His Eminence Yangthang Tulku Day
“Because of the Dharma, my mind was more free in prison than worldly people experience in the best of circumstances.” – Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche
This month we celebrate the tenth anniversary of “His Eminence Yangthang Tulku Day”, as proclaimed by the County Executive of Montgomery County, Maryland on April 23, 2013.
Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche (1930–2016) was a renowned Nyingma teacher associated with Dhomang Monastery, a branch of Palyul in Eastern Tibet. He spent 22 years imprisoned by the Chinese Communists, but was never resentful of his captors. As he later taught his students, “We should practice forbearance. When we encounter harm-doing enemies, we should see it as a support to our Dharma practice.”
Despite hardship and even torture, Rinpoche maintained his practice and encouraged his fellow prisoners to do so. His display of compassion caused several of his guards to turn to him for spiritual guidance.
Located in Montgomery County, Kunzang Palyul Choling has twice hosted Rinpoche. Spiritual Director Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo has said “Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche is the very expression of compassion and wisdom”.
In 1990, he conferred empowerments almost daily for a month. In 2013, Rinpoche offered heart teachings and an empowerment to the many who were honored to be in his presence. It was during his second visit that the county issued the Proclamation dedicating April 23rd as “His Eminence Yangthang Tulku Day”.