At the age of eight he was ordained by His Eminence Kyabje Chodrak Saljey Rinpoche and entered the Chodrak Khang Nay monastery. For the next ten years he received full monastic training: learning rituals, memorising and chanting prayers, and studying and contemplating different fields of know ledge in Buddhist philosophy.
At 18 years old, he was fully ordained by the supreme third reincarnation of His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche who gave him the ordained name: Karma Tsultrim Yonten Zangpo. He received many empowerments, oral transmissions and commentaries from qualified spiritual masters, including His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe Rabje Rinpoche and the Great Yogi Tsultrim Tharchin. He is particularly devoted to His Eminence Kyabje Aten Phuntsok Rinpoche, his root guru and abbott of the Chodrak Khang Nay Monastery.
At 19 years old, he entered the Sadhana Section Retreat House at his monastery Chodrak Khang Nay. There he spent three years and three months in retreat, during which time he undertook the practice of the Four Extraordinary Foundations (Ngondro) of the glorious peerless Barom Kagyu system, followed by complete Yidam retreats, including generation and completion stages. He has also practiced the Actual Method Path of the Six Yogas of Naropa and the Liberating Path of Mahamudra. After the completion of his retreat in a meditation room, he continued his Dharma practice at Chodrak holy mountain in hermitage for few years.
His Eminence Kyabje Aten Phuntsok Rinpoche praised him as a real Dharma holder. After that, for two years, he taught the monks who were newly entered to the monastery, then for four years he served as the disciple master. Because of his wonderful achievements, he became an object of respect and honour for all the lamas and monks. Therefore, His Eminence Kyabje Aten Phuntsok Rinpoche officially appointed him as a Vajra Master of Chodrak Khang Nay Monastery. Following Sonam Tenzin Rinpoche’s wish to spread the Buddha Dharma to the world and particularly to teach Dharma to students who have strong connections, in accordance with the common interest of lamas and monks, in the future he will be able to restore the old and degenerated temples and achieve great accomplishments in preserving and sustaining the sangha community.