Keeping a Good Heart

Interview: Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche explores the nature of emptiness, the role of the teacher, and the unique challenges of teaching in the West.

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© Tom Lesser

Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche was born in Tibet in 1951. He emigrated with his family shortly before the Chinese invasion in 1959. He was brought up by his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920-1995), considered one of the greatest Dzogchen masters of our time.

Tulku Urgyen sent his son to study at the seat of the Sixteenth Karmapa, where he served as the Karmapa’s private attendant. Later, his father arranged for him to receive teachings from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991), the highly regarded head of the Nyingma order; he received the Dzogchen pith instructions from Tulku Urgyen himself. His friendly, inquisitive, and frank personality allowed him to cultivate close relationships with some of Tibet’s greatest masters.

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