Lama Tsering Wangdu Rinpoche entered Parinirvana on Guru Rinpoche Day, October 24, 2023. Rinpoche was a yogi and healer, a master of the Longchen Nyingtik, Padampa Sangye’s Shije and Machik’s Chod Lineages, and a great protector of the Dharma. His kindness, generosity, and patience were without limit and he benefited countless beings.
Rinpoche’s cremation ceremony was held at Tara Mandala Retreat Center in Colorado on November 22, 2023.
Lama Tsering Wangdu Rinpoche is a lineage holder of the Longchen Nyingthig, Shije, and Chod traditions. Born in 1935 in Tingri Langkor, Tibet, he received transmission and training from his root Lama, Naptra Rinpoche, and completed the traditional 108 charnel ground Chod pilgrimage before he was twenty. Naptra Rinpoche sent Lama Wangdu to Nepal on pilgrimage shortly before the Chinese closed the border in 1959. A well-trained and experienced yogi, he has lived in Nepal ever since, spending much of his life in retreat and serving the Tibetan refugee community.
In Nepal, Tibet, and China, Rinpoche is well known as an accomplished Chod practitioner and healer. Until 2018, he was the Abbot of Pal Gyi Langkor Jangsem Kunga Ling Monastery in Boudha, Nepal, which he founded in 2000. Today he is mostly in retreat or teaching and leading practice communities in the United States.
Rinpoche’s style is, in the yogic tradition, simple and direct. Though he often teaches by telling stories of yogis and yoginis, he encourages people to focus on practice rather than discussion and his retreats reflect his confidence in experiential realization.
Chod is Rinpoche’s heart practice. He received the empowerment to practice Chod soon after meeting Naptra Rinpoche and spent many years practicing in retreat in Nepal and Tibet. Machik Labdron and Padampa Sangye, the founders of this tradition, lived and practiced in the same valleys and mountains and left behind a rich tradition that he now holds.
Chod is a practice of cutting through ego-clinging through offering what we value most, our own body, to whoever and whatever wishes to have it. Chod involves all of the senses, as one practices it by visualizing the offering while singing, dancing and playing ritual instruments. Practitioners who accomplish the practice find themselves free of the hope and fear that prevents one from truly helping others in every situation. As Rinpoche once said while teaching Chod,
The attitude that must be taken for Chod practice is non-attachment to all things and possessions. The feeling should be as in someone who is nauseous from an illness and is then offered food. Such desirelessness must be cultivated. The capacity and understanding to cut through ego-clinging must be developed. As the practitioner sets out to practice, he or she should have no mundane, worldly concerns in his mind. Rather the attitude should be one of extraordinary intention seeking enlightenment for oneself and all sentient beings. With that kind of love and compassion, the practitioner goes [into practicing] with the intention of giving material and spiritual benefit to all beings.
Phowa, is the close companion of Chod. It is another way to train in giving up attachment to one’s life and is especially helpful when approaching the moment of death. With the proper training and extensive practice, Phowa can be practiced for oneself or others to help the transition from this life. Rinpoche often gives the empowerment and teachings on Phowa alongside Chod and encourages practitioners to take up both methods for working with ego-clinging.
Rinpoche freely offered Chod and Phowa teachings for many years. As a result, countless people from around the world have acquired the means to free themselves from the hope and fear of worldly life and be of benefit to others. This website is dedicated to supporting his teaching, practice and preservation of Chod, Phowa and the lineages that he holds.
We are preserving this website to provide information approved by Rinpoche to those seeking to learn more about his life and teachings.