Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche
Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche
Resident Teacher at Ewam Choden Tibetan Buddhist Center Lama Kunga (Lozang Kunga Gyurme), Thartse Rinpoche was born into a noble family in Lhasa in 1935, the son of Tsipon Shuguba, Treasurer in the Dalai Lama's government.
At the age of 7, he was recognized as a reincarnation of Sevan Repa, a heart disciple of Milarepa, Tibet’s great 11th century poet-saint. Rinpoche entered Ngor Monastery at eight and was ordained as a monk at sixteen. In 1959, he was Vice-Abbot [Shabdrung] of the Sakyapa Ngor Thartse Monastery, of which his older brother Sonam Gyatso, Thartse Khen Rinpoche, was abbot. He escaped Tibet with his countrymen at the time of Chinese invasion.
In 1972 Rinpoche came to America and at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama joined Geshe Wangyal in New Jersey. Later, at the requests of students he came to Kensington, California and established the Ewam Choden Tibetan Buddhist Center. Lama Kunga has also taught in New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin, Oregon, Florida, Utah, Minnesota, and Arkansas.
Over his years in America Lama Kunga was hosted the great masters of many traditions of Tibetan Buddhism at Ewam Choden. These masters include:
- the Dalai Lama
- Chobgye Trichen
- Sakya Trizin
- Dudjom Rinpoche
- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
- Kalu Rinpoche
- Dezhung Rinpoche
- Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
With unparalleled patience and generosity Lama Kunga has responded to the heartfelt supplication of his students and taught, line by line, word by word, week after week, many of the great jewels of the Sakya tradition including:
From the Lamdre tradition
- The Triple Tantra (rgyud gsum) of Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrup
- The Later Eight Cycles (lam skor phyi ma brgyad) of Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
- Many commentaries on the practice of Hevajra
Commentaries on the Tradition of Vajrayogini (Naropa's Khecari) by
- Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- Dragpa Gyaltsen (rtsa dbu ma khrid yig)
- Thartse Khen Ngawang Palzang
- Jamyang Khyentse Wangchuk (The Six Summaries (sdom drug) also known as the "Seven Day Teaching"
- As well as many smaller works by Losel Tankyong, Ludrup Mangtho Gyatso, and others.
Lama Kunga is also an avid golfer and has been featured in Golf Digest magazine and on ESPN.
Ngor Pan De Khen Rinpoche (ngag dbang mkhas grub rgya mtsho) Ngor Abbot Dampa Rinpoche Ngawang Lodro Shenphen Nyingpo (ngag dbang blo gros gzhan phan snying pop) (1876 - 1953)
Lama Kunga has published two collections of Songs of Milarepa Drinking the Mountain Stream : Songs of Tibet's Beloved Saint, Milarepa, Lama Kunga, Brian Cutillo, Wisdom Publications, 1995.
Miraculous Journey: New Storys and Songs of Milarepa, Lama Kunga, Brian Cutillo, Lotsawa, 1986.
In the Presence of My Enemies: Memoirs of Tibetan Nobleman Tsipon Shuguba, Sumner Carnahan, Lama Kunga Rinpoche, Heartsfire Books.