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Sopranos actor Michael Imperioli (aka Christopher Moltisanti) presented his film The Hungry Ghosts, his directorial debut, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City this month. The screening was a fundraiser for Namkha Rinpoche's charitable organization, The Golden Bridge Association, a not-for-profit dedicated to humanitarian aid and the preservation of Tibetan culture and religion.
Imperioli brought Rinpoche to the office this morning for a chat and some coffee. Rinpoche is on his way to Washington, where he will meet with diplomats and lawmakers to discuss The Golden Bridge, which, among other projects, is building an old-folks home in Dza Chuka, Tibet, and constructing housing to relieve crowding at Sera Je monastery, in southern India. You can make a donation to Golden Bridge here.
Namkha Rinpoche's advice for Western practitioners? "Patience!" When we asked him what the biggest obstacle Westerners face in their dharma practice, he answered, "Hesitation." In other words, we worry too much, questioning whether we're doing the right thing and whether we're "doing it properly." This, he says, hinders a full commitment to practice.
Born in Kham, Tibet, Namkha Rinpoche is a teacher in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He left Tibet in 1998 and is now based in Lausanne, Switzerland. He has centers in Switzerland, Lithuania, Spain, and soon, in the United States. We look forward to his arrival here—especially since he'll set up shop just a block from Tricycle's offices!
Keep an eye peeled for our interview with him. An interview with Michael Imperioli will appear in the November issue of Tricycle.
[Above: Namkha Rinpoche with Michael Imperioli at Tricycle. Below: Namkha Rinpoche with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama]