Tsewong Sitar Rinpoche
Modern Day Master of Vajrayana
Lama Tsewong Sitar Rinpoche is the head of the historic Sangye Teng Monastery in eastern Bhutan. He began his studies at the tender age of four, under the tutelage of his renowned father, learning Buddhist philosophy and Tibetan reading and writing. Having spent more than twenty years in meditative retreat in his Himalayan hermitage, he was recognized as a reincarnation of Nubchen Sangye Yeshe (heart disciple of Padmasambhava), by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse.
He is the main lineage-holder of Terton Pegyal Lingpa and is master of the Longchen Nyingtig. A dynamic and powerful teacher, he is particularly known for his profound teachings on Dzokchen. Rinpoche is also a qualified stupa builder, having created a number of these sacred power structures in the America and Asia. He embodies the ideal of a realized master, with immense compassion, humility and good nature. Rinpoche is also a householder and brings the essence of dharma into all aspects of daily living.
Recently also has designated his America seat as SangNgak ChoKor Ling: the Path of Secret Mantra. The non-monastic approach is particularly appropriate for Western students, as it is about integrating profound spiritual knowledge and practices with the chaos and confusion of the daily world. Rinpoche has students in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Colorado, Florida and New York.
Sitar Rinpoche mastery of Chod is profound and rare, as his knowledge spans an unusually broad spectrum of Cho practices. Indeed, his monastery specializes in the complete systems of Machik (Kagyu), the LongChen Nyingtig Cho of Jigmé Lingpa and the Troma practices of Dudjom Lingpa. He is also the lineage holder of the Pegyal Lingpa Cho, and other lesser know teachings and practices, such as that of Shugseb Ani Lochen. Rinpoche provides the empowerments and transmissions for all the texts and practices for the School of Healing Cho. Tsewong Rinpoche is also the main Eastern teacher for the School of Tibetan Healing Cho. He currently visits North America for six months each year, centered in the San Francisco Bay area and teaching in Calgary, Memphis, Florida, Oregon and at various centers around the country as well as parts of Europe and Asia.
TEACHERS and TRAINING
During his dharma career, Tsewong Rinpoche has had 11 main teachers; Below is a brief summary of the masters under which he has studied.
1. LOPPON GYELPO
Born in the Wood Sheep year of 1955, Rinpoche’s dharma career began under the tutelage of his famous yogin father, Gargyi Wangchug, also known as Loppon Gyelpo. Here he learned the basics of dharma, as well as the Longchen Nyingtig system. He also learned the Cho system of the great female master, Shukseb Rinpoche (Rigdzin Ani Wongmo) from this father, who was her direct disciple. After five years of training in the Nyingtik system, he completed the Foundation Practices (Ngondro) and accomplished a number of retreats under the guidance of his lama. When he was 21 years old, he was installed as Dorje Loppon of Sangye Teng monastery.
Shortly after, his father and teacher entered the Pure Buddha Realms.
2. DOCHAK TULKU
Do Chag Tulku taught Tsewong Rinpoche the scriptures and traditional texts associated the Mahayana teachings, including the Seven Points of Mind Training, and Prajnaparamita.
3. CHOYING RINPOCHE
From ChoYing Rinpoche, he received the transmission of the Kanjur, the 108 volumes of the Buddhaâ€™s teachings, along with the Seven Treasures of Longchen Rabjam, the famous collection of teachings of the Nyingma tradition. He then obtained training in the Three Cycle of Cho, and the Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deity (Shi Tro) empowerment, transmission and teachings of Karma Lingpa. Under Cho Ying Rinpoche he received and practiced the Longchen Nyingtik Ngondro and its associated commentary, the Kunzang Lamay Shal Lung (Words of My Perfect Teacher), as well as ongoing personal instruction from this teacher.
4. SAMLING RINPOCHE
Sam Ling Tulku Rinpoche transmitted the dharma cycle of the Great Treasure Revealer, Ja Tson Nyingpo to Rinpoche, and brought him through the various stages of Dzog Chen, the teachings of the Great Perfection.
