The 12th Nubpa Tulku Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche was born in 1942. While still in his mother's womb, he was recognized by H.H. The 34th Drikung Kyabgon Konchok Tenzin Shiwai Lodro (1874 - 1945) as one of the six important reincarnated lamas who looked after the Drikung Thil Monastery. According to the historical records of the Drikung Kagyu lineage, the first Nubpa Rinpoche Sekyong Gonpo Gyaltsen was recognized as the emanation of Four-Arm Mahakala. Rinpche was enthroned when he was only five years old and started formal studies at the age of six. He learned Tibetan scriptures and ritual practices from Pasang until the age of 14.
At 15, he joined the Sun-ray Garden Institute (Nyi-chang Shedra, located near Drikung Thil Monastery) for higher Buddhist philosophical and Tantric studies. Nubpa Rinpoche has received all of the Drikung Protectors initiations and transmissions from H.E. Lho Drongtul Rinpoche. He has received all of the Fifty Collections of Initiations, the Treasure of Kagyu Instructions, the Treasure Discoverer Yangzab teaching (by Gyalwang Rinchen Phuntsok), and the Yamantaka from Regent H.E. Tritsab Rinpoche, as well as the Nyingma Collection of Initiations from the previous H.E. Nyizong Tripa Rinpoche.
By 1959, Rinpoche had mastered the Chinese language. By 1966, due to the political changes in Tibet, he became a farmer. Returning to Lhasa in 1974, he found work as a stone mason. In 1979, Rinpoche resumed his academic career as the editor of the magazine, the Tibetan Buddhist Association. In 1989, under the arrangement of the 10th Panchen Lama, Rinpoche joined the Peking Buddhist College of Higher Studies and received his academic degree there. In 1992, Rinpoche arrived in India to serve H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche. While there, Rinpoche supervised the republishing of the 24th Drikung Kyabgon Kunkhen Ringzen Chodrak’s (1595-1659) 15 volume compendium of transcribed oral instructions from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition (Kabum).
When Rinpoche first visited Lapchi in 1998, he had planned to undergo long periods of retreat there. However, when he found out about the difficulties faced by the monks, practitioners and villagers in Lapchi, he could not bear to see this holy place decline. Hence, out of great compassion, Rinpoche decided to undergo short periods of retreat in Lapchi for the time being, so that he could propagate the Dharma to benefit sentient beings and to work on the restoration of Lapchi at the same time. To date (2010), Rinpoche has completed an extended retreat of four years in Lapchi and spent a total of seven years there. More than 20 practitioners have also gathered to undergo retreats in Lapchi under Rinpoche’s guidance.