[gong sounds]>>Narrator: Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is a Tibetan spiritual king. He has all the traditional rigorous training of a Tibetan lama, and he was raised in the West.>>SMR: Free the mind [indistinct}. Step into the now. Free the mind [indistinct]. Step into the now. >>Musician: Rinpoche do you want to do one more of what we last did, before we do that?>>SMR: Sure, I can do that.>>Narrator: The communist invasion of Tibet forced the Sakyong’s father on a treacherous journey over the Himalayas to the safety of India; many died along the way. The Buddhist teachings are the most precious part of Tibetan culture and life. Having lost everything, his father set out to find a new home for these teachings so they would continue into the future.>>SMR: I feel like my coming into this world was not accidental; it’s a confluence of different lineages and cultures; but sort of at the center of it is really this vision of how do you have teachings; how do you have wisdom, that can actually benefit the world now and in the future.>>Narrator: He was born in India, but joined his father in the West when he was eight. His father, Trungpa Rinpoche, was charismatic, controversial, and in the middle of a new spiritual revolution. He became widely respected for bringing Buddhism to the West. This is where the Sakyong’s story begins. His education and training was universal in nature, from the ancient wisdom traditions of Tibet to adapting to North American culture; his life was a fusion of East and West.>>SMR: He said to me, “I have done what I can and now you need to do the rest”.>>Narrator: His father passed away when the Sakyong was twenty-four years old. Alone, and with little support, he was left to carry on the work his father had begun.>>SMR: What my father was trying to express was that it does matter what a society thinks about itself; a society can be based on the notion of human worthiness. This point gets lost so often. He felt that out of all the spiritual knowledge he had, that if he could transmit the notion of human dignity, human worthiness, that could be a foundational principle for society.>>Pema Chödrön: Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has a strong conviction and confidence that all sentient beings, like you and I, ordinary confused, neurotic, precious people like ourselves had the absolute capacity to stay awake, to keep their hearts and minds wide open, in even the most difficult of times.>>Narrator: In these times when aggression and greed tip the balance of nature and society, can this uncommon king make a difference?