Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche
Namkha Rinpoche is the founder of the Rigdzin Community, and our root lama.
Although he resides in Switzerland, he currently guides students all over the world, and in particular in the European countries where the various Rigdzin centres are established: France, Spain, Lithuania, Holland, Sweden and Italy.
Although Namkha Rinpoche has not yet come to the UK, his disciples meet with him regularly on the numerous retreats he guides each year.
Tulku Tenzin Dorjee
Tulku Tenzin Dorjee was born in eastern Tibet in 1990, and named 'Sempa Tenzin' by the great yogini Khandro Wangmo. In 1997, his father, a former monk, takes him on a pilgrimage around east Tibet during which the young Sampa Tenzin asks to become a monk, on the occasion of an Amitabha puja with His Holiness Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche. He is sent to their local monastery of Choden Ling, marking the beginning of his dharma life.
A year later, the family moves to Ngaru Dzong and Sampa Tenzin becomes the assistant of a young tulku, Kunchub Tsering. In 1999, they both move to Serta Lharong Gar, the largest monastic institution in Tibet, where they study until 2008, receiving previous teachings, transmissions and empowerments from HH Khenchen Jigme Puntsok Rinpoche as well as many great masters.
In 2008, they are both sponsored to go and study at the Beijing Foreign Study University. Thousands of Chinese students and people then become their students.
In 2012, Tulku Kunpa and the senior lamas of the Nyingma Jowo Monastery (a branch monastery of Shechen) recognize Sampa Tenzin as the tulku (or reincarnation) of the former throne holder, Khenchen Pema Tritrim. Thus, his enthronement ceremony is held in Jowo monastery, and he receives the name 'Jowo Geylong Ogyen Tenzin Dorjee'. A few years later in 2016, HH Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche gave him the name 'Sokpo Tulku' during his visit to the UK.
In 2011, Tulku Kunchub asks Tulku Tenzin to move to the West to help spread the Dharma. Since then, Tulku Tenzin has been living in the UK, travelling back to Tibet every year to build various institutes for the study of Dharma and the Tibetan art and language. He has also been establishing centres here in the UK: Awam Dzogchen Ling, followed by Awam Rigdzin Ling in Scotland, and a third centre planned in Southeast London, Tashi Chub Ding. Thus, his activities to serve the Dhama have been flourishing, and benefiting thousands of beings in the East and West alike.
Rigdzin Sangye Dorje
Sangye Dorje has been following the Vajrayana path since meeting his root lama, Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche, 20 years ago. Since then, he has been working as his main translator and personal attendant, thus receiving Rinpoche’s most precious pith instructions, oral transmissions, and ripening empowerments.
Sangye Dorje has been teaching the Dharma for ten years, and was recently entrusted as Namkha Rinpoche’s representative. Every year, Sangye Dorje comes to the UK to lead practices, teach rituals, and share some of his experience, training under the close guidance of a Vajrayana, and most specifically Dzogchen master.
"It is thanks to the blessings of the Lama that realization will dawn. Therefore pray to him, mingling your mind with his. If you do, there will come a moment when you will see that what is called the Buddha is not different from your own awareness." Dudjom Rinpoche
Rigdzin Sangye Dorje
Sangye Dorje was born in France in 1978, and has been living in Switzerland since 1995. In 1999, Sangye decided to take a break from his psychology studies, and travelled to India to go and meet Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche, who would become his root lama and inspire his whole life’s spiritual path. Along with a very small group of seven other students, Sangye Dorje spent the following six months in India and Nepal, receiving many teachings from Namkha Rinpoche and visiting sacred places of pilgrimage.
In 2001, after resuming his psychology degree in, Sangye and another Dharma brother invited Namkha Rinpoche to Switzerland for the first time. A year later, they helped him move there and establish Rigdzin Thegchok Ling, the main centre of the International Nyingmapa Rigdzin Community. The association now comprises nine European centres in Lithuania, Switzerland, Spain, France, Sweden, Italy, Holland and England. Since then, Sangye Dorje has been working as Namkha Rinpoche’s close personal attendant, spending countless hours by his side and receiving his precious heart advice.
In 2004, Sangye Dorje went back to Nepal to learn Tibetan. He quickly became Namkha Rinpoche’s main translator, following him on his travels and receiving the vast majority of his teachings and empowerments. Throughout the years, Sangye has received the crucial points of the Vajrayana path according to the Dudjom Tersar and Longchen Nyingthik tradition, including the highest Dzogchen teachings. He has also learnt to prepare, chant, and perform the Dudjom Tersar rituals.
In 2014, Sangye became president of the Swiss Rigdzin Association. Working with the association’s committee, he has helped organise the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the University of Lausanne and the teachings of His Holiness Karmapa Thinley Dorje and Khenpo Sodargye, the head of Serta Larung Gar, the largest monastery in Tibet. Sangye Dorje translated for these great lamas, as well as for Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, or Patrul Rinpoche.
Sangye Dorje started teaching the Dharma in 2006, and has been doing so increasingly frequently ever since. He has been teaching within the Rigdzin community, as well as publicly in various countries. Teaching in a clear, warm and open way, Sangye really maintains the authenticity of the traditional Dharma he has received. By speaking from his own experience as a Western disciple with two decades of experience and practice, he knows how to skilfully transmit the Dharma in a way that is both accessible and relevant to our modern lives.
Meeting such a great master as Namkha Rinpoche has been the greatest fortune and inspiration in Sangye Dorje's life, and the root of the spiritual transformation that lies at the very heart of his path. Namkha Rinpoche has considered him among his dearest disciples for years, and recently officialised this by naming him his representative, with the blessings of Katok Getse Rinpoche, the late Head of the Nyingma school. In his lay life, Sangye Dorje also has a family and works as a social worker. Every year, Sangye Dorje spends over six months travelling with Namkha Rinpoche in the different centres in Europe, as well as in India and Bhutan.