Spiritual Guide: Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel
KHENSUR RINPOCHE LOBSANG TSEPHEL was born in Litang, Tibet in 1931. At the age of five, he began on his own initiative to wear the maroon robes of a monk. He formally entered Litang Monastery at the age of nine. He subsequently entered Ganden Jangste Monastery and was awarded the Geshe Lharampa degree in 1976. In 1992, he was awarded the Ngarampa degree.
He has taught at Namgyal Monastery, Nechung Monastery, and at the Tibetan Library in Dharamsala. In 2001 he was appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as abbot of Ganden Jangtse Monastery, completing his tenure as abbot in 2008.
In addition to being a highly recognized scholar and teacher, Khensur Rinpoche has demonstrated an equally profound commitment to practice. Before the Chinese invasion of Tibet, he pledged to complete 100,000 prostrations before the Natural Body of Lama Tsongkhapa at Ganden Monastery in Tibet, which he completed within one month. In a similar demonstration of his commitment to the Dharma, upon the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Khensur Rinpoche left India in 1987 at the age of 56 to teach in the United States, even though he spoke no English. He has since established Dharma centers in San Diego and Los Angeles as well as in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Canada, New Zealand and Australia in order to benefit as many people as possible.
As a teacher, Rinpoche places strong emphasis on the practice of Dharma both “on and off ” the meditation cushion. Students are advised to maintain a disciplined daily practice with focus on rejoicing in joyous effort and also to practice compassion in action towards others with constant mindfulness and awareness. As one student has remarked, “Whether Khensur Rinpoche is giving formal teachings or simply walking around, he is always teaching through his powerful compassion, immense wisdom, and profoundly skillful means.”
As a master of highest yoga tantra, Rinpoche grants empowerments from all classes of tantra as well as offering extended commentaries and teachings on guru yoga and deity yoga practice. In addition, Rinpoche holds frequent retreats, which he personally leads, to give students the opportunity to learn the practices correctly and deeply.