Drikung Mahayana Center



Since its founding a decade ago, the Drikung Mahayana Center has sponsored events every year lead by H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, its Founder and Spiritual Director. We have also enjoyed a shower of blessings from a host of eminent teachers. Please do not misinterpret the sequence of presentation as reflecting importance or level of devotion. There is no perfect presentation other than a horizontal array that will not fit on a computer screen.

 His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang

 His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche

 Venerable Traga Rinpoche

 Lama Thubten Nima (Lama Gape)

 Lama Abao

 Lama Bu Nima

 Drikung Ontul Rinpoche

 Khenpo Tsultrim Tenzin

 Drupön Thinley Ningpo

 His Eminence Togden Rinpoche

 Drubwang Rinpoche

 Tulku Thubten Nyingpo Rinpoche

 Tulku Nyima Rinpoche

 Drikung Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche

 Karma Ratna Rinpoche

Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang
His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang is one of two heads of the Drikung Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. Born in 1946 in Lhasa, Tibet, he was recognized at the age of four as the reincarnation of the previous Drikung Kyabgon and formally enthroned and educated at Drikung Thil, the main monastery of the Drikung Kagyu order in central Tibet. During the Tibetan exodus in the late 1950s, his parents fled to India while he remained at Drikung Thil. In 1959, Communist China closed the monastery, and His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was adopted by his former tutor, His Eminence Gyabra Rinpoche. After completing his elementary and middle school education in Lhasa, in 1969 he was assigned to a countryside farm, working fifteen hours a day doing hard physical labor.

In 1975, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang crossed the Himalayan border separating Tibet from Nepal – on foot and all alone except for fortuitous help from two strangers at one impassable point. He traveled to Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, where he was received by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and formally enthroned once again.

Then, after eighteen years of separation, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was reunited with his family in the United States, where he stayed for several years, completing courses in English and adult education.

In 1978, he returned to India, taking up rigorous Buddhist practice, retreats, and instruction from many of the greatest living masters of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1985, in Dehra Dun, India, he founded the Drikung Kagyu Institute, Jang Chub Ling, which provides traditional monastic and modern education to some 450 monks and nuns; a meditation retreat center; and a project to collect and preserve all the Drikung Kagyu texts, as well as document the ways of life, philosophy, and religious traditions of the peoples of the Himalayas.

☯ Read more about the extraordinary life and accomplishments of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang.

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His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche
His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche is a Drikung Kagyu lama who was known in the thirteenth century as the Siddha Gar Chodingpa, a heart disciple of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon, founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. In ancient India, he had incarnated as Mahasiddha Aryadeva, the lotus-born disciple of the great Nagarjuna. In the seventh century, he was known as Lonpo Gar, the minister of the Tibetan Dharma King Songsten Gampo.

Garchen Rinpoche was recognized and enthroned in eastern Tibet by the former Drikung Kyabgon Zhiwe Lodro. When he was seven, he was brought to Lho Miyal Monastery, which he administered from the age of eleven. Studying and practicing under the direction of the Siddha Chime Dorje, Garchen Rinpoche received vast and profound instructions on the preliminary practices (ngondro), the fivefold practice of Mahamudra and the six yogas of Naropa.

Then, at the age of 22, after completing a two and a half year retreat, he was imprisoned for 20 years during the political turmoil of China's Cultural Revolution. While in the labor camp, he received meditation instruction from his root lama, the Nyingma master Khenpo Munsel. Enduring hardship and practicing secretly, Garchen Rinpoche attained realization of the lama's wisdom mind. Since his release from prison in 1979, Garchen Rinpoche has made great effort to rebuild the Drikung Kagyu monasteries, reestablish the Buddhist teachings, and build two boarding schools for local children in eastern Tibet. Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of the Garchen Buddhist Institute in Chino Valley, Arizona.

Garchen Rinpoche is known for his vast realization, as well as for his great kindness.

