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Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, born in 1966, is the grandson and spiritual heir of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Since his grandfather’s passing in 1991, Rabjam Rinpoche has taken the responsibility of transmitting Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s teachings, and is bringing his vision for the preservation of Tibetan Buddhist teaching and culture to fruition.
Rabjam Rinpoche is the seventh in the line of the Rabjam succession. The second Rabjam Rinpoche founded Shechen Monastery in Kham, eastern Tibet. The monastery became one of the six main Nyingma Monasteries in Tibet but was destroyed in the mid-twentieth century. At the age of three, Rabjam Rinpoche began taking teachings from his revered grandfather and today holds this unbroken lineage. He was raised by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and attended almost every teaching, drupchen (9-day ceremony), and empowerment that he gave during twenty-five years. He traveled throughout the world with Khyentse Rinpoche and first visited the West in 1976.
In the early 1980’s Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche built Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal and established Rabjam Rinpoche as its abbot. Today, there are 300 monks studying and practicing there under his guidance. Rabjam Rinpoche has created an administration and organization within the monk community that is a model of education, joyful discipline, and humanitarian activity.
Rabjam Rinpoche established the Shechen Philosophical College and the Shechen Retreat Center in Nepal. In response to the needs of women wanting to practice and study in the lineage of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, he rebuilt and improved the facilities of the Sisinang Nunnery in Bhutan where over seventy-five nuns study and practice. In accordance with the wish of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, he built a small Nyingma monastery and study center in Bodhgaya, India.
Rinpoche maintains an active interest in the preservation of Tibetan culture. He has undertaken the completion of the stupas for peace project. Shechen Monastery in Tibet was renowned for its particular style of cham (sacred dance) and performance of rituals and chant. Rabjam Rinpoche is revitalizing that tradition. Under his leadership, the Shechen Dancers have performed throughout Europe and South America. In an effort to preserve the tradition of sacred painting, he created the Tsering Art School. His book, The Great Medicine, was published in English and other languages.
Rinpoche is overseeing the education and upbringing of Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche, the young incarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He spends part of the year with the young tulku in Bhutan and on retreat.
Rabjam Rinpoche’s acute interest in humanitarian projects led to the establishment of the Shechen Medical Clinic in Nepal and the Shechen Clinics in India. These facilities serve the medical needs of the local lay and monastic communities. He is maintaining the authentic Tibetan Buddhist tradition as taught to him by his grandfather in combination with a modern interest in the needs of the community and its individuals.
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