Tibetan exile to speak Sunday at the JACC

Posted: Friday, January 09, 2009

JUNEAU - For its monthly speaker, the Juneau World Affairs Council will sponsor Rigdzin Thingkhye to present "A Tibetan in Exile" at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Thingkhye will discuss his experiences as a Tibetan in exile since 1959 with an emphasis on the nature and power of the mind in Buddhist thought as a path to overcoming life's harshest obstacles and turning negatives into positives.

Thingkhye was born the youngest of seven children and was just 2 years old when his family fled to exile in 1959 in the mass exodus of Tibetans that followed His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His family followed the establishment of the Dalai Lama wherever they went, living as refugees first in Sikkim, then to north India and eventually settled in south India.

Thingkhye received his education in the first Tibetan refugee schools in India. During those times, refugee schools were largely taught by monastic scholars with the Geshe Lharimpa degree (double PhD equivalent), so Thingkhye had the fortune of studying under elite masters of Tibetan Buddhism from a young age. His academic interests were especially in the areas of Tibetan cultural heritage, philosophy and the Tibetan language.

At present, Thingkhye is a language teacher and interpreter with 20 years experience in subjects of Buddhist philosophy, the Tibetan diaspora and political prisoners. He is knowledgeable of traditional Tibetan heritage, its philosophy as well as its modern culture, both in Tibet and in exile. His perceptiveness and eloquence make him an accomplished translator and his direct, compassionate manner of speaking is full of humor, frankness and humility.

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