H.E. Nubpa Rinpoche is the 12th reincarnation of the Nubpa Tulku and is regared as an emanation of Gompo Gyaltsen, the four-armed Mahakala.
After his studies at the Peking Buddhist College of Higher Studies he came to India in 1992 to aid his Root-Lama H. H. the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang with the building of the Drikung Kagyu Seat in Exile.
Nubpa Rinpoche completed several multi-year retreats on the holy mountain Lapchi, where he restored the old Drikung retreat centers. Nubpa Rinpoche is actually the head of Drikung Kagyu Rinchen Ling Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal.
H.E. Chenga Rinpoche is the reincarnation of Chenga Dragpa Jungne (1175-1255), a heart-disciple of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön. After having accompanied Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön for 17 years, he was named “Chenga”, which means in Tibetan “In the presence of”.
The current Chenga was born in 1974. Already before leaving Tibet, he completed the three-years-retreat. He currently lives in the Gampopa Vajrayana Buddhist Center in New Jersey, USA. His mastery of specific exercises of the Six Yogas of Naropa, which are learned and brought to perfection during the three-year retreat, he impressively demonstrated in the movie The Yogis of Tibet.
The 9th Nyidzong Sopa Rinpoche was born in 1984 (Wood Rat year in the Tibetan calendar). He was recognized by the two Drikung Kyabgons as the reincarnation of the previous Sopa Rinpoche of Nyidzong Thekchen Ling Monastery.
At age three, he was discovered by Kyabjé Garchen Rinpoche who performed an ablution and wrote a long life prayer for him. At age seven, he was invited from Lhasa all the way back to Nyidzong Monastery in Qinghai to receive formal education for a reincarnated tulku. From 17 onward, he studied in Drikung Kagyu Drubgyu Buddhist College, Yushu State Buddhist College as well as Serta Larung Ngarik Nangten Lopling.
In 2006, while bestowing the great empowerments of Drubpa Kagye (the Eight Herukas), Garchen Rinpoche gave a crystal, a mala and some ritual objects to Sopa Rinpoche. From then on, Sopa Rinpoche became one of the lineage heart sons. Garchen Rinpoche thus praised Sopa Rinpoche, “Among the 13 tulkus recognized by me, Sopa Rinpoche is the most diligent.” At age 20, in order to revive the lineage teachings of Nyidzong Monastery, Sopa Rinpoche began the endeavor of relocating the monastery from the remote high mountain to the foothill where the monastery was first founded 800 years ago. This was prophesied long ago by the lineage masters in writing. During the Qinghai big earthquake in 2010, a large portion of the finished construction was damaged. However, Sopa Rinpoche persisted with the reconstruction plan without giving up.
In 2015, upon completing the task of relocation and rebuilding the monastery, Sopa Rinpoche immediately entered the traditional three-year solitary retreat. He completed the retreat this year and a solemn ceremony was held in honor of his completion. Over 10,000 people attended the ceremony.
Sopa Rinpoche greatly emphasizes on the education and cultivation of the monks in the monastery. Currently, there are 128 adult monks, among which 19 are studying at various Buddhist colleges; 14 monks are in the traditional three-year retreat to practice the Six Yogas of Naropa; one monk is doing the Protector Achi retreat. In addition, there are 65 young monks receiving education in the monastery.
The Origin of Nyidzong Monastery
Nyidzong Monastery is located in Cheng-duo county, Yushu, Qinghai. It was founded by one of Lord Jigten Sumgon’s major disciples, Dorje Nyingpo with a history of more than 800 years. It is one of the three major monasteries in Drikung Kagyu.
The three main reincarnations of Drikung Kagyu’s realized masters are Garchen, Lochen and Nyidzong Trichen. These three great masters are qualified to act as the regents when the new reincarnation of the Drikung Kagyu’s throne holder has not been found or is still young. Until now, Nyidzong Monastery is still flourished with masters possessing both the teachings and realizations. Many relics left by past realized masters through their miraculous powers remain in the monastery. These include the Buddha’s relics, Lord Atisha’s heart relic, and the Thokcha Phurba owned by the 17th throne holder of Drikung Kagyu lineage, the victorious Rinchen Phuntsok. The phurba is regarded as significant treasure of the monastery.
