Khenpo Tenzin Yeshe Rinpoche was born in Gatha, Kham, Khyungpo, in Eastern Tibet. Until the age of 18, he lived a traditional Tibetan nomadic lifestyle, keeping animals and helping his family with daily chores. At the age of eighteen, Rinpoche took monastic vows with lama Tenpa Gyaltsen Khyungnak and became a monk. He studied different aspects of the Bönpo spiritual tradition, such as the practices of the Nine Preliminaries, primordial vision, purification of the six realms, tsalung and dark retreat.
He received oral instructions in the practices of Dzogchen “the Great Perfection” and Phowa (transference of consciousness) from Lungrig Namdak Rinpoche and from Thaye Rangdol Rinpoche . In 1990, Khenpo-la made a pilgrimage to Kongpo Bonri (a sacred Bön mountain in Kongpo, Kham), circumambulating the mountain 100 times. In 1991, he travelled to Himachal Pradesh, India, to continue his study of the Bön spiritual tradition, with a pilgrimage to the holy Mount Kailash on his way. He studied and practiced Bön Buddhism for four years at Tashi Menri Ling monastery, Dolanji, and was blessed by receiving essential instructions from H. H. Menri Trizin Rinpoche, the Abbot of the monastery and the official spiritual leader of all the Bönpos.
In 1995, Khenpo-la went to Triten Norbutse Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he broadened his spiritual knowledge and practice of Bön Sutra , Tantra and Dzogchen under the guidance of H. E. Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche (senior teacher of the Yungdrung Bön tradition) and Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche (Abbot of Triten Norbutse monastery). He also studied philosophy and other subjects such as grammar, poetry, astrology and mandala art.
Khenpo Tenzin Rinpoche passed his Geshe degree examination (Doctor of Philosophy) at Triten Norbutse monastery in 2003 and, like all new Geshes, remained there to offer his time and experience and to teach younger students. Since 2005, Khenpo Tenzin Rinpoche has been teaching at Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s dharma centers in USA, Mexico and Europe. He has been appointed Khenpo for Shar Drol Dhechen Yangwen Ling in Tibet since 2011.