Khenpo Damcho Dawa Rinpoche
Khenpo Damcho Dawa Rinpoche
Khenpo Damcho Dawa Rinpoche* is the lead Khenpo in charge of the Tulku College in Yushu, Tibet. As well as being a highly respected and sought after Khenpo he is also renowned for his humanitarian work, including the establishment of a school for orphans and poor children in his home town, where access to basic education is limited.
He spent five years studying at a Shedra, and attained the title of Khenpo, equivalent to a professor of Buddhist studies. In 1995, with the strong support of Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, and at the request of Dzongtshod Rinpoche, he established a new Shedra, in the town of Yushu, close to the area where he grew up.
Since the establishment of this Shedra, he has been the leading Khenpo, in charge of all teaching, practice supervision and administration. This particular Shedra is unique in two respects. *Firstly*, it is predominantly reserved for Tulkus (those recognised as reincarnate lamas).
They are highly respected in the Tibetan tradition, and ensuring their full education is of great importance. *Secondly*, this Shedra has monks from all four of the major sects of Tibetan Buddhism living and studying together. Such revolutionary practice is rare in Tibet, and has brought Rinpoche a great deal of respect.
At the same time as making these adaptations, however, he has also done a great deal to preserve endangered traditions. He continues to teach throughout China and Tibet, on both philosophical and practical aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. Through compiling and collecting scriptures that were almost entirely destroyed in the Cultural Revolution, he has also managed to publish some long lost texts, which are of key importance to Buddhist scholars. Some valuable texts have also been translated into Chinese, in order to help a growing number of Chinese students.
Rinpoche's work is not limited to Buddhist practice and study. He is also renowned for providing *humanitarian* assistance in his local area. In 1999 he founded a school for orphans and poor children in his home town, where access to basic education is very limited. The school now has one hundred and twenty students, and several high-achievers have been subsidised to continue their studies in the city. Furthermore, the recent devastating earthquake which hit Yushu severely damaged much of the surrounding area and led to great loss of life. Rinpoche has been very active in raising funds for the survivors, providing basic supplies, and performing prayer rituals for the deceased.
He is a highly respected lama, teacher and publisher, and of great benefit to countless people. He has served to preserve ancient wisdom, to bring various traditions together, and to directly assist those in greatest need. We are very fortunate to have him teach here.