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THE KARMA KAGYU LINEAGE

The Karma Kagyu lineage belongs to one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. This lineage focuses on meditation and a direct transmission from teacher to student of the experience of the nature of mind. The Karma Kagyu lineage dates back to the historical Buddha, whose teachings were passed on to different meditation masters in India for 1500 years. This transmission came to Tibet around 1000 AD, and in the twelfth century, the Karma Kagyu lineage was formed under the 1st Gyalwa Karmapa, the first consciously reborn lama of Tibet. The lineage has maintained an unbroken transmission of teachings and realization, and continues to thrive today under the guidance of H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje.

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Lama Ole Nydahl

Lama Ole Nydahl and his late wife Hannah were the first Western students of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. For over 40 years, Lama Ole has taught Diamond Way Buddhism to tens of thousands of students and founded over 650 Buddhist centers worldwide. Lama Ole specializes in the practices of Mahamudra (the “Great Seal”) and Phowa—a rare, centuries-old method of conscious dying. He teaches his students to combine lay Buddhist practice with independent thinking and the maturity that comes through life experience. A recent winner of the UNESCO prize for Dialogue, Coexistence and Peace, Lama Ole also stresses the importance of democratic principles in society, especially freedom of speech and women’s rights.

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Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche

Born in 1950 in Nepal, Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche is a highly respected lama of the Kagyu lineage. He holds the title of Maniwa for his rare accomplishment of reciting the Mani mantra over one billion times. He has also led over 30 Mani Dhungyur festivals in Nepal, in which one billion Mani mantras are accumulated by thousands of practitioners. Ordained in Rumtek by H.H. the 16th Karmapa, Rinpoche is a master of all aspects of traditional Buddhist study, from the sutras and tantras, to rituals and music, to the sciences, art and composition. Rinpoche has overseen many projects, including the reconstruction of the Manang Monastery in Pokhara, Karma Dubgyu Chöling, and the development of the Dhagpo Sheydrup Ling Monastery in Bhaktapur.

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Nedo Kuchung Rinpoche

Nedo Kuchung Rinpoche was born in 1962 in India and recognized by H.H. the 16th Karmapa as the sixth reincarnation in the Nedo Kulha lineage. Until the age of 18, Rinpoche was educated under the guidance of H.H. the 16th Karmapa in Rumtek monastery. He then studied for three years in Ladakh before returning to Rumtek for a three-year retreat, where he practiced the tantras of Marpa, the Six Yogas of Naropa, and various Mahamudra transmissions. When he was 25, Rinpoche was appointed Vajramaster of Rumtek monastery, and he remains today the main Vajramaster of H.H. the 17th Karmapa Thaye Dorje. Nedo Rinpoche is currently responsible for Shamar Rinpoche’s monks as well as all activities of the Karma Kagyu lineage in Sikkim.