His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche originally hails from Sera Mey monastery as one of the most influential teachers of the 20th century. His current incarnation lived in Sera Mey Monastery till the Dalai Lama banned Dorje Shugden. Causing monks to turn against Pabongka Rinpoche. They even stoned his house. Eventually he was forced to leave Sera Mey Monastery because he refused to give up his Shugden practice.
Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche has comfortably resettled in Nepal since then and travels often to Tibet for meditations, teachings and practice. One of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s favorite places is the holy place associated with Manjushri in China called Wu Tai San or the Five Peaks of Manjushri. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche often does long meditational retreats in this holy place as did his former incarnations. Many of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s former incarnations often travelled in China and was the tutor to the Emperors of China.
His Holiness the 4th Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche was born on 15th October 1982 in Dalhousie, Northern India. He is the supreme reincanation of His Holiness Kyabje Yongzin Trijang Dorje Chang, who was the junior tutor to His Holness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Kyabje Chocktrul Rinpoche entered Gaden Monastery in 1986 and official enthronement took place in 1988. He started his Buddhist studies under the guidance of late His Eminence Yongzin Khensur Lati Rinpoche.
Kyabje Chocktrul Rinpoche visited Europe in 1996 and spent 8 years in Rabten Choeling, Switzerland and Tashi Rapten, Austria. During these years Kyabje Chocktrul Rinpoche did further Buddhist studies and gave teachings and initiations.
Kyabje Chocktrul Rinpoche currently resides in Vermont USA; where he founded the Trijang Buddhist Institute in the year of 2004 to promote the TIbetan Buddhism in general and in particular the Great Je Tsong Khapa tradition.
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Lungrik Namgyal Rinpochethe 101st Ganden Tripa, was born in 1927 in the Dawa region of Eastern Tibet. At the age of 8 years old, His Holiness joined the local monastery in Yangding and was consequentialy ordained as a monk.
Later His Holiness entered Gaden Shartse Norling College. While a student there Rinpoche studied Pramana Vidya (Logic), Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom), Madhyamika (Middle Way Philosophy), under the guidance of various highly attained Masters, and also received many precious teachings and empowerments of the pure Ganden lineage.
During the Chinese revolution in 1959, Rinpoche escaped to India. Arriving at ‘Ba Se’ along the border of India and Bhutan, he continued his studies and completed the Madhyamika (Middle Way Philosophy), Abhidharma (Treasury of Knowledge), and Vinaya (Spiritual Rules and Moral Law). Apart from the normal course of studies, Rinpoche often went for meditation retreats. In 1969, Rinpoche revised through the five major treaties of Buddhist philosophy and participated in the final exam at a renowned local Tibetan University, graduating in the 1st position of honor.
In 1970, a major debate exam which lasted over a period of 20 days was held. Candidates included over 30 outstanding scholars from the 3 great monasteries and other universities. Rinpoche still managed to emerge on top and the title of Geshe Lharampa was officially conferred upon him. Consequently, Rinpoche joined the Gyuto Tantric University and focused on intensive study of the Tantras.
In 1983 and 1992, the Dalai Lama appointed Rinpoche as the abbot of Gyuto Tantric University and abbot of Gaden Shartse Norling Monastery respectively. During the years of Rinpoche’s abbotship, apart from supervising the administration and discipline of the Sangha, he also conducted various pujas and teachings personally. Rinpoche’s contribution towards the monastery is widely recognised, and deeply respected by all. In 1986, these remarkable qualities inspired the Dalai Lama to choose him as the representative of Buddhism in Ecumenical Encounters of Assisi interfaith meetings convened on the initiative of Pope John Paul II in Italy.
In 1995, Rinpoche was bestowed the honorary rank of Shartse Choje (2nd rank among dignitaries of the Gelug tradition). After 6 years in that position, on January 20, 2003, the Dalai Lama, during his Kalachakra Empowerment in Bodhgaya, announced the appointment of Venerable Lungrik Namgyal as the 101 Gaden Tripa – the supreme head of the Gelug tradition, and literally, the Holder of the Throne of Tushita.
Rinpoche is one of the most qualified Buddhist teachers alive today – being highly trained in both fields of Sutra and Tantra. Rinpoche has dedicated his whole lifetime to the propagation of the Buddhadharma, and has been tirelessly visiting many parts of the world to spread the Teachings. Countries which Rinpoche has visited include – France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, America, China, and Singapore. His Holiness Trisur Rinpoche currently lives in Paris, where he transmits precious Buddhist teachings of his lineage in Thar Due Ling Dharma center in Chelles, France which he founded in 1980.
