List of Tibetan Rinpoches
Rinpoche, also spelled Rimboche and Rinboku, is an honorific term used in the Tibetan language.
It literally means “precious one”, and may refer to a person, place, or thing—like the words “gem” or “jewel”.
The word consists of rin (value), po (nominalizing suffix) and chen (big).
The word is used in the context of Tibetan Buddhism as a way of showing respect when addressing those recognized as reincarnated, older, respected, notable, learned and/or an accomplished Lamas or teachers of the Dharma.
It is also used as an honorific for abbots of Buddhist monasteries.
Table of Contents
- 1 - Rinpoche
- 2 - Padmasambhava
- 3 - Je Tsongkhapa
- 4 - Thubten Zopa Rinpoche
- 5 - Shamarpa
- 6 - Jamgon Kongtrul
- 7 - Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
- 8 - Tenzin Ösel Hita
- 9 - Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- 10 - Sakya Trizin
- 11 - Dilgo Khyentse
- 12 - Karma Chagme
- 13 - Chögyam Trungpa
- 14 - Namkhai Norbu
- 15 - Sakyong Mipham
- 16 - Lama Gonpo Tseten
- 17 - Patrul Rinpoche
- 18 - Dudjom Lingpa
- 19 - Jamgön Ju Mipham Gyatso
- 20 - Namgyal Rinpoche
- 21 - Garchen Rinpoche
- 22 - Thrangu Rinpoche
- 23 - Akong Rinpoche
- 24 - Tsoknyi Rinpoche
- 25 - Thubten Jigme Norbu
- 26 - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
- 27 - Tenzin Jigme
- 28 - Samdhong Rinpoche
- 29 - Trulshik Rinpoche
- 30 - Tenzin Delek Rinpoche
- 31 - Second Beru Khyentse
- 32 - Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche
- 33 - Penor Rinpoche
- 34 - Wangdrak Rinpoche
- 35 - Yeshe Losal
- 36 - Orgyen Tobgyal
- 37 - Nenang Pawo
- 38 - Tenga Rinpoche
- 39 - Mindrolling Trichen
- 40 - Lopon Tsechu
- 41 - Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche
- 42 - Kyabje Rinpoche
- 43 - Jamphel Yeshe Gyaltsen
- 44 - Chimé Rigdzin
- 45 - Choseng Trungpa
- 46 - Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje
- 47 - Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
- 48 - Goshir Gyaltsab
- 49 - Kwetsang Rinpoche
- 50 - Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
- 51 - Thinley Norbu
- 52 - Dzogchen Ranyak Patrul Rinpoche
- 53 - Third Bardor Tulku Rinpoche
- 54 - Shukseb Jetsun Chönyi Zangmo
- 55 - Dezhung Rinpoche
- 56 - Sermey Khensur Lobsang Tharchin
- 57 - Lama Jigme Rinpoche (Kagyu)
- 58 - Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche
- 59 - Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga
- 60 - Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche
- 61 - Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
- 62 - Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche
- 63 - Tharchin Rinpoche
- 64 - Lobsang Tenzin
- 65 - Alak Jigme Thinley Lhundup Rinpoche
- 66 - Azin Rinpoche
- 67 - Chatral Sangye Dorje
- 68 - Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche
- 69 - Ogyen Trinley Dorje
- 70 - Khentrul Lodro Thaye Rinpoche
- 71 - Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo
- 72 - Khentrul Jamphel Lodrö Rinpoche
- 73 - Trijang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso
- 74 - Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche
- 75 - Dagpo Rinpoche
- 76 - Denma Locho Rinpoche
- 77 - Trinley Thaye Dorje
- 78 - Chadrel Rinpoche
- 79 - Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche
- 80 - Lodi Gyari
- 81 - Shenphen Rinpoche
- 82 - Domo Geshe Rinpoche
- 83 - Ratna Vajra Rinpoche
- 84 - 20th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche
- 85 - Kushok Bakula Rinpoche
- 86 - Khyongla Rato
- 87 - Neten Chokling
- 88 - Khunu Rinpoche
- 89 - Paltul Rinpoche
- 90 - Khensur Lungri Namgyel
- 91 - Kalu Rinpoche
- 92 - Lodrö Chökyi Nyima
- 93 - Kyabje Choden Rinpoche
- 94 - Samding Dorje Phagmo
- 95 - Sershul Triwa Rinpoche
- 96 - Gelek Rimpoche
- 97 - Minling Khenchen Rinpoche
- 98 - Taklung Ma Rinpoche
- 99 - Lopön Tenzin Namdak
- 100 - 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche
Rinpoche is an honorific used in Tibetan Buddhism. It literally means “precious one,” and is used to address or describe Tibetan lamas and other high-ranking or respected teachers. This honor is generally bestowed on reincarnated lamas, or Tulkus, by default. In other cases, it is earned over time, and often bestowed spontaneously by the teacher’s students.
