Nyingma Transmission, How 'The Cyclone' Came to the West
 Written by Mardi Junkins
 Published in The Snow Lion Newsletter
 Republished on Mount Kailas BBS with permission of Lorraine O'Rourke,
       Padmasambhava Buddhist Center, New York, NY.
    Once there lived a family in the village of Joephu, in the Palrong
 valley of the Dhoshul region in Eastern Tibet. There was a father,
 mother, two sisters, and two brothers. Like many Tibetan families
 they were very devout. The father taught his children and the children
 of the village the Buddhism of Tibet, the Dharma. He taught them to
 read and write and to chant the stories of the Buddha Shakyamuni and
 of Padmasambhava the second Buddha who brought Buddhism to Tibet.
 Teachings of the Dharma and practice were woven into their lives. If
 one of the children happened to wake in the night, the father's
 continuous chanting could be heard.
    The valley was a magical place with a high mountain no one had
 yet climbed and a high lake with milky white water and yellow crystal
 sand around its edges, sand that dissolved instantly on the tongue
 without a taste. This mountain had extraordinary rocks with footprints
 embedded in them. Tsa Sum Lingpa, the Crazy Wisdom Yogi, made these
 footprints when he danced on the rocks in an explosion of radiant
 energy. Not surprisingly, Tsa Sum Lingpa is especially revered in the
 Dhoshul region of Tibet.
    The oldest of the brothers was nicknamed "The Cyclone" for his
 enormous energy. He would run up a nearby mountain to explore and play
 for hours. One day he found a baby goat on the mountainside and was so
 taken with it that he hid it under his shirt and streaked home. An
 upset mother goat wasn't far behind. His own mother advised him to
 return the baby goat, which he did reluctantly. Other times he would
 pick wild mushrooms and stuff them in his shirt, but they were so
 plentiful that they kept falling out, a predicament for a five-year-
 old.  Many a summer day "The Cyclone" would lie down in a field of
 wild flowers--all with names of Tibetan deities--and gaze up into the
 vast blue Tibetan sky.
    During his fifth year he went on a journey with his mother to a
 mountain miles away. They were going to visit a well-known monk named
 Ahtsok to whom the mother had a special devotion and who lived in
 lifelong retreat. Local people brought him offerings of cheese,
 yogurt, tea or Tsampa and left them a distance away from the cave with
 a friendly shout; other times they stayed to visit. The mother and son
 were visiting on this day and climbed miles up the mountain to
 Ahtsok's cave above the timber line. They found the monk wrapped in
 ragged woolen clothes with a wool shawl around his head; he never wore
 animal skins. The little boy was deeply struck by Ahtsok.
    The children were eager scholars at early ages. They went to the
 village monastery for instruction.  However, their prime instruction
 continued to be with their father at home. The younger brother was
 recognized as a tulku, but the family decided not to emphasize this
 in his upbringing. When the younger brother was born the family chose
 to move to another village. The baby became gravely ill, and when the
 illness failed to respond to ordinary remedies his parents took him to
 the monastery for a diagnosis. They were told to move back to the
 village of Joephu because the baby was the incarnation of a highly
 revered lama from the Dhoshul region. The family returned to their old
 village and the baby regained his health.
    When "The Cyclone" was six years old he entered Gochen Monastery
 for his secular and religious education--a five-year undertaking.  The
 family visited him at the monastery; the trip involved a days' ride on
 horseback or yak. In 1953, at eleven years of age, he entered Riwoche
 Monastery and trained to master Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and logic
 and the teachings of the Three Yanas.
    Throughout the 1950s the Chinese were invading Tibet. The father,
 knowing Padmasambhava's predictions, felt that the time had come as
 Guru Rinpoche had said when Tibet would be destroyed and Tibetan lamas
 would be scattered all over the world turning the wheel of the Dharma.
 The father would relate these predictions to relatives and friends in
 the village repeatedly. It was also foretold that the time to leave
 was in the winter. The others said, "No, lets wait until the spring
 thaw to go." Guru Rinpoche also predicted that if ever Tibetans were
 fleeing Tibet, the safe haven was a land to the south called Pemako,
 where the mountains dropped down into tropical jungle. In 1960 the
 father gathered the family together, called the oldest son, now
 eighteen, home from the monastery, and with only what belongings could
 be carried or packed on the yaks' backs, set out in the depth of win-
 ter. They headed for Pemako. The hardships of the journey were
 extraordinary--the Himalayas, the snow and cold, the Chinese taking
 their yaks, and having to hide from Chinese machine guns.  Somehow,
 they made it to the safe land. But in Pemako the altitude dropped
 extremely, the water was not safe to drink, they were unaccustomed to
 the heat and they all became ill. The mother, two sisters, and the
 older brother were ill for months. The older brother recovered very
 slowly. The mother and sisters died.
