Lochen Chönyi Zangmo

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Jetsün Chönyi Zangmo

Lochen Chönyi Zangmo (Tib. ལོ་ཆེན་ཆོས་ཉིད་བཟང་མོ་, Wyl. lo chen chos nyid bzang mo) (1853 or 1865-1950/1951) was revered as one of the last century's best known woman teachers and as an exemplary practitioner of Chö. Many extraordinary stories are told of Jetsün Lochen and her remarkable abilities, such as the time on retreat when she left her body and 'died' for a period of three weeks and visited the Copper Coloured Mountain Paradise of Guru Padmasambhava. A vivid picture of her spiritual beauty, even into old age, is captured by the Tibetan scholar and writer Lobsang P. Lhalungpa. He visited Jetsün in the early 1940s at Shuksep Nunnery. He said:

"During my first two week visit, I met with Jetsun Lochen for several hours a day, sometimes in the company of her main disciples. She was an extraordinary woman, small in stature, with a serene face radiating compassion and sensitivity. Only her white hair betrayed her age... In her presence we felt an awesome power that permeated our whole stream of being... Her teachings and blessings have given me inner strength and inspiration ever since. To me she was the personification of the great woman teachers of Tibet."[1]
Shuksep Lochen Chönyi Zangmo


Chönyi Zangmo was born in Mandi, the birthplace of Mandarava near the banks of Tso Pema in Northern India. Her main teachers were Pema Gyatso, who was a student of the great Shabkar, and Chönyön Dharma Senge. She also received transmissions from Trulshik Dongak Lingpa. She gave the empowerments of Nyingtik Yabshyi to Trulshik Rinpoche.

Additional Information


  1. Lhalungpa, Tibet, The Sacred Realm: Photographs 1880-1950, 1983 p.33

Further Reading

  • Havnevik, Hanna. 'The Autobiography of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche, A Preliminary Research Report' in Ernst Steinkellner (ed.) Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the 7th Seminar of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, Graz 1997, Wien, 1997 vol. 1, pp.355-367
  • Havnevik, Hanna. The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865-1951) as Told in Her Autobiography University of Oslo, 1999
  • Kim Yeshi and Tashi Tsering, 'The Story of a Tibetan Yogini: Shugsep Jetsun 1852-1953' in Chö Yang (The Year of Tibet Volume) pp. 130-143
  • Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage (Junction City: Padma Publications, 2005), pages 343-350.
  • Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, edited by Harold Talbott, Boston: Shambhala, 1996

External Links