Gelek Rimpoche

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Nawang Gelek Rimpoche (aka Gehlek Rimpoche)
སྐྱབས་རྗེ་དགེ་ལེགས་རིན་པོ་ཆེ།
Gelek Rinpoche.jpg
Gelek Rinpoche, October 2014
Religion Tibetan Buddhist
School Drepung Monastery
Order Gelug
Personal
Nationality Tibetan
Born (1939-10-26)26 October 1939
Lhasa, Tibet
Died 15 February 2017(2017-02-15) (aged 77)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Senior posting
Title Lama
Religious career
Teacher Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, Khensur Denma Locho Rinpoche, Song Rinpoche
Students Philip Glass, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Thurman, Joe Liozzo, Glenn Mullin
Profession teacher

Kyabje Nawang Gehlek Rimpoche (Tibetan: སྐྱབས་རྗེ་དགེ་ལེགས་རིན་པོ་ཆེ།Wylie: skyabs rje dge legs rin po che/) was a Tibetan Buddhist lama who was born in Lhasa, Tibet on 26 October 1939. His personal name was Gelek; kyabje and rimpoche are titles meaning "teacher" (lit., "lord of refuge") and "precious," respectively. He was a tulku, an incarnate lama, of Drepung Monastic University, where he received the scholastic degree of Geshe Lharampa, the highest degree given, at the exceptionally young age of 20.[1] The 14th Dalai Lama[2] said, "he completed his traditional Buddhist training as a monk in Tibet prior to the Chinese Takeover."[3]

Gelek was a nephew of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He was tutored by many of the same masters who tutored the current (14th) Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

In 1959, Gelek fled to India from Tibet and gave up monastic life. He was one of the first students of the Young Lamas Home School.[4][5] He was director of Tibet House in Delhi, India and a radio host at All India Radio.[6] He conducted over 1000 interviews, compiling an oral history of the fall of Tibet to the Communist Chinese. He was the founder and president of Jewel Heart, "a spiritual, cultural, and humanitarian organization that translates the ancient wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism into contemporary life."[7]

He moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1987 to teach Buddhism. He became an American citizen and founded Buddhist communities in Ann Arbor, Chicago and New York City.[8]

Beat-poet Allen Ginsberg was among the more prominent of Jewel Heart's members. Ginsberg met with Gelek Rinpoche through the modern composer Philip Glass in 1989.[9] Allen and Philip jointly staged benefits for the Jewel Heart organization. Professor Robert Thurman, Joe Liozzo, and Glenn Mullin are also Jewel Heart members and frequent lecturers.

Gelek Rinpoche died on February 15, 2017 in Ann Arbor, Michigan after undergoing surgery the previous month.[10][11][12][13][14][15]

Selected Bibliography[edit]

