Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche Our Spiritual Director

Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche is a recognized Dzogchen Master in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in 1954 in the Lhodrak Valley of south central Tibet bordering the Kingdom of Bhutan. In 1962 when he was eight years old, his family fled Tibet and resettled in Darjeeling, India. There he was educated and at the age of ten took the monastic ordination of a novice. In 1969 he entered the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan studies at Sarnath and graduated in 1978 with the degree of Acharya. Throughout his years of study, he had been at the head of his class and upon graduating he was honoured with a silver medal by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for placing first among all the students from the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism represented at the Institute. After graduation, he was invited to teach at Ngagyur Nyingma Institute, the monastic college of the Palyul Namdroling Monastery in South India.

Khen Rinpoche has also studied and practiced the profound teachings of Dzogchen (the Great Perfection) under the guidance of three great Dzogchen masters, His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, and Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. In 1983 he was enthroned as a Khenpo (Professor of Buddhist studies both in theory and in practice) by HH Penor Rinpoche, and has now been given the status of khenchen (great khenpo).

Khenchen Tsewang received all the major lineage transmissions of the Nyingma tradition from HH Dudjom Rinpoche, HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and HH Penor Rinpoche, and was authorized by HH Penor Rinpoche to transmit the Palyul teachings and give personal instructions to his disciples. For some 20 years Khen Rinpoche has travelled the world establishing and nurturing a number of Palyul Centres and teaching the Dharma. His warmth, wisdom, and easy humour have made him a beloved teacher wherever he goes. Among his disciples, he is affectionately known as Khenpo Guru.

Khen Rinpoche says that in his life, there have been three Buddhist texts that had a profound influence on his understanding of emptiness and the true nature of mind: Mipham’s Beacon of Certainty, the
Guhyagarbha Tantra, and Longchenpa’s Kindly Bent to Ease Us.