These are the teachers who have inspired, guided and supported us.
Among these wonderful teachers, the one’s who have helped and guided us most directly are Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and his sons, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and Mingyur Rinpoche.
H.H. The 16th Karmapa
His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rikpe Dorje was, until his death in 1981 the supreme head of the Karma Kagyu Lineage whose roots extend back to Tilopa, the great Indian master of the 10th century. H.H. Holiness Karmapa was greatly loved by all for his tremendous warmth and compassion. He was the teacher of nearly all of the Kagyu lamas alive today.
H.H. The 17th Karmapa
His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje is the supreme head of the Kagyu lineage. In 2001 Karmapa fled Tsurphu, his home monastery in Tibet, to India so that he could continue his training and his responsibilities to the lineage. HH Karmapa made hs first trip to the west in the summer of 2009. Each year HH presides of Kagyu Monlam a prayer gathering for world peace at the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment in Bodhgaya, India. Nearly 10,000 monks, nuns and lay people attend yearly.
H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Born in 1910, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was the direct incarnation of the great scholar and meditation master Jamgon Khyentse Wangpo. He spend nearly 30 years in solitary retreat, in later life becoming the head of the Nyigma Linaege. He was the teacher to most of the lamas of his generation, including H.H. the Dalai Lama. Scholar, sage and poet, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche never ceased to inspire all who encountered him through his extraordinary presence, simplicity, dignity and humor.
The Ven. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche is widely acknowledged as one of the great meditation masters of modern times. He was born in eastern Tibet in 1920. He was a highly revered meditation master of the Dzogchen and Mahamudra traditions and was regarded by the late Karmapa as his last living teacher. Until his last days, he resided at the mountain retreat of Nagi Gompa above the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. Tulku Urgyen is the inspiration for all of what we do at the Buddhist Center.
Read more about Tulku Urgyen - here
The Ven. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Master of meditation, social visionary, author, artist, poet, Chögyam Trungpa (1939–1987) founded Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, the first Buddhist university in North America; the Shambhala Training program; and Vajradhatu, an international association of meditation centers (now known under the name Shambhala International. At the age of 18 months Trungpa Rinpoche was recognized as the 11th in the line of the illustrious Trungpa tulkus. After an extraordinary training in scholastics, and meditation, Trungpa Rinpoche fled Tibet in 1959. He went on to become the most creative and dynamic Buddhist teacher in the west.
The Ven. Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche
The eldest son of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche was born in 1951 in Eastern Tibet. At the age of 18 months, he was recognized as the seventh incarnation of the Drikung Kagyu lama Gar Drubchen, a Tibetan siddha and a spiritual emanation of Nagarjuna, the second-century Indian Buddhist philosopher. Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche teaches throughout the world and is the Abbot of Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling, the largest monastery in Nepal situated in the Kathmandu Valley. Read more - here
The Ven. Tsoknyi Rinpoche
The third son of Tulku Urgyen, Tsoknyi Rinpoche III was recognized by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa as the reincarnation of Drubwang Tsoknyi Rinpoche I. He is a renowned master of the Drukpa Kagyu and Nyingma traditions. He is the abbot of two nunneries in Nepal, and his ‘Nangchen Nuns Project’ supports over fifty-five monasteries in eastern Tibetan. Read more - here
The Ven. Mingyur Rinpoche
Born in Nepal in 1975, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is the youngest son of Tulku Urgyen. As a young child he was recognized by the 16th Karmapa as the 7th incarnation of the great 17th century mahasiddha, Yongey Mingyur Dorje. At the unusually young age of 13, Rinpoche entered the traditional three-year retreat and was later asked to undertake a second three-year retreat and serve as its retreat master. Having completed extensive scholastic training, Mingyur Rinpoche now teaches in North and South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia and is known for his remarkable ability to convey the teachings with great clarity and humor. Read more - here
The Ven. Thrangu Rinpoche
The Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche was born in Kham, Tibet, in 1933. At the age of five, he was formally recognized by HH the Sixteenth Karmapa and Tai Situpa as the ninth incarnation of the great Thrangu Tulku. Thrangu Rinpoche was very close to Trungpa Rinpoche and is the preeminent scholar of the Kagyu lineage. He is a teacher to most of the living Kagyu lamas. Rinpoche’s dharma activities are vast, encompassing many schools, retreat centers, monasteries and social service programs. His home center is in Sarnath, India, the site of the Buddha’s first teaching.
Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun and resident teacher at Gampo Abbey, a monastic center for men and women in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She began studying Buddhism in the early 1970s, working closely with the renowned Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche of the Shambhala Buddhist tradition until his death in 1987. Pema spends most of each year in retreat. She is a brilliant teacher and the best selling western Buddhist author. Her books include Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart and No Time To Lose.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
The Sakyong, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche, is the eldest son, and spiritual heir of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. He holds the Mukpo family lineage, descending from the Tibetan warrior-king Gesar of Ling. He also holds the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages. He is the incarnation of Mipham the Great , who is revered in Tibet as an emanation of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom. The Sakyong is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and is the spiritual director of Shambhala, a global network of meditation and retreat centers.
H. E. Lopen Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche
His Holiness is the most revered lama of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan and one of the prominent masters of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage. Rinpoche has occupied the office of Tsenye Lopen (Master of Philosophy) within the Royal Government of Bhutan. As such, he was responsible for the education of every Buddhist monk in Bhutan. He is now the Master of Religious Training for the government, a rank equivalent to that of a cabinet minister. He spends his time in retreat, traveling abroad occasionally to teach.
The Ven. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche was born in Bhutan in 1961, and was recognized as the main incarnation of the great Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö. From a young age he has been active in the preservation of the Buddhist teaching, establishing centers of learning, supporting practitioners, publishing books and teaching all over theworld. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche supervises his traditional seat at Dzongsar Monastery and its retreat centers in eastern Tibet, as well as his new colleges in India and Bhutan. While being one of the luminaries of the Buddhist word, Rinpoche has found time to write and produce two award winning films, The Cup and Travelers and Magicians.
The Ven. Dzigar Kongtrül Rinpoche
Recognized as an incarnation of the great master Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye, Dzigar Kongtrül Rinpoche received the teachings of the Nyingma lineage from his root guru, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Rinpoche also studied extensively with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche and the great scholar Khenpo Rinchen. Rinpoche lives in Crestone, Colorado where he established the mountain retreat center of Longchen Jigme Samten Ling. He currently spends much of his time there in retreat and guides students in long-term retreat practice.
The Ven. Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche was born at Rumtek Monastery. His father was Dhamchö Yongdu, the General Secretary of His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa. Ponlop Rinpoche is acknowledged as one of the foremost scholars of his generation in the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He is known for his sharp intellect, humor, and the lucidity of his teaching style. Fluent in English and well-versed in Western culture, Rinpoche is also an accomplished calligrapher, visual artist and poet. He lives in Seattle.
The Ven. Khandro Rinpoche
Born in 1967, Khandro Rinpoche, is the daughter of the great meditation master and head of the Nyingma lineage, Mindroling Trichen Rinpoche. At the age of two, Rinpoche was recognized by the 16th Karmapa as the reincarnation of the Great Dakini of Tsurphu, Khandro Urgyen Tsomo, one of the best-known female masters of her time. Khandro Rinpoche is a lineage holder and teacher of both the Kagyü and Nyingma traditions. She speaks fluent English and travels widely, transmitting the teachings in an extraordinarily direct and profound manner. She is the preeminent female lama of our day.
The Ven. Ringu Tulku
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Master of the Kagyu lineage. He was trained in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism under many great masters such as HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa and HH Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche. He took his formal education at Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok and Sampurnananda Sanskrit University, Varanasi, India and has served as Professor of Tibetology in Sikkim.
Born in 1981 Phakchok Rinpoche is grandson of Tulku Ugyen Rinpoche and the eldest brother of the incarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he has studied with a number of great lamas, including Khyentse Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, and Tulku Ugyen Rinpoche. A dynamic young lama, his teachings are direct, accessible, and always fresh, opening up our minds in a playful and inspiring way.
Shambhala International, a worldwide organization of more than one hundred meditation and retreat centers, was founded by the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche , and now under the guidance of his son, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Shambhala Buddhism draws on the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and the ancient Shambhala tradition of spiritual warriorship. Shambhala Buddhism emphasizes contemplative practices of non-aggression and the creation of a society based on the principles of fundamental goodness and fearlessness.
Shambhala Mountain Center
Shambhala Mountain Center is a mountain valley retreat located on 600 acres in northern Colorado. (1 1/2 hours drive from Steamboat Springs) Since 1971 the Center has offered hundreds of programs on Buddhist meditation, yoga and other contemplative disciplines. Tamed by thirty years of use as a contemplative retreat, Shambhala Mountain Center is a place where one of the basic truths of Buddhism—that people can be profoundly open to the wisdom of the present moment—is always readily available.
Located on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Gampo Abbey is the largest Buddhist monastery in the western hemisphere. Founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1984, it is an affiliate Shambhala International. The abbot of Gampo Abbey is the Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche and Ani Pema Chödrön is the principal teacher. Gampo Abbey offers intensive training for monastics and lay people of all Buddhist traditions. Tim Olmsted was the director of Gampo Abbey for 3 years.
Founded in 1978 by ChögyamTrungpa Rinpoche, Naropa University is located in Boulder, Colorado. Naropa University is a Buddhist-inspired, fully accredited private college, offering graduate degrees in contemplative psychotherapy, somatic psychology, and transpersonal psychology.
Rangjung Yeshe Institute
Rangjung Yeshe Institute was founded in 1981 by Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche in accordance with the wishes of his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. Since 1997 the Institute has expanded to offered an extended and integrated course of study of Mahayana Buddhism. Based at Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, the Institute is an excellent resource for deep immersion into Buddhist study, life and culture.