The Family

Lady Konchok Palden

Lady Konchok Palden is the mother of the Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche. Trained from an early age as a nun, she escaped from Tibet in the early 1960’s with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. The Sakyong was conceived in Delhi and during her pregnancy, following the instructions of Trungpa Rinpoche, she went on a pilgrimage to Buddhist holy sites in India. When Lady Konchok reached Bodhgaya, the place of the Buddha’s enlightenment, she gave birth to the Sakyong. She raised him in India until he was able to join his father in the West. Lady Konchok remained in India where she married Lama Pegyal. She journeyed to the West in 1986 for the Druk Sakyong’s final seminary, the first time the family had been together since the Sakyong was six years old. In 2000, she became a naturalized United States citizen and resides at Marpa House in Boulder, Colorado.

Now a grandmother to the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo’s daughters, Jetsun Drukmo, Lady Konchok is ever more curious about further engaging the world. From her early days as a nun in Tibet to her current life in Boulder she has remained a steadfast practitioner, never wavering in her practice even when life was difficult. She believes that every human has a chance for a good life. In particular she aspires that women can benefit from her story and attain enlightenment.

Pema Gyaltsen Onchen Rinpoche

We have come to know him as Lama Pegyal. Some consider him to be one of Shambhala’s national treasures. The Onchen Lineage is known as the Great Steam Great Glorious Lion Lineage and is predicted to continue for 180 generations.

Pema Gyaltsen Onchen was born to Dechen Shotso on March 2, 1949 in Kham’s Doshul County near Riwoche. His father, the Onchen Lama Konchok Tenzin, was a retreat master who also served as the head of Gamphu Monastery.  Even when young, Lama Pegyal always had strong virtuous motivation and loved the good habits that turned his mind toward the dharma. When he was 6 or 7 he learned to read and write Tibetan. When he was 10, he had a monastery named Thekchok Shedrup Tharje Ling and every year he took the Dorje Loppon position. He did very well during drupchen and drupcho, impressing all with the way he conducted ceremonies. At seventeen Lama Pegyal received the Konchok Chigdu preliminary practice from a nearby relative, Shabdrung Seytrul Rinpoche. Known to be a reincarnation of Rolpo Dorje, this young man went into three-year retreat with his kind and venerable retreat master.

Then the red Chinese came and occupied all of Tibet – U-Tsang, Amdo, Kham, Dhotok, Dhomed. Everything was destroyed. His Holiness and thousands went to India as refugees. And, as Lama Pegyal says, “so did I become part of that.” In 1964, Lama Pegyal met His Holiness Kalu Rinpoche and entered a three-year retreat, in the Karma Kagyu tradition, with His Holiness at Tso Pema. After he finished retreat, Lama Pegyal went back to Bir to visit his family. There he met a woman from Tashi Dong, near Riwoche. Her clan was the Langza Clan. Her name was Ratna Shri Taray. They worked together under the late E. Gene Smith, transcribing and preserving ancient texts for the Library of Congress. Later they married. For a few years Lama Pegyal mentored the young Sakyong. In 1974, Lady Konchok gave birth to their son, Gyurme Dorje, so named by the Vidhyadara Trungpa Rinpoche.

About the present, Lama Pegyal says, “due to the kindness of Sakyong Mipham, we now live in the country of Shambhala. We have abundant food and happiness and dharma. Everything is here. It is a good time, a good eon. I wish to benefit the dharma and sentient beings.  Therefore I do Mos, bless rupas, and engage in practice for others. And that is the way I live my life.”

Tashi Gelak Phel!
May auspicious good virtue blossom!

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