Siddha Gar Chime Dorje was a great practitioner and an embodiment of the Avalokiteshvara (the Buddha of Compassion) and a spiritual master of H.E. Garchen Rinpoche. After his parinirvana, through his great aspiration, he again took rebirth as Chime Dorje in India.
The present Chime Dorje Rinpoche was born in 1984, with many auspicious signs occurring at the time of his birth, he was recognized by H.H the 37th Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoche and was officially enthroned in 1992 at Jangchubling Monastery, Dehra Dun, India.
Chime Dorje Rinpoche completed his basic monastic education at Jangchubling Monastery. Rinpoche also received the entire set of empowerments, oral transmissions and instructions of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage from H.H Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoche, H.H Drikung Kyabgön Chungtsang Rinpoche, H.E Garchen Rinpoche as well as from many other eminent Rinpoches of the Drikung Kagyü Lineage. Rinpoche also visited the Gar Monastery in Kham, Tibet and studied at the Buddhist Institution, Larong Serta Narig. Back in India he joined the Zongsar College and studied there for many years. Growing up in this modern era, he expresses openness and interest towards the problems faced by modern day practitioners.
Ven. Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen was born in 1946 at the foot of the holy mountain Tsari in Tibet. In 1982, he first visited the United States and founded several Dharma centers. Khenchen Rinpoche is the author of numerous books.
It has long been Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen’s particular concern, to make the Heart Essence of Mahāyāna Teachings (theg chen pa'i bstan snying po) known in the West. The Heart Essence of Mahāyāna Teachings ranks among the most important texts of the Drikung Kagyu lineage. It contains essential teachings of the lineage founder Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön (1143-1217) and was written by his personal student Ngorje Repa. The Heart Essence is a comprehensive fundamental work. Starting from the treatment of the topic of Buddha Nature it outlines the entire buddhist path as gradual path to enlightenment that concludes with an explanation of the Fivefold Path of Mahāmudrā, one of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage’s own practice. Aside from the Gongchig (The Single Intent), the most important philosophical legacy of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön, Khenchen Rinpoche teaches with passion and with great enthusiasm the Heart Essence of Mahāyāna Teachings. It is his heartfelt wish that this important and comprehensive text will be made available in translations in three volumes. In order to promote this project, he works at the Milarepa Retreat Center closely with translators. The German translation of the first part of the Heart Essence is completed and will be published in the near future. Currently work is being done on the English translation of the first and the German translation of the second part.
Khenchen Rinpoche is a wonderful author and translator who has translated for many years important Dharma texts and has written profound commentaries on them, to allow his students and those seriously interested in the Dharma, to come into contact with authentic Dharma knowledge. Rinpoche has published twelve books. These books are all available in English. In his latest book, Opening the Treasure of the Profound, Khenchen Rinpoche presents songs of realization by Jigten Sumgon and Milarepa.
A list of the highly reccomended books by Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche:
Khenchen Nyima Gyaltsen Rinpoche was born in 1976. He studied both at the Drikung Kagyu Jangchubling monastery in Dehradun and at the Dzongsar Shedra monastic college in Bir, India. In 2002 he was appointed Khenpo by H.H. the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and has been a teacher at the Kagyu College ever since.
From 2005 onwards, Buddhist texts have been translated into foreign languages under his guidance for four to five months every winter. In addition, in 2008 he started to teach in Dharma centers in the East and West during his annual holidays. In 2013, he was appointed the second Khenchen of the main seat of Drikung Kagyu in India by H.H. the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. Directed by H.H., he is leading the Vikramashila translation project, giving teachings and translation instructions in the Milarepa Center in Germany for three months every year.
Khenpo Konchog Thamphel was born in 1975 in Ladakh. When he was nine years old he became a novice in Lamayuru Monastery, where he received a basic education in Dharma.
He also studied and practiced a few Drikung Kagyü rituals while there. In 1987 he went to the Drikung Kagyü Institute in Dehra Dun, India to pursue advanced Buddhist studies. There, over a period of nine years, he studied the twelve main commentaries of the masters of Nalanda as well as Drikung Kagyü treatises such as the Gong Chig, “The Heart of the Mahayana Sutras” and others under the skilful guidance of Khenpo Togdol Rinpoche, Khenpo Könchog Mönlam, Khenpo Könchog Tashi and Khenchen Könchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche. After completing his studies in 1996, he travelled in Europe and Southeast Asia as H.H. Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang’s translator. He has also taught in Drikung Kagyü centers in Malaysia, Singapore, North America, Estonia and Latvia.
