue to shine and bring light to the world.
With heartfelt sympathy to all of the sangha of Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche, and prayers for his swift return.
Comment by Ann Ogburn — February 18, 2017
THE WHEEL OF CHANGE In homage to Gelek Rinpoche 1939-2017
While his flesh and bones burn,
I honor my teacher,
who showed me,
there is a light in everything,
He taught me there is only
the present moment.
Sitting, I follow him
across the earth, moon,
sun, and sky,
and, swim alongside him
through the void of fire,
water, air and space.
I am burning with love.
When it came time
to say goodbye,
tears choked me,
and I said nothing.
–Milton P. Ehrlich
Comment by Milton Ehrlich — February 18, 2017
Transcendental consciousness is higher consciousness, I have you dear Rimpoche to thank for this understanding, Which has even has even translated into my art. Rimposce, your jeweled heart will be in my heart for ever!
My most recent sculptural expression “TRANSCENDENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS” can be found at rllandry.com under the gallery titled “Less Literal”
Comment by Robert Landry — February 18, 2017
My Precious Guru Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche,
Meeting you in 1984 in Malaysia was indeed a blessing and past karmic connection. When I received you at the airport, you so were so friendly and affectionate. Your blessing through touching your forehead on mine immediately made me realized that You are the ONE.
We have been truly fortunate to have received so many precious teachings and Initiations from you over the years.
Your words of wisdom penetrated our hearts.
We will put to practice what you have taught and may you always remain in our hearts.
We are indeed grateful for your generosity, loving kindness, compassionate and selfless nature that cares for all without exception.
We will always remember you as a jovial and happy lama that brings laughter and happiness to all.
Thank you Rinpoche for all you have done for us.
With heartfelt faith we pray for your swift return to benefit all sentient beings.
Most of all thank you very much for being so kind, caring and loving to me and my family all these years.
OM MANI PADME HUM!
Ah Seet and family
Comment by Tee Siew Seet - Ah Seet — February 18, 2017
My gratitude to you dearest Rimpoche goes beyond words. I am forever thankful to you dearest Rimpcohe for your kind and wise guidance, blessings and protection. May I never be separated from you life after life. You remain always in my heart until samsara’s end, my kindest Root Guru. I pray that all your wishes be fulfilled.
Comment by Barbara Voon — February 18, 2017
On the 5th of May in 2005 (the Day of Freedom in the Netherlands) you said to me: “We keep in touch!”
We did, we do, we shall do. For ever you are always there.
There is one point: Help me to keep the door open for you in all your greatness!
Peter behind his camera.
Comment by Peter van Wanrooij — February 18, 2017
Many years ago I received a copy of “Good Life, Good Death.” This book was very influential to me in helping me overcome some difficult emotions. Later, I met Rinpoche in Ann Arbor and received a copy of “The Four Mindfulnesses.” This remains one of my favorite most influential Buddhist books to this day. From time to time, I would drop into a webinar on Sunday. I would hear his kind reassurance and support in some darker hours. He is truly a Buddha and I wish him a very happy and fortunate rebirth. All my best to Jewel Heart and the legacy of wisdom he has left here for everyone. ❤🙏🏻💐
Comment by Erin — February 18, 2017
I first met Gelek Rimpoche in a room upstairs over (I believe) a garage in Ann Arbor. I had gone with a friend who spoke highly of Rimpoche. He came over to me, took my hand and looked deeply into my eyes and thanked me for being there for his birthday.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend his talks at the Friends’ Meeting House as well.
I have been unable to attend his talks for several years, but have followed him as much as possible online.
I feel like there is an empty place in the world now, where he once was.I will always remember his wisdom and his humor. A part of him will live in my heart.
Comment by carmen — February 18, 2017
We met in Delhi more than thirty years back. So many memories. You taught me Buddhism for the first time. It was the beginning of a long journey, still going on , not knowing where it will end up, but that has made my life meaningful. I will always keep you in my heart with love and gratefulness. I like to think that now your consciousness is flying free along the roads of this vast mysterious universe. Whatever you are now, wherever you are, be happy, my dear friend.
