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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.

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.

Lama Jigme Rinpoche

Lama Jigme Rinpoche was born into the family of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, as the brother of Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche. He received extensive teachings from the 16th Karmapa, who during his first visit in the West left him there as his representative. Since that time, Jigme Rinpoche has been guiding Karmapa’s seat in Europe, Dhagpo Kagyu Ling in France.

Jigme Rinpoche is highly respected as a lama. Many have benefited from his profound knowledge; his understanding of Western lifestyle; and his practical wisdom, warmth, and humor.

Nedo Rinpoche round

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.