Wednesday, January 05, 2011

"Just Call Me Kalu"

"However things appear or sound, within the vast realm of basic space
they do not stray from their spontaneous equalness as dharmakaya, awakened mind.
Since the time state of utter relaxation is naturally empty and without transition or change,
whatever manifests constitutes the scope of naturally occurring timeless awareness, the true nature of phenomena, merging in a single blissful expanse, without any effort, without anything needing to be done. --Longchenpa, The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena
The incarnation of one of the most important lamas of the twentieth century, Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche, intrigued thousands of his followers around the world this week, when he declared, "I don't want to be 'rinpoche' to all of you because its just a name." When asked what people should call him, he replied, "Just call me Kalu."

Rejecting the traditional honorifics and pomp of state religion, he explained his view that it is better to interact with each other as friends, "because as a friend we can share Dharma, happiness, love and care, from heart to heart."

For those who knew his predecessor, this view does not come as a surprise. The previous Kalu Rinpoche was a warm, unassuming, and deeply companionable person. That is how I remember him. You could not separate him into "teacher" or "friend," because these qualities were indistinguishable. So it was that he perfectly embodied the ideal of "spiritual friend." 

Meanwhile, over at the Treasury of Ati blog, we have a slightly different but not altogether dissimilar take on the general tempest of titles in Malcolm Smith's latest article, We Are All Rinpoches. He makes an interesting case, and we strongly commend the link to your attention.

Then, for the Terton Kunzang Dechen Lingpa's comments on the matter, click this link.


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1 reader comments:

Padma Kadag said...

I read the "Everyone is a Rinpoche". Interesting view point.Not sure if this point of view is necessary to discuss or even if it is beneficial in a land long on titles and short on wisdom.
If we are to practice from a Nyingma lineage where the term Rinpoche was not given to every Lama then there is a difference between myself and Dudjom Rinpoche. I am not sure the article is necessary under the current circumstances here in the west or even the east.