Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche IXFounder and Spiritual Leader
Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche IX was born in 1955 in Kham Tibet, recognised by His Holiness XVI Gyalwang Karmapa as the ninth Traleg tulku, and enthroned at the age of two as Supreme Abbot of Thrangu Monastery. At four years of age Traleg Rinpoche went to Sikkim, where studied under the tutelage of His Holiness Karmapa at Rumtek Monastery.
From the age of nine Traleg Rinpoche studied under the auspices of His Eminence Kyabje Thuksey Rinpoche at Sangngak Choling Darjeeling. He studied the Hevajra Tantra, the Guhyasamaja Tantra and the Third Karmapa’s Profound Inner Meaning (Zabmo Nangdon) under Khenpo Noryang (the Abbott of Sangngak Choling); and the Abhidharmakosha, The Six Treaties of Nagarjuna, the Bodhisattvacharyavatara, Dharmakirti’s Pramanavarttika, the Abhidharmasamuccaya, the Madhyanta Vibhaga, and the Mahayana Uttaratantra under Khenpo Sogyal. He also studied under Khenpo Sodar. In addition His Holiness Karmapa sent Lama Ganga to provide training in tantric ritual practice.
At eleven years of age Rinpoche studied for five years at the Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath. Under Khenpo Tsondru and Khenchen Palden Sherab he studied the history of Buddhism, Sanskrit, Hindi, English and also Lonchenpa’s Finding Comfort and Ease (Ngalso Korsum), Seven Treasuries (Longchen Dzod Dun), Three Cycles of Liberation (Rangdrol Korsum), and the Longchen Nyingthig.
At sixteen years of age Traleg Rinpoche was sent by His Holiness Karmapa to study for the following three years under the auspices of Venerable Khenpo Yeshe Chodar at Sanskrit University, Varanasi, where he was tutored by khenpos and geshes from all four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
Rinpoche was subsequently put in charge of Zangdog Palri Monastery in eastern Bhutan where he was placed under the private tutelage of Dregung Khenpo Ngedon by His Holiness Karmapa in order to continue his study of sutra and tantra.
From 1977 Rinpoche was His Holiness Karmapa’s translator at Rumtek, until in 1980 he moved to Melbourne Australia and commenced studies in comparative religion and philosophy at La Trobe University.
In 1982 Traleg Rinpoche established E-Vam Institite in Melbourne. From 1982 to 2007 Rinpoche provided weekly teachings on classic Kagyu and Nyingma texts. In 2010 Rinpoche established Shogam Vidhalaya, a Buddhist college at E-Vam Institute in which Rinpoche instructed the students on a weekly basis. Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche founded three more Dharma centres. In 1997 Rinpoche established Maitripa Centre in Healesville Australia, where he gave annual public retreats and oversaw restricted annual retreats based on the traditional Tibetan three-year retreat. In 2000 Rinpoche opened E-Vam Institute New York and established practice and study groups in Milwaukee and West Virginia. In 2004 Rinpoche founded Nyima Tashi Kagyu Buddhist Centre in Auckland; and in 2009 Rinpoche opened Yeshe Nyima Centre Sydney, where courses on yoga and pranayama are regularly held. In addition, during the mid-80s Rinpoche was the spiritual head of Kamalashila Institute Germany.
Rinpoche was also active on the publishing front producing the periodical Ordinary Mind from 1997 to 2003; and in 2008 Rinpoche founded Shogam Publications, releasing books on Buddhism, history, philosophy and psychology.
Traleg Rinpoche’s ecumenical approach was reflected in his establishing the Bi-Annual Buddhism and Psychotherapy Conference, which ran from 1994 to 2003, the Tibet Here and Now conference in 2005, and the annual Buddhist Summer School which was instituted in 1984 and continues to this day.
Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche IX passed into parinirvana on 24 July 2012, the auspicious day of the observance of Buddha's first teaching. Rinpoche stayed in meditation (thugdam) for one whole week after his passing. A traditional cremation ceremony was held at Maitripa Centre and a stupa was constructed in his honour.