Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Real Rinpoche (From Down the Street)

My friend Denise sent along a bulletin about an upcoming event that Good Stuff NW readers might find of interest.

As some of you know, my dad has been working these past two years to bring a book into being: Surviving the Dragon, by and about Arjia Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist Lama, once the abbott of Kumbum Monastery.

We first met Rinpoche when we lived in Mill Valley, shortly after he'd escaped China. I didn't know his amazing story then, and referred to him as "Dad's buddy, the Rinpoche down the street." They traded Buddhist teachings for English lessons, and later, when Dad moved to Portland, they continued their relationship by Skype.

The Rinpoche as a child with his parents.

Well, this week Rinpoche is in town to promote his newly published memoirs, capping off a six-week tour of the east and west coasts. From here he rushes back to the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center that he runs in Indiana, to host the Dalai Lama for a week.

His English still isn't all that great and he's left the slides at home, but Dad says his talks are mesmerizing nonetheless. So if you're interested in the Tibet/China situation (Rinpoche was fairly close to the Panchen Lama before he was poiso...err...died at a young age), or in Buddhism, or in travelers of exotic paths and places, you may want to come see him this Friday or Saturday (details below). And tell your friends…I'd love for him to get a healthy-sized Portland audience.

Details: Lecture and reading by Arjia Rinpoche. Fri., April 16, 7-8:30 pm; free. Portland Unitarian Universalist Church, 1011 SW 12th Ave. Sat., April 17, 7:30 pm; free. Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

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