You answer this.
This photograph was taken in 1992 at a weekend seminar given under the auspices of the ‘Frankfurt Ring’. Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche had been requested to give teachings in Frankfurt and Ngak’chang Rinpoche had been invited to accompany him and give supportive teachings. Ngak’chang Rinpoche had given teachings at this venue in Frankfurt on several occasions, and it was thought by the organisers that people in that area would like to see Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche and Ngak’chang Rinpoche teaching together. Ngak’chang Rinpoche was most embarrassed by this proposition and informed the organisers that if one of his own Root Lamas was teaching that he would be happy to attend but not to give teachings unless Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche should happen to require him to do so. Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche happened to require him to do so.
Ngak’chang Rinpoche says of this event:
Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche employed this occasion to make some extremely valuable points. The organisers seemed unable to comprehend the natural protocol and sincere etiquette between master and disciple and billed Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche and myself as teaching together – in spite of the fact that I had insisted that this should not happen. Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche had no problems with this himself – but I was mortified to be on a ‘double bill’ with one of my Root Lamas.
The audience expected me to teach and were naturally surprised when I simply sat with Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche and ventured nothing in terms of an introduction. Only when Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche asked me to speak did I venture anything, and then it was under the most amusing circumstances. Rinpoche would speak for a while and then turn to me and say: ‘Now you say something for half an hour.’ As soon as Rinpoche gave the instruction I would begin, and take up the teaching from that point – but whenever I spoke for less than the allotted time – I would be reminded that there were: ‘. . .still five minutes coming.’ I would then have to offer another conclusion to the subject I had already concluded. The entire weekend was the most gruelling collection of extemporaneous expositions, and I learned a great deal from being put on the spot in terms of teaching on any subject at a moments notice.
A member of the audience asked Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche—from a new age point of view—why he was addressing me ‘. . .in such a disrespectful manner.’ To which Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche replied—looking at me—
You answer this. I was constrained to ask the person what he meant. He told me that he thought I was due more respect in my rôle as a teacher and that Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche appeared to be giving me orders. . . I found this most amusing and had to inform them that I considered myself fortunate that Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche even allowed me to attend, as it had been advertised as teaching together with him – let alone give me the amazing opportunities he had given me to think/intuit ‘on the hoof’ as I had never done before. As far as I was concerned it was an honour. Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche smiled at that, and asked me to sing Padmasambhava’s Seven Lone Song.