Geshe Samten Tsukphud was born in Khyungpo, Eastern Tibet, in 1975. His grandfather was a famous thanka painter and practitioner. There are also well-known thanka painters on his mother’s side, among them Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche’s uncle: Yangpel.
His father taught him to read and write, and to recite the common prayers.
In 1986 when Yongdzin Rinpoche visited Tibet for the first time after his escape, Tengchen, Yongdzin Rinpoche’s home monastery, was just rebuilt. Geshe Samten Tsukphud took the basic vows and became a monk in Tengchen. He learned the rituals, the ritual instruments, reciting, the monastic rules, and he practiced Kalung Gyamtso (bka’ lung rgya mtsho), which are the Preliminaries (Ngöndro) by Shardza Rinpoche.
After three years of studies, he joined Tsedrug and Lungkar monasteries to study philosophy with Lopön Drangsong Yungdrung, who was the first and oldest student of Yongdzin Rinpoche in Menri, Dolanji.
When Yongdzin Rinpoche travelled back to Tibet in 1992, the students had finished their Sutra studies and were ready to take the highest level of vows, Drangsong. Back in Tengchen, Geshe-la had the opportunity to study the Nine Ways of Bon with Yongdzin Rinpoche. Then, he has left for Triten Norbutse, Kathmandu with ten more monks.
Yongdzin Rinpoche advised them to go to Menri where they studied Philosophy and were blessed by His Holiness 33rd Menri Abbot. Back to Triten Norbutse, Geshe-la studied again Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen; after nine years of study, he passed his Geshe Degree the same year when he started teaching to the younger monks
He learned typing when Professor Nagano published a Tengyur Karchag and a Book of Mandalas with the help of the monks from Triten Norbutse. Then, Geshe-la and the group of Geshes from Triten Norbutse published all Yongdzin Rinpoche’s writings in Tibetan and new editions of the most important Dzogchen and Tantra texts for the library of Triten Norbutse.