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Jun 13
Featured Stories, Sakyong and Family
Lady Könchok Enters Samadhi

Details about how to practice with Lady Könchok at this time can be found at the end of this article.

Lady Könchok Palden, mother of the Kongma Sakyong, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche, entered samadhi Wednesday, June 12, 2019, Guru Rinpoche day in the Buddhist holy month of Saga Dawa. In addition to the Sakyong and his family, she is survived by her husband Pema Gyaltsen Rinpoche, her son Gyurme Dorje Lama and his family, and relatives in Lhasa.

Lady Könchok Palden was born in Kham in eastern Tibet in 1931. At an early age she was ordained as a nun and spent more than a dozen of her early years, including most of her teens, in retreat, under the guidance of the renowned yogi Lama Tuga.

In 1959, she joined the Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche on his escape from Tibet. The journey took six months, during which time they were joined by hundreds of Tibetans hoping to reach sanctuary in India.

Lady Konchok Palden with the Sakyong at a Long Life Ceremony he performed for her on April 12, 2011.

While in India, Lady Könchok gave birth to the Sakyong, the Vidyadhara’s first son and heir, in Bodhgaya, the site of Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment. Then a few years later, she married Lama Pegyal and lived with her family in the north Indian town of Bir, near the foothills of the Himalayas. In the Tibetan community, she was known for her deep practice.

In 1992, she came to the United States to live, spending time in residence at Karmê Chöling in Vermont and then at Marpa House in Boulder. She was a much-loved figure throughout the Shambhala world, often attending teachings given by the Sakyong and befriending all generations.

In 2003, Lady Könchok suffered a stroke, underwent a remarkable recovery, but required regular dialysis. A care team of Shambhala members has given her sustained support throughout this last phase of her life, and she was able to live with her family in the supportive, contemplative environment of Marpa House.

As with much of her life, she spent most of her last years in meditation, reading and reciting sacred texts, and taking part in pujas. She enjoyed practicing, spending time with her grandchildren, and forever extending her heart to others.

For those with a tender connection to Lady Könchok Palden, you are warmly invited to sit with her body at Marpa House this Saturday, June 15, through Tuesday, June 18. There will be two opportunities each day, 10am to 11:45am and 2pm to 6pm. Please arrive during these times and be seated in the shrine room. Small groups will be escorted to Lady Könchok’s room to sit with her there for a short while.

Following the family’s wishes, there will be a private cremation ceremony for family.

As Lady Könchok is an accomplished Dzogchen practitioner, there is no need for any sukhavati, or burning of her photo. For those who wish to, the Sakyong recommends that we could accumulate the following: Vajrasattva mantras, Seven-Line Supplication to Guru Rinpoche, or OM MANI PADME HUM mantras. Rather than helping her, these practices will be a way for us to join in her practice during this transitional period.

Condolences may be sent to David Brown at [email protected]. They will be collected and passed on to the Sakyong and family via the Sakyong Potrang.

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10 responses to “ Lady Könchok Enters Samadhi ”
  1. Frankie May Jenkins
    Jul 21, 2019

    Sunday evening, July 21, 2019

    Dear Palden Konchok’s Survivors,

    I was a thankgka drawing/painting student of Palden Konchok’s Uncle Pema Konchok when the family lived in Dharamsala, India & came to live, paint thangkas & practice stupa koras & puja in Bodhanath, Nepal.

    I went to thangka painting class every week day.

    The time I spent with the Konchok’s family Tibetan Buddhist thangka painting practice by the beautiful Nepalese Stupa was the highest quality time of my life.

    I miss Palden Konchok’s beautiful countenance.


  2. Aimee Miracle
    Jun 28, 2019

    Seeing her samadhi as completely enlightened, with warmth & Love.

  3. Suzann Duuquette
    Jun 27, 2019

    Lady Kunchok was such a force of practice and love. In her years at Karmê Chöling, she taught us generosity, humor, and discipline. She showed us so much through her presence and in action – caring, decorum, momos, handling practice implements, stories, conversation, and more. Her practice inspired everyone, radiating each day to those who practiced with her in the MMGY and throughout the house. Her bravery was unflagging. I miss her, as I know do so many who knew her. Om Mani Padme Hum

  4. Peter Boice
    Jun 18, 2019

    Through the swinging doors of the Marpa
    House kitchen she would peek and gaze at whatever was going while I prepared Monday night’s dinner. The depth of her
    smile penetrated my heart which burst forth with joy and laughter. What a profound blessing to live in her presence.

  5. Margery Lynch
    Jun 18, 2019

    The pith of my many encounters with Lady Kunshok over the years is she manifested and exemplified unconditional love and kindness, great heart and wisdom, a consummate practitioner. Even with her stroke, health and speech difficulties, her memory for each person was strong, and she always asked after the well-being of others. I miss her presence already.

  6. The memory of Lady K will never be forgotten. She taught me the unsurpassable example of how to be….no matter what!

  7. Gabrielle E
    Jun 13, 2019

    I’m still trying to decipher any meaning from even one of her many penetrating gazes! I don’t think she ever smiled at me more than once. Thus it is … I may never “get it,” but I will still bring those gazes and the feelings they evoked to mind again and again!

  8. Marcia Usow
    Jun 13, 2019

    Her strong and penetrating look could always wake me from my usual self oriented activity. That was how she taught me-with just a look, full of that particular moment, and an often hard to understand comment. But then she would ask how my “children” were doing. No mistaking that! I miss you now Lady Kunchok and remember your courage.

  9. Kristine Mccutcheon
    Jun 13, 2019

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  10. Timaree Bierle-Dodds
    Jun 13, 2019

    Just seeing Lady Konchok’s photo is a transmission . May practitioners accomplish one speck of Lady Kochok’s activities. Always benefiting others with each breath and gaze. So privileged to have met Lady Konchok. OM MANI PADME HUM.

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