Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin


KHENPO UGYEN TENZIN was born on the 15th of March in 1955, the Year of Wood Sheep, in the Chumey Zungney village in the Bumthang valley of central Bhutan. As his mother had passed away during his very early childhood, he was raised by his father and maternal aunt. His father sent him to a new primary school that had just opened near their village so he could receive modern education.

In 1971, when Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin was seventeen, he entered Nimalung Nyingma Monastery, which is situated closed to his home village. He received the refuge vow from His Eminence Bero Tulku Rinpoche, the father of Druk Thamche Khenpo. On July 10, 1974, during the time of summer retreat, Ugyen Tenzin received the pratimoksha novice vow from the celebrated Dzogchen Khenpo Dazer. He also received empowerments, transmissions, and teachings from many great lamas of the Nyingma lineage, such as His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Talung Tsetrul Rinpoche, Pema Norbu Rinpoche, and the most celebrated Khenpo Kunga. This completed his training in the Nyingma teachings and practices.

On February 10th 1981, Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin was enrolled as a member of the first class of Karma Shri Nalanda Institute at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India,


Teaching schedule

with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Sangay Nyenpa Rinpoche. Five months later, during the summer retreat, he received the vows of bhikshu—the fully ordained monk—from His Eminence Jomgön Kongtrül Rinpoche. In the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute, the vows of ordination are always conferred during the time of summer retreat.

Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin completed his studies and received an Acharya degree (Master of Buddhist studies) from Karma Nalanda Institute and Sampurnanand Sanskrit University jointly in March 1991. On the 23rd of March of the same year, he was appointed as junior khenpo (professor) by His Eminence Jomgön Kongtrül Rinpoche and His Eminence Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche. Less than a month later, he was sent to Nimalung Monastery in Bhutan as a khenpo, where he taught Buddhist philosophy for six years.

In 1997, Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin returned to Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, and was appointed the senior khenpo at Nalanda Institute by His Eminence Gyaltsap Rinpoche.  He had also visited Karma Kagyu dharma centers in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand and conferred teachings to many devotees.

He resigned as khenpo from Karma Shri Nalanda Institute in 2002, and returned to Bhutan. There he was asked to teach as senior khenpo at the Nimalung Monastery. However, he chose to go into retreat at Tang Kunzang Drag Monastery, the birthplace and main seat of the great treasure-revealer, Terton Pema Lingpa. He remained in retreat until October 24, 2004.  As His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa asked Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin to help Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, he left his retreat to go to KTD Monastery, where he arrived on May 27, 2005.

On August 9th 2005, the auspicious day of Chokhor Duchen, when the Buddha first taught the Four Noble Truths (according to the General Tibetan Calendar), Khenpo Ugyen presented The Four Noble Truths as his first teaching at KTD.

Since that time he has continued to teach at KTD as well as at many of the KTCs and KKSGs from such texts as Jamgon Kongrul Lodro Taye’s Treasury of Knowledge, Jamgon Mipham’s Gateway to Knowledge, Acharya Shura’s Wish-Fulfilling Vine, Totsun Trupje’s Praises to the Especially Exalted, Nagarjuna’s Letter to a Friend, Shantideva’s Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva, Ngulchu Thokme Zangpo’s Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, Gampopa’s Ornament of Liberation, Lord Rangjung Dorje’s Aspiration of the Definitive Meaning, Mahamudra, Jiktral Yeshe Dorje’s Instructions on the Interval States, and King Songtsen Gampo’s Mani Kabum, among others.

 Teaching Schedule