LAMA THUBTEN YESHE
Lama Thubten Yeshe was born in Tibet in 1935. At the age of six, he entered Sera Monastic University in Tibet where he studied until 1959, when as Lama Yeshe himself has said, "In that year the Chinese kindly told us that it was time to leave Tibet and meet the outside world." Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, together as teacher and disciple since their exile in India, met their first Western students in 1965. By 1971 they settled at Kopan, a small hamlet near Kathmandu in Nepal. In 1974, the Lamas began touring and teaching in the West, which would eventually result in The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. Lama Yeshe died in 1984.
"It is important to understand that true practice is something we do from moment to moment, from day to day. We do whatever we can, with whatever wisdom we have, and dedicate it all to the benefit of others. We just live our life simply, to the best of our ability." –Lama Thubten Yeshe
LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, was born in 1946 in Tham near the cave Lawudo in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, where his predecessor meditated for the last twenty years of his life. When Rinpoche was about four years old, he was put in a Monastery close to the border between Nepal and Tibet, and studied there until he went to Tibet and took getsul ordination in 1958.
In 1959 Rinpoche escaped from Tibet and continued his studies in Sera Jhe monastery in Buxa Duar, in northern India, were he met and became the disciple of Lama Thubten Yeshe. Lama Yeshe and Zopa Rinpoche's contact with Westerners began in 1965 in Darjeeling, when they met Princess Zina Rachevsky from Russia. She became the Lamas' first Western student.
At the insistence of Zina Rachevsky the Lamas started to teach courses on Buddhism for Westerns at Kopan. In 1971 Rinpoche took gelong ordination from His Holiness Ling Rinpoche in Bodh Gaya. By 1975, twelve centers had started. In 1976, the growing worldwide organization was named by Lama Yeshe 'the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition' (FPMT)
"As soon as your object of concern changes from yourself to someone else, your heart is released from the bondage of the self-cherishing thought. As soon as you change the object of your cherishing, there is peace in your heart." - Lama Zopa Rinpoche
GESHE THUBTEN SHERAB
Many Taos residents fondly remember Geshe Sherab who taught at the Ksitigarbha Tibetan Buddhist Center from 2002 to 2005. Geshe la has been coming to Taos to teach for the last couple of years over the Summer and Autumn. He recently left New Mexico to teach around the world. We will be welcoming him back in the late Spring.
Geshe Thubten Sherab was born in 1967 in a small village in the western part of Nepal, to a Kagyu-Nyingma family. He entered Kopan Monastery at the age of nine and completed his geshe studies at Sera Je monastery in South India, followed by a year at Gyumed Tantric College. He then completed retreat and teaching assignments both in the U.S. and Asia. He served as Headmaster of Kopan Monastery's school for four years, overseeing debate training and tantric training activities.
Don Handrick is the regular visiting teacher at the Ksitigarbha Tibetan Buddhist Center in Taos and the Thubten Norbu Ling Buddhist Center in Santa Fe.
Gen Don la connected with Tibetan Buddhism in 1993 through the teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. In 1996 he commenced formal study at Tse Chen Ling Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, the FPMT center in San Francisco. In 1998, he entered the FPMT's Masters Program of Buddhist Studies in Sutra and Tantra, a full-time seven-year residential study program in Tuscany, Italy, taught by Geshe Jampa Gyatso. After the completion of his studies, he moved to Northern New Mexico and in 2005 and began teaching for the FPMT. Throughout his fourteen years as a Buddhist practitioner, Don has also received numerous teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama as well as several other teachers in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Most recently Gen Don la has been touring the world teaching. His world tour has included teaching the month long course at Kopan Monastery in Nepal and teaching at various centers in Europe.
Students appreciate his humble, compassionate demeanor and his capacity to explain profound ideas with precision, contemporary examples and humor.
We hold teachings every Thursday night 6:00 - 8:00PM, at our center located at 525B Salazar Road in Taos, NM, (just north of Sipapu street).