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People : Lamas Last Updated: Mar 28th, 2008 - 16:56:23


Ven Khandro Rinpoche
By Nyingma.com and others
Feb 23, 2007, 12:08

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Ven Khandro Rinpoche
At the time of writing Ven Khandro Tsering Paldron Rinpoche is the only female Lama of direct Tibetan extraction to have taught extensively in the West. She has successfully juggled the demands of a jetsetting international teaching schedule with the responsibilities of parenthood and her role as a monastic administrator.  She speaks fluent English, Tibetan, and Hindi dialects, and has students Europe, North America and Southeast Asia, who she travels to teach every year. About 500 of her students are in the USA and Canada, and who come to see her on a regular basis
(find her events). She offers teachings from both the Kagyu and Nyingma schools. She has extensive responsibilities for the leadership of the Mindrolling monastery in Dehra Dun, and supervises both the Karma Chokhor Dechen nunnery in Rumtek and the Samten Tse retreat center for nuns in Mussoorie. She has two adopted daughters.


Rinpoche is the eldest daughter of His Holiness Mindrolling Trichen the head of the Nyingma lineage.  When Khandro Rinpoche was ten months old, her father, travelled to Sikkim to visit the head of the Kagyü lineage, His Holiness the late Sixteenth Karmapa. While he was there the Karmapa recognized Khandro Rinpoche as the incarnation of the female Kagyü master Khandro Urgyen Tsomo, Dakini of Tsurphu
, said to have been the consort to the Fifteenth Karmapa, and, after his death, a great teacher and practitioner herself. Both Khandro Rinpoches were emanations of Yeshe Tsogyal, the consort of Padmasambhava, the great guru who brought Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century. The present Khandro Rinpoche now holds the lineages of both the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions.


Mindrolling is one of the few well-known lineages that are continued through a bloodline, and many generations of Mindrolling women, including Khandro Rinpoche, have been dharma heirs. But the fact that a child born into an important Nyingma lineage, female or male, was the incarnation of a Kagyu master was seen by both the Karmapa and Mindrolling Rinpoche to be “a delicate situation.” The two men decided to wait to announce the news. It wasn’t until three years later that the announcement was made and she was enthroned.

Not long after
this, the child became, she says now, “difficult to work with, difficult to tame—a wild child.” So even though the Karmapa and Mindrolling Rinpoche—along with His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, had agreed that Khandro Rinpoche was to have a spiritual education as well as a Western one, her parents sent her from her father’s monastery to a British-style convent school in India, where she learned to be, she says, “far from everyone.” Her western education was gained  from St. Joseph's Convent, Wynberg Allen, and St. Mary's Convent, all in India.  

Nevertheless she also received the full Buddhist education and training commensurate with her status as the tulku of a realised master. Khandro Rinpoche received teachings and transmissions from some of the most accomplished masters of the 20th century, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness Mindrolling Trichen, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, His Eminence Trulzhig Rinpoche, His Eminance Tenga Rinpoche, His Eminance Tsetrul Rinpoche and His Eminance Tullku Ugyen Rinpoche.

Her first book, entitled This Precious Life:  Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on the Path to Enlightenement was published by Shambhala Publications in 2003.


See also Khandro Rinpoche's Tough Love by


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