Padmasambhava (Tib.: Guru Rinpoche) is the Indian founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet. In the 11th century with the rise of the Revealed Treasure tradition (Tib.: terma) the worship of Padmasambhava took on cult status.
Hundreds of new deity forms of Padmasambhava were created representing all aspects of iconography and Tantric activity; peaceful, wrathful, male, female, wealth, power, healing, etc.
Tsongkhapa, usually taken to mean “the Man from Onion Valley”, born in Amdo, was a famous teacher of Tibetan Buddhism whose activities led to the formation of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is also known by his ordained name Losang Drakpa or simply as “Je Rinpoche”. Also, he is known by Chinese as Zongkapa Lobsang Zhaba, He was the son of a Tibetan Longben Tribal leader who also once served as an official of the Yuan Dynasty of China.
Thubten Zopa Rinpoche
Thubten Zopa Rinpoche is a Nepali lama from Khumbu, the entryway to Mount Everest.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a Gelugpa lineage holder, having received teachings from many of the great Gelugpa masters.
His Root Guru is HH Trijang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso since he was a young boy studying in Buxa, India.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a devoted student of the 14th Dalai Lama and has outlined that offering service to the Dalai Lama as much as possible and to be able to fulfill his wishes is the highest priority for the FPMT organization.
The Shamarpa, also known as Shamar Rinpoche, or more formally Künzig Shamar Rinpoche, is a lineage holder of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and is regarded to be the mind manifestation of Amitābha.
He is traditionally associated with Yangpachen Monastery near Lhasa.
‘Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thayé, also known as Jamgön Kongtrül the Great, was a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, poet, artist, physician, tertön and polymath. He was one of the most prominent Tibetan Buddhists of the 19th century and he is credited as one of the founders of the Rimé movement (non-sectarian), compiling what is known as the “Five Great Treasuries”. He achieved great renown as a scholar and writer, especially among the Nyingma and Kagyu lineages and composed over 90 volumes of Buddhist writing, including his magnum opus, The Treasury of Knowledge.
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is a Tibetan teacher and master of the Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.
He has authored two best-selling books and oversees the Tergar Meditation Community, a global network of Buddhist meditation centers.
Tenzin Ösel Hita is a Tibetan Buddhist tulku and an aspiring filmmaker from Spain.
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, also known by his tertön title, Pema Ösel Dongak Lingpa, was a renowned teacher, scholar and tertön of 19th-century Tibet. He was a leading figure in the Rimé movement.
Sakya Trizin is the traditional title of the head of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Sakya school was founded in 1073CE, when Khön Könchog Gyalpo a member of Tibet’s noble Khön family, established a monastery in the region of Sakya, Tibet, which became the headquarters of the Sakya order.
Since that time, its leadership has descended within the Khön family.
The 41st Sakya Trizin, whose reign spanned more than fifty years, was the longest reigning Sakya Trizin.
The current Sakya Trizin is Gyana Vajra Rinpoche, officially known as Kyabgon Gongma Trizin Rinpoche, the 43rd Sakya Trizin Gyana Vajra Rinpoche.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was a Vajrayana master, scholar, poet, teacher, and head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism from 1987 to 1991.
As the primary custodian of the teachings of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Dilgo Khyentse was the de facto custodian of the vast majority of Tibetan Buddhist teachings.
He taught many eminent teachers, including the Dalai Lama.
His personal effort was crucial in the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism.
The name Karma Chagme refers to a 17th-century Tibetan Buddhist (Vajrayāna) lama and to the tülku lineage which he initiated.
Including the first, seven Karma Chagme tülkus have been recognized.
The Neydo Kagyu sub-school of the Karma Kagyu was established by the first Karma Chagme, Rāga Asya.
Chögyam Trungpa was a Buddhist meditation master and holder of both the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages, the eleventh Trungpa tülku, a tertön, supreme abbot of the Surmang monasteries, scholar, teacher, poet, artist, and originator of a radical re-presentation of Shambhala vision.
