With Kyabjé Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche

With Kyabjé Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche

Cardiff, Wales – October 1988

This formal photograph of Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Kyabjé Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche shows them wearing Nyingma empowerment shawls. Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche wears the shawl of Nuden Dorje Dro’phang Lingpa which was designed for him by Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche. The Nuden Dorje shawl is white – with a red border. This type of shawl is common to the Nyingma ngak’phang tradition – but here, the red border is emblazoned with golden vajras. The green section of the shawl represents the activity of the changchubsempa (Byang chub sems dPa – Skt. Bodhisattva).

Ngak’chang Rinpoche’s shawl is an elaborate version of the common ngakpa shawl, used for giving empowerment. This shawl was made at the suggestion of Könchog Rinpoche, the Nyingma Lama under whom he studied and practised the sadhana of Dorje Tröllö. Khandro Déchen wore this shawl for a period of time. Ngak’chang Rinpoche—according to dreams of clarity—instructed that this empowerment shawl should have special embroidered sections added.

Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche is wearing the takdröl of the Khordong lineage – a silver reliquary surmounted by a skull and golden flames. This takdröl is a sacred relic of Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche’s lineage and is rarely seen. Ngak’chang Rinpoche wears a simple unornamented takdröl which was given to him initially by Lama Yeshé Dorje Rinpoche. Takdröl means ‘liberation on wearing’ and is an emblem worn by Nyingma ngak’phang Lamas.

In 1988—on Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche’s significant visit to Cardiff—this takdröl was again bestowed upon Ngak’chang Rinpoche during Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche’s Khordong empowerments of Tröma Nakmo, Seng-gé Dongma, and Dorje Tröllö. Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche had held the takdröl in his possession for the period of a week leading up to the empowerments and made the presentation as an act of inspiration for Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen’s students – and for the students of other Lamas in attendance. Several students of Chögyal Namkha’i Norbu Rinpoche came to attend Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche’s empowerments and teachings and it is remembered as an extremely happy time by all those who were fortunate enough to receive Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche’s blessing.