Born in Kham in Eastern Tibet, Sogyal Rinpoche was recognized at an early age as the incarnation of a great master and visionary saint of the nineteenth, Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa (1856-1926), a teacher to the thirteenth Dalai Lama. He recieved a traditional training of a Tibetan lama under the close supervision of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, one of the most outstanding spiritual masters of the twentieth century. who raised him like his own son.
Rinpoche went on to study with many other great masters, of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, especially Kyabje Dudjum Rinpoche and Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
In 1971 Rinpoche went to England as a visiting scholar to study Comparative Religion at Cambridge University.
First as a translator and aide to his revered masters, and then teaching in his own right, Rinpoche travelled to many countries observing the realities of people's lives, and searching how to translate the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism so as to make them relevant to modern men and women of all faiths, by drawing out their universal message while losing none of their authenticity, purity and power.
Out of this came his unique style of teaching, and his ability to attune these teaching to modern life, demonstrated so vividly in his ground-breaking book, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Almost three million copies of this spiritual classic have been printed in 34 languages and the book is available in 80 countries.
Rinpoche is also the founder and spiritual director of Rigpa, an international network of more than 130 Buddhist centres and groups in 30 countries around the world. He has been teaching for over forty years and continues to travel widely in Europe, the USA, Australia and Asia.