For almost all countries that Buddhism came to, it was a force of civilization. Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Tibet, Mongolia, all got their written languages from Buddhist scholar-missionaries. But not China. China was a civilized country at the time, with its own language and literature when Buddhism arrived.
In 1991 in Beijing, one of my Chinese colleagues at the Beijing Airbase English Academy asked me: “do you know what teacher, laoshi, 老师, means?” I knew that yes was the wrong answer. I said no. He said it means father. From this ancient word, morphed in meaning as roshi in Japan, I began to understand the nature of my connection to Kobun.
Chogyam Trungpa creates a subtle link to the power of this Shambhala ancestral sovereign and that is why I was interested in exploring, on this latest journey to the Forbidden City. But the best part of the story was in something special the emperor created and also that he gave the 5th Karmapa something that links Chinese history to the Kagyu lineage forever. My journey there is part of that link.
Rolpe Dorje Rinpoche, a Gelugpa Mongolian tulku who spent nearly his whole life in the Qing Court, first with the 2nd Yongzen Emperor, then with the great emperor, Qianlong. He was the Dorje Löppon of Qianlong for Chakrasamvara and Kalachakra.
Nepal, the fragile beauty of this moment, celebration and mourning dance of what is and what is not, and what is yet to be.