Vajracharya Ven. Peling Tulku Rinpoche was born in Havana, Cuba of German and Spanish parents on August 2, 1938. He arrived in Canada in January of 1959 after the Cuban Revolution. A life long student and practitioner of the Dharma, Rinpoche was given Bhikkshu ordination and the name Lama Karma Jetsun Dorjechang Jamgon Jampa Rabjam Tenzin Dorje in 1977 by His Holiness Karmapa XVI. His Holiness also recognized Rinpoche as the mind emanation of Padma Lingpa and the activity emanation of Karma Lingpa during a visit to his Toronto centre in 1980.
After teaching the Dharma in Toronto for many years, he founded Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong Temple and Retreat in 1984, near Madoc, Ontario, on the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava. Rinpoche never advertised teachings or promoted himself and did not allow his students to do so. He spent most of his time either in retreat or teaching his students, each of whom has an unusual story to tell of how they first met him and connected with the Dharma.
Rinpoche met His Holiness Penor Rinpoche in 1985 at Ven. Gyaltrul Rinpoche’s centre, Tashi Choling, in Oregon. He felt immediate and very profound devotion towards His Holiness and from then on regarded him as his Root Lama. Rinpoche invited His Holiness to Canada in 1988 to bestow the Longchen Nying Thig and the Zab Mo Yang Thig as well as to bless the temple and its lands. During this visit, Rinpoche requested to make the centre Palyul, which His Holiness graciously agreed to and made the centre his official seat in Canada.
In 1997 Rinpoche invited His Holiness to give the wangchen of Guhya Garbha, and in 2000 to give Ratnalingpa’s Vajrakilaya and the Nying Thig Yab Zhi. His Holiness gave Rinpoche the title of Vajracharya in 1995 in recognition of his spiritual attainments and abilities. In 2001 he enthroned Rinpoche as the mind emanation of Padma Lingpa and the activity emanation of Karma Lingpa and gave him the name Peling Tulku Rinpoche. He was the highest tulku ever recognized in a western birth.
Rinpoche received extensive teachings from the major lineage holders of the Nyingma, Kagyu and Sakya schools, and in particular, he received the Nam Cho, Long Chen Nying Thig and Nying Thig Yab Zhi, the Nyingma Kama and the Rinchen Terdzod from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. Rinpoche spent many years in retreat practicing Ati Yoga (Dzog Chen), Mahamudra and different traditions of the six yogas. Throughout his life he spent most of his time in retreat. He was well known as a very pure lama who showed great compassion for all beings. An accomplished Dzog Chen teacher, he was able to make the dharma arise as an actual experience within the minds of his students.
Rinpoche’s health had been deteriorating for several years due to diabetes and advanced congestive heart failure. Though his life was made very difficult from the effects of these illnesses, his thoughts were always of the welfare of those in his spiritual care, never for his own comfort. His courage in the face of adversity was matchless and a tremendous inspiration to his students. On the day he passed away he mentioned that he had been having mild chest pain for a while then peacefully laid back on his bed and was gone, having suffered a heart attack. Rinpoche entered his final meditation exactly 49 days after His Holiness Penor Rinpoche ‘s tugdam (final meditation) ended. At the exact time of his passing, there was a tremendous wind through all of Southern Ontario, even though the sky was cloudless. On the day his tug.dam ended, a bolt of lightening passed through the temple, entering through a south window and leaving through a north window, harming nothing. As Rinpoche was well known to have the ability to affect the weather since childhood, these were seen by all his students as very obvious signs of his powerful blessings. His loving, smiling face and warm, wise and compassionate heart will be sorely missed by all of his students and those whose lives he touched. Rinpoche designated his Heart Son Ven. Lama Jigme Chokyi Lodro as his Dharma Heir who will now be responsible for managing the temple and retreat and continuing his life’s work.