Sashin's Notes

This is a short, one hundred page biography of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche compiled by his attendant and student, Mattheiu Ricard.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche is the most legendary Tibetan Buddhist master of recent times.

Born as the youngest son of the Dilgo estate, his two elder brothers had already joined the monastics and pursued the life of a monk. Needing a family heir, his father was determined to have him lead an ordinary worldly life and inherit his business.

Playing around as young boys do, he once ran into a stone cauldron of hot water, knocking it over and spilling it all over him. He suffered from severe burns all over his body and was bedridden for months. His parents tried to do everything, but nothing seemed to help him. Desperate, his father asked if there was anything he could do...

"It would help if I could wear the robes of a monk"

Finally giving up his desire for his son to follow in his footsteps, he granted his sons request. Over time the boy recovered and started training in meditation and Buddhist philosophy.

When leaving his family home to pursue meditation he recited this poem to his parents:

Kyema! Kyehu! My dearest parents,
You gave me birth with all the freedoms and advantages of human life,
And you have cared for me with love from my infancy till now.
Since you introduced me to an authentic teacher,
It is thanks to your kindness
That I have encountered the path of liberation.

After hearing, thinking about, and meditating on
The life of my perfect teacher,
I have resolved to slip quietly away from life's concerns
And roam through empty uninhabited valleys.

Father and mother, stay in your handsome, lofty house;
I, your young son, long instead for empty caves.

Thank you for the fine, soft clothes you gave me;
Yet I don't need them—I would rather dress in plain white felt.

I leave my valuables behind—
A begging bowl, a staff, and Dharma robes are all I need.

I’ve cast aside this luxury and wealth with no regrets;
A handbook of profound advice is all I wish to collect.

I leave this garden full of splendid flowers,
And head for the wilderness of overhanging cliffs alone.

I need no attendants who just fuel anger and attachment:
Birds and wild animals are the only company I long for.

Earlier, in the presence of my sovereign teacher,
As he bestowed the Secret Heart Essence empowerment,
I vowed to abandon all activities of this life
And practice in accord with the Dharma.
In my heart that promise is as clear as if engraved in stone—
I cannot but leave for a secluded mountain retreat.

Although for now your son will hide away in mountain glens,
Your smiling faces will be with me always,
Nor shall I forget your loving care;
And if I reach the citadel of experience and realization,
I shall repay your kindness, of that you can be sure!”

He spent his youth living in the mountains in solitude practicing meditation. Living in a cave with few possessions he would wake up to the sound of birds early in the morning and do little but practice meditation.

As a teacher he only slept for four hours every night, arising early for his morning meditation before having his breakfast. Then from morning until night he would do nothing but teach and giving instruction, not even stopping for rest. This would go on for months and years and when he needed to recover, rather than go on a holiday as most would he would spent time in intensive retreat.

Also known as Rabsel Dawa, which means Brilliant Moon, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche taught and inspired an entire generation of devoted meditation practitioners. Mattheiu Richard who has been called the world's happiest man is a devoted student of Rinpoche and joyfully served as his attendant. The Dalai Lama refers to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, as his main Dzogchen teacher. Sam Harris has received teachings from him and may even have had a dream about him. Many other well known teachers in meditation and buddhism were also taught by Rinpoche and now dwell all over the world.

He seemed to have had a tremendous impact on those around him. I have met students of his that were moved at the mere mention of him, even getting teary remembering their beloved teacher.

Brilliant Moon

This documentary covers the amazing life story of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

Please give it a watch!