His Eminence Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche. Rinpoche was born in Eastern Tibet in 1948. He was recognized as the fourth reincarnation of Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche by H.H. Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang (junior tutor to H.H. the Fourteenth Dalai Lama) and enthroned at the age of six at Sera Monastic University. In 1959 he left Tibet and settled in India.
He studied the five major sciences (Buddhist philosophical studies) for more than twenty years and received his Geshe Lharampa degree (the highest honor, conferred jointly by all three monastic universities), the equivalent of a doctorate of divinity, in 1980.
Rinpoche completed all his tantric studies at Gyurmey Tantric University. During that time, he also received numerous Dharma transmissions and initiations from highly qualified Tibetan mas-ters such as H.H. the Dalai Lama, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche (senior tutor to H.H. the Dalai Lama), and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. Thus was he transformed into a living treasure vase of the wisdom of the Ganden Oral Transmission Lineage.
After completing his studies, Rinpoche taught at Sera Monastery for about fourteen years. Then, at the request of his monastery, he traveled to Eastern Tibet in 1993 and spent two years giving numerous teachings and initiations throughout the region, fulfilling the wishes of countless people. He has also trav-eled to many other countries, including Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the administrative region of Hong Kong.
He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he founded the Lamrim International Dharma Center. Rinpoche has completed the retreats of all the major tantric deities and continues a strong practice.
Recognition committee of His Eminence Denma Gonsar Rinpoche requested Geshe Tdonsang, the changtso of Geshe Thubten Trinley, to travel to the United States of America and consult H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche as well as the Ari Khuten (Ganden oracle of Dorje Shugden). Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche confirmed that Dorje was indeed the authentic incarnation of his student from Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche’s previous life. The Ari Khuten took trance of Duldzin and similarly concurred with Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche. Trijang Rinpoche wrote a long life prayer especially for this incarnation of Denma Gonsar Rinpoche and recommended some pujas to be done for the growth of the new Denma Gonsar Rinpoche’s work. Trijang Rinpoche, together with the Dorje Shugden oracle, Ari Khuten, conferred a new and auspicious name on this young and prodigious master, Losang Yeshe Tenzin Gelek Gyatso, the 20th Denma Gonsar Rinpoche.
His Eminence Zemey Rinpoche
During the time of the 7th Dalai Lama, a young man from Amdo requested acceptance at the house of his countrymen in the Sera monastery near Lhasa. His appearance was so poor and shabby, that he was refused. Turning away from the house he met an old woman on the grounds of the monastery who suggested that he request admittance to Chadrel House and ensured him that it is there, where he belonged. He did as he was told, and then being accepted in the monastery he showed great enthusiasm in his studies. Soon the extraordinary qualities of a great master became apparent. He became famous as Master Ngawang Thöndrup and extensively served the teachings of the Buddha as Abbot of the Sera Je monastery and as one of the tutors of His Holiness the 8th Dalai Lama. He spent a lot of time in meditation in a cave on the Gephel-mountain near Lhasa, where later the Gonsar retreat monastery was built. When the people of Lhasa observed the new monastery they started to call him ‘Gonsar Rinpoche’ which in Tibetan means ‘the lama of the new monastery'. This name has remained with the lineage of the Gonsar Rinpoches until today. The old woman that had led the first Gonsar Rinpoche to his house in Sera college came to be known as an emanation of Palden Lhamo (the protectrin mother Goddess).
The fourth Gonsar Rinpoche, the previous incarnation to the present one, also studied in Sera monastery. After completing his studies with the Geshe examinations in his early twenties, he travelled to Mongolia and became one of the greatest masters amongst the later Buddhist masters of Mongolia. Teaching there for more than thirty years and frequently showing supernatural powers, he was greatly cherished by the population and almost all of the contemporary masters of Mongolia, such as Tsenshab Ngawang Dorje, Tsenshab Ngödub Tsognyi, Geshe Ngawang Nyima, Geshe Senge, Guru Deva Rinpoche, etc. became his disciples. He returned to Tibet at the outbreak of the Bolshevik revolution and continued his vast activities there. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's elder brother Taktser Rinpoche and the parents also belong to his distinguished disciples.