Namkhai Norbu was a Tibetan Dzogchen master. When he was two years old, Namkhai Norbu was recognized as the ‘mindstream emanation’, a tulku, of the Dzogchen teacher Adzom Drugpa (1842–1924). At five, he was also recognized as a mindstream emanation of an emanation of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (1594–1651). From an early age, Namkhai Norbu undertook an accelerated course of study, attending monastic college, taking retreats, and studying with renowned teachers, including some of the most important Tibetan masters of his time. Under the tutelage of these teachers, he completed the training required by the Buddhist tradition in both Sutrayana and Tantrayana. At the age of sixteen, he met master Rigdzin Changchub Dorje (1826–1961/1978), who became his principal Dzogchen teacher.
Sakyong Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, Jampal Trinley Dradul is the head of the Shambhala lineage and Shambhala, a worldwide network of urban Buddhist meditation centers, retreat centers, monasteries, a university, and other enterprises, founded by his father, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is a high lama in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. In July 2018, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche stated that he is stepping back from his duties due to an investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct.
Lama Gonpo Tseten
Gonpo Tseten Rinpoche (1906–1991) was a Dzogchen master, author, painter, sculptor, and teacher of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Among Lama Gönpo Tseten’s artistic works are two murals in Clement Town, Dhera Dun, India: “Amitabha in Dewachen” at Tashi Gommo Gelugpa Monastery, and “Mount Meru and the Universe System” at the Nyingmapa Lamas College.
He also painted a large thangka of the Longchen Nyingtik Refuge Tree and smaller thangkas of Padmasambhava and Vajrakilaya, some of which he gave to Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.
Subsequently, the main figure of Guru Rinpoche of Lama Gönpo’s painting was used as the cover for the Padmakara Translation Group’s translation of White Lotus by the 1st Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche.
Patrul Rinpoche (1808–1887) was a prominent teacher and author of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
His disciples included masters of the Nyingma school such as Kathok Situ Choktrul Chökyi Lodrö, the Fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche Thubten Chökyi Dorje, Gyarong Namtrul Kunzang Thekchok Dorje, the second and third Dodrupchens, Jikme Phuntsok Jungne and Jikmé Tenpe Nyima, Dechen Rigpé Raldri, who was the son of Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje, Khenpo Shenga, Adzom Druktrul Droddul Dorje, Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa, Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyatso, Khenpo Pema Vajra, Nyoshul Lungtok, Alak Dongak Gyatso and others.
In addition, his disciples included many masters of the Sakya, Gelugpa and Kagyü schools, such as Sershul Lharampa Thubten, Palpung Lama Tashi Özer and Ju Lama Drakpa Gyaltsen.
Dudjom Lingpa (1835–1904) was a Tibetan meditation master, spiritual teacher and tertön. He stands out from the norm of Tibetan Buddhist teachers in the sense that he had no formal education, nor did he take ordination as a monk or belong to any established Buddhist school or tradition of his time. He was met with great skepticism by many of his contemporaries, due to the fact that, despite not studying under any established Buddhist teachers of his time, he claimed to receive teachings on meditation and spiritual practice directly from non-physical masters like Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyal, as well as deities such as Avalokitesvara and Manjushri. It wasn’t until his disciples started showing clear signs of spiritual maturity, that he was accepted by his contemporaries as an authentic teacher and tertön. Today his teachings and literary works, especially those on non-mediation (dzogchen), are highly regarded within the Nyingma-tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Jamgön Ju Mipham, or Mipham Jamyang Namgyal Gyamtso (1846–1912) was a very influential philosopher and polymath of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He wrote over 32 volumes on topics such as painting, poetics, sculpture, alchemy, medicine, logic, philosophy and tantra. Mipham’s works are still central to the scholastic curriculum in Nyingma monasteries today. Mipham is also considered one of the leading figures in the Ri-me (non-sectarian) movement in Tibet.
Namgyal Rinpoche, Karma Tenzin Dorje (1931–2003), born Leslie George Dawson in Toronto, Canada, was a Tibetan Buddhist lama in the Karma Kagyu tradition.
Garchen Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher in the Drikung Kagyu lineage. He is believed to be an incarnation of Siddha Gar Chodingpa, a heart-disciple of Jigten Sumgön, founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage in the thirteenth century CE. He is also believed to have incarnated as Mahasiddha Aryadeva in ancient India – the lotus-born disciple of Nagarjuna himself. He was known as Lonpo Gar, the minister of Tibetan dharma king Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century CE.
Thrangu Rinpoche was born in 1933 in Kham, Tibet. He is deemed to be a prominent tulku in the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, the ninth reincarnation in his particular line.
Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche was a tulku in the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and a founder of the Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland.
Tsoknyi Rinpoche or Ngawang Tsoknyi Gyatso is a Nepalese Tibetan Buddhist teacher and author, and the founder of the Pundarika Foundation. He is the third Tsoknyi Rinpoche, having been recognized by the 16th Karmapa as the reincarnation of Drubwang Tsoknyi Rinpoche. He is a tulku of the Drukpa Kagyü and Nyingma traditions and the holder of the Ratna Lingpa and Tsoknyi lineages.
