The Longchen Nyingtik Lineage is based upon the terma revelations of the 18th century treasure revealer, Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa. These revelations, composed of various sadhanas, teachings and pith instructions, were received by Jigme Lingpa through multiple visionary experiences, in which he directly encountered Guru Padmasambhava, Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal, Omniscient Longchen Rabjam and many other masters. Jigme Lingpa was a reincarnation of the 8th century Dharma King Trisong Detsen, who, in order to firmly establish the Dharma in Tibet, invited Guru Padmasambhava to Tibet to help complete and consecrate Samye, Tibet’s first monastery.

During the king’s reign, Guru Rinpoche implanted many treasure teachings directly into the king’s and other main disciples’ mental continuums, to be revealed by their subsequent incarnations when the time was appropriate for their practice and dissemination. Jigme Lingpa discovered many of the Longchen Nyingtik sadhanas in this manner as mind treasures.

The Longchen Nyingtik tradition is perhaps most well known for its cycle of nyingtik, or innermost essence teachings on Atiyoga, the Great Perfection. Jigme Lingpa received these teachings during the course of a three-year retreat he undertook at Samye Chimphu, the great retreat complex of meditation caves near Samye. Due to his single-pointed devotion to the 14th century Atiyoga master, Omniscient Longchen Rabjam (“Longchenpa”), Jigme Lingpa was able to meet Longchenpa’s wisdom body in three successive visions. Through this experience, he received the entirety of Longchenpa’s teachings and realization of Atiyoga, the Great Perfection, like water being poured from one vessel into another. These teachings became the profound heart core of the Longchen Nyingtik lineage, which is characterized even today by its reliance on unwavering devotion to the guru as the primary means of realizing the absolute truth.

The Longchen Nyingtik remains even today as one of the most widely practiced of the numerous existent Nyingma lineages. It is practiced by many masters and monasteries of all four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, primarily due to its profound and essential nature.For further reading about the Longchen Nyingtik lineage, consult Tulku Thöndup’s Masters of Meditation and Miracles.