5. DUDJOM RINPOCHE
With Dudjom Rinpoche he received the entire corpus of teachings on the in the Tersar and Peling traditions. Rinpoche prophesied in writing that Tsewong Rinpoche was the incarnation of the Nubchen Sangye Yeshe, one of the disciples of Guru Rinpoche, and an extraordinarily powerful tantric magician. Dudjom Rinpoche, the incarnation of the very famous Dudjom Lingpa, has spread the terma revelations and deity cycles (Tersar or New Treasures) of his previous emanation far and wide. PeGyal Lingpa was also the retreat master and chant master for Dudjom Rinpoche for many years, furthering the close connection between Tsewong Rinpoche and this lineage. The famous Troma Yidam and Troma Chod cycles of the Dudjom Tersar are still practiced intensely at Rinpoche’s Bhutan monastery, and these also are part of Module 6 of the School of Cho.
6. DILGO KYENTSE
One of the great saints of the 20th century, Dilgo Kyentse furthered Tsewong’s training in the subtleties of Nyingtig system of Jigmé Lingpa. He also confirmed Tsewong Rinpoche as an emanation of Nubchen Rinpoche. Tsewong Rinpoche also received the transmission of all the the termas or revealed treasures and commentaries of Kyentse Rinpoche, and in particular his Dakini practice is part of the advanced curriculum of the School of Tibetan Healing Cho, because of its profoundity and pristine power.
7. DODRUP CHEN RINPOCHE
From DoDrup Chen, the holder of the Nyingtik lineage, he received many great cycles of the Nyingma tradition in the 1980s, including the the Terdzo, Nyingtig Yabshi, Zo dun and Kama transmissions.
8. TERTON PEGYAL LINGPA
Tsewong Rinpoche, had the great fortune to meet and study with the renowned meditation master, Pegyal Lingpa, the most important Treasure Revealer of modern day Bhutan. From this enlightened yogi of the non-monastic (Ngakpa) lineage, he received the entire cycle of empowerments, transmissions and teachings of the five volumes of his treasure, the Kusum Gongdu (the Three Kayas of the Gurus Mind). He also transmitted the cycle of the terton king, Guru Chowong (1212- 1273) and that of Rigdzin Jatson Nyinpo. PeGyal Lingpa became Rinpoches teacher, confirming in writing his reincarnation from Nubchen Rinpoche. He also prophesied that Jampal Shinjé was Tsewong Rinpoches main yidam or meditational deity.
On PeGyal Rinpoches passing, Rinpoche became his successor and lineage holder, as confirmed by Kyentse Rinpoche and DoDrup Chen.
9. LAMA NALJOR
10. AJA LAMA (1921-2005)
Dorje Lingpa was a great treasure revealer of the ancient path, and established many teachings and monastic centers in Tibet and Bhutan. However, in modern times, the glorious tradition of Dorje Lingpa has ceased to exist outside of Bhutan. From Aja Lama Rinpoche, Tsewong Rinpoche received the lineages that came through subsequent generations of teachers stretching back to Dorje Lingpa himself (the Long Lineage). He also obtained the stream of teachings issuing from Kyentse Wongpo (1820-1892) had received revelations and mind transmissions from Dorje Lingpa (the Short Lineage). Tsewong Rinpoche and his colleague Lama Kelzang sponsored the transmission of this heritage in 2003, and are the last lineage holders of these two streams. They are now instituting projects to preserve the writings (28 volumes) and transmission of these great works.
11. JE KEN RINPOCHE
Finally, Rinpoche received all teachings and empowerments of the Drukpa Kagyu from his Holiness Tulku Jigme Choda, the 70th supreme Abbot of Bhutan. The Drukpa Kagyu lineage has strong connections to many Nyingma practices and philosophies, and is the vehicle for the transmission of the Six Yogas of Naropa and the Trulkor exercises (Tibetan Energy Yoga).
ANI LOCHEN RINPOCHE
Lastly, we must mention the special transmission of Shuksep Ani Lochen Rinpoche, the greatest female Chod master of our era. Rinpoche’s father spend some ten years with her at her monastery, receiving all transmissions and trainings in her lineage and practice. this he transmitted to his son, he continues this tradition, along with all his other lineages, at his monastery in Eastern Bhutan. Her system, coming directly from Dharma Shri,has provided some wonderful additions to the curriculum of the School of Tibetan Healing Cho.