Writings of Namtrul Rinpoche & Khandro Tare Lhamo


May the enlightened activities, in the manner of wish-fulfilling jewels, of Namkha Lingpa, a mind emanation of Padma, and Tare Devi, a manifest Tsogyal, spread to the four continents [of Mount Meru], expand and remain for a long time!

Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo's current project is the translation of the titles of the texts contained in A Sky Treasury: The Treasure Writings of Namkha Lingpa Rinpoche and Khandro Rinpoche Tare Lhamo. The roughly 600 titles will appear in Tibetan, Wylie and English.

In the 1980’s and ‘90s, Dakini Tare Lhamo and Orgyen Namkha Lingpa (Namtrul Rinpoche) were well known as a visionary tantric couple, dedicated to revitalizing Buddhism in eastern Tibet after the Maoist period.

Dakini Tare Lhamo (1938-2002) was the daughter of Apang Terchen, the miraculous son of Dudjom Lingpa. During a pilgrimage to central Tibet as a five-year old with her family, Dudjom Rinpoche praised Tare Lhamo as a rebirth of Sera Khandro. She was also esteemed as an emanation of Yeshe Tsogyal and a yogin by the name of Tra Gelong. To Westerners, she is best known, if at all, for recognizing Dudjom Sangye Pema Shepa Rinpoche as a rebirth of Dudjom Rinpoche Jigdral Yeshe Dorje. Toward the end of her life, Tare Lhamo had visions of traveling to dakini lands and conversing with Vajravarahi who assured her they were inseparable. She passed away after a sudden illness. 

Namtrul Rinpoche aka Orgyen Namkha Lingpa (1944-2011) was enthroned as the Fourth Namkai Nyingpo and was also regarded as a rebirth of Apang Terchen. In a private conversation with Holly Gayley, Rinpoche cited a prophecy that the couple’s treasure teachings would one day reach America.

For almost twenty years, the eminent couple collaborated in revealing and disseminating treasures, organizing and sponsoring renewal projects and instituting new programs of study and practice at numerous monasteries.

UPDATES (scroll down for newest)

October 11, 2017

Early on, I decided to do this work as a semi-retreat, meaning that during this time, I focus only on this project with as little interference as possible from other responsibilities. I love this idea and as you can imagine, I look forward to many Catalogue Retreats! On August 29, I started my first Catalogue Retreat. A few days and 15 solid hours later, the titles of the texts and some colophons in Volume One were translated! A few more hours and I created this overview:

There are 98 texts in Volume One. All of them are Guru texts and I've provisionally categorized them as follows: 

•    Guru Yoga: 35
•    Guru Accomplishment Sadhana: 23
•    General Guru Sadhana: 6
•    Empowerment: 10

In addition, a few texts are for particular masters or deities:

 •    2 for Amitabha
•    2 for Kalachakra
•    4 for Orgyen Norlha, Guru Rinpoche’s wealth form
•    3 for Pema Gyalpo, the Lotus King, one of the Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche and the form in which Padmasambhava originally appeared in our world.
•    2 for the mahasiddha, Thangtong Gyalpo
•    1 for Treasure Protectors

The most common attributed authorship is Namtrul and Tare Lhamo and variations thereof, such as Jigme Namkha Lingpa and Tare Dechen Lhamo. Often, Tare Lhamo is called the Mantra-Born Tare Devi and Namtrul the old mantrin or the aimless Jigme. In many cases, Namtrul refers endearingly to Tare Lhamo as his life-long companion.

When the colophon includes a location, the most common is Rikzin Gatshal, the private residence of the eminent couple at Nyenlung, their administrative seat. There are a few that were written at Apang Rinpoche’s monastery, Tsimda. Five were written on pilgrimage in Central Tibet at the Jokhang, Kangri Tokar or Samye Chimphu. However in the majority of cases, a location is not specified. Several other minor places unknown to me are also indicated for some texts. Onto Volume Two and more!

Anam Thubten Rinpoche has kindly accepted my request to guide me with The Catalogue Project. He is from Golok and met Tare Lhamo as a child. He's also knowledgeable beyond belief. Our first meeting is later this week. This is a super great blessing! —Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo

january 27, 2018

Yesterday, I met with Anam Thubten Rinpoche here on the Big Island of Hawaii. He explained some things about how treasure texts are attributed to specific transmissions but are not usually compiled into a comprehensive volume. He said it was like having "boxes in the sky". He also agreed to take a look at how to organize these texts when the translation phase is over to help me create a searchable database.

Translation of titles have been completed for:

Volume Two: 57 texts related to Vajrasattva, Akshobyia, Mahakaurna, Medicine Buddha, Longevity and Manjushri. This includes "Precious Garland", a concise history of Khandro Tare Lhamo's Longevity Vajra Knot. According to Tulku Orgyen Zangpo Rinpoche, she revealed a treasure on tying knots with string in order to fulfill a wish or accomplish an activity.  She had a hundred types of knots for different purposes, such as long life, curing illness, clearing obstacles or fulfilling wishes such as having  son or daughter. This was surely a unique treasure revelation of Tare Lhamo.