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Traga Rinpoche Venerable Traga Rinpoche
The Venerable Traga Rinpoche is an accomplished Dzogchen master, having received profound foundational and the most advanced teachings from some of the greatest living masters of Tibetan Buddhism – including His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, Khenchen Jigme Phuntsog and many others – and completed many retreats. From Garchen Rinpoche, Traga Rinpoche received teachings on all Drikung Kagyu texts on regular Dharma service and practice, the five-fold Mahamudra, the entire Dzogchen Yangzab teachings, and many profound pith instructions. He then did his Dzogchen Yangzab retreat at Lho Miyel Gon monastery.

In early 1984, Traga Rinpoche received full gelong ordination from the Nyingma master Khenpo Munsel, who gave him the detailed teachings on Dzogchen Cutting Through the Resistance to Primordial Purity. Khenpo Munsel gently looked at Traga Rinpoche and said, "Your karmic propensity is to practice Dzogchen. I am your karmic lama. If you can meditate, you have today found the way to liberation in one life. You will never find something like this, even if you went to look for it with your horse's hooves encased in steel. Spend one year near me and meditate." For the next seven years, he did retreat near Khenpo Munsel, and practiced Cutting Through, Passing Over, and many other advanced practices.

In 1998, Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche – determined to make Traga Rinpoche's vast knowledge and profound experiential understanding of the highest level of Dzogchen teachings accessible to as many students as possible — enthroned him as Lopon Rinpoche (Precious Master), with lavish praise for his hard work and outstanding achievements. His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche selected Traga Rinpoche as the retreat master and resident lama at the Garchen Buddhist Institute, and asked his students to have full confidence in Traga Rinpoche, just as Garchen Rinpoche has full confidence in him.

Traga Rinpoche returned to Tibet in 2010, not long after his visit to DMC.

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Lama Thubten Nima Venerable Lama Thubten Nima
Lama Thubten Nima formerly known as Lama Gabe, was born in 1965 into conditions of political turmoil and exile associated with the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Lama Thubten Nima had the good fortune to receive instruction at the age of fourteen on the effects of virtuous and harmful actions by the great yogi Tamga, and he completed the four hundred thousand accumulations of the preliminary practices (ngondro) according to the Buddhist Yangzab terma. His family having long been associated with Gar Monastery prior to the Cultural Revolution, Lama Thubten Nima made great efforts to travel to the Gar Monastery where he received refuge ordination from His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche. He then received full monastic ordination and the bodhisattva vow from the great siddha Karma Norbu, and was admitted to the Gar Monastery. There, he trained in the ritual practices of the tantras of Old and New Schools and other diverse religious activities. He was selected for special training at Lho Lungkar Monastery, including the Eight Heruka Sadhanas, the Embodiment of the Masters' Realization, Vajrakilaya, and Essence of Great Bliss. He served as chant master and, later, as disciplinarian of the Gar monastery.

Lama Thubten Nima received teachings from many of the great living Buddhist masters including Dzogchen trekchod and thogal from Khenpo Munsel Rinpoche, the entirety of the Drikung Kagyu protectors and the higher and lower tantra sections from H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, and received from Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok his own terma (mind treasure) of the Kilaya cycle of teachings. At Drigung Thil, he received from Drubpon Tendzin Nyima some of the profound teachings of the Drikung Kagyu such as the Fivefold Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa. He studied the Gong Chig (Single Intention), Essence of Mahayana, The Bodhisattva Way of Life, and the Thirty-Seven Bodhisattva Practices with Drigung Khenpo Namzig. Under the elder Drigung chant master Konchog Samten, he trained in the ritual practices of Chakrasamvara, Varahi, the Yangzab, Sarvavid and Akshobhya.

H.E. Garchen Rinpoche asked him to undertake a series of assignments to help reorganize and reestablish Buddhist practice and monastic discipline in monasteries throughout the region. Subsequently, at Gar Monastery, Lama Thubten Nima took responsibility for instructing the nuns at the Fivefold Mahamudra Meditation Center of Gargon Nunnery. In the year 2000 he went to India and received the complete Drikung Kagyu empowerments, transmissions and teachings during the Drigung Snake Year teachings. He serves as Short-Term Retreat Master and Chant Master for The Garchen Institute in Arizona, as well as continuing to serve as visiting Lama at Drikung Rinchen Choling in Temple City, California. H.E. Garchen Rinpoche has also requested Lama Thubten Nima to serve as Chant Master (religious ritual master) all the Gar Buddhist Dharma centers in the West.

