Ngodup Paljor

Ngodup Paljor Paljor was born around 1945 in Dzonga, Tibet, and fled with his parents to Nepal in 1959 from the Chinese invasion of Tibet. In his too-short life, he was a Tibetan Buddhist monk, a Thai Theravada Buddhist monk, translator for the Dalai Lama in Thailand, assistant professor of Tibetan studies at the University of Hawaii, a longshoreman and a Master Gardener in Alaska, and more.

He was graduated from Mahamakut Buddhist University in Bangkok, Thailand, with a bachelor’s degree in Buddhist psychology and philosophy. He was also fluent in six languages. In Bangkok he translated for the XIV Dalai Lama, and possibly also for Buddhadasa Bikkhu, when His Holiness visited Thailand. He worked briefly in Hawaii as a translator before moving to Alaska.

Paljor founded Khawachen Dharma Center in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1979, in the Tibetan Buddhism tradition but run as a non-sectarian community. After his death it evolved into the Anchorage Zen Community. Over the next nine years he brought Buddhist teachers to Alaska. He and Denise Lassaw, who he met in Thailand, lived in Alaska and were married in 1983.

Paljor sadly died from injuries sustained in an accident on 25 October 1988, while working at the port of Anchorage as a longshoreman.

For further information on his life and poetry, or for permission to publish these or other poems, please contact his wife Denise Lassaw at [email protected]

Ngodup Paljor on TibetWrites

Poems [10]

All the poems here were written in the early 1980s. They are part of a collection which was published as Songs of a Wild Yak

Ngodup Paljor - Songs of a Wild Yak
  • Dharmakaya Morning / The blue Dharmakaya / Noon
  • Nobility Wandering in the woods / Inhaling the tranquillity / Of nature
  • Mountains Denali – the mountain endowed / With beauty and charms
  • Way of the Clouds The wish of my Amala / Was for me to become / A Buddhist monk

  • Alaskans Yes, Alaskans, we’ve driven enough plastic vehicles, / Yet they failed to take us to the Virgin Mother Land.
  • Homer Homer – the land gifted / With boundless natural beauty
  • Retreat Now the wish of a poor poet / Is fulfilled
  • Lost Since I lost the hiking trail / I sat under a virgin spruce tree
  • Inheritance When my father left his body / I inherited a wooden cup
  • Bamboo Flute When my bamboo flute’s / Sound was deep


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