Chagdud Rinpoche was born in Eastern Tibet in 1930, the son of Dawa Drolma, one of the re-nowned female lamas of that time. His mother was a famous delog, one who had died, traveled throughout the realms of samsara and the pure realms and returned to life. His father and stepfather were Gelugpa lamas, his mother’s family lineage was Sakya and his own extensive training took place in both the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions.

Chagdud Rinpoche was identified at the age of four as a tulku (reincarnation of a meditation master), he underwent rigorous training and furthered his studies through extensive retreats. He harbored a particular fondness for the sacred arts and Tibetan medicine and gained renown for his exceptional singing voice.

In 1959, he fled the Communist presence in Tibet and sought refuge in exile within communities in India and Nepal until eventually resettling in the United States in 1979. Chagdud Rinpoche’s commitment to fully establish the Vajrayana tradition in the West has involved three primary areas of activity: the development of twenty-one Chagdud Gonpa Foundation centers in the United States, Canada, Switzerland and Brazil where the teachings of the Buddhadharma can be learned, practiced and maintained; the translation and publication of classic texts, commentaries and liturgies as well as his own teachings, through Chagdud Gonpa’s Padma Publishing; and teaching and training his ever-growing body of students.

As he traversed and imparted teachings, emanating enthusiasm and compassion, he became the spiritual guide in the hearts of hundreds of students and served as a profound source of inspiration to thousands more. When questioned about his decision, at the age of sixty-four, to relocate to South America instead of remaining in the comfort of the United States, he responded: “I discerned the faith of Brazilians and their curiosity in Buddhism, and I yearned to impart teachings to them”.

Rinpoche’s spouse, Chagdud Khadro, assumes the role of Spiritual Director at his centers in South America. His son, Tromge Jigme Rinpoche, instructs students in the profound meditations of Dzogchen and serves as the vajra master overseeing numerous significant ceremonies and initiations at Chagdud Gonpa centers across North and South America. Chagdud Rinpoche also had a daughter, Dhawa Lamo, who resides and practices in Boulder, Colorado.

Presently, completing the cycle, Chagdud Rinpoche’s reincarnation has been identified by Khenpo Ngagchung in Tibet. Recognized as Chagdud Yangsi, he serves as the focal point of prayers and heartfelt aspirations from sangha members worldwide.

Chagdud Rinpoche has always emphasized the necessity of integrating view, meditation and activity and has established a work-study program in which students simultaneously develop the center and apply themselves in formal meditation and practice in daily life.

Chagdud Rinpoche’s Spiritual Quotes

“Instead of telling ourselves, ‘I don’t have time today, I’ll meditate tomorrow. I don’t have time this week, I’ll do it next week. This is a busy year, I’ll get around to it next year,’ we need to feel an immediacy about doing practiceright now, not just today, not just this hour, but this very moment.”

“Don’t burden others with your expectations. Understanding their limitations can inspire compassion instead of disappointment, ensuring beneficial and workable relationships. Remember that you have only a short time together. Be grateful for each day you share.”

“Praying is not about asking; it’s about listening…
It is just opening your eyes to see what was there all along.”

Chagdud Rinpoche Mantras