Revered Lama Ato Rinpoche has died in England at the age of 91

- through Henry Oudin

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Revered Senior Lama Ato Rinpoche, nephew of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and master of the traditions of Mahamudra and Dzogchen practice, died in Cambridge, England, at 7:45 a.m. on May 18 – Guru Rinpoche's Day, according to the Tibetan lunar calendar . . He was 91 years old.

Tributes and memorials to this erudite yet humble master have been widely shared across social media platforms.

Words from my perfect teacher. At

In a notice posted on his Bodhicharya website dated May 20, the esteemed lama of the Kagyu school of Vajrayana Buddhism, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, observed:

I am very sad to learn that Ato Rinpoche passed away in England on May 18 at 7:45 a.m. on Guru Rinpoche's Day.

He was part of the first group of Kagyu lamas to come to the West and settle in the United Kingdom. I had known him since the age of 10 when he became head of the family school for young lamas after Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche left for England. He was also the representative of the Kagyu school to the Tibetan administration in India.

While working as a porter at Cambridge Hospital, he had an accident. He fell down the stairs with his patient, but Rinpoche made sure the patient fell on his body so that he would not be injured. During this process, Rinpoche's back was severely damaged and since then he has lived a semi-retired life.

Rinpoche was a very highly qualified master who traveled and taught widely, particularly in Europe and America. He was the nephew of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and inherited many qualities from his uncle. Rinpoche dedicated most of his life to rebuilding his monastery in Tibet and restoring it to its former glory.


Born in Tibet in 1933, Ato Rinpoche was recognized at a young age by the 11th Tai Situ as the eighth Tenzin Tulku of Nezang Monastery, a Kagyupa monastery located in eastern Tibet (now part of China's Qinghai Province) . Rinpoche studied under teachers from all four major Tibetan Buddhist traditions, including the second Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and his uncles Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and the ninth Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche.

After leaving Tibet for India in 1959, His Holiness the 16th Karmapa asked Rinpoche to become the Kagyudpa representative in His Holiness the Dalai Lama's religious office in Dharmsala. The Dalai Lama later put Ato Rinpoche in charge of the young lama family school in Dalhousie, which provided education to tulkus of the four great lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.

Ato Rinpoche married and moved to Cambridge, England, in 1967, where he lived with his wife and daughter. He worked as a nurse at Fulbourn Psychiatric Hospital in Cambridge until his retirement in 1981.

After his retirement, Rinpoche divided his time between teaching Buddhism and meditation and traveling to Tibet where he worked tirelessly to re-establish Nezang Monastery, including rebuilding the physical monastery and giving teachings and lectures. initiations to a new generation of monks.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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