Lama Wangchuk Dinner

This is now “old e-mail” that was written by some one who knew Lama Wangchuk in NYC as we can see this is in many respects a personal message, from the heart, i am posting it here because it was made public on a public annocement list, hope authors don’t mind.

—– Original Message —–

From: Palyul Ling
To: List Member
Sent: Wednesday, May 03, 2006 10:29 AM
Subject: [Palyul] Lama Wangchuk Recalled to India
Palyul Ling
May 3, 2006

Dear Friends,
As many of you may know, Dorje Lopon Lama Wangchuk has been recalled to Namdroling Monastery and will be leaving immediately on May 5. I thought to let summer retreat attendees know so you all could take the opportunity to say good-bye to Lama if you wished. We will also take up a small collection for Lama to help him in India (scroll down to see below).
There will be a dinner at Tsampa Restaurant Thursday, May 4 at 7 PM (9th Street at 3rd Avenue) and Lama will leave New York on Friday.
If you would like to attend the dinner, please take a second to RSVP at nyc@palyul.org so that we can let the restaurant know of an estimate of attendees.

Dorje Lopon Lama Wangchuk earned his rank during the very first 3 year, 3 month, 3 day retreat His Holiness Penor Rinpoche granted at Namdroling Monastery in South India. Among his classmates was Dorje Lopon Lama Sochuk, whom we also all know from our upstate retreats. Lama Wangchuk was sent to the United States in 1999 and served in Los Angeles for a year before His Holiness Penor Rinpoche determined a need for him at the Upstate New York retreat center.
After entreaties from the students in New York City, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche generously agreed to grant the request for Lama Wangchuk to lead practice and give teachings in the city. Lama quickly became the foundation of the New York City center, winning the hearts of the students who appreciate his warm and nurturing approach to the courses.
The courses were first offered in Sufi Bookstore, then Dolma Carpet, and finally settled in Tsampa Restaurant on Sundays. Lama taught the students all of the chants traditionally practiced within the monastic environment, as well as torma-making, mudra, bell and dorje, chopon, and more. For the past year and a half, he has been leading practice in the Bowery Street Nyingma Palyul Dharma Center and carrying through all the daily practices as is traditional within the Palyul Nyingma tradition.
Lama also has been indispensible in setting up teaching programs in New York. He helped to lead arrangements for empowerment programs given by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, Tulku Thubten Rinpoche, His Eminence Khentul Gyangkhang Rinpoche, His Eminence Dagmar Rinpoche, Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche, Khenpo Tenzin Norgey Rinpoche and so on. Because of his help, the local center has been able to prepare properly for these special programs.
Lama also worked very hard every summer at the upstate retreat. As we all saw, his humility is profound and no task beneath him. Because of his rank he has earned the right to remain in the temple to practice. But not only did Lama practice, he also offered himself even for maintaining the grounds and cutting the grass, as well as cooking for the monk entourage accompanying His Holiness.
Yet despite all his hard work, Lama always has made himself available to students who wanted to ask his advice on practice or even personal matters. Lama has comforted many of us in our darkest times.
It is truly touching if you consider all that Lama has done for us and for furthering His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’s vision.
Letting Lama know you’ll miss him by email is possible. Please don’t hesitate writing nyc@palyul.org and I will print out and give him your email.
It is possible to send the center assistance for Lama, if you so desire. We can collect credit card Paypal donations at the longlife@palyul.org account, the center’s Paypal account. Funds from the donations need to be marked “Lama Wangchuk Fund,” which you can do from within the Paypal system. Funds will be transferred to India after Lama arrives to ensure their safety. Please click below to donate.
Longlife@palyul.org Paypal
You can also just donate to the center at that Paypal address if you wish, just note your donation appropriately.
As some of our students do not use email, it is quite useful to let them know yourself. Please don’t hesitate to do so!
Please join me in wishing Lama Wangchuk farewell with wishes for his long life, improved health, and hopes that we may meet again some day soon!

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About Lama Wangchuk, Voice of Dharma of NYC for number of years….

Lama Wangchuk arrived in US in 1999 and was residing in California for about a year. Later to be appointed to North American Seat of Palyul Lineage Holder Je Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche in Upstate New York. Lama maintained all rituals within the temple until persistent requests from NYC area students started bringing him to NYC on a weekly basis. While in the City Lama Wangchuk became one of the Tibetan Lamas of the community, that community was fortunate to have, you could meet him at funerals and weddings, at times people would invite Lama to perform rituals in their homes. While very small group of students formed around meetings that Lama unfailingly came to, even while not feeling well in middle of winter with a cold.

During last several years this was the schedule: Lama would arrive from Upstate towards the end of the week. At about 11:00 on Sunday from five to ten people would gather with him in front of a makeshift altar in a Tibetan Restaurant to retake Bodhisattva Vow, perform sadhanas of Riwo Sangcho, Vajrakilaya, and Tara. Then in the evening of Sunday a smaller group would gather in a cordially offered by a Chinese monk for the occasion Buddhist Temple on Bowery, in Chinatown. We would perform Sadhanas of Vajrakilaya, Tara and Chod. Always saying prayers for auspiciousness to pervade all of cyclic existence, for the benefit of every one. On Monday Lama Wangchuk would lead chant of the lineage prayers and facilitate Ngondro practice accumulation, we would recite Abbreviated Confession to the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities and recite Sadhana of Chenrezig in 6 realms

All of this prayers and Sadhana texts Lama could recite from memory with very precise melody and I have seen him do so on a number of occasions when he had to concede his book to some one who would arrive without one, whish I had recorded one session like that on tape, because they gave out (at least to me) impression of very best timing and melody.

Lama Sonam Wangchuk was born in Lower Kongpo region of Tibet in the year of Iron Tiger (1950).

-As a young man Lama followed his father Habso Lodoe and helped him to produce numerous statuary and decorations for many temples throughout the Northern India and later in South India, His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche was the root Lama of his father and on “the job” Lama learned ritual and craft at some point serving in the army.

Here is my narration of a story that Lama Wangchuk told me about his father.

At one point his father was working on a likeness of Ekadzati and Lama that had commissioned it knew just so precisely how it should look down to the face that he would not concede to anything else. So the statue had to be redone many times. Then at some point in the morning the Lama called the Sculptor in and gave him unelaborated empowerment and instructions on meditation also directing him what to do throughout the day. Sure enough the sculptor was able to behold Ekadzati in his dream that night and making sketch supplemented with verbal descriptions of the dream the following morning in front of the Lama made him very happy. Statue was about to happen in just the way Lama envisioned it…

By the age of 30 it was decided for him to enter monastery of Kyabje Penor Rinpoche and Lama became one of the first 10 retreatants in not completely finished but already operational traditional 3-year Samten Osel Ling Retreat facility. Retreat for all of the first batch of retreatants actually lasted for 4 years and our Lama received degree of Dorje Lopon. ~To be continued and corrected…~