Chairman of Rokpa Trust
Abbot and Retreat Master of Samye Ling
Executive Director of The Holy Island Project

Born in 1943 in Kham, East Tibet, Lama Yeshe Losal spent his formative years in education at Dolma Lhakang Monastery, where his brother Akong Tulku Rinpoche was Abbot. After escaping from Tibet in 1959, Lama Yeshe continued his education at the Young Lamas Home School in Dalhousie, India, before leaving in 1967 to serve as Private Secretary to His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim.

In 1969. Lama Yeshe joined Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Scotland, where they had founded Kagyu Samye Ling ( ). Five years later, he accompanied H.H. Karmapa on a tour of the United States. At this point, he and Lama Tenzin Chonyi were asked to establish and run Karma Triyana Dharmacakra Centre in Woodstock, New York, which is H.H. Karmapa's main seat in America.

In 1980 he took full ordination as a Gelong monk from His Holiness, on the auspicious date of the anniversary of Lord Buddha's Nirvana and Parinirvana. Following his ordination, Lama Yeshe entered a long-term solitary retreat under the guidance of the Abbot of Karma Triyana, Khempo Karthar Rinpoche. In 1985, at the request of his brother Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe returned to Scotland to continue his retreat at Samye Ling Purelands Retreat Centre, and in 1988 became Retreat Master with responsibility for the western practitioners who were in the cloistered four year retreat.

Despite his heartfelt wish to remain in retreat for twenty years, Lama Yeshe was obliged, towards the end of 1991, to return to the world to take responsibility for the running of Samye Ling and also to direct The Holy Island Project ( ) . Since its acquisition in April 1992, Holy Island has been home to a small group of volunteer workers from several different countries, whose imagination has been fired by Lama Yeshe's vision of building an Interfaith Retreat Centre where people of all beliefs can come to develop themselves physically, mentally and spiritually in a pure and natural environment.

As the first and largest Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Europe, Samye Ling is home to an increasing number of resident ordained sangha and lay practitioners. The centre also continues to attract thousands of visitors who come to tour the beautiful temple and grounds, or to attend one of the many courses on offer. Under Lama Yeshe's guidance, the ordained Sangha has grown to its present membership of more than 40 monks and nuns, and in 1995 the title of "Abbot" was conferred upon him.

Since a young boy, Lama Yeshe Losal has received teachings from many of the highest Kagyu Lamas, including extensive teachings and initiations from his root guru H.H. the 16th Karmapa, and teachings from the 12th Tai Situpa, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Gyaltsap Rinpoche, and the Very Venerable Kalu Rinpoche. More recently, he received teachings from Tulku Urgyen who supervised his 49 day Bardo retreat of solitude and darkness in Nepal.

Rokpa Trust ( ) has many parts including Samye Ling, The Holy Island Project and numerous charitable projects both at home and overseas. Lama Yeshe Losal is the Trust's indefatigable Chairman whose energy and inspiration fuel its far - reaching activites, which benefit so many people in so many ways.

Kagyu Samye Dzong - last updated 31. January 2002