Visiting Teachers


“People try spiritually to achieve realization. The true realization is to achieve a kind heart. Other than that, there is nothing really that is useful.” — Khandro Tseringma Rinpoche

Described as a living embodiment of the bodhisattva ideal, Khandro Tseringma Rinpoche is cherished for her humility, deep wisdom and compassion. While she was not educated within the traditional monastic system, she was recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a realized practitioner and an oracle of the Tibetan people.

Khandro-la’s life story is not linear. It is filled with visions and prophecies that often extend beyond our understanding. As a young woman, she received a vision to leave her homeland of Tibet and head to Nepal. Upon arriving in Nepal, she met a man who told her that she must meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. After great hardship, including extreme health challenges, she finally met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and began to serve in her current role as oracle and dharma teacher.

Khandro-la believes that the essence of life is to realize bodhicitta and emptiness. In turn, her sole focus is on helping beings achieve indestructible faith in these two. In the end, she says that If she cannot help people realize bodhicitta and emptiness, meeting with her is just a waste of time.

Click here for her autobiography in verse. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


His eminence Jetsun Lobsang Palden, the 73rd abbot of Sera Jey Monastic University, was born in 1936. At the age of twelve, he joined Dhargye Monastic School and memorized all traditional monastic scriptures as well as studied basic Buddhist epistemology and other texts.

At the age of seventeen, he joined Sera Jey Monastery and studied all major Buddhist texts. In 1959, he fled to India and continued his studies at Buxar in north India. In 1965, he studied at Central University for Tibetan studies, Varanasi, and received the Acharya degree.

In 2005, he was enthroned as the 73rd abbot of Sera Jey Monastic University and made great contribution to both spiritual and administrative fields. Moreover, he devoted most of his time to give teachings and oral transmissions on Buddhist scriptural resources to scores of pupil monks. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Tengyur Rinpoche is a graduate of Sera Jay Monastery with the highest title of Geshe Lharampa, and also studies at Harvard Divinity School where he is currently earning his M.A. Since 2012, he has served as a junior English translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Rinpoche was born in Tawang in the northeastern part of India and became a monk at the age of nine. He founded the Thubten Shedrubling Foundation in his hometown of Tawang, a Buddhist center and modern school that offers free education to children in need. In 2021, Tengyur Rinpoche founded Wisdom Bridges, Inc., a U.S.-based NGO dedicated to helping children in remote Himalayan communities fulfill their potential through education. Its approach combines traditional wisdom with modern learning while sustaining its students’ connection to their language and culture. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche was born in the Spiti valley, in India, in 1984. At the age of two, Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche II (1984 – present) pointed to the photo of the recently deceased Assistant Tutor of the 14th Dalai Lama and said, “That’s me!” When he was about three years old he was recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the incarnation of Kyabje Tsenshap Serkong Tugse Rinpoche (1914-1983), who was one of the seven master debate partners to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Rinpoche began his Buddhist studies and training at Ganden Jangtse Monastery in South India. After deciding to continue his work for the Dharma as a lay person, he completed his education at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala. On the advice of the Dalai Lama, Rinpoche completed three years of intensive study of English in Canada.

Rinpoche teaches at Dharma Centers around the world, combining his experience of the study and practice of Buddhism with his acquaintance with the Western world. His fascinating teachings are full of wisdom, grace and humor. Rinpoche feels privileged to continue the responsibilities of Tsenshap Serkong Tugse Rinpoche to teach and benefit people as much as he can. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Yangsi Rinpoche was recognized as the reincarnation of Geshe Ngawang Gendun, a renowned scholar and practitioner from Western Tibet, at the age of six. Rinpoche trained in the traditional monastic system for over 25 years, and in 1995 graduated with the highest degree of Geshe Lharampa from Sera Je Monastery in South India. He then completed his studies at Gyume Tantric College, and, in 1998, having the particular wish to benefit Western students of the Buddhadharma, Rinpoche came to the West to teach and has traveled extensively throughout America and Europe. Rinpoche was a resident teacher at Deer Park Buddhist Center in Madison, Wisconsin for five years, and is currently the Spiritual Director of Ganden Shedrup Ling Buddhist Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Spiritual Director of Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle, Washington. Rinpoche is the author of Practicing the Path: A Commentary on the Lamrim Chenmo, published in 2003 by Wisdom Publications. Rinpoche teaches in English, and is admired wherever he travels for his unique presentation of the Dharma, his interest in and enthusiasm for Western culture, and his evident embodiment of the wisdom and compassion of the Buddhist path.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Hans Burghardt holds a BA and a MA in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a PhD from the University of Barcelona, where he spent seven years doing research. Since 2002, he meditates and is a student of great Buddhist masters including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, Lama Jampa Monlam, Khensur Jampa Tegchok amongst others. He has completed the Masters Program of Advanced Buddhist Studies of Sutra and Tantra at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa (Italy) and has completed a one-year individual meditation retreat. He currently teaches meditation and Buddhism at Tushita Meditation Center Spain and other FPMT centers, and is co-founder and coordinator of the Initiative for an Emotional, Ethical, and Social Education, that promotes the establishment of Emory University’s SEE Learning in Spain. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Karuna Cayton acquired a Masters in Clinical Psychology in 1992. He is a licensed Psychotherapist having trained at the Children’s Health Council in Palo Alto, California.

