Longchen Nyingthik  
 Lineages at  Dzogchen


This is a view of the lay village near Dzogchen Monastery (the monastery is in the canyon behind the village). In the left background are snow mountains, part of a mountain range called Dzogchen Gangtro, famous for the great yogis who spent their lives there in retreat. Those yogis included the First Dodrupchen, Jigme Lingpa's principal doctrine holder for the Longchen Nyingthik teachings, and Dzogchen Patrul Rinpoche

In addition to holding the lineage of the Dzogchen Khandro Nyingthik, the main Nyingthik tradition of Dzogchen, teachers at Dzogchen have also transmitted the Longchen Nyingthik lineage. The Longchen Nyingthik is traced from Longchenpa to Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa (1730 - 1798), who received the transmission as a mind terma. As documented in Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles (Shambhala 1996), Jigme Lingpa's principal student who transmitted the Longchen Nyingthik was the first Dodrupchen Jigme Thrinle Íser (1745-1821).

The First Dodrupchen had many interchanges with teachers from Dzogchen Monastery. Born in Eastern Tibet in the Upper Do Valley, he traveled numerous times to Central Tibet and back to Eastern Tibet. In approximately 1775, before ever meeting Jigme Lingpa, he went to Dzogchen Monastery and received the Khandro Nyingthik transmissions and teachings from the Second Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche (1731-1805). After a trip to Central Tibet where he visited the Thirteenth Karmapa, he returned to Dzogchen Monastery in about 1780.

At that time, the First Dodrupchen decided to engage in solitary retreat and hiked into the nearby Dzogchen Gangtro mountain range. In one of the caves in which he did his retreat, his main practice was the meditation on Shinje. That cave became known as Shinje Cave, the same cave used by Dzogchen Patrul Rinpoche for his own solitary retreats while at Dzogchen. During that time, Dodrupchen received transmissions from the third Dzogchen Rinpoche (1759-1792). After Dodrupchen had completed some seven years of retreat, the third Dzogchen Rinpoche strongly urged Dodrupchen Rinpoche to visit Jigme Lingpa, and also sent an invitation with Dodrupchen to Jigme Lingpa asking him to transmit the Longchen Nyingthik in the Kham area. In approximately 1786, Dodrupchen Rinpoche traveled to Central Tibet and met Jigme Lingpa for the first time. They recognized a karmic connection to each other, and Jigme Lingpa transmitted the Longchen Nyingthik and many other teachings to Dodrupchen, who became a principal disciple.

Upon his return to Eastern Tibet, the first Dodrupchen while at Dzogchen gave the textual transmissions of the Longchen Nyingthik to the third Dzogchen Rinpoche and the Second Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. The first Dodrupchen's activity was extensive, and he traveled numerous times between Central Tibet and Eastern Tibet spreading the teachings, giving transmissions and engaging in beneficial activities.

In the early 19th Century, while the first Dodrupchen was on another visit to Dzogchen Monastery, he gave transmissions of the Longchen Nyingthik and many other teachings to the young fourth Dzogchen Rinpoche (b. 1793), the young third Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche (1806-21) and the first Kushok Gemong Rinpoche, as well as other Dzogchen lamas such as Dzogchen Patrul Rinpoche. These Dzogchen Monastery teachers were in turn instrumental in continuing the lineage of the Longchen Nyingthik through transmissions to their disciples.

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