On July 30, 2015, the village of Thame took part in a historic religious event: the new Rinpoche, or reincarnate lama, made his first trip in this life to Thame. Being recognized as the reincarnation of the High Lama, Nawang Tsering Dodub, 6-year-old Sonam will carry on the traditions and practices of a Tulku.
“Thame Tulku”, as he is now referred to, was formally taken to the Thame Monastery on July 30. He made his farewell from his home in Jorsalle, Solukhumbu into the Thame monastery, passing through Namche and other villages while being blessed and celebrated for his reappearance in this lifetime.
In his previous life, he was born in 1955, as Nwang Shedrup Sherpa. In those times Nwang had no opportunity for formal education in Tibet as a Rinpoche should have had, due to the Chinese Invasion of Tibet. Thame Rinpoche was a great friend to many groups of Berg Adventures trekkers prior to his death in 2009, however, and we all have fond memories of his smile and his kindness. With great resources being integrated into the Khumbu region and in Kathmandu there is hope for a bright future for the Thame Tulku in this life.
In February 2015, another Lama known well to many Berg Adventures trekkers, the Tengboche Rinpoche, who has been abbot of the Tangboche Monastery since his birth in 1933, performed the hair-cutting ceremony for the young Thame Tulku in the sacred Maratika Cave southwest of Kathmandu.
While much of the destruction that happened in the Khumbu during the earthquakes took place in Thame, the celebration of an important leader returning once again points towards a great new beginning for the valley. What a beautiful thing to take place for Sherpa people of the Khumbu!