Ngakpa (tib. སྔགས་པ sngags pa) is a non-monastic practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. Padmasambava (Tib. Guru Rinpoche) founded it in the 8th century so that lay people could receive spiritual and cultural education. Traditionally, ngakpas have long hair and wear white robes. They can marry and have children. The Ngakpa lineage continues today and nowadays there are many Ngakpa Masters in Tibetan.
“Two communities of Sutra and Mantra practitioners, shaven-headed monks and long-haired Yogins, with the view of the Middle Way and the conduct of the Vinaya, and the ultimate union of the generation and completion stages, the Great Perfection—This is the great secret tradition of Ancient Translations in the Land of Snows, With its six qualities of greatness.”
His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche
Descending to the valley after passing the Dolma la pass (about 5650m sea level) – the highest point of the kora (3 day circumambulation around Mt. Kailash).
The sacred lake Yamdrok Yumtso (4488m) is revered as a talisman, supporting the life-spirit of Tibetans. It is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and is fed by numerous small streams. Yamdrok lake is home to the famous Samding Monastery (བསམ་སྡིང་དགོན་པ), which is on a peninsula jutting into the lake. This monastery is the only Tibetan monastery to be headed by a female reincarnation. Samding was the seat of Dorje Pakmo, the consort of the wrathful deity Heruka, who was the highest female incarnation in Tibet, and the third highest-ranking person in the lamaist hierarchy after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.