From 1975 to 1988 he lived at Kopan Monastery studying Buddhist psychology and philosophy under the guidance of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. There, he established a western studies program for the monks. 

He is the principal at The Karuna Group, a project engaged in interpreting Buddhist psychological theory and interventions for modern people.

He is the author of The Misleading Mind: How We Create Our Own Problems and How Buddhist Psychology Can Help Us Solve Them (2012). Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Paula Chichester began studying Buddhism when she was 14 at Berkeley High School in California. At university, she studied systems theory and has applied that to her 40 years of meditation. Understanding the whole body/mind/culture/ environment of the practitioner makes each person’s journey in Tibetan Buddhism unique. As a dancer, Chinese Chi Gung practitioner, healer, singer, student of psychology, ecology, she brings all these elements into the understanding of the whole person and how tantra works in this greater context. She has spent the last 33 years practicing full time — 23 years preparing for and completing long retreats — under the guidance of her inspiring kind teachers: Lama Thubten Yeshe, Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche and Kyabje Ribur Rinpoche. She has also studied with teachers from all 4 schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Her goal in life has been steady since childhood: to realize Mahamudra and do all she can to bring peace to our world.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Venerable Thubten Chodron has been a Buddhist nun since 1977 and has studied and practiced Buddhism of the Tibetan tradition under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkong Rinpoche, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and other Tibetan masters. Seeing the importance and necessity of a monastery for Westerners training in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, she founded and is the abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community in Washington State. Venerable Chodron travels worldwide to teach the Dharma. She is also active in interfaith dialogue, as well as Dharma outreach in prisons. She is the author of several best-selling books on Buddhism, such as Don’t Believe Everything You ThinkOpen Heart, Clear MindWorking with AngerBuddhism for Beginners, and recently co-authored Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well-known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Tenzin Chogkyi (she/her/hers) is a teacher of workshops and programs that bridge the worlds of Buddhist thought, contemplative practice, mental and emotional cultivation, and the latest research in the field of positive psychology. Tenzin first became interested in meditation in the early 1970s and then started practicing Tibetan Buddhism in early 1991 during a year she spent studying in India and Nepal. She completed several long meditation retreats over a six-year period and took monastic ordination with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, practicing as a monastic for nearly 20 years. Since 2006 she has been teaching in Buddhist centers around the world and taught in prisons for 15 years. She is also a certified teacher of Compassion Cultivation Training and the Cultivating Emotional Balance program. Tenzin is especially interested in bringing the wisdom of Buddhism into modern culture and into alignment with modern cultural values such as racial and gender justice and environmental awareness. She feels strongly that a genuine and meaningful spiritual path includes not only personal transformation, but social and cultural transformation as well. She loves interfaith collaboration and is a volunteer for the Interfaith Speakers Bureau of the Islamic Networks Group in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. She is featured on a monthly radio show called “Reflections on Buddhism” on KSQD 90.7 in the Santa Cruz area. She also finds time to create her Unlocking True Happiness podcast which you can check out at where you will also find her current teaching schedule. She is currently based on traditional Awaswas Ohlone land, in what is now known as Santa Cruz, CA.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


A physics graduate from MIT, Venerable George Churinoff earned a Masters degree in Buddhist studies from Delhi University, India. He took ordination in 1975 and studied the Geshe Studies Program at Manjushri Institute, England, where he also served as Spiritual Program Coordinator. Venerable George was instrumental in founding the Masters Program at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa in Italy, where he also served as Program Coordinator. After studying and teaching there for eight years he spent several years at Tushita Centre in Delhi, followed by three years as Lama Osel Rinpoche’s English curriculum tutor at Sera Je Monastery in South India.

