- Karma Kunzang Palden Rinpoche
Tibetan calendar dates
Rodney P. Devenish (Karma Kunzang Palden Rinpoche) and his wife Lisa Devenish are co-founders of the Hermitage, and Lama has been teaching meditation there from the start, personally guiding individuals as they develop their meditation practice. His specialty is the Kagyü teaching of Mahāmudrā, which he received chiefly from his root master Karma Namgyal Rinpoche, but also from Trungpa Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche and a number of other Lamas. From those Lamas, and from His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, he received an array of Kagyü empowerments--particularly the Marpa lineage full crown empowerments of Śrī Vajradhara and Hevajra-ḍākiṇī-jālasaṃvara. Having completed both the Kagyü and Nyingma preliminary practices, he has further received the crowning empowerment of the Gūhyagarbha from Penor Rinpoche, late head of the Nyingmapa school, the Mindrolling Vajrasattva-cycle and Dzogchen instruction from Khenpo Palden Sherab Rinpoche, and the transmission of Vajrakīlāya from Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche (1933-2004). The Chöd practice of Jigme Lingpa was given by Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche. During a ten year period as a celibate Buddhist monk, Lama Rodney spent his long winters in isolated meditation retreat in the snowy wilderness of the Rocky Mountains, where he completed the Kagyü practices given him by his teacher Namgyal Rinpoche, with particular focus on the Six Yogas of Nāropa and Mahāmudrā.
As a Western Lama inspired by the broad interests of his teacher Karma Namgyal Rinpoche, Lama's teaching style is ecumenical and universalist, while remaining deeply rooted in the Kagyü tradition. Originally trained as an artist, he has studied many subjects extensively, including analytical psychology, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, comparative religion, philosophy and classical metaphysics. He takes a non-dogmatic approach, believing that the essence of Dharma chiefly consists of personal self-enquiry, investigation of the nature of consciousness and the world in which we find ourselves, coupled with a persistent effort to establish love in the heart. Many students at the Hermitage have found Lama's method especially conducive for the rapid induction of blissful one-pointedness, the deep meditative state known as Samādhi. Students practice on their own, in the midst of nature, supported by frequent personal interviews with the teacher.
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