    Father and sons went on to a refugee camp for Tibetans in Northern
 India. Refugee schools were begun and the work of translating sacred
 texts went on. Many lamas had carried out of Tibet whatever sacred
 manuscripts they could.  When each one had contributed
 what he had brought, the entire body of sacred teachings was intact.
 At that time the Indian government made a proposal to the United
 States that India print seventeen copies of each Tibetan text and the
 United States buy them for the Library of Congress. It was agreed;
 India received payment, and the U.S. Library of Congress became the
 repository of the treasury of Tibetan manuscripts.
    The Venerable Khenpo Palden Sherab Rinpoche, the older brother,
 became Abbot at the Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies
 in Sarnath, India, in charge of the Nyingma Department. Khen Rinpoche
 is one of the most highly qualified scholars and meditation masters of
 the Nyingma tradition, fully versed in Hinayana, Mahayana, and
 Vajrayana schools, and a master of Dzogchen, the most developed and
 advanced tradition of spiritual practice in the Nyingma tradition.
    The younger brother, the Venerable Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche,
 graduated from Sanskrit University in Sarnath. His Holiness Dudjom
 Rinpoche enthroned him as Abbot in Charge at the Nyingmapa Institute
 in Kathmandu where he taught Buddhist philosophy, writing, calligraphy
 and poetry. He was later invested with the authority of Khenpo Abbot
 by His Holiness and presided at Orgyen Chokholing Monastery. Khenpo
 Tsewang is a published author, historian, and poet, as well as an
 expert in the study of ancient Tantric literature. He holds the
 transmission and all initiations of the Nyingma Kama and Terma
    In accordance with another of Padmasambhava's predictions, that
 when the iron bird flies and the horse goes on wheels Buddhism will go
 to the west, many Tibetan lamas were now teaching in the West. So in
 1980, at the insistent invitation of Dr. Rhoda P. Lecocq, a professor
 from California who had taken teachings from Khenpo Palden Sherab
 Rinpoche in India, the Khenpos came to the United States for a
 teaching visit to California. His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche later
 enlisted them in assisting with His Holiness' considerable Dharma
 activities in the United States. After about eight years of working in
 this liaison the time came to launch their own teaching approach in
 the West with His Holiness' blessing.
    Since that time their teaching has become more extensive each year.
 Sanghas sprout up around them where ever they go. They teach together
 with a simple and beautiful method: Khen Rinpoche teaches in
 penetrating Tibetan and Khenpo Tsewang translates into English with
 inspired precision and wit. Their sanghas are formally called
 Padmasambhava Buddhist Centers, established to teach and preserve the
 tradition of Nyingmapa Buddhism, especially the mediation technique of
 the Higher Tantras. The practice of these profound techniques aims at
 removing the habits of mind obscuring the true, primordial Buddha
 Nature and revealing its boundless compassion. These teachings have
 been transmitted in an unknown lineage from master to master from that
 time to the present day.
    The first center began in New York City, the Khenpos' home base.
 There are now Padmasambhava Buddhist Centers in West Palm Beach and
 Orlando, Florida; Wilmington, Delaware; Albuquerque, New Mexico;
 Cookesville, Tennessee; Santiago; Puerto Rico; Denver, Colorado; San
 Francisco, California; and in Ellsworth Maine. Close connections and a
 full teaching schedule are maintained with all these centers. The
 Khenpos visit each center at least three times a year with one visit
 usually being a week's retreat.
     From 1980 on, the Khenpos have maintained a strong connection to
 the Native American practice through the Sunray Meditation Society and
 its leader, the Venerable Dhyani Wahoo.  The Khenpos travel to
 Sunray's Vermont Peacekeeper Center to give teachings and empowerments
 yearly.  Sunray members come to New York for special initiations and
 practice instructions which bears out the Native American prophecy
 that Buddhism and Native American practice would join their amazing
 forces when the Red Hat lamas came to the west.
 The Khenpos Rinpoche keep translation at the center of their attention
 The entire cycle of the "Seven Treasures of the Great Longchenpa" is
 in the process of being translated by Khenpo Palden Sherab Rinpoche
 working in conjunction with Dr. Janet Gyatso of Amherst College and
 Dr. Anne Klein of Rice University. The first edition of the
 "Prajnaparamita" by Khenpo Palden Sherab Rinpoche, translated by
 Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche with Dr. Joan Kaye, has been
 republished with the collaboration of Phyllis and Michael Friedman.
    The Khenpos regularly return to Sarnath India, to oversee the
 construction on the Nyingmapa College and Monastery which they
 founded there. These visits occur on an average of about every other
 year, allowing the Khenpos to teach and spend time with their father
 who still lives and practices in retreat in India.