The present Gonsar Rinpoche was born in 1949 in Shigatse, Tibet, to an aristocratic family known to be descendants of the ancient Tibetan kings. At that time his father was governor of the province Tsang, in western Tibet. At the age of three Gonsar Rinpoche was recognized as the fifth incarnation in the line of the Gonsar Rinpoche’s, which was confirmed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. At the age of six he entered Sera monastery, the second largest Monastic University of Tibet at that time. From the very beginning he was raised and tutored under the kind care of Venerable Geshe Rabten. Gonsar Rinpoche received a great number of teachings and transmissions from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and many other masters, in particular from his root gurus Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang and the Venerable Geshe Rabten.
In 1959, when Tibet fell under the communist Chinese regime, Gonsar Rinpoche fled with his master to India and continued his studies there. At the same time he learnt English and Hindi. In 1969 he started to translate into English the Buddhist teachings given to western students by his master Geshe Rabten.
Ever since the Venerable Geshe Rabten passed away in 1986, Gonsar Rinpoche, after spending thirty-three years as his closest disciple, has continued his master's activities. At present Gonsar Rinpoche is director of the center ‘Rabten Choeling’ in Mont Pèlerin, as well as the other Rabten centers in Europe. He gives regular teachings directly in English, French, German or Tibetan.
The first Gonsar Rinpoche was famous for his particularly vast and profound teachings on the complete path of mental development to full enlightenment. The present Gonsar Rinpoche is renowned as one of the very few contemporary masters capable of transmitting every aspect of the Buddha's teachings in a clear and moving experience to Western as well as Tibetan audiences.
Lama Gangchen Rinpoche was born in western Tibet in 1941.
He was recognised at an early age to be a reincarnate Lama healer and was enthroned at Gangchen Choepeling Monastery at the age of five.
When he reached the age of twelve he received the "Kachen" degree which is usually conferred after twenty years of study. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, he studied medicine, astrology, meditation and philosophy in two of the major monastic universities of Tibet: Sera and Tashi Lhumpo.
He also studied in Gangchen Gompa, Tropu Gompa and Neytsong Monastery. He was disceple of some of the most important Gelugpa Lamas like H.H. Trjichang Rinpoche. In 1963, he went into exile to India where he continued his studies for the next seven years at the Varanasi Sanskrit University in Benares. In 1970, he received the Geshe Rigram degree (similar to a Ph. D.) from Sera Monastic University situated in South India.
After his graduation, he worked as a Lama healer among the Tibetan communities in Nepal, India and Sikkim, during which time he saved the lives of many people and was named private physician to the Royal Family. In 1981, Lama Gangchen visited Europe for the first time and has since become a resident and Italian citizen. In the same year, he also established his first European center: Karuna Choetsok in Lesbos, Greece, where he planted a bodhi tree in the 'Buddha Garden', and where he consecrated what was to become the first in a long line of World Peace Buddha Statues, thankas and images.
Since 1982, he has travelled extensively, both healing and teaching worldwide, leading many pilgrimages to some of the most important holy places of different religious and spiritual denominations in the world. Since many years Lama Gangchen promotes a very important project: the integration between Tibetan Medicine (an incredible and unlikely still unknown treasure of humankind) with allopathic medicine.
Lama Gangchen Rinpoche is the holder of an ancient and unbroken lineage of Tantric Masters dating from the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. His Ngalso Tantric Selfhealing is based on Buddha's teaching but it's suitable for modern people.
At present he has more than 100 Inner Peace Education centres or Self-Healing Study Groups worldwide.
His Eminence Domo Geshe Rinpoche Losang Jigme Ngak-Gi Wangchuk was recognized and confirmed as the authentic reincarnation of Kyabje Domo Geshe Rinpoche Ngawang Jigme Chokyi Wangchuk by Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche after careful divination, invocation of the Dharmapala, and prayers spanning a period of four years (2002 to 2006). The previous Kyabje Domo Geshe Rinpoche was also recognized by previous Kyabje Yongzin Trijang Dorjechang jointly with Kyabje Pabongkha Dorjechang.
