His Holiness Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang
Born in 1946 in Lhasa, Tibet, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang is one of two spiritual heads of the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan buddhism. Recognized at the age of four as the reincarnation of the previous Drikung Kyabgon, His Holiness was enthroned and educated at Drikung Thil, the main monastery of the Drikung Kagyu lineage. During the Tibetan diaspora, His Holiness’s parents fled to India while he remained at the monastery where he was adopted by his former tutor, His Eminence Gyabra Rinpoche. His Holiness later was later assigned to hard labor at a farm.
In 1975, His Holiness fled Tibet to India via the treacherous Himalayan border and arrived at Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, where he was received by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Eighteen years after his separation from his family, His Holiness was reunited with his family in the United States where he completed courses in English and adult education.
His Holiness returned to India in 1978 where he undertook Buddhist studies, retreats and practice from many great meditation teachers of Tibetan Buddhism.
In 1985, His Holiness founded the Drikung Kagyu Institute, Jang Chub Ling, in Dehra Dun, India, which provides traditional monastic and modern education to monks and nuns; a retreat center; a project to collect and preserve all Drikung Kagyu texts as well as preservation of the culture, philosophy, and religious traditions of the Himalayan people.
His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche
His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche was imprisoned during the Communist occupation in Tibet for 20 years in the prime of his life. There, he met his guru Khenpo Munsel and secretly practiced. After his release, Rinpoche spread the teachings of dharma to all corners of the world, sharing his radiance and inspiring all with his example of how one can overcome obstacles and great hardship with love and compassion.
More about HE Garchen Rinpoche.
Born in Tibet to a nomadic family, Lama Abao took refuge with His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche and subsequently took monastic ordination with mahasiddha Karma Norbu. During his early 20s, Lama Abao lived and served at Gargon Monastery, Garchen Rinpoche’s monastery in Tibet.
Since 1997 Lama Abao has tirelessly traveled with Garchen Rinpoche throughout Asia, Europe and North America, assisting Rinpoche in establishing centers.
In 2013, Lama Abao was requested by Garchen Rinpoche to be the resident teacher of Drikung Seattle.