Comment by ANNA CATERINA GRASSI — February 18, 2017
Oh dearest Gelek Rinpoche, what a sparkling Jewel you have been to so many of us who have been lucky enough to share Space with you. So many tears I’ve shed over the past 24 hours since I heard the news. I am so very grateful that I had the opportunity to be part of Jewel Heart’s Cleveland Chapter’s ongoing course, Tuesday Night Teachings on the Three Principles of the Path to Enlightenment, in the early to mid-1990’s. I had felt such an immense pull toward Tibetan Buddhism after a year of living abroad in the late 1980’s. Your great Knowledge, Wisdom and Compassion was a priceless gift to me. I continue to walk my Path until my last breath and will carry you in my Heart. I now smile and my Heart opens with love and compassion for you, myself and all sentient beings. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Om Mani Padme Hum
Comment by Maggie L. — February 19, 2017
I have tried several times to write something here, but have not found the right words–probably still don’t have them. How can one experience and express a boundless gratitude and a tearful sadness at the same time? My result-oriented aspiration and valid experience have informed me that I am inseparable from my teacher. And I hope to have created causes to stay connected with Rinpoche and the Three Jewels until our work is done. So why do I feel such powerful grieving sadness? Is it because we ordinary humans grieve the loss of ones we love? Yes, and though the mind that fears loss is a worldly dharma-to be avoided, I think deeply acknowledging the loss of a great teacher is a reminder of both the countless beings drowning in the ocean of Samsara and the great gift of liberation offered by the Buddhadharma.
Comment by Eric De Vos — February 19, 2017
So many people have spoken such beautiful words that will only let my heart and thoughts resonate with theirs.
You changed my life, Rimpoche. I will never forget you. I will be eternally grateful for the light you brought into my heart and soul.
Genevieve Cerf – February 19, 2017
Comment by Genevieve Cerf — February 19, 2017
A great passing of a such a beautiful person. I only met Rinpoche Gelek in 2013-2014 during my bought with breast cancer. I went to a retreat while going through chemotherapy and it was here that I learned about the White Tara and the wisdom of Buddha and the wisdom of Gelek Rinpoche. He taught me about compassion and loving kindness and the motivation to help others who are suffering too. A great teacher of the Enlightened Path and of Mindfulness and of the Taras has touched us on his way toward enlightenment. Thank you Gelek Rinpoche for being such a large part of my life and mind. You will be missed.
Comment by Beatrice Pohl — February 20, 2017
Oh Lama please stay unceasingly in the center of my heart.
Comment by Joe — February 20, 2017
Dear Julie, please see message to you and community of Lama Gelek Rinpoche from VDY:
“May all beings recall the generosity of Lama Gelek Rinpoche’s heart and may those who receive teachings from him caretake those treasures well as the dharma continues to flourish in the land of the red man.”
Yours in the dharma,
Venerable Dhayani Ywhaoo Green Mt. Vermont Band of Cherokee Tribe
Comment by Venerable Dhayani Ywahoo — February 20, 2017
I have great memories of Rinpoche’s teachings in the early nineties. Now that I’ve moved away from Ann Arbor, I was planning to return for one of his retreats. Sorry to hear that he is not with us anymore. He was a truly great teacher.
Comment by Duane Palyka — February 20, 2017
OM MANI PADME HUM! In Our Lotus Hearts
Comment by Shekinah — February 20, 2017
From a letter to a young friend
Gelek Rimpoche was one of the greats. So unpretentious. Big tender heart.
Difficult & heartbreaking when a light like his goes out of this world. But it doesn’t really.
He’s palpable, beating heart inside us, ordinary magic….
Travelled with him and with Allen Ginsberg in Europe- we would
do shows together & he was so amused & game when Allen sang & he’d visit Naropa, always deeply generous with students…he & Trungpa Rimpoche had been
young refugees together in India & their vocal tones and manner of speaking were quite similar- strangely haunting, this resonance…& coming to NYC regularly many years & teaching at the place near us & would see him in Michigan too …inside his devoted sangha there…Wherever he was there was a kind of sublime simplicity and flow of energy….What fortune to know him, how can we ever ever be depressed?
