This photograph shows Ngala Nor’dzin at Southerndown Beach in South Wales in the Spring of 1984, with Kyabjé ’Khordong gTérchen Tulku Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche and Ngak’chang Rinpoche.
At that time, the Cardiff Vajrayana Meditation Group was in its infancy, with about a dozen people meeting every week to practice Seven Line Song (dorje tsig dün – rDo rJe tshig bDun); vajraguru mantra (Dorje Lopön Ngak / rDor rJe sLob dPon sNgags); and Four Naljor silent sitting practice with Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen.
Most of the people who attended this picnic on the beach with Kyabjé Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche, had little understanding of the rare and precious opportunity it afforded. It was an extraordinary event. Throughout the morning preparations for the picnic it rained heavily.
Most of Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen’s
apprentices wondered why we were
continuing to make preparations for a beach picnic when the rain was heavy and
looked settled in for the day, and a picnic on the beach seemed highly unlikely.
They asked Ngak’chang Rinpoche about this and he replied that it was not really
a question that had occurred to him – but that unless Kyabjé Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin
Rinpoche decided to call a halt to proceedings – he was happy to drive to the
coast. Ngak’chang Rinpoche pointed out that Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche would be
as aware of the rain as they were. Ngak’chang Rinpoche grinned when he said this
and reminded the apprentices that Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche was well know for
his powers with regard to the weather.
The rain during the thirty minute drive to Southerndown beach was
torrential. The windscreen wipers were on their fastest setting and visibility
was still poor. Ngak’chang Rinpoche was asked whether he could see the road and
replied that—yes—he could almost see it.
Arriving in the car park on the seafront, Ngala Nor’dzin and Ngala ’ö-Dzin helped unpack the car under the shelter of raincoats and large umbrellas. Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen arrived a few minutes later with Kyabjé Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche. It was still raining hard as the car descended the hill but the moment Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche stepped out of the car it stopped raining.
Ngala Nor’dzin continues:
It was as if a
switch had been flicked. As we made our way down to the beach not only did the
rain stop, but the sun came out – and by the time we had reached the place
Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche chose for the picnic, the sun was really quite hot.
We spent the most wonderfully pleasant afternoon with Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin
Rinpoche, enjoying our picnic and receiving transmission through simply being in
Ngala ’ö-Dzin continues:
The sun even shone
throughout the picnic, but all too soon it was time to pack things up and return
to Cardiff. We arrived back at the car park, and the moment Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin
Rinpoche stepped into the car Ngak’chang Rinpoche had borrowed for the occasion,
it began to rain again. We finished packing the cars under umbrellas, and it
rained torrentially all the way home.
Southerndown beach is an extremely popular beach and busy in the summer – yet the presence of Kyabjé Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche remains. Ngala Nor’dzin and Ngala ’ö-Dzin often go there with their apprentices at the end of a retreat, and find it to be a place where transmission naturally occurs. There is a tradition which dates back to that time, of painting mantras on stones and leaving them at Southerndown – then every time a visit is made the painted stones are left and new stones are collected to continue the tradition.