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Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

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Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche (Tibetan: མཁན་པོ་ཚུལ་ཁྲིམ་རྒྱ་མཚོ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་, Wylie: mkhan po tshul khrim rgya mtsho rin po che) is a prominent scholar yogi in the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He teaches widely in the West, often through songs of realization, his own as well as those composed by Milarepa (to whom he is often compared) and other masters of the past. "Tsultrim Gyamtso" translates to English as "Ocean of Ethical Conduct".

Early life

Rinpoche was born in 1934 to a nomad family from Nangchen, Kham (eastern Tibet). He left home at an early age to train with Lama Zopa Tarchin, who was to become his root guru. After completing this early training, he lived the ascetic life of a yogi, wandering throughout Tibet and undertaking intensive, solitary retreats in caves and living in charnel grounds practicing Chöd. At Tsurphu Monastery, the historic seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage, Rinpoche continued his training with the lineage head, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, and other masters.

Exile in India

During the 1959 Tibetan uprising Rinpoche fled Tibet, leading a group of buddhist nuns over the Himalayas to safety in Bhutan. He subsequently went to northern India, where he spent the next nine years at the Buxa Duar Tibetan Refugee Camp. Here he studied and mastered Buddhist scholarship and was awarded a Khenpo degree from His Holiness the 16th Karmapa and the equivalent Geshe Lharampa degree from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. At the direction of the Karmapa, he subsequently settled in Bhutan, where he built a nunnery, retreat center, and school.

Teaching activities

Along with Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Khenpo Rinpoche served as the principal teacher at the shedra (monastic college) at Rumtek Monastery, the seat of the Karmapa in exile. As such, he trained all of the major lineage holders of the Karma Kagyu lineage. He also has taught extensively around the world over the last twenty years.

Rinpoche is also the principal teacher of the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, and is very close to his Nalandabodhi organization. He also teaches extensively in the Shambhala Buddhist community. Rinpoche is also a primary teacher of Lama Shenpen Hookham.


  • Buddha Nature:The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Snow Lion Publications (2000)
  • Maitreya's Distinguishing Phenomena and Pure Being, Commentary by Mipham and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, translated by Jim Scott, Snow Lion Publications (2004)
  • Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness, by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, translated and arranged by Shenpen Hookham, Zhyisil Chokyi Ghatsal Publications (2001)
  • Stars of Wisdom: Analytical Meditation, Songs of Yogic Joy, and Prayers of Aspiration by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, translated by Ari Goldfield and Rose Taylor, Forewords by the Seventeenth Karmapa and the Dalai Lama, Shambhala Publications (2010)
  • The Sun of Wisdom: Teachings on the Noble Nagarjuna's Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Shambhala Publications (2003)
  • The Moon of Wisdom: Chapter Six of Chandrakirti's Entering the Middle Way with commentary from the Eighth Karmapa Mikyo Dorje's Chariot of the Dagpo Kagyu Siddhas translated under the guidance of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche by Ari Goldfield, Jules Levinson, Jim Scott & Birgit Scott, Snow Lion Publications (2005)


Wikipedia:Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche