Chöje Lama Namse Rinpoche
LAMA NAMSE was born in Kham, Eastern Tibet in 1930 and became a monk at the age of fifteen. From ages 16-21, he did intensive studies of the basic fundamentals of Tibetan religious language, etymology, grammar, and poetry. He underwent the serious studies of the Tripitaka, Vinaya, Sutra and Abhidharma, and also the Prajna Paramita, Utara Shastra, Sutra Lankara, the five states of Madhyamika and many other versions and commentaries as well as schools of Buddhist thought and teachings. From ages 21-24, Lama Namse did a three-year, three-month, three-day retreat with intensive practice of the core of the Kagyu teachings such as the Six Yogas of Naropa, the meaning of Mahamudra and other related practices.
From ages 24-26, he studied Buddhism further, especially the five treasuries of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great. From ages 27-30, Lama Namse went on an intensive pilgrimage to many sacred places and private retreats. When he was thirty years old, Lama Namse left Tibet as a refugee. He came to India, and from ages 32-35, did another three-year retreat. At this time he also became a retreat master for many new retreatants. At age thirty-seven, he came to Sikkim to the Dharmachakra Monastery and received the collections of the empowerments of the Kagyu ngagzod and Damgang Ngagzod practices.
From 1974 to 1981, Lama Namse served as vajra teacher all over Europe, especially in France. Since 1981, Rinpoche has served as H.H. Karmapa´s representative in Canada, and as Director of Karma Sonam Dargye Ling (formerly The Karma Kagyu Centre of Toronto).
Karma Sonam Dargye Ling has since provided a community centre for people of Tibetan origin to meet and continue the practice and study of the religion, customs, language, music and dance of the Tibetan culture, while offering the Western community an opportunity to learn and benefit from the teachings and customs. For almost 40 years Karma Sonam Dargye Ling has hosted many highly renowned visiting teachers such as the Eighth Tai Situ Rinpoche, the Ven. Mingyur Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, and many more distinguished speakers from every walk of Tibetan Buddhism.
Lama Namse Rinpoche passed away in 2009 at Sherabling Monastery in India and remained for three days in the state of thugdom. At his cremation and funeral many auspicious signs appeared in the sky over the monastery and surrounding mountains. Lama Namse's many students who come from all nationalities and walks of life were heartbroken at the loss of their teacher, and are firmly committed to continuing and spreading the practice of Dharma under the leadership of the present Resident Lama, Lama Namse's great-nephew. Lama Tenzin, who was chosen by Lama Namse Rinpoche, was officially appointed by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa as his Representative in Canada in 2009.
We look forward to continuing the excellent work begun by Lama Namse Rinpoche for the benefit of all beings in propagating the Dharma in Canada, by building the new and much needed temple for Karma Sonam Dargye Ling.