Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche is one of the foremost living teachers of the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, a great scholar and master of meditation who traveled the world teaching in Buddhism centres everywhere.
In his late teens and early twenties he trained as a yogin in Tibet with a local yogin known as Zopa Tharchin. He spent his early youth in retreat in the mountains until his teacher told him to study for the benefit of others. A renowned scholar, he excels in philosophical debate and always aims to turn the minds of his opponents and students towards their own inner experience rather than getting lost in intellectual fabrications.
After the communist invasion of Tibet, Khenpo Rinpoche fled to India in 1960. He spent many years in Bhutan as a wandering yogin, meditating in caves and hermitages. In 1975 he was asked by the sixteenth Karmapa, head of the Kagyu tradition, to be abbot of the main Kagyu centre in France. However he asked instead to be allowed to travel and help people everywhere.
He has done that ever since, leading a truly simple, homeless life; he is a master of non-attachment. He has many times refused to accept property to build Buddhist centres and he regularly gives away all of his money. Khenpo Rinpoche demonstrates the carefree life of a yogin, singing spontaneous songs of realisation wherever he goes, devoted only to the welfare of others.
Since the deaths of Trungpa Rinpoche and Khyentse Rinpoche, Khenpo Rinpoche has been Rigdzin Shikpo’s main source of guidance and directed Rigdzin Shikpo’s three year retreat in Oxford. Following this, and in recognition of his realisation, Khenpo Rinpoche gave him the title Rigdzin Shikpo. Rigdzin means Knowledge Holder (vidyadhara in sanskrit) and Shikpo means beyond concepts.