Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche returns to Steamboat
Steamboat Springs — His Holiness Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche has traveled to the United States only twice from his home in Bhutan, and both times he came to Steamboat Springs.
Rinpoche, whose seniority is similar to a cardinal in the Catholic Church, will be in Steamboat throughout the weekend hosting retreats, teachings and two public events.
The first event is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. today at Olympian Hall and features a talk titled “Compassion in Difficult Times.”
The second is from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, during which Rinpoche will offer a blessing of Green Tara Empowerment, which represents peace and protection.
Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs spiritual leader Tim Olmsted said Rinpoche’s warm presence will be felt throughout the community.
“I think it’s just to be able to just witness and get a feel for someone who has gone along the spiritual path to the degree he has,” Olmsted said. “We don’t feel this is unique or particular to Buddhism at all.”
Olmsted said that while the Buddhist community in town will enjoy retreats and Buddhist teachings with Rinpoche, the public events will have a broad appeal, focusing on the principles of kindness and compassion.
“The way we do it is to recognize that all of us want the same thing,” Olmsted said. “All of us want to be happy and to treat each other and ourselves in that way. It could be shorthanded in to the golden rule.
“This is why I love it so much. Not because it’s Buddhist but because it’s universal.”
George Danellis, president of the Buddhist Center council, said he saw Rinpoche during the 2007 visit and called the experience “profound.”
“With a teacher like this, it’s possible to gain a lot in a little bit of time,” he said. “ His teachings go direct to the heart of what we know to be the case within us already.”
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The 20th anniversary season of Opera Steamboat will kick off this month with a new series, the “Variations Piano Series,” bringing world-class pianists from across the country to Steamboat Springs.