Thubten Jigme Norbu
Thubten Jigme Norbu, recognised as the Taktser Rinpoche, was a Tibetan lama, writer, civil rights activist and professor of Tibetan studies and is the eldest brother of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. He was one of the first high-profile Tibetans to go into exile and was the first to settle in the United States.
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche was a Buddhist master of the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages who lived at Nagi Gompa hermitage in Nepal.
Urgyen Rinpoche was considered one of the greatest Dzogchen masters of his time.
Tulku Urgyen was the author of the two-volume As It Is, which deals with the subject of emptiness.
His main transmissions were the Chokling Tersar and the pointing-out instruction.
Tenzin Jigme was a Tibetan tulku and the sixth Reting Rinpoche.
Samdhong Rinpoche is a Tibetan religious title. Rinpoche means “precious one”. The current Samdhong Rinpoche is Lobsang Tenzin, who is considered by Tibetan buddhists to be the reincarnation of the 4th Samdhong Rinpoche.
Trulshik Rinpoche Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö born in Yardrok Taklung, Central Tibet was one of the main teachers of the 14th Dalai Lama and of many of the younger generation of Nyingma lamas today including Sogyal Rinpoche. He is considered the spiritual heir of several senior Nyingma masters of the last century such as Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Rinpoche is the subject of a documentary film Destroyer of Illusion narrated by Richard Gere. Trulshik Rinpoche founded the monastery of Thubten Chöling in Nepal. In 2010 he became the official head of the Nyingma school.
Tenzin Delek Rinpoche
Lithang Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche or Tenzing Deleg was a Tibetan Buddhist leader from Garze, Sichuan. He was born in Lithang, Tibet. He was arrested on April 7, 2002 during a raid on Jamyang Choekhorling in Garze, Sichuan, China. He was accused of being involved in a bomb attack on April 3, 2002 on the central square of Sichuan’s provincial capital, Chengdu.
Second Beru Khyentse
The Second Beru Khyentse (1947–), born Thupten Sherap is a lineage holder of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and the third reincarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892).
Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche
Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher living in Lausanne (Switzerland).
Kyabjé Drubwang Padma Norbu Rinpoche was the 11th throne holder of the Palyul Lineage of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, and said to be an incarnation of Vimalamitra. He was widely renowned in the Tibetan Buddhist world as a master of Dzogchen. He was one of a very few teachers left from his generation who received all his training in Tibet under the guidance of what Tibetan Buddhists consider to be fully enlightened teachers.
Wangdrak Rinpoche is the abbot of Gebchak Gonpa, holding responsibility for the nuns’ spiritual training and their material well-being.
Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche is a lama in the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and abbot of the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre, Scotland, the first and largest of its kind in the West.
Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, also called Tulku Ugyen Topgyal, is a Tibetan Buddhist lama who was born in Kham in Eastern Tibet in 1951, living in exile in India.
Nenang Pawo is one of the highest lamas of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Pawos form a lineage of tulkus, of which the first was born in 1440. They were traditionally the heads of Nenang Monastery in Ü-Tsang.
Tenga Rinpoche (1932–2012) was a Tibetan teacher (lama) in the Karma Kagyu tradition.
The eleventh Mindrolling Trichen, Trichen Jurme Kunzang Wangyal Standard Tibetan: འགྱུར་མེད་ཀུན་བཟང་དབང་རྒྱལ་ was a lama of the Nyingma-school, the oldest school of Tibetan Buddhism and had been responsible for the administrative affairs for the school in exile as the ceremonial head of the lineage.
He is generally regarded as one of the greatest Tibetan masters.
Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche was a master of Tibetan Buddhism, widely regarded in the Himalayas, with many students in both the East and the West.
Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche
Prior to his birth on 30 June 1965, Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche was recognized by the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa as the twelfth incarnation of the Gharwang Tulkus and as an emanation of Tilopa. He is the supreme lineage holder of the Zurmang Ear Whispered Lineage.
Kyabje Khensur Kangurwa Lobsang Thubten Rinpoche, was a Buddhist monk, Abbot of Sera Jey Monastery, and the founder of Tibetan Buddhist Institute (Adelaide). Khensur means “former abbot” and Rinpoche means “precious teacher”.
