Buddha Shakyamuni with Arhats (18th c) © Himalayan Art Collection

Sabchu Rinpoche

Sabchu Rinpoché was born in Nepal. The late 14th Shamar Rinpoché formally recognized him as the 5th incarnation of Sabchu Rinpoché during the transmission of the Tersar empowerments given at Nagi Gompa by the late Tulku Urgyen Rinpoché. The young Sabchu Rinpoché was presented with his robes before all who were present, including the four Karma Kagyu regents and many other important figures of the Karma Kagyu lineage. The formal ceremony took place twice, first in Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, and then in the monastery of Swayambhu.

Rinpoché moved to the Swayambhu monastery at an early age and began studying Tibetan language and the fundamental practices of the Karma Kamtsang lineage. He received many empowerments, reading transmissions, and instructions from great masters, beginning with the New Treasure collection given by the late Tulku Urgyen Rinpoché. The late Dilgo Khyentsé Rinpoché conferred the three Dzogchen collections; the late Tenga Rinpoché gave the reading transmission of the Tengyur, the translated treatises; Nyenpa Rinpoché gave the reading transmission of the Kangyur, the translated teachings of the Buddha; Trangu Rinpoché gave the Kagyu Ngak Dzö, the Tantra Treasury empowerments; the late Pénor Rinpoché conferred the Rinchen Terdzö, the Treasury of Precious Termas; Sakya Trizin gave the Druptab Küntü, the Compendium of Sadhanas; Luding Khenchen Rinpoché gave the Gyüdé Küntü, the Compendium of Tantras; and the late Shamar Rinpoché transmitted the empowerments and reading transmission of the Chigshé Kündröl, the empowerment collection by Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorjé. Sabchu Rinpoché also received many practice instructions from different qualified meditation masters. He studied the scriptures and philosophical treatises under Khenpo Shenpen, and later with under Khenpo Chödrak Rinpoché at the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute.

He spent one year practicing Chöd in Pharping. At the age of eighteen, he began a three-year retreat in Pharping under the guidance of Maniwa Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoché. There, Rinpoché received the Karma Kamtsang transmissions traditionally practiced in retreat. Afterwards, he began traveling and teaching in Europe and North America. After traveling and teaching for several years, Rinpoché noticed the power of visual media. Seeing film as a helpful contemporary lens for contemplative inquiry, he decided to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Media Production. Sabchu Rinpoché translates English, Tibetan, Hindi, and Nepali, and he brings these linguistic abilities to his work. Today, his activities are based mainly in Nepal and in North America, where he teaches the Dharma and continues his college education.