Venerable Lama Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche was born in the Dhoshul region of Kham in eastern Tibet on June 10, 1950. Soon after his birth three prominent lamas from Jadchag monastery, a large monastery three days travel north of his village, came to his home and recognized him as the reincarnation of Khenpo Sherab Khyentse. Khenpo Sherab Khyentse, who had been the former head abbot lama at Gochen monastery, was a renowned scholar and practitioner who lived much of his life in retreat.
Beginning his schooling at the age of five, he entered Gochen monastery. His studies were interrupted by the Chinese invasion and his family's escape to India. In India his father and brother continued his education until he entered the Nyingmapa Monastic School of northern India, where he studies until 1967. He then entered Sanskrit University in Varanasi where he received his B. A. degree in 1975. He also attended Nyingmapa University in West Bengal, where he received another B. A. and a M. A. in 1977.
In 1978 he was invested with the title Khenpo by H. H. Dudjom Rinpoche. He was later appointed head abbot of the Department of Dharma Studies at the Wishfulfilling Institute in Katmandu, Nepal, where he taught poetry, grammar, philosophy and psychology.
In 1980 he made his first trip to the United States. In 1981 he went to Paris, France at the request of Dudjom Rinpoche where he assumed the responsibilities of abbot of the Dorje Nyingo Center. In 1982 he was called back to New York to work with Dudjom Rinpoche at the Yeshe Nyingpo Center. He worked at this center until the death of Dudjom Rinpoche in 1987.
In 1988 he and his brother founded the Padmasambhava Buddhist Center, Since that time he has served as spiritual director at the various Padmasambhava centers. He maintains an active travel schedule with his brother and often serves as translator for teachings given by Khenchen Palden Sherabe Rinpoche. He has taught in Nepal, India, France, Canada, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Russia, and throughout the United States.
He has written two books of poetry: Ceaseless Waves of Devotion, and Special Praises and Devotional Breezes to the Accomplished Masters of Tibet. The latter title deals with the twenty-five original students of Padmasambhava. He has also completed a two-volume cultural and religious history of Tibet entitled Gratitude for and Commemorations to the Early Masters and Dharma Patrons of Tibet, which was encouraged and appreciated by J. H. Dudjom Rinpoche. This covers the fifth to ninth centuries and relates how Buddhism came to Tibet. It included the life stories of the translators and early masters, the politics of the kings, and lists of the translations and composed test from the period.