Jamphel Yeshe Gyaltsen
(Thubten) Jamphel Yeshe Gyaltsen or Thupten Jampel Yishey Gyantsen, Tibetan: ཐུབ་བསྟན་འཇམ་དཔལ་ཡེ་ཤེས་རྒྱལ་མཚན་, Wylie: thub-bstan ‘jam-dpal ye-shes rgyal-mtshan was a Tibetan tulku and the fifth Reting Rinpoche.
Chimé Rigdzin Rinpoche, popularly known as “C.R. Lama”, was an important lineage holder of the Northern Treasures tradition in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Choseng Trungpa Rinpoche is the 12th and current Trungpa tülku.
He was born on February 6, 1989 in Pawo village, in Derge, eastern Tibet, and recognized by Tai Situ Rinpoche in 1991.
He was enthroned a year later at Surmang Monastery at a ceremony presided over by Domkhar Rinpoche, a high Kagyu lama and Choseng’s uncle.
The monastery’s late abbot, was Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje
Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, was the second Dudjom Rinpoche. He was recognized as a direct rebirth of Dudjom Lingpa (1835–1904) and was also later appointed the first supreme head of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism by the fourteenth Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration.
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
The 7th Dzogchen Ponlop is an abbot of Dzogchen Monastery, founder and spiritual director of Nalandabodhi, founder of Nītārtha Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies, a leading Tibetan Buddhist scholar, and a meditation master. He is one of the highest tülkus in the Nyingma lineage and an accomplished Karma Kagyu lineage holder.
Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche is a leading incarnate lama (tulku) in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He is believed by his followers to embody the activity of Vajrapani.
Kwetsang Rinpoche was a lama of Sera who participated in the search for Tenzin Gyatso four years after Thubten Gyatso died.
Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche 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 and other masters of the past. “Tsültrim Gyamtso” translates to English as “Ocean of Ethical Conduct”.
Kyabjé Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche was a major modern teacher in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and patron of the Vajrayana Foundation. He was the eldest son of Dudjom Rinpoche, the former head of the Nyingma lineages, and also the father of Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche and Dungse Garab Rinpoche. His association with the Dudjom Lineage is a long one: he is held to be the incarnation of Tulku Drime Oser, who was one of seven sons of Dudjom Lingpa. He also was considered to be an emanation of Longchen Rabjam, the great 14th-century Nyingma scholar and siddha who composed the Seven Treasuries. He died in California on December 26, 2011, according to the Tibetan Buddhist Lunar Calendar the 2nd day of the 11th month of the Iron Rabbit year. His cremation was held in a public buddhist cremation ceremony in Paro, Bhutan on March 3rd, 2012, which was attended by several thousand people, including some of Bhutan’s royal family.
Dzogchen Ranyak Patrul Rinpoche
Dzogchen Ranyak Patrul Rinpoche is a Tibetan lama, teacher and author in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is the founder of the Dzogchen Centre Belgium, a branch of the Dzogchen Monastery in Tibet.
Third Bardor Tulku Rinpoche
The Third Bardor Tulku Rinpoche’ is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, a holder of the religious lineage of Terchen Barway Dorje. Rinpoche is the founder of a Tibetan Buddhist center, Kunzang Palchen Ling, and the Raktrul Foundation, in Red Hook, New York.
Shukseb Jetsunma Chönyi Zangmo (1852–1953) was the most well known of the yoginis in the 1900s, and was considered an incarnation of Machig Lapdron. She was the abbess of Shukseb nunnery, and was a Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist teacher. She made the nunnery once again into a center for the special teachings of the Shugseb Kagyu. The nunnery still exists in Tibet today, and in fact is one of its most active nunneries.
Dezhung Rinpoche Kunga Tenpai Nyima, born Ngawang Zangpo, (1906–1987) was a Tibetan lama of the Sakya school, one of four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1960 he came to Seattle, Washington in the United States of America, one of the first Tibetan lamas to settle and teach in the United States.
Sermey Khensur Lobsang Tharchin
Sermey Khensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche (1921–2004) was a scholar of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Lama Jigme Rinpoche (Kagyu)
Lama Jigme Rinpoche is an author and teacher in the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. Born into the family of Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, 16th Karmapa, he is the brother of the late 14th Shamar Rinpoche, Mipham Chokyi Lodro. The 16th Karmapa appointed Lama Jigme Rinpoche as his European representative. He asked him to oversee the development of a shedra (university), library, retreat center, and monastery at Dhagpo Kagyu Ling in Dordogne, France, where Jigme Rinpoche is currently the main representative of Trinley Thaye Dorje and head of the monastery.
Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche
Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche (1955–2012) was the ninth incarnation of the Traleg tulku line, a line of high lamas in the Kagyu lineage of Vajrayana. He was a pioneer in bringing Tibetan Buddhism to Australia.
Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga
Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga served as the 41st Sakya Trizin, the throne holder of the Sakya Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, from his appointment in 1952 until his retirement in 2017. His religious name is Ngawang Kunga Tegchen Palbar Trinley Samphel Wangyi Gyalpo. After passing the throne of the Sakya lineage to his elder son Ratna Vajra Rinpoche who became the 42nd Sakya Trizin on 9 March 2017, he is now known as Kyabgon Gongma Trichen Rinpoche. He is considered second only to the Dalai Lama, in the spiritual hierarchy of Tibetan Buddhism.
Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche
Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, also called “Khen Rinpoche,” is a teacher, a scholar, a lama, and a Dzogchen master in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was considered by Penor Rinpoche to be one of the most learned Nyingma scholars alive. Among other notable activities, he founded the first nunnery in Deer Park (Sarnath), the Orgyen Samye Chokhor Ling Nunnery.
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is a teacher (lama) of the Bon Tibetan religious tradition. He is founder and director of the Ligmincha Institute and several centers named Chamma Ling, organizations dedicated to the study and practice of the teachings of the Bon tradition.
Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche
Khenpo Karma Tharchin Rinpoche, widely known by his abbreviated name Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, is a senior lama of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. As of 2016 he serves as abbot of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) Monastery in Woodstock, NY.
Lama Tharchin Rinpoche was a Tibetan Dzogchen master in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was tenth holder of the family lineage known as the Repkong Ngakpas.
Lobsang Tenzin, better known by the titles Professor Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche and to Tibetans as the 5th Samdhong Rinpoche, was the previous prime minister, of the Central Tibetan Administration, or Tibetan government-in-exile, which is based in Dharamshala, India; Lobsang Sangay was elected to this position in April 2011.
Alak Jigme Thinley Lhundup Rinpoche
Alak Jigme Thinley Lhundup or Alak Jigme Lhundup Rinpoche was a Tibetan Tulku, as well as the former speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile and former Minister with the exile Tibet administration.
Azin or Andzin Rinpoche is an incarnate lama (tulku) in the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism associated with Palnge Monastery in Gegyal.
Their reincarnations have been known for strict retreat practices and diligence in mastering the sutras.
They have also been closely associated with Sherap Monastery and Tai Situpa as many of the reincarnations received their education there.
Chatral Sangye Dorje
Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche was a Dzogchen master and a reclusive yogi known for his great realization and strict discipline. Rinpoche was one of the few living disciples of Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang and was widely regarded as one of the most highly realized Dzogchen yogis. In addition to his relationship with Khenpo Ngagchung, Chatral Sangye Dorje also studied with some of the last century’s most renowned masters, including Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, and the famed Kunzang Dekyong Wangmo. Rinpoche was one of the primary lineage holders of the Longchen Nyingthig, and in particular the lineage that descends through Jigme Lingpa’s heart son Jigme Gyalwe Nyugu and then on to Patrul Rinpoche.
Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche
Nyoshül Khenpo Rinpoche (1932–1999), more fully Nyoshül Khenpo Jamyang Dorje, was a Tibetan lama born in the Derge region of Kham.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje
Ogyen Trinley Dorje, also written Urgyen Trinley Dorje (Wylie: U-rgyan ‘Phrin-las Rdo-rje ; is a claimant to the title of 17th Karmapa Lama.
Khentrul Lodro Thaye Rinpoche
Khentrul Lodrö Thayé Rinpoche is the abbot of Mardo Tashi Choling in Eastern Tibet. He established a retreat center there. He created the shedra, a formal Buddhist monastic teaching, under the direct guidance of his teacher Khenpo Jigmed Phuntsok Rinpoche. He directs the education and spiritual practice of three hundred monks, seventy advanced-degree candidates, sixty children, and twenty full-time retreatants.
Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo, (1878–1941) was a Gelug lama of the modern era of Tibetan Buddhism. He attained his Geshe degree at Sera Mey Monastic University, Lhasa, and became a highly influential teacher in Tibet, unusual for teaching a great number of lay people. Pabongkha was offered the regency of the present Dalai Lama but declined the request because “he strongly disliked political affairs.”
Khentrul Jamphel Lodrö Rinpoché is a Tibetan Buddhist Rimé Master. Shar Khentrul Jamphel Lodro Rinpoché teaches predominantly the extensive Kalachakra system according to the Jonang tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He is the founder and spiritual director of Tibetan Buddhist Rimé Institute or Tong Zuk Dechen Ling (Tib.). He translated the Jonang Kalachakra practice texts, and pith instructions, into English and Chinese.
