Minling Trichen Rinpoche

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An early photograph of Minling Trichen Rinpoche

Minling Trichen Rinpoche (Tib. སྨིན་གླིང་ཁྲི་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་, Wyl. smin gling khri chen rin po che) Gyurme Kunzang Wangyal (Tib. འགྱུར་མེད་ཀུན་བཟང་དབང་རྒྱལ་, Wyl. 'gyur med kun bzang dbang rgyal) (1931-2008) was the eleventh throneholder of Mindroling Monastery and head of the Nyingma school.


His father was Gyurme Döndrup Wangyal, the Tenth Minling Trichen, and his mother was Dawa Drolma. He was born on the eighteenth day of the first month in the Iron Sheep year. His teachers included Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, Shechen Kongtrul Pema Drimé Lekpé Lodrö, Minling Chung Rinpoche, Minling Khen Rinpoche, and the previous Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche.

He spent more than fourteen years in retreat, and was a tertön.[1] He was not formally enthroned in Tibet after the passing away of his father, the Tenth Minling Trichen, and so his enthronement was conducted in exile, in the Zangdokpalri Monastery in Kalimpong, northern India, in 1962 led by Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

In 1976 he moved to Dehra Dun to take his seat at the re-established Mindroling Monastery. His students include his own daughter, Khandro Rinpoche. He succeeded Penor Rinpoche as head of the Nyingma school in 2001. He passed away on the third day of the Tibetan new year, Saturday 9th February, 2008.[2]


  1. According to the biography on the official Mindrolling website, he discovered a terma of Jigten Wangchuk Pema Garwang, the Great Compassionate One.
  2. Article at phayul.com

Further Reading

In Tibetan

  • Ngagyur Nyingma College, 'og min o rgyan smin grol gling gi gdan rabs mkhan brgyud rim par byon pa rnams kyi rnam thar g.yul las rnam par rgyal ba'i dga' ston, Dehra Dun: Ngagyur Nyingma College, 2002, pp. 130-135

In English

  • Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage (Junction City: Padma Publications, 2005), pages 385-387.
  • View: The Rigpa Journal, August 2009, pages 54-57.

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