Lama Shenpen’s husband and teacher Rigdzin Shikpo Rinpoche has passed away (1935-2023)
Rigdzin Shikpo passed away at about 8pm on Friday 28th April. He just suddenly had cardiac arrest and the paramedics couldn’t save him.
That night we made offerings to the stupa and offering the lights to the stupa, with prayers such as the Seven Line Prayer to Guru Rinpoche, Guru Rinpoche songs and the Samantabhadracharyapranidhana.
We also did simply formless meditation, understanding this as a practice of guru yoga, recognizing that all our meditation and practice unites us with the heart and mind of the Guru.
This is the best way to practice at a time like this, to think of all our practice very strongly as strengthening our samaya connection with Rigdzin Shikpo Rinpoche.
We will now sing the long life prayer to Rigdzin Shikpo (slightly amended) before and after each of our sessions for the next seven weeks:
Guru Rigdzin Shikpo, Precious Teacher
Who expresses the Vastness and Depth of Mahayana Maha-Ati,
The inseparability of Guru Padmakara and Buddha Shakyamuni,
Please grant us the Dharma we can live and die by.
May our hearts remain as one, Your intention realized,
May the vision of Lord Longchenpa be fulfilled.
It’s very appropriate for us to be practicing together at this time after Rigdzin Shikpo’s passing away.
Lama Shenpen Hookham
A brief biography edited from Keeping the Dalai Lama Waiting & Other Stories:
Lama Rigdzin Shikpo (1935-2023), born Michael Hookham, was an early student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in the UK. Trungpa Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche both affirmed his experience and realisation of Dzogchen and encouraged him to teach. Trungpa Rinpoche and Khyentse Rinpoche appointed him as the director of the Longchen Foundation. We married in 1972 and worked together in teaching our students for a number of years until I set up the Awakened Heart Sangha. He continued to be one of my main teachers and often taught my students too.
Members of the Awakened Heart Sangha take part in various practice sessions together online and in person. To find out more about joining Lama Shenpen’s community of students visit www.ahs.org.uk/training