Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of Ewam International Centers around the world. Born into one of the oldest families in Tibet, which eventually came to be known under the name Namchak, or “sky iron,” in an area called Chamdo in the Kham region of Tibet in 1952, Rinpoche was recognized in early childhood by the great rimé lama [representing all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism], Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö [1893-1959], as well as by the former Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, to be the reincarnation of the Gochen Tulku. Gochen Tulku is an incarnation of Gyelwa Chokyang, one of the 25 heart disciples of Guru Rinpoche.
The third and fourth incarnations of great tertön Tsasum Lingpa were successively reborn into the Namchak family, which was responsible for maintaining the local monastery of Namchak Ritrö, the historical hermitage of Tsasum LIngpa, located in Chumbo. It was Tsasum Lingpa who first predicted and named the site for Gochen Monastery, which was then built by the first Gochen Tulku, Gyalwa Gyatso.
Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, an outstanding meditation master and scholar, is a lineage holder of the Namchak lineage and other profound and widely practiced lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche is also widely regarded as a master stupa builder. He has established Turquoise Leaf, a practice center for Tibetan nuns in Nepal and Silguri, India. Rinpoche’s vision of a peace garden in a mountainous valley came to him as a small child; eventually leading him to Montana to build the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas, a sacred pilgrimage site and Buddhist center. His primary residence is in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he established a retreat and practice center, Pema Khandro Ling.
Khen Rinpoche, the brother and spiritual heir of Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, was born in Eastern Tibet in 1965. As a young monk, Khenpo studied all aspects of Buddhism. Khenpo then traveled to Mysore, India where he had the good fortune to meet His Holiness, Penor Rinpoche and begin studying at His Holiness’s Nyingma College, Namdrol Ling Shedra. He graduated after nine years as a Do-Ngag Rabjampa, Master of Sutra and Tantra, the highest academic degree.
During the winter, Khen Rinpoche stays in Nepal and India at Ewam in Asia and leads nuns and others through practices during retreat. During the spring, summer and fall, he spends his time at the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas teaching western students Buddhist philosophy, preliminary Tibetan Buddhist practices and leading retreats. Sang-ngag Rinpoche and Khen Rinpoche are the founders of the Ewam Buddhist Institute whose classes and landmark summer shedra are held at the garden.
Jetsunma Jamyang Palmo has completed nine years of retreat and nine years of shedra studies at Ngagyur Nyingma Institute. Jetsunma was enthroned by Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche and given the highest honorific title of Jetsunma. Jetsunma has been the primary teacher at Turqoise Leaf nunnery in Nepal. She has been recognized as the reincarnation of Freda Bedi, Sister Palmo as she was known upon being ordained, the first women to receive full ordination in the west on the urging of HH the 16th Karmapa. Freda Bedi was one of the most important figures to bring Buddhism into the west in the early 1970’s. This is a rare occurrence of a recognized female tulku. She will share her long-term experience with her study and practice of Buddhism. Jetsunma is also curently pursuing studies in psychology and philosophy in the USA.
Khenpo Namchak Dorji is from Bhutan and an heir to Long-nying Choling Monastery. He graduated with Khenpo degree (Doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy) from Nyingma Institute of Higher Buddhist Research center, Sikkim. Khenpo has taught Buddhist philosophy and Sacred Vajrayana arts in Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal, India and the US. In addition, he has authored, co-authored, researched, edited and worked on the English translation of several texts on Tibetan Buddhism as the Chief Editor of Ewam Publishing House (also known as Ka-ter Publishing house). Some of the noteworthy ones are his extensive works on Namchak Tsasum Lingpa, Pedgyal Lingpa and Yangti Nagpo treasure texts where he has researched, edited, proofread volumes/potis of the Tibetan versions to publish fully researched, edited and proofread versions.