Venerable George has done many retreats in the sutra and tantra traditions and taught extensively in FPMT centers all over the world. He taught the Basic Program as resident teacher at Dorje Chang Institute, New Zealand and at Land of Medicine Buddha, USA. Venerable George now resides in Asheville, NC and has recently completed a 3-year retreat.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery


Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Katy Cole (Tenzin Zomkyi) has been a Buddhist nun for over 18 years. She was ordained with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala in 2004. Since 2003, Katy has served in a variety of positions within Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s FPMT: as Liberation Prison Project’s spiritual program coordinator, chaplain coordinator, and on the project’s US Board of Directors; and at one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s residences in Aptos, CA, Kachoe Dechen Ling, helping with the numerous extensive offerings completed there every day. In 2008 she did a one-year retreat at FPMT’s De-Tong Ling Retreat center on the western side of Kangaroo Island, just off the coast of South Australia. Since 2013, and until the pandemic, Katy visited Lawudo Gompa annually for retreat, study, and to help Rinpoche’s sister with offerings in Rinpoche’s cave and main gompa, helping the tourists who come to stay, and baby cow care. Prior to meeting her teachers, Katy studied Vipassana meditation with practitioners from Myanmar. Katy has a BA Hons in Theatre Arts from Dartington College of Arts, U.K., a BA Hons in Psychology from Murdoch University, W.A, and a MA in clinical psychology from the University of Western Australia. She worked as a psychologist prior to moving to California to work for Liberation Prison Project. Katy is currently living north of San Francisco, leading meditations and pujas online over Zoom, studying, and engaging in Nyung Nay retreat. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery


Venerable Robina Courtin has worked full-time for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s organization, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, since her ordination in the late 1970s. Over the years she has served as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala Magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been featured in the documentary films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom. Venerable Robina is known for her straightforward and energetic teaching style, helping people discover the potential of their own minds with clear explanations about Tibetan Buddhism and how to apply it to their lives.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Geshe Dorji Damdul is presently the Director of Tibet House in New Delhi, he is an eminent scholar and author, and one of the official translators for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Geshe Damdul gives regular lectures at Tibet House New Delhi and at many Universities, Institutes, and Dharma Center within India and other countries such as the USA, U.K., Singapore, and Israel to teach Buddhist philosophy, psychology, logic and other spiritual practices.

Geshe Damdul is widely renowned for his enthusiastic, engaging and inspiring teaching style. Combining his deep understanding of Buddhist philosophy with a keen interest in modern science, he makes even the most profound and complex topics accessible to new and experienced students alike. For more information, please visit Geshe Dorji Damdul’s website here. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Geshe Tashi Dhondup was born into a nomadic family living on the Tibetan plateau in Kham. At age 14, he entered the local monastery, and at age 17 walked to Nepal for further education after a harrowing 29 day journey by night. He studied Buddhist philosophy in Tibet, India and Nepal, and accomplished his Geshe studies at Kopan in 2004.  For the next six years, beginning in 2005, Geshe Dhondup was the philosophy teacher at the Kopan Nunnery. Then in 2010, and for the next three years, he became the headmaster of the Kopan school. Starting in 2013, he was both headmaster and philosophy teacher of the Kopan Nunnery for seven years, and in 2021 Geshe Dhondup took on the role of Kopan’s disciplinarian. Geshe la speaks Tibetan, Nepalese, Hindu, English, Chinese, and the highly endangered language of Minyak, and is presently the acting resident teacher at Thubten Norbu Ling in Santa Fe, New Mexico, while Geshe Thubten Sherab is traveling. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery 


