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Our Teachers

Kagyu Samye Dzong London is under the direction of Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Scotland, the first such centre to be built in the West, which was co-founded by Dr Akong Tulku Rinpoche in 1967, after he had to flee Tibet for India and then the UK.

The title "Tulku" indicates someone who has been identified as a reincarnated master, and Dr Akong Tulku Rinpoche was confirmed as a holder of the Kagyu lineage by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, with whom he enjoyed a close relationship, making him instrumental in the identification of his successor, the 17th Karmapa. 

The Abbot of Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery, Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, is also an accomplished meditation master. Lama Yeshe Rinpoche teaches through his example, radiating the joy, kindness and clarity that come from many years of practice. His teachings are renowned for their accessibility and good humour, and every one of his visits to Kagyu Samye Dzong London leaves participants with incomparable shared memories, and with unequalled advice to sustain their daily practice.

Finally, we are privileged to have in Lama Gelongma Zangmo, Resident Lama of the Kagyu Samye Dzong London Centre someone who is a longstanding practising Buddhist of tireless dedication, selfless commitment and compassion, with a great many years' experience in long-term retreats, and a firm guiding hand in service to the Dharma and to others. Lama Zangmo teaches weekly courses at Kagyu Samye Dzong London on the founding practices and texts of Tibetan Buddhism, which have an enthusiastic following.

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His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Drodul Trinley Dorje

Karmapa means “the one who carries out buddha-activity” or “the embodiment of all the activities of the buddhas.” The Karmapa is the head of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and as an enlightened teacher able to consciously choose to be reborn to carry on the teachings of a predecessor, he has played an important role in preserving and propagating the lineage and its practice. His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Drodul Trinley Dorje, escaped Tibet for India in 2000, and was welcomed in Dharamsala by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche

Akong Tulku Rinpoche was born in 1939 near Riwoche in Kham, Eastern Tibet. At a very young age, he was discovered and identified as the reincarnation of the first Akong, Abbot of Dolma Lhakang monastery in the Chamdo area of Kham. His religious training began here, and he also undertook training in traditional Tibetan medicine. He later went to the monastic university of Sechen, where he received transmission of the quintessential Mahamudra Kagyu Buddhist lineage from Sechen Kongtrul Rinpoche.


Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche

Venerable Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche was born in 1943 in Kham, East Tibet. He spent his formative years in education at Dolma Lhakang Monastery where his brother Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche was Abbot. After escaping from Tibet in 1959, Lama Yeshe continued his education at the Young Lamas Home School in Dalhousie, India before leaving in 1967 to serve as Private Secretary to His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. Despite his heartfelt wish to remain in retreat for twenty years, towards the end of 1991 Lama Yeshe was asked to take responsibility for the running of Kagyu Samye Ling and the Holy Island Project which he consented to do and took on with characteristic vigour and determination.

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