LINEAGE . . . His Holiness the 16th Karmapa and His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognized Rinpoche as a reincarnate lama of the Nyingma tradition, the seventh incarnation in the Dzogchen Ponlop lineage. He was formally enthroned as the 7th Dzogchen Ponlop at Rumtek in 1968, at the age of three. In addition to his being raised and trained by the Karmapa, Rinpoche’s formative years included studying intensively and receiving extensive lineage transmissions from some of the greatest Buddhist masters from Tibet’s pre-exile generation: Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche (chief Abbot of the Kagyu lineage), Alak Zenkar Rinpoche, and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, his root guru. In 1979 (when Rinpoche was fourteen) the 16th Karmapa proclaimed Ponlop Rinpoche to be a heart son of the Gyalwang Karmapa and a holder of his Karma Kagyu lineage. In this way, Rinpoche came to hold the Kagyu lineage as well as the Nyingma lineage into which he was born.