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Tulku Thondup Rinpocze


Tulku Thondup Rinpoche was born in Golok, Eastern Tibet. At the age of five
he was recognized as the reincarnation of Khenpo Konchog Dronme (Khenpo Kome), a great scholar and master of the Dodrupchen Monastery. In 1958 he fled to India with Dodrupchen Rinpoche. He taught Tibetan and Tibetan literature at Lucknow University (1967-76) and Visva Bharati University (1976-80).

In 1980, Tulku Thondup came to the United States as a visiting scholar at Harvard University. Since then, he has been living in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
where he engages in translation and writing on Tibetan Buddhism, particularly
the Nyingma teachings, under the auspices of the Buddhayana Foundation.

Founded and managed by Michael Baldwin and Harold Talbott, the Buddhayana 

Tulku Thondup has also been affiliated with Mahasiddha Nyingmapa Center
of Massachusetts and Chorten Gonpa (Monastery) of Sikkim, India.
He has published many original Buddhist works and translations, among them bestsellers like Healing Power of Mind, and The Practice of Dzogchen.

Tulku Thondup has traveled throughout North America, Europe
and many parts of Asia teaching on his books and holding workshops.

Tulku Rinpoche left his phisical body on the 29th of December 2023.


The letter from Lydia Segal to Rinpoche's disciples:

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Tulku Thondup Rinpoche about

his connection with Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche 

"There are many connections between Chhimed Ringzin Rinpoche's and my, Tulku Thondup‘s backgrounds. The Great Terton, Khordong Terchen Nuden Dorje was a nephew of the First Dodrupchen Rinpoche . Tulku Tshulthrim Zangpo (Tulku Tsullo), Rinpoche‘s main teacher was a disciple of the third Dodrupchen Rinpoche. Also Shugchung Gonpa, the main seat of Tulku Tshulthrim Zangpo is 15 - 20 miles from the Dodrupchen Monastery.

I was recognized as the Tulku of Konme Khenpo, one of the four great Khenpos of Dodrupchen Monastery during the early twentieth century. Konme Khenpo lived in the hermitage of Shugchung monastery. He built a big Chorten (stupa) in the monastery itself. Shugchung is one of the three main monasteries of Khordong lineage. The others are Khordong and Bane Monasteries.

Tertul Chhimed Ringzin Rinpoche left Kham when he was young. After years of staying in Central Tibet he left for India where he lived from then on. In 1957, I escaped to India with Kyabje Dodrupchen Rinpoche as a refugee. In 1962, I ran into Tertul Rinpoche (CRL) in Kalimpong (after his return from Italy and Germany). He immediately invited me to come to Santiniketan, if I was looking for any financial help or job. In those days, Rinpoche was the only Tibetan, who had a teaching position at an Indian University. After some time, I went to Santiniketan and Rinpoche helped me to apply to the University Grants Commission of India - through the University - for a research scholarship. In 1963, I received a research scholarship and stayed with Rinpoche's family doing my research for three or four years. He looked after me like a father or brother and took me under his wing. We had quiet, but very special days of life at Santiniketan, which I always treasure in my memories. 

In 1967, the University of Lucknow offered me a position as a lecturer (Assistant Professor). So I moved to Lucknow, where I taught for nine years. In 1976, after years of a great effort by Rinpoche, Santiniketan University offered me a position as a Reader (Associate Professor). So I moved back and taught there again for four years. I stayed with Rinpoche’s family again for four years. Then in 1980, I came to Harvard University as a Visiting Scholar and didn't return to India.

Rinpoche is one of the great historical figures in Nyingma history. He combined amazing power and natural love, something hard to find. Rinpoche loved me as his own brother or child and treated me with the greatest care. He always wanted me to teach and function as a Lama (Guru). But my preference was always just to write and give talks.

I hope Rinpoche's students will remain enjoying the blessing-power that
he so kindly shared with them, as it is, without falling to any intellectual
and emotional temptations."

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