Passing of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Abbot of Gampo Abbey

Thrangu Monastery


Dear all,

We are saddened to pass along the news of the passing of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, the longtime abbot of Gampo Abbey Monastery in Cape Breton Nova Scotia. Thrangu Rinpoche was a long-term friend of Shambhala, and his teaching and guidance will surely be missed. We pass on this information from the Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa website, where you may also find links to many stories of Rinpoche from over the years:


An account of Rinpoche’s final days from Thrangu Tashi Chöling Monastery from the Chronicles of Chogyam

To all those around the world who have a connection, direct or indirect, with the Lord of Refuge, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche:


With great regret, we would like to share some sad news with you.
On May 5, 2023, the fifteenth day of the third Tibetan month of the Water Hare Year, at the age of ninety-one, the Lord of Refuge Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, tutor to the Gyalwang Karmapa, displayed the appearance of ill health. When his disciples requested him to go to the hospital, he refused at first but relented when asked again, and was brought to the hospital.


At that time, His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa, out of his immeasurable compassion, spontaneously wrote a powerful long life prayer, instructed all the Kagyu shedras to perform long life practices on Rinpoche’s behalf, and kindly gave much advice and guidance. The sanghas of all lineages and in particular the Kagyu monasteries inside and outside Tibet as well as many faithful students put great effort into long life practices.

Chamgön Kenting Tai Situ Rinpoche, Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche, and other great lamas came specifically to see Rinpoche in the hospital. They showed inconceivable kindness by performing long life empowerments and life summoning practices as well as offering representations of body, speech, and mind and making extensive prayers.


Even so, Rinpoche was unable to recover, so he returned to his monastic seat, Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery in Namo Buddha.


Finally, on June 4, the full moon day of the fourth Tibetan month, Saga Dawa-the sacred anniversary of the Buddha Shakyamuni, our incomparably kind teacher, passing into parinirvana-Rinpoche decided that he had completed his activity for this life.


At 1:30 PM, he lay down in the same posture as the Buddha Shakyamuni had lain in when passing into parinirvana and then displayed the appearance of his mind dissolving into the undefiled, luminous dharma expanse and passing into peace. Immediately, Kyabje Lodrö Nyima Rinpoche offered Rinpoche a reminder of the tukdam meditation.


The Gyalwang Karmapa instructed that, as Rinpoche needed to be in a peaceful environment, this news should not be announced for four days. This is the reason why no announcement has been made until now.


Thrangu Tashi Chöling Monastery
June 8, 2023