His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935,to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. At the age of two the child, who was named Lhamo Dhondup at that time was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.
Founder, Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition
Lama Thubten Yeshe was born in Tibet in 1935. At the age of six, he entered the great Sera Monastic University, Lhasa, where he studied until 1959, when the Chinese invasion of Tibet forced him into exile in India. Lama Yeshe continued to study and meditate in India until 1967, when, with his chief disciple, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, he went to Nepal. Two years later he established Kopan Monastery, near Kathmandu, in order to teach Buddhism to Westerners. In 1974, the Lamas began making annual teaching tours to the West, and as a result of these travels a worldwide network of Buddhist teaching and meditation centers the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition began to develop.
Spiritual Director, Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahyana Tradition
Rinpoche was born in Thami, Nepal, in 1946. At the age of three he was recognized as the reincarnation of the Lawudo Lama, who had lived nearby at Lawudo, within sight of Rinpoche's Thami home. At the age of ten, Rinpoche went to Tibet and studied and meditated at Domo Geshe Rinpoche's monastery near Pagri, until the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced him to forsake Tibet for the safety of Bhutan.
Rinpoche then went to the Tibetan refugee camp at Buxa Duar, West Bengal, India, where he met Lama Yeshe, who became his closest teacher. The Lamas went to Nepal in 1967, and over the next few years built Kopan and Lawudo Monasteries. In 1974, with Lama Yeshe, Rinpoche began traveling the world to teach and establish centers of Dharma. When Lama Yeshe passed away in 1984, Rinpoche took over as spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), which has continued to flourish under his peerless leadership.
More details of Rinpoche's life and work may be found on the FPMT Web site.
Resident Geshe of Vajrayana Institute
Geshe-la was born at Panchamari, MP, India. At the age of nine, he entered the Sera Monastic Institute and took the vows of monk ordination with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Geshe-la completed his studies and attained his Geshe degree at the highest level of a Lharampa, the equivalent of a PhD in Buddhist Philosophy. He taught as a lecturer in the Gelug tradition at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath. Since 2003 Geshe-la has been the main resident teacher at VI.
Ven Yeshe is our resident translator. Ven Yeshe is from Kopan Monastery in Nepal, where he received his monastic education and his translator training. He interprets all of Geshe Samten's teachings into English.
Ven Thubten Chokyi is the Spiritual Program Coordinator for VI and is also one of our esteemed teachers. She is the Director for Liberation Prison Project, a social services project affliated to FPMT that offers spiritual advice and teachings, as well as books and materials, to people in prison interested in exploring, studying and practicing Buddhism. Ven Chokyi is a member of the Women's Interfaith Network in Sydney.
Wai Cheong is a senior resident teacher at VI. He is from Singapore and has completed the first 7-year FPMT Masters program at Lama Tsong Khapa Institute in Italy, followed by a four month retreat in New Zealand and so is fully versed in Buddhist philosophy, both sutra and tantra. He has been teaching meditation and Buddhism since 1996, with a special interest in making available the benefits of meditation to a wider audience. He maintains the blog for VI, where you can find his articles on Buddhism and meditation.
Jampa Jaffe, also known as Jampa Gendun, has been teaching Buddhism for over twenty years. American by birth, he was a monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for seventeen years and studied for over fourteen years in India at the Tibetan Library of Works and Archives and the Buddhist School of Dialectics. He has spent one year in Thailand, studying and meditating in the Theravada tradition and in 2005 completed a solitary one year retreat in Spain. He has been the resident teacher at Buddha House, South Australia and the teaching assistant at the first FPMT Masters Program for Buddhist Studies in Italy.
Corey is our resident translator. He moved to Dharmasala, India in 2003 to deepen his Dharma practice by studying Tibetan language at Thosamling Institute and the Library of Tibetan Works Archives.
He translated for Geshe Tashi Tsering at Chenrezig Institute until Geshe-la was recalled to India by HH Dalai Lama. Later, he taught the second year Tibetan language programme at Thosamling Institute, Dharmsala and wrote a language study curriculum. He translated at Tushita Meditation Centre and many private interviews and teaching for Denma Locho Rinpoche, Jhado Rinpoche, Geshe Tsewang Nyima, Khandro La among others. Corey is currently studying Sanskrit and Pali at the University of Sydney.
|Fri May 24 @10:00AM - 12:00PM|
|Sat May 25 @ 4:00PM - 05:00PM|
Animal Blessing on Sakadawa
|Sat May 25 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM|
|Sun May 26 @ 9:00AM - 03:00PM|
|Sun May 26 @10:00AM - 03:30PM|
DB Retreat Day: How to Develop an Altruistic Heart
|Sun May 26 @ 4:00PM - 06:00PM|
Practising the Path Study Group
|Mon May 27 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM|
|Mon May 27 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM|
DB: How to Develop the Altruistic Heart
|Tue May 28 @10:00AM - 11:00AM|
Meditation for Parents & Bubs
|Tue May 28 @11:00AM - 12:15PM|
Learn to Meditate