Past Resident Teachers and Monks

Many thanks to their wonderful service at Thrangu Monastery Canada. They will not be forgotten.

Past Resident Monks

Venerable Khenpo Karma Tashi

Ven. Khenpo Karma Tashi, a son of Mr. Sonam Tenzin Gurung, was born on 18th July, 1966 in Tinki VDC, Manang, Nepal.

KhenpoKhenpo entered Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery, under Namo Buddha Buddhist Meditation and Education Center in Boudha, Ward No. 6, Kathmandu District, Bagmati zone, Nepal and became a monk at the age of twelve in 1978. After entering the monastery, Khenpo began his monastic education in Tibetan studies of the scriptures and Buddhist rituals.

In 1981, Khenpo went to Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for higher Buddhist studies at Rumtek in Sikkim, India. At the Institute, Khenpo studied five major Buddhist texts of Sutra namely Madhyamika Philosophy, the Prajna Paramita Sutras, Abhidharma Gosh, the Vinaya and the Dialectics and Logic, advanced levels of Tibetan grammar and composition, and Buddhist debate practices for ten years.

After Completion of the ten-year course of Higher Buddhist studies, he was given the title of “Khenpo”. This title is given as a master’s degree in Buddhist Philosophy, similar to a PhD. in Theology.

Khenpo took full ordination of monk (Gelung Vows) from Very Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche in 1992.

As Khenpo Tashi was skilled in both Buddhist philosophy and meditation, Thrangu Rinpoche appointed him as the main Khenpo/ Teacher for the two monastic colleges, Namo Buddha Institute at Namo Buddha, Kavre district, Nepal for nine years and Vajra Vidhya Institute in Sarnath, Varanasi, U.P. India for four years since 1992.

In 2004, Khenpo entered the traditional three-year retreat at Thrangu Sekar Retreat Center in Bhaktapur, Nepal and completed it in 2009.

The traditional three-year retreat is divided into two parts: preliminary practice and the actual practice. The preliminary practice includes going for refuge, which is recited along with one-hundred thousand prostrations; the practice of Vajrasattva, to pacify negative karma from the past and present afflictions; the practice of Mandala, to increase the accumulation of merits that create conducive conditions for the experience and realization to arise in one's mind stream; and the practice of Guru Yoga, to receive blessings from the Lama/Master. In addition, these practices include the practice of Kagyupa’s most important masters including Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa and Karma Pakshi, the second Karmapa, and the practice of Mind-training, to give rise to the motivation for Bodhicitta, loving kindness and compassion.

The actual practices are from the great classes of Tantra with general practice of the generation stages of the Yidam deity, and especially, those practices Lord Marpa Lotsawa received from Naropa i.e. Chakrasamvara and Vajrayogini. There are also important deity practices like the Red Chenrizik, Amitabha and White Tara. The generation stage is brought to perfection based on the accomplishment of the outer, inner and secret practices. The completion stage is practiced based on the profound path of method, including the practices of Nadi, Prana and Bindu found within the Six Yogas of Naropa. After having been introduced directly to the nature of the mind itself, one practices Mahamudra.

The necessities of staying in retreat is so that the lineage does not in any way deteriorate and, in particular, the blessings within the lineage remains unbroken. In three years, the best retreatants fully accomplish the practices while the average ones attain qualities, such as the signs of heat, and the lowest ones, without error, enters the door to the path leading to liberation and omniscience. In these ways, the retreats are endowed with many special benefits.

Having completed the traditional retreat, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche appointed him as a Khenpo/ Teacher of Thrangu Monastery in Vancouver, Canada in 2010. Khenpo has also taught Buddhism to Westerners and has traveled many countries in the past with Rinpoche.

Secretary Rabjor Dawa

Lama Rabjor DawaRabjor Dawa was born in January 23, 1986. He completed his high school career in 2006 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Rabjor became a monk in April 13, 2006. From 2006 to 2010 Rabjor worked as a teacher, educating young monks in English at the Shree Mangal Dvip Branch School at Namo Buddha. He also worked as a sponsor coordinator for Rinpoche's School in Namo Buddha. Rabjor took his novice vows in early 2007, and received his full ordination as a monk from our chief abbot, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.

