Enlightened Vagabond/About the Contributors
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (dil mgo mkhyen brtse rin po che bkra shis dpal ’byor, 1910–1991) was a foremost meditation master, poet, and scholar of the Mahayana and Dzogchen traditions of Vajrayana Buddhism. One of the principal holders of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, he was a dedicated exponent of the nonsectarian movement. In addition to spending thirty years in contemplative retreat, he worked tirelessly to preserve the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism through the publication of texts, the building of monasteries and stupas, and instructions to thousands of practitioners throughout the world. His collected works in the Tibetan language ll twenty- ve volumes.
Dodrup Tenpai Nyima (Jigme Tenpai Nyima, 3rd Dodrupchen, 1865–1926) was the author of a spiritual biography of Patrul Rinpoche, Dewdrop of Amrita. See Biographical Notes, page 000.
Garchen Rinpoche, Könchog Gyaltsen (mgar chen dkon mchog rgyal mtshan, b. 1949), is a master of the Drigung Kagyu tradition. By the time he nally left Tibet in the 1990s, he had spent twenty-three years imprisoned by the Chinese. Of his time in prison, twenty years were spent in the company of his teacher, Khenpo Munsel (mkhan po mun sel, 1916–1994). Since coming out of Tibet, he has been tirelessly teaching throughout the world.
Khenpo Jampel Dorje (mkhan po ’jam dpal rdo rje, b. ca. 1970) is a teacher at Ari Dza Monastery in Dzachukha, Kham.
Khenpo Könchog Mönlam (mkhan po dkon mchog smon lam, b. 1940) was born at Nangchen, in Kham. He studied in Drigung Kagyu monasteries in Tibet before seeking refuge in India, where he studied with Pomda Khenpo, Lama Wang- dor, Khenchen Thupden Özer, Kunu Rinpoche, and many other teachers. He is currently teaching at his monastery in Manali, at the Drigung Kagyu Institute in India, and at the retreat center he established in Nepal.
Khenpo Kunpel (Khenpo Kunzang Palden, ca. 1862–1943) was the author of a spiritual biography of Patrul Rinpoche, Elixir of Faith. See Biographical Notes, page 000.
Khenpo Ngawang Palzang (mkhan po ngag dbang dpal bzang, 1879–1941), also known as Khenpo Ngakchung or Khenpo Ngaga (ngag dga’), was an in uential Nyingma master regarded as an incarnation of Vimalamitra. His principal teacher was Nyoshul Lungtok, and his other teachers included Tertön Sogyal, Khenpo Shenga, Katok Situ Chökyi Gyatso, Khenpo Kunpel, and the 5th Dzogchen Rin- poche, Thubten Chökyi Dorje. Among his disciples were Chatral Rinpoche, Tulku Orgyen Chemchok, and Nyoshul Shedrup Tenpai Nyima. He left thirteen volumes of writings. His autobiography was translated as Wondrous Dance of Illusion (see Written Sources: Works in English).
Khenpo Palga, whose full name is Khenpo Palden Dorje (mkham po dpal ldan rdo rje, b. 1933), is one of the three known surviving students of Khenpo Thubga. For many years he has lived in semi-retreat in Gosa hermitage, about two hours’ drive from Shechen Monastery.
Khenpo Pema Wangyal (mkhan po padma dbang rgyal, b. 1929) of Gemang Monastery is currently one of the most respected masters in Kham. He is among the very few surviving disciples of Khenpo Kunpel and of Khenpo Thubga. He also studied with Pema Siddhi and Dzogchen Khenpo Gönri, and was a close disciple of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Dodrupchen Rinpoche.
Khenpo Shönri (Shönu Dondrup, gzhon nu don grub, 1938–2015) of Juniong Monastery was a disciple of Khenpo Thubga (Khenpo Thubten Chöphel) and a custodian of many of Lama Mipham Rinpoche’s and Patrul Rinpoche’s relics.
Khenpo Tsering Gonpo (mkhan po tshe ring mgon po, b. ca. 1970) graduated from Larung Gar Philosophical College as a disciple of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. He currently resides at Dzagyal Trama Lung hermitages in Upper Dzachukha.
Kunu Rinpoche Tendzin Gyaltsen, also known as Kunu Lama Tendzin Gyaltsen (khu nu bla ma bstan ‘dzin rgyal mtshan, ca. 1894–1977), was born in Kunu, Himachal Pradesh, India. He went to Sikkim at the age of twenty and from there to Central Tibet to study with Buddhist master. At age twenty-seven he proceeded to Kham, where he studied with Kathok Situ Chökyi Gyatso, Khenpo Shenga, Dru Jamyang Trakpa (a direct disciple of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo), Khenpo Kunpel, and Khenpo Ngawang Palzang. In 1938 he returned to India, where he did fteen years of retreat in Kalimpong and Varanasi. After His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama requested him to give teachings on the Bodhicharyavatara, he began teaching exten- sively, living mostly in Bodhgaya. He nally returned to Kunu, where he passed away.
Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, Jamyang Dorje (myo shul mkhan po ’jam dbyangs rdo rje, 1932–1999), known as Nyoshul Khenpo, was an extremely learned Nyingma master. His root teacher was Nyoshul Shedrup Tenpai Nyima (known as Nyoshul Tulku), the reincarnation of Nyoshul Lungtok. Nyoshul Khenpo was a holder of the Longchen Nyingthig tradition and particularly of the Great Oral Lineage of Pith Instructions of the Great Perfection (Mengak Nyengyu Chenmo). He was also a disciple of Dudjom Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa. He taught extensively in India and in France, where he spent seven years near the Chanteloube retreat center (Centre d’Études de Chanteloube). He traveled and taught widely at Buddhist centers in Europe and the United States. Nyoshul Khenpo is the author of a detailed history of the Nyingthig lineage in Tibetan, pub- lished in English under the title A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems.
Nyoshul Lungtok Tenpai Nyima was a heart-disciple of Patrul Rinpoche. Many of the stories told by Khenpo Ngawang Palzang (author of Wondrous Dance of Illusion) were quoted verbatim from Nyoshul Lungtok. See Biographical Notes, page 000.
Tulku Pema Wangyal is the informal name for Taklung Tsetrul Pema Wangyal Rinpoche (stag lung rtse sprul padma dbang rgyal, b. 1947). He is the eldest son of the great Nyingma master and tertön Kangyur Rinpoche, Longchen Yeshe Dorje (ka’ ’gyur rin po che klong chen ye shes rdo rje, 1898–1975). Following the death of his father in Darjeeling, he has tirelessly worked to preserve and spread his father’s lineage, taught as well as invited many great masters to teach at the Centre d’Études de Chanteloube in France, and directed the Padmakara Translation Group, which has published numerous translation of major Indian and Tibetan Buddhist texts.
Trogawa Rinpoche, Gyurme Ngawang (khro dga’ ba ’gyur med ngag dbang, 1931–2005) was an eminent practitioner and teacher of Tibetan medicine, who was trained at the famed Lhasa Chakpori medical college. He taught at the Tibetan Med- ical and Astrological Institute (Men-Tsee-Khang) in Dharamsala at the request of H. H. the Dalai Lama and then spent many years in Darjeeling, India, where he founded the Chagpori Institute in commoration of the famous institute of the same name that existed in Lhasa. His main spiritual teacher was Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, and he was also a disciple of Dudjom Rinpoche, Kangyur Rinpoche, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
Tsoknyi Rinpoche (Ngawang Tsoknyi Gyatso, ngag dbang tshogs gnyis rgya mtsho, b. 1966), was recognized as the 3rd Tsoknyi Rinpoche by the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa. He has studied with great masters of the Drukpa Kagyu and Nyingma lineages, including Khamtrul Rinpoche Dongyu Nyima, Nyima; his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche; Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche; Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche; and Nang- chen Adeu Rinpoche. The author of Fearless Simplicity and other books, he teaches extensively around the world.
Tulku Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche (o rgyan stobs rgyal rin po che, b. 1951) is the elder son of the 3rd Neten Chokling Rinpoche. He is considered to be an incar- nation of Taksham Nuden Dorje. After the death of his father, the took care of Pema Ewam Chögar Gyurme Ling Monastery in Bir, India, for many years before handing it over to the 4th Neten Chokling Rinpoche. He is a disciple of Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Renowned for his vast memory of the lives of past teachers, he recounted The Life of Chokgyur Lingpa to Erik Pema Kunsang.
Tulku Thondup RinPoche was born in Golok in 1936 and trained from child- hood at Dodrupchen Monastery, after having been recognized as the reincarnation of Khenpo Könchog Drönme (1859–1936). He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he writes and translates under the auspices of the Buddhayana Foundation. A few of his books in English are Masters of Meditation and Miracles; Enlightened Living; The Healing Power of Mind; Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth; and The Heart of Unconditional Love.
Tulku Urgyen Chemchog (1915?–2003?) was one of the closest disciple of Khenpo Ngawang Palzang and a disciple of Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje. He was able to teach quite a few disciple in secret while spending twenty years in Chinese labor camps in Tibet. After being freed, he lived and taught in Konjo prov- ince. After his passing away, his body shrank to the size of an arm’s length, a phe- nomenon considered to be similar, though not identical, to the achievement of the rainbow body.
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Tsewang ChokdruP PelBar (sprul sku o rgyan tshe dbang mchog grub dpal ’bar (1919–1996), was born in Nangchen province, Kham. He began practicing at a very early age under his father, Chime Dorje, and subsequently studied with his uncle Samten Gyatso, his root master. He was very close with many other lamas of both the Kagyu and Nyingma schools, including the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, Dudjom Rinpoche, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, with whom he exchanged many teachings. In his youth he stayed in retreat for twenty years and then spent thirty years in Nepal at Nagi Gonpa hermitage. He had many Western students, some of whom collected his teachings in numerous books, includ- ing his biography, Blazing Splendor, which also contains insights onto the lives of other masters.
Yantang Rinpoche (g.yang thang rin po che, 1929–2016) was born in Sikkim and traveled to Kham, since he was recognized as the reincarnation of Tertön Dorje Dechen Lingpa of Domang (mdo mang) Monastery. In 1959, even though he was an Indian citizen, he was imprisoned for 22 years in Chinese labor camps. After his release in 1981, he returned to Sikkim. In India, he received teachings from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Dodrupchen Rinpoche and Penor Rinpoche. He gave extensive teachings and transmissions from the Nyingma tradition throughout the world.