EARLY LIFE

Teenage Ponlop Rinpoche giving blessing300_155

GROWING UP… Rinpoche lived at the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim (official seat of the Karmapas in exile), under the guardianship of the 16th Karmapa, where he began studying Buddhist philosophy at age twelve. He relates that he and the other reincarnated boys under the Karmapa’s charge slept right next to the Karmapa’s quarters, and that the Karmapa would wake them up very early every morning — at about 3 am — when they would begin their day.

At the request of the 16th Karmapa, Rinpoche gave talks to large groups of the Karmapa’s European students who were visiting Rumtek Monastery when Rinpoche was twelve, the same year he began his philosophical studies. Since that time, Rinpoche has had many European friends and has traveled and taught extensively within Europe.