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Jim Scott’s Biography
Jim Scott’s life has, from its earliest years, been dedicated to the pursuit of the contemplative life, originally as a Christian monk at a Trappist monastery, then as a student of philosophy at St. John’s College, and finally as a student and practitioner of the Kagyu lineage following Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche around the globe of this earth for some thirty years.
When Khenpo Rinpoche first came to the West in 1977, at the request and in the company of His Holiness Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa, Jim was fortunate to be in the original group of students to receive and follow Rinpoche.
At H.H. the Karmapa’s bidding, Rinpoche started and taught the first Kagyu Shedra for westerners with the intention, as expressed by H.H., to provide westerners with the same basic formal education in the classical Indian and Tibetan texts of Buddhadharma as in Tibet, and to train translators who could then be instrumental in communicating these teachings at the Dharma centers then springing up around Western Europe, North America and around the world.
In 1986, though continuing to teach around the planet, Rinpoche moved the main locus of his activities to Nepal and, in the early 1990’s, at the request of His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, he began to teach the Winter Philosophy Program and the Spring Meditation Retreat at Pullahari, Jamgon Rinpoche’s main seat.
It was primarily from here that Rinpoche encouraged representatives of Dharma centers worldwide to invite senior students to share with others what he had so carefully taught them.
Following Rinpoche’s example, the programs Jim pilots have the characteristic feature of being closely linked with the texts of the tradition, though at the same time seen through the eyes of an ordinary person from a western background.
All who have had the great good fortune of meeting Khenpo Tsultrim know that a special feature of his blessing transmission is his expression of the teachings in song. Jim Scott has played a central role in helping to make this possible in English. His dearest wish is to do whatever he can to help fulfill Rinpoche’s vision of song as a path of awakening heart.