Dzigar Kongtrul grew up in a monastic environment and received extensive training in all aspects of Buddhist doctrine. In 1989, he moved to the United States with his family, and in 1990, he began a five-year tenure as a professor of Buddhist philosophy at Naropa University. He also founded Mangala Shri Bhuti, his own teaching organization, during this period. He has established a mountain retreat center, Longchen Jigme Samten Ling, in southern Colorado. When not guiding students in long-term retreats and not in retreat himself, Rinpoche travels widely throughout the world teaching and furthering his own education.