Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche is Chairman of Rokpa Trust, Abbot of Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Director of the internationally acclaimed Holy Island Project. He is Meditation Master to thousands of students from around the world. He is a much loved and respected teacher whose wisdom, compassion, warmth and humour reveal him as a living example of the Buddha’s teaching.
With his profound insight, acquired through many years of meditation in solitary retreat, and his personal experience of a broad spectrum of people from both the East and West, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche is able to demystify and illuminate the Buddha’s teachings in a simple yet inspiring way. His humour and direct, down to earth approach crosses continents and cultures enabling him to give both personal advice and meditation instruction that goes straight to the heart. It is these unique qualities that make him a Lama of and for our time.
Born in 1943 in Kham, East Tibet, Lama Yeshe spent his formative years in education at Dolma Lhakang Monastery where his brother, Akong Tulku Rinpoche, was Abbot. After a harrowing six month journey escaping from Tibet as a teenager in 1959, Lama Yeshe arrived in India along with Akong Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and a handful of other exhausted refugees. On leaving the Tibetan Refugee Camp he attended the Young Lamas Home School in Dalhousie and left in 1967 to serve as Private Secretary to His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim.
In 1969 Lama Yeshe joined Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Scotland where they had founded Kagyu Samye Ling, the first Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Europe, Five years later, having tasted and become disillusioned with modern Western culture, he was reunited with H.H. Karmapa and accompanied him on a tour of the United States. Lama Yeshe and his friend Lama Tenzin Chonyi established and managed the Karma Triyana Dharmacakra Centre in Woodstock New York.
In 1980 he took full ordination as a Gelong monk from His Holiness Karmapa, on the auspicious date of the anniversary of Lord Buddha's Nirvana and Parinirvana, at a ceremony attended by the most eminent Tibetan Lamas of the time.
In 1985, at the request of his brother Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe returned to Scotland to continue his retreat at Samye Ling Purelands Retreat Centre and in 1989 became Retreat Master with responsibility for the western practitioners in the cloistered four year retreat. In 1991 Lama Yeshe toook responsibility for the running of Samye Ling and also to oversee the newly acquired The Holy Island Project.
In August 2003, Akong Tulku Rinpoche honoured Lama Yeshe as 'Rinpoche' in recognition of his strong commitment to establishing a strong ordained Sangha in the West, and in recognition of his achievements as Abbot and his inspiring example to many thousands of friends and students around the world.
As Chairman of Rokpa Trust Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche has responsibility for Kagyu Samye Ling, The Holy Island Project and Kagyu Samye Dzong Centres worldwide. He is also involved in the Trust's charitable projects both at home and overseas. His energy and inspiration fuel the Trusts far reaching activities which benefit so many people in so many ways.
Lama Zangmo first became a practising Buddhist when she arrived at Kagyu Samye Ling in 1977 and took refuge with His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. She was inspired to enter the four-year closed retreat in 1984, during which time she became ordained as a Buddhist nun.
Lama Zangmo went on to complete a further two retreats, bringing the total number of years spent in retreat to eleven and a half.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche then asked Lama Zangmo to put her experience to good use by helping to run Kagyu Samye Dzong London, which was officially opened in 1998. Since then the London Centre has flourished under Lama Zangmo’s guidance and established itself as a much needed Dharma Centre in the capital city, providing a full and varied programme of teachings and events throughout the year.
Lama Zangmo’s strong connection with Kagyu lineage and in particular with Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche has inspired her to work tirelessly and joyfully in service to the Dharma and helping others. In recognition of her long experience, selfless qualities and commitment, she became the first person in the UK to be honoured with the title of Lama by our organisation at a heart warming ceremony in Kagyu Samye Dzong London in June 2001.
Gelong Thubten is a Buddhist monk, meditation teacher and author from the UK.
Thubten specialises in teaching mindfulness meditation internationally, in businesses, hospitals, schools, universities, prisons and addiction counselling centres, and he gives keynote speeches at major events around the world. He has been teaching for over 20 years and is a world pioneer in the mindfulness movement, as he was teaching in these sectors many years before it became popular.
He works with major clients such as: Google, LinkedIn, Deloitte, Lloyds Bank, Deutsche Bank, Siemens, Accenture and Clifford Chance. He has lectured at Facebook’s London offices, Morrisons and McCain head offices, Linklaters and many other global companies.
Thubten designs and delivers 12-week mindfulness programmes for 4th year medical students at the National University of Ireland. He has also lectured at the Universities of Oxford, Cardiff and Helsinki, as well as for the United Nations.