Khandro Thrinlay Chodon
Khachodling The Vision and Projects of Khandro Thrinlay Chodon
    Khandro-la Family
  Shakya Shri  

Shakya Shri (1853-1919)

My great-grandfather was known as Drubwang Shakya Shri. He was an amazing yogi who started out as a cook in a monastery. He was born in a very humble nomadic family in the Kham region of Tibet, and from there he bloomed into one of the most amazing yogis of that time. My great-grandfather was brought up in a Drukpa monastery and he did a lot of practice in that lineage and accomplished the highest realisation in Mahamudra. Later he met Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and from him he received all the Nyingma transmissions and teachings and mastered dzogpachenpo.  

He was very involved in the rimé (non-sectarian) movement of the time, and in his later years he became renowned and had students everywhere. People used to flock to see him from the Himalayan regions of Lahoul, Ladakh, Pangi, Zanskar, Bhutan and Nepal. This is how our family first developed its continuing connection to the Himalayan regions.

  Ladakh Ngawang Pema Chogyal  

Ladakh Ngawang Pema Chogyal (1876-1958)

He was one of the heart students of Shakya Shri, who travelled on foot from Ladakh to receive teachings from his master. Later in life he became an accomplished master and taught important lamas of the Drukpa Kargyud lineage. Among his students were HH the 11 th Drukchen, Thuksey Rinpoche, Apho Rinpoche, Stagna Rinpoche, Gegen Khyentse, Sengdrak Rinpoche and many more. Later in life he established many retreat centres on the border of Nepal and had many students, both monastic and lay. He collected and compiled the complete set of the Drukpa texts. This is now used in all the Drukpa monasteries. My brother, Sey Rinpoche, is the incarnation of this Great Master.

  Lama Sonam Zangpo  

Lama Sonam Zangpo (1888-1984)

Lama Sonam Zangpo was a direct student of Shakya Shri.

After the passing of his master in 1919, he continued to live on in Kyibuk, Tibet for another ten years teaching and guiding Shakya Shri's students. Later he went on to teach extensively in many important monasteries in Bhutan. However, similar to his Master, Shakya Shri , he was a retreat-like yogi who principally lived and taught students in jungles and forests.

Lama Sonam Zangpo looked after my father, Apho Rinpoche when he was young (10-16 years of age). This was because my own grandfather had died young. In addition to caring for my father, Lama Sonam Zangpo taught him Dzogchen and Mahamudra.

Later in his life Lama Sonam Zangpo extensively guided Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Sey Rinpoche and Jampal, in the teachings of Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa. He was the maternal grandfather of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and my family are therefore connected in a deep spiritual way.

  Apho Rinpoche  

Apho Rinpoche (1922-1974)

My beloved father was a humorous and compassionate master who touched the hearts and minds of many people in Tibet, and the Himalayan regions and early western students. To this day, all his students remember him with much appreciation. In 1959 he led our family on a most difficult journey out of Tibet.  

Apho Rinpoche was a poet, scholar, healer and great meditator. He kept alive the practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa, especially in the Himalayan regions. One of his major contributions was to establish the renowned hermitages in Ladakh and Lahoul, including Gotsang and Khespang. He also collected ancient carved wooden blocks of the songs and biographies of Milarepa, Gompopa and Rechungpa.  

His heart students were Sengdrak Rinpoche, Gegen Khyentse, Imi-la and the renowned yogis of Ladakh and Lahoul. He died when I was only 7 years old and I remember him as a loving father who, in the midst of a very busy life, made sure to spend as much quality time with us as possible.

  H.E Thugsey Rinpoche  

H.E. Thugsey Rinpoche (1917-1983)

H.E.'s mother, Ashi Bhola, was Togden Shakya Shri's daughter, and his father was HH the 10th Drukchen. Our uncle Thuksey Rinpoche was integral to keeping the lamp of the Drukpa lineage burning, held the teachings and passed on the monastic vows.  

This he did with great dignity during the most critical time of Tibetan relocation. He was a great meditator, poet, chant master and scholar. I remember that he had an amazing presence and a deep voice. He often held me in his arms as a child and I was scared of his long white beard.

  Sangyum Urgyen Chodon  

Sangyum Urgyen Chodon (1931-1985)

My mother, Ama-la, was born into an aristocratic family in South Tibet. From a young age she was very devoted to the dharma and refused to marry into a life of privilege. After marrying my father she went into intensive retreat and practiced diligently for the rest of her life. For me she truly integrated the depth of her practice into her daily activities without separating the two. She was the most loving and compassionate mother. If it were not for her pure vision and guidance I would not have been able to understand the real meaning of my life.

She made sure that, even in this female form, I received the best, both from our own tradition and the modern educational system in India. With her devotion and love for the lineage, and her living example of the dharma, she was my role model and my inspiration. Her compassion and love for each person who stepped into our house was overwhelming. She would not let anyone go hungry and she had a great dignity. She opened my heart and grounded me in my spiritual life. She is not only my mother, she is also my guru.



  Imi Drupten  

Emi Drupten (1925-23rd August, 2017)

Emi-la has been an attendant to my father since the age of 15. Like Gegen Rinpoche, my guru, Emi-la has remained with our family during even the most difficult times. They each served our family with genuine unwavering devotion. I always remember Gegen, Ama-la and Emi supporting each other to keep the family and the lineage intact after the early passing of my father.

I am always so inspired by his deep and pure love. Even though he calls himself a servant of our family he is a scholar, ritual master, astrologer and expert herbalist. He is well known for his incense making and statue filling. He is like the backbone of our family and we all love and respect him.

      My brothers Sey Rinpoche, Jampal and Jigme  
  Sey Rinpoche   My brother Sey Rinpoche, is the incarnation of Ladakhi Tripon Pema Choegyal, direct heart student of Togden Shakya Shri. Sey Rinpoche and my younger brother Jampal were trained in our lineage since childhood under my father, uncle Thuksey Rinpoche, Meme Lama Sonam Zangpo from Bhutan and also under Gegen Khyentse Gyatso. Sey Rinpoche is now married to Norzin-la from Lahoul and has two sons and one daughter.

He takes care of the spiritual duties of our family heritage. He travels around the world and teaches the dharma and takes care of Apho Rinpoche’s Gompa in Manali and other hermitages established by Apho Rinpoche. He is known for his phowa, or the teachings on transfer of consciousness. He has his own students in the Himalayas and other countries. Currently he is wholeheartedly working to support the remote area of Pangi.




My brother Sey Jampal is also said to be an incarnation of a high Drukpa lama, but he chooses to live a simple life with his wife Phuntsok-la from Ladakh and their two children, Sey Stanzin Shakya and Semo Nilza Chodon. Sey Jampal takes care of our Khachodling work in India.

Sey Jampal is a man of humility and action. He is touched by the work of Khachodling as he has for some years been involved in similar work providing humanitarian assistance to people in remote Himalayan areas. He does this with his dharma sister Joyce Murphy, from US - a true Bodhisattava. He deeply inspires me with his unceasing compassion and determination to bring the essence of dharma in this world.

  Jigme   My youngest brother, Jigme, is a natural practitioner and a supportive brother. Sey Jigme has been an integral part of Khachodling since the early years when he travelled with me to bring this vision alive. Now it is a joy to see him settled in Perth, Western Australia. Sey Jigme’s daughter, Yeshe Chodon, was born on 29th April 2008. Yeshe is the first member of the Shakya Shri lineage born in Australia. This makes our yogic family an international family! Spending time with her is my favourite restful activity.  
  Bhutan Gompa  

Bhutan Gompa in Manali
This is my base and home in Manali, which I have inherited from my late husband. It is the only Bhutanese looking house in the whole of Manali. I have begun to feel at home here once again - without the physical presence of HH Shabdrung Rinpoche. It took me long to overcome my grief but now I feel his presence beyond the physical realm and have once again engaged in up keeping this wonderful abode.

In this home I have a few monks who do their daily protection puja, Agu-la, our devoted Bhutanese care taker of the house and garden, Jane Miknius, my devoted Australian student, and personal assistant and these days I also have nuns from Zanskar coming every winter doing their retreat at our home. I feel so happy to have a wonderful dharma home once again. This year I planted many new plants and vegetables in our garden and I can't wait to be home in summer to enjoy them.

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Khandro-la Namaste

"All this I offer to my gurus"

Boudhanath Stupa