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Artist Dhundup

Artist Dhundup Sherpa I’m Dhundup Garja. I was born in 1980 in the village of Bagang, Nepal, which is near the Nepal-Tibet border in the Himalayas. My father’s name is Kami Sherpa and my mother’s name is Sangmo Sherpa. I have 5 brothers and 1 sister. I am the youngest child in the family. My siblings and I have good parents, and many good friends. My Mom really cares for and loves me. In 1992, I became a monk in Thrangu Monastery in Boudha, Kathmandu. I learned the basic Tibetan alphabet for reading, writing, and speaking during my first few years as a monk. In 1994, I went to Namo Buddha. At that time, I helped the senior monks and they helped me improve my knowledge of the Tibetan language. Two years later, I joined shedra at Namo Buddha. I studied there for 3 years and received my Acharya degree. In 1999, my supervisor started teaching me about Tibetan art and how to make carvings, sculptures, and designs. We finished the carvings and sculptures in 2002, so Karma Dradul and I were able to start painting mandalas and designs on the ceiling all over the monastery at Namo Buddha. Rinpoche then requested that I help manage the artists working at the monastery, which I did until 2008. We finished the painting and artwork at the monastery in 2008, and we then had an opening ceremony. After the opening ceremony, I had a 1-month holiday and rested.

After New Year’s, I again studied painting at Namo Buddha as per Rinpoche’s request. On the walls in the shrine hall, my teacher (Lama Rigdzin) and I painted the previous 16 Karmapas according to the Karma Gadri style of painting. I learned many different and secret painting techniques from my kind teacher. We used a type of dry paint from stones that will last many decades without fading. He also taught me some very difficult methods for painting with gold. As a volunteer supervisor, I helped to ensure the proper running of the artwork team. We worked for 3 years in the shrine hall and in 2012, all the work around Namo Buddha was completed. I was able to stay in Malaysia for a month in April 2012 in order to visit friends and to rest. Then, I went back to Nepal and learned and practiced cham before coming to Canada in June 2012.

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Acharya Nyima Dhundup

Acharya Nyima DhundupMy name is Nyima Dhundup and I was born on June 22nd, 1982. When I was small, I went to school and learned Tibetan and Chinese for 5 years. After, I joined Thrangu Monastery in Boudha, Nepal and became a monk when I was 15 years old. That year, I stayed in the monastery and learned all about monastic life. Then I became Thrangu Rinpoche’s attendant for the next 2 years. I thought being an attendant was challenging because although I was able to travel with Rinpoche, Rinpoche’s schedule is very demanding. As an attendant, you have to ensure you meet Rinpoche’s needs as well as the needs of his students. In addition, Rinpoche often has to give many empowerments and teachings in his different centres. It is part of the attendants’ duty to assist with the preparation for these special events. What I found most challenging as his attendant at that time was that students would always ask me questions about the dharma. However, I felt that I didn’t yet know what the dharma was or what its benefits were, so I couldn’t answer their questions adequately. As a result, I asked Thrangu Rinpoche if I could attend shedra, schooling in Tibetan philosophy and science. I went to shedra for 5 years.

After shedra, I went to be Rinpoche’s attendant again as well as work in Thrangu Monastery’s office in Boudha, Nepal. I soon understood that Rinpoche had many centres in Taiwan, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, and I also noticed that many of Rinpoche books were available in English but not Chinese. Out of a desire to help Rinpoche’s Chinese-speaking students, I made a request to Rinpoche to learn Chinese. I was then sent to the Taiwan International High School in Kaohsiung, Taiwan for this purpose. I was able to study for 1 ½ years before returning to travel with Rinpoche once again.

I came to Thrangu Monastery Canada in 2012. I still hope to continue improving my Chinese in order to serve Rinpoche and his translating needs. I also hope to practice the dharma when I can.

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Acharya Dorje Yeshi

Acharya Dorje YeshMy name is Dorje Yeshi and I was born in 1982 in the Himalayan part of Nepal called Pandri Lamjung District to the family of Kal Bahdur Lama and Kashi Maya Lama. I have two older sisters and one younger brother. When I was 10 years old, I asked my parents if I could be a monk but my parents did not accept my request. I didn’t know why. I wanted to become a monk because at that time, I had one close friend who was going to be a monk. I decided that I too would be a monk and that I would go with him. Without my parents knowing, I ran away from home with my friend. On the way, my parents caught me and brought me back home. However, they decided they would allow me to become a monk the following year. At the age of 11, I left the village and travelled to town in order to become a monk. That was the first time I travelled and I was very happy to see the town and be ordained.

I had never seen or been to Thrangu monastery before. When I entered the monastery, I felt scared. I remembered my parents teasing me before I left; they told me if I made a mistake, the lama would hit me with a kangling (the bone of the foot). I went to visit Rinpoche to get a blessing and take the vow of refuge. Later in the monastery I saw small monks chanting with lovely voices in the prayer hall. They made me want to read like them with their lovely voices. So for the next 2 years, I started learning the basics in the monastery. After that, I joined Shree Mangal Dvip School (SMD School) for 3 years. Then I again returned to the monastery for ritual practice and to memorize texts for the next 6 years. In 2000, Rinpoche appointed me discipline master for a year to look after young monks. In 2001, I was the chanting master and I also taught music (such as playing the gyaling) to young monks.

In 2002, I went to Vajra Vidya Institute in Varanasi, India to join shedra, or higher studies in Buddhism. During that time, I became sick and lost my studies for one year. After I recovered from my illness, I studied so that I could complete the 7-year shedra course. I finished my studies in 2010 and in 2011, the year of the Iron Tiger, Khenpo gave me the chance to assist the monk in the canteen at Namo Buddha Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery. At the end of the year, Khenpo appointed me to be a teacher at SMD Branch School at Namo Buddha, where I served for a few months. During this period, a lama told me to get a passport. I was really happy when I heard this message! It meant that I would soon be travelling! I thought I was doing good work in Rinpoche’s monastery.
I am happy to be in Canada because it is such a famous place!

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Karma Dradul

Karma Dradul Karma Dradul was born in 1976 in Nubri, Gorkha District, Nepal. He is the youngest son of Yogi Tsewang Norbu. At the age of 6, Karma began studying Nyingmapa rituals from his father. At the age of 7, he made a Buddhist clay statue of Namse by himself. Since then, after the discovery of his artistic talent, he began his apprenticeship in Tibetan traditional Buddhist art and techniques.

In 1996, Karma became a monk at Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery in Boudha, Nepal. Upon entering the monastery, he spent a few years studying Kagyu rituals and Buddhist teachings. The Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche admired his artistic talent very much and sent him to Vajra Vidhya Institue at Sarnath (Varnasi), India. While there, Karma spent the first year completing twelve different deity Mandalas in the main shrine hall, and assisted with painting the remaining parts of the Insitute in the following four years.

In 1998, he had the opportunity of staying in Hong Kong, assisting with decorating and paintaing the Thrangu Center there for three months.

In 2000, Karma went to Taiwan to help decorate many Buddhist centers. After his return to Nepal, Thrangu Rinpoche sent him to build three Buddhist statues and complete the decorations for Nubri Hinang Monastery in Gorkha District.

In 2004, Karma went to Malaysia for two months to assist painting of the Thrangu Center in Malaysia. Again, soon after his return to Nepal, Thrangu Rinpoche assigned a new assignment to him - to oversee the artistic work for the new Namo Buddha monastery. No less than fifty people worked under his supervision.

In June 2008, Karma came to Canada as the chief artist to help build Thrangu Monastery in Richmond, BC. He was in charge of traditional Tibetan arts and Buddhist paintings and Mandalas for the monastery. Karma served at the Monastery until December 2012

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Acharya Samdup Tsering

Acharya Samdup TseringAcharya Samdup Tsering was born in a small village called Jigmeynang located in Bhutan and he is the monk of Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery under Namo Buddha Buddhist Meditation and Education center.

Samdup Tsering entered in the monastery in 1990 at the age of 8. After entering the monastery, he started learning Tibetan reading and writing, Tibetan grammar and composition, memorizing ritual texts, Ritual practices of traditional music and Tormas. Samdup Tsering also went to Shree Mangal Dvip School to obtain modern education like science, Mathematics, English and Social Studies from 1992 to 1997.

In 1998, Samdup Tsering went to Vajra Vidya Institute for higher Buddhist studies at Sarnath, Varanasi, India. There he studied five major Buddhist philosophy texts, higher level of grammar and composition and Buddhist debate practices till 2003. Sangpo Tsering took full ordination of monk from the Very Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche on 2nd June, 2004.

After completing the Buddhist study courses, Samdup Tsering gave free service of one year to the monastery by taking care of the construction work of the monastery guest house in Sarnath, Varanasi, India, a year of free service of taking care of the White House (monastery guest house) in Delhi, two years of free service to Vajra Vidya Institute by being a manager and finally was appointed by Thrangu Rinpoche as a Librarian at the Institute by the chief abbot.

Acharya Samdup is serving in Thrangu Monastery Canada from 2010 until present.

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Acharya Tenpa Gyaltsen

Lama Tenpa GyaltsenTenpa Gyaltsen lama was born in Tashi Yangtse in Bhutan and he is a monk of Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery under Namo Buddha Buddhist Meditation and Education center.

Tenpa Gyaltsen lama became a monk in the year 1989 at the page of 7. After entering the monastery, he started learning Tibetan reading and writing, Tibetan grammar and composition, memorizing ritual texts, Ritual practices of traditional music and Tormas. Tenpa also went to Shree Mangal Dvip School to obtain modern education like science, Mathematics, English and Social Studies from 1991 to 1996.

In 2004, Tenpa Gyaltsen went to Vajra Vidya Institute for higher Buddhist studies at Sarnath, Varanasi, India. During his study, he was in charge of managing H.H Karmapa's rooms for one year. There he studied five major Buddhist philosophy texts, higher level of grammar and composition and Buddhist debate practices.

Tenpa is serving in Thrangu Monastery Canada from 2010 until present.

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Acharya Tenzin Lodro

Tenzin LodroAcharya Tenzin Lodro was born in Gorkha District, Gandaki Zone, Nepal and he is a monk of Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery, under Namo Buddha Buddhist Meditation and Education Center, Boudha.

Tenzin Lodro entered in the monastery in 1997 at the age of 16. After entering the monastery, Tenzin Lodro started learning Tibetan reading and writing, Tibetan grammar and composition, memorizing ritual texts, Ritual practices of traditional music and Tormas.

In 2001, Tenzin Lodro went to Vajra Vidhya Institute for higher Buddhist studies at Sarnath, Varanasi, India. There he studied five major Buddhist Philosophy texts. During his study, Tenzin served H.H Karmapa for one year in Dharamsala. He took full ordination of monk from the Very Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche in 2007.

After completing the 8 years of Buddhist study courses, Tenzin Lodro was appointed by Thrangu Rinpoche as a teacher at the Vajra Vidya Institute.

Acharya Tenzin is serving in Thrangu Monastery Canada from 2010 until present.

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Artist Tashi

Lama TashiTashi Lama was born in Kavre, Namo Buddha, Nepal and he is a monk of Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery under Namo Buddha Buddhist Meditation and Education center.

Tashi became a monk in the year 2001 at the page of 15. After entering the monastery, he started learning Tibetan reading and writing, Tibetan grammar and composition, memorizing ritual texts, Ritual practices of traditional music and Tormas.

Rinpoche asked Tashi to learn Tibetan arts and paintings in Namo Buddha, Nepal. He spent six years helping Namo Buddha Monastery as a painter.

In 2009, under Rinpoche's guidance, Tashi came to Canada as the artist to help paint Thrangu Monastery in Richmond, BC as well as to help paint traditional Tibetan arts and Buddhist paintings and Mandalas for the monastery.

Tashi is serving in Thrangu Monastery Canada from 2010 until present.

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