From an early age at Lama Ling, Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche's monastery in Kongpo, Tibet, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche studied and practiced Dudjom Lingpa's Troma Nagmo cycle. In addition to accomplishing the practice in retreats, he devoted himself to learning the ritual details including the traditional melodies (yang) from Lama Ling's revered ritual master for Dudjom Rinpoche, Kushok Gyurme-la. Teaching his students in long-term Troma Nagmo retreat, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche emphasized:
All these melodies are very powerful things. Dudjom Lingpa received all of these from different dakini realms and we have a name for each yang. That tradition, bringing to human beings - we cannot ignore.
Known for his very humble nature, on rare occasions Rinpoche would highlight his own training and accomplishments so his students would understand the value of the teaching. In such sessions, Rinpoche spoke directly and honestly about his capacity. For instance, to his drubdra (3-year retreat), he told of a class taught by Kushok Gyurme-la that he attended with various well-known lamas and Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche's daughter Semo Dechen-la in Kongpo, Tibet, in the 1950s when he was in his late teens:
Really, I don't want to lose Kushok Gyurme-la's tradition. We put so much effort into mastering subtle things. In this class, Kushok Gyurme-la liked Semo Dechen-la and me. He approved the two of us as doing the yangs correctly. Right after learning in that class, we did a six-month Troma mahayoga retreat in drubdra (3-year retreat), [sealing the practice]. Later in 1981, Semo Dechen-la came to Nepal where I was living and said to me, "Remember in our class Kushok Gyurme-la told us that you and I were the best? After that, we didn't see each other for a long time. I will test you." Then I did recite Troma Nagmo. At the end she corrected [a part of] my Red Feast. Besides that, she said it was good. I passed again! Therefore, if you guys can learn, I don't have a beautiful voice, but I do have the capacity to imitate. I will do very close to Kushok Gyurme-la. I can't say I can do like Kushok Gyurme-la, but close enough. And in particular, Troma - I have a little ego about that. Therefore, all of you pay attention.
There are numerous lineages and traditions of Chod. Lama Tharchin Rinpoche put great effort into training his students in the practice of Troma Nagmo, both the meaning and the ritual, that he learned under the wisdom guidance of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche Jigdral Yeshe Dorje. Towards that purpose, Rinpoche made a number of recordings of both teachings and recitation. In particular, during drubdra in 2011, Rinpoche recorded the Troma Nagmo Intermediate-Length Sadhana (Tro-Dring) to help train students in this tradition passed down from Kushok Gyurme-la and not lose this sacred and unique lineage of Dudjom Lingpa and Kyabje Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje.
View a recording of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche reciting the Concise Feast of Chod on YouTube.
You can find the recordings of the Tro-Dring along with many other teachings and recordings in our Troma Nagmo collection. You can use the recordings as a support for learning and doing the practices or listen to them as blessings from this wisdom lineage.
Photo: Lama Tharchin Rinpoche practicing the Tro-Dring in drubdra, 2011.