This holy reincarnation of one of the greatest present day Mahasiddhas was born in New York, USA on the 2nd of June, 2003, in the auspicious month of Saga Dawa to ethnic Sikkimese parents belonging to the Lingmo Kazi family who were orthodox Nyingmapas. Due to the great obstacles that usually accompany the birth of such an emanation and the degenerate times we live in, Rinpoche’s family faced unbelievable opposition and harassment. As such, it was only after establishing beyond any doubt that their son was indeed the true and unmistaken reincarnation of Kyabje Domo Geshe Rinpoche that his parents finally consented to offer their only son two years after the recognition. During this period, Rinpoche revealed himself to his parents on many occasions and the miracles that accompanied him is legendary now among his devotees. Today the parents are convinced that they have done the right thing and are happy in the knowledge that they have had the privilege of playing a positive role in the continuation of this holy lineage.
His official enthronement took place at Dung Guen Samtencholing, Darjeeling, his principal monastery in India on the 3rd of March, 2008. This joyous occasion was attended by thousands of devotees from all over the world including members of The World Fellowship of Buddhists and the Representative of the US Consulate. Thereafter, he was enthroned at Tashi Choling, his monastery in Kurseong, West Bengal; and then at Enchey House, the ancestral home and seat of previous Domo Geshe Rinpoche in Gangtok, Sikkim. On 23rd June, 2008, he was enthroned at Gangjong Namgyel, Lew Beach NY, the US residence and headquarters of the previous Domo Geshe Rinpoche. The enthronement was presided over by Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche and Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche. Gangchen Rinpoche, Achok Rinpoche, Michel Rinpoche and Zawa TulkuRinpoche attended. Geshe Helmut Gassnerattended as Gonsar Rinpoche’s representative. Kyabje Phabongka Rinpoche too sent his blessings and a Representative (Khentrul Rinpoche).
He was formally enrolled and enthroned at Shar Gaden Monastery on 25th April, 2009. He is presently studying here at Shar Gaden with several tutors, as well as continued contact and guidance of his spiritual Guru and Mentor H.E. Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche.
The 1st Domo Geshe Rinpoche Ngawang Kalsang studied at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, Tibet from where he received his Kachen Degree.
The 2nd Domo Geshe Rinpoche Ngawang Jigme Wangchuk studied at Sera Monastery, Tibet till he received his Geshe Lingsa Degree.
The official seat and premier monastery of this profound lineage was Dhungkar Gonpa Monastery situated at Domo, Tibet. This monastery has remained loyal to its lineage and has accepted Losang Jigme Ngak-Gi Wangchuk as the true reincarnation of Kyabje Domo Geshe Rinpoche.
His Eminence Jampa Losang Panglung is a Tibetan writer born on 26 September 1939 in Xian Batang, then in Xikang Province (January 1939 - 1955), in the Republic of China (1912-1949) in the East of the Tibet Plateau , And the current Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garzê, in Sichuan Province. He obtained the degree of Geshe Larampa (dge bshes Iba rams pa) at the Monastery of Sera in Lhasa in 1959. He is also a PhD in philosophy from the University of Munich. From 1960 he collaborated on the Tibetan Dictionary project of the Central Asian Studies Committee of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. His subjects focus on Tibetan philology and Buddhist literature.
The extraordinary signs that occured when Geshe passed away in 1986 made his pupils realise that they were confronted not only with the passing away of a great teacher but that of a truly enlightened master. During the months after his death, many students experienced an unusual closeness of Geshe during their meditations.
Three years later, Gonsar Rinpoche, Geshe’s dearest and closest disciple discovered Geshe's incarnation, and by a thorrough series of consultations to H.H.Dalai Lama and various other authorative sources out of 180 candidates Kelsang Tsering, the son of Mr. Tenzin Dargye and Mrs. Pasang Gyalmo, was confirmed as the true incarnation of Geshe Rabten Rinpoche.
In spring of 1998 the ten year old Rabten Tulku Rinpoche gave his first teaching in front of a group of two hundred people in the monastery Rabten Choeling at the lake of Geneva. Unexpectedly and unprepared the young Rinpoche gave people advice on taking refuge. He spoke in the clear manner of Geshe Rabten’s own special way. The listeners were deeply moved and many of Geshe Rabten's former students had tears in their eyes.
The memory of Geshe through his incarnation, who even in his young years already showed clear traits of a great master makes one believe that there is nothing more precious that could be given to one in this life, even if one were to meet the enlightened Buddha in person.
