By Sonam Sherpa | BY EMAIL
NEW YORK CITY, US, 23 June 2012
World-renowned Buddhist master and author of the best-selling book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche, gave an exclusive public talk and teaching to a gathering of 300 Tibetans, Bhutanese, Sikkimese and other members of the Himalayan community of New York and New Jersey.
Rinpoche’s two-hour talk dealt with topics ranging from practising Buddhism in the modern day to heartfelt advice to the community about practising loving-kindness and preservation of our traditional culture. He further reiterated the need for more compassion in the world today.
Speaking in both Tibetan and English, the talk was well-received by the audience, particularly by the younger ones. 17-year-old Tenzin Pesang, a Tibetan born and brought up in the US said, “Rinpoche’s way of speaking was so clear and direct and with a great sense of humor, so that I really enjoyed the talk and learned a lot.”
Among the audience was American actor Michael Imperiolli, and Prince Palden Namgyal of Sikkim.
Organized by VajraTV, a Buddhist Television company based in New York and supported by individuals from the local Tibetan and Himalayan Community, the event followed other talks and teachings in other cities by the Buddhist master on his current US tour.
Thupten N Chakrishar, the founder and CEO of VajraTV said, “I, along with my co-organizers, felt that it was very timely and important to invite Sogyal Rinpoche for two reasons. Firstly, the Tibetans are passing through a very difficult time as there are self-immolations happening inside and outside of Tibet. So we felt that it is the right time to seek solace in Dharma and to harness our strengths to face and encounter the difficulties that our Tibetan community experiences. Secondly, we wanted to bring the Tibetans and the Himalayan Communities under one roof to enrich and strengthen our bonds through Tibetan Buddhism so that we can understand each other better and work together in creating a very vibrant and genuinely caring community.”
Besides the teachings, Sogyal Rinpoche also commented on recent events in Tibet and of the suffering of the Tibetan people inside Tibet. He said that Tibetans should not lose hope and not feel disheartened, despite the suffering.
Sogyal Rinpoche has been teaching the Dharma worldwide for over 30 years and is also the founder and spiritual director of Rigpa — a Buddhist organization with centres in more than 20 countries that strives to spread the teachings of the Buddha to the modern world.