Born in England, Geshe-la has extensive knowledge of Madyamika (emptiness) philosophy gained through 16 years of recent study at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala, India.
He completed his Geshe degree (the equivalent of 4 Ph.D's!) in 2006, becoming one of only a dozen or so western-born Geshe's existing. Geshe-la ia currently resident back in the UK and doesn't plan to teach in India again for the forseeable future, but it is an incredible privilege to study with such a knowledgeable native English-speaking teacher, so if you get the opportunity, don't miss it!
Geshe Kelsang Wangmo was the first - and currently only - woman to be awarded a Geshe title (only for monastics, it is equivalent to a PhD in Buddhist philosophy).
She was born in Germany and began travelling during her gap year between high school and University. Visiting Dharamsala, she quickly developed an interest in Buddhism and a short time later took ordination as a nun. After about two years of study, practice and retreat, she decided to study Tibetan and enrolled in the traditional Geshe curriculum of the Great Canonical Texts study program at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD) in Dharamsala, a course 16 years in duration. After successfully completing this program, in 2011 she became the first woman to be awarded the title, Geshe.
Since 2004 Geshe Kelsang Wangmo has been teaching Buddhist philosophy classes in English to Westerners living in Dharamsala, following the curriculum of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics. Tushita is so very fortunate in being able to count Geshe-la as one of our teachers, as she joins us whenever her very busy schedule allows. She has also acted as Tibetan translator for senior Lamas such as Denma Lochoe Rinpoche and Dagri Rinpoche at several of our Initiations in the last few years.
To see photos of the ceremony where Geshe-la was awarded her Geshe degree in 2011, click here. Two online interviews with Geshe-la can be found here, one in audio and one in text.
Venerable Sarah Thresher was born in London, England in 1960. She graduated from University in 1982 and shortly afterwards met her Root Guru Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche at Kopan Monastery, Nepal. Since then she has studied with many great masters and was ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1986.
After working as an editor for Wisdom Publications for nine years, she began teaching in 1992 and has taught in countries around the world. She is currently an FPMT registered touring teacher and editor of LYWA's Heart Advice series. Ven. Sarah has also worked with Lama Zopa Rinpoche to help lead practices according to his instructions at several major retreats. She is particularly interested in trying to preserve and spread the special flavor of Rinpoche’s way of leading pujas and practices.
Venerable Sarah teaches with insight from the heart, and has an enjoyable Western perspective on the Dharma.
Venerable Kabir Saxena (Venerable Sumati), was born to an English mother and an Indian father and raised in both Delhi and London, attending Oxford University. He met his main teachers Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 1979 and has been living and working in FPMT Centres almost ever since, including helping to establish Root Institute and serving as its Director for many years, before being ordained as a monk in 2002. He is currently the Spiritual Programme Coordinator at Tushita Delhi.
Ven Kabir has been teaching Buddhism to Westerners and Indians in India and Nepal since 1988 and presents the Dharma in an appropriately humourous and meaningful way for modern students.
Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi, from the USA, has been studying Buddhism for over 25 years with teachers such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
She has been ordained as a Buddhist nun since 2004 and has completed 6½ years of solitary meditation retreat.
In addition to touring, she is also based part-time at Vajrapani Institute in Boulder Creek, California, is a visiting teacher for the Liberation Prison Project and a regular teacher at Mahamudra Centre in New Zealand.
Ven. Tenzin Chogkyi is dearly loved by those who have studied with her, many of whom describe her as straightforward, engaging, inspiring, sincere and fun. You can see her current schedule on her own website here.
Venerable Lobsang Namgyel, of Australian nationality, has been living in India and Nepal studying Buddhism for more than 20 years with such masters as H.H. the Dalai Lama, Denma Locho Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche and Geshe Sonam Rinchen. He has completed four years of lam-rim retreats, as well as many tantric retreats. During his more than twenty years in Buddhism, Ven Namgyel has taught at various FPMT centers around the world. Ven Namgyel had the honour of being the attendant and tutor to Lama Osel Rinpoche for nearly one year in 1990, helping with Tibetan prayers, memorising and English language.