His Eminence Achok Rinpoche was born in Bomdila, eastern India, in 1976. Up to the age of six he lived under the loving care of his parents. While in the sixth month of his schooling at the Benjamin Nursery School in Kalimpong, he was recognized as the forth reincarnation of the Achok Rinpoche of Lithang, eastern Tibet, by Kyabje Trijhang Rinpoche (1900-1982) the junior tutor of the H.H. Dalai Lama.
Rinpoche was received as his two earlier predecessors, at the Sermey Monastic College, an affiliate of the reconstructed Sera Monastic University, now located in Balakuppe, the southern country side of India. At this monastic college, till the age of ten, the young reincarnation focused on the memorization of basic ritual texts. From his eleventh year, Rinpoche began his formal training in Buddhist philosophical studies (The five treatises of Buddhist philosophy) including dialectics, the Prajnaparamita classics and their commentaries and oral transmission traditions, the Madhyamic philosophy, Abhidharma, Paramana, and Vinaya. All based on the works of Lama Tsong Khapa and his main disciples.
Under the personal guidance of his spiritual master Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche, his studies were enriched with private instruction in related areas of Buddhist practice. In 1998, at the age of 22, Achok Rinpoche sat for the examinations of the Gelugpa Cultural Society, the board that maintains the educational curriculum of the three biggest Gelug Monastic Universities; he obtained Geshe Lharampa degree with the highest honor. Rinpoche is the youngest monk to obtain such a high honor outside of Tibet.
Currently, Ven. Achok Rinpoche lives in the United States.
Tsem Tulku Rinpoche (born October 24, 1965) is a tulku, a reincarnate lama of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, and the founder and spiritual guide of the Kechara House Buddhist Association in Malaysia.
Tsem Tulku is the third in the line of tulkus associated with Ganden Monastery's Shartse college and the Gyuto tantric college. His predecessors were Gedun Nyedrak, a Khampa who served as Ganden Shartse's 72nd abbot; and Kentrul Thubten Lamsang, from Drikung, who died in Phari during the 1950s. Since the former came from a family which owed ties of fealty to Tsem Monastery, which housed a tooth of Tsongkhapa as a holy relic (tsem being the honorific Tibetan word for "tooth"), the name "Tsem" came to be applied to the tulku lineage; hence Tsem Tulku's appellation. ("Rinpoche" is an honorific meaning "precious," which is customarily affixed to the names of lamas.)
Tsem Tulku was born in Taipei, Taiwan to Dewa Nimbo, an Old Torghut Mongolian woman whom Tsem Tulku describes as a "princess" (she was the grand-daughter of Prince Palta, a Xinjiang government official during the Qing and Nationalist periods; and the daughter of Mingyur Wang, briefly a member of the ROC National Assembly); and Lobsang Gyatso, a Tibetan from Ngawa with ties to the Tibetan exile government who, after fleeing to Taiwan, ran a school for Tibetan refugee children. According to Tsem Tulku's website,
"Rinpoche’s father and mother became romantically involved, however, his mother was unaware that his father already had a wife and children in Tibet. Rinpoche’s parents separated even before he was born and the shame of having an illegitimate child was too great for his mother, who gave Rinpoche away immediately after his birth."
The future Tsem Tulku spent his first seven years in Taipei, living under the care of a foster family. His Chinese (and presumably original) name was 葛宜山 (Gě Yíshān).
In 1972 his mother's family arranged for him to be adopted by a Kalmyk family in Howell, New Jersey, where the U.S. government had resettled a number of Kalmyk refugees. His adoptive parents (whom he was led to believe were his birth parents) were Dana and Boris Bugayeff. Tsem Tulku remembers the couple as controlling and abusive, and reports that he attempted several times to commit suicide, and several times to run away from home.
Tsem Tulku recalls having been attracted to Buddhist deities from an early age. He drew amulets featuring them and at one point, imagined "a red lady" (Vajrayogini) with the power to "take us from this world fast!" Despite his adoptive family's disapproval of his involvement in religion, he gravitated towards Rashi Gempil Ling, a nearby Mongolian Buddhist temple where Khensur Lobsang Tarchin resided. He received his first tantric empowerments (into the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum and the "Eight Verses of Mind Transformation") during a 1979 visit of the Dalai Lama.
In 1981, at the age of 16, he ran away from home for the final time after an argument with his father. His website reports:
"With just US$50 in his pocket, Rinpoche left New Jersey for good, walking out to the highway and hitchhiking all the way across America to L.A., California. The journey was long and difficult; he lived on the streets and had to deal with being beaten, guns, physical abuse and offers of porn and prostitution."
