The Passing of Lama Rigdzin Shikpo Rinpoche

Lama Shenpen, Lama Rigdzin Shikpo Rinpoche & Lama Phuntsok at the Stupa consecration ceremony at the Hermitage of the Awakened Heart, North Wales, 2011

Lama Shenpen’s husband and teacher Rigdzin Shikpo Rinpoche has passed away (1935-2023)

Lama Shenpen:

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

5 thoughts on “The Passing of Lama Rigdzin Shikpo Rinpoche

  1. My best wishes to Lama Shenpen now and always.
    Love from Angela x

  2. My love and warm wishes to Lama Shenpen, with whom my thoughts and prayers will be xxx Judith Mennell

  3. Dear Lama or more appropriately Shikmo, it was wonderful to read your account of Rigdzin Shikpos three year retreat. Very real and one almost felt you were in the house with you and him, with an almost electric atmosphere of the transformation that was taking place. Thank you. I listened to the previous dharma talk that he gave and in reality felt very touched. I felt asif this ‘came from the centre’ and value it greatly and have kept the notes that I made while he was talking.

    Unfortunately I missed his talk last year (Australia time) and wondered if I could have a recording of it. This would mean so much to me. Both you and he have been guiding lights for many years.
    Thanks again
    My email is

    1. Dear Jacques, many thanks for your comment on this post, much appreciated!
      With regard to your request for a recording of Rinpoche’s teaching, I’m afraid we can’t help with that. Lama Rigdzin Shikpo Rinpoche’s sangha The Longchen Foundation – – were responsible for supporting his activity, so you may find out more from there.
      Best wishes
      Site Admin

  4. I’m no longer a Buddhist, but I still value what I learned from Rigdzin Shikpo and Shenpen, and from my involvement with the group. Best wishes to all of you.

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