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Lama Abao Lama Abao
Abao Lama's parents lived as nomads in Tibet at a time of great political change, and they endured many hardships just to survive. Five of their ten children died due to the difficult circumstances.

Abao Lama was born in 1969 and was one of the surviving children. From the age of six until the age of eight he studied the Tibetan language and script. At the age of fourteen he met his Root Lama, His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, with whom he took refuge at that time. Afterward he completed 500,000 recitations of the Fivefold Mahamudra Ngondro.

At age fifteen Abao Lama received his monastic vows and instructions on Mahamudra from the Mahasiddha Karma Norbu. At the age of eighteen he met Khenpo Munsel from Golog for the first time. After having completed the Dzogchen Ngondro he received instructions and transmission on Trekcho and Thogal.

Starting at the age of twenty-two, he served for three years at Gargon monastery, having responsibility for the offerings received by the monastery. In addition to this position, he attended the Lamas in the monastery and practiced Tsok on a regular basis. Also during this time, he gathered accumulations of the mantras of White Tara, Yamantaka, and the root mantras of the four enlightened activities of the deities.

In 1997 Abao Lama traveled with H.E. Garchen Rinpoche to America, and he subsequently became an American citizen. Since 1997 Rinpoche has built many centers around the world, and Abao Lama has been one of Rinpoche's two attendants on his travels throughout Europe, Asia, and North America.

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Lama Bunima Lama Bunima
Lama Bunima was born in 1963 in Gargon village in Tibet to a nomadic family, and he kept watch over his family's flock of yaks and goats. He had sincere devotion to the Dharma from the age of 8, and at 16 he met His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, who came to Gargon for a brief visit. When Rinpoche returned for a second visit two years later, Lama Bunima received the refuge vows from His Eminence and great devotion arose. With this devotion and great faith, he completed the ngondro practice while still living as a nomad. He did prostrations and mandala offerings in his mother's house and completed the Vajrasattva and Guru Yoga practices while tending the animals. Shortly thereafter he received the Ganges Mahamudra transmission and instructions.

He lived as a nomad until age 21, and from that time on he stayed with Rinpoche. Starting in 1982, Lama Bunima helped Rinpoche rebuild his monasteries, which had been destroyed during the turmoil in Tibet. He received his monastic ordination in 1982 from Khenpo Munsel and subsequently received Trekcho and Thogal transmission and many other teachings from Garchen Rinpoche. In 1993, together with Rinpoche, he left Tibet for the first time. They traveled for one year in India, Nepal, and Hong Kong, and thereafter, until 1997, they spent most of the time in Tibet. Lama Bunima attended Rinpoche throughout their travels, and at other times he stayed at Gargon monastery and did various retreats. While in retreat, his primary practice was Nyungne. In 1997 he traveled with Rinpoche to America, and he subsequently became an American citizen.

Since 1997 His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche has built many centers around the world, and Lama Bunima has been one of Rinpoche's two attendants on his travels throughout Europe, Asia, and North America.

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Ontul Rinpoche Ontul Rinpoche
Ontul Rinpoche was born in Kham, Nangchen, in Eastern Tibet in 1950. In 1954, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche and His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa recognized Rinpoche as the incarnation of Ontul, and bestowed the name Konchog Tenzin Thrinle Rabgye Palzangpo. In the same year, Ontul Rinpoche was enthroned in the Monastery Dong Med Ogmin Thubten Shedrub Ling.

Ontul Rinpoche received Mahamudra and Dzogchen teachings from H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, H.E. Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen, H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, H.E. Kalu Rinpoche and others. The most of the important empowerments, instructions and oral transmissions of the Drikung Kagyu tradition were received from H.E. Choje Togden Rinpoche.

In 1971, Ontul Rinpoche purchased land at Tso Pema (Rewalsar, H.P.) from the donations received from the people of Ladakh. With the help of his monks, Rinpoche constructed a monastery there. It took many years to complete the monastery with the sacred objects, ritual instruments, and other necessary items. Nearly thirty monks reside at the monastery, maintaining the tradition of the Drikung Kagyu. Tso Pema means the "Lotus Lake" and is one of the sacred places where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) demonstrated his miraculous powers. The purpose of his exhibiting miracles on that place was to subdue the king and the people of that region, which was then known as Sahor.