This November we were so lucky yes (wish I could have been at Garrison too)
when he gave the beautiful Tara Initiation at the great hall at Cooper Union-
Tara a strong yidam in his lineage…Think he was doing it to help everyone and thinking about the election that was just a few days later…a blessing for the Trouble Time
– draw on that gift now…He was going blind and yet he was completely lucid (his inner eye) and powerful during the ceremony. Could see him as timeless Buddha –
everyone bathing in his huge essential kindness…I loved also that he was so caught up & fascinated by USA and its politics- remember watching CNN with him, his engagement…& he’d been proud to become a citizen… – grateful to America and telling us not to get cynical about this country – so it’s also part of our job: saving the mind of America. He helped carry ancient wisdom of many dharma lifetimes here… helped keep them going on these shores…a reminder of sanity in these weird dark times, a reminder of how much we need to do with our own minds & to keep the View… that beings/teachers like Gelek Rimpoche are among us & teach us to hold onto our minds is very precious… remember how rare & remarkable this view is, & the vow to benefit others and our fragile interconnected planet… this practice more and more is “the only game in town” as an old dharma buddy once said to me…
Blessed we knew him this lifetime. We will surely meet him again.
(Anne Waldman/ February 20, 2017)
Comment by Anne Waldman — February 20, 2017
Dear Guru Rimpoche
Thank you for your kind teachings over the years, often delivered with good sense of humor. Your kindness and positivity helped to instill positive attitudes in me and also helped me to overcome life’s challenges.
Please take swift rebirth for the sake of sentient beings. Om ah guru vajradhara jina sasana sukalyana vijaya sarva siddhi hung hung.
Comment by Adam Yew — February 20, 2017
You were so approachable, one may oversee how wise you are. A few weeks ago I was reading your Mahamudra transcript, and I really realised how supurb your teachings are. Always combined with a good sence of humor. For me you are the example of wisdom&compassion.
We’ll meet again;Somehow, somewhere.
Also my condoleances to Colleen, his family and the Shangha.
Comment by Marion Reinartz — February 20, 2017
Thank you, dear, dear Rinpoche. Thank you for the depth and the breadth of all that is impossible to name.Thank you, endlessly, Rinpoche.Thank you , too, to all of you who have supported the arteries and circulation of jewel heart. It sustains positive life.
Comment by noni pratt — February 20, 2017
Only a Buddha can shoot the arrow of truth on the basis of a soap opera. Only a Buddha can teach great compassion in just two words – that forever will echo through the chambers of my heart. Only a Buddha can tame and charm the twisting snakes of delusion with the twin powers of bliss-void. Flawless. Immutable as a diamond.
Comment by David B — February 21, 2017
I have no words
I can only feel
The connection with my guru
Is now deep and very real
I am humbled
I am faithful
In loving kindness
Comment by Nicole van den Wildenberg — February 21, 2017
As I arose from bed Wednesday morning, I was greated by a vision of Rinpoche broadly smiling at me. I knew that his body had died and his essence continued. I knew he was blessing me with his presence. My essence, his essenve and your essence are all One.
Comment by Pat Price — February 21, 2017
We will always remember his outstanding teaching here in Ghent (and his passion for the city’s Medieval architecture). It has been an immense blessing and a real honor to have known you, dearest Gelek.
Comment by Ric Urmel — February 23, 2017
Rinpoche, my teacher, was like a happy Buddha, an emanation. I do not remember ever seeing him depressed or cranky or in any way negative, on the contrary he was funny and shared his laughter. I aspire to be like him.
Comment by Brenda Milam Frazer — February 24, 2017
Dear Jewel Heart Sangha!
To our profound regret, we have learned of the passing of the great Tibetan master Nyare Khentrül Kyabji Gelek Rinpoche. We wish to express to you, our sisters and brothers in the Dharma, our deepest sorrow and condolences!
It is unutterably painful when our very own heart teacher passes away, even though we know that he has never left us completely, that he will always abide in our consciousness.
Gelek Rinpoche was one of the leading early pioneers who established Tibetan Buddhism in the West. He understood brilliantly how to strike a balance between undiluted traditional knowledge and the transfer into the West, with its own, very specific conditions and requirements.
Up until a few years ago, Gelek Rinpoche gave teachings in Tibet House and Chödzong (our predecessor organisation). His teachings were sustained in equal measure by profound knowledge, direct reference to everyday life, and humour. A wonderful human being and knowledge holder!
He is and will remain unforgettable to us.
With heartfelt greetings
Elke Hessel and Puntsok Tsering for the Tibet House community
Frankfurt am Main, Feb. 20th 2017
P.S. Tibethaus and H.E. Dagyab Rinpoche mourn the passing away of Nyari Khentrül Kyabji Gelek Rinpoche with Special Newsletter
Comment by Tibethaus Frankfurt, Germany — February 24, 2017
Rimpoche’s precious teachings will always burn brightly within me. I was fortunate to meet him several times, and I treasure those moments like no others.
