Rinpoche was highly regarded by the late Lama Yeshe, who composed a special prayer for his long life.
Here is a brief biography of this very special teacher, taken from the Maitripa College website:
Yangsi Rinpoche was recognised as the reincarnation of Geshe Ngawang Gendun, a renowned scholar and practitioner from Western Tibet, at the age of six. Rinpoche trained in the traditional monastic system for over 25 years, and practised as a monk until the age of 35.
In 1995 he graduated with the highest degree of Geshe Lharampa from Sera Je Monastery in South India. He then completed his studies at Gyume Tantric College, and, in 1998, having the particular wish to benefit Western students of the Buddhadharma, Rinpoche came to the West to teach and travel extensively throughout America and Europe.
Rinpoche served as a resident teacher at Deer Park Buddhist Center in Madison, Wisconsin for five years, and is currently the Spiritual Director of Ganden Shedrup Ling Buddhist Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Spiritual Director of Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle, Washington.
He founded Maitripa College in 2005 in Portland, Oregon and is currently the president.
Rinpoche teaches in English, and is admired wherever he travels for his unique presentation of the Dharma, his interest in and enthusiasm for Western culture, and his evident embodiment of the wisdom and compassion of the Buddhist path.
When not in the classroom at Maitripa College, during academic year breaks and for special events, Yangsi Rinpoche travels widely, representing Maitripa College at conferences and giving teachings around the world.
Rinpoche is the author of Practicing the Path: A Commentary on the Lamrim Chenmo, published in 2003 by Wisdom Publications.
“In general, everyone has some wish to benefit others, some wish to make their lives useful. But in order to actually accomplish this, we must let go of our sense of self-importance. Ego-grasping is the greatest obstacle to the wish to benefit others. The more we can diminish the self-cherishing mind, the purer and more fruitful our wish to benefit others will become.
“Trying to become aware of exactly how much we are cherishing ourselves is the perfect practice for the beginner. Coming to the recognition of the depth and grossness of our self-cherishing mind early on in the path is essential. Perhaps, rather than doing so many sessions of deity yoga, it would be more useful for us to do a session meditating on the way we have promoted the self-cherishing mind in the past, how much we are promoting the self-cherishing mind at the moment, and a session on how much we plan to promote the self-cherishing mind in the future. This would be an extremely good way to start ourselves off on the path.
“It is very easy for us to recognize the way in which someone else is cherishing themselves, but it is also very easy for us to forget that we are doing the same thing!” Practicing the Path, p 6
“In our everyday lives, before we make a material purchase, we examine the quality of whatever it is we are planning to buy. Of course, no matter how big a mistake we make in the purchase of a material item, that loss will only affect us for a short time. But if, when choosing a spiritual path, we fail to analyze or research the path we plan to adopt and then make a mistake, that mistake can affect us more deeply.
‘Bhikshus and wise ones,
As gold is burnt, cut and rubbed
Take my advice by examining my speech well –
Not [merely] for the sake of respect.’”
Practicing the Path, pp 7-8
Listen to Rinpoche teaching ‘The Wise and Gentle Heart’ here