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Khenpo Tsultrim Khenpo Tsultrim
Khenpo Tsultrim Tenzin took his monk's vows at the age of 14. He studied the Thirteen Major Texts with Khenchen Nawang Gyalpo Rinpoché and other khenpos. He also received the entire Lamdré-cycle of empowerments of the Ngor-Sakya lineage from Khensur Khenchen Rinpoche. From Amdo Lama Togden Rinpoché and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoché he received many Nyingma empowerments and teachings. Khenpo later met His Holiness Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoche and the spontaneous devotion Khenpo felt for His Holiness resulted in his request to His Holiness to join the monastery there and continue his education at Drikung Kagyu Institute at Jangchub Ling in Dehra Dun.  

Having already completed the first four years of his studies at other monasteries, Khenpo quickly completed his education at Jangchub Ling. After three years teaching lower classes in the monastic college, he was enthroned by His Holiness Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoché as as a "Khenpo" in 1998 and spent three more years teaching Buddhist philosophy at the Institute. In between his busy schedule first as student and later as instructor,  Khenpo completed the Ngondro, Cakrasamvara and other practices while in retreat. In April 2001, Khenpo arrived at the TMC to assist Khenchen and also to improve his mastery of the English language so that he can be of more benefit to the spread of Dharma. He began teaching at TMC in August of that year and was subsequently appointed as co spiritual director of TMC by Khenchen. Khenpo is known and loved for his engaging teaching style as well as his complete lack of pretension.

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Drupon Thinley Drupön Thinley
Drupön Thinley Ningpo became a monk at Drong Ngur Monastery, in Nakchu, northern Tibet, and became a student of the eminent scholar, Lama Kedrub Siddhi Rinpoché. During this period, he also received instructions from Vajradhara Pachung Rinpoché, the great retreat master of Drikung Thil. In 1988, he went on a pilgrimage to the sacred places of Western Tibet and performed prostrations around the entire circumambulation route at Mt. Kailash several times. Later, he arrived at Jangchub Ling in Dehra Dun and requested permission from His Holiness Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoché to stay at the monastery. His request was granted and he continued his training there. 

While at Jangchub Ling, he taught Buddhist philosophy and also served as the monastic disciplinarian for several years. To deepen his understanding of the Dharma, Drupön Rinpoché eventually entered and completed the traditional three-year retreat in 1999 at Almora, under the guidance of Gelong Yeshé Rinpoché (a student of Vajradhara Pachung Rinpoché and Vajradhara Gelong Rinpoché of Drikung Thil). In this retreat, he studied and practiced the Five-fold Path of Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa. Subsequently he was enthroned by His Holiness Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoché as "Drupön" ("retreat teacher") based on these accomplishments. 

In 2001, Khenchen Rinpoché brought him to the United States to be one of the two resident lamas at the the center. He has continued Khenchen's schedule of retreats and teachings there and has taught at other Drikung centers throughout the country. Subsequently, he was appointed as a co-spiritual director of the center. Drupön Rinpoché's grounding presence and warm demeanor has inspired many to practice the Dharma so that they too can actualize those same qualities.

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Togden Rinpoche His Eminence Togden Rinpoche
His Eminence Togden Rinpoche is the Choje (Dharma Master), the spiritual leader of the Drikung Kagyu Tradition in Ladakh. His Eminence Togden Rinpoche is the reincarnation of the Indian Mahasiddha Hungchen Kara, who centuries later incarnated as the Kongbo Togden Tulku, a disciple of the 17th Drikung lineage holder Rinchen Phuntsog (1509–1557). The following seven reincarnations were born in Tibet and the 8th in Ladakh.

The present Togden with his religious name Konchog Tenzin Thubten Tenpe Gyaltsen is the 9th reincarnation. He was born into the poor family of Konchog Tsultrim and Kelsang Dolma in 1939 in Durbuk, a small village situated 110 km from Leh. At the age of two years he lost his mother. He was fed by his aunt with the help of goat's milk. When he was one and a half years old he left a footprint on a bolder. Several miraculous happenings around his birth and afterwards clearly revealed his superior qualities.