Volume Three: 62 texts related to the Three Roots, Yamantaka (Wrathful Manjushri), Vajrapani, Dorje Drollod, Vajrakilaya, Wrathful Guru, Eight Deity Mandalas, Hayagriva and Varahi, Chakrasamvara.

Volume Four: 67 texts, all related to Yeshe Tsogyal, maha and ati practices. Evocative titles such as Hook of Bliss Stirring the Hearts of the Dakinis, Amrita Droplet, Garland of Utpala Flowers, Stainless Crystal Vase of Vital Amrita, and Most Secret Ati Tradition of the Concise Dakini Sadhana. Wouldn't it be marvelous to receive transmission for these practices? Let's pray!

march 5, 2018

Translation of titles have been completed for:

Volume Five: 47 texts related to the wrathful dakinis, Throma and Khechari (wrathful Vajrayogini). Titles include Machik’s Vital Essence of Enlightened Mind, Lightning Lasso of Activity, Vajra Hammer Conquering the Hordes of Mara, and Self-Blazing Bliss-Emptiness.

Volume Six: 84 texts related to Red Yeshe Tsogyal, Mandāravā, Tārā, Sarasvatī, Kurukulle, Buddha Virini, Goddess of Auspicious Arisings, White Tārā, Dakini Stream of Wealth, Vārāhī, Singhamukha, Goddess Marichi (Ozerchenma), and miscellaneous.

april 27, 2018

Translation of titles have been completed for:

Volume Seven: 84 texts related to Dakini Blue Light Blazing, Uddiyana Heart Essence,  and Vajra Varahi. Titles include Completely Dispelling Wisdom Sun That Uproots the Darkness of Ignorance, Lush Rain of JewelsVault of Accomplishments, Varahi’s Mind Essence, and Glorious Bestowal of Immortality’s Life Force that Conquers Epidemics During the End of the Era.

july 12, 2018

Volume Eight: 88 texts related to Protectors: Ekadzati, Red Tsi-u, general Dharmapalas, Rahula, Gesar, Palden Lhamo, Blazing Dorje, Nyenchen Thanglha, Machen Pomra, Dur Thro Dagmo, Nyenmo Dorje Ka Kar, Lhachen, Magyal and others.

Volume Nine: Gesar of Ling

Volume Ten: Supplications, Confessions, Aspirational Prayers, Miscellany.

Volume Eleven: Guides to Symbolic Script & Cycle of Instructions/Advice

Volume Twelve: Vajra Garland: Collected Letters from the Refuge Master Namtrul Rinpoche Jigme Phuntsok to the Supreme Khandro Tare Devi (pgs. 1-46) and Lotus Garland: Collected Letters from the Mantra-Born Khandro Rinpoche Tare Devi to the Supreme Refuge Master Namtrul Rinpoche Jigme Phuntsok (pgs. 47-114)


july 23, 2018

Although I am in eastern Tibet, it will not be possible to go to Nyenlung to give the Catalogue to Tulku Lhaksam Namdak (current holder of this lineage)—county border still closed to foreigners. Luckily, his attendant, Rinchen, who gave me the twelve volumes in 2016, is in Barkham and I'm also here for a few more hours!

It was a happy occasion for us both. I sent an offering on behalf of our sangha to Tulku Lhaksam Namdak and also asked Rinchen to hand deliver the translation. Via WeChat, Tulku Lhaksam invited me to visit him in Chengdu in the wintertime. This would be an ideal opportunity, if the cards line up, to formulate the next step in bringing the lineage of Tare Lhamo and Namtrul Rinpoche to the West and would probably involve translation of selected texts and transmissions.

This completes Phase 1 of The Tare Lhamo/Namtrul Rinpoche Catalogue Project. Tashi Delek!

MAY 14, 2019, Guru DAY

Phase 2: Translation officially begins today!

Download A Hook of Compassion, A Supplication [to Namtrul Rinpoche & Tare Lhamo], From A Sky Treasury: The Treasure Writings of Namkha Lingpa Rinpoche & Khandro Rinpoche Tare Lhamo Volume 1, pgs. 6-7.


Download A Hook of Compassion, A Supplication [to Namtrul Rinpoche & Tare Lhamo], From A Sky Treasury: The Treasure Writings of Namkha Lingpa Rinpoche & Khandro Rinpoche Tare Lhamo Volume 1, pgs. 6-7.

Download Khandro Tare Lhamo’s Supplication to Yeshe Tsogyal. From A Sky Treasury: The Treasure Writings of Namkha Lingpa Rinpoche & Khandro Rinpoche Tare Lhamo Volume 4, pgs. 6-7.

Tulku Shitrul Lhaksam Namdak
With Tulku Lhaksam inChengdu 2016.

With Tulku Lhaksam inChengdu 2016.