Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche was born in Bhutan in 1918 and was one of the greatest masters of Tibetan Buddhism.
As a boy he was ordained as a monk in Bhutan’s largest monastery in Phunaka Dzong. He trained with important teachers from all of the main Tibetan Buddhist schools, especially the Drukpa Kagyu and Karma Kagyu lineages. After meeting H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa in Bhutan in 1944, Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche became his close student and received from him the transmission of the Karma Kagyu Lineage. Their relationship was such that the 16th Karmapa once said “If I am Buddha, Lopön Tsechu is my Ananda”
From his base in Kathmandu, Nepal, he was a key figure in nurturing the development of Buddhism in Nepal following the occupation of Tibet by China. A close friend and confidante of the former King of Nepal, he exerted a formidable influence throughout the diverse Buddhist community in Nepal and was respected both as a great lama and also a skilled politician.
Rinpoche became the first teacher of Hannah and Lama Ole Nydahl, and was a huge inspiration behind their work in establishing Diamond Way Buddhism in the West. At the invitation of Lama Ole Nydahl, Rinpoche first came to the West in 1988 to give teachings and transmissions to many students. Over the next 15 years Rinpoche touched thousands of people in Europe, Russia, North and South America with his inconceivable compassion, wisdom and enlightened qualities.
Rinpoche built many stupas, monuments symbolising the enlightened mind of the Buddha, in both the East and the West. The crown jewel of his career and one of his greatest legacies is the Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmadena, Spain. Also the Stupa of Long Life in the garden of the Europe Center was built and originally consecrated by Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche.
Rinpoche passed away on on June 10th, 2003. In Lama Ole Nydahl’s words paying tribute to his beloved late teacher:
»People’s lives are their most complete teachings.
Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche showed us mind’s power.«