The Kathok Gonpa main monastery, (Kathok Dorje Den), is in Kham, Tibet and is over 840 years old. (It was established sometime around 1159-1162 c.e.). The founder of Kathok Monastery was Kathok Kadampa Deshek, (1112-1192 c.e.) Among his immediate successors were Tsangtun Dorje and Jampabum. The supreme energy of Kathok Monastery was like a great sun at its zenith in the time of the fifth abbot, Yeshe Bum. During this time there were 180,000 practitioners and lamas surrounding the monastery. Thousands of them attained the rainbow body. Kathok Gonpa is considered in Tibetan Buddhism to be the most sacred of monasteries in Tibet. It is known as Kathok Dorje Den and is a precious treasure like Bodh Gaya in India. After centuries of carrying on the lineage, in the seventeenth century, the great treasure revealer, Ringdzin Duddul Dorje and his disciple, Vajradara Longsal Ningpo renewed the energies of the great lineage. Of the many great disciples of Duddul Dorje, Kunsang Sherab began Payul Monastery, which later on became a very important lineage in Nyingma tradition and Pema Ringzen created the Dzogchen monastery.....yet from all of these great masters of Kathok history the treasure revealer, Longsal Nyingpo, is outstanding. Through his past life connections with Guru Rinpoche, and as Guru Rinpoche prohesized, he revealed many sacred texts and substances and carried on the lineage accordingly. From the record of history we know that on the original spot where Kathok Gonpa is located, Guru Rinpoche and his 25 disciples practiced for 25 days and consecrated the ground 13 times. There are many miraculous signs there such as the handprints and footprints of Guru Rinpoche in solid rock. This was a land of great bliss where the dakinis danced and left footprints on top of the huge rocks. Also, the great translator, Vairotsana, when he was exiled to Gyarong practiced at the future site of Kathok Gonpa for one month. Kathok Gonpa practices include both tantra and sutra. There are many, many precious texts in this tradition. The master, Siddhi Choggie Sangye was a student of Ridgzen Jigme Lingpa and brought the Long-Chen Nying-Thig practices to Kathok Gonpa. After all of this, through the inspiration of great masters and the power of dharma protectors, the Kathok Gonpa lineage is advancing very strongly and more powerfully in these degenerating times.
Tra Ling Monastery
Tra Ling Monastery in Golok, Tibet is the main seat of Lingtrul Rinpoche. This monastery houses about 2,000 monks. Several nuns and lay practitioners also live close by. Rinpoche's residence and a few retreat residences overlook the monastery and can be seen on the hillside in the upper right-hand corner of the second picture below. Khenpo Panchen Dawa is the monastery's Abbott whenever Lingtrul Rinpoche is absent. Many famous landmarks and temples are in the area.