Karmapa means “the one who carries out buddha-activity” or “the embodiment of all the activities of the buddhas”. In the Tibetan tradition, great enlightened teachers are said to be able to consciously control their rebirth in order to continue their activity for the benefit of all sentient beings. The first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, was born in 1110. He was the first of the great Tibetan masters to establish an incarnating lineage. Since his death in 1193, successive Karmapas have incarnated in this form of manifestation body (Skt. nirmanakaya), for sixteen lifetimes so far, and all have played a most important role in preserving and promulgating the Buddhist teachings of Tibet. Prior to the birth of the first Karmapa, the arrival of a Buddhist master, who would be known as the Karmapa, had been prophesied by the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and the great tantric master of India, Guru Padmasambhava. Throughout the centuries, Karmapas have been the central figure in the continuation of the vajrayana lineage in general and the Kagyu lineage in particular, and have played a very important role in the preservation of the study and practice lineages of Buddhism.
A brief biography of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. http://kagyuoffice.org/karmapa/
About the Karmapas lineage https://kagyuoffice.org/karmapa/the-17-karmapas/
His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje
The 12th Kenting Tai Situpa
When His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa was in Beijing to discuss the affairs of historic Tibet, he had a vision of Mahakala concerning Kenting Tai Situpa’s rebirth. There, the Gyalwa Karmapa wrote the prediction letter for the discovery of the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa Pema Donyo Nyinje Wangpo. The Gyalwa Karmapa accurately foretold the signs surrounding Kenting Tai Situpa’s birth and dwelling. Likewise, the 11th Kenting Tai Situpa Pema Wangchog described the circumstances of his next incarnation before passing away. A search party discovered the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa quickly.The 12th Kenting Tai Situpa, Pema Donyo Nyingche Wangpo, was born in the male wood-horse year (1954) in the Palyul section of the Derge province to a family of farmers. On the day of his birth, the entire region witnessed two solar orbs illuminating the sky. The details of his birth were completely in accordance with the prediction of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa.He was taken to Palpung monastery and at eighteen months was enthroned there by the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa , also the King of Dege with his ministers, representative of His Holiness Dalai lama and all the Kagyu Rinpoches and representative of China were joined. At that time it was acknowledged that he clearly recognized his old attendants and disciples.At the age of five years old, Kenting Tai Situpa went to Tsurphu. For the first time, Kenting Tai Situpa assisted by 9th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche performed the ceremony of the Red Vajra Crown at the chamber of His Holiness 16th Karmapa. At the age of six years old, for the political conditions and on the advice of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, he fled historic Tibet. He traveling first to Bhutan, and later joining the Gyalwa Karmapa in Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim, India. For more info click here
The Ven. Lama Namse Rinpoche
The Venerable Lama Namse Rinpoche was born in Kham, Eastern Tibet in 1930 and became a monk at the age of fi fteen. 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 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 off ering 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 benefi of all beings in propagating the Dharma in Canada, by building the new and much needed temple for Karma Sonam Dargye Ling.
Lama Tenzin was born in Eastern Tibet in 1978 into a nomadic family. At fifteen, he became a monk and studied Dharmic ritual, chanting, torma and basic Buddhist teachings in Tong Nak Lachen Monastery for a year and half. He went to Palpung Monastery to study Buddhist philosophy at Shedra (Buddhist college) for over five years. He furthered his studies in other practices at Palnge Monastery for an additional two years. In the year 2000, KSDL invited him to Toronto to assist Rinpoche in guiding his students through the various rituals practices as well as teaching meditation and buddhist philosophy in the Tibetan Buddhism. He has also taken on the responsibility of being President of KSDL.Lama Tenzin has continued his training with great masters whenever possible during this time, receiving the transmission and empowerment of the 5 Treasures of Jamgon Kontrul and completing a five month Mahamudra retreat with His Eminence Tail Situ Rinpoche, and attending a month private Akshyoba retreat with His Holiness the Karmapa in 2012, and more. Lama Tenzin was recommended for the position of Resident Teacher by Lama Namse Rinpoche before he passed away, and was installed in that position by His Holiness the Karmapa at the end of 2009. Since then, Lama Tenzin has worked with untiring dedication at maintaining the practices and teachings at KSDL implemented by Lama Namse Rinpoche, and has established a medical clinic in Yushu, Tibet 2011. Lama Tenzin has been giving teachings at different Kagyu centres across Canada and lecture at different high schools, colleges and universities in Toronto. He is also responsible for conceiving and overseeing the new temple project in the Tibetan area of Toronto, Canada.
Lama Galo was born in Eastern Tibet and became a monk at the age of 12. He studied Buddhist ritual, meditation and philosophy from 2003 to 2009 at The Buddhist College at Palpung Monastery in Dege region of Tibet, the Seat of His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche. In 2010 he went to India to continue his Buddhist education at Palpung Sherabling monastery until he came to Canada in 2012. He is presently assisting at KSDL with pujas and teachings.
JoAnn Lux has been a Buddhist practitioner since the 1980′s and joined KSDL in the early-2000′s. She is very fortunate to be one of the many long time students of V.V. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. Some of her other teachers include Lama Namse Rinpoche, Lama Tenzin Dakpa, H.E. Ayang Rinpoche, The Dzochen Ponlop Rinpoche and Lama Kathy Wesley. When she retired from her work as a biomedical/pharmacological researcher, she began leading meditations. With the support of Thrangu Rinpoche and Lama Tenzin, JoAnn teaches meditation in Toronto in the summer and in Sarasota, Florida in the winter.