Seattle Buddhist teacher and leader Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche opened his “Rebel Buddha” book tour at New York’s Cooper Union Great Hall. The daylong gathering featured Dzogchen Ponlop along with other leaders of what Dzogchen Ponlop is now labeling “American Buddhism.” His book “Rebel Buddha, On the Road to Freedom” was recently released by Shambala Publications, and Dzogchen Ponlop was quick to acknowledge his ordinariness at the event when he said,
“I am simply one CEO in a chain of monastery CEOs. More importantly, I am a basic human being with a sense of rebelliousness.”
That “chain of CEO’s” is actually the long lineage of reincarnated lamas dating back 2,600 years to the time of the Buddha, and Dzogchen Ponlop’s current “monastery” is a global community of Buddhist practitioners, many of whom have requested to be his personal students and been accepted by this teacher and leader.
“Rebel Buddha, On the Road to Freedom” provides average Westerners with a window into what he labels American Buddhism. That book is a seminal, yet simple opening to ancient wisdom in which he boils down Buddhist wisdom into simple concepts and actions that anyone can practice and benefit from.
During his presentation in New York, Dzogchen Ponlop shared his vision of rebel buddha when he said,
“Expressions of intelligence and love are what I mean by rebel. The true attribute of rebellion has the quality of openness to it. It has a sense of freedom and awakening. We must know our minds very well to do that.”
Concluding his presentation, Dzogchen Ponlop chided the audience when he said,
“Rebel buddha is not a person. It’s the innate genuine heart of compassion and wisdom, the wonderful spark in our own hearts. So, let’s be rebels!”
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is a widely respected teacher known for his skill in making the full richness of Buddhist wisdom accessible to modern minds. “Rebel Buddha” is the focus of his Rebel Buddha North American Tour, which moves on to Halifax, Toronto, and Boulder before concluding in Seattle on Dec. 5.
This will be a rare and unique opportunity to experience and be with Dzogchen Ponlop as well as other renowned spiritual teachers. Renowned author and teacher Andrew Holecek recently said about the book,
“Rebel Buddha is the book that every Buddhist should give their non-Buddhist friends who are interested in understanding Buddhism. It is also the book that non-Buddhist should give their Buddhist friends to remind them of the true nature of their Buddhist practice and path.”
May all beings find that spark of rebellion that awakens them to their true nature and the interdependence we all share.