Thrangu Rinpoche belongs to the Tibetan teacher generation who have received their thourough education in Tibet before the Chinese invasion. After he was forced to flee Tibet, he continued his studies in exile and received the award of Geshe Ramjam, which is the highest scholarly title in Tibetan Buddhism. In addition, H.H. the 16th Karmapa appointed him as Khenchen, which is the highest abbot within the Karma-Kagyü lineage. Due to his extensive knowledge he was made responsible for the education of the lineage holders, and he was appointed as tutor of the current 17th Karmapa. Moreover, he was given the task of preserving the teachings of the Karma Kagyü tradition in exile.
Amongst his manifold activities in Tibet, Nepal and India are the foundation of monasteries, of study and retreat centers, schools and a medical clinic. In 1976 he started to undertake extensive travels to the West in order to give teachings and found Buddhist centers. Due to his advanced age he has reduced his traveling activities within the last years.
Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche:
Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche is said to be an emanation of Maitreya. He already unfolded his activities in different incarnations as Mahasiddhas in India before he established the incarnation lineage of the Sangye Nyenpas in Tibet. The current 10th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche was born 1964 in Paro Taktsang, the famous Tigers Nest and temple of Guru Rinpoche in Bhutan. His birthplace, the name of his parents, the year of birth and the signs indicating his birth were prophesized by H.H. the 16th Karmapa.
At the early age of 4 years he was brought to Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, where he was inthroned by His Holiness. With 5 years he started his studies under the guidance of H.H. the Karmapa, of Tenga Rinpoche and several other great masters of the Kagyü and Nyingma tradition. He had a very close relationship with Dhilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, since the preceding 9th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche was the older brother of Dhilgo Khyentse.
After the foundation of Nalanda Institute in Rumtek he went through the full 10-years study program and was awarded the title of Acharya. He is renowned as one of the most learned Rinpoches on the topics of philosophy and tantric rituals. His traditional seat is Benchen monastery in Eastern Tibet, which was founded by the 4th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche. Currently he lives at Benchen Phuntsok Dargyeling in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Tulku Damchö Rinpoche:
Tulku Damchö Rinpoche was recognized as the reincarnation of the great master Lama Tsoknyi by His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche. At that time he had already lived several years as a monk in the Thrangu Tashi Chöling monastery in Kathmandu.
Lama Tsoknyi was an outstanding master of the Thrangu Tashi Chöling monastery in Tibet in the time preceding the Chinese invasion. Already in his childhood his natural spirituality became evident. With great devotion he practized 2000 Nyungnes, a special practice of the thousand-armed Chenrezig. Through this intense practice he gained extraordinary experiences and realizations. He founded new retreat places, renovated old temples and served the dharma with manifold activities.
After his death he was reborn in Nupri in northern Nepal. From early on he wished to receive the monks vows. After the Thrangu Tashi Chöling monastery was established in Kathmandu/Nepal, he insisted to become a monk there. Then, after spending several years as a monk there, he was finally recognized and inthroned as Tulku Damchö.
He was outstanding in his studies and his conduct, and completed the shedra with excellence. A traditional 3-year retreat and a one year Kalachakra retreat followed, which ended in 2007. Asked by Thrangu Rinpoche, he now travels to different centers in Europe to give teachings and empowerments on a yearly basis.
Lama Tashi Dondrub:
Born 1953 in Tibet, he was brought up in Bhutan after his escape from his home country. Under the guidance of his father, who is himself a lama of the Nyingma lineage, he started to study Buddhist dharma from an early age on. After being ordained by H.H. the 16. Gyalwa Karmapa, he was further educated in Rumtek monastery in Sikkim.
Lama Tashi spent 16 years in Rumtek, were he was responsible for the education of the young monks. He then went into a 3-year retreat, followed by another year of Kalachakra retreat.
In 1988 he was sent to Kamalashila Institute in Germany, where he was teaching for the next 10 years. Since 1998 he teaches at a Buddhist center in Canada.
Lama Kunga Dorje:
Lama Kunga Dorje received his education in the monasteries of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. Under his guidance, he completed a traditional 3-year retreat and served as vajra master in the Thrangu monastery in Nepal.
In 1998 he was appointed as retreat master at the German 3-year retreat center Karma Thekchen Yi Ong Ling in Halscheid/Sieg. Next to the traditional 3-year retreats, the retreat center is also open for short-term retreats since 2012, which can also be performed under the direct guidance of Lama Kunga. He is also the main teacher of Thrangu Tashi Chöling in Cologne-Seeberg.