His Eminence Choeje Ayang Rinpoche left Tibet with his family in 1959 — he was seventeen.
After living for five years at Namdrol Ling monastery in Bylakuppe, India, Rinpoche started to build his Thupten Shedrub Jangchub Ling monastery, also in Bylakuppe.
Today, Rinpoche has created four inter-related types of centres:
- Monasteries in South India and Tibet,
- A Phowa teaching centre in Bodhgaya,
- Retreat centres in Kathmandu, Nepal and in Kalimpong, India and
- Amitabha Foundation Centres throughout the world.
The core of Rinpoche’s vision is compassionate activity (bodhichitta) undertaken from pure motivation and supported by strong practice. These three themes — compassionate activity, pure motivation, and strong practice are woven through all of Rinpoche’s talks, activities, and directions. The three are not separate and one gets a strong sense that each supports, even enables the others. Without all three, there is an imbalance.
When asked which of the three is MOST important, Rinpoche replied, “…compassionate activity is at the heart of our practice. We can’t ignore it. It is absolutely vital.”
Ayang Rinpoche is considered to be the world’s living Phowa master. A lineage-holder of both the Nyingma and Drikung Phowa he continues the unbroken line of succession of the Drikung Phowa lamas from Buddha Vajradhara.
Ayang Rinpoche was born into a nomadic family in eastern Tibet. A delegation of high lamas , including the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje and Yongzin Jabra Rinpoche, concluded that he was the wisdom incarnation of Terton Rigzin Choegyal Dorje.