Pema Trinley

The previous incarnation

He was born around 1913 in Minyak, in the province of Kham in eastern Tibet; he was the son of the yogi known as Dzogchen Lama, a disciple of the famous Terton Dudjom Takthun Lingpa.

According to Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche he was the lineage son of the actual Hayagriva.

After reaching adulthood Pema Trinley went to Beuyl Pemako, the "hidden valley" in southern Tibet, to receive the complete teachings of the new revealed treasures (Dudjom Tersar) of Jigdrel Dudjom Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche (incarnation of Dudjom Lingpa). Furthermore he also received the Phadampa Sangye teachings on pacification of suffering (Shije and Chöd), Dzogchen and other important Nyingma teachings of the Kama and Terma traditions.


His main practice was Trogma Nagmo from the Dudjom tradition; he also studied Tibetan medicine and was able to heal people and animal diseases.


He then traveled to the Upper Region of Dingri, south-central Tibet, to the holy cave where Machig Labdron meditated in the past, called in the local dialect Machig Phuk (Machig Labdron cave). He lived there for the rest of his life with his children (2 sons and 2 daughters), devoting himself to the welfare of the people and became famous by the name of Machig Phukpa Rinpoche.

He built a small monastery for yogin near the cave, known as the Machig Phuk Gonpa.


 After the chinese communists came to Tibet, he walked to Nepal to carry precious texts and other holy objects to Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche at Thupten Choling Monastery for safekeeping; than he returned to Tibet and there he passed away on the 10th day of the 5th Tibetan month of female-water-mouse year (June 21,1972).

Dingri Machig Phukpa Rinpoche

The present incarnation

A few years later, the eldest daughter of the previous Machig Phukpa Rinpoche, Tsewang Lhamo dreamed that her father had entered into her womb.

On the 10th day of the 5th month of the male-earth-sheep year (July 5, 1979), the same day in the Tibetan lunar calendar when the previous Machig Phukpa Rinpoche passed away, she gave birth to a baby boy. The father's name was Lhakpa.


The birth took place without pain, in the mountains, while the family was grazing yaks and sheep. The baby was born encased in the unbroken placenta, which they then cut and removed. This was considered to be a good sign, so the family wrote a letter to Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche, who recognized the boy as the reincarnation of Machig Phukpa Rinpoche and gave him the name Tsewang Tamdin. 

 At the age of 5 he was able to identify the ritual objects that had belonged to the previous Rinpoche: bell, damaru, mala and other objects. He also recognized and embraced the old attendant of the previous Rinpoche.

At the age of seven his mother and step father, the late Nyingma Gyalpo, brought him to Dharamsala to study at the Tibetan Children's village (TCV) school.

When he was 13, he received a special audience with H.H. the Dalai Lama, who formally recognized him on March 29, 1992. They performed the enthronement ceremony in Nepal, which was attended by disciples of the previous Rinpoche and many monks, nuns and lay-people.

He returned to Dharamsala to study at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, where he obtained  the Master of Prajnaparamita Philosophy Degree in the year 2000.

He then returned to Nepal where he received the Nyingma Kama and Terma teachings, especially the Troma Nagmo practice, teachings and empowerments from Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche , who had made a commitment to the previous Machig Phukpa Rinpoche to pass them on to his reincarnation. 

Rinpoche then moved to Pharphing, the holy place near Kathmandu where Padmasambava gained accomplishment in the past.

From 2004 he stayed in the traditional three-year-three-month strict retreat under the guidance of the great DzogChen practitioner Lama Kelsang, the Dorje Lopön (Vajra-master) at the Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche's monastery in Pharping.

Lama Kelsang knew the previous Machig Rinpoche in Tibet and was a disciple of Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche.


Since 2010, Rinpoche travels to the West and other Asian countries to teach Dharma, to guide meditation retreats and perform ceremonies; he is followed by many disciples both in Kathmandu and Europe.