Garab Dorje Lama, also known as Orgyen Thinley, was born in Nepal to Dechen Dolkar and the Venerable Gyepa Rinpoche. His grandfather, the Second Degyal Rinpoche, and great grandfather, Serta Rinpoche, are highly realized Dzogchen masters and the main lineage holders of Namkha Khyung Dzong, a Nyingma lineage and tradition coming from the great master and ascetic saint Pema Dechen Gyalpo (the first Degyal Rinpoche), a direct disciple of Thrakthung Dudjom Lingpa. Therefore, he comes from a pure spiritual family background of four successive generations.
Orgyen Thinley studied Buddhist philosophy and ritual practices in Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery, in Kathmandu, and Namkha Khyung Dzong Nunnery in Orissa, India, under the guidance of his father. He has thoroughly learned all ritual practices and is proficient in playing ritual instruments such as drum, bell, cymbal, conch, gyaling (ritual oboe), and ragdung (long horn trumpet). He is also highly skilled in making torma (food offering sculptures), butter decoration, and tsa tsas (images of Buddhist deities) and in lama dancing. He excels at ritual chanting and often serves as Umdze (Chant Master). In addition to these traditional Buddhist studies, he is fluent in speaking, reading and writing English and Nepali.
In 2002, Orgyen Thinley received the Dudjom Tersar (Dudjom Lingpa and Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje’s New Treasures) Dodjo Bumsang (Rigdzin Terdak Lingpa’s Collection of Treasures), Nyingtig Tsapod and Damgnag Dzod teachings and empowerments from H.H. Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche. In 2009, he received the complete Dudjom New Treasure empowerments, transmissions and teachings from H.H. Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.
Besides undertaking several solitary spiritual retreats, he conducts retreat, gives teachings, and oversees and presides over major religious ceremonies. Because of his religious knowledge, practice, skill and pure religious family background, he is revered as Tulku (Reincarnate Lama) Garab in Humla and other Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal and India.