Professor Georges Dreyfus is the Jackson Professor of Religion at Williams College (MA) U.S.A where he has been teaching courses on Tibetan and Thai Buddhism, Indian philosophy, meditation and cognitive science, religion and science. In 1985 he was awarded the degree of Lharampa Geshe, the highest academic qualification in the Geluk system – the first western student to be so honored. He subsequently completed both M.A. and Ph.D degrees at the University of Virginia under Prof. Jeffrey Hopkins. Very much inspired by the spirit of non-sectarianism, Dreyfus has studied extensively outside of the Geluk school where he received his basic training. Furthermore, he studied and practiced Theravada meditation techniques with Munindra and other qualified teachers, studied logic and epistemology as well as Madhyamaka philosophy with the Sagya Khenpo Migmar Tsering, received teachings from both Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Tulku Urgyen, and further studied Madhyamaka and some of the most important texts on Vajrayana practice within the Nyingma tradition with Khenpo Namdrol. One of his main areas of interest is the study of consciousness, an interest that he has developed through an association with the Mind and Life InstituteBack to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Venerable René Feusi was born in Switzerland in 1959, and has been trained in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in the experiential lineage of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. He first encountered Buddhism at the age of 20, when he attended the annual November course at Kopan Monastery in Nepal. When he was 26, he took getsul (novice) ordination in Dharamsala, India and took (gelong) full ordination the following year. In 1988, René entered Nalanda Monastery in France and studied with Geshe Tegchok for four years during which time he also completed the traditional 900,000 preliminary practices. Between 1993 to 1995 he completed a two and a half year solitary retreat in Spain. From 2002 to 2008 he was the resident teacher at Vajrapani Institute. Since then Venerable René has continued to study, teach and guide students in meditation and retreats worldwide.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Ven. Gendun has practiced Buddhism for nearly four decades and has been a Bhikshu (Buddhist monk) in the Tibetan tradition for the past 18 years. Until his ordination he worked in diverse areas such as palliative care, tech, refugee organizations, and commercial management. He studied Buddhist philosophy and practice for 10 years in monasteries in France, India, Nepal and Myanmar, before spending over four years in retreat, training in Tibetan sutra and tantra, as well as in the Burmese Theravada Forest Tradition. For the past 15 years, Ven. Gendun has been teaching Buddhist philosophy, psychology, and meditation across the world. He is a member of Mind & Life Europe, a multidisciplinary laboratory of researchers and contemplative practitioners for investigating the nature of experience. He is the interreligious canon of the Peace Cathedral in Tbilisi Georgia and is at home in a Mevlavi Sufi Dergah in Istabul. In 2023 Ven. Gendun founded The Buddha Project for the long-term guidance of Buddhist meditators, scientific research, art projects and intercontemplative social engagement.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Gen Don Handrick is the resident teacher at Thubten Norbu Ling (TNL) in New Mexico and teaches for FPMT at the Ksitigarbha Tibetan Buddhist Center in Taos. Gen Don also serves as a Board member and Buddhist teacher for Liberation Prison Project, which includes teaching Buddhism at a local prison in New Mexico. Gen Don’s study and practice of Buddhism began in 1993 when he read The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. Over the next two years, he practiced with Rigpa, Sogyal Rinpoche’s organization, until he began attending classes with Venerable Robina Courtin at Tse Chen Ling, the FPMT center in San Francisco. At the beginning of 1998, Gen Don left the Bay Area to attend the FPMT’s Masters Program of Buddhist Studies. in Sutra and Tantra, a full-time seven-year residential study program in Tuscany, Italy, taught by Geshe Jampa Gyatso. By 2004, he successfully completed the program and received an FPMT final certificate with high honors. Soon after, Don moved to Santa Fe and served as the Spiritual Program Coordinator for TNL, and in 2006 he was appointed Resident Teacher.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Tenzin Ösel Hita, born in 1985, is a radical freethinker, humanitarian, documentary filmmaker, musician, father, friend, lifelong student, and former 21st-century Buddhist monk. When just 14 months old, Ösel was formally recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of Lama Thubten Yeshe, the revered Tibetan yogi, scholar, and teacher. Today, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), which Lama Thubten Yeshe and his main disciple Lama Zopa Rinpoche founded in the early 1970s, comprises an international family of thousands of students and a network of more than 160 centers, projects, and services. The FPMT was under the spiritual direction of Lama Zopa Rinpoche until Rinpoche’s passing in early 2023. Ösel served on the FPMT board of directors from 2008 to 2013. He continues to attend teachings and supports the organization by sharing love, experience, and knowledge with the FPMT family around the world. “There is no separation between me and the FPMT,” says Ösel. “We are all working together in many aspects and fields. Humanity is our office.” Ösel was enthroned as the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe in March 1987. In 1991, when he was six years old, he entered Sera Je Monastic University in southern India, where he lived and studied until he was 18 years old. Ösel then made the decision to leave monastic life to explore modern ways of living and thinking. Ösel continued his education, graduating from high school at St. Michaels University School, a private boarding school in British Columbia, Canada. After high school, Ösel attended university in Switzerland, studying Western philosophy, human rights, the French language, and art. Ösel furthered his interest in film by moving to Madrid and studying for a degree in Film Direction, Direction of Photography, and a Master’s in Documentary Filmmaking at the International School of Audiovisual Media. Ösel has also taken communication courses at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California. From California, Ösel went to the University of Hawaii, where he studied financial and organizational behavior. Ösel returned several times to continue his Buddhist philosophical studies at Sera Je Monastery with his beloved teacher Geshe Gendun Choephel, who passed away in 2016. Ösel continues his studies today, placing an emphasis on seeking non-traditional learning and creative experiences. “We are all one family and we are sisters and brothers,” says Ösel. “Never forget this. Starting with yourself. You are your best friend. You have to live with yourself all your life, so make the most of it. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just relax. Love yourself. Enjoy your own company without depending on external agents, such as intangible concepts—surreal and intoxicating idealizations which add more samsara on top of the samsara we already have. Be present, and don’t be dissatisfied, because the main cause of dissatisfaction means that you are not living in the moment. Or—live in the moment. This moment. It is always the same moment. Agree?”  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Elaine Jackson is a founding member of Vajrapani Institute for Wisdom Culture located in Boulder Creek, California. She has been a student of Tibetan Buddhism since 1977 and has studied with many of the greatest Buddhist teachers of our time, primarily in the Gelug Tibetan Buddhist tradition of the FPMT.

Elaine has served as executive director of Vajrapani Institute and was also their resident teacher for several years, retiring in 2021.

