DHARMA IN THE MODERN WORLD
Geshe Lhundub Sopa has led an extraordinary life by any measure. Born in 1923 in Tsang, Tibet, to farmers, he eventually became an accomplished scholar at Sera Je Monastery in Lhasa, where he taught Lama Yeshe. He witnessed firsthand the shifting political tides as Chinese Communist forces bared down on Tibet, eventually fleeing into exile in 1959. In the early 1960s, he went to the United States and joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin in 1967. In time, Geshe Sopa became a full professor and trained many prominent scholars of Tibetan Buddhism. At the same time, he continued to serve as a teacher for important Tibetan teachers as well, including Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Yangsi Rinpoche. He established Deer Park Buddhist Center in Oregon, Wisconsin, which hosted the first Kalachakra initiation given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the West in 1981. Geshe Sopa, now retired, continues to publish scholarly works on Tibetan Buddhism.
Like a Waking Dream: The Autobiography of Geshe Lhundub Sopa is Geshe Sopa’s autobiography, published by Wisdom Publication and edited by Paul Donnelly, one of Geshe Sopa’s students. In the book, Geshe-la shares detailed memories of his youth and early days in the Tibetan monastic system, giving valuable insight into a now-vanished world. He offers a unique and heartfelt perspective on exile and establishing Tibetan Buddhism in the West.
Yangsi Rinpoche, founder and president of Maitripa College, is the reincarnation of Geshe Ngawang Gendun, a renowned scholar who was Geshe Sopa’s primary teacher at Sera Monastery. Yangsi Rinpoche told Mandala, “This autobiography of Geshe-la will be very inspirational for scholars in universities, practitioners in centers and so forth.”
In coordination with the publication Like a Waking Dream, Mandala asked several of Geshe Sopa’s students to share their stories of Geshe-la. We share their reminiscences here:
“More than Auspicious,” Yangsi Rinpoche
“Pure Gold on the Ground Below,” Sharpa Tulku
“The Bodhisattva on Bascom Hill,” Jim Blumenthal
“Fulfilling a Long-held Promise,” E. Ann Chávez
“Reminiscences of Geshe Sopa,” Roger Jackson
“Profound Equanimity that Constantly Perserveres,” John Makransky
“A Shining Presence: Geshe Sopa in Photos,” Kalleen Mortensen [photo gallery]
“The Most Important Influence on My Life,” Beth Newman
“The Simplicity of Great Authority,” John Newman
“Ven. Geshe Lhundub Sopa Rinpoche, My Teacher,” George Propps
“A Privilege and an Immeasurable Gift,” Penny Paster
“Patience in Ascertaining the Truth,” Tenzin Dechen Rochard
“Praises for Our Perfect Teacher Geshe Lhundub Sopa Rinpoche,” Rodney Stevenson
For more, listen to Mandala Talk: An Interview with Paul Donnelly, editor of Like a Waking Dream
For more information on Deer Park Buddhist Center, please visit their webpage.
You can purchase Like a Waking Dream through the Foundation Store, which supports the charitable projects of FPMT.Tags: geshe lhundub sopa rinpoche