In Memory of Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche

4 Oct 2020

AR head shoulders

As we approach the 7th Anniversary of the passing of Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, we warmly invite you to join us again, in reflecting on his activities and achievements and on how we, his students and friends, can best uphold the vast legacy he left behind.

Dharma Activity
Akong Rinpoche was a guiding light in the transmission and preservation of Buddhism and since his passing we have been extremely fortunate, thanks to the kindness of Drupon Khen Rinpoche Karma Lhabu, in being able to offer an annual spiritual programme of teachings and retreat here at Samye Ling, on and around 8th October. 

This year, due to the pandemic, we are unable to welcome Drupon Rinpoche in person, but we will be continuing to receive his ongoing cycle of teachings from Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre in Nepal and, through this precious opportunity, we will be honouring and commemorating Akong Rinpoche’s spiritual activity. 

Environmental Protection
Protecting our beautiful planet was dear to Akong Rinpoche’s heart and he initiated many projects aimed at the preservation and regeneration of the environment in the UK, Tibet and elsewhere.  There are lots of ways - big and small - in which we can continue this work and play our part in strengthening this activity. 

Here at Samye Ling we will be planting a tree in memory of Rinpoche on 8th October.  We also have plans to plant a large number of trees on Arran; to grow fruit- and nut-bearing trees at Samye Ling to provide food for the local wildlife; and to carry out essential tree-management and replanting work on land under our care.

If you are able to support Rinpoche’s vision for a better environment and would like to share your intentions with us, please email the details to

Saving Lives and Health Care
Akong Rinpoche directly saved the lives of many animals, through his live release activity; and he often spoke of the benefits, from a Buddhist and a health perspective, of reducing or giving up our consumption of meat, poultry and fish.

Knowing how deeply he cared about our well-being, and in that spirit of Akong Rinpoche’s loving concern for us, we invite you to consider ways in which you might look after your health and refrain from unhealthy lifestyle choices.  At the last empowerment he bestowed, here at Kagyu Samye Ling, Akong Rinpoche ended by saying:

Two things I would appreciate, to eat less meat and to smoke less. That would be benefiting for you and since it is benefiting for you, I myself will be very, very happy.”

If you are inspired to uphold and contribute to Rinpoche’s vision of a better, more compassionate world and are willing to commit to reducing or giving up your consumption of meat/ poultry/ fish/ tobacco/ alcohol (etc) you can email us at with details of your commitment and how long you intend to keep it. 

From the Dharma perspective such a vow, if taken with the right motivation, can generate vast merit, bringing benefits that extend beyond just the worldly benefits usually associated with these actions.

As in previous years, we will compile a list of the names and commitments, to be presented to His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, H.E. 12th Chamgon Khentin Tai Situpa, H.E. 12th Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche and the Very Venerable 9th Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, and in this way the merit generated by undertaking these commitments with pure motivation, will be dedicated to the benefit of all sentient beings.

The Buddhist principle is to be everybody's friend, not to have any enemy.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Meditation means simple acceptance.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
Only the impossible is worth doing.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Whenever we see something which could be done to bring benefit to others, no matter how small, we should do it.
Chamgon Khentin Tai Situ Rinpoche
Freedom is not something you look for outside of yourself. Freedom is within you.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Hasten slowly, you will soon arrive.
Jetsun Milarepa
It doesn’t matter whatever comes, stop judging and it won’t bother you.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
Whatever obstacles arise, if you deal with them through kindness without trying to escape then you have real freedom.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
To tame ourselves is the only way we can change and improve the world.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Strive always to be as kind, gentle and caring as possible towards all forms of sentient life.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Every sentient being is equal to the Buddha.
Chamgon Kentin Tai Situ Rinpoche
Wherever and whenever we can, we should develop compassion at once.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Reminding ourselves of how others suffer and mentally putting ourselves in their place, will help awaken our compassion.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche