Nyichang Khentrül Rinpoche
Venerable Nyichang Khentrül Rinpoche is a Tibetan lama who has been residing in Japan for more than 40 years. He has received teachings mainly from the Nyingma lineage, and also from the other three Tibetan Buddhist lineages, namely the Sakya, Kagyü, and Gelug.
Nyichang Rinpoche was born on March 10, 1932, in a village of tantric practitioners located in the Kyidong Valley in southwestern Tibet. At the age of 8, Rinpoche was placed under the tutelage of the great yogini Shukseb Jetsün Chöying Zangmo of Shuksep Nunnery. One of the most important teachings Rinpoche received from Jetsün Rinpoche was the Chöd transmission. The practice of Chöd is intended to cut off attachment to the self by offering one’s body through visualization to the objects of refuge (Guru, Deva, Dakini), as well as for propitiating all the malevolent spirits that manifest problems and obstructions. The particular Chöd lineage received by Rinpoche is called the ”Dharseng lineage” in honor of Dharma Senge and is considered one of the purest transmissions among all lineages of the Chöd practice.
Nyichang Rinpoche received transmissions of the Rinchen Terdzö (”The Treasury of Precious Termas”) from Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche VI at Mindrolling Monastery. At Nyima Changra Monastic College, a very strict institute in Tibet under the sponsorship of the Drigung Kagyü lineage, Rinpoche studied the thirteen most important Indian shastras under Rahor Chödrak (Rwa hor chos grags) through the commentaries written by Shenpen Chökyi Nangwa ( gZhan phan chos kyi snang ba, 1871-1927). Rinpoche also received many teachings from Bötrül Dongak Tenpai Nyima (bod sprul mdo sngags bstan pa’i nyi ma, 1898?1900?1902?–1959). Rinpoche rose to the position of gegen (dge rgan, teacher) at the early age of 18.
When the Chinese army invaded Tibet in 1959, Rinpoche escaped to India. There, Rinpoche served as head teacher and religious advisor for the Tibetan High School in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand state, and later as professor of Indian shastras at the Tibeto-Indian Research Institute of Varanasi Sanskrit University (now called Sarnath Buddhist University). While in India, Rinpoche received teachings from such illustrious teacher-practitioners as Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen (1895-1977), Polu Khenpo Dorje (1896-1970), Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991), and Düdjom Rinpoche (1904-1987), among others.
In 1974, at the request of His Holiness Dalai Lama, Nyichang Rinpoche traveled to Japan to teach at Koyasan Buddhist University as well as at Kyoto University, Tohoku University, etc. as a lecturer.
Due to the growing interest in Tibetan Buddhism, Rinpoche has responded to requests to transmit the Dharma teachings to all who are sincerely interested, maintaining absolute fidelity to tradition beginning from the fundamental level. In addition, Rinpoche emphasizes that all his serious students should study and practice the ngöndro preliminary practices of Dzogchen, the ultimate teachings of Tibetan tantrism, in line with the Longchen Nyingtik terma tradition revealed by Jigme Lingpa.
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche is a Buddhist teacher, whose creative expression manifests through dharma teachings, filmmaking, writing and volunteer work. His mandala comprises Dzongsar Monastery, various Monastic Institutions, 84000 Translation Project, Khyentse Foundation, Siddhartha’s Intent and Lotus Outreach.
Born in Bhutan in a ‘hard-core’ Buddhist family, Khyentse Rinpoche was recognized by His Holiness Sakya Trizin as the main incarnation of the incomparable Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, the spiritual heir of one of the most influential and admired 19th century incarnations of Manjushri (the Buddha of Wisdom), Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
In 1989, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche founded Siddhartha’s Intent with the intention of preserving the Buddhist teachings, as well as increasing awareness and understanding of the many aspects of the Buddhist teaching beyond the limits of cultures and traditions.
According to Rinpoche, Shakyamuni was a Buddha and therefore omnipotent, so every word he uttered, every tradition he instigated, every aspect of his legacy, is as appropriate and necessary today as it was during his lifetime. When Rinpoche teaches, he focuses primarily on the Buddhist ‘view’ rather than the ethnic backdrop it is set against.
Rinpoche also goes out of his way to promote traditional practices that have begun to slip out of fashion, particularly that of oral transmission (lung), for example spending three months over the winter of 2006-7 transmitting the entire Kangyur (Word of the Buddha) to monks and lay practitioners at the Chökyi Lodrö Institute of Dialectics in Chauntra, India.
Rinpoche is the author of several books about Buddhism that have been translated into many languages; for example:’What Makes You Not a Buddhist’ (2006), ‘Not For Happiness’ (2012) and ‘The Guru Drinks Bourbon?’ (2016). He is also well-known outside the Buddhist world for the feature films he both wrote and directed, ‘The Cup’ (1999), ‘Travellers and Magicians’ (2004), ‘Vara: A Blessing’ (2012) and ‘Hema Hema’ (2016).