Inseparable across Lifetimes: The Lives and Letters of the Tibetan Visionaries Namtrul Rinpoche and Khandro Tare Lhamo
In the cool domain of Tibet, the land of snow mountains,
We came together across seven lifetimes.
We practiced the profound path of secret mantra,
Engaging in the four joys, the means to bliss-emptiness.
~ Namtrul Rinpoche, Letter 11
You, sublime son of good family and pure origin,
And I the mantra-born woman, Devi, the two of us,
In order to rescue beings from strife in degenerate times,
We have been appointed by Orgyan Padmasambhava.
Awakening together past deeds, aspirations, and the
It is our promise to guide all mother beings.
~ Khandro Tare Lhamo, Letter 17
An inspiring and intimate tale set against the turmoil of recent Tibetan history, Inseparable Across Lifetimes offers for the first time the translations of love letters between two modern Buddhist visionaries. The letters are poetic, affectionate, and prophetic, articulating a hopeful vision of renewal that drew on their past lives together and led to their twenty-year partnership. This couple played a significant role in restoring Buddhism in the region of Golok once China’s revolutionary fervor gave way to reform. Holly Gayley, who was given their correspondence by Namtrul Rinpoche himself, has translated their lives and letters in order to share their remarkable story with the world.
From the foreword by Tulku Thondup:
“Khandro Tare Lhamo (1938–2002) was well respected as an emanation and one of the well-known teachers and revealers of many esoteric teachings as treasures in our age. During the political struggles culminating in the Cultural Revolution, she survived by caring for domestic animals for many years, although her first husband along with all of her three tulku brothers perished. She then married Namtrul Jigme Phuntsok (1944–2011), also a revealer of treasures. In the 1980s, Namtrul Rinpoche and Tare Lhamo rebuilt the monasteries at Nyenlung in the Do valley and Tsimda in the Mar valley. They revealed many treasure teachings, together and individually, and bestowed transmissions of esoteric teachings to numerous Tibetan and Chinese devotees. Since Tare Lhamo and Namtrul Rinpoche passed away, his son Tulku Laksam Namdak has become the propogator of their dharma lineage and legacy.
Inseparable Across Lifetimes revelas Khandro Tare Lhamo’s innate wisdom, undiluted love, and mystical stories in partnership with Namtrul Rinpoche—strung together into a garland of enchanting poetry. I am sure that this book will inspire many by learning of this couple’s nectar-like dharma qualities. I am grateful to Holly Gayley for bringing their inspiring stories and poetic letters from the highlands of Golok to share as a dharma feast for Western readers.”