For a few years, he served as Resident Khenpo in the Songtsen Library in Dehra Dun/ India. In addition to his instructions in the Library, he translated rare Drikung Kagyü texts into English and issued a number of English-language books.
He has been living in Vienna since 2015 and works at the University of Vienna at the Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies and is a participant in the research project “Neue Erwägungen zur Buddha-Natur” (i.e. new considerations on Buddha nature). Khenpo Thamphel teaches in English and now also speaks a little German so that various questions and topics can be discussed directly with him.
Dr. Karl Brunnhölzl is at home in all aspects of Buddhism, but his main interests are Mahamudra, the teachings on buddha nature, songs of realization (dohās) and Yogācāra. In particular, he is dedicated to the works of the Karmapas and other major Kagyu masters in order to make their timeless and authentic teachings available to many contemporary audiences through study and practice.
Dr. Karl Brunnhölzl worked for 20 years as a physician and is a Buddhist since 1983.
From 1988–1998, he received his training in Buddhist philosophy and meditation as well as Tibetan language mainly at Marpa Institute For Translators in Kathmandu, Nepal (director: Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche). He also studied Tibetology, Buddhology, and Sanskrit at Hamburg University, Germany (1988–1990 and 2001–2005). Since 1989, Karl served as a translator, interpreter, and Buddhist teacher mainly in Europe, India, and Nepal. Since 1999, he has acted as one of the main translators and teachers at Nitartha Institute (director: Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche) in the USA, Canada, and Germany. From 2000–2007, he also taught regularly at the Vidyadhara Institute in Gampo Abbey (Canada).
In 2005, Karl was appointed by Dzogche Ponlop Rinpoche as one of five Western teachers of the Nalandabodhi sangha and received the title “Mitra” (“spiritual friend”). He also teaches weekend seminars and Nitartha Institute courses in Nalandabodhi centers in the USA, Canada, and Mexico as well as other locations.
Karl is the (co-)author and translator of more than twenty books on Buddhism in English and German, such as The Heart Attack Sutra (Snow Lion Publications), A Lullaby to Awaken the Heart, and Sounds of Innate Freedom (Wisdom Publications).
Giorgio's combined study of Hatha Yoga in many traditions and intensive practice of the Drikung Kagyu Buddhist Tradition makes him a unique teacher with special understanding of breath, posture and mind.
He has both a four year training at the Higher Institute of the Italian Federation of Yoga and a two year diploma from the Satyananda Yoga Center (tradition according to the parameters of the Bihar University of Yoga India) completed in 2004.
In 2006 Giorgio decided to deepen his meditation practice in India and met His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup and took Refuge and began his training in the Five Fold Path of Mahamudra and the 6 Yogas of Naropa. Giorgio spent over 3 years on and off in India from the beginning of 2006 to 2009 in retreat under the guidance of his retreat masters, Drupon Champa Rinpoche, Drupon Sonam Kunga Rinpoche and Lama Manu from Chile who completed two three year retreats in the Drikung Kagyu tradition. Giorgio has also taken teachings on the Six Yogas and Mahamudra and empowerments from HE Garchen Rinpoche.
Giorgio has been teaching Hatha Yoga in Italy and Switzerland for over 15 years and more recently been assisting retreatants and meditation students at the Milarepa Retreat Center in Germany in improving their relationship with their body, breath and mind which is vital for progression on the yogic path of Tibetan Buddhism.
Drubpon Rachel Dodds has completed a Traditional Three Year Retreat in the Drikung Kagyu Tradition from 2004 to 2008 in Almora India under the auspices of H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup and H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, under the guidance of Drubpon Champa Rigzin Rinpoche.
Drubpon Rachel Dodds has officially received the title „ Drubpon“ (Meditation-Master) by H.H. The Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup.
Since 2010 Drubpon Rachel has been living in Italy and teaching and leading retreats in various Drikung Centers in Germany, Ukraine, Estonia, Poland and Russia as well as teaching Buddhist Philosophy and Meditation Classes in Italy and Switzerland.
