Garchen Rinpoche

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Garchen Rinpoche

A Short Biography

His eminence was born in 1936 in Nangchen Kham. The King of Nangchen personally took responsibility for searching for the reincarnation of the 7th Gar Tinley Yonkyab. Rinpoche was recognized and enthroned by His Holiness the late Drikung Kyabgon Shiwei Lodoe.

At the age of seven Rinpoche was brought to Lho Miyalgon, where he was offered ceremonial clothes and other items. At the age of 13 he received the Drikung Kagyu lineage teachings from Lho Thubten Nyingpo Rinpoche of Lho Lungkar Gon. He received oral transmission, explanation and empowerment for Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa. During the cultural revolution, he met Khenpo Munsel, a great disciple of the renowned Nyingmapa Khenpo Ngagchung. From Khenpo Munsel he received Dzogchen teachings and practiced secretly. Khenpo Munsel was astonished at Rinpoche's great achievement and complimented him: "He (Gar Rinpoche) is an emanation of a Bodhisattva." His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche received the empowerment and transmission (lung) of Yamantaka (Jampel Shinje) from Garchen Rinpoche, and composed a long life prayer for him. In prayer H. H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche regards Garchen Rinpoche as a great Drikung Kagyu yogi of the present time.

adapted from website

From his Facebook page:

His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche was born in 1936 in Nangchen, Kham in Eastern Tibet. He 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. From Khenpo Munsel he received Dzogchen teachings and practiced secretly. Enduring hardship and practicing secretly, Garchen Rinpoche attained realization of the lama's wisdom mind. Khenpo Munsel was astonished at Rinpoche's great achievement and commented of him: "He is an emanation of a Bodhisattva."

Since his release in 1979, Garchen Rinpoche has made great effort to rebuild the Drikung Kagyu monasteries and reestablish the Buddhist teachings. At present, Garchen Rinpoche is involved in restoring Gar Monastry and establishing a monastic college there, as well as two boarding schools for local Tibetan children.

Garchen Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of the Garchen Buddhist Institute in Chino Valley, Arizona, the Drikung Mahayana Center in North Potomac, Maryland and Gar Drolma Choling in Dayton, Ohio. Internationally he has founded centers in Germany, Malaysia and Singapore.

His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, "a great Drikung Kagyu yogi of the present time" praised by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche and is respected by many Tibetan lamas as a pure and realized master. An accomplished practitioner of Mahamudra and Dzogchen. Rinpoche’s radiant presence inspires and delights students as the loving mother gathers her children close with sheltering, loving, encouraging, admonishing, laughing, inviting, prodding, teaching, reminding, singing…

Because of his vast realization and great kindness, Garchen Rinpoche naturally gathers students around him wherever he travels. Yet, he remains steadfast in humility, loving kindness and pure vision, thinking only of how to benefit others. By nature he is able to work for the benefit of others and has earned great respect from the public. His Eminence has never betrayed the expectations of his disciples or others. Garchen Rinpoche is an extraordinary being in this age of degeneration and strife.

Truly, compassion and wisdom pour forth from this precious teacher like water from a mountain stream.