Merton's time amongst the Tibetan exiles is drawing to a close. In a couple of days he will be back in Calcutta and then off to Madras briefly before heading to Sri Lanka (Ceylon in Merton's day), Singapore, and finally back to Bangkok.
Kalu Rinpoche (1905-1989)
Today Merton visits Kalu Rinpoche, a Tibetan retreat master in Sonada. At the time of Merton's visit there were 16 Buddhist hermits in three year retreats with Karlu.
Merton writes..."Khempo Karlu [Kalu] Rimpoche invited me to come and make this hermit retreat at his place or, failing that, to write him with my questions. That was very kind of him. With my reaction to this climate at its best and with the noise of the Indian radio in the cottage across the road from the hemitage, I guess it is still Alaska or California or Kentucky for me." AJTM pp.166-67
Kalu Dharma Centers
Kalu Rinpoche went on to become a significant teacher of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. Kalu Rinpoche established over twenty 3-year retreat centers in Europe, USA, Asia, and Canada. There is a Tibetan Buddhist Dharma Centre, Kagyu Kunkhyab Chuling, in Vancouver which traces its origin and lineage to Kalu Rinpoche.
All My Life's a Circle
Kalu Rinpoche passed away in Sonada on May 10, 1989. Through reincarnation the lineage of his teaching is maintained. The Third Kalu Rinpoche (Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche) was born on September 17, 1990 and lives in India. This Fall, at the age of 18, Kalu Rinpoche completed the traditional 3-year 3-month retreat.
"We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves."