This photograph was taken in Khordong gompa during Kyabjé Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche’s visit to Tibet in 1986. This was the first time that Rinpoche had returned to his gompa since leaving in his late teens to live the life of a wandering gÇodpa. Whilst engaged in this practice, the Chinese invaded Tibet and Khordong gompa was destroyed. Kyabjé Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche is the lineage holder of Khordong gTér lineage and also a holder of the Chang gTér lineage. He was the head of Khordong gompa, which is situated in the Sérta Valley of the Gorgon-thang region of northern Kham. Kyabjé Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche is wearing the lineage crown of the Khordong tradition and displaying the attributes and mudras of Nuden Dorje Dro’phang Lingpa Tröllö Tsal. The meteorite iron phurba and vajra he displays are gTérmas of his predecessor, Khalden Lingpa, who was the teacher of ’a-Shul Pema Legden.
At the age of nine he took a stone in his right hand and squeezed it, thereby altering its shape. Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche says of himself as a young incarnation:
I was rough and naughty, and at times my Lama used to have to lock me inside my room. Due to his magical abilities however he was always able to escape without breaking the door or the lock. At the age of ten he discovered two important volumes of gTérma and an iron gTérma box. Ngak’chang Rinpoche comments on this:
There are numerous miraculous occurrences to be recounted from Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche’s childhood, but Rinpoche asked me never to enumerate them publicly as they would seem ‘ … flamboyant and exaggeratory’. I am sorry now that I was unable to ask Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche for permission to recount his many childhood miracles consequent to his passing. It is now too late and I am bound my promise. One thing I can say however, is that Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche’s miracles were actually subordinate to his mastery in so many others areas that there is much to relate without discussing feats which are also described in the namthars of Mahasiddhas.