Domo Geshe Rinpoche is a reincarnate Lama of the Geluk tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The Domo Geshe Rinpoche lineage includes Je Pabongka Rinpoche, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and the great Geshe Jampa Chombe. As a reincarnate, Rinpoche has accomplished extensive training and retreats in the traditional manner. Rinpoche's current incarnation has been teaching in the United States for a number of years, held numerous retreats and given other spiritual training from the Geluk and tantric lineage.
The current Western incarnation of Domo Geshe Rinpoche arrived through rare and powerful tantric methods in order to transmit the authentic Dharma to students in the Western cultural context. This incarnation is considered unusual in that she has arisen in the form of an adult, a Westerner, and female.
Much of the information regarding the previous incarnations of Domo Geshe Rinpoche was lost in the invasion of Tibet in 1959. Efforts have been made by many individuals to piece together information from various sources in order to preserve the history of the previous incarnations. Much of it was compiled by Dr Ursula Bernis from about 1988-1994.
The effort to preserve the history of the Domo Geshe Rinpoche incarnations continues with the archiving of photographs and events. Many miracles and wonders associated with the Domo Geshe Rinpoche lineage have occured since arising in this incarnation.
Rinpoche is able to bring the Tantric and Mahayana traditions into sharp focus with a rich array of techniques. Teaching methods are selected according to the needs of the students, and all serious practitioners are given equal opportunities according to their abilities and needs. This extends to the monastery, which houses both male and female monastics in separate quarters. Monastic teachings are disseminated to ordained male and female practitioners equally, and individual guidance is provided to each on an ongoing basis.
The rapid development of inexperienced Buddhist seekers into strong practitioners is a testament to the abilities of Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s ninth incarnation. May Rinpoche live a very long time, may the teachings remain pure, and may her work be instantly and joyfully accomplished.
Staying true to the forward thinking of the Domo Geshe lineage, Rinpoche uses various online media to make the Dharma available to a global audience for free:
Domo Geshe Rinpoche's Dharma articles
Domo Geshe Rinpoche's Dharma quotes
Domo Geshe Rinpoche's Teachings Podcast
Domo Geshe Rinpoche on Facebook
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Domo Geshe Rinpoche on YouTube
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Hermitage Buddhist Publishing
Publishing Domo Geshe Rinpoche's books
White Conch Store
Offering hundreds of Rinpoche's recorded teachings in CD, DVD and MP3 formats
Domo Geshe Rinpoche - An Open Letter from White Conch
We at White Conch Dharma Center have a responsibility to protect and uphold the Dharma. It has become clear that this responsibility includes addressing attempts to discredit Domo Geshe Rinpoche and her teachings. Rinpoche has continued to gain students around the world. With that renown has come detractors, whose false and skewed statements regarding Rinpoche can result in confusion for those who are new or do not know Rinpoche well. Out of respect for both Rinpoche and all those who will benefit from her work, we would offer this information to represent our understanding of what has transpired and what we believe to be the truth.
We are well aware of messages and websites on the Internet that seek to discredit Rinpoche’s authenticity and convince the public that she or White Conch is fraudulently seeking fame, power and wealth. In fact, Rinpoche lives a very simple personal life and does not accumulate wealth. She drives a 1999 Chevrolet. The Hermitage in Central Wisconsin is a modest farmhouse purchased for less than the price of a new car. Recycling and sustainability are key elements of daily life. Rinpoche generously uses donations to fund projects such as new retreat rooms and spreading the dharma. Her nature is kind. She does not have bad habits. Rinpoche is often observed to be in prayer, and works both day and night, guiding her many students.
Since the most pressing claim made against Rinpoche is that she is not the “authentic” reincarnation of Domo Geshe Rinpoche, we will outline the method of her reincarnation, the traditional recognition process, and some of the dynamics involved so that you can carefully discern what is authentic.
