Born in the Northern Indian province of Himachal Pradesh to Tibetan parents, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche grew up in a monastic environment. Recognized as an incarnation of Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, he received the teachings of the Nyingma lineage, especially that of the Longchen Nyingtik, from his root teacher, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Rinpoche also studied extensively with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche and the great scholar Khenpo Rinchen.
In 1989 Rinpoche moved to the United States with his family, and in 1990 began a five-year tenure as a professor of Buddhist philosophy at Naropa Institute. Rinpoche also founded Mangala Shri Bhuti, an organization established to furthering the wisdom and practice of the Longchen Nyingtik lineage
More recently, Rinpoche moved to southern Colorado and established the mountain retreat center of Longchen Jigme Samten Ling. He currently spends much of his time there in retreat and guides students in long-term retreat practice. When not in retreat, Rinpoche travels widely throughout the world teaching and furthering his own education.