  • Good Life, Good Death: Tibetan Wisdom on Reincarnation, (foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama), Riverhead Books, 2001, ISBN 1-57322-196-1
  • The Tara Box: Rituals for Protection and Healing From the Female Buddha (with Brenda Rosen), New World Library, 2004, ISBN 1-57731-461-1
  • Essentials of Modern Literary Tibetan: A Reading Course and Reference Grammar (with Melvyn C. Goldstein, Lobsang Phuntshog), University of California Press, 1991, ISBN 978-0520076228, ISBN 0520076222
  • A History of Modern Tibet, Vol. 1 1913-1951', (with Melvyn C Goldstein), University of California Press, 2008, ISBN 0520061403, ISBN 9780520061408, ISBN 9780520075900, ISBN 0520075900
  • A History of Modern Tibet, Vol. 2, The calm before the storm, 1951-1955,(with Melvyn C Goldstein), University of California Press, 2009, ISBN 9780520249417, ISBN 0520259955
  • How the Mind Works, Jewel Heart, 2016, ASIN B01H2MXIDE
  • Perfection of Wisdom: An Essential Explanation of the Mantra and the Five Paths, 2014, ASIN B00KCX3IUE
  • The Three Principles of the Path: A Brief Explanation, Jewel Heart, 2014, ASIN B00KDIZBZ8
  • Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life: Chapter 3; Full Acceptance of the Awakening Mind, Jewel Heart, 2013, ASIN B00BUVLZNE
  • 37 Wings of Change, Jewel Heart, 2012, ASIN B006WFKPUM
  • Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life: Chapter 6; Patience, Jewel Heart, 2010, ASIN B00BUYYN3U
  • The Four Mindfulnesses: On the Basis of a Poem by the Seventh Dalai Lama with Commentary by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, Jewel Heart, 2009, ISBN 193499409X
  • The Four Noble Truths, Jewel Heart, 2009, ISBN 1934994057
  • Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life: Chapter 7; Enthusiasm, Jewel Heart, 2008, ASIN B00BUYYN58
  • GOM: A Course In Meditation, Jewel Heart, 2005, ASIN B004N84VLE
  • Lam Rim: Foundations of the Path, Jewel Heart, 2005, ASIN B00KD3OOLU
  • Transforming Negativities, Jewel Heart, 2004, ASIN B004N63770
  • Catalogue : first exhibition in new Tibet House, (with Gyaltsen Yeshey, Nicholas Ribush, Trisha Donnelly); Tibet House,New Delhi, India), 1979, OCLC Number: 37437276

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tworkov, Helen. "A Lama for All Seasons: An Interview with Gelek Rinpoche". tricycle.org. Tricycle Magazine. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  2. ^ "Gelek Rinpoche". fpmt.org/mandala/archives. Mandala Magazine, FPMT. Retrieved 9 March 2018. 
  3. ^ Gehlek, Nawang (2001). Good Life, Good Death: Tibetan Wisdom on Reincarnation. New York: Riverhead Books. pp. Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. ISBN 9781573221962. 
  4. ^ Mackenzie, Vicki (March 28, 2017). The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi: British Feminist, Indian Nationalist, Buddhist Nun. Shambhala. p. 102. ISBN 1611804256. Retrieved 9 March 2018. 
  5. ^ Liozzo, Joe. "Celebrating Gelek Rimpoche". huffingtonpost.com. Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 March 2018. 
  6. ^ "Remembering a Great Teacher: the learned and inspiring Gelek Rimpoche of Jewel Heart International left behind a sparkling jewel of Dharma teachings". buddhaweekly.com. Buddha Weekly. Retrieved 9 March 2018. 
  7. ^ "Art and Impermanence". Rubin Museum of Art. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  8. ^ Daniel Silliman (28 December 2017). "A woman who married God, a chess-playing priest and 10 more fascinating religious figures who died in 2017" (web). Retrieved 7 January 2018 – via www.washingtonpost.com.  published as "Intriguing religious figures who died in '17" (print). The Daily Gleaner. January 6, 2018. p. B7. 
  9. ^ "Lifeline". Allen Ginsberg dot org. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  10. ^ "The Office of Tibet Mourns the Passing of Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche". tibetoffice.org. The Office of Tibet, Washington, DC. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  11. ^ Biddlecombe, Wendy Joan (February 15, 2017). "Tibetan Buddhist Lama Gelek Rimpoche Has Died". Tricycle. Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  12. ^ Meade Sperry, Rod. "Remembering Gelek Rimpoche, Tibetan Buddhist teacher and author (1939-2017)". lionsroar.com. Lion’s Roar Foundation. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  13. ^ Lewis, Craig. "Respected Tibetan Teacher Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche Dies". buddhistdoor.net. Buddhistdoor Global. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  14. ^ Magill, Mark. "Remembering Gelek Rimpoche". tricycle.org. The Tricycle Foundation. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
  15. ^ "Jewel Heart: Remembering the Life of Gelek Rimpoche". beherenownetwork.com. Be Here Now Network. Retrieved 9 March 2018. 

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