The previous Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, Shiwe Lodro (1886–1943) recognized him as the incarnation of the Togden Rinpoche. In 1943 he was enthroned as Choje Togden Rinpoche in Sharchukhul Monastery, which is one of the three major monasteries of the Drikung sect in Ladakh. The monastery is located very close to his birthplace. He received the traditional education at a very young age. In 1951 he accompanied his tutor Gegan Sonam to Yangrigar Monastery in Drikung, Tibet, where he received higher education from many spiritual masters. Till 1954 he studied in the Drikung Nyima Changra College for higher Buddhist studies. When China took over Tibet in 1959 he came back to Ladakh along with his tutor and many Ladakhi monks. Since then Rinpoche carried out his responsibilities for fifty Drikung monasteries in Ladakh while maintaining the Drikung Kagyu tradition there.

Rinpoche holds special Drikung Kagyu transmissions of Gongchig, Yamantaka, Phowa and Dharmapalas. He also holds the transmission of the Rinchen Terdzo. In the beginning of 1967, Rinpoche arranged for the Rinchen Terdzo empowerment to be given at Tso Pema, Rewalsar, one of the most sacred places of Guru Rinpoche. H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche gave this empowerment to a large assembly of thirty Tulkus and several thousand people. Subsequently Dudjom Rinpoche initiated Togden Rinpoche as his successor for imparting this great empowerment of Rinchen Terdzo.

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Drubwang Rinpoche Drubwang Rinpoche
Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche (1921–2007) was born in Drikung, Tibet in 1921. He entered Drikung Nyima Changra Buddhist Institute at a very young age, and studied Buddhist philosophy. After his graduation, Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche became the disciple of one of the foremost contemporary retreat masters of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage, Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche (1901–1988). Under the guidance of Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche, Drubwang Konchok Norbu went on retreat for many years.

It was during a 10-year retreat that Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche gained the supreme experiential understanding of Mahamudra. Many times, he saw His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his vision. Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche did not give tantric empowerments or lofty teachings on Mahamudra or Mahasandhi. Through his deep compassion he encouraged and inspired people to do the simplest of all dharma practices: extend kindness and recite Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hung and Om Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hung.

In December 2007 Drubwang Rinpoche passed away in Nepal.

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Tulku Thubten Nyingpo Rinpoche Tulku Thubten Nyingpo Rinpoche
Thubten Nyingpo Rinpoche is the essence of bodhicitta and a wonderful dharma teacher. The present Thupten Nyingpo's previous incarnation was one of the root Drikung teachers of the present Garchen Rinpoche. At an empowerment that Garchen Rinpoche gave in 2004, he mentioned that the Lama from whom he received all the 50 empowerments of Lord Jigten Sumgon was the previous Tulku Thubten Nyingpo. At a teaching in New York State in 2004, Garchen Rinpoche instructed his students to make every effort to promptly receive teachings from Tulku Thubten Nyingpo.

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Tulku Nyima Rinpoche Tulku Nyima Rinpoche
Tulku Nyima Rinpoche was born in the water horse year of 1942 in Tromtar, Eastern Tibet (Kham). The great Jamyang Khyentse Chöki Lodrö recognized him as a reincarnate lama (a tulku) when he was just a small child. At the age of 12 he went to Nyoshul Monastery to study, and trained under many masters, including Orgyen Rigdzin, Khenpo Munsel, and Arig Rinpoche – his root teacher. During this time he studied and meditated on the classic works of the Sakya and Nyingma traditions. In 2003, on his first visit to the United States, he met His Holiness Sakya Trizin who recognized him as a "genuine reincarnate lama of the Sakya tradition." His Holiness also described him as "well accomplished." He also met His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche of the Drikung Kagyu tradition who publicly encouraged his students to receive teachings from him. In addition, Tulku Nyima is recognized as one of the five emanations of Khenpo Ngagchung, one of the greatest Nyingma masters of the previous century and a prophesied emanation of Vimilamitra and Longchenpa. Since 2002 he has been the abbot of the Dokho Monastery in Derge, Eastern Tibet. He has many disciples, among them lamas and tulkus from many regions including Central Tibet, Kham, Amdo, and Inner Mongolia.

