“Excellent Father of the Family of Awareness Holders”


The Primordial Rigden embodies the wisdom and compassion of inherent basic goodness and is at the heart of Shambhala Buddhist meditation practice. The Primordial Rigden is central to the Shambhala Lineage and is the principle painting for the Shambhala Buddhist shrine rooms. Composed by the Artist under the guidance of the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, spiritual director of the Shambhala Buddhist communities, this painting conveys what is referred to as the magical heart of Shambhala –the brilliant and peaceful presence of basic goodness and enlightened rulership.

Through 2004-05 the Artist worked on this painting beginning with many detail sketches to full composition drawings in graphite and brush & ink. The final composition was transferred to a prepared surface of silk cloth and painted with ground mineral and gouache pigments. 23kt gold was applied in certain areas. The painting was completed in April 2005 for the first Rigden Abhisheka given by The Sakyong at Shambhala Mountain Center in northern Colorado, USA.

These Fine Art prints come with a Print Edition Certificate and framing guide. A documentary film showing aspects of the painting’s development and a recently printed booklet describing the meaning of Primordial Rigden with the symbolism of the painting is available through Shambhala Shop.


The Making of the Primordial Rigden Thangka

A beautifully crafted, short film, directed by award winning filmmaker Johanna Lunn, documents select stages of the making of this painting.

Quoted from the DVD jacket; “REALIZING CONFIDENCE reveals the intimate process of student and teacher working together to create an extraordinary work of spiritual art … From them viewers learn about the iconography and creative process of thangka painting, and gain insight into the power of this unique image.”

 Published by Kalapa Recordings, this film is available through the Shambhala Shop: