The Celtic Buddhist Lineage
Seonaidh Yeshe Tungpa
The Lineage began with a relationship...
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was Venerable Seonaidh Perks' root teacher. Seonaidh lived with him for seven years as his attendant, during which time they traveled extensively throughout the world. Out of this relationship of working and living together grew Celtic Buddhism.
Trungpa Rinpoche felt that a culture needed to deal with its own history, mythology and social structure in its relationship to Buddhism. He felt that these cultural aspects were difficult to ‘see' because of their transparency, and that through investigation one could come to understand his or her cultural biases and their illusory nature. In Seonaidh's travels with Trungpa, particularly in Ireland, they had many long discussions about the early nature-based Celtic religion and also the Celtic Christian Church. Before Rinpoche's death in 1987, he told Seonaidh that he should go out on his own and start a lineage.
Vajradhara Buddha - the Primordial Buddha
Much of Celtic Buddhism is rooted in the Tibetan tradition in which Seonaidh was trained. In addition to Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Seonaidh considers both the 16th Karmapa and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche as his teachers.
Rangjung Rigpe Dorje
The Karmapa is the head of the Kagyu lineage, to which Trungpa belonged. His embodiment of compassion was recognized by all who were fortunate enough to be in his presence.
A story about a character from Seonaidh's childhood...
Joe used to come into our kitchen during the war where my mother would feed him. His favorite was a thick slice of bread with dripping and marmite, with strong black tea and sweet condensed milk. He did not talk much, but had very sharp piercing eyes like a hawk. He would sit very close to the coke stove, my mother sensed my disapproval and said when he left, "You know John, all creatures should be your teachers." When I was with Rinpoche, he and my mother spoke on the phone several times. He sent her a Mala, and she sent him a tea cart. I told Rinpoche the story of Smokie Joe. Rinpoche said he was most likely a siddha. When Rinpoche was sick my mother called me. She said, "John, how is Rinpoche ?" I said, "Well mum, he is sick. She said, "Well I saw him in bed and these women flying over him wanting him to come with them." I relayed this message to the Dorje Loppon.