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Drikung Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche Drikung Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche
Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche is recognized as an extraordinary scholar and practitioner possessing great realization of both Dzogchen and Mahamudra. He is uniquely qualified to transmit the Drikung Dzogchen teachings. He has studied extensively with some of the greatest masters of Tibetan Buddhism.

From His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Gyalpo Rinpoche received such profound teachings as Mahamudra, and Karmapa Rangjung Dorje's Tsig-chigma; from Situ Pema Wangchog, Abishekas, commentaries and experiential insight; from Zigar Kongtul Rinpoche, Rinchen Terzo and Abishekas, commentaries, and transfer of experiential insight on all Yidam deities; from Ripa Seljey Rinpoche, Karma Kagyu empowerments and teachings; and from Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche, Nyingmapa tantras, sadhanas, and experiential insight in general and Nyingthig Yabshi teachings in particular. Gyalpo Rinpoche received from other such enlightened masters as Poli Khenchen Dorjechang, Nyoshul Khenpo Jampal Dorje and Khenpo Thubten Rinpoche numerous aspects of Dzogchen empowerments, teachings, and conveyance of experiential insights with special emphasis on Longchen Nyingthig.

From former Drugpa Chogon, Drugchen Thamche Kyenpa, and Yoge Rigzin Gyalpo Rinpoche received thorough introduction to the very essence of Mahamudra and the Great Perfection and Drugpa teachings with special emphasis on Doha. From his root guru, Khunu Rinpoche Tenzin Gyaltsen – the lifeline of all Buddhist traditions – Gyalpo Rinpoche received unadulterated teachings on the core of Mahamudra and the Great Perfection with special emphasis on tregchod and thogal.

When in exile, Gyalpo Rinpoche served in the Tibetan government in exile for 11 years first as Senior Secretary and later as Executive Manager of Tibetan Self-Help Handicraft Center in Simla, India. Towards the end of his 11 years' service, Gyalpo Rinpoche was asked by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche to join him, and Gyalpo Rinpoche resigned from the Tibetan government service.

In 1997, Gyalpo Rinpoche founded the Gampopa Vajrayana Buddhist Center, which is located in Denville, New Jersey.

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Karma Ratna Rinpoche Karma Ratna Rinpoche
Karma Ratna Rinpoche, also known as Ogyen Rangjung Drodul Dechen Dorje Rinpoche, was born in Zahor (Mandi), Northern India, on June 10, 1980, the 16th cycle of the Iron Monkey year. Before and after his birth there were many auspicious signs. Rinpoche was officially recognized on April 14, 2003, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche as the 'incarnation of quality' of the fourth Lho Drongtrul.

In 1987, he received the Kalachakra Empowerment from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Bodh-Gaya. In 2000 he received: the Phur-Pa Empowerment from Sakya Trinzin, the uncommon oral transmissions and empowerments of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage from His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, and the uncommon Drikung Kagyu Fifty Blessings Empowerment H.E. Garchen Rinpoche.

During the Dragon Year of 2000/01, Rinpoche received the Drikung Kagyu Protector Empowerment, Gong-Chik Teaching and Yang-Zab Empowerment from H.E. Garchen Rinpoche. Later that year, Ontul Rinpoche gave him the ritual practice 'The Essence of Mahayana Stages of Dharma' by the Great Yogi Shedang Dorjee, and oral transmission and empowerment of 'the Establishment of the Essence of the Hearts Great Bliss' also by Lho Nuden Dorje, supplemented with the Chod Empowerment (Rainbow Body Establishment) and oral transmission of the eight volumes of Lho Nuden Dorje. Rinpoche attended Sherab Ling Monastery during 2006 and received the Rinchin Terzod Empowerments from H.E. Tai Situ Rinpoche. In 2007 Rinpoche completed a three-month retreat in the caves of Lapchi, where Milarepa first realized the true nature of the mind. Rinpoche resides in Tso Pema.

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