Khandro Chö-ying Nyima

Khandro Chö-ying Nyima ’ö-Zér

Kha’ ’gro chos dByings nyi ma ’od gZer

The eighth chpter is called Spacious Passion & Passionate Space and its illustration is of Khandro Chö-ying Nyima ’ö-Zér, the previous re-birth of Ngala ’ö-Dzin Tridral, the author’s husband. In this life he retains her computing skills – although employing them to different ends. In this past life, he was one of the five adoptive mothers of Aro Yeshé. This thangka was painted in Nepal in a simple style with no background. Khandro Chö-ying Nyima ’ö-Zér is either shown in this style or in a landscape surrounded by the astrological animals. She is also shown holding her sword in the mudra of Jampalyang – raised in the air above her head.

Khandro Chö-ying Nyima ’ö-Zér was the daughter of a Tibetan father and Chinese mother. Her father was an astrologer who was connected to various local princes and he taught his daughter the science of astrology according to both the Chinese and Tibetan systems. She was said to have learnt astrology with relative ease as she was good with figures and had a lively interest in the complex computations involved.

She was brought up in Amdo where she became the consort of Rinchen Gyaltsen Rinpoche – an elderly Lama of the Sakya School. Due to the age of Rinchen Gyaltsen Rinpoche Khandro Chö-ying Nyima ’ö-Zér became a widow early in life. As both her parents were deceased (and as she had no siblings or children) the family of Lama Rinchen Gyaltsen Rinpoche took advantage of the situation and treated her extremely poorly. Being disinherited she decided to leave the area and live as a wandering yogini. As the consort of Rinchen Gyaltsen Rinpoche she had received many empowerments and details of practice, so she was well equipped to enter such a life. On her travels she met various Lamas and wandering practitioners. One yogi she met was called Ngakpa Dawa Ngödrüp – a herbal healer ngakpa whom she eventually married.