December 12, 2012

Tricycle Talk with Shamar Rinpoche

Shamar RinpocheWelcome to the latest installment of Tricycle Talks, our audio interviews with prominent Buddhist voices.

Today, Tibetan translator and meditation teacher Pamela Gayle White speaks with the 14th Sharmapa Mipham Chokyi Lodro, a lineage holder in the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Sharmapa, who is also known as Shamar Rinpoche, was born in Tibet in 1952. After studying in India for many years, he began traveling and teaching in 1980. In 1996 he started to organize the Bodhi Path Buddhist Centers, an international network of centers based on a nonsectarian approach to Buddhism. In this interview, Shamar Rinpoche talks about Tibetan politics, discusses his new book, "A Golden Swan in Turbulent Waters," about the 10th Karmapa, and expounds upon what he calls the "real, hardcore" qualities of a bodhisattva: diligence, compassion, and patience.

You can read White's interview with the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje, one of the two claimants to the Karmapa's throne, in the current issue of Tricycle here.

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idaleung1's picture

Cynicism, along with other very human qualities is alive and well? Just taking a moment to express gratitude to tricycle and its contributors for being in my life. I belong to a buddhist class and sangha but tricycle has expanded my knowledge base and practice at warp speed. Much metta.

sharonalu's picture

I just had time to listen. I must say, I do enjoy Shamar Rinpoche's candor. He seems to see through time in a way that feels beyond time (perhaps being reincarnated as a lineage master would have those side effects?), to see how aspects of the human condition like greed and the hunger for power are endemic and need to be cut through and avoided regardless of supposed "spiritual" position, and that this has occurred historically through time, demanding tremendous capacity in order not to be seduced, in any age. In my own reading about Tibetan history, I have benefited by cutting through my idea's about the Tibetan kingdom, to see a more realistic view of the humans that lived, those who did harm as well as good, but some who really really tried to transform into true Bodhisattva's. I agree. It's inspiring. And I think kind of courageous of Shamar Rinpoche to write and speak about some of the less popular, or more politically controversial, history.

Paul Stevenson's picture

So, Interesting that both replies are nearly identical. In my line of work, the IT world, such replies (without much substance) are often found to be "paid replies", where people get paid to generate comments for blogs. These glowing replies that gush and generally add nothing to the conversation or to the thread, in the world of IT blogs, anyway, always show up quite quickly after certain blog articles are posted. Kind of like yours did. Sad, really. So, interesting, huh?

alalaho's picture

hi Paul. my apologies also. i just enjoyed the interview.


Pamela Gayle White's picture

Interviewer mea culpa: Actually, Paul, Khedrub Zangmo and I are friends and teaching buddies and we naturally tend to gush about each other's activities... Would be REALLY great if we were 'paid' for it.
Cheers, Pamela

Emma Varvaloucas's picture

Hi Paul! I've got to say, your comment gave me a hearty laugh this morning, so thank you for that. If you think that Tricycle has enough money to pay people to comment on our blogs, you have a very distorted view of how much it pays to run a nonprofit Buddhist publication in a largely non-Buddhist country. In any case, since your comment doesn't say anything about the interview itself, I'm not sure whether you enjoyed it, but we hope you did!
Still chuckling,
Emma Varvaloucas
Associate Editor

Khedrub Zangmo's picture

This interview, through the power of storytelling, illustrates the need to separate religion and politics. Everyone loves a good story especially one that read's like a good novel and is true. Thank you Pamela for this riveting interview. Thank you Tricycle for making these teachers accessible to us. And thank you Shamar Rinpoche for your tireless work in teaching the Dharma.

alalaho's picture

thank you Pamela for a wonderful interview. and an ocean of the gratitude for Rinpoche. a window of the historical background of Tibet and China and spiritual leadership.

as always, Rinpoche is very clear about where we should put our attention. Karmapa's story is very inspiring. i am always amazed when i hear stories of these great Bodhisattvas. their renunciation is truly inspiring.