ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Lama Yeshi Phuntsok, Dogomchen Tulku was recognized by His Holiness Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje while still in his mother’s womb in Kongpo, Tibet. His Holiness predicted that the child would be of fortunate rebirth, and gave him the name Yeshi; he also said that he would give an additional name after the child was born. When the child was born, there were many auspicious signs, and by the time he was about three or four years old and able to talk he described his previous life as Gyalchen Rinpoche very clearly and also recognized many of his personal belongings.
During one Losar celebration at the monastery before he passed away, Gyalchen Rinpoche gave special tea offerings to all the monks at his monastery, saying that this might be the last time they would be together, as his life would end on the fifteenth day of third month. Many monks thought this was a big joke, since there were no signs of illness of any kind, but Gyalchen Rinpoche did pass away on that particular day and month, with so many special signs, and stayed in Thukdam. Gyalchen Rinpoche remained vegetarian throughout his life and he did not wear any animal skin products even during harsh winter weather in Northern Tibet.
At the age of five, Lama Yeshi Phuntsok went to Lhasa with his parents to see His Holiness Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, who recognized the child as an authentic emanation of a great Drikhung Kagyu meditation master, the Gyalchen Rinpoche, of Jhang Dhong-Nyur Monastery in Northern Tibet. At that time, His Holiness also added the promised second name of Phuntsok. Lama Yeshi Phuntsok’s late father, the Venerable Lama Thikchok Dorjee, also known as Yana Vajra (Skt. Paramayanavajra), was one of the three most senior disciple of His Holiness Pema Degyal Rinpoche of Namkha Chung Dzong Monastery, near Mount Kailash in Tibet. His Holiness Pema Degyal Rinpoche was one of the thirteen fabled disciples of Dudjom Lingpa who achieved rainbow body at the time of death. Lama Yeshi’s father practiced under His Holiness Pema Degyal Rinpoche for over thirty years. In addition to completing 1,200,000 prostrations (he completed Ngondro twelve times during his lifetime), he also completed practice trips twice during his lifetime to the one hundred and eight famous charnel grounds of India, Nepal and Tibet. After the death and parinirvana of His Holiness Pema Degyal Rinpoche, Lama Yeshi’s father moved back to his birth place where he built a few retreat places in very isolated locations. One such retreat place he wanted to build was in an area of a rocky mountain called TRA ZUR GANG, facing to the east, with lots of sunshine from morning till evening. The only problem there was no source of water around that area for miles and many of his extended family, friends and disciples suggested not to build there as he would face tremendous problems with water, having to fetch it from very far away. Lama Thikchok Dorje one day went to the area where he wanted to build the retreat place and did PUJAS and offerings for a day; by the evening a water spout just emerged from there. This place was known as Lama Thickchok’s DRUB NEY TER-CHU. He discovered a water TER there. This water spout remained until the late 1960s, but these days its all dried up.
Lama Yeshi’s father and mother traveled to Kongpo on several occasion to receive teachings from His Holiness Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje. Lama Yeshi’s late mother, Sherab Yeshe Zangmo, completed twelve years of retreat under the guidance of her husband, Lama Thickchok Dorje and she had all the signs of achieving POWA practice as her skull on top of her head become so thin, like an infant’s head. When Lama Yeshi was serving His Holiness Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, he asked if there would be any incarnation of his late father. His Holiness’s answer was that if his parents didn’t go to the Copper Mountain, no one would, and therefore there was no need to search for any incarnations.
After escaping from Tibet, His Holiness sent Lama Yeshi Phuntsok to be enthroned at Tso Pema or Rewalsar, India. Lama Yeshi was given the name Dogomchen Tulku at that time, and was sent to the Young Lama’s Home School in Dalhousie, India, where many young Tulkus of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism studied. After studying religion and languages there for three years, he attended the Buddhist Monastic School, also known as Wongmin Ogyen Min-droling at Tso Pema for two years. Later this school moved to Clement Town Dehra Dhun, India, and is now called Ogmin Ogyen Min-droling Monastery & Ngagyur Nyingma College.
Lama Yeshi Phuntsok served His Holiness Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje and his family in various capacities for many years. He also received many teachings from His Holiness incuding the Rinchen Terdzo, the Nyingma Gyubum, the Nyingma Kama, the Peling Chokhor, as well as the entire Dudjom Tersar lineage. Teachings also received from many other great masters included His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, His Holiness Minling Trichen Rinpoche, His Holinees Dodrupchen Rinpoche, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, the great Dzogchen Master His Holiness Chatral Sangay Dorje Rinpoche and Tulku Thiklo Rinpoche.
Kyabje Dungsay Shenphen Dawa Norbu Rinpoche bestowed the title of Lama upon Yeshi Phuntsok at Yeshe Nyingpo Inc. in New York, New York. The special ceremony was held on the third day of the first lunar month of the Tibetan calendar year of the Iron Rabbit (March 7, 2011), where Lama Phuntsok was presented with the traditional Lama’s hat and five colored scarves.