Born in Germany, Tondrup met with the Buddha's teaching at the age of 20 on an extended travel in India. Upon returning to Europe, he met the late Lama Gendun Rinpoche and partook in two successive 3-year retreats following the inspiration given by this exceptional master. After that he divided his time between furthering his Buddhist studies and teaching in the centers of the Karma Kagyu lineage. In order to concentrate on his academic work, he reduced his travels and in 2013 he earned an M.A. degree in Tibetology from LMU University in Munich, Germany, with a thesis on the Kagyu lineage of the Ngok family. He is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program of Buddhist Studies at LMU.