Under cloudless blue skies, the consecration of Khandro Tsering Chödrön’s memorial stupa took place at Lerab Ling in France on 31st July 2014. His Holiness Sakya Trizin,
the supreme head of the Sakya order of Tibetan Buddhism, and a gathering of eminent masters who have a close connection to Khandro presided over the ceremonies. The consecration took place on Chökhor Düchen, the day that celebrates the Buddha’s first turning of the wheel of Dharma—one of the most holy days in the Tibetan Buddhist calendar. There was a joyful atmosphere as one thousand people took part in a full day of practice in the sunshine in front of the stupa, and thousands more joined via video streaming in 26 countries around the world.
Khandro Tsering Chödrön was one of the greatest practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism of recent times. She was the spiritual wife of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö—and she was a true dakini, loved and revered by all the masters, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and an inspiration to Buddhist practitioners everywhere.
Khandro spent the final years of her life at Lerab Ling with her nephew Sogyal Rinpoche and her sister Mayumla Tsering Wangmo. She inspired everyone she met with her exceptional wisdom, grace and compassion, and all were struck by the atmosphere that she created simply through her presence.
As one person said, “Khandro-la’s very being was a blessing to all who came in contact with her, because in one glimpse, one could receive this profound teaching from her, just because of who she was and how she was.” Another said, “To be with Khandro was like coming home. It was a feeling of freedom; of resting in yourself, of being content with yourself, and of being completely happy.”
Many visitors to Lerab Ling have established a strong connection with Khandro merely by seeing a photograph of her—even those who are not Buddhist practitioners.
Khandro’s magnificent memorial stupa was the vision of Sogyal Rinpoche, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche and many other masters, and the consecration provided an opportunity to remember her extraordinary life and invoke her blessings.
The fact that such a great gathering of lamas was present at Lerab Ling reflected the tremendous love, respect and devotion that all the masters had for Khandro. His Holiness Sakya Trizin, who after His Holiness the Dalai Lama is one of the most respected masters in the Tibetan Buddhist lineage, was accompanied by his wife Gyalyum Chenmo-la, and together with his youngest son, Khondung Gyana Vajra Rinpoche, he conducted the consecration according to the Sakya tradition. At the same time, there was a consecration according to the Nyingma tradition conducted by Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche, Pema Wangyal Rinpoche, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, Rangdrol Rinpoche and Tulku Rigdzin Pema
Since the time of the Buddha himself, it has been customary to construct stupas to enshrine the relics of great masters—as symbols of their enlightened mind and because a stupa is a powerful means through which these teachers can continue to bring immeasurable benefit in the future. It is said that simply for us to set eyes on a stupa is enough to create a connection that will eventually lead to our enlightenment.
After the ceremonies, His Holiness Sakya Trizin remarked on how perfect the consecration had been, saying: “Before the consecration it was raining, and after it was raining, but on that particular day it was really pure. There were absolutely no clouds. It was really clear. I think this is a very significant sign that it was very auspicious… Everything went very smoothly without any kind of problems, so this is a very auspicious beginning.”
The stupa, which contains relics of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö and Khandro Tsering Chödrön, along with countless scriptures and other precious objects, was adorned with a beautiful brocade canopy and five-coloured silk, streaming down from its golden spire. Beneath a photograph of Khandro, a garland of flowers was placed on the stupa bearing the inscription:
For as long as the sun and moon shall rise, may the name of Khandro Tsering Chödrön remain.
You can read more about Khandro’s stupa and how it was constructed in the latest issue of View magazine http://bit.ly/memorialstupa
I was shocked to hear about our Great Khandro Tsering Chodron’s Parinirvana. She was indeed Greatest Dakini Master, who had lots of influence on sentient beings with immeasurable compassionate at heart. She has not left the world, but she will be Returner (of Lham-zhe) Four Path) on the earth to complete her un-finish task for sentient beings. I am sure she is now in Copper Colored Mountain – Guru Rinpoche’s Zangto Pelri. I visualize that in my heart, she is receiving further instructions from Guru Rinpoche. This how I visualize when she is in celestial world and with Guru Rinpoche.
May Guru Rinpoche Bless her with his Body Wang(Ku),
May Guru Rinpoche Bless her with his Speech Wang(Sung),
May Guru Rinpoche Bless her with his Mind Wang(Thug).
Oh! Ati Guru Rinpoche please take care of her at Zangto Pelri.
With my homage and prayers for her peace in the celestial world.
29th June 2011
To be close to Khandro-la and to serve her for the last years and especially the last six months was the best that ever happened to me.
The three days after her passing, the cloudless sky here at Lerab Ling, was as lucid, blue and clear as never before. Khandro-la was everywhere, all pervasive, her presence was enormous. There was only joy, bliss and freedom: she will never die, she is beyond coming and going, and she has always been like that!
Khandro-la was so incredibly well this winter, so content and cheerful, so at ease, so much with us and with everyone who wanted to see her and receive a blessing. Her door was always open and she enjoyed the visitors, who received a cup of tea, and “chiri”, some sweets and cookies. She would gently touch the faces of the ones who would dare to come that close to her and these moments were always very deep and touching, many of them started crying.
Being in her spaciousness also had a strong sense of density and even speed, though all her movements were so slow and always precise. May be it is better to say that it was fullness or richness or beauty, that was so much around her and she was exuding pure love, unconditional love, all the time.
I remember still vividly, even though it is now more than thirty years ago, the moment I met Khandro-la for the first time. I was on a summer retreat with Sogyal Rinpoche, my first retreat, and had taken my son Arwen, who was then three years old, with me. That afternoon I was already feeling so light and happy. Someone had taken Arwen for a walk, and I decided I would join the kitchen crew, preparing dinner for about 100 people. So I happily walked down to the storeroom, to see what would be a good choice for making dinner.
And then suddenly there she was, standing in front of the main house. I stood stock-still, enraptured. Such beauty, such grace, such strength, such simpleness, such warmth, I can go on endlessly and still not find words. At the time, my mind, that had just only caught a first whiff of the depths of this marvellous and amazing spiritual tradition, conceptualized the longing that came from the depths of my heart and mind, “ How I wish I could start a conversation.”
That moment never lost its beauty and strength.
Now, so many years later, I’m at home, and through illness not able to go to Lerab Ling. I have put a large, beautiful photograph of Khandro-la on my shrine, and lay in my bed, just looking at her. And each and every time I look at Khandro-la, without any effort my devotion just opens up, to her, to all the masters, with a depth I have not known before. It is indeed a marvellous and amazing, great and dear gift and blessing. My gratitude to Khandro-la, to Sogyal Rinpoche, to all the masters, tears come to my eyes, how can I ever express it in words…
20 years ago I walked accidently into the Rigpa Centre in Amsterdam. The next moment I was caught by the warmth of some eyes and a beautiful smile, which appears to be the eyes and the smile of Khandro Tsering Chödrön. I bought the photo and carry her with me for all these years. Sometimes I forgot where she was, but I always knew she was somewhere around me. To be honest I have never practised meditation (only tai chi chuan every now and than) but she has always a special place in my heart, for now and forever 🙂
Maybe this is a good moment to start to meditate…is there a guide ?
I never had a chance to meet Khandro in person, but as a Rigpa student I feel that she has blessed us all.
The first time I saw a photo of Khandro Tsering Chodron I felt the same warm, sweet and deep love I received from my dear grandmother. Her smile and her gaze were shining bright light. She has been inspiring me since that first moment… I’m gratefull to life to have got the opportunity to meet her in Lerab Ling. She will inspire me forever… a brilliant and kind and strong love! Thank you Khandro 🙂
I am a new student in Buddhism in Belgium. As Cinzia wrote, when I saw a picture of Khandro Tsering Chodron in our center in Brussels, I felt warmth and a lot of humility and compassion coming out of her smiling face… I feel happy and the will to share a lot,each time I see her… Thank you for bringing me so much into my hart, Your smile and your love will bring a lot of light, warmness and wisdom here on earth and all places you may be.
The moment I saw the Khandro’s photo, I felt like my mother loving me with smile, I felt like I am blessed by my most wanted person with warmth, humility and compassion and my tears fall from my eyes with happiness, such a beautiful, sweet and deep loving face, I wish if I have mat you in person before you pass-away. Khando Rimpochey, u look smiler to my mother and I consider my mother as U and I feel like I am blessed by U. We everybody in this world are in need of your blessing, so please bless us anywhere ur.