The Rinpoches were born and raised in the Dhoshul region of Kham in eastern Tibet near the sacred mountain Jowo Zegyal. Their family was steeped in Vajrayana Buddhism for generations, and among their ancestors were many great scholars and practitioners. Their father’s family inherited the responsibility of administering the local monastery, Gochen Monastery, and their grandfather was chant master in charge of ritual ceremonies. The Khenpo Rinpoches have said that as children, should they awaken at anytime during the night, they could always hear their devoted father reciting his prayers or chanting his mantras.
The two scholarly brothers (known affectionately as the Khenpo Rinpoches) made their first trip to America in 1980, and in 1982 moved to New York to work closely with His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche. In 1985, the Khenpos founded Dharma Samudra, a non-profit publishing organization which began by publishing a Tibetan edition of 11 volumes of the hidden treasure teachings revealed by the great terton Tsasum Lingpa in the 17th century. Collectively they are the authors of several learned works: Tibetan language books, poetry, grammar texts, Buddhist philosophy and practice, logic and tantra, and historical perspectives. Many of their books dealing with Tibetan Buddhism are available in English.
In 1989, the Khenpos founded Padmasambhava Buddhist Center (PBC), a non-profit organization to teach the authentic word and practices of Tibetan Nyingma Buddhism and established the first center in New York. PBC now has chapters in over 20 cities in the USA, Russia, Canada, and Puerto Rico, plus monasteries in India and at their main stateside monastery and retreat center in upstate New York. Since that time, the Khenpo Rinpoches have served as the directors and spiritual leaders at the various PBC centers and monasteries. They maintain active travel and teaching schedules that include annual visits to their centers where they give talks, teachings, and individual meditation instruction to their devoted sangha (community) of students. In fact, the Khenpo Rinpoches’ dynamic teachings and skillful insights make the simplest to the most complex teachings of Buddhism applicable to every aspect of our busy Western lives. Their vibrant personalities and humorous wit have delighted students, while their example of devotion to Tibetan Buddhist practice have inspired and attracted a multitude of practitioners.
Having taught worldwide, Venerable Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche and Venerable Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche are among the most highly qualified teachers and esteemed scholars of Tibetan Buddhism. The Rinpoches are fully versed in the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Schools, and are considered masters of Dzogchen, the most advanced tradition of meditation practice in Tibetan Buddhism. The Khenpo Rinpoches hold the transmissions of the Nyingma Kama, and Terma Lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. So highly respected are the brothers that they have received many honors, appointments, and recognition from His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and other significant Tibetan leaders, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama.