The present Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche, Jigme Pema Thinley Namgyal, was recognised by His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa as the seventh incarnation of Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche, and ascended the throne in 1972. Rinpoche received teachings and empowerments from many great teachers including His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, of whom he was a close disciple. Rinpoche is the heart son of Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche from whom Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche received the entire transmission of the Rinchen Terdzöd (rin chen gter mdzod).
The first Namkhai Nyingpo was one of the 25 close disciples of Guru Rinpoche who gained complete realisation through the practice of Yangdak Heruka, and who exhibited many miracles, such as riding on the rays of the sun. The Fifth Dalai Lama [1617-1682] started giving the name Namkhai Nyingpo to his successive incarnations. The first of these, recognised at the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama, lived at Lhodrak Kharchu in southern Tibet. At Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's request, the present Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche has now established a monastery in Bumthang, in central Bhutan, known as Kharchu Gompa, where he now resides.
The seventh Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche is known as one of the heart sons of the previous Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Rinpoche was recognized by the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa at a very young age and was later entrusted by the Karmapa to Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Khyentse Rinpoche bestowed all of the empowerments and oral transmissions that he had to Rinpoche. In this way, Rinpoche has received not only the all of the Nyingma teachings in the most traditional way, but Rinpoche has received many teachings from all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
Following the wish of his root teacher, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche established Kharchhu Monastery in Bhutan as a place where the Northern Treasures of Rigzin Goedhem could be preserved and practiced. Rinpoche remains as the head of the monastery, where there are about two hundred monks, a shedra (philosophical school), a retreat center and a monastery for yogis where about twenty five remain in retreat and practice. Rinpoche also has plans to start a nunnery.