His Eminence Gar Könchog Nyidon Nyima Chökyi Senge was born in 1936. His Holiness Zhiwe Lodrö (the prior Chetsang Rinpoche, 1886 - 1943) recognized him to be the incarnation of Garchen Thrinley Yongchap. From the age of seven to twenty-two he stayed at the Drikung monastery called Lho Miyel-gon. At a young age he was given a special ordination during which he recognized Lord Jigten Sumgön in a portrait and said, "This is my lama." During this period his former disciple, Chime Dorje, taught Rinpoche. When Garchen Rinpoche was thirteen, Chime Dorje gave him the Mahamudra teachings. Thereafter he received all the Drikung Kagyü empowerments and teachings, started ngöndro practice, and studied the Six Yogas of Naropa.
During the Cultural Revolution there were no Dharma teachings. However, he secretly received instructions from Khenpo Münsel. With great perseverance, he practiced the teachings for twenty years. Khenpo Münsel was very pleased and said; "He is a very special bodhisattva incarnation. Of this there is no doubt."
Garchen Rinpoche is currently establishing a Buddhist College at his monastery Lho Longkar Gön for about one hundred monks. Whatever food or wealth he receives as offerings is always used for the monks and nuns. He keeps nothing for himself. He is very respectful to all persons. With loving-kindness, compassion and bodhicitta he thinks only of how to benefit others. (Background notes are taken from the article "Introducing...His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche" in the Dharma Wheel, the quarterly newsletter of the Tibetan Meditation Center, Vol. 4, Spring, 1997).