The Karma Kagyu Linage
The Kagyu lineage is one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. This lineage focuses on view, meditation, and a direct transmission of the experience of the nature of mind from teacher to student.
Its origins date back to the historical Buddha, whose teachings were passed on to different meditation masters in India for 1500 years. About 1000CE this transmission came to Tibet and in the twelfth century formed the Karma Kagyu lineage, which has been kept alive and powerful in an unending succession by the Gyalwa Karmapas until today. The Gyalwa Karmapa, whose name means "Master of Activity", was the first consciously reborn lama of Tibet.
H.H. 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje
The 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje was born in Tibet in 1983 and recognized in 1994 as the authentic incarnation, as per tradition, by H.H. Shamar Rinpoche, the second-highest teacher of the Karma Kagyu lineage. In 1994, Karmapa was taken from Chinese-occupied Tibet to India. In December 2003, after completing his formal education, the 17th Karmapa was declared "Great Tantric Master" (Skt. Vajracharya). Karmapa currently resides in Kalimpong, India, where he continues his spiritual training and Western education. In 2000 his first international teaching tour brought him to Asia and Europe where he was received by thousands of his students. Since then he has continued to visit Karma Kagyu centers around the world giving teachings, empowerments, and inspiration to his students. We are extremely happy about his visit to the Europe Center, as this visit will further strengthen our connection to him.
Kunzig Shamarpa Mipham Chokyi Lodro is the fourteenth in a line of incarnate lamas prophesized by the Buddha. They have reincarnated as students and teachers to the Karmapas since the fourteenth century. Shamar Rinpoche was born in 1952 in Derge, Tibet. At the age of four he was recognized as the Shamar Rinpoche incarnation by the 16th Karmapa. In 1959, together with the Karmapa he left Tibet and stayed with him thereafter. He received the entire Kagyu transmission from Karmapa, and after Karmapa's death in 1981, Shamar Rinpoche devoted his efforts to fulfilling numerous projects initiated by the 16th Karmapa. Most importantly, and in keeping with tradition, in 1994, Shamarpa formally recognized the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje.
Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche
Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche, a highly respected lama of the Kagyu lineage, is a Maniwa - a title that is rarely encountered: it means that you have been able to encourage others to recite the Mani mantra more than one billion (1,000,000,000) times (Mani Dhungyur). Rinpoche was ordained in Rumtek by the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. An exceptionally gifted student, he mastered all aspects of traditional Buddhist study, from the sutras and tantras, to rituals and music, to the sciences, art and composition. Born in 1950 in Nepal, Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche has fulfilled various projects, including the reconstruction of the old Manang monastery, Karma Dubgyu Choeling in Pokhara; taking on the responsibilities of Manang monastery at Swayambhu; publishing essential meditation texts, and constructing many stupas.
Lama Ole Nydahl
Lama Ole Nydahl and his wife Hannah were the first Western students of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. In continuous exchange with his students, Lama Ole teaches the way and goal of Diamond Way Buddhism. His unique synthesis of modern style and ancient wisdom has helped create the largest body of students practicing Diamond Way Buddhist methods in the West. Through his example of unshakable joy and constant activity for the benefit of others, he shows what can be achieved through working with mind. Today, at his request, over 100 of his students teach Buddhism around the world.