WLM WLM Spring 2015 - Page 40

WLM | people He soon discovered that little organized information existed about Terton Sogyal, who was the teacher of the XIII Dalai Lama, the predecessor of the current Dalai Lama. “Not unlike the Dalai Lama today, Terton Sogyal was a master at integrating his political duties with spiritual practice, while never losing the pure motivation that holds others’ well-being as the priority,” Matteo says. Over the course of the next decade, Matteo engaged in hands-on research to collect the story of the mystic’s life. From the late 1990s to 2008, he traveled to Tibet for months at a time. Letters of introduction from Sogyal Rinpoche aided him in gaining access to lamas in Tibet, and those he met along the way influenced Matteo’s life forever. The road map for my pilgrimage was Terton Sogyal’s own far-ranging travels across the Tibetan plateau; his life was not bound to isolated mountain retreats. Soon I was meditating among hermits in remote sanctuaries and cliffside grottoes. I slept in the caves where Terton Sogyal had spiritual visions and revelations. On foot, 40 Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine | Spring 2015 horseback and dilapidated buses, I crossed the same glacier-covered passes that he used to travel from eastern Tibet to Lhasa. And I sought out the masters and yogis still alive who uphold Terton Sogyal’s spiritual lineage and could tell me the oral history of his life and teachings. But the pilgrimage took an unexpected turn. The more time I spent in Tibet delving into the nineteenth-century spiritual teachings of Terton Sogyal, the more often I met Tibetans who wanted to tell me their story of frustration and pain, and about their never-ending hope that one day the exiled Dalai Lama would return to Tibet. Tales of abuse and persecution were shared, with the hopes that Matteo would help transfer them to Western authorities that could help. Over the course of many years, his travels led him to collect and share this information – his journey is chronicled in his 2011 book, In the Shadow of the Buddha. In 2006, Matteo was asked to write a biography on Terton Sogyal – which became reality in his 2014 release, Fearless in Tibet. I find great interest in learning about many walks of life and beliefs, and through our publication, I enjoy finding how one’s history in Wyoming has helped shape