Trijang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso
The Third Trijang Rinpoche, Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (1901–1981) was a Gelug Lama and a direct disciple of Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo. He succeeded Ling Rinpoche as the junior tutor of the 14th Dalai Lama when the Dalai Lama was nineteen years old. He was also a lama of many Gelug Lamas who taught in the West including Zong Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten and Lama Yeshe. Trijang Rinpoche’s oral teachings were recorded by Zimey Rinpoche in a book called the Yellow Book.
Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche
Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche is the head of the Trungram lineage and one of the highest tulkus of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He has received extensive transmissions of the Nyingma lineages, and teaches in the spirit of the nonsectarian Rimé movement. He is also the first incarnate lama to earn a Ph.D. in the West, having completed a doctoral program in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Harvard University. Widely recognized for his ability to modernize ancient Buddhist teachings for today’s challenges, he is dedicated to the value of education in bringing wisdom to life. To realize this vision, he has founded organizations throughout Asia and the United States.
Dagpo Rinpoche, also known as Bamchoe Rinpoche, is a lama in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Denma Locho Rinpoche
Denma Locho Rinpoche was a Tibetan recognized incarnate lama of the Loseling College of Drepung Monastery. He is an incomparable luminary of Je Tsongkhapa’s lineage and the ex-abbot of Namgyal Monastery. He hails from Drepung Loseling. Upon receiving the Geshe degree in Tibet, he entered the Tantric College in Upper-Lhasa. He is also a teacher of Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche. Locho Rinpoche has been an honored guest of Jewel Heart several times and Drepung Loseling Monastery USA as well as in the Netherlands.
Trinley Thaye Dorje
Trinley Thaye Dorje is a claimant to the title of 17th Karmapa.
Chadrel Rinpoche, also known as his dharma name Jampa Trinley, is a Gelug lama of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1954, he joined the Tashilhunpo Monastery at the age of 15. He was a close disciple of Choekyi Gyaltsen, the 10th Panchen Lama. Later, he became the khenpo of the Tashilhunpo Monastery. Chadrel Rinpoche was instructed to lead the Chinese efforts to install a substitute 11th Panchen Lama, but he instead aided efforts to locate the authentic reincarnation, and to recognize Gedhun Choekyi Nyima in 1995. As a result, he was arrested, imprisoned, the held under house arrest until his reported death from a suspicious poisoning in 2011. He was also a Member of the 7th and 8th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche
Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche is a teacher, writer, religious ritual master, and meditation master of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari Rinpoche, Kasur Lodi Gyari or “as he is universally known to the Tibetan-speaking world, Gyari Rinpoche” was a Tibetan politician, and journalist who served as the 14th Dalai Lama’s special envoy to the United States. Exiled to India in 1959, he was also the executive chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet.
Shenphen Rinpoche is the spiritual teacher of Buddhist Congregation Dharmaling.
Domo Geshe Rinpoche
Geshe Ngawang Kalsang, later known as, Domo Geshe Rinpoche is a Geluk tradition reincarnate Lama of Tibetan Buddhism. The lineage includes Je Pabongka Rinpoche, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, and Geshe Jampa Chombe.
Ratna Vajra Rinpoche
Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher and the 42nd and current Sakya Trizin, considered one of the highest qualified lineage masters of both the esoteric and exoteric traditions of Buddhist philosophy and meditation. He is a descendant of the famous Khon family in Tibet, which holds an unbroken lineage of great and famous masters for over a thousand years. He is the eldest son of the 41st Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga. He teaches Buddhism and travels extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and North America. Ratna Vajra was enthroned as the head of the Sakya school on 9 March 2017.
20th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche
20th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, Thubstan Nawang or Stanzin Nawang Jigmed Wangchuk, was born to Yab Dorjey Tsering and Yum Sonam Dolkar in Kyagar village in Nubra valley in Ladakh and has been introduced to the monastic life in Samstanling Gonpa before enthroned on 12 August 2010 in Pethup Gonpa in Spituk. He is believed to be the 20th incarnation of Kushok Bakula Rinpoche.
Kushok Bakula Rinpoche
Kushok Bakula Rinpoche is nowadays the head of Pethup Gompa in Spituk, Ladakh, India. According to his followers he is an emanation of the Buddha Amitabha and was one of the 16 disciples of Buddha. They also claim that his first 19 incarnations have been documented in the Tibetan text Naytan Chagchot.
Khyongla Rato, also known as Khyongla Rato Rinpoche, Rato Khyongla Rinpoche, Khyongla Rinpoche and also as Nawang Losang, his monk’s name, is a scholar and teacher in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in what was then the Kham region of Tibet, and was recognized as an incarnate lama at an early age. He spent over 30 years of his life as a monk studying in the monasteries of Tibet and receiving teachings from many highly qualified lamas.
