Lama Tharchin Rinpoche was a Dzogchen (Great Perfection) master of Vajrayana Buddhism. He was the tenth lineage holder of the Repkong Ngakpas. This is a family lineage of yogis, or householders, and was the largest community of non-monastic practitioners in Tibet. Rinpoche was trained in His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche's monastery, engaged in five years of solitary retreat and then completed the three year retreat with three others under Dudjom Rinpoche.
In addition to Dudjom Rinpoche, his main teachers were Chatral Rinpoche, Lama Sherab Dorje Rinpoche, and Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche. Rinpoche left Tibet by foot with his family in 1960. He lived in Orissa, India and Kathmandu, Nepal before coming to America in 1984 for health reasons. While in America, Dudjom Rinpoche asked Lama Tharchin Rinpoche to turn the third wheel of Dharma, the teachings of Vajrayana Buddhism.
As a householder with two sons, Rinpoche had a wonderfully kind and wise approach to working with Western students. His gentleness and jewel-like qualities embodied a living expression of the wisdom and compassion of the Buddhadharma. He was so rare and precious, not only because of his great realization, but also for his vast knowledge of Tibetan ritual arts, music, and dance, as well as the philosophical basis of the Vajrayana teachings.
Lama Tharchin Rinpoche passed into Parinirvana on July 22nd, 2013.
Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche is a meditation master in the Nyingma lineage of the Buddhist tradition. He began his studies at the age of fourteen at Larung Gar in Serta, eastern Tibet, with his teacher, the great Jigmed Phuntsok Rinpoche, who is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest Dzogchen masters of the twentieth century.
Over the next ten years he received teachings, meditation instructions, and spiritual training in the Mahayana, Vajrayana, and Dzogchen traditions, and developed a special appreciation for the secret treasures of Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava. He inherited from his great teacher a tradition of sharing the Buddhadharma in a way that is practical, experiential, and from the heart, and his time studying with this enlightened master changed his life.
He completed the studies, practice, and meditation training required for the khenpo degree, the highest degree of Buddhist study and practice. Out of a class of over one thousand, he was among the first group of only fifty-five highly accomplished students upon whom Jigmed Phuntsok Rinpoche bestowed the degree. The graduates of this and subsequent classes from Larung Gar now teach throughout the world preserving this unique spiritual heritage.
In 1993 he began teaching in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he stayed at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling for two years as a resident teacher to lamas, monks, and western students. In 1995 he met and received teachings from the sublime Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, who subsequently invited him to come to the United States. In 1996 Lama Tharchin Rinpoche hosted Orgyen Chowang at Pema Osel Ling in Santa Cruz, California, where he taught in the College of Buddhist Studies. Three years later, he moved to Berkeley, California in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he currently resides.
He is renowned among his peers for his ability to get to the heart or essential point of the teachings. Those who have the opportunity to hear him speak are most often struck by his passion for sharing his knowledge and experience, and his unique and contemporary style of presenting Buddha’s ancient wisdom. His way of approaching the spiritual path is not as an intellectual exercise, but rather as a direct personal experience meant to bring mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. His students treasure him for the joy and clarity he brings to every area of their lives.
Orgyen Chowang teaches regularly in the San Francisco Bay Area and travels throughout the United States to offer seminars and lectures. He is the founder and spiritual director of Atiamrita, an organization dedicated to promoting happiness, inner peace, and enlightenment, and is currently completing work on his first book.
Pristine Mind Foundation
Lama Sonam Tsering is a Nyingmapa master of Tibetan Buddhism. At a very young age he began learning the scripture with his father. In 1959 his family settled in His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche camp in Orissa, India where he began his training in the Dudjom Tersar lineage, the two stages of creation and perfection. His studies included ritual arts, music, sacred dance and retreats. He received empowerments and instructions from great Nyingma lamas and also served as a Ritual Master (chopen) for many years.
Under the guidance of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, Lama Sonam completed his extensive Buddhist education at the Ngagyur Shedrup Dodjo Ling. He received the complete teachings, empowerments and instructions on the Dudjom Tersar and other Nyingma traditions from many lamas and khenpos.
In 1984 Chagdud Rinpoche invited Lama Sonam to the United States. Over the years, he served as a resident lama at Dechen Ling Buddhist Center, Chagdud Gonpa, in Cottage Grove, Oregon.
In 1999, His Holiness Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and Lama Tharchin Rinpoche both entrusted Lama Sonam to oversee and guide the Vajrayana Foundation, Pema Osel Ling, where he currently resides.
Lama Sonam has an extraordinary ways of conveying the wisdom and compassion of the Buddhadharma to young people and adults alike. He is a humble practitioner with boundless energy for the dharma which he ceaselessly and joyfully applies for the benefit all beings.
Dechen Yeshe Wangmo's Buddhist training began in 1978 when she met the 16th Karmapa and the Venerable Kalu Rinpoche. She completed the traditional three-year retreat in 1985 and was authorized to teach by Lama Tharchin Rinpoche in 1992. Yeshe Wangmo is an accomplished translator and was appointed to Kalu Rinpoche's International Translation Committee in 1986.
She is the founder of Jnanasukha, a nonprofit serving His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche's treasure lineage of the "Dakini Heart Essence," the Vajrayana lineage of the female buddhas. She is the director of Lotus Gate Sanctuary on the Big Island of Hawai'i.
She is also a certified Hakomi Therapist with seven years of training with Ron Kurtz, the creator of the Hakomi Method, and Donna Martin, an international trainer.
She is devoted to the correct understanding of the Vajrayana, the experience of it in meditation, and the embodiment of it in daily life.
A twenty-year resident of the Big Island of Hawai'i, she offers programs and retreats, Hakomi workshops, and individual sessions.