As this is a Kagyu lineage, it shares the first five lineage masters with many other Kagyu lineages. For biographic information about these masters, see the Tsalpa Kagyu Lineage. The Shakya Shri lineage is considered to be a close (direct) lineage.
Tokden Shakya Shri a.k.a Drubwang Shakya Shri (1853-1919) was a great Tibetan yogi who was known as the Lord of Siddhas and as Precious Realised Master. He was born into a simple nomadic family and brought up in a Drukpa Kagyu monastery, where he served as a humble cook for many years. He later met Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, receiving from him the complete Nyingma school transmissions, and went on to master Dzogchen and Mahamudra.
Shakya Shri's meditation camp at Khyipuk in Central Tibet gathered 700 students who lived simply and maintained strict, ardent practice of both the Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings. In the early part of the 20th century the celebrated master sent his sons to restore the great stupa of Boudhanath in Kathmandu, Nepal. He was also involved in the Rimé, or non-sectarian movement of his day. His life and teachings remain a treasured source of inspiration for seekers of enlightenment.
Lama Sonam Zangpo (1888-1982)
Lama Sonam Zangpo left his royal family as a young boy to study with the famous master Shakya Shri. He became one of Shakya Shri's best disciples - a great yogi who specialized in the Six Yogas of Naropa as well as Dzogchen and Mahamudra. When Shakya Shri passed away, Sonam Zangpo stayed on to guide his master's students for ten years before he went on to teach throughout Bhutan.
Shang Rinpoche's root teacher is the current incarnation
of this great terton, who lived from 1346-1405
Dorje Lingpa was born in 1346 in Dranang Valley in Tibet, into a family of yogis. Receiving novice vows at age eight, he would later reveal his first terma at the early age of thirteen, from the imperial temple of Traduk. By the age of twenty Dorje Lingpa had revealed so many terma teachings that Sodogpa Lodro Gyaltsen described him as a madman. Already at this point he was known by his terton name, Dorje Lingpa.
Dorje Lingpa considered himself to be an incarnation of Vairocana, the eighth century master. Following a dream he had of the latter, he would go to Bhutan, where he originated the practice known as “public revelation”, in which an audience is invited to witness the extraction of the treasure object.
A hallmark of the great terton’s teaching are his Songs of realization, many of which are recorded in his collected works. He passed away at the age of sixty, and his corpse is said to have remained intact for three years.
Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche
Rinpoche’s spiritual pursuit began at a very young age and has spanned many years, in which he received lineages of all four major Vajrayana Buddhist schools—Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug—from numerous lineage holders and great yogis of our time in India, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Rinpoche has acquired all the necessary empowerments, transmissions, and teachings to become a fully qualified Vajrayana master. Furthermore, Rinpoche is a recognized tulku (reincarnate lama), authenticated by eminent lineage holders and distinguished masters of our time.
As the holder of several venerable and precious lineages, Rinpoche has devoted his life to spreading Dharma in order to benefit sentient beings. For over three decades, Rinpoche has been tirelessly and unceasingly guiding students at all levels of experience, all over the world, as well as translating many volumes of Dharma texts. Rinpoche is the direct heir to the lineage of Shang Rinpoche (one of the “Three Jewels of Tibet”) and has received the complete empowerments, transmissions, teachings and lineage from his root master, the reincarnation of the great terton Tachin Dorje Lingpa.
Rinpoche makes great efforts to provide teachings to students from all cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Rinpoche draws on wisdom from all schools of Buddhism, as well as an incredible knowledge of Chinese philosophy, such as Daoism and Confucianism, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Rinpoche is a highly engaging speaker who uses accessible and diverse methods to teach. Rinpoche’s down-to-earth wisdom and adaptability enables him to connect with and offer genuine help to people at all levels of spiritual attainment.