Kalu Rinpoche with Tai Situ Rinpoche

Tai Situ Rinpoche with Kalu Rinpoche on right

Kyabje Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche was a yogi, scholar, and one of the great meditation masters of the Buddhist tradition. His teachings were sought by lamas of all four schools of Buddhism in Tibet. Lineage holder of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition and senior Meditation Master of the Karma Kagyu tradition, he was foremost in spreading the Dharma to the West and establishing Dharma and facilities for Westerners to undertake the traditional three-year retreat.

Kyabje Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche was born in 1905 in the district of Treshö Gang chi Rawa in the Hor region of Kham, eastern Tibet. His father, Karma Lekshe Drayang, the Thirteenth Ratak Palzang Tulku, was noted for his skill in the practice of medicine, his literary accomplishments and his mastery of Vajrayana meditation practice. He and his wife, Drolkar Chung Chung, Rinpoche’s mother, were students of Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, and Mipham Rinpoche—great leaders of the nineteenth century ri me movement which revitalized Buddhism in Tibet by minimizing sectarian differences and stressing the importance of meditation, the common ground of all lineages.

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Chamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche

Chamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche is the twelfth in the unbroken line of emanations that began in the 11th century. A spiritual master of unsurpassed significance in the history of Tibetan Buddhism, he is the current holder of the Kagyu Lineage. Formally trained by the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, he is now supervising the education of the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje.

Chamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche, an emanation of the Bodhisattva Maitreya, has been prophesied to become the next Buddha, the fifth of the 1,000 Buddhas to appear in this fortunate aeon. His first emanation was King Indrabodhi, a disciple of the Buddha Shakyamuni. In Tibet, Tai Situ Rinpoche was born as Milarepa’s famed teacher, Marpa the translator , who made three trips to India and underwent many hardships in order to acquire the Buddha’s teachings. The transmissions and teachings he brought back to Tibet form the core instructions of the Kagyu Lineage.


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Tai Situ Rinpoche



Norlha Rinpoche wearing Gampopa hat

Norlha Rinpoche wearing Gampopa hat

Lama Norlha Rinpoche, an accomplished meditation and retreat master, is the abbot of Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery and director of Kyabje Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche’s Dharma centers in the eastern United States.

Lama Norlha Rinpoche was born in 1938, in the Nangchen District of Kham, eastern Tibet. He entered Korche Monastery at the age of five, receiving monastic ordination at fourteen. By the age of twenty-one, Lama Norlha had completed two three-year retreats, during the second of which he acted as assistant to the retreat master. After the communist takeover of Tibet, he escaped on foot to India where he met Kyabje Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche and became his close disciple.

In India, Lama Norlha established several three-year retreat facilities where he trained monks in the complete cycle of transmissions and practices of the Kagyu Lineage. In 1976, at the request of His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa and Kalu Rinpoche, Lama Norlha came to New York City where he taught Buddhist philosophy and meditation practices to a wide range of students. Two years later, to provide students with the means of studying and practicing at a more profound level of commitment, he founded Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery and Retreat Center. Following the sacred example of his own masters, Lama Norlha has dedicated his life to teaching the practices that make up the Kagyupa three-year retreat. To date he has directed seven full retreats at Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery, with an eighth retreat commencing in November 2011.
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