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Our Teachers

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Our Temple became established in 2000 as one of Holiness' Palyul Centers following the first visit of Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche, our Spiritual Director, who gave us the name Palyul Changchub Dargyeling Ohio.  This is translated from Tibetan as The Glorious island of Flourishing Enlightenment. Our beloved Spiritual Director guides us to fulfill the vision of Holiness to take these teachings into our hearts and apply them to our daily lives.

His Holiness Pema Norbu came to Ohio to give empowerments and teachings on two occasions. In 2003 He bestowed the sacred Guhyagarbha Tantra and White Umbrella Empowerments with a public viewing sand mandala in Chagrin Falls.  Then,with the purchase of our 1885 barn and property, His Holiness returned in 2005 to Richfield to do the initial consecration of the temple which we now call home.  We were also grateful that He also gave us specific shrineroom instructions which we implemented during the reconstruction to fulfill His vision.


His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, from our Palyul Monastery in Tibet, is now the current Throne Holder of the Palyul lineage.  We were so fortunate that Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche came out of Tibet to do the final Consecration of our completed Richfield Temple in 2010.  You can visit our mother website at for complete details about His Holiness and all the Khenpos and Tulkus of this profound lineage. 

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Spiritual Director and Eleventh Throne Holder

Kyabje Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche

Pema Norbu Rinpoche, the eleventh throne holder of the Palyul Lineage of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, was born in 1932 under auspicious signs in the Kham region of eastern Tibet.   At the age of four Rinpoche took refuge at the Palyul monastery and began his Buddhist studies.  Rinpoche studied with many lamas, benefiting most deeply from his great master, the Second Chögtrul Rinpoche. It was Chögtrul Rinpoche and the fourth Karma Kuchen Rinpoche who enthroned His Holiness.  In 1963, following a difficult and dangerous journey from Tibet, with only 300 rupees and a handful of monks, Pema Norbu Rinpoche began building the Namdroling Monastery on land that had been donated by the Indian government. In time, the Namdroling monastery would grow to become the largest Nyingmapa teaching center in the world with close to 5000 monks and nuns.  Rinpoche worked tirelessly to spread and strengthen Buddhist practices throughout the world.   Eventually His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as requested by the entire Nyingmapa Community, appointed him as the Supreme Head of the Nyingma School in 1993, following in the footsteps of HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and HH Dudjom Rinpoche.  In 1997 he founded the Palyul Retreat Center in the small rural community of McDonough, NY. His Holiness taught the traditional retreat course Liberation is in the Palm of Your Hand from the first retreat in 1998 until 2008.


His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche attained Paranirvana at 8:20 PM on March 27, 2009.

“I don’t have any quality or power but still I will do my aspiration prayers for all of you that you could carry through your practices and not have any obstacles and be successful with your practices.” – Kyabje Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche

Read more about the life of Pema Norbu Rinpoche.


Official Announcement of the Recognition of
His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’s Reincarnation


It is a matter of great joy and pleasure to inform all the disciples and well-wishers of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche residing around the globe that our beloved root guru has been reborn in Tibet. According to His Holiness Jadrel Rinpoche’s prophecy letter, Penor Rinpoche’s Yangsi (reincarnated being), was born near Leten Tramo Drag or Dung Lung Tramo Drag, the sacred place where the Nyingthing Yabshyi (The Four Cycles of Heart Essence Teachings) was revealed. Based upon this prophecy letter, combined with pure visions of Tulku Thubten Palzang Rinpoche, the Yangsi was authentically recognized.


His Holiness the Fifth Karma Kuchen Rinpoche
Heart Son of Holiness Pema Norbu and Current Palyul LineageThroneholder

With the passing of our beloved Holiness Penor Rinpoche in the Spring of 2009, His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche has assumed his responsibilities as the 12th Lineage Holder of the Palyul tradition. He was recognized as the 5th Karma Kuchen Rinpoche by both the late Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and Holiness Penor Rinpoche, who cared for him as one of his three Heart Sons since the age of 4. After his accomplished training at Namdroling under the direct guidance of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, he was formally enthroned as the 12th Throneholder of the Palyul Lineage in 2000. He assumed the major responsibility of the Palyul Mother Monastery in Tibet where he rebuilt many temples, prayer wheels, and sacred objects of veneration, as well as spread the Dharma in the Land of the Snows. Of the many remarkable qualities he possesses, the most striking quality is his strict and pure observance of all the vows of a monk. He is thus the embodiment of pure conduct in these degenerate times. In the fall of 2009, Palyul students were fortunate that His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche embarked on a 14 city tour of the US, Canada, and Mexico to visit the dharma centers and to get to know his students. We pray for his long life and wish that he will return soon to be with his devoted students here in the U.S.


Read more about H.H. Karma Kuchen Rinpoche.


