Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche

Lama Yeshe Losal RinpocheBORN IN 1943 in Kham, East Tibet, Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche spent his formative years in education at Dolma Lhakang Monastery where his brother Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche was Abbot. After escaping from Tibet in 1959, Lama Yeshe continued his education at the Young Lamas Home School in Dalhousie, India before leaving in 1967 to serve as Private Secretary to His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. 

In 1969 Lama Yeshe joined Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Scotland where they had founded Kagyu Samye Ling. Five years later he accompanied His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa on a tour of the United States. At that point he and Tenzin Chonyi were asked to establish and run Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) in Woodstock, New York, which is His Holiness Karmapa's main seat in America.

In 1980 Lama Yeshe took full ordination as a Gelong monk from His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa on the auspicious date of the anniversary of Lord Buddha's Nirvana and Parinirvana.

Following his ordination Lama Yeshe entered a long-term solitary retreat, under the guidance of the Abbot of KTD, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. In 1985, at the request of his brother Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe returned to Scotland to continue his retreat at Samye Ling Purelands Retreat Centre and in 1988 he became Retreat Master with responsibility for the western practitioners who were in the cloistered four-year retreat. 

Despite his heartfelt wish to remain in retreat for twenty years, towards the end of 1991 Lama Yeshe was obliged to return to the world to take responsibility for the running of Samye Ling and also to direct The Holy Island Project. In 1995 the title of "Abbot" was conferred upon Lama Yeshe and his first action as Abbot was to establish the Samye Sangha Foundation to help the monks and nuns become self-supporting.

In November 1998 Lama Yeshe Losal received the "Sasana Kirthi Sri" award at the International Sarvodaya Bhikku Congress in Sri Lanka. This makes him the first Tibetan Lama to make such a connection with the Theravadin community, an important step in inter-faith relations.

Since he was a young boy Lama Yeshe Losal has received teachings from many of the highest Kagyu Lamas including extensive teachings and initiations from his root guru His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, and also teachings from the 12th Tai Situpa, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Gyaltsap Rinpoche, and Kalu Rinpoche. More recently, he received teachings from Tulku Urgyen who supervised his 49 day Bardo retreat of solitude and darkness in Nepal (in 1992). In 1997 Lama Yeshe was able to complete a second 49 day Bardo retreat on Holy Island in the specially build retreat-master's cabin there.

In August 2003, on the occasion of his 60th birthday celebration, Lama Yeshe was awarded the title "Rinpoche" in honor of his commitment to establishing a strong ordained Sangha in the West, and as recognition of his achievements as Abbot, not to mention his inspiration and example to many thousands of friends and students around the world.

His participation in inter-faith dialogue at home and abroad continues. On Holy Island in August 2003 he hosted a visit by the heads of the main faith traditions of Scotland and has forged lasting friendships with several of his fellow heads-of-faith. In February 2002, for example, he attended the European Parliament in Brussels as the guest of the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Rokpa Trust has many parts including Samye Ling, The Holy Island Project and numerous charitable projects both at home and overseas. Lama Yeshe Losal is the Trust's indefatigable Chairman whose energy and inspiration fuel its far-reaching activities, which benefit so many people in so many ways.

Biographical information and the photo of Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche kindly provided by Kagyu Samye Ling. 

Read more.

Also Available

Books by Lama Yeshe Losal: