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Taming the Elephant Mind


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Lama Choedak Rinpoche was born in the yak hair tent of a nomad family on the Tibetan plateau in 1954, growing up in Nepal as a refugee where he took ordination as a monk while still attending high school. As a novice monk Lama Choedak was accepted by the great Tibetan master His Eminence Choegye Trichen (1920-2007) in Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of the Buddha. Rinpoche proved to be a particularly bright student, completing twelve years of rigorous monastic training including a traditional three-and-a-half year solitary meditation retreat. Lama Choedak encountered many pilgrims visiting Lumbini showing a flare for English. He was encouraged by Lama Yeshe to help bring Buddhism to the West settling in Canberra to study at the Australian National University. Being a qualified Tibetan lama Rinpoche caught the attention of the few Canberrans interested in Tibetan Buddhism. In 1989, Sakya Losal Choe Dzong (SLCD) - the Tibetan Buddhist Society of Canberra - was officially launched and blessed by His Holiness Sakya Trizin in Canberra. In 1996, His Eminence Chogye Trichen came to Australia and launched Rongton Buddhist College at Evatt, ACT. Rinpoche promotes the benefits of Calm Abiding Meditation as a secular mindfulness technique, as well as recognising the importance of its Buddhist origins. Since 1996, he has been conducting 8-week meditation courses each term and annual 10-day residential retreat at SIBA Retreat Centre in East Gippsland Victoria, which have become some of the most popular events on the Australian Buddhist calendar. Rinpoche has been conducting Buddhist philosophy classes for more than fifteen years on a vast range of subjects and has published several books on the subjects of Buddhist philosophy and Tibetan history. He promotes the Vajrayana Buddhist meditation practices of the Sakya Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, including Ngondro, White Tara and Medicine Buddha. His Eminence Choegye Trichen regarded Lama Choedak as his heart son. In 2001, in recognition of his great contribution to the propagation of Buddhadharma in the West, and in particular the promotion of the Tsarpa tradition of the Sakya Lineage, His Eminence bestowed on him the title Tsarpa Lochen Lama Choedak Rinpoche meaning Great Translator of the Tsarpa Tradition. Lama Choedak Rinpoche is a popular guest speaker and a regular participant on discussion panels during the visits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Australia. Excerpts from his public talks around Australia have been compiled into his bestselling book, Healing Relationships. Other books by Lama Choedak Yuthok include Original Virtue and Lamdre - Dawn of Enlightenment. Sakya Losal Choe Dzong - the Tibetan Buddhist Society of Canberra - has grown to become one of the most established Tibetan Buddhist centres in Australia with two residential retreat centres and over a dozen sister centres. Most weekends, Rinpoche conducts residential meditation retreats, workshops and public talks at the invitation of Buddhist centres throughout Australia and New Zealand, including the SIBA Retreat Centre in East Gippsland, Victoria. Lama Choedak Rinpoche's profound explanation of meditation and its everyday relevance is renowned for its lucidity, authenticity and humour. His teachings are offered from the heart, and spiced with the richness of his experience, dedication and realisation.

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