Nyoshul Khenpo was born in 1932 in the Derge region of Kham. His mother and his grandmother, a disciple of the master Nyoshul Lungtok, encouraged his interest in the Dharma, and at the age of five he joined a local Sakya monastery. He then studied with Rigdzin Jampal Dorje, receiving teachings on Mahamudra and beginning the 12-year training of a khenpo, which he concluded at the age of 24. He was also to master the Six Yogas, Lamdre, Kalachakra and Cho, and spent several years studying at the Katok monastery, all the while combining his studies with meditation retreats and intensive practice.
Khenpo counted 25 great masters as his principal teachers, of whom the most central in his life was Shedrup Tenpe Nyima, the reincarnation of Nyoshul Lungtok. Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche passed away at 12 noon on Friday, 27 August 1999 at Antamnies, Dordogne, France. He remained in tukdam meditation until some time on Monday.