In addition to engaging in annual month-long solitary retreats for over 20 years, she also completed a three-year retreat in 2014. Currently, she lives a contemplative life off-the-grid in the Santa Cruz mountains, while offering Dharma teachings and meditation support.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Ven. Jamyang, who is originally from the Netherlands, came into contact with Buddhism in 1997 at Tushita Meditation Center in Dharamsala. She soon realized she had a strong connection with both Buddhism and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Over the next few years she did several retreats and took ordination as a nun in 2000 at Kopan Monastery, Nepal. She has completed the five-year Basic Program and the seven-year Masters Program in Advanced Buddhist studies, including the retreat requirements. In between these studies, from 2007 until 2009, she worked at Buddha House, Adelaide, as SPC and teacher. She is currently teaching in India, New Zealand, and Australia. Students say that she is an engaging teacher with a knack for clearly explaining complex topics. Ven. Jamyang is the main writer of the study manual for the Middle Way subject of the Masters Program, and has been painting tangkas for more than twenty years. 

For more information about her work you can visit  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Dr. Pilar Jennings is a psychoanalyst based in New York City with a focus on the clinical applications of Buddhist meditation practice. She has been working with patients and their families in private practice and through the Harlem Family Institute since 2000. Dr. Jennings has been a Buddhist practitioner for the past 40 years and is a teacher of Tibetan Buddhism in the Sakya lineage. She is a Visiting Lecturer at Union Theological Seminary; Columbia University; and a faculty member of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science. Her most recent publication is To Heal a Wounded Heart (Shambhala 2017), a psychoanalytic memoir about her entry into clinical work. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery 


Gavin Kilty spent 14 years in India studying Buddhism with Tibetan teachers. Eight years were spent at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics Studies in Dharamsala set up by HH the Dalai Lama, where he completed the major part of the Tibetan monastic curriculum in the medium of the Tibetan language. He now works full time as a Tibetan to English translator of Tibetan texts, primarily for Thupten Jinpa’s Institute of Tibetan Classics, and as a teacher of Tibetan language for FPMT’s Rinchen Zangpo Lotsawa Program in India. His numerous publications include Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages (Winner of the 2017 Shantarakshita Award by the Tsadra Foundation), Ornament of Stainless Light, Life of My Teacher; Biography of Tutor Ling RinpochéSplendor of an Autumn Moon, Mirror of Beryl, and Eight Great Folk Operas of Tibet. For a complete list of publications, please click here.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Geshe Konchog Kyab was born in Sikkim, a small Himalayan region in the northeast part of India. Geshe la became a monk at a very young age in the year 1972 at Ser-Jey Monastery in South India. Geshe la received novice vows from the previous Kyabjey Ling Rinpoche and received full ordination vows from His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama in 1980. In the monastery Geshe la continually studied all the major curriculum. In 1992 Geshe la graduated and received the Geshe degree, which is equivalent to a PhD in the West.

