Rinpoche is the term used to refer to Anam Thubten, a Buddhist scholar from Tibet. Some people attach hierarchical meaning to the title, but he does not.

To him it is a term of endearment that he likens to “brother” or “sister,” the same titles used to address monks and nuns in Christian monasteries and convents. He says Rinpoche has the meaning of “precious,” in the same way a parent refers to a child.

An accomplished Dharma teacher and author, Rinpoche delivers messages of transcendent hope in excellent English, having lived in the United States for nearly 20 years. He left Tibet when he was 22, partly as a form of protest against the Chinese occupation of his country and partly because he felt the monastery was no longer supporting his spiritual voyage.

He lived in the monastery from an early age, describing it as being in a university and a cave at the same time.

“You have to study quite intensively, but you also have to do a lot of meditation,” he said.

Life was quite simple, and it involved a lot of spiritual activity.

He came to the U.S. in 1992 by way of India within a year of leaving Tibet, when he accepted an invitation from a lama who he met while both were visiting Bodhagaya, a holy site where Buddha became enlightened.

In 2005, Rinpoche founded the Dharmata Foundation based in Point Richmond, Calif., and he is the primary Dharma teacher for the Dhyana Hall there. You can visit dharmatafoundation.org to listen to his teachings, but even better is experiencing them firsthand. This coming week provides that opportunity, as he will be in Belfast to give a talk, then will travel to Brunswick and Bar Harbor to hold retreats.

His teachings are lighthearted, meaningful and readily accessible — simple to grasp, but not simplistic. His style is thoughtful, gentle, poetic and clear. He brings the Buddhist concepts of opening your heart, emptying your mind, and letting go of everything to light in easy to understand terms for Westerners and people of all faiths. It is not often you meet someone so grounded with so much presence, wisdom and a delightful sense of humor.

His talks are spontaneous and the point is always one, which is how to go beyond our limitations, the ego mind, and to recognize our true nature, which is already enlightened, he said.

He is unusual in the Buddhist community. “I teach in a very different way than most Tibetan teachers,” said Rinpoche. “I try to transcend all the spiritual trappings. I don’t promote any particular doctrine or sector.

“I tend to pretty much say the same thing again and again, which is how to awaken from this world of dreams and not to suffer endlessly in this nightmarish world of duality between self, others, good, bad, success, failure and to awaken from that nightmarish dreamlike hold to the highest truth. In that awakening there is only freedom and joy.”

Rinpoche will give a public talk Thursday, July 21, at 7 p.m. at the Belfast Free Library, Abbott Room. A $10 donation is suggested, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Contact Katia Ancona at 323-5393, or by email at katia@relaxationcopilot.com, for more information.