Venerable Wangchen Rinpoche
His Holiness Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche publicly introduced Venerable Wangchen Rinpoche as “Kalu the Younger,” his meditation companion in Tibet, to an audience in Los Angeles in 1988. He said he had an auspicious dream from before Rinpoche was born. He spoke about the keen intelligence and deep compassion for other beings that Rinpoche demonstrated as a child. “Having seen what I have seen, having seen his devotion to Dharma, I have no doubt that he is a Tulku.”
At the age of seven, Rinpoche entered Sonada Monastery. He studied, lived, and traveled with His Holiness Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche from that time until entering the traditional three year retreat at the very young age of 16. Rinpoche has been teaching since coming out of retreat, and those of use who have the opportunity to meet him can know that we have extremely good karma from previous lives, because it is so precious to have made this connection. We are indeed very fortunate, because to receive teachings and to do practice with him is to receive blessings from an enlightened lineage that goes all the way back, in an uninterrupted line, to Buddha Vajradhara; blessings that are too profound to really imagine.
Rinpoche’s spiritual integrity, moral and ethical principles, is impeccable. His activities, which are none other than true Bodhisattva activities that he carries out to fulfill the wishes of his guru, having included sponsoring a major ceremonial event, the Monlam in Bodhgaya, India, for three consecutive years. He has taken full responsibility for rebuilding Shangpa Monastery in Tibet, and his own and His Holiness Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche’s monasteries and nunneries in Kham, the eastern region of Tibet. In the summers of 2004 and 2005, we celebrated the grand opening of Began Monastery and its schools for higher Buddhist studies and the official opening of Gesar Monastery.
Rinpoche has already built several three year retreat centers in Kham, Tibet. Rinpoche’s vision and spiritual work include the intention to build 108 three-year retreat centers, because “retreat centers are the heart of Buddha Dharma. Through practicing the precious Dharma teachings, sentient beings really can attain enlightenment and achieve the greater benefit for all beings.”
Another wish of his is to build 108 stupas. When asked why build stupas, he responded that according to his enlightened guru this is one of the most beneficial spiritual activities one can engage in and he put a great deal of importance on it. Rinpoche has been deeply inspired by his guru and wishes to contribute something according to this profound benefit.
In addition to being the current lineage holder of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition Rinpoche is one of the few living masters of the Nyungne practice. He has inspired his students in the practice, most of whom have completed 108 Nyungnes, and several have completed two and three hundred nyungnes. All of Rinpoche’s monasteries and centers in Tibet, China, Mongolia, Taiwan, and Los Angeles, engage in Nyungne practice. A yearly 8 Nyungne retreat is conducted at Rinpoche’s Taiwan center, and since 2013, Rinpoche has led a 25 Nyungne retreat beginning at Rinpoche's former center Rimé Ling in Los Angeles, and since 2017 at Ser Cho Ling in Central California .
Rinpoche is the author of Buddhist Fasting Practice, the Nyungne Fasting Method of Thousand-Armed Chenrezig published by Shambala. We are pleased to share that the book has also been translated and published in Chinese to the delight of many of Rinpoche’s Chinese speaking students worldwide.