Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche (1961) 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. Tenzin Rinpoche is renowned for his depth of wisdom; his clear, engaging teaching style; and his ability to make the ancient Tibetan teachings highly accessible and relevant to the lives of Westerners.
Тenzin Rinpoche was born in Amritsar, India, not long after his parents escaped their Tibetan homeland in 1959 during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. At age 10 Tenzin Rinpoche was ordained as a monk at Menri Monastery near Dolanji, India. There he was recognized by head teacher Lopon Sangye Tenzin Rinpoche as a reincarnation of the famous master Khyung Tul Rinpoche, a renowned meditation master, teacher, scholar and healer who died in the mid-20th century.
From the age of 13 Rinpoche practiced dzogchen under the guidance of masters from both the Bön and Buddhist schools of Tibet, including (from Bön) His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima, Lopon Sangye Tenzin Rinpoche, Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche and Geshe Yungdrung Namgyal. From his early adolescence until young adulthood, Tenzin Rinpoche was raised like a son by his root teacher Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, today revered as the most senior teacher of the Bön tradition. An accomplished scholar in the Bön Buddhist textual traditions of philosophy, exegesis and debate, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche in 1986 completed an 11-year course of traditional studies at the Bon Dialectic School of Menri Monastery, where he received his geshe degree, equivalent to a doctorate in philosophy from Western universities.
Upon graduating, Tenzin Rinpoche was employed in 1981 at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives at Dharamsala, India. His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama appointed Rinpoche to be the Bön tradition's representative that year to the Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies of the Tibetan-Government-in-Exile.
Today Rinpoche continues his dedicated efforts to preserve the Bön Buddhist tradition through establishing centers and groups worldwide, through translating and publishing texts, and through teaching Bön as an authentic, living tradition to Western students around the world. In 2006 during the European summer retreat in Buchenau, Germany, Rinpoche announced the creation of Lishu Institute, a school near Dehradun, India, where Western students will be able to continue and deepen their knowledge and experience of the ancient teachings and practices of Bön.