Rinpoche’s Lecture Series for Tulkus and Khenpos
March 27 through April 4, 2018
The power of materialism meets the power of the dharma: Recently in Bir, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and guest experts lead 54 khenpos, tulkus, and monks through an intensive 9-day course on the importance and the challenges of teaching Buddhism in modern times. Rinpoche referred to the exercise as “rebranding” the dharma. The audience was very engaged and the talks were punctuated by lots of uproarious laughter at images such as a thangka painting of the Incredible Hulk and a video of Tibetan monks break dancing to rap music in New York City.
Rinpoche started the teachings with two days of lectures in Tibetan. The first day’s lecture covered modernization, westernization, and the differences between the two. The second day’s lecture introduced the concept and importance of branding, which two experts who focus on luxury branding expanded upon over the following three days.
“The way the facilitators presented and articulated something that is so foreign to these khenpos, in itself, has so much value,” Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche said. “And then the content is really about the power of materialism. We are supposedly spiritual, and now we see how materialism is taking over. It is because the facilitators really know how to do branding; it’s like really learning that craft. I think to know this thoroughly is really difficult, but that is also not the point. At least the khenpos now have had a glimpse of it.”
The final four days of lectures were again lead by Rinpoche in Tibetan and covered the importance of teachers knowing their audience and the history, mindsets, and assumptions of those they teach concluding with two days of “teaching tips,” including what works, what doesn’t work, and why cultural cues matter.
Khangsar Shabdrung Rinpoche said of the workshop, “A few months ago, I heard about this workshop and that it will be led by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche himself. Immediately, I felt that I must attend the workshop because I consider Rinpoche to be someone who has a very unique mind and someone who is always worried for the Dharma. Not only did Rinpoche himself make presentations, he invited learned personalities, who shared their knowledge about what goes into branding. I learned more then I thought; especially I got many lessons of how to hold and propagate the Buddhadharma in future. I will try to use the lessons that I have learned here when I will be involved in various activities. I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Kyabje Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, the presenters, and the organisers.”