Shen Palace in Lhasa on Monday announced the passing in Tibet of the head of the Shen family lineage of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwo, His Holiness Shensé Norbu Wangyal Rinpoche.
Described as one of the most important Bön masters of the modern era, Shensé Norbu Wangyal Rinpoche was the holder of all the Bön lineages. During his lifetime, Rinpoche gave numerous teachings, instructions, and transmissions in his local community in Tibet, and was instrumental in developing the modern Bön tradition.
An announcement shared on the social media of Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, founder and director of the Ligmincha Institute, stated:
It is with sadness that I must share with you that His Eminence, Shensé Norbu Wangyal Rinpoche passed into parinirvana on February 3, 2022, in Lhasa, Tibet.
As a member of the Shen lineage, Rinpoche was a direct descendant of Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwoch. His life was dedicated to serving both monastic and lay practitioners alike. There is no doubt that, having shed the physical form of his body, His Eminence will continue to bless and serve sentient beings of the six lokas and the three realms.
The dates and location for the audience of the sacred vessel of his body and its cremation have not yet been announced. In the meanwhile, reciting the Tsewang Mönlam, practicing guru yoga, cultivating bodhicitta and performing virtuous acts are all beautiful and appropriate ways to celebrate the life of this great master.
The modern-day Yungdrun Bön tradition has developed in close relationship alongside Vajrayana Buddhism. In addition to Shakyamuni Buddha, contemporary Bön venerates the Buddha Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche as the founder of the school. Today, there are some 264 Bön monastic centers and hermitages in Tibet. Bön also has followers in the West and it is often practice alongside Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has recognized Bön as the fifth major school of Tibetan Buddhism.