Jétsunma Khandro Ten’dzin Drölkar is one of the notable Nyingma yoginis alive today – although she lives as a secret yogini without outer signs. This is a rare photograph of her wearing a gomtag and conch yogini earrings. It cannot be seen in this picture – but she is wearing a white shamthab, an item of ngak’phang costume she only wears in private.
She is a personal friend of Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen. Ngak’chang Rinpoche has been her friend since 1975 when he met her in Forsyth Bazaar, Himachal Pradesh, North India. She was born in the Rong-shal area which was very close to the Nepalese border. Rongshal is close to Lip-shi, the area where Milarépa stayed for a long time. She grew up in Long-sha, a village that was strongly associated with Milarépa, and lived there until she was sixteen years old. At that time, she went to Zarhombu, Trülshig Rinpoche’s gompa. She received many teachings from Trülshig Rinpoche and practised them intensely until she was twenty four years old. In that time she received the entire cycle of the Mindröl Ling Southern gTérma. Shortly after the age of twenty-four she met and married Ngakpa Tséring Thöndrüp, the eldest son of Lama Pasang Rinpoche. They were separated by the Chinese invasion, when she fled to Nepal. She was later married to Khamtrül Yeshé Dorje Rinpoche with whom she has seven children – several of whom have been recognised as trülkus. In 1975 she, and Ngak’chang Rinpoche, received Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche’s cycle of gTérma teaching in Kathmandu. She received many teachings and empowerments from Dungsé Thrin-lé Norbu Rinpoche, Kyabjé Chatral Rinpoche, and Kyabjé Künzang Rinpoche.