You can see more about Ven Namgyel, with online teachings and schedule information on his own website: www.venerable-namgyel.com
Venerable Amy Miller, from the United States, has been studying Buddhism for 20 years with Tibetan Masters such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ven. Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, Ven. Choden Rinpoche and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. She has completed several individual meditation retreats in India, Nepal and the United States and served for many years as director of an FPMT retreat center in California. Ven. Amy also volunteered in a San Fransico AIDS hospice for 3 years lending emotional support counseling to people with AIDS and their loved ones. In 2000, she was ordained as a Buddhist nun by Ven. Choden Rinpoche.
Ven. Amy has been teaching Dharma around the world for the last 15 years. Her teaching style emphasizes helping people connect with meditation and mindfulness in an effort to gain a refreshing perspective on normally stressful living. She is currently Director of the Milarepa Centre in Vermont, USA.
Venerable Legtsok was born in the USA and named Brian, in 1973. After being inspired by explanations of the Lam-Rim and the amazing attitude of Bodhicitta, he became a monk in 2001 and has since taken the full-ordination vows.
In 2004 he entered the Geshe studies program at Sera Je Monastery in South India where he claims that he "hardly studies but lounges about eating and sleeping instead". This report has been contradicted by many close observers.
Since 2007 Ven Legtsok has given monthly talks about the Buddhist path at Choe Khor Sum Ling study group in Bangalore. While he warns students that "he has no positive qualities whatsoever but you might have a good laugh watching him bumble along", he enjoys celebrating the good fortune to have met the Buddha Dharma in this life, by sharing his knowledge of Buddhist thought and practice with others.
Glen Svensson, from Australia, has been studying Buddhism since 1995, with teachers such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Geshe Jampa Gyatso.
After completing his Bachelor’s Degree in IT at the University of Queensland, Glen spent eight years working and traveling around the world before “bumping into" Buddhism - by taking his first Introduction to Buddhism course here at Tushita!
He then attended two of the famous November Courses at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, followed by seven years of intensive Buddhist philosophical studies and nine months of meditation retreat in the FPMT Master’s Program (a teacher-training course) at the Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in Italy.
Since completion of the Master’s Program in 2005, Glen has taught extensively in India, Australia and Europe, with a teaching style emphasizing clarity and simplicity. You can see Glen's teaching schedule on his own website: www.glensvensson.org
Born in 1948 in Italy, to American parents, he was raised in America and attended the University of Southern California. He became interested in Buddhism when three of his friends became monks in the Chinese Tradition. Jimi came to India in 1971-72, and in 1974 met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa at Kopan Monastery, Nepal. He was ordained by Lama Yeshe at Tushita Meditation Centre in Dharamsala in 1980.
A monk for 15 years, Jimi divided his time between Nalanda Monastery in France, and India. After disrobing, Jimi has lived permanently in Dharamsala, India. He began teaching in 1992 and has taught many times at Tushita Meditation Centre and elsewhere, over the years.
David is originally from Melbourne. After graduating from Law School in 1978 he left Australia and travelled extensively around Asia, developing an interest in eastern religion and meditation along the way. On returning home he met his teacher Lama Zopa Rinpoche and soon after moved to Kathmandu where he ordained as a Buddhist monk. He then studied at Nalanda Monastery in France for several years before once again travelling east as a teacher of philosophy and meditation here at Tushita, Kopan Monastery, and Root Institute. In 1996 he was resident teacher at Vajrayana Institute and in 2007 completed a three year appointment as director of Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery.
Since then he has lived mostly in solitude while trying to develop his personal meditation practice. Recently David returned to lay life and has now begun teaching again at FPMT centres in India and Nepal.
Born in South Africa in 1951, Ondy grew up in England. In 1980 she took refuge with Geshe Jampa Tekchog and moved to be near him. Since then she has received teachings and initiations from high lamas including H.H. Dalai Lama, Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. In Bodhgaya, 1983, she did her prostrations retreat whilst receiving teachings from H.H. Ling Rinpoche and Tara Tulku.
Ondy was Head of Belief, Philosophy and Ethics in a high school, and contributed to educational publications on moral issues and spirituality. She went on to develop 'Inner Management' courses, www.wellseeingconsultancy.co.uk ,as well as teaching the dharma for Yeshe Buddhist Centre that she founded in 2001, www.yeshebuddhistcentre.co.uk. In 2009 she published her story of the Buddha’s early life, 'Ten Thousand Days of Summer”, www.childrensbuddha.com.
Her teaching style combines head, heart and humour with the emphasis on making Buddhism relevant in today’s world. She lives with her partner and their two children, now flying the nest, giving her the opportunity to teach and learn at Tushita.