Biographical Details of Ogyen Tenzang

Ogyen Tenzang was born in 1986 in Nyima Dzong, a Nyingmapa Buddhist Center in the southern French Alps. As his parents being residents of the center he was exposed to Buddhism from his early youth and met many great teachers such as Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche and Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche.

When he was six he joined the school of the center, which structure replicates the traditional Buddhist education system found in Tibetan Monasteries. He thus received the classical western study program, but also studied the basics of Buddhist philosophy and rituals at the same time.

Ogyen Tenzang
Ogyen Tenzang
Every summer, teachers such as Khenchen Pema Sherab, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Khenpo Gyurme Tsultrim etc, were invited, and from them he could receive several important Buddhist texts. Between pujas and study sessions he also looked after the center’s cows, which he was very fond of.

When he was fourteen he asked his father the permission to stop his studies and leave for India to learn Tibetan Medicine. His parents agreed, but Pema Wangyal Rinpoche advised him to wait two more years before leaving France. When becoming sixteen, he went to Kangyur Gompa in Darjeeling to learn Tibetan language. After one a half year there he joined the shedra of Shechen Monastery in Nepal, and studied texts for a year. During the winter of 2004, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche tried to help him join the Tibetan Medical College of Thimpu in Bhutan, but he was refused. During the same period he met Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche who told him he shouldn’t study medicine, but instead learn astrology from Gojo Tsewang Namgyal. Khyentse Rinpoche sent him to Mingyur Rinpoche and a few weeks later he started receiving astrology teachings in Sherabling. He studied astrology with Gojo Tsewang Namgyal for two years and acted as his interpret whenever needed.

In the end of 2006 Mingyur Rinpoche organized a European tour for Tsewang Namgyal, and chose Tenzang to interpret for him. The tour started in France and on the fourth day of teaching Tsewang Namgyal became extremely ill. He was hospitalized and diagnosed a terminal phase cancer. He was operated on and flew back to his home in Sherabling, but passed away only a few weeks later.

Since then, Tenzang has lived at Sherabling where he continues his studies. He is now part of the staff of the “Palpung Buddhist Sciences College” and participates in compiling the monastery’s almanacs. He also studies medicine with Dr. Sonam Rinchen, one of Tsewang Namgyal’s main students, and interprets for him.

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More Information:

About Dr Aepa Sonam Rinchen
About Tibetan Health
About Tibetan Astrology