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Photographing His Eminence

Tenzin Lungtok Thinley Choephak, the 7th Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche 

Buddha, Buddhist, Tibetan, monk, teacher, guru, tulku,
Tenzin Lungtok Thinley Choephak, the 7th Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche

I was thrilled when Deer Park Buddhist Center & Monastery asked if I would be interested in photographing the teachings, and Long Life Initiation ceremony, conducted by His Eminence the 7th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche. His Eminence is considered by Tibetan Buddhists to be a “tulku,” which is a corporeal form of an enlightened being that continues a specific lineage of teaching. His Eminence was born in 1985, and is the 7th reincarnation of Trichen Dhondup Gyatso, the 1st Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche Tehor Nagtsangpa, 1655–1727. 


His Eminence the 7th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche teaches "The Three Principal Aspects of the Path" by Je Tsongkhapa


It’s always a real pleasure to work for Deer Park. The Tibetan community isn’t very large, only numbering around 800, or so souls. They are enormously welcoming though, and my relationship with the monastery has definitely been very personally rewarding. There’s a sense of peacefulness that comes over me when I am at Deer Park. Having strayed in one day, I can’t help but feel like a cat that’s found a cozy place to hangout. In doing so I have learned so much about myself, and it’s made me a more passionate photographer.


Something that I haven’t done in a long while is roll out to a photoshoot with my large camera backpack. When fully loaded it’s over 30+lbs. That’s nearly all glass as I had packed along many of my favorite lenses. It gave me flexibility in how I took certain photos, from a variety of angles.


Buddha Amitayus Long Life Initiative


Speaking of shooting angles, for years I have been encouraged by the monks to go “anywhere, and everywhere” while taking photos for the Temple. Up until this particular event I found myself keeping well to the sides, and off of the raised platform in the front. On this occasion the directives from the monks were very direct, and decisive, “We want you to get out in FRONT on this photoshoot!”  


How could I say no? Also, I have taken photos of enough special events that a lot of the community recognizes me. I don’t really attend the regular teachings, and most of my experience on the grounds is one of solitude. Being so enthusiastically welcomed was very energizing, and I tried to put that energy directly into my work. 


His Eminence the 7th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche being welcomed to Deer Park
The following photo opens to a gallery of photos that the community may download. Find your photo with His Eminence, open it, and look for the download icon.


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