His Eminence Lhalung Sungtrul Rinmpoche, Jigdrel Kunzang Dorji is the 11th in a direct line of incarnations of the great Tertön (treasure revealer), Pema Lingpa. Rinmpoche was born in 1968 to Aum Rinchen and Dasho Thinley Namgyel (son of Terton Chungtruel Rinmpoche) in the Chumi Valley, Bumthang, Bhutan.
Sungtrul Rinmpoche was recognized as the undisputed 11th incarnation of Terton Pema Lingpa by a number of great Buddhist masters, namely, His Holiness Dudjom Rinmpoche, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinmpoche and His Holiness the 16thGyalwa Karmapa in 1969.
At the age of seven he started his early education at Tharpaling Monastery under His Holiness Kathog Rinmpoche and Lopen Tsheten of Tamshing Monastery. By the time Rinmpoche attained the age of 10, he travelled throughout Bhutan and Nepal under the tutelage of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinmpoche. From 1983 to 1985, Rinmpoche studied in Rumtek Shedrup Chokorling, Sikkim, India receiving Wang, Lung and Tri (empowerment, oral transmission and instructions) from the 16thGyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. Rinmpoche completed his MA in Buddhist philosophy from Namdroling Monastery, Mysore, India. Thereafter, Rinmpoche went into retreat (lo sum choe sum) for more than three years at Gangtey Retreat Centre, Wangdue, Bhutan.
Currently, His Eminence Lhalung Sungtrul Rinmpoche resides at Drametse Monastery (founded by Ani Choten Zangmo, grand daughter of Pema Lingpa in 16th century) in Eastern Bhutan. Rinmpoche is the spiritual and temporal leader of Tamshing Monastery and patronage of Kenchosum Lakhang in Bumthang. Lhalung Monastery in Autonomous Region of Tibet is also the official seat of Rinmpoche.
Rinmpoche is selfless and dedicates his time and energy in taking care of over 300 monks, giving Buddhist teachings in Bhutan and beyond, and importantly the maintenance and preservation of historic monasteries for the wellbeing of sentient beings. Rinmpoche is painstakingly engaged in the restoration of Dremetse Monastery (which has now been over eight years) and colossal task of the reconstruction of the 9th century Kenchosum Lakhang, which was damaged by fire in 2010.