Message from Thupten Rabgyi, Rinpoche’s Personal Assistant

At the end of the morning practice session on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, during the Mandarava Drubchen at Dzamling Gar in Tenerife, the Gekö of Dzamling Gar and Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s personal assistant, Thupten Rabgyi, gave an update on Rinpoche’s health and added a personal message to those present and those following the retreat by webcast.

I would like to give you a message from Rosa Namkhai, who asked me to give you a little information about Rinpoche. You have probably seen the message on Facebook that I wrote a couple of days ago. Rinpoche came down with the flu, so his doctor suggested that he stay home and not go out, even to see the doctor. So he stayed three days at home, but he didn’t get much better.

Yesterday (February 27th) they took him to a clinic in the north (of Tenerife) and today he is much better – he slept well and ate well. He may need to stay there another day, but we are hoping that tomorrow he will come back. I don’t think he will come back today (Wednesday, February 28th) because the doctor wants to make sure that he overcomes this flu and he wants to keep him there a little longer. So this is more or less the information on Rinpoche’s health from the north of Tenerife. So this is very good news and Rinpoche is much better.

I would also like to share with you some of my personal feelings about Rinpoche. We know very well that Rinpoche is 80 years old according to the Tibetan calendar, and 79 (according to the Western). We also know that his health is not very good. What I am telling you is my personal feeling, from my heart. Last year Rinpoche couldn’t travel everywhere on his teaching schedule because he was sick and had to cancel his teaching tour.

This year he made a very intensive schedule and, for me, it is kind of impossible for him to do that. Why did he do this? Rinpoche feels a very heavy responsibility. He feels he has the responsibility for the Dzogchen Community; maintaining it everywhere in the world. The Lings and the Gars send messages and emails to him saying that they are sorry that he couldn’t come (last year) but they are happy that he can come (this year) and they are waiting for him. When he receives these kinds of emails, he feels that people are waiting for him and that he must go. He is making a sacrifice. We should know that.

Now the Dzogchen Community must understand this and not give this kind of feeling to him. We should come to Rinpoche to receive teaching. We should show him that we really take the responsibility to maintain the continuation of this Community, economically, financially, and practically. We can show him that we can take care of the Community and not depend on him. This is something we really have to do. This is my feeling and people must know that individually, particularly the International Gakyil, the local Gakyils, the Santi Maha Sangha teachers, the Vajra Dance and Yantra Yoga instructors, etc. We have a lot of responsible people (in the Dzogchen Community) and many senior students of Rinpoche.

Rinpoche has been building this Community for more that 40 years. Now it is time for him to rest and we should take the responsibility, not waiting for him to come to us. We should come to him to receive teaching. This is something we have to do, otherwise I feel that it is really impossible. I know Rinpoche’s capacity. Of course every individual, all of us, have this kind of feeling that he is beyond everything, he is beyond today and tomorrow, beyond life and death, right or wrong, beyond everything; that he is like space. But this is another question. We are talking about Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya. But Rinpoche has a human form, he is Nirmanakaya, and we want to see him physically. We want to listen to his oral transmission from his mouth. We want to enjoy with him. We want to touch him. We want to see his human form, and the human form is material. We must work with that. It doesn’t matter how much capacity he has, there is the limitation of his body.

He wanted to finish this two week retreat without interruption, I’m sure, but we can see that it wasn’t possible. So this means we must take responsibility in different ways and every individual person, responsible people, should think how to show to Rinpoche how they can take responsibility for the continuation of this global community in the world, otherwise he feels that he has this responsibility and makes a heavy schedule, follows that, and then he has these continuing problems. That is not good for anybody, particularly for him.

So thank you very much. I wanted to share this. This is just from my point of view. It could be 100% wrong or it could be right, but we have to think very well. We know now how the situation is. Thank you.

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