In her wildest of dreams, Rigzin never aspired to become a singer or performer. She devoted her main life’s effort, for now over 30 years, to studying and practicing the meditational lineages, of Tibetan (Vajrayana) Buddhism.
Her original background was in fine arts photography, she graduated summa cum laude, with a BFA from the University of New Mexico. She traveled to India with the intention of studying East Indian art, and photographing. Wandering, she was drawn to Bodh Gaya, the place where Sakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment, under the Bodhi Tree. Being introduced to Buddhist philosophy there, she stayed for one year, falling deeply in love with the teachings, and the practices of mediation that develop ones love and compassion, on the path to awakening.
It took two more years, until at 23, she met her Root Teacher. Their connection was very strong and she immediately went into a traditional three year retreat. It was there, Rigzin was trained intensively to sing the traditional prayers of elaborate ceremonies. Marrying her teachers son, she gave birth to their son, who was recognized as a reincarnation. Together they traveled extensively on pilgrimages throughout India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, visiting many holy sites and monestarys affiliated with the lineage and family. Completing many retreats over the years, and receiving many extensive teachings and transmissions, from the last generation of the Great Masters from Tibet.
At 32, Rigzin was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of lymphoma, (cancer of the immune system). Receiving experimentally high dosages of chemotherapy, she barely survived. In the following seven years of recovery, was a deep process of rebirth, regrowth, restructuring. No longer able to live as “a Lamas’ wife” she retreated, to the rural pristine land, on the isolated coast of Northern California. There all her practices integrated, and her new life’s activity was being revealed.
By a twist of karmic fate, she was invited into, “El Circo”, an avant guard artist collective, that was to have a major impact on the West Coast underground music and art scene. Bridging her worlds of Buddhism and art, she would invite her new friends to come retreat on her land. Hearing her sing her prayers in the early morning hours, they were inspired by the peace and beauty invoked, and arranged for her to record. Random Rab created their first track, “Hymnal Aya”, from this original recording session, producing a piece that merged the ancient blessing of the Tibetan Lineage, with modern electronic beats. Rigzin performed with, “El Circo,” from 1999 until 2007, when the shows director and muse, Tiffa Novoa, suddenly passed away.
It was then she went out on her own. The first album, “UNION”, (that she conceived as a demo), was released in 2010. “UNION”, was so well received, that it encouraged her to pursue this career. She performed at countless shows, and at many of the premier West Coast music festivals, including, many years at Lightening in a Bottle, Symbiosis, and Burning Man. Singing for the Temple burn in 2008.
Her second album, “TRANSITION”, was released in 2015. “TRANSITION” is her first ‘real’ album, that has a deep theme and intention. “TRANSITION”, is traditional prayers and mantras, that support beings through the process of dying. For 1,000’s of years, the unbroken Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, has recognized the importance of the moment of death. A pivotal doorway, that can bring inconceivable benefit to the eternal, deathless aspect of consciousness. The album is luminous, etheric, uplifting, expansive, peaceful and meditative.
Rigzin now is pursuing the fulfillment of her vows, to bring benefit in the vastest possible way. Subsumed within, what is called these, “degenerating times”, also lays the potential for great spiritual awakening. Through the medium of modern music, and the miraculous ability of the world wide web, that infinitely replicates these sounds. Easily making accessible the ancient blessings of the Tibetan Lineages, in modern times, with the intention to bring infinite benefit to all beings without exception.