His Eminence The Fourth Gyangkhang Rinpoche
Heart Son of Holiness Pema Norbu

The Fourth Gyangkhang Rinpoche was born in India, and recognized as the authentic incarnation of the Third Gyangkhang Rinpoche by H.H. Penor Rinpoche, H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche and H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

At the age of four, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche invited him to stay in Namdroling Monastery and thereafter looked after him as his own child. When he was 15, he received the esoteric teachings of Tantra thus laying the foundation for the higher practices. He entered Ngagyur Nyingma Institute (Shedra), a branch of Namdroling Monastery and an advanced college of Tibetan Buddhism where he studied general Buddhist Philosophy as well as the distinct Nyingma Teachings.

He received the empowerments, oral transmissions and pith instructions on the whole Kama and Terma teachings (the distinct Nyingma Teachings of the Transmitted Precepts and the Rediscovered Treasure Teachings) from His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Dodrubchen Rinpoche, Jadrel Rinpoche, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche, and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche. He specially received the distinct teachings of Palyul Tradition including the Namchö Teachings from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche.

In 1994, under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, Gyangkhang Rinpoche received the vows of full ordination from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche.  In 1995, he completed the nine years course in the institute and considering his high level of knowledge, Penor Rinpoche bestowed him the title of a “Tulku Khenpo” and recognized him worthy of a dharma teacher who can guide others towards the path of enlightenment.

Read more about The Fourth Gyangkhang Rinpoche.


His Eminence Mugsang Tulku

Heart Son of Holiness Pema Norbu

Mugsang Kuchen Rinpoche is one of His Holiness Pema Norbu's three Heart Sons, and along with Gyang Khang Tulku Rinpoche shoulders the responsibility for Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe, India which houses over 5,000 monks and nuns. He was born to Penpa Dorjee [father] and Sonam Yangzom [mother] in Nepal, on the tenth day of the fourth Tibetan month with miraculous signs. At the age of two, His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and His Holiness Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche recognized him as the unmistakeable reincarnation of Chogtrul Kunsang Sherab. From the age of three, Penor Rinpoche looked after him with great compassion and care. When he reached the age of four, he he received the Rinchen Terzod Empowerment cycle from His Holiness Drodrupchen Rinpoche. Beginning at age five, he learned to read and write in Tibetan and began training in the distinct rituals of the Palyul tradition. Subsequently, he received the kama Empowerments, instructions on Ngondro, Tsalung, and Dzogchen directly from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. Thus he has upheld and continued activities of his predecessor.


Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche
Spiritual Director

Known affectionately as Khenpo Guru by his  Dharma students, our Spiritual Director Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche was born in 1954 in a village near Lhakhang Dzong in the southern region of Tibet bordering Bhutan called Lhodrak. In 1969 he entered the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan studies at Sarnath, near Varanasi. There he followed a nine-year curriculum in Buddhist studies and general education under his principal teacher, Khenpo Palden Sherab, and other masters. His class work included Sanskrit, English and intensive studies in the textual traditions of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. He graduated with the degree of Acharya in 1978, ranking first overall among the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism represented at Sarnath. His Holiness the Dalai Lama honored his achievement with the award of a silver medal. After graduation he was invited to teach at Palyul Namdroling Monastery at the Tibetan settlement in Bylakuppe, near Mysore in South India. For several years he was engaged in training the young monks and teaching in the monastic college, the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute (Shedra). In 1983 he was enthroned as a khenpo by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche. In the Nyingmapa tradition, a khenpo is a professor of Buddhist studies.

Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso has received all of the major lineage empowerments and transmissions of the Nyingmapa school, including the Dudjom Tersar from Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche; the Longchen Nyingthig Yabshi, and Nyingma Kama from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche; and the Rinchen Terdzod and Nam Chos from Pema Norbu Rinpoche. He has done intensive dzogchen practice under the guidance of Penor Rinpoche and other eminent masters including Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche. Pema Norbu Rinpoche has authorized him to represent the monastery and to teach, to confer empowerments and to give personal instruction in Buddhist practice.

Read more about Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche.

Khenpo Tenzin Norgay Rinpoche

Visiting Teacher

Khenpo Tenzin Norgay, was born in the Tashigang District of Bhutan in 1965. After completing Jigme Sherubling High School in 1986, he joined Ngagyur Nyingma Institute, the prestigious Buddhist studies and research center, at Namdroling Monastery in Mysore. At the Institute he studied under Khenchen Pema Sherab, Khenpo Namdrol Tsering and Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso and other visiting professors, including Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok and Khenpo Pema Tsewang from Tibet. He completed the Shedra program at the Institute in 1995 and joined the Institute staff, teaching there for three years. He was formally enthroned as Khenpo by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche in 1998 and was assigned by His Holiness to teach at the Buddhist college at Palyul monastery in Tibet. He has received all the major empowerments of the Rinchen Terzod, Nam Cho, Nyingthik Yabshi and Nyingma Kama from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche as well as the Mipham Kabum from His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Because of his knowledge and experience, and fluent command of the English language, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche has assigned him to teach students in the United States in conjunction with the ongoing teaching programs offered by Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche.

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