She began 2016 her position as the „Drubpon“(Meditation-Master) at the Milarepa Retreat Center. She travels there regularly to lead teachings and group retreats and support practitioners in long term solitary retreats.
Under her guidance the second traditonal Three-Year Retreat with a group of six international disciples began in 2018, where she lead them through the 5 Fold Path of Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa.
She will lead the third Three-Year Retreat, supported by Giorgio Savigliano.
Authority Letter of His Holiness The Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup
Letter of Introduction from H.E. Garchen Rinpoche
To Whom it may concern,
Rachel Dodds (Yeshe Zangmo) has been my disciple since 1999.
From then until 2004 she attended most of the summer retreats in Chino Valley, Arizona learning Buddhist philosophy and meditation practices. She lived and worked as a volunteer at the Garchen Buddhist Institute in Arizona, engaging in daily practice and completing the 100-day solitary retreat on the four contemplations in 2002.
From 2003 to 2004 she was instrumental in initiating and organizing the first three year, three month group retreat including westerners in the Drikung Kagyu tradition, which took place in Almora India from 2004 to 2008 under the auspices of H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup . The retreat was lead by Drupon Champa Rigzin Rinpoche and was conducted in the traditional monastic style and done together with Drikung Kagyu monks from various regions of the Himalayas. During the retreat she practiced in full The Five Fold Path of Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa, complete with elaborate fire pujas and training in all aspects of ritual.
From 2008 to 2009 Rachel continued her study of ritual including sand mandala and torma sculpture and deepening her knowledge of various aspects of the three year retreat practices. Living at Songtsen Library in Dehradun, India - the seat of the Drukung Kagyu in exile- she was able to assist H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup Rinpoche with various duties, as well as continue her study of classical and colloquial Tibetan language.
I am very pleased with the progress that Rachel has made in her practice and studies and fully support her as a teacher of Buddhadharma. I have faith in the qualities of Rachel’s outer trainings and inner practice, including her view and meditation. Because of these qualities and her true wish from the bottom of her heart to benefit sentient beings, I have been authorized by H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup to give her the title of Drupon or Retreat Master.
Konchog Gyaltsen [a.k.a. Kyabje Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche]
February 16th 2010
Since 2005 Drubpon Ingrid Lama has been taking care of retreatants in the Drikung Kagyu Lineage for short term retreats as well as Three Years Retreats. According to the wishes of H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup she has been accompanying people in retreats from all over the world in retreat centres in Almora (India), Kathmandu and Schneverdingen.
Her personal meditation experience is mainly based on the practice of the Fivefold Path of Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa. In her attempt to be an optimal support for retreatants she has broadened her education with psychological counselling and biographical writing.
In her activities Drubpon Ingrid focusses on the support of practitioners in their (self-) awareness and the integration of their deeper experiences in everyday life.
Through many years of practicing Achi Choky Dolma, Ingrid Lama feels a strong devotion and connection to this protectress. With the wish that more practitioner deepen their connection to this powerful Dakini, she offers regularly short term retreats with that focus.
Drubpon Konchok Khandro was born in Tibet. She began her Dharma studies when she was 13 under the guidance of H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang and Ven. Lama Choenyi Rangdol, and took refuge with the legendary Tridpon Pachung Rinpoche.
Drubpon Khandro went on retreat on the Five-Fold Path of Mahamudra the Drikung monastery Densa Thil for seven years.
H.E. Garchen Rinpoche sent her to the celebrated Nyingma abbot Khenpo Munsel. There, Drubpon Khandro received Dzogchen teachings and an introduction to the nature of mind. She then returned to Drikung Densa Thil and completed her first Three Year Retreat there.
In 1999 she completed her second Three Year retreat on the Five-Fold Path of Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa. Drubpon Khandro has been living in Sweden since 2006 and guides Dharma practitioners there.
Drubpon Lama Tsering completed his studies at the main monastery of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage in Dehradun, India. After concluding the preliminary practices of the Drikung Yangzab and the Longchen Nyingthig traditions, he received teachings on Phowa, and the Dzogchen Trekchod and Thogal practices.
In the course of a 100 day retreat (Shag gya) he practiced the Tonglen of the Six Realms.
In addition, he completed the traditional three year retreat comprising the five-fold path of Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa. Subsequently, H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche and H.E. Garchen Rinpoche conferred the title of a Drubpon (retreat master) upon him.
