Following the Chinese occupation of Tibet, Menri and most of the other important Bön monasteries were destroyed. The Cultural Revolution was quite difficult, with the Chinese burning many Bonpo texts and melting religious statues, so that this period can be called the third persecution of Bön. Several Bonpo lamas fled to India and Nepal, including Lopon Tenzin Namdak (sLob- dpon: Head Teacher bsTan-dzin rNam dag) former chief tutor (dPon-slob) of Menri monastery in Tibet, and founder of Triten Norbutse monastery and of its Dialectics school. Here is an outline of Yongdzin Rinpoche activities.
Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche was born in Dhorpatan, a very remote area of western Nepal. At the age of 11, he joined other monks at Tashi Gegye Thaten Ling, his local monastery. After completing an initial course of study in Bön ritual texts and Tibetan calligraphy, he moved to Dolanji, India for further studies at the Dialectics School of Menri Monastery. For the next 13 years Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche studied the complete Bön philosophical system of Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen; as well as the general Tibetan sciences including Tibetan grammar, poetics, white and black astrology, Sanskrit grammar, sacred geometry or arts, and the general Tibetan medicine.
Khenpo Gelek Jinpa was born un 1967 in Eastern Tibet, in the Khyungpo region. He became a monk when he was 19 and he studied first meditation and Dzogchen with the master Bönying Rangdröl. He was also trained in philosophy by the scholar Geshe Drangsong Yungdrung who had founded a college at the Tsedrup Monastery. He went out of Tibet in 1992 and first joined the monastery of Dolanji, where he had the opportunity to deepen his knowledge, before he finally arrive in Triten Norbutse Monastery where he obtained the Geshe Degree. He is a disciple of Yongdzin Rinpoche from whom he received a thorough training in the Dzogchen methods. He accomplished the Tummo retreat twice — one before his departure from Tibet and the second time in Normandy in 2001, for an academic research program about the effects of the Tummo practice.
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.
Drubthonpa Sangye Mönlam (Ghen Sangye Mönlam) was born in Khyungpo, Tibet in 1955. He came from Tibet to India in 1983, at the age of 29. In the same year he became monk in Menri Monastery, Dolanji, taking his vows from the 33rd Menri Tridzin Lungtog Tenpa’i Nyima Rinpoche and from Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche. He began to study and practice Ngondro under the guidance of Yongdzin Rinpoche. He has been attending the meditation class to study and practice meditation for three years. Among the many teachings he received during that time are Atri Ka lung gyatso, which he received from Tsundru Rinpoche, and Kunzang Nying thig (Heart Drops of Dharmakaya) and Dzogchen Khu sum rang shar, which he received from Yongdzin Rinpoche.