Gem of Wisdom for Daily Reflection: 

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche visit to Pathgate Institute

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche at the Pathgate Dharma Centre

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche was born in 1965, in the mountains which are the secret land of Guru Rinpoche called Beyul Yolmo Gangra. Since the age of six he has lived, trained and taken refuge with various great masters including Kunzang Yeshe Rinpoche, Gen Rigdzin Rinpoche, H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, H.H. Penor Rinpoche, and H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche. He has stayed in retreat in various holy places including the caves used by Guru Rinpoche and Milarepa. Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche went to Namdroling Monastery in South India, where he was ordained by H.H. Penor Rinpoche. He completed the nine years’ study of the Nyingma Shedra there with the highest possible grades. H.H. Penor Rinpoche enthroned him as a Khenpo at Namdroling with a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy, Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche then taught at Namdroling for several years.

In May 2019 during a filming expedition to Nepal for the production of “The Life of Guru Rinpoche” , Thubten Loday Gonpo, an ordained member of the Pathgate Sangha stayed with and worked with Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche in Kathmandu.

In October 2019 Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche sponsored Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche‘s travel to Newcastle and stay at the Pathgate Dharma Centre, the purpose of his visit was to work and collaborate on a number of Dharma projects with the Pathgate Editorial Committee.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche playing Guru Rinpoche in 'The Life of Guru Rinpoche'

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche played the role of Guru Rinpoche in the original Guru Rinpoche film. During the original production at Namdroling Monastery he would receive instruction directly from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. So, his involvement in ‘The Life of Guru Rinpoche - the New Edition’ has been very valuable to the remastering process.

Apart from working with the Pathgate Editorial Committee on updating the English subtitles, Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche also worked on re-recording some of the audio of the Tibetan dialogue to provide higher quality sound track.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche eating with Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche and members of the Pathgate sangha

Before Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche returned to Nepal, he spoke with Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche, the most senior Khenpo in the Namdroling Monastery. He was so happy to find out that Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche has been working with the Pathgate Editorial Committee on the translation of the Guru Rinpoche film. Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche said that: If we translate the subtitles with good meaning then this was His Holiness’s wishes and it would benefit countless sentient beings. It can plant the seed of liberation in many sentient beings through watching this film. Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche then asked Khenpo Nyima Dondrup to pass on his personal thanks to Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche for making this possible. Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche explained the importance of the Guru Rinpoche film as it is fulfilling His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’s wishes, for it is very important for people to have a better understanding of Guru Rinpoche’s life story.

Khenpo visiting a beach close to the Pathgate Dharma Centre

Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche explained that it is not so important how long this takes to make, but instead what was important is that it’s done in the right manner.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche encouraged students involved in this remastering project, saying to us that working hard on this has a lot of value. Khenpo Nyima Dondrup explained that when people watched the original Guru Rinpoche film in Tibet they would make offerings in front of the screen and then make prostrations before they watch the film.

Apart from working on the film, Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche also recorded enough audio material of Tibetan Prayers chanting for the production of four CDs which are meant for free distribution.

Guru Rinpoche practice cave at Yolmo, Nepal

These included The Bardo Thodol - "Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State", commonly known in the West as The Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is a text from a larger corpus of teachings, the Profound Dharma of Self-Liberation through the Intention of the Peaceful and Wrathful Ones, revealed by Karma Lingpa (1326–1386). It is the best known work of Nyingma literature and originated from Guru Padmasambhava in the 8th century. This Tibetan text describes, and is intended to guide one through, the experiences that the consciousness has after death, in the bardo, the interval between death and the next rebirth.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche explained that in the situations where it was not possible to have a Lama reciting this text when someone passes on, a recording of the text can be played.

Design for the new Amitabha temple and statue

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche is currently in pre-production for a documentary film about Guru Rinpoche’s Hidden land of Yolmo - a remote area of Nepal in the foothills of the Himalayas - known as a place where Guru Rinpoche and his consorts practised. It is the secret holy land of Guru Rinpoche. Guru Rinpoche wrote five articles about Yolmo and it was mentioned many times in other texts.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche is also planning to build a large statue of Amitabha in Nepal, incorporating an Amitabha temple in its base. By building this statue it will fulfil one of Guru Rinpoche’s prophecies in accordance to the legacy he left behind. A design for the temple with 3D animated visualization of what the statue will look like has already been produced. Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche has since requested support from Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche for the production and filming of this documentary. An 8-minute trailer for his film has already been produced with narration and original music composition.

Khenpo Nyima Dondrup Rinpoche is very committed to continuing the compassionate activities of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and continuing to play an active part in working with the Pathgate Editorial Committee to fulfil His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’s wish to bring ‘The Life of Guru Rinpoche’ film to a new generation of audience.