Neten Chokling Rinpoche, also referred as to the Fourth Neten Chokling Rinpoche, is a Tibetan actor.
Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen, 1894–1977, known also as Negi Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen, Tenzin Gyaltsen, and various other names like Kunu Rinpoche, Kunu Lama and Negi Lama, was born in 1894 in the village of Sunam which lies in the forest-clad Kinnaur district of India in the western Himalayas. Khunu Rinpoche was neither a tulku nor a Buddhist monk but a layman who took the lay practitioner’s vows.
Ven. Paltul Rinpoche is a Baram Kagyü lineage holder, one of the four major sub-schools of the Kagyü Order in Tibetan Buddhism. There are four major orders in Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet. The present Paltul Rinpoche is the fifth lineage holder of the previous four masters of Tibetan Healing Arts and Meditation. He also is the teacher and head of Demo Monastery, located in the Nangchen region of Kham, Eastern Tibet. His Demo Monastery also incorporates a Traditional Institute of Medicine and Tibetan Astrology, as well as a hospital for the local nomadic population.
Khensur Lungri Namgyel
Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, also known as Khensur Lungri Namgyel, was born in 1927 in Kham was the 101st Gaden Tripa, the leader of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
Kalu Rinpoche was a Buddhist lama, meditation master, scholar and teacher. He was one of the first Tibetan masters to teach in the West.
Lodrö Chökyi Nyima was recognized as the 4th reincarnation of the Jamgon Kongtrul in August 1996 by Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, who gave the name Jamgon Lodro Chokyi Nyima Dronme Chok Thamced Le Nampar Gyalwe De. He was born on November 26, 1995 in Chushur Dzong, near Chushur Dzong, in Central Tibet. This recognition was confirmed by the 14th Dalai Lama, Sakya Trizin, the head of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism, and Mindroling Trichen, the now deceased head of the Nyingma tradition. All three performed hair-cutting ceremonies and bestowed names, as is traditional. As the reincarnation of Jamgon Kongtrul, Lodrö is entitled to be styled “rinpoche”.
Kyabje Choden Rinpoche
(Kyabje) Choden Rinpoche was a contemporary yogi-scholar of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism and a reincarnation (sprul-sku) of the Choden lineage, the historical abbots of Rabten Monastery (Tibetan: རབ་བརྟེན་དགོན་པ, Wylie: in Rong-bo district, Kham.
Samding Dorje Phagmo
The Samding Dorje Phagmo is the highest female incarnation in Tibet and the third highest-ranking person in the hierarchy after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. She was listed among the highest-ranking reincarnations at the time of the 5th Dalai Lama, recognized by the Tibetan government and acknowledged by the emperors of Qing China. In her first incarnation, as Chökyi Drönma, she was the student and consort of the famous polymath Thang Tong Gyalpo, who first identified her as a tulku of Vajravārāhī, and the consort of Bodong Panchen. The seat of the Samding Dorje Phagmo is at Samding Monastery, in Tibet.
Sershul Triwa Rinpoche
Kyabje Nawang Gehlek Rimpoche was a Tibetan Buddhist lama born in Lhasa, Tibet on October 26, 1939. His personal name was Gelek; kyabje and rimpoche, are titles meaning “teacher” and “precious,” respectively. He was a tulku, an incarnate lama of Drepung Monastic University, where he received the scholastic degree of Geshe Lharampa, the highest degree given, at the exceptionally young age of 20. The 14th Dalai Lama said “he completed his traditional Buddhist training as a monk in Tibet prior to the Chinese Takeover.”
Minling Khenchen Rinpoche
According to Tibetan Buddhism the IXth Minling Khenchen Rinpoche is the successive reincarnation of the Minling Kenrab lineage, co-administrator of Mindrolling Monastery and Head Abbot In-Charge of Ngagyur Nyingma College in India, Vajrayana master, scholar, and teacher.
Taklung Ma Rinpoche
Tenzin Kunzang Jigme Rinpoche, the seventh Taklung Ma Rinpoche, was born in 1977 to Ngawang Tendar and Deden Zangmo.
Lopön Tenzin Namdak is a Tibetan religious leader and the most senior teacher of Bon, in particular of Dzogchen and the Mother Tantras.
19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche
19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche was a Buddhist lama, who also served as India’s ambassador to Mongolia. He is mainly known for his efforts in reviving Buddhism in Mongolia and Russia by linking them with the community of Tibetan exiles in India.