“My Dharma friend John Giorno, Yeshe Dorje (Indestructible Wisdom), met His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche in the early 1970s, and ever since has been a devoted and loyal disciple of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Under the guidance of this great master, John has worked with much dedication to establish and spread the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni and Guru Padmasambhava in North America. He has been very instrumental to all Buddhist lineages—particular the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
John was also a very good friend and supporter of my beloved late brother, Venerable Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, as well as to myself and the Padmasambhava Buddhist Center. I’ve known John since the mid 1970s in India, and consider myself one of his old Dharma friends.
John is one of the very distinct, open, and fearless minds of this time, always courageous to explore new lights within the culture. He is a well-known contemporary poet.
I’m so happy that his work is being displayed [in the 2017 “I LOVE John Giorno” exhibit in New York City], commemorating and glorifying his life of extraordinary activities for humanity. I’m sure this will touch the hearts and minds of the many people who will see his work for the first time.
Yours in Dharma,
Venerable Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
Verses Commemorating the Great Poet
John Giorno Yeshe Dorje
Your marvelous birth took place in North America.
Bright, youthful, and open-minded,
You fortunately met the great terton and regent of Guru Padmasambhava, Lord Dudjom,
And contacted his lotus feet with unfailing devotion of body, speech, and mind.
Taken as a close student, this teacher bestowed empowerments and instructions,
And crowned you with the name Yeshe Dorje.
As the Lama wished, you established a Dharma center in the United States.
How amazing and fortunate you are John!
The excellent meanings of Dharma, wealth, desire, and liberation join together in a poem
Intoxicating body and mind with so much joy and delight
That everyone freely sings sounds of happiness!
Your reputation for great poetry resounds around the globe!
In the space of your open and contented mind
The sun and moon of the yoga of the two stages inwardly shine clearly.
Externally, galaxies of beautifully composed poems shimmer.
Shooting stars of fearless yogi activities flash.
Dzogchen yogi Yeshe Dorje,
This brief, unfabricated, natural life story,
On the occasion of your celebration
Was written by your Dharma friend, Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal.
The above writings were excerpted from a letter that Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche wrote in 2017 about his long-time Dharma friend John Giorno.
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