Comment by Rick Adkins — February 25, 2017
Today six years ago I wrote this as a long-life request for Rimpoche.
WALK WITH ME
You didn’t promise
that we would always be comfortable
that all our desires would be fulfilled
that there will always be good times.
You didn’t promise
power, entertainment, fame and fortune
or that we would always be together.
But you promised
to walk with me
that this could be a rich and fulfilling life
Through your vast wisdom
you tried to make me see and
help me cut through the depths of fixed conceptions.
You showed me they don’t exist.
With your profound guidance
you made me experience
that sometimes even the “truth”
doesn’t have to make a difference
The waterfall of your kindness
pours down on the hard rocky mind of my great pride
for me to be a better person.
Your unimaginable compassion
cleansed my defiled heart and mind.
Your crystal clear thoughts
and the simplicity of your words
through the landscapes of my life’s barren journey.
You are always warm, wise and fun-loving.
You showed me by example
how to be wise, kind and loving
to myself and others.
is medicine for many a troubled heart
a timely reminder.
Even your unspoken words speak so much to me.
Just the thought of you
keeps me in place where frustrations avail
You showed me “what was never created, never happens”
yet you cushion my falls.
And you do exactly the same for each and every one of us….
And I feel hope again.
But I often let that hope slip away again.
Despite all that you have given to me
I still stare at an ugly face in the mirror
and see how little I have changed.
I realize with each passing year my time left with you
is being taken away, more and more quickly.
unashamedly I ask you again:
Please give me more time
and stay close to me, never leave me, hold my hand
until I have accomplished my aims.
Be my inspiration
Speak voices of hope to me
again and again.
Show me again and again.
be patient with me.
for I am clumsy and slow
I want to be able to say to myself and others
“Look over there:
that is my peerless teacher, Gelek Rimpoche-
a Buddha appearing from Tibet.
He found me again and walked with me…
and he made me what I am today.
All my achievements
are all due to his great kindness and compassion.”
the journey is long.
But with this, I vow to trudge on
for as long as you are with me
I will not be afraid.
I am determined not to stray in my efforts
to become only like you.
Please stay healthy and live long
Please remain with us.
(Rimpoche’s 27th Year with me)
Rimpoche, although you have chosen to leave your ailing body behind but the love you have for all of us continues to flow and your words continue to ring true. I ask you to please continue to walk with us life after life. And I have one request – Please look out for us wherever you choose to show up and please pick us up.
Comment by Suan Phaik — February 25, 2017
I think he treated me like a child & I love him.
He blessed me by allowing me to be close to him.
I had his cell number sometimes he answered my questions so beautifully.
I had the privilege of meeting him in Garrison , NY twice.
My life changes as I have the responsibility to learn what he taught
Comment by Sandipp vijj — February 27, 2017
This Fire Bird Losar morning, my heart swells with the recall of Gelek Rimpoche. It wakes me to renew my motivation for my life to be meaningful for myself and others. The way to this is what makes the Guru happy. Practice.
My resolve for this year is offer pratice, to enjoin in the intermediate state for swift return.
May all Mother Beings as vast as space know only Happiness liberated from sorrow, abiding in Equanimity released from attachment and aversion.
Comment by Kesang Sopa — February 27, 2017
As I reached out to advise a friend of Rimpoche’s passing , she responded , asking ” what shall we do ? ” . On reflection , I answered , ” Practice like there is no tomorrow . Cherish the Feminine in both principle and practice . Develope the courage to take on adversity and other’s suffering with compassion . ( thank you Lion ‘s Roar for quickly posting your articles from past issues of Buddhadharma by Ghelek )
Comment by Iris swallow — February 28, 2017
I celebrate the memory and the teachings of Rimpoche.
Time is something best measured without measure.
Comment by Kenny Roberts — March 4, 2017
Although, I never had the chance to meet Gelek Rimpoche, he touched my life in a way that forever changed my life for the better! I am forever grateful to say that through his Spiritual teachings I have known him! He truly has given to this World a gift that many are lucky to have received! May he rest in peace!
