Kalu Rinpoche


Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche
By Claudine Marchand


In front of the center Karma Ling a small group of monks is slowly advancing, dressed in yellow-gold and burgundy robes. Immediately my eyes are caught by a frail figure of extraordinary transparency. I do not know by what miracle this man is standing upright, as even his skeleton seems to consist of pure air. He almost disappears under the huge suspended gong. Only the intense radiation of his presence is filling the space around him.

This is how I met Kalu Rinpoche for the first time and followed his teachings until his transition. Thanks to him and his writings I discovered the Rimay, a Tibetan word meaning "open, unbiased" that refers to a vision of unity in diversity, understanding and communicating the fundamental unity of the waking experience in the diversity of its expressions. This vision, at the heart of the exceptional master Jamgön Kontrul Rinpoche’s (1813-1899) activity, was introduced to the West by Kalu Rinpoche. The commitment to interreligious dialogue is continued by Lama Denys, head of Karma Ling, a study center and monastery in Savoy.

Kalu Rinpoche, (1904-1989) had recognized similarities between buddhisme and the non-theistic philosophies of Taoism and Shintoism. He met Pope Paul VI and visited in Israel the sacred sites of the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This network of listening and caring relationships between the various religions and cultural visions could be helpful today in supporting the development of an ethical society with an open, welcoming heart.