Jeff Cox: Not many people in the West understand what ngakpas are, though many have seen photos of these long-haired, white-robed yogis. Perhaps the one that is best known is the late Yeshe Dorje, who was His Holiness the Dalai Lama's "weatherman"—that is, he was called on to control the weather for certain occasions. I'd like to understand more about the pure ngakpa tradition.
Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche: Ngakpas can marry and have families. Their practice is essentially inward and a true spiritual practice.
JC: Is a ngakpa lineage more involved with working with the natural forces, the deities of the weather, the local deities? Do they have a more shamanic tradition?
KSR: They are engaged in similar rituals and ceremonies as those in the shamanic tradition but there is a distinct difference. This is, for the ngakpa the purpose and final goal is enlightenment in order to liberate others and self. Usually in the shamanic tradition no one talks of enlightenment—it's only for healings and temporary performance, which are maybe only for this life's well-being. The goal is not as high.