In Los Angeles, he worked several jobs (including McDonalds and Fotomat); earned a GED while attending Mark Keppel High School in 1983; and lived in Thubten Dargye Ling, a Gelugpa dharma center. For six months he served as a personal assistant to visiting lama Zong Rinpoche, who became his Root Guru. At this time he received the Yamantaka initiation, which he describes as "critical" for other teachings he would later receive. At the same time he attempted to find work as an actor. He was an extra in the 1983 Stephen King / John Carpenter film Christine, and was apparently sought for a role in the 1986 Eddie Murphy vehicle, Golden Child.
Zong Rinpoche urged him to become a monk, come to India, and stay with him at Zong Ladrang (in Ganden Monastery). The future Tsem Tulku promised to do so. Although Zong Rinpoche died soon after, in 1984, he kept his promise, and in 1987 received monastic vows from the Dalai Lama. For the next nine years (1988–1997) he studied at Ganden Shartse (in Mundgod, Karnataka), under Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche and Lati Rinpoche, while living in a small room in Zong Ladrang. Tsem Tulku remembers this as a time of poor health and financial hardship.
In 1992, on the instructions of his gurus, Tsem Tulku embarked upon a fund-raising tour to Malaysia. The trip was a success, and a number of Malaysian Chinese Buddhists requested his return. Accordingly, Tsem Tulku Rinpoche left India and settled in Kuala Lumpur.
Tsem Tulku is a strong supporter of vegetarianism and animal rescue (or release). (He owns a number of pets, who are often mentioned on his blog.)
Ven. Sherab Rinpoche. Recognized as reincarnation young age and received Geshe degree (Doctorate in Buddhist studies) from Shar Gaden.
Lama Michel, born in 1981, has been recognized by Lama Gangchen and many great lamas as a Tulku – the reincarnation of a Tibetan Buddhist Master. He has chosen to be born in Brazil not only in order to benefit the whole country and South America, but the whole of contemporary society.
Lama Gangchen visited Brazil for the first in 1987, invited by Lama Michel’s parents - Bel and Daniel. From this encounter was born a strong connection with the whole family, who founded the first of many Dharma Centers under the guidance of Lama Gangchen: the ‘Shi De Choe Tsog’ Center.
Over the years, contacts with Bel, Daniel and Lama Michel’s sister Fernanda have increasingly been strengthened. Spontaneously, at the age of twelve, Lama Michel decides to leave his ‘normal life’ in order to engage in a monastic life in the south of India, where he presently resides.
Lama Michel has repeatedly visited sacred sites in India, Nepal, Indonesia, Cambodia, Mongolia and Tibet. During all these pilgrimages, he has had many intuitions, dreams and special visions. Lama Michel’s character and his altruistic attitude began then to manifest themselves in a traditionally Buddhist way.
Great Lamas as Zopa Rinpoche, Daghiab Rinpoche and Gelek Rinpoche have confirmed that Lama Michel is the reincarnation of Drubchok Ghialwa Sandrup – a 15th century Lama from Gangchen Choepel Ling,
a monastery in Tibet, at the beginning of Lama Tsong Khapa’s Ghelupa schooll, at the times of the first Dalai Lama. Panchen Zangpo Tashi, one of Lama Gangchen’s reincarnations, founded the Gangchen Choepel Ling monastery. His successor, the second regent of the throne, was Drubchok Ghialwa Sandrup – a great yogi and master who gave various philosophical teachings.
Lama Michel is really a special young man, and many people have noticed his pure energy – which is like the energy of Maitreya, the future Buddha of Love. His Tibetan name is Chiang Chub Choepel Lobsang Nientrak – which means the ‘Wise and famous Mind of enlightenment, who spreads the peace message of Dharma successfully’.
Born in eastern Tibet in 1948, Zasep Rinpoche was enthroned as the Thirteen Zasep Tulku (incarnation) at Zuru Monastery at the age of five. After the Chinese Army invaded in 1959, Rinpoche fled Tibet, going first to Nepal, then India.
In 1961 he embarked upon ten years of intensive meditation and study with the highly realized teacher Geshe Thubten Wangyal. Rinpoche then completed his Acharya (Master’s) Degree in Buddhist philosophy at Varanasi Sanskrit University in 1975, at which time he was sent to Southeast Asia to study vipassana mediatation and Theravada Buddhist traditions in the forest temples of Thailand. In mid-1976, Rinpoche moved to Australia to translate and teach at the Chenrezig Institute for Wisdom Culture at the request of Lama Thubten Yeshe.
In 1980, Zasep Rinpoche accepted the invitation of his Canadian students and came to British Columbia. That autumn, during the visit to Toronto of H.H. Ling Rinpoche, Toronto’s first Gelugpa centre was created. H.H. Ling Rinpoche bestowed the name “Gaden Choling Mahayan Buddhist Meditation Centre” and appointed Zasep Rinpoche as the resident teacher. Continually since then, Rinpoche has given countless teachings, discourses, commentaries, initiations, private interviews and meditation retreats at Gaden Choling for students of all levels. Rinpoche has also hosted many fundraising events for the centre, Gaden Relief, Gaden for the West and other charitable organizations, as well as life cycle rituals such as funerals for members who have passed on.
Zasep Rinpoche now resides in Nelson, BC., close to the Gaden for the West retreat centre (Gaden Tashi Choling Retreat). However, Rinpoche is endlessly traveling throughout the year to visit his many centres in the West, re-establish lineages and practice environments at his monasteries in Tibet as well as at several monasteries in Mongolia, leading pilgrimages to the holy sites of Lord Buddha in India, as well as supervise and expand the many relief projects of Gaden Relief. Rinpoche generally visits us at Gaden Choling two or three times a year for a few weeks at a time to teach and offer initiations at the request of his many students here in Toronto. All other Dharma activities at Gaden Chling throughout the year are also carried out under Rinpoche’s advice due to his constant attention to the way our community is growing and evolving over the years. Please read the extensive biography of the entire lineage of Zasep Rinpoche’s here http://community.palouse.net/lotus/VenZasep.htm
Venerable Trote Rinpoche currently lives in Canada
Current abbot of Shar Gaden Monastery.
Current abbot representative of Serpom Monastery.
The venerable abbot of Segyu Gaden Phodrang Monastery, Khen Rinpoche Jampa Tsundu, was born in 1938, in the village of Yago, in the Sed region of Tibet. His family name is Lama Drupkhang, descendants of the great master Lama Samten Reypa. His father, Fa TshePhun was a village Chief and very skillful in this capacity. His mother, Ma Pyasa lak, was also very kind and courteous to everyone she met. Although traditionally it was the middle son who would be ordained as a monk, the father was told by an astrologer that is would be very fortunate karma for this son to become a monk so Jampa Tsundu was ordained at the age of 9. He excelled in all subjects and completed all his studies at the age of 15.
During the Chinese invasion of Tibet, Jampa Tsundu fled to India. For the next 20 years this humble monk devoted his time to cooking for older monks, making tsampa, Tibetan incense, and going to pujas at the newly founded branch of Segyu Monastery in Kalimpong, India. In 1979, at the advice advice of Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang and several other high Lamas, and also at the request of all our monastery’s monks, he took on the responsibilities of a teacher, and taught for the next 6 years. In 1985, he traveled to South India with the young Pemachoeling Tulku to receive teachings from Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche. There he also received many initiations, transmissions, and explanations from his root Lama, Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang, along with other high Lamas.
Returning to Tibet, he began his efforts to find a way to rebuild the original Segyu Monastery which had been completely destroyed. He, with a friend, went to Dulnagpa cave (the cave of the great master Dulnag Palden Zangpo where a naturally appearing Yamantaka arose on the rocky face) to offer Tsok and make prayers. He then went to the Chinese regional office to talk about the monastery situation and made an application to the Chinese government for reconstruction of the monastery.
In 1986, due to the kindness of a sponsor who offered land to build the monastery, he traveled to Nepal to begin constructing the branch of Kalimpong Segyu Monastery. It took several trips back and forth to Nepal, but finally, with the support of Drubwang Ganchen Rinpoche and other sponsors they started to build the monastery prayer hall and some residential rooms for the monks.
On his fourth visit, with the help of Kalden La who is very skillful in making mandalas, and other monks, they spent the next 3 months performing Guhayasamja, Thirteen Deity Yamantaka and Heruka Sadhanas, among other rituals.
Over the next few years he also made several trips to Europe, Bangkok and Indonesia.
In 2012, at the request of the monks at the monastery, he took on the responsibility of the position of Abbot of this great monastery.