Kyabjey Lama Zopa Rinpoche invited Geshe la to an FPMT center in Florida in 2000. Geshe la stayed there as the resident teacher for 15 years. While in the United States Geshe la also gave teachings in many other parts of the USA at FPMT centers, and also taught in South American FPMT centers. Geshe la has taught at college universities, schools, and communities in Florida. In 2015, Kyabjey Lama Zopa Rinpoche asked Geshe la to teach in Adelaide, Australia at the FPMT Center Buddha House. Geshe la stayed at Buddha House and taught for one year. Geshe la was then instructed by Kyabjey Lama Zopa Rinpoche to travel to Genova, Italy and become the resident teacher at Drulkar Chotsok (Tara Bianca FPMT Center). Geshe la speaks English fluently. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Jon Landaw, author of Buddhism for Dummies, was born in New Jersey in 1944. From 1972 to 1977, Jon worked as an English editor for the Translation Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, producing numerous texts under the guidance of Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. As a student of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche since 1973, Jon has edited numerous works for Wisdom Publications, including Wisdom Energy and Introduction to Tantra. He is also the author of Prince Siddhartha, a biography of Buddha for children, and Images of Enlightenment, published by Snow Lion in 1993. As an instructor of Buddhist meditation, he has taught in numerous Dharma centers throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Capitola, California, with his wife and three children, and leads the Discovering Buddhism courses at Land of Medicine Buddha.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Geshe Lhakdor, the director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, is renowned not only for his knowledge and warmth, but also for his very practical and humorous teaching style. Geshe Lhakdor was born in Yakra, Western Tibet in 1956 and left Tibet in 1962 following the communist Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959. Geshe received his novice monk ordination in 1964, attended the Central School for Tibetans, in Dalhousie, India from 1972 to 1976 and studied specialized Buddhist Philosophy in the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala, India until 1986. From December, 1986 to May, 1989 he served as translator and research assistant in Tibet House, the Cultural Centre of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in New Delhi. In August 1989, Geshe joined the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama where he has served as Religious Assistant and Translator and has accompanied His Holiness the Dalai Lama to over thirty countries in the Americas, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia. Beside the Master of Prajnaparamita in 1982, he also received the Master of Madhyamika in 1989 and the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) from the University of Delhi. In 1995 he received the Geshe Degree from Drepung Loseling Monastic University in South India. In 2008, he was also conferred Honorary Professorship by the University of Delhi, Department of Psychology. Since 2005 he has been the director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, after serving as His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s official translator for 16 years (still occasionally travels with H.H. as translator). Geshe Lhakdor has also co-translated and co-produced several books by His Holiness, including The Way to Freedom, The Joy of Living and Dying in Peace, Awakening the Mind and Lightening the Heart, and Stages of Meditation, among others. Geshe Lhakdor is a trustee of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility, established by His Holiness, Director of the Central Archive of His Holiness, a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Tibetan Classics in Montreal, Canada, and Honorary Professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Miffi Maxmillion is the Spiritual Program Coordinator at Langri Tangpa Centre in Brisbane, Australia and is an FPMT registered teacher. Miffi was brought up a Buddhist and had the great good fortune to play with Lama Yeshe as a child. His hook of compassion sustained her through the many rebellious stages of growing up. She took refuge with Lama Yeshe at age 10, and did her first lamrim and Nyung Ne retreat with Lama Zopa Rinpoche at age 16. Miffi’s passion is in bridging the seemingly disparate worlds of modern life and the rich inner experience of Buddhist practice. She teaches classes and leads pujas with great enthusiasm and joy. She also admits to watching far too much late night TV and is an avid reader of The New YorkerBack to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Carmen Mensink is an internationally renowned painter of thangkas, the traditional Tibetan scroll paintings of Buddhas and mandalas. She is the founder of the online School for Tibetan Buddhist Art. Carmen has been teaching Tibetan Art, Meditation and Philosophy for two decades and offers classes at museums, universities, and Buddhist centers around the world, including the Rubin Museum of Art, Pratt Institute, Columbia University, and Omega Institute. She has been featured in dozens of publications. Through the dedication and joy Carmen expresses (and that is passed on to her students!) in her onsite, online, and private thangka classes, she has guided and inspired thousands of people along the Buddhist Art & Dharma path. Carmen is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and is also being asked to work on related Tibetan art forms, including large floor paintings of the ‘Eight Auspicious Symbols’ to welcome the Dalai Lama in her home country in 2009, 2014 and 2018. To learn more go to and the  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Venerable Amy Miller has been teaching extensively since 1992 and was ordained as a Buddhist nun in June 2000 by the great Tibetan master, Venerable Choden Rinpoche. She has previously directed several FPMT centers and projects for decades and has completed a seven-month solitary retreat. Her teaching style emphasizes a practical approach to integrating Buddhist philosophy into everyday life. She is happy to help people connect with meditation and mindfulness in an effort to gain a refreshing perspective on normally stressful living. Venerable teaches and leads retreats and pilgrimages around the world. Her teaching schedule and other information can be found at  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Venerable Geshe Tenzin Namdak first worked as an environmental researcher having graduated in hydrology. He started studying Buddhism at Maitreya Institute in The Netherlands in 1993 and took ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama before engaging in his formal studies in Buddhist philosophy and psychology at Sera Jey Monastic University, South India, in 1997. He completed the entire twenty-year Geshe program at Sera Jey in 2017 and the traditional one year Vajrayana study program at Gyume Tantric College in January 2019, the first Westerner to do so.

Geshe Namdak has received a great number of teachings from His Holiness and many other highly respected teachers and lineage masters, has done many retreats and is an experienced teacher in practical and philosophical aspects of Buddhism, that he teaches with great clarity and a good sense of humour. Currently, he is the resident teacher at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London, and teaches worldwide. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Guy Newland, Ph.D., is a scholar of Tibetan Madhyamaka whose teachers include Jeffrey Hopkins and Loling Geshe Palden Drakpa. He is a translator and editor of Tsongkhapa’s Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment and of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings on that text, From Here to Enlightenment. Guy is the author of Introduction to EmptinessAppearance and RealityThe Two Truths, and A Buddhist Grief Observed. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Mabel has been working with the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom for over 10 years. She is an accredited 16G Level 1, Level 2 and 16G for Children and Teens as well as Building Balanced Empathy facilitator. She is a founder member of Education Universelle France.

