With unsurpassed honesty and humility Tulku Urgyen offers an intimate glimpse into the remarkable reality of a tulku (a reincarnated master) as well as an in-depth portrait of the lost culture of old Tibet. Intimate in tone, Tulku Urgyen originally shared these tales with his closest Western students, over more than a decade. Here they have been organized into a sweeping account that describes a world where miracles, mystery, and deep insight are the order of the day. From a fresh, eye-opening perspective he describes the lives of some of the most realized and genuine spiritual practitioners of 20th century Tibet including:
- his grandmother, who raised six children, mastered art, music, herbal medicine and astrology–and was recognized as a highly realized practitioner being mentioned in a ninth century prophecy as a manifestation of a Buddhist deity;
- an old lama who chose to live in the hollow trunk of a huge tree—in the simple style of a yogi–rather than as a revered abbot of a great monastery;
- and nuns who spent their entire lives in retreat, and who once a year, in the bitter Tibetan winter, displayed their contemplative prowess in a yogic practice that allowed them to raise their body temperature so much that they could dry wet sheets wrapped around them.
The world Tulku Urgyen knew was one in which today’s conventional values were turned upside-down: instead of fame, fortune or celebrity being the marks of “success”, it was inner realization that counted, and the mark of a life fulfilled was leaving a spiritual legacy for others. Tulku Urgyen was uniquely positioned to know—and share with us—people who lived within this landscape of sacred values. Yet his message is not that realization is reserved for an elect few, but something that each and every one of us can attain.
Published in 2005 by Rangjung Yeshe Publications