Today, rather than giving the continuation of the “walk to the Gongpa zangthal,” I would like to report, in bulk, some “sayings” of Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche, most of which, as far as I remember, are from that time of the very early 1990s.
I had always known Rinpoche with a young German woman, Gudrun Knausenberger, one of the three persons he would eventually entrust the responsibility for his tradition in Europe. The day he gave me the volumes of the Gongpa Zangthal, I found him, at Mr. Jean-Louis Massoubre’s house, Rue Mesnil in Paris, sitting on his bed, placed at the head of two other beds where Gudrun was sitting on one side, and another young woman, also blonde and German, on the other.
I believe that, which happened very rarely, he addressed me in Tibetan, saying:
“This is my new girlfriend, how do you like her?
-She is very pretty, Rinpoche,”
I answered in Tibetan, embarrassed by this question in front of Gudrun.
He then turned to Gudrun and, in English, in a horribly wheezy voice, said:
“HE FINDSSSSS HER PRETTY! ”
I can’t imagine how offensive this must have been to Gudrun, even though she must have been used to this kind of outburst from Rinpoche. I don’t think she ever had much of an affinity with me, in those times – now we are good friends; it was especially after Rinpoche’s death that things started to flow better between us; anyway, I think it is not that day that I won her friendship.
“C. R. Lama” then turned to me and, referring to a young woman with whom he had seen me the previous time, perhaps in 1992, he asked:
“What about you, where is your girlfriend?
- It’s over, Rinpoche.
- Haha, I am old and crippled and I have two, and you who are young and healthy, you don’t even have one.”
Before I left for Nepal (in the hope of getting to meet Nyoshül Khenpo in Bhutan ), I had actually confided to him my idea of taking the vows of Buddhist religious. He gave me this answer which expresses rather well the bottom of his thought on the monks:
“What is better, having sex with women or having sex with men?”
A question that, of course, did not require an answer.
A friend of mine told me about an exchange with Rinpoche, which is quite typical of what he was capable of on the same kind of subjects. One day this young lady, whom I will call M., came to Rinpoche and said:
“- Rinpoche, I am having difficulties in my dream yoga practice.”
To which he replied:
“- If you spend just one night with me, all your obstacles will be removed.”
This was a woman who was not a stutterer, far from it, and of whom, later, I heard C.R.R. say: “M. too much sex having,” not as a moral judgment but simply to give the cause of her health issues. But (she told me) she was completely taken aback by this unexpected proposal, especially because of Rinpoche’s age, his status as a spiritual master, and his rather unkempt physical appearance (to give just one example, I remember hearing Gudrun reproach him for never brushing his teeth, and he replied, “you should have just not insisted that I wear dentures”).
But, after months of cogitation, overcoming all her repugnance, she came back to him and told him that, if she had to, she was ready.
“But, M.,” he replied, “I WAS JUST KIDDING!”
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