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H.E. Khempo Yurmed Tinly Rinpoche

Long Biography

Dedicated to Generating Positive Energy for American Buddhism and World Peace

H.E. Khempo Yurmed Tinly Rinpoche was a highly revered teacher of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. 'Khempo,' as his students and friends fondly refer to him, is an honorific title used within the Nyingma tradition. The degree of Khenpo is the highest level of monastic training, comparable to multiple doctorates in theology, philosophy and psychology and takes approximately 15 years to attain.


Khempo Rinpoche accomplished his monastic studies at the Tsopema Monastery in India from Khenpo Rabgye Rinpoche of the Payul Monastery and His Eminence Zonong Tulku Rinpoche, also of the Payul Monastery.

  • Khempo Rinpoche studied basic Buddhism from His Eminence Khorchen Tulku Rinpoche at the Mindoling Monastery in Dehra Dun, under the guidance of His Holiness the Miling Trichen Rinpoche.

  • Khempo Rinpoche studied Buddhist philosophy from His Eminence Khenpo Tsondu Rinpoche of the Zokchen Monastery at the Mindoling Monastery, and the Sanskrit University in Banares, U.P., India.

  • Khempo Rinpoche received his Masters Degree in 1975 from the Sanskrit University from Sandhong Rinpoche, Director of the University, under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Vice Chancellor of the Sanskrit University was Gorinath Shastri who participated in Khempo Rinpoche's commencement ceremony. He also studied with many professors from India and Tibet at this university.

  • Khempo Rinpoche was appointed by His Holiness the Dudjom Rinpoche, in 1975, as Lecturer in Charge for the Nyingma studies program at Benares University in India.

  • In 1977, His Eminence Zonong Tulku Rinpoche and His Eminence Khorchen Tulku Rinpoche presented Khempo Rinpoche with the Khempo Degree, equivalent to the American Ph.D., under the guidance of His Holiness the Miling Trichen Rinpoche.

  • In 1978 at the Mindoling Monastery, Khempo Rinpoche received the old tradition Ningmapa School Empowerment (Rinchen Terzod of the old school Tantrayana) from His Holiness the Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche.

  • In 1983/1984 with two other colleagues, Khempo Rinpoche opened the new Ningmapa Institute in Gantok Sikkim, with the assistance of the Sikkim State Chief Minister, Nar Bhadur Bandari, the Sikkim State Cultural Minister, Lachen Rinpoche, and the Sanskrit University Vice Chancellor Gorinath Shastri.

  • From 1984 - 1988 Khempo Rinpoche taught and helped in the Administration at the Sikkim Ningmapa Institute.

  • In 1988 Khempo Rinpoche's uncle, His Holiness the Khilkor Rinpoche, passed away in Bhutan at Tiger Cave Hill.

  • Khempo Rinpoche subsequently paid a visit to Bhutan and Her Majesty the Royal Queen Mother, Kalsange Wangchuk, who was Khilkor Rinpoche's sponsor. During that visit, the Queen Mother invited Khempo Rinpoche to come back to Bhutan to help with its teaching of the Buddha Dharma. So beginning in 1988, Khempo Rinpoche stayed in Bhutan teaching at the Gantay Monastery for six years and was sponsored by Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother, Phutsok Chosdon.

  • In 1993, Columbia University Professor, Robert Thurman, his wife Nina and daughter Uma, and Sonoma Book Writer, Somkin, made a group pilgrimage to Bhutan. They requested to have an interview with Khempo Rinpoche and he accepted. After the two to three hour interview, Bob Thurman requested that Khempo Rinpoche come to America which prompted Khempo Rinpoche to visit America.

  • That next month, an old friend of Khempo Rinpoche's, His Eminence Chakdud Tulku Rinpoche from Junction City, California, also came to Bhutan on a pilgrimage. He visited Khempo Rinpoche in the Gantay Monastery and talked to him about visiting America. He offered to help with the visit because he needed assistance with the translation of the "Seven Course Treasure," Jalwa Longchen Rabjampa Philosophy. It was being translated from Tibetan to English with Richard Baron as his translator. The first six courses were well understood but Khempo Rinpoche's help was needed with the seventh course, "Religious Treasure Course," which was exceptionally difficult. His Eminence Chakdud Tulku Rinpoche and Lisa Ligran aided in Khempo Rinpoche's immigration to America.

  • Also in 1993, Khempo Rinpoche received the Dupakayu Lineage Empowerment from His Holiness the Je Khenpo Geshi Jakhu Rinpoche who was the reincarnation of His Holiness the Terton Sogyal Rinpoche, His Holiness the XIII Dalai Lama's teacher in Tibet.

  • 1n 1994, Khempo Rinpoche visited America for nine months at the Chakdud Gompa Foundation at Junction City, California. Over a three month period, Khempo Rinpoche taught the "Precious Lamp Certain Knowledge" - recording 44 cassettes, and "Education Enter the Door" - recording 28 cassettes, written from the Ajita philosophy and translated by Richard Baron for sixty westerners.

  • He also visited his old friend, Lama Tharchen Rinpoche at the Vajrayana Foundation who advised Khempo Rinpoche to come back to the United States to form a new Buddhist center. Helmet Huey, a student of Khempo Rinpoche's and Chuck Goldman offered to help Khempo Rinpoche in forming the new center, Osel Dorje Nyingpo. Khempo Rinpoche returned to the Vajrayana Foundation in 1995 to begin forming Osel Dorje Nyingpo. His friend, Thomas Lundstrom, personally sponsored Khempo Rinpoche in America for a couple of years.

  • In 1997, Khempo Rinpoche visited His Holiness the Dalai Lama in San Francisco who ordered Khempo Rinpoche to return to Dharmasala, India, to pray for World Peace.

  • After Khempo Rinpoche completed his three week prayers in India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama ordered Khempo Rinpoche to accept the post of the Zilnon Kagyeling Monastery because its Abbot, Khamdul Rinpoche, had passed away.

  • In 1998, Khempo Rinpoche returned to the United States, and dedicated his time and energy toward the generation of World Peace, Interfaith Understanding and the teaching of Buddhist practice and philosophy.

  • In August of 2000, Khempo Rinpoche attended the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit in New York City as one of a delegation of four senior religious leaders sent by the Dalai Lama. He was humbled and honored to represent the Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

  • In July 2001, Khempo Rinpoche was invited to the opening of the United Nations ‘Working Group on Indigenous Populations,’ held annually in Geneva, Switzerland. He was requested to attend the Official Indigenous Ceremonies, and to give a speech on World Peace.

  • In September 2004, His Eminence Khempo Yurmed Tinly Rinpoche and ODN were honored to host teachings by His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama in Southern Florida.

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