Poetry in Performance
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
8:00 PM–9:30 PM Free
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche (pictured) was one of the first lamas to bring the Tibetan Bön Buddhist teachings to the West. He has since returned as a pilgrim to Tibet and the ancient Bön kingdom of Zhang Zhung.
The award-winning poet Eliza Griswold is the author of The Tenth Parallel, which explores the knife-edge where Islam and Christianity meet.
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche was one of the first lamas to bring the Tibetan Bön Buddhist teachings to the West. He has since returned as a pilgrim to Tibet and the ancient Bön kingdom of Zhang Zhung.
The founding spiritual director of Ligmincha Institute, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche was recognized as the reincarnation of the famous master Khung Tul Rinpoche, a great meditator and scholar, and he has studied and practiced dzogchen (the Great Perfection) since the age of 13. An accomplished scholar in the Bön Buddhist textual traditions of philosophy, exegesis, and debate, he completed an eleven-year course of traditional studies at the Bönpo Monastic Center (Menri Monastery) in India, where he received his geshe degree.
Upon graduation in 1986, Tenzin Rinpoche was employed at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives at Dharamsala, India. That same year he was appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to be the representative of the Bön school to the assembly of deputies of the government in exile. Fluent in English, Tenzin Rinpoche is known for his clear, lively, and insightful teaching style – and his ability to make Tibetan practices easily accessible to the Western student.
He has been awarded a Rockefeller fellowship for his work in the West, along with a grant from the National Endowment for Humanities related to his research on the logical and philosophical aspects of the Bön tradition. A prolific author, Tenzin Rinpoche has written numerous books and is featured in the monthly column in Buddhadharma, Ask the Teacher.
Eliza Griswold received a 2010 Rome Prize from The American Academy in Rome. Having won awards for both her non-fiction and her poems, she is currently a fellow at the New America Foundation. A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, she reports on religion, conflict and human rights. Her first book of poems, Wideawake Field, was published in 2007 by Farrar Straus Giroux and The Tenth Parallel, an examination of Christianity and Islam in Africa and Asia, appears in paperback this summer. To explore the knife-edge where Islam and Christianity meet, Eliza Griswold has spent much of the past seven years traveling in Africa and Asia between the equator and the line of latitude seven hundred miles to the north, the tenth parallel. Through a series of unforgettable characters and their lives of deep faith, in The Tenth Parallel she tells the fifteen-hundred year story of how these two great faiths have come to intersect-and interact. She concludes that the most important forces shaping the future of the world’s religions are those contests unfolding inside of Christianity and Islam, not between them. She shows us that religion, like the weather, links us to each other whether we like it or not. Her reportage and poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, Harpers, The New Republic, among many others.