The Women's Meditation Tradition in Tibet
Google Tech Talk
June 11, 2010
Presented by The Venerable Wangdrak Rinpoche.
The Venerable Wangdrak Rinpoche is a native Tibetan and overseer of Gebchak Gonpa, which is the largest Buddhist nunnery in Tibet. Rinpoche will be speaking about the cultural and spiritual role of women meditators in a tradition that is typically very male-identified. His talk will reveal the rich cultural heritage and important role women play in Tibetan Buddhism and culture.
Wangdrak Rinpoche the third is the reincarnation of Wangdrak Dorje. Along with the Gonpa's founder, Tsangyang Gyamtso, Wangdrak Dorje was instrumental in building Gebchak and was renowned for his total mastery of profound yogas and meditation. The present incarnation holds the Khenpo degree in Buddhist philosophy, and has received a remarkably broad training in the almost all of the traditions.
His Holiness Sakya Trizin formally recognized Rinpoche as the reincarnation of Gebchak Gonpas Wangdrak Dorje, with an extraordinarily clear prediction letter describing his name, his parents' names, the place and year of his birth, and a unique birthmark on his back. This prediction letter was issued in accordance with the signs he received in meditation. Every detail in the letter proved to be correct. This recognition was also verified by His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, the head of The Drukpa Lineage, and His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche.At the age of nine he entered Chodrak Gonpa, a monastery of the Karma Kagyu and Barom Kagyu traditions, where he received the traditional training in all ritual practices. At the remote hilltop retreat place of Trachok Gon, he received the experiential instructions from Trachok Karma Tseten, the most renowned Karma Kagyu Dzogchen and Mahamudra lama in the vast provinces of Eastern Tibet. There Rinpoche spent three years in isolated meditation retreat, gaining experience and realization of the instructions he'd received.
Dzongsar College in Derge is where Rinpoche undertook his formal studies in Buddhist philosophy and scripture, and is well-known as the best college in all of Tibet for non-sectarian scriptural study. Rinpoche undertook the entire nine-year course, consistently placing first to third in his class and graduating with the Khenpo degree. From the highly respected Drukpa Kagyu lama Adeu Rinpoche, Wangdrak Rinpoche received all the transmissions of the Gebchak lineage. Rinpoche has been fortunate to receive many great empowerments, from many great lamas. His teachers include Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche, the late Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse, and others.
When he had completed his studies, Rinpoche returned to Chodrak Gonpa to teach Buddhist philosophy for three years. After moving to teach at a branch gonpa in Nepal, Rinpoche was repeatedly requested by Tsoknyi Rinpoche and the Gebchak nuns to accept formal responsibility for the spiritual and material well-being of Gebchak Gonpa. Along with caring for his students from all over the globe, this is the end to which he continually works.
For more information about Wangdrak Rinpoche and his activities, please visit Rinpoche's official website: www.gebchakgonpa.org