HH Karma Kuchen at KPC 2009: Stabilizing the Dharma in the West – Video

The following is a video excerpt from a teaching offered by His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, 12th Throneholder of the Palyul Lineage, at Kunzang Palyul Choling in Maryland:

His Holiness will be visiting KPC once again on August 4th to confer special Long Life Empowerments of Amitabha and Amitayus. For more details or to register for the event visit: http://www.tara.org/program/his-holiness-karma-kuchen-rinpoche-to-offer-empowerment-ceremony/

Heart Son of Palyul: His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

Shortly before Kyabje His Holiness Penor Rinpoche had His Parinirvana, He watched me watching His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche. His Holiness gave me a deep look and said “He is better than me. ”

It must be true. Tsawei Lama  said it. The more I read and pray I know it’s true. I cannot explain the gifts I’ve been given.

His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche is the inheritor, and the two other heart sons are supports. His Eminence MugsangRinpoche is for America.


Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo All rights reserved

Coming Together for Peace

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

Tomorrow evening KPC is having a potluck feast with His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche for Palyul students. Both PCD and KPC. The sincere wish and prayer is that all Palyul will be truly united. For the sake of all sentient beings and the return of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. It is the strength of pure devotion that will bring back the Yangsi and we must abandon gossip now, and be in harmony for Palyul.

Together we can benefit the western Dharma practitioners. With unity. Separate we can do little, and fighting and gossip will harm us all. Let’s be a powerful worldwide force for Dharma, compassion community and peace. Let’s lead the way, a great pure Lineage of kindness.

We should stop fooling ourselves that somehow, magically, with envy and self-importance we can be of any use. It simply isn’t possible. Love and respect really work! We don’t need or want more petty wars! They are a true blight and poison on the Earth. The more respect we give is the best way, and appreciation for each other is the only way to make a peaceful world.


Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

His Holiness Penor Rinpoche – The Guru Above the Crown of My Head

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo while on retreat at the Palyul Retreat Center in upstate New York:

Tulkus are precious jewels in our tradition. They are the realized and awakened, like Kyabje His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and the inheritor His Holiness Karma Kuchen, both have given many incarnations for the sake of Dharma and all sentient beings. His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and  His Holiness Karma Kuchen are the “kings,” one from the other. The rest, we are to serve them.

No pride here. Kyabje His Holiness Penor Rinpoche is the Tsawei Lama who came to USA to find me, thus bringing Palyul here after building Namdroling. This is history. Beyond Kyabje His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and His spiritual heir, where is our treasure? His Holiness Penor Rinpoche is the rock, the treasure. He is my treasure, Without Him we have nothing.

May I always have strength to follow Tsawei Lama! May I always have knees to kneel voice to sing for Him, and carry on for him, the Guru above the crown of my head! Gathering all virtue I have accumulated in the three times, Guru, precious beyond all measure, return! I beg for the sake of sentient beings! May all blessings be dedicated to the liberation and salvation of all sentient beings!

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Audience with His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

I had a wonderful audience with His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche. He indicated he wanted to continue the relationship Kyabje His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and I had. His instruction was to make KPC strong as it and the New York retreat center are Kyabje His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’s seats in USA. I made the commitment to do so. Further, he asked that I rest often and take care so I will live long for Palyul and all sentient beings. We had a few laughs about how Kyabje His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and I have the same love for helping animals, and both love parrots and dogs as I remember. His Holiness Penor Rinpoche loved the Garuda Aviary and the parrots.

I hope to have the opportunity to invite all here to KPC during the times when retreat center is closed. The idea is to help provide the objects of support and refuge for monks, nuns, and all practitioners who lose their steam during the rest of the year. KPC will work to do that. We are not wealthy and cannot (yet) offer support financially. Thinking to put up “yurts” for continuing retreat. We have, already a secure place for Tsa-Lung. Who wants to help? We need land cleared, yurts, financial support, help with everything-the folks, Bikshus and Bikshunis who do it all now are tired, can use relief. We have 27 fully empowered stupas. Five altars, including the sand Mandala made by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche during the Rinchen Terzod as well as a 24/7 around the clock prayer vigil for the benefit of all beings. I hope to benefit those who find it difficult to carry on without a spiritual home all year long. Come. Feast. Stay, or come and go. Palyul has a home all year for all.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Tibetan Schools and Palyul

Tibetan Buddhism has four main traditions:

Nyingma “the Ancient Ones” This is the oldest, the original order founded by Padmasambhava andSantaraksita.  Whereas other schools categorize their teachings into the three vehiclesThe Foundation VehicleMahayana and Vajrayana, the Nyingma tradition classifies them into nine vehicles, among the highest of which is known as Atiyoga or Dzogchen “Great Perfection”.  Hidden treasures (terma) are of particular significance to this tradition.