Transference of Consciousness. In brief, Rinpoche's previous incarnation, Domo Geshe Rinpoche, performed a ritual of transfer of consciousness; in Tibetan this is called drong juk. Though rarely done, this form of reincarnation is recognized and has been performed in the past by high lamas. In recent interviews, in fact, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has alluded to the possibility of choosing an adult successor, perhaps even a female form, to continue his work, implying a similar process is under consideration. “…what is crucial is the capacity of incarnate lamas to transfer their soul/consciousness through the womb,” Dr Sangay wrote. “[T]he same spiritual mystical capacity could be utilized to transfer the soul/consciousness to an adult of the lama’s own choosing.” (Quote from LiveMint.com, partner of Wall Street Journal)
One reason for Rinpoche’s unusual method of reincarnation was the immense work to be done in the West; Rinpoche's specific work in this life is to help westerners understand and study Buddhism. In order to have a successful result, a thorough understanding of western culture and language was needed, which could be accomplished through the transference of consciousness to a Western adult. In this case, the form of a female monastic, a close student who had been ordained by Domo Geshe, was chosen.
During the first years after this transfer of consciousness, which occurred in 2000, the newly incarnated Rinpoche’s English language skills and cultural knowledge increased, and this progress is well documented and quite evident in early audio and video recordings, which are available to the public. Throughout this process, Rinpoche retained the full training acquired in previous incarnations as a Tibetan lama as well as the memories of previous lives.
This choice of a reincarnation method was guided by wisdom and has already brought much benefit. However, it has not been without controversy. Most reincarnates are born as babies, most are male, and most are Tibetan or at least from Tibetan families. As an adult American female, and considering this unusual method of reincarnation, when Rinpoche let it be known that she was indeed the reincarnate of the male Domo Geshe, some believed her, while others did not.
Recognition Process. The process of recognition has developed over time in Tibet and varies among the different schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It is acknowledged, though rarely emphasized in the west, that up to five incarnations of a previous lama can be recognized. The nature of enlightened beings is to be unencumbered, and they are able to incarnate as multiple beings. This aspect of reincarnation is little understood in the west, partially due to our strong cultural affinity for individuality. Therefore, when a westerner learns that a particular individual has been recognized as a reincarnate of a particular lama, the predominant belief is that this is the only reincarnate; this is not necessarily the case. At this very moment, while we are actively seeking recognition, there are also two others, a Tibetan boy and a Sikkimese boy, who have been officially recognized as Domo Geshe Rinpoche by two separate well-reputed Buddhist groups.
This process of identifying a reincarnate can be confusing to those not familiar with the politics of recognition, thereby presenting an opportunity for those who wish to discredit our Rinpoche, citing the unusual and difficult method of transference as evidence. However, Domo Geshe is and was known as a highly realized yogi, a perfect example of one who could accomplish drong juk, which he did.
Those who have come forward to say that Rinpoche is a fraud have been vehement in their accusations, presenting both gross distortions and blatant falsehoods. Some have created websites, videos and spam email and blog posting campaigns. We cannot specifically ascertain the motives of the individuals involved in this libel. However, we trust that those reading this letter are seeking truth, motivated by equanimity, compassion and the desire to benefit all sentient beings, as has been Rinpoche’s goal for countless lifetimes. We hope this background information has been helpful for your understanding.
In the meantime, we at White Conch have been steadily working toward Rinpoche's official recognition within the Tibetan Buddhist structure and significant progress toward that end has been made within the last year. We remain certain that in the future Rinpoche will be officially recognized and accepted as the incarnation of Domo Geshe Rinpoche, laying these issues to rest once and for all. When that happens, many more will benefit from her guidance and instruction.
Rinpoche's students have experienced first hand her wisdom, compassion and the personal transformation that unfailingly results from her teachings and profound transmissions. Because of this tremendous benefit, we wholeheartedly encourage you to decide for yourself, based upon your own experience, whether Rinpoche is authentic. Please do not be unduly disturbed by the tabloid websites on the Internet. If questions arise, please feel free to ask any member of the ordained community or students of Rinpoche. Nothing speaks more clearly than the truth.
Blessings, The White Conch Sangha