Riwoche Lineage
Return to Home Page
Riwoche Lineage
Riwoche Temple, Tibet

Newly established in the West, the Riwoche lineage has an eight-hundred year history. The original Riwoche Monastery in the Riwoche region of Kham in eastern Tibet was home to 1,000 monks. Famous for its teaching and practice, its history is filled with many wondrous and miraculous events.

Riwoche Temple in Tibet, as recently reconstructed.
Original Riwoche Temple 1950s

The original Riwoche Temple in the early 1950s, before its destruction by occupying military forces.

HH Phakchok Rinpoche
His Holiness Phakchok Rinpoche

The Riwoche lineage has its roots in the great 12th-century Master, Taklung Tangpa, the founder of the Taklung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The Riwoche lineage also fully integrates the Nyingma teachings descended from the great 9th-century Master, Padmasambhava.

Today, the lineage is represented by His Holiness Phakchok Rinpoche in Nepal, the 7th incarnation of the Phakchok tulkus (reincarnate lamas). The Riwoche lineage is also transmitted in unbroken succession from teacher to disciple through Venerable Khenpo Sonam Rinpoche in Toronto, and through a handful of other lamas throughout the world.

Riwoche Monastery Riwoche monks at their station.
Prayer wheels around Riwoche Monastery Interior of Riwoche Monastery

Throughout its history, in addition to its lineage, events, teachings, and scholarship, Riwoche has been distinguished for its ongoing contributions to Tibetan arts and music. To the right is a portrait of Jnanatapa surrounded by lamas and mahasiddhas painted about 1350 at the Monastery, currently in the Asian Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

 

 

Sangye Won, founder of Riwoche
Jnanatapa, Riwoche Monastery

On the left is an antique thangka painting of Sangye Won (1251-96), the gifted master of the Taglung Kagyu lineage who founded Riwoche Monastery.