Drubpon Lama Kunsang Korpon was born on 12 October, 1976 in Ngari, near Mt. Kailash in Tibet. He completed seven years of study in the following areas: The Five Treatises of Maitreya, Tibetan poetry and grammar.
In 1997 he received the title of shastri (kachospa or dharma teacher). Lama Kunsang completed a three year retreat in India devoted to the “Six Yogas of Naropa” and the “Five-Fold Path of Mahamudra.” He concluded his time in retreat with the distinction “Retreat Master.”
In 2005, the Drikung Kagyu Dorje Ling Center with Lama Kunsang as Resident Lama, was inaugurated by H.E. Garchen Rinpoche with the blessing of H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche.
Dorje Lopon Viktorija Paukova has been involved in Buddhist studies under guidance of Drikung Kagyu Teachers for more than 20 years.
She has received teachings of various levels and Empowerments from Lamas as well as studied different techniques of meditation, mastering them in regular retreats. She has attended 3 courses of Shravasti meditation with His Holiness The Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup and completed a retreat on this technique in Nepal.
Viktorija is involved in Buddhist texts translation projects and holds the title of Dorje Lopon, granted by H.H. The Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup.
Nyamkha Mimi (Maria) Wilflinger (born 1968 in Vienna, graduated in linguistics and philosophy) completed the practice of the Fivefold Path of Mahamudra in solitary retreat under the guidance of Sonam Jorphel Rinpoche from 2004 until 2010 in the Drikung retreat centers in Nepal (Lapchi) and Ladakh (Lamayuru).
She later studied Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy at Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Kathmandu for three years and then accompanied Sonam Jorphel Rinpoche as translator in his monasteries in Kathmandu and Lumbini as well as on his annual teaching trips to Germany, Austria and Vietnam.
In 2019/2020 she completed the Tibetan Translator Training Program at Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Kathmandu and returned to Europe in the wake of the corona pandemic. From 2021-2022 she participated in the last year of the three-year retreat at Milarepa Center under the guidance of Drupöns Rachel, Giorgio and Ingrid. Since November 2022 she has been working here as translator as well as being active in temple service (daily practice of Jigten Sumgön guru yoga in the mornings and Dharma protector practice in the evenings). She will also lead these and various other practices on-site as well as via Zoom starting in the near future.
Elvira worked as an IT mathematician for 14 years and as a Qigong teacher and trainer for 30 years. In 1987 she started meditation with her first teacher Hetty Draayer and began to practice with Chinese Qigong masters. Three years later she left her IT job and became a Qigong instructor.
She has been a Buddhist since 1993 and is a disciple of H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup and H.E. Garchen Rinpoche. They have both guided her in the annual retreats in Dehradun, India and in Chino Valley, Arizona that she has done since 2000.
In 2007 she participated in a Nairatmya retreat with H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup in Dehradun,
and since then, she has been practicing Nairatmya. H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup gave her special permission to participate in Phyang (Ladakh) monastery's 2019 Hevajra retreat, and she did several Hevajra retreats in preparation for it.
H.H. has instructed her to lead a Hevajra and Nairatmya practice group at Milarepa Retreat
Andrey Krasov (Konchog Jangchub Hlakyap) is one of the founders and a board member of Garchen Jangsem Khang Dharma Center in Moscow, Russia. Since 2009 he has been involved in various Dharma activities under a guidance of Kyabje Garchen Rinpoche and Drupbon Tsering Rinpoche.
In 2012-213 Andrey completed a training program and become a chant-master for Manjushri Yamantaka accomplishment retreat. Then he served as a chant-master for Yamantaka drubchens in Garchen Buddhist Institute (USA), Drikung Garchen Institute (Germany) and other Garchen Rinpoche’s centers in different countries.
In 2013, according to Lama Garchen Rinpoche's wish to give Ratna Lingpas’ Vajrakila practice a deep roots outside Tibet, Andrey started to learn melodies, music and rituals of Vajrakila practices. He then served as a chant-master for Vajrakila sangdrubs in English and Russian languages in different countires.
In an attempt to follow the practice path in an authentic way he participated in many accomplishment retreats (drubchen), asked questions, clarified details and received pith instructions from Lama Garchen Rinpoche, Drikung Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche, Drubpon Tsering Rinpoche, Lopon Thubten Nyima and many other teachers.