Laura Ann Grider
Comment by Laura Ann Grider — March 4, 2017
I will never forget the comfort and gentle kindness dear Rimpoche sowed me when I was suffering with cancer and was told I would die soon. I did not die and I believe he helped me survive. He visited me twice in my home even though it was difficult for him to travel at the time. I will always remember him with love and the hope he gave to me. I will miss him so very much. The White Tara chant he & Hartmut taught me helped me so many times during my struggle.
Peace and love always,
Carol Genyea Kaplan
Comment by Carol Kaplan — March 4, 2017
My first and only significant contact with Rimpoche occurred after a Sunday morning dharma talk given at the Washington street address. He was greeting attendees and I being new to the sangha walked over to shake his hand. The handshake lasted for what seemed to me to be an eternity. It was as if he looked into my soul and at the conclusion he remarked “We are glad you are here”. Interestingly, I interpreted the remark as meaning that the lineage acknowledged my presence,but the path was to lead me elsewhere.
I miss Rimpoche. He was a kind, gentle person with whom I wish I had been able to have more personal interactions, but our connection at the heart remains!
Comment by J Michael Maxwell — March 4, 2017
Homage To My Guru
May the great river of your
love and compassion flow
strongly in life after life.
May the skies fill with your
infinite wisdom for as
long as time remains.
May the power of your great
voice roar like
the lion that destroys all fear.
And may all your days
be filled with the
warmth of the Sun
shining on your sweet face.
Comment by email@example.com — March 12, 2017
By some great fortune, I came to H.H. Gelek Rimpoche late in this life, though at a period when I couldn’t commit the the time I knew I should…. to bask in that clarity. At a reunion with an old acquaintance and mentor, Glenn Mullin, Glenn could see there was something troubling me. As quickly as I confided, without hesitation he told me I must go to see Rimpoche, and what teachings and initiations I should ask for. I had emailed ahead, and as for the first time I walked into Jewel Heart New York, I mused,. Perhaps they all had been longing for, and it was plain to see they were delighted to get the teachings that I had the audacity to ask for, but I was enveloped in such warmth and light by this sangha, during a dark and challenging time of my life. The moment I heard Rimpoche’s voice… Out from this funny, generous, humble being, emanated the wisdom expression of discriminating awareness and a radiant compassion transmuting confusion and suffering into clarity and bliss. Plainly, He saved my butt. He fooled the scholars but not those close to him. He gave himself up the moment he taught with such a lucidity that children and fools like me could grasp. The problems I came for dissolved into nothingness in days, and in their place was the seven-limbed practice. A day may go by where I forget to think of him or use the teachings in my life, but he will still be right there in my heart. I can only pray to be less of a slacker every day so I can sneak into Sukhavati where there will be no need for insulin or bitter melon capsules. Love you Rimpoche. Thank you and all your dharma family.
Comment by Alan Abrams — March 13, 2017
May your influence spread
like the morning dew
that moistens the land
from East to West.
May your influence spread
in my own mind
gradually opening my heart
to all the world.
Comment by cc — March 17, 2017
I met Rinpoche when he first came to ann arbor from tibet. I was returning from India and was in my late 20s.
He married my best childhood friend Colleen and went on to create jewel heart. As Ann Arbor was his home
he made Michigan a place of refuge. He helped me thru a very difficult time in my life and will always been a root
teacher guru in my life and in the lives of many. He changed the entire climate of Ann Arbor. He brought enlightenment
to many. We must of been together in other lifetimes all of us who were close to him and we will be together in future life times.
May all beings be happy and free from suffering. I feel his guidance on the other side to be a blessing and a help as we enter a
time of political history that is in need of much compassion. The last thing he said to me was about how the reincarnation of Kagu King had manifested in two bodies. That they both were King of Tibet.
Love you and thank you for liberating us.
Comment by Hope — March 21, 2017
<3 <3 <3 Most memorable those days with you MAHA precious Gelek Rinpoche during the World Peace Summer Retreat in the company of Philip Glass and Alan Ginsberg with our own teacher, your dear friend – in the hills near Ann Arbor – Michigan … Thank you for your precious teachings, which are forever imprinted in our hearts and minds so we may transform our ordinary minds on the path to enlightenment with joy. <3 <3 <3
Isthar Dac – Springtime 2017
Comment by Isthar Dac — April 5, 2017
Rimpoche, we practice with renewed dedication OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA.