At the age of eight, Khenpo Thubten Tharchin entered the monastic life at Thekchok Loseling, a monastery near his boyhood home in the nomadic region of Nagchuka, Tibet. Like the other monks, he began his studies by memorizing the monastery’s ritual corpus. Before long, he developed a keen interest in Buddhist philosophy but found himself at a loss, for qualified teachers were few and far between in the years following the Cultural Revolution. Not to be discouraged, he read through the basic texts of the traditional curriculum on his own before moving to Dzogchen Monastery in 1986. There, he received his full monastic vows and joined the famous Singha Shri College. In 1989, he left Tibet and, after a short period in south India, took up residence at Mindroling Monastery outside of Dehra Dun. Since completing his studies with honors in 2006, he has gained a reputation for being a firm but kind teacher. Our monks are fortunate Mindroling Monastery appointed such a learned and esteemed teacher to oversee their education.
Khenpo Choying was born, the eldest of four children, to his nomad parents in the Sertal region of northeastern Kham, At the age of nine, he joined Khordong Gonpa, a monastery specializing in the Northern Treasure, or Jangter, tradition. After turning sixteen, he went to study at the dharma encampment of Khenpo Chokyab, a hermit renowned for his simple lifestyle, prodigious learning and great realization. After Khenpo Chokyab passed away in 1996, Choying moved to Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok’s encampment, where he stayed until his departure for India in 2003. Since arriving, he has taught extensively, in Nepal, Sikkim and now at LCGL.
Samten Gyatso was born into a large family at Pema Gatsal in the east of Bhutan. In 1989, he joined the school at Mindroling Monastery. After finishing class eight, he joined the scripture college there. While excelling in his studies, he also distinguished himself by demonstrating a firm grasp of ritual, which led to his being appointed ritual master at Mindroling’s branch monastery in Kalimpong and now here.
Lama Palchen began to learn how to read and write the classical literary Tibetan language at the age of seven or eight. In his fifteenth year he received the oral transmissions for the Kangyur (the teachings of Buddha translated into Tibetan) in their entirety from Choktrul Gyurme Dorje of Lhabum Monastery. In his sixteenth year he received all of the empowerments and commentaries for the Rinchen Terdzo (The Precious Treasury of Termas) from Choktrul Tsopu Dolo and the corresponding oral transmissions from Choktrul Sonam Nyentrak. At eighteen he joined Lotak Kardun Monastery (Paldeu Triteng Shedrub Ling), the seat of the great tertön Lerab Ling. There, over a seven year period, he studied Buddhist philosophy and did a number of retreats. At the age of twenty-five, he went to Larung Gar in Sertal, the great dharma encampment of Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok Jungne. There he was fortunate to receive not a few empowerments, commentaries and personal instructions at the feet of that sublime lord of Dharma who fulfills all wishes. While there he also received ordination. He spent the next four years there, studying the five major treatises of the mainstream Buddhist tradition (which present such subjects as logic and epistemology, soteriology, metaphysics, ontology and ethics) with Khenpo Gardo and Khenchen Tsultrim Lodroe. Then, due to certain conditions, in July 2003 he sought in India and had the good fortune to receive a special audience with His Holiness in His personal quarters. Following that, he took up residence at Lhundrub Chime Gatsal Ling, where he continues to serve as teacher to Choktrul Ugyen Rigdzin.
Though his parents come from Namru in Tibet, Jampel Tenzin was born in the land of Lo Monthang, or Mustang, in northwest Nepal. His is a tight-knit but large family; he has three brothers and four sisters. Like many children of Tibetan refugees, he attended the Tibetan Children’s Village through class twelve. After graduation, he thought about going to university but decided instead to study Buddhist philosophy. So at the age of eighteen, he was ordained a monk and entered the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala. After he completed his study of the Perfection of Wisdom material, he was drawn to Kollegal, in the south of India, where Jangchak Rinpoche Lodroe Gyaltsen, a student of the great Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodroe, lived and taught. Through the power of past karma and aspirational prayers, Jangchak Rinpoche accepted Jampel Tenzin as his disciple and granted him numerous teachings and instructions. he completed a long retreat under his guidance. After Jangchak Rinpoche passed away Jampel Tenzin returned to Dharamsala. Over four years ago, he came to Chime Gatsal Ling, where he teaches the monks literary and colloquial Tibetan, Buddhist history and English.