Most Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche was born in 1948 in the eastern province of Kham, in Tibet. He was recognised as the 13th incarnation of Lama Chubdak by three most venerated lamas: the 16th Karmapa, Trijang Rinpoche (the Junior Tutor to His Holiness the Dalai Lama), and a highly realised Nyingma Lama. He was enthroned at Zuru Monastery at the age of seven, which is the seat of all the lamas in the Zasep lineage. Later he was again enthroned at Sera Monastery where he began his studies. When the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1959 Zasep Rinpoche escaped to Dalhousie in India. Under the advice of Trijang Rinpoche, Zasep Rinpoche resumed his studies under personal tutorship of Geshe Wangyel, a highly realised yogi in Dalhousie, India.
For ten years Zasep Rinpoche completed retreats and studies under Geshe Wangyel’s guidance. Zasep Rinpoche then went to Sarnath to study at the Sanskrit University where he successfully completed an Acharya degree (which is equivalent to a masters degree). After finishing his degree His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama requested Zasep Rinpoche to go to Thailand to study Vipassana meditation techniques of Theravadan monks. For eighteen months he did forest retreats and then was sent to Australia to translate for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Geshe Loden.
In 1980 Zasep Rinpoche travelled to Canada and taught Buddhist philosophy and religion at the David Thompson University Centre in Nelson, BC. In 1981, at the request of Venerable Ling Rinpoche, Zasep Rinpoche accepted the position of spiritual director of Gaden Choling Buddhist Meditation Centre in Toronto. Zasep Rinpoche has now been teaching in the west for over thirty-five years and is spiritual director of more than twelve Buddhist meditation centres in Canada, Australia and the United States.