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…~