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Oct 27
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Sakyong and Family, Shambhala News Service
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche to receive the Nyingma Kama Empowerments

Lama dances during Gutor, photo courtesy of Walker Blaine

by Walker Blaine

His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rinpoche will bestow the Nyingma Kama upon the Kongma Sakyong, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche this October 27th through November 27th at Rigön Tashi Choeling Monastery in Pharpeng, Nepal. The Nyingma Kama is a collection of empowerments and instructions for the kama, or oral transmission lineage, which is one of two unique streams of teachings in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. It includes Indian root texts and commentaries that were translated into Tibetan during the initial spread of Buddhism in Tibet, and then handed down orally in a continuous stream up to the present day. The Nyingma Kama also includes centuries of Tibetan commentaries and instructions based on the Indian tradition.

The teachings in the Nyingma Kama cover all levels of practice, but primarily present the highest tantric traditions of maha, anu, and ati yogas, which are the specialties of the Nyingma lineage. Authors in the Nyingma Kama include such great masters as Garab Dorje, Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, Vairocana, Rongzompa, Longchenpa, and Jigme Lingpa. One of the most important editions of the Nyingma Kama was edited and expanded by Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, the 2nd Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-1988).

The kama teachings are the counterpart of the terma teachings. Termas are concealed instructions and practices discovered from the 11th century onwards by reincarnations of Padmasambhava’s closest disciples. The function of terma is to revitalize the essence of the kama at times when the dharma is waning or threatened. The heart of the terma tradition is presented through the Rinchen Terdzö, The Treasury of Precious Termas, a three-month series of terma empowerments and instructions that His Eminence bestowed on the Sakyong during the winter of 2008-2009.

The Nyingma Kama and Rinchen Terdzö are the two essential transmissions a Nyingma lineage teacher must receive and uphold. For Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the importance of receiving the Nyingma Kama is highlighted because he is the rebirth of Jamyang Mipham Gyatso (1846-1912), one of the most influential figures in the Nyingma tradition. The kama empowerments are also important for the Sakyong in his role as the chief propagator of the Shambhala terma; the kama and terma lineages are the ground tradition out of which the Shambhala teachings arose.

Accompanying Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche during the empowerments will be Sakyong Wangmo Dechen Chöying Sangmo and their one-year-old daughter, Princess Jetsün Drukmo. While their time together in Pharpeng will be of spiritual significance, it will also be the first opportunity for the extended Ripa family and disciples in Asia to meet Jetsün Drukmo, the newest addition to the Mukpo-Ripa family. A number of western students from the Shambhala and Ripa communities are expected to attend the event as well.

To learn more about the relationship between kama and terma, visit this short interview with Jigme Rinpoche.

To learn more about the Rinchen Terdzö and the Nyingma lineage in general, download the free ebook, The Great River of Blessings. There is also a coffee table book about the Rinchen Terdzö, suitable for common rooms at a Shambhala Centers is available at lulu.com.


Walker Blaine has lived in Shambhala since 1984. After receiving a degree from Naropa University he spent fifteen years practicing and working at Karme Chöling and Shambhala Mountain Center. From 2001 to 2007 he divided his time between retreat, pilgrimage, and studying Tibetan in Asia and the west. He is currently working on a book about pilgrimage to sacred places. Walker’s two albums of Buddhist music can be sampled on iTunes and at http://www.highlandeyes.com.

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1 response to “ Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche to receive the Nyingma Kama Empowerments ”
  1. Linda V. Lewis
    Nov 3, 2011
    Reply

    End of 2nd paragraph: Didn’t Dudjom Rinpoche die in 1987? I thought he died a few months before VCTR…?


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