"Journey to Nyenlung" was full of surprises and ended with success in all matters...except getting to Nyenlung! Please let me explain.
Arriving in Chengdu, I learned that Tulku Lhaksam, Namtrul Rinpoche's son and the head of Nyenlung, was in Chengdu, not Nyenlung. I was fortunate to find a phone number and receive an appointment to meet Rinpoche at 8AM the following morning at his home. With the help of GPS and my local guide, I arrived in the area a bit early and was told at the gate of his apartment complex that, "Yes, there's a living buddha on the third floor." Don't you just love that expression?
So, I meet Tulku Lhaksam, his wife, his son (Yangsi Namtrul Rinpoche) and a look-alike Tare Lhamo. It was a lot to take in but after brief introductions and lots of smiles, we got to the heart of the matter—the reading transmissions I requested from the treasure corpus of Namtrul Rinpoche, Tare Lhamo, and Tare Lhamo's father, Apang Terton. Waiting in the courtyard for the clock to strike 8AM, I thought to select a few short texts in case Tulku wanted something specific. I passed my laptop to Rinpoche and received the transmissions for these texts as well as permission to read all thirty volumes. Rinpoche graciously invited us to stay at Nyenlung or at the Nyenlung hotel in Serta and said he would arrange for me to have the thirty volumes.
After I presented your offerings to Rinpoche with five katas of the five colors, I asked him if I could be of service. He said I could help by letting people in the West know about Tare Lhamo. He also invited me to contact him whenever I came back to Chengdu or Golok.
So everything was perfect but two days later, when we arrived at the border crossing for Serta County where Nyenlung is located, we discovered that it had closed that very day! Fortunately, the family home of my guide and driver was fairly close and we were invited to stay with their parents instead of a hotel.
After resting for a day, we tried again to enter Serta through another crossing but it was also closed. I called Tulku Lhaksam and he immediately arranged for someone from Nyenlung to bring the books to the border crossing. I was within 15 km of Nyenlung but the light was red!
Within an hour, Lama Rinchen appeared. He proceeded to give me all thirty books, lama photos, DVDs, and precious amrita and blessing cords from the masters. It was rather like being in a movie scene where dangerous exchanges happen at border crossings! I was so happy to get the books.I exchanged contact info with Lama Rinchen, took pictures and parted ways with the hope of making it all the way to Nyenlung next time.
Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo