Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920 – 1996) was widely acknowledged as one of the great meditation masters of modern times. Leaving Tibet in the face of the Chinese invasion in 1959, he settled in the hermitage of Nagi Gompa, on the northern slopes of Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley. Here he lived quietly as a true Dzogchen yogi, visited by a steady stream of scholars, students, and practitioners from around the world. Throughout the course of his life he spent more than 20 years in meditation retreat.
Tulku Urgyen was famed for his profound meditative realization and for the concise, lucid and humorous style with which he imparted the essence of the Dzogchen teachings. His method of teaching was ‘instruction through one’s own experience.’ Using few words, this way of teaching points out the nature of mind, revealing a natural simplicity of wakefulness that enables the student to actually touch the heart of the Buddha’s Wisdom Mind.
Tulku Urgyen’s startlingly clear teachings have been captured in several books, including Rainbow Painting, Repeating the Words of the Buddha, Vajra Speech, and As It Is. He had many foreign students, and was keenly interested in the expansion of the Dharma to the West. It was his wish for a North American seat that motivated his eldest son, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, to found Gomde in 1998.
His life and times are documented in the book Blazing Splendor (Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2005).