Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche Accepts Wisdom Award

Wisdom Award croppedGeshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, founder and spiritual director of Ligmincha Institute, received the second annual Wisdom Fellowship award from the Sacred Fire Foundation on Aug. 17. The award honors and supports elders around the world who have dedicated their lives to bringing wisdom, leadership and learning to their communities and their peoples.

Rinpoche was recognized for the important work he continues to do to keep the Tibetan Bon Buddhist tradition alive in the world. The award was presented at the Sacred Fire Foundation’s Ancient Wisdom Rising, a weekend of teachings, stories and ceremonies to connect participants with nature and spirit, at Blue Deer Center near Margaretville, N.Y.

“We are giving out our second Wisdom Fellowship award this year to Rinpoche because we believe that the ever-important work he continues to do for his people, and for the people of the world, is of vital importance and sets the high standard we seek to honor and to promote with this Fellowship program,” said Sofia Arroyo, Grants and Partners Director.

Recognized as one of the first to bring the Bon Buddhist teachings to the West, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is an acclaimed author and highly respected and beloved teacher of the Bon tradition for students throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe. He is renowned for his depth of wisdom; his clear, engaging teaching style; and his ability to make the ancient Tibetan teachings highly accessible and relevant to the lives of Westerners.

Arroyo noted that Rinpoche continues his dedicated efforts preserve the Bon Buddhist tradition through establishing centers and groups worldwide, through translating and publishing texts, and through teaching Bon as an authentic, living tradition to Western students around the world.”

In accepting the award, Rinpoche said, “It is very important what you are doing. As far as people who are interested in learning, it’s a nice way of coming to one place and hearing about many different traditions together.” He added, “In the world, we need more openness and collaboration among different spiritual traditions and elders. The Sacred Fire Foundation is a unique place bringing elders together to share their wisdom traditions.”

The Sacred Fire Foundation, with headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., supports initiatives that help people discover the sacred, interconnected nature of life, a perspective held by indigenous peoples and spiritual traditions everywhere. The 2012 Wisdom Fellowship Award recipient was Oren R. Lyons, a traditional faith keeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation who sits on the Onondaga Council of Chiefs.