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Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen
Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen are the Lineage Holders and principal Lamas of the Aro gTér Nyingma Lineage.
Between 1970 and 1984, Ngak’chang Rinpoche spent extended periods in the Himalayas receiving teachings and transmissions from Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche, Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentsé Rinpoche, Künzang Dorje Rinpoche and Jomo Sam’phel Déchen, and Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche. During this time he accomplished all the traditional practices, and received all the necessary empowerments and transmissions, of a Nyingma Lama. Hailing from a financially disadvantaged background, he funded his trips through factory work and manual labour in Britain. He completed—in varying sections—four years in solitary retreat – often living in extremely basic conditions with little to eat.
With the encouragement of his Lamas, he began teaching in 1979. In 1989, he was awarded a doctorate in Tibetan Tantric Psychology from the Visava Bharati University of University of West Bengal. In the 1980s he was a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in California and has contributed articles to several books, journals, and magazines on the subject of Vajrayana Psychology. He has given several keynote presentations at international psychology conferences for the British Psychological Society, and the Association of Transpersonal Psychology in the USA
Now Ngak’chang Rinpoche is known more for his Dzogchen teaching – and for providing clear and extensive explanations of Vajrayana. He major concern is to make Dzogchen and the inner tantras comprehensible and practically applicable in the lives of working family people. He is the author of eleven books, some co-written with Khandro Déchen. He is a Vajrayana calligrapher, poet, thangka painter, multi-talented Vajrayana craftsman, and exponent of Yogic Song and Lama-dance.
Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen have a daughter currently in Secondary School. They make it a priority in their teaching activities –as a couple – to help students to view their relationships and family lives as spiritual practice. As representatives of a lineage founded by a woman, they are keen to help women become spiritual practitioners and teachers.
Khandro Déchen is a uniquely gifted thangka painter and teacher. She regards this as her major means of teaching and influence. Her thangkas and line drawings can be seen in the Aro Encyclopædia. Her life’s work is dedicated to painting the entire Aro gTér cycle of one hundred and eleven yidams.
Khandro Déchen rode horses as a girl and is a keen horsewoman – both in the area of jumping and dressage. She is currently studying the curriculum of the British Horse Society in riding and stable management – and encourages horseriding apprentices in the meditative dimension of horseriding.
Before assuming the shared pastoral care of apprentices she was a Macmillan Nurse, with a university degree in nursing.
Khandro Déchen is recognised as the incarnation of A-yé Khandro – a disciple of Aro Lingma and the consort of Aro Yeshé. She inspires people through her radiance and startling simplicity rather than through extensive formal teachings. She is known for her warmth, her playfulness, and the humour of her approach with individuals. She prefers to speak personally with individuals rather than to address groups for protracted periods – but assumes responsibility for sections of the teaching – often making dazzling interjections when Ngak’chang Rinpoche is teaching.
Upcoming events with Ngak’chang Rinpoche and/or Khandro Déchen: