Shechen Rabjam Gyurme Chokyi Senge

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zhe chen rab 'byams 'gyur med chos kyi seng ge

Short biography

  • Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, born in 1966, is the grandson and spiritual heir of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, a unique Buddhist meditation master who was the most eminent modern day proponent of the non-sectarian or Rimed tradition.

Since his grandfather’s passing in 1991, Rabjam Rinpoche has taken the responsibility of transmitting Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's teachings and is bringing his vision for the preservation of Tibetan Buddhist teaching and culture to fruition.

Rabjam Rinpoche is the seventh in the line of the Rabjam succession. The second Rabjam Rinpoche founded Shechen Monastery in Kham, which became one of the six main Nyingma Monasteries in Tibet. The Monastery complex was destroyed during the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

At the age of three, Rabjam Rinpoche began taking teachings from his revered grandfather and today holds this unbroken lineage. He was raised by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and attended almost every teaching, drupchen (long ceremony), and empowerment that he gave during twenty-five years. He traveled throughout the world with Khyentse Rinpoche and first visited the West in 1976.

In the early 1980’s Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche built Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal and established Rabjam Rinpoche as its abbot. The Monastery, located a few hundred yards from the Great Stupa of Baudhanath, is one of the largest and most beautiful outside of Tibet. Today, there are 300 monks studying and practicing there under his guidance. Despite his youth, Rabjam Rinpoche created an administration and organization within the monk community that is a model of education, joyful discipline, humanitarian activity, and attention to authentic ceremonies and practice. During the last ten years, Rinpoche increased the Monastery’s activities by establishing the Shechen Philosophical College and the Shechen Retreat Center. In response to the needs of women wanting to practice and study in the lineage of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Rabjam Rinpoche has improved the facilities of the Sisinang Nunnery in Bhutan.

In accordance with the wish of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, he built a small Nyingma monastery and study center in Bodhgaya, India where he and More Teachers, conduct a yearly seminar for international students. Rinpoche maintains an active interest in the preservation of Tibetan culture. Shechen Monastery in Tibet was renowned for its particular style of sacred dance (cham) and performance of rituals and chant. Rabjam Rinpoche is revitalizing that tradition. Under his leadership, the Shechen Dancers have performed throughout Europe and South America. In an effort to preserve the tradition of sacred painting, he created the Tsering Art School.

Rinpoche is overseeing the education and upbringing of Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche, the young incarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He spends part of the year with the young tulku in Bhutan. Rabjam Rinpoche’s acute interest in humanitarian projects led to the establishment of the Shechen Medical Clinic in Nepal and the Shechen Mobile Clinic in India. Both facilities serve the medical needs of the local lay and monastic communities. He is maintaining the authentic Tibetan Buddhist tradition as taught to him by his grandfather in combination with a modern interest in the needs of the community and its individuals.

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