Mabel recently completed a postgraduate degree in Mindfulness and Compassion at the University of the West of Scotland. Where she also became an accredited mindfulness and compassion teacher by the Mindfulness Association UK. Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery


Stephan Pende Wormland has studied and practiced meditation in multiple traditions for over 30 years. He was a monk in the Tibetan tradition for 11 years. During that time, he served as director of FPMT’s Nalanda Monastery and spent five years in group and solitary retreats. While Stephan’s main teacher is Lama Zopa Rinpoche, he has also received teachings from great Tibetan Masters of the four schools including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, Kirti Thenshap Rinpoche, Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, and Choden Rinpoche. He has also practiced and studied with esteemed Western teachers like Peter Fenner, Alan Wallace, Rob Preece, Alex Berzin, Pema Chodron, Robert Thurman, and Ken McLeod. Stephan has been the resident teacher for FPMT’s Center for Wisdom and Compassion in Copenhagen for many years and currently teaches meditation in Buddhist Centers around Europe. Since 2009 he has been studying Radiant Mind with Peter Fenner, completed the Nondual Teacher Training, and is a program adviser of Potential Project.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Geshe Thubten Sherab was born in 1967 in a small village in the province of Manang, the western part of Nepal, to a Kagyu-Nyingma family. He entered Kopan Monastery at the age of nine and completed his Geshe studies at Sera Je monastery in South India, followed by a year at Gyumed Tantric College. He then completed retreat and teaching assignments both in the U.S. and Asia. He served as Head Master of Kopan Monastery’s school for four years, overseeing debate training and tantric training activities. Geshe Sherab understands and connects very well with Western students, presenting the Dharma in an accessible, warm, and open manner. Geshe Sherab taught and helped in FPMT International Office for two and a half years in Taos, New Mexico, from 2001-2003, and also served as Director of the FPMT Board for a few years. After he returned to Nepal from the United States, Geshe-la was in retreat for a year and was then appointed as Head Master of Kopan. For the last few years, he has been traveling and teaching at FPMT Centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Asia and Europe, while also serving as resident teacher at Thubten Norbu Ling in Santa Fe, New Mexico.   Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery   


Gareth Sparham was born in Britain and grew up in Canada. He lived for more than twenty-five years as a monk among Tibetan refugees in India. Gareth received a BA in English (Hons) from McGill University and PhD in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia. He studied formally at the Rigs lam slob grwa (“Buddhist Dialectic Institute”) in Dharamshala India from 1974 until 1982 and remained closely associated with the Institute until 1998. He then taught Tibetan Language and Sanskrit at the University of Michigan and University of California (Berkeley) for twelve years, leaving to focus on translating Indian and Tibetan Perfection of Wisdom sūtras and commentaries from Tibetan and Sanskrit into English.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery   


Geshe Ngawang Tenley was born in 1969 and in 1989 began preparation to become a monk under the guidance of his uncle, Geshe Tsulga. He was ordained by the late Gyume Khensur Geshe Urgyen Tseten Rinpoche in 1990 and began the program of studies to become a geshe at Sera Je Monastery. During the course of his studies, he has received many teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama as well as other highly qualified masters. In 1998, he received his full ordination (gelong) vows from His Holiness, and in November 2008, after 18 years of rigorous studies, he completed his final exams to be conferred the geshe degree at Sera Je Monastery. He began teaching at Kurukulla Center in 2009, and was appointed the resident teacher by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 2010 following the passing away of Geshe Tsulga. His cheerfulness and humility endear him to everyone he meets.   Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery  


Marina Brucet Vinyals holds a BA and a MA in Biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Biology in Immunology from the University of Barcelona, where she also performed postdoctoral studies. After this, she decided to change research in the laboratory for research of the mind and its possibilities. To this aim, she completed a six-year full-time study program Masters Program of Advanced Buddhist Studies of Sutra and Tantra at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute, Italy. She studied with great Tibetan lamas such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lama Jampa Monlam and Khensur Jampa Tegchok, amongst others, and has completed a one-year individual meditation retreat, among others. Presently, she combines continual development and meditation retreats with teaching meditation and Buddhist philosophy, at both general and specialized levels, with an approach that always takes into account the context and circumstances of Western life. She mainly teaches at Tushita Meditation Center Spain and other FPMT centers, and collaborates with SEE Learning (Emory University) in Spain.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery


Geshe Kelsang Wangmo was born and raised in Germany. In 2011 she was awarded the Rime Geshe degree after completing her studies in the traditional Geshe curriculum of the Great Canonical Texts study program at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD) in Dharamsala. This seventeen-year course focused on study and debate of the Five Great Canonical Texts according to the Gelugpa tradition as well as several semesters of study and debate in monasteries of the Nyingma, Kagyu, and Sakya traditions. Since 2004, Geshe Wangmo has taught Buddhist philosophy classes following the curriculum of the traditional Geshe study program, in English, to Westerners living in Dharamsala.   Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery


Jan Willis, who received her B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in Indic and Buddhist Studies from Columbia University, is a professor, scholar, activist, and long-time Buddhist practitioner. TIME magazine named her one of its six “spiritual innovators for the new millennium” in 2000, and Ebony called her one of its “Power 150” most influential African Americans in 2007. Dr. Willis is Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. 