Kagyu “Lineage of the (Buddha’s) Word” This is an oral tradition, which is very much concerned with the experiential dimension of meditation. Its most famous exponent was Milarepa, an 11th century mystic. It contains one major and one minor subsect. The first, the Dagpo Kagyu, encompasses those Kagyu schools that trace back to the Indian master Naropa via MarpaMilarepa and Gampopa, and consists of four major sub-sects: the Karma Kagyu, headed by a Karmapa, the Tsalpa Kagyu, the Barom Kagyu, and Pagtru Kagyu. There are a further eight minor sub-sects, all of which trace their root to Pagtru Kagyu and the most notable of which are the Drikung Kagyu and the Drukpa Kagyu. The once-obscure Shangpa Kagyu, which was famously represented by the 20th century teacher Kalu Rinpoche, traces its history back to the Indian master Naropa via Niguma, Sukhasiddhi and Kyungpo Neljor.

Sakya “Grey Earth” This school very much represents the scholarly tradition. Headed by the Sakya Trizin, this tradition was founded by Khon Konchog Gyalpo, a disciple of the great translator Drokmi Lotsawa and traces its lineage to the Indian master Virupa. A renowned exponent, Sakya Pandita 1182–1251CE was the great grandson of Khon Konchog Gyalpo.

Gelug “Way of Virtue” Originally a reformist movement, this tradition is particularly known for its emphasis on logic and debate. Its spiritual head is the Ganden Tripa and its temporal one the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is regarded as the embodiment of the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Successive Dalai Lamas ruled Tibet from the mid-17th to mid-20th centuries. The order was founded in the 14th to 15th century byJe Tsongkhapa, renowned for both his scholasticism and his virtue.

Within these, Kunzang Palyul Choling is Nyingma

There are six “Mother” Nyingma Monasteries:

  1. Katok Monastery, in east Tibet, was founded during the twelfth century, and expanded in 1656.
  2. Dorje Drak Monastery was founded in central Tibet, in 1659.
  3. Mindroling Monastery, in central Tibet, was established in 1676.
  4. Palyul Monastery, founded in east Tibet in 1665.
  5. Dzogchen Monastery, in east Tibet, established in 1685.
  6. Shechen Monastery founded in east Tibet, in 1735.

Within these monastic traditions, Kunzang Palyul Choling is Palyul.

Palyul Monastery — one of the Six “Mother” Nyingma Monasteries. It was founded in either 1632 or 1665 by Rigdzin Kunzang Sherab, a disciple of Terton Migyur Dorje, and Karma Chagmed. The monastery specializes in kama practices, the termas of Ratna Lingpa and Tulku Migyur Dorje (1645-67). The current head of Palyul Monastery is the Fifth Karma Kuchen.

The inspired masters who contributed to the teachings practiced within Palyul

To date, Palyul has had 12 throne-holders in its history.  According to His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, while Nyingma is generally practiced as a Ngagpa tradition, within Palyul it has never been true. The Lineage Holders of Palyul have always been fully-ordained.

Important “elder statesmen” of Palyul, contemporaries and close senior students of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, are:

It is because of these pure Lineage teachers that we continue to have a pure unbroken stream of wisdom to guide us today to reveal our own enlightenment.

Sources include Wikipedia, Rigpa Wiki, and most of all Pathgate.org, who gave us permission to use their thangka images and biographies

Prayer for the Preservation of the Palyul Lineage

Prayer for the Preservation of the Palyul Lineage

Click the link above to hear the prayer


Palyul Monastery is the place where pure teachings of the buddhas have flourished,


And the sky-land where the buddhas have manifested.


Whatever connection occurs with the gathering of this sangha leads toward enlightenment.


May this land of dharma remain firm until the end of existence.