The work on the complete biography “The Lama of ManyLifetimes: Touching the Living
Heart of Garchen Rinpoche” began in February 2003 and is still in progress...
Hopefully, it will be completed one day, when the writer can, in part, fulfill the
heart advice of her Lama!
About the Project... The Project to record the Official Biography of His Eminence
Kyabje Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche began in February 2003. Kyabje Garchen Triptrul
Rinpoche granted unprecedented access to the intimate details of his life in a series
of interviews conducted by his disciple Sue-Sue Luu beginning in the winter of that
year until the present day. The archive of recordings has grown to about 180 hours
and is still expanding. It includes interviews with Garchen Rinpoche, his attendants,
students, and other Lamas, and are being used as supporting details for the writing.
Click here to meet Garchen Rinpoche. Click here to read Garchen Rinpoche’s brief
Garchen Rinpoche’s Biography will be published in three parts. Book ONE
(1937-1958), which covers the period from birth until the time he escaped from his
monastery, will be in print in December 2013. As samples of her writing, the author
has published Chapter One, Chapter TwoandChapter Nine of Book ONE; they are available
on this Project website.
Translations of the Biography into Chinese, French, Polish, Russian, Spanish
and Vietnamese are currently in progress. The Project eventually plans to publish
the archive of recordings, transcripts and photos in an interactive DVD.
The author is grateful for the love and sacrifice of her 83-year old mother Kim-Chau
Vu, husband Sy Luu, and children Oliver and Andre’, without which this Project would
be impossible. Special thanks go to the volunteers for assisting with transcribing,
editing, website development, translation, graphic design, photography, and to those
who have otherwise helped support the Project. In particular, she is indebted to
Bertrand Odelys and Donna DesJardins, her ‘karmic editors,’ and Kanaya Chevli, her
‘honorary Vietnamese’ Vajra brother, for their unfailing support, encouragement and
trust in the Project’s fruition. Click here for List of Acknowledgment
Hearts... In the summer of 2007, the author entered a month-long writing retreat
in a small hut that belonged to Traga Rinpoche at the Garchen Buddhist Institute
in Chino Valley, Arizona. During that time, Garchen Rinpoche was staying in the sacred
mountains of Lapchi, retreating and filming for the movie “For the Benefit of All
Beings.” It was exceptionally hot that summer in Chino Valley. Writing was difficult
and there were many writer’s blocks and moments of doubts. Every morning, the author
practiced Lama Chopa of Lord Jigten Sumgon, and every evening, she practiced Tara.
She supplicated that her heart would merge with her Lama’s heart... with Tara’s heart,
so that she could successfully transfer their limitless love into her writing. That
summer, there were hardly any drops of rain in Chino Valley but in Traga Rinpoche’s
little hut, tears from calling the lama from afar were abundant.... On July 12th,
the author met her ‘karmic’ editor, Bertrand Odelys, a French writer from a small
island called Mauritus, in the main temple of the center. Gazing into his eyes for
the first time in this life, she was close to tears for no reason, and suddenly developed
complete trust in this gray-haired stranger. The next day, Garchen Rinpoche returned
to the center from Lapchi, and on the morning of July 15th, he walked down to the
hut after breakfast to give a yellow blanket to the author, blowing blessings into
each of her palms. On July 23rd, as the author slowly made it up the trail to the
main temple, a thought swiftly came across her mind that she would receive some sign
to guide her on the journey to her Lama’s heart. At that very moment, she looked
down the trail, and saw a naturally-formed rock in the shape of a bleeding heart.
The author was overcome with joy. The whole night long, she fell asleep holding the
tiny rock tightly to her chest... On August 9th, the author was trekking up the same
path to the main temple. The sun was intensively scorching and right at the place
where she had leaned down to pick up the bleeding heart, she incidentally eyed upon
another rock, which was in the shape of a perfect heart, clean and smooth-edged...
By the end of the Summer teachings, the author brought Bertrand over to the stupa
one afternoon to introduce the new editor to her Lama. Not knowing that it was supposed
to be Garchen Rinpoche’s rest time, she walked into the stupa with Bertrand, Sy
and a Khenpo friend as her translator. Sitting down next to her Lama, she began
to talk. “Rinpoche-la,” she said, “I want to show you something. Please look at these
two rocks that I found.” As if something inside her own heart was being unlocked,
the author began to weep, like a well overflowing with an ocean of raindrops from
the sky. The very instance Garchen Rinpoche gazed at the two rocks that were placed
one on top of the other in the middle of the author’s palm, he gently picked up
the smaller one and put it right beneath the larger one. The Lama did not say a word,
for there was no need for any explanation. He immediately recognized upon seeing
that it was unerringly as such. To the author’s greatest amazement, the two hearts
interlocked, like two pieces of a puzzle... Then, slowly, Garchen Rinpoche turned
the two rocks upside down. He pointed to the back side of the hearts and said, “Look.
Same-same. This is my heart. This is yours.” The front of both rocks bore little
resemblance to each other. The larger one looked almost flawless; the smaller one
was imperfect and full of scars. Yet one could clearly see that the back of the rocks
resembled the “interior” of two hearts with similar-looking shapes and pulmonary
arteries. They looked un-blemished and almost identical...
If you wish to see the two heart-shaped rocks, please don’t hesitate to ask Sue-Sue
the next time your path crosses hers.
Click here to meet Author Sue-Sue Luu . Click here to support the
Back of hearts - Photo: Amy Conner (2007)
Front of hearts - Photo: Amy Conner (2007)
Sue-Sue & Garchen R- Photo: Lee Lin (2007)
Back o f hearts - Photo: Sue-Sue Luu (2011)
Front of hearts - Photo: Sue-Sue Luu (2011)
And to all of Garchen Rinpoche’s disciples – my Vajra brothers and sisters, as we
are traveling together on this journey to Rinpoche’s living heart, please know that
this Writing Project is only a manifestation of your own love and devotion to our
guru and his teachings. May we all awaken to the power of inexhaustible compassion
and mind of enlightenment at the end of our journey... And by the virtue of this
writing and our collective spiritual quest, may all beings swiftly be brought on
the Path and attain perfect liberation. From the very depth of my heart, with folded
Garchen Rinpoche’s name written in Tibetan script - Photo: Kathy Lambert (2005)