She is the author of The Diamond Light: An Introduction to Tibetan Buddhist Meditation (1972), On Knowing Reality: The Tattvartha Chapter of Asanga’s Bodhisattvabhumi (1979), Enlightened Beings: Life Stories from the Ganden Oral Tradition (1995); and the editor of Feminine Ground: Essays on Women and Tibet (1989). Her best-known work is her personal memoir, Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist—One Woman’s Spiritual Journey. She has also published numerous articles and essays on various topics in Buddhism: Buddhist meditation, hagiography, women and Buddhism, and Buddhism and race. Dr. Willis is one of Lama Yeshe’s earliest Western students and sees him as her root spiritual mentor.  Back to Visiting Teachers Gallery


Ondy has been a Dharma practitioner since 1980, and established the Foundation of the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), Yeshe Buddhist Group in 2001 in the Lake District in Northern England, where she has since lived. She was a resident student in a large Buddhist community for 13 years until she moved out to continue raising her children and return to full-time work. Ondy has served as a FPMT Touring Teacher since 2007, and has taught introductory and intermediate courses and retreats in India, Russia and Europe, including UK centers. She specializes in making the teachings accessible and relevant to contemporary life and to this end created a Mindfulness Based Mind Training Program (MBMT) that encapsulates Buddhist Psychology in a secular framework. As founder of her Wellseeing Consultancy, Ondy has much experience of delivering training to both the public and private sectors, as well as in Dharma settings. Initially trained as a Drama specialist, she was a storyteller and schoolteacher for over 20 years, leaving her career in education as Head of Belief, Philosophy and Ethics in a large high school. Ondy is also a published author and her new book Spiritual Rebellion: mindfulness with attitude is the subject of one of the courses she offers.

For further information see:,

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Bhikshuni Lozang Yönten (Chaplain and Lecturer of Buddhist Studies at Maitripa College in Portland, Oregon USA) has been a nun since 2003. Buddhist since her teenage years, Ven. Yönten moved to Australia and studied extensively under Gyurmé Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering (at Chenrezig Institute, AU) from 2002-2009 before moving to India to study at Thosamling Institute 2010-2011. With the permission of her Abbott, she took higher ordination as a Siksamana in 2009 and as a Bhikshuni/Gelongma in 2011. In 2012, she became an accredited In-Depth Registered Teacher with FPMT and was requested to become the Resident Teacher at Kunsang Yeshe Retreat Centre in New South Wales, Australia where she remained for three years and frequently visited up until the pandemic. From 2015 onwards, Ven. Yönten was mainly based in New Zealand at Mahamudra Centre. During that period, she divided her time between leading retreats in New Zealand and teaching Philosophy at Human Spirit: Buddhist Psychoanalytic Training Program in Israel, as well as offering classes and retreats in various parts of Europe, until she moved back to the USA in 2021. Prior to joining Maitripa College, Yönten-la offered retreats and courses at Vajrapani Institute and Land of Medicine Buddha – both in California. She also has experience in hospice work and palliative care, as well as a deep commitment to social justice and a love of animals.

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Geshe Tenzin Zopa holds the honoured Geshe (Doctorate) degree from Sera Jey Monastic University, South India. He was born in the remote Himalayan region of Tsum valley in Nepal and was ordained at the age of 9 in Kopan Monastery by the late Great Mahasiddha Geshe Lama Konchog. He received novice ordination from H.E. Geshe Lundrup Sopa Rinpoche and full ordination from H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama. Geshela was under the direct tutelage of H.E. Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, H.E. Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup Rigsel, The Great Mahasiddha Geshe Lama Konchog and Eminent Gurus including those from the Sera Jey Monastic University H.E. 104th Ganden Tri Rinpoche Losang Tenzin, 70th Abbot of Sera Jey Monastic University H.E. Khensur Losang Tsering Rinpoche and the 76th Abbot of Sera Jey Monastic University H.E. Logoan Tulku Tenzin Jampa Choesang Rinpoche. Geshela possesses vast scriptural knowledge, holds many rare transmissions and initiations lineages, has completed many retreats, extensive teaching experience and is skilled in rituals and astrology. Geshela has also undertaken many meaningful projects for many years. He is the principal and focal point of the award winning documentary film titled ”Unmistaken Child” which chronicles the search for the reincarnation of his master Geshe Lama Konchog. Now he is taking responsibility of overseeing the overall wellbeing of H.E Tulku Tenzin Phuntsok Rinpoche, the reincarnation of late Great Mahasiddha Geshe Lama Konchog. He has frequently taken part as a speaker at many Buddhist, interfaith and peace dialogue conferences for many years. He has taught at Oxford University (UK) under “Visitorship for Traditional Scholars” in the Tibetan and Himalayan Studies program. Since 2000 he has been actively teaching in FPMT centers as a visiting